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Ticket to Ride

Summer fun, morning to night

Published: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 11:40 a.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:52 p.m. CST

After spending most of this winter housebound, thanks to seemingly endless snowstorms, I have vowed to savor every free moment this summer. To me, there is no better way to enjoy the warmer weather than to find activities taking place in the great outdoors. Although it would be impossible to touch upon all the great events taking place along the train line this summer, here are a few to get you started.

First stop – Viva la Fiesta at the Brookfield Zoo (exit at the Hollywood stop and walk a few blocks to the South Gate, www.brookfieldzoo.org). As a Brookfield Zoo member, I enjoy trips to the zoo looking at the animals and attending the zoo’s seasonal events, like Viva la Fiesta. This multi-day celebration of Hispanic culture will take place Saturdays and Sundays, June 7-8 and 14-15, at the Zoo. Visitors can taste authentic Hispanic cuisine; enjoy live entertainment and dancing; and check out artwork on display.

Check the Brookfield Zoo’s website closer to the event for menu items and entertainment lineup. While you’re there, check out the zoo’s many other events taking place over the summer, like the Father’s Day BBQ on Sunday, June 15, and World Giraffe Day on Saturday, June 21.

Second stop – Uniquely Thursdays in Hinsdale (north of tracks, Burlington Park, www.hinsdalechamber.com). After watching this event from the train window for many years, I definitely plan to hop off in Hinsdale some Thursday to partake in the Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce’s Uniquely Thursdays. Every Thursday from June 12 through Aug. 14, Burlington Park (right by the Hinsdale train station) will be dotted with lawn chairs and blankets from 6 to 9 p.m. as the community gathers to enjoy concerts in the park.

The concert line up for June features Paparockzzi performing classic hits on June 12; Heartache Tonight, the Ultimate Eagles tribute band, on June 19; and Chicago Soul Review playing Motown soul on June 26. Note the week of the Fourth of July the concert will be moved to Wednesday, July 2, featuring Funhouse playing classic ‘70s rock.

Last stop – Summer Nights Classic Car Show in Downers Grove (south of tracks, www.downtowndg.org). I’ve spent many a Friday evening looking at vintage cars during the Summer Nights Classic Car Show, which kicked off May 16. Every Friday through Aug. 29 (no show on June 20 or July 4), an array of classic cars will line the streets in downtown Downers Grove from 6 to 9 p.m. Classic cars are welcome on Main Street from Maple to Franklin.

Each week a different featured vehicle (pre-1985) will be on Curtiss Street with a trophy awarded to the best car. Featured vehicles in June include Model “T” and “A” Ford Clubs Night on June 6; Air Cool Cars (i.e. Corvair, Porsche, VW) on June 13; and Imports (i.e. British, German, Japanese) on June 27. In addition, live entertainment will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Main Street train station.

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