As summer winds down, it’s time for grown-ups to play a little.
Accomplish that at the Naperville Wine Festival Aug. 23 or 24 or at the Midwest Brewers Fest in Plainfield Aug. 24. For the kids, there’s a bug fest.
Naperville Wine Festival
The 11th annual Naperville Wine Festival returns to the City Gate Centre this weekend, bringing with it a chance for budding wine connoisseurs to sample and discuss wine.
The festival runs from 4 to 10 p.m. Aug. 23 and 2 to 8 p.m. Aug. 24. Tickets cost $29 in advance or $35 at the gate; designated driver tickets cost $10. The price of admission gets you a souvenir wine glass, 12 tastings, one pint of any beer available at the festival, access to wine seminars, musical entertainment and the chance to purchase wine at a discount.
Designated drivers get two non-alcoholic drinks plus everything else. Those under 21 are admitted free when accompanied by paid adult.
Festival producer Scott Janess with inPlay Events said that this year’s festival will be better than ever with 57 vendors pouring a total of 342 wines to sample.
“We really have a great selection of wine this year, as well as musical talent and the largest selection of beers we’ve ever had,” he said. “We are improving and we are getting better and we’re hoping for the best one yet.”
The beer garden will feature three beers from previous years, and new this year is the Goose Island Brewery.
“If you haven’t tried their Sofie or Matilda, they are their high-brow brands they have,” he said. “They are also doing a seasonal, which is their Oktoberfest, and their IPA.”
Friday’s entertainment includes the Washington, D.C.-based band The Lloyd Dobler Effect performing at 5 and again at 7:45 p.m. with wine demonstrations at 6:40 and 7:15 p.m.
On Saturday, Chicago’s Underwater People play at 2:30 p.m. with the Erin Bode Group from St. Louis going on at 6:45 p.m. Wine demonstrations will be at 4:15 and 6 p.m.
There will be eight Naperville restaurants on hand if you get hungry, selling steaks, gourmet tacos, desserts and barbecue, to name a few choices, he said.
People will be able to speak with vineyard representatives and learn more about their favorite wines during the fest.
“There are so many regions producing wines that people have never experienced before,” he said. “We’ve even got some Illinois wines, which I am excited to try.”
A portion of the proceeds will go to the Naperville Area Humane Society.
Midwest Brewers Fest
The Midwest Brewers Fest is a craft beer festival held from 1 to 6 p.m. Aug. 24 at Plainfield Riverfront Park, along the DuPage River, in Plainfield.
Tickets cost $40 in advance and $50 at the gate. A limited number of VIP tickets cost $100; designated driver tickets cost $10 and VIP designated driver tickets cost $20.
The price of admission gets you 25 sampling tickets (2-ounce samples), sampling cup, program guide and access to more than 150 unique beers. The brew masters and their staff will be available to interact with fest-goers and answer questions about their brews.
The purpose of the festival of two-fold; first, it celebrates the art and craft of fine beer and exposes it to those unfamiliar with it. Secondly, it helps to raise funds and awareness of the restoration of the Plainfield Riverfront Park.
The Midwest Brewers Fest is produced by community volunteers who share a passion for premium beer.
New this year is a Real Ale tent that will feature 12 special casks of beer that will be available throughout the day. A more complete list of breweries attending is on the festival’s web site. There will also be a Homebrew Pavilion where you’ll find speakers and several local homebrew clubs serving samples of their homebrewed beers.
Don’t let a few creep crawly critters scare you. The bugs are back at the Fox Valley Park District’s annual Bug Fest, held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 24.
Children and their families can enjoy a variety of bug-related activities at the free event, held between Red Oak Nature Center and Lippold Park and the connecting Fox River Trail in Batavia.
Look for fun and educational activities with a swarm of bug-related games, demonstrations and crafts. You’ll learn all about the important roles bugs play, such as pollinating plants and flowers, aerating the soil and serving as a major source in the food chain.
Red Oak has presentations by a local beekeeper and Lippold includes an extensive bug exhibit by Terminix. Subway mini-sandwiches, chips and drinks will be available for sale.