145. KIDS CLUB: Brand New Barrington Area “Kids Fest”

145. KIDS CLUB:  Brand New Barrington Area “Kids Fest”

There’s a new event happening in Barrington tomorrow that’s all about encouraging kids to get outside, explore nature and have a blast while breathing fresh air.  Three local organizations are coming together to host the first ever Barrington Kids Fest at Citizens Park and they have a long list of exciting outdoor activities planned for the day.

This is the first year that the Barrington Breakfast Rotary Club, the Barrington Park District and the Leave No Child Inside initiative of the Greater Barrington and Lake Zurich areas are joining forces to create a unique Barrington Area Kids Fest.  They’ve decided to combine the 11th annual Community Kite Fly and the 2nd annual Family Nature Fest to form one all-encompassing outdoorsy festival and it’s totally FREE and open to all kids and families in the community.

A ton of local groups, organizations and businesses are supporting the event to provide families with action-packed recreational and educational activities designed to get everyone moving and active.  In addition to your kites, be sure to bring your bikes this year. One of the tomorrow’s highlights will be a family bike adventure through Cuba Marsh led by Barrington cyclist, Bob Lee…

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56. Get in on the New Barrington Dance Craze

56.  Get in on the New Barrington Dance Craze

There’s a new community dance craze taking over the streets of Barrington. “Flash Mobs” have become the latest rage. If you watch Glee, follow YouTube or are a hip and happening reader of 365Barrington.com, I’m sure you know all about them ;).  For those of you who’d like a little background, Flash Mobs are “large groups of people who assemble suddenly in public and perform a dance or unusual act for a brief time, then disperse.” The performance is supposed to be a secret, but a little birdie has let me in on what could be Barrington’s next Flash Mob.

Dancing in the Streets of Downtown Barrington

Barrington’s last Cruise Night of the season is happening downtown on Cook Street tomorrow night, starting at 6:30. My source tells me that, if you’re there at around 6:45, you might just get Flash Mobbed, like this one that happened a couple of weeks ago…

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52. Save the Lives You Love at National Night Out

52.  Save the Lives You Love at National Night Out

Our new baby turned two weeks old yesterday. With three kids under three in our house, events like tonight’s sixth annual National Night Out at Citizens Park in Barrington are beginning to take on new meaning.  Barrington police have played a big part in the planning and it’s designed to be a fun way to learn things that can save the lives of the people we love.

If you’ve ever worried about things like bike and train safety, stranger danger, your kids and drugs, how to keep them safe behind the wheel or as the passengers of other teen drivers, National Night Out will help bring you a little peace of mind. Whether your kids are little like ours or in the midst of their teens, they’ll definitely walk away from this party armed with new skills to help keep them out of danger.

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46. Sample 50 Fine Wines at Uncork Barrington 2011

46. Sample 50 Fine Wines at Uncork Barrington 2011

If you love fine wine and savor opportunities to sip samples from around the globe, you don’t want to miss tomorrow night’s 7th Annual “Uncork Barrington” event. I have attended this party every year since it started back in 2005 and, like a fine wine, it just keeps getting better with age.

7th annual Uncork Barrington event in downtown Barrington, Illinois

The party starts at 6 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, July 8th, and the planners have decided to extend the end time an hour this year, until 10 p.m., to accommodate those who get home later from work. When you enter the event, you’ll receive a complimentary wine glass and a wine passport to track your tastings.  There will be 50 different wines from all regions of the world available to sample along with complimentary hors d’oeuvres from some of the finest local restaurants.

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45. Travel the World at Barrington International Fest

45.  Travel the World at Barrington International Fest

We just spent Fourth of July weekend celebrating our country’s independence, but today’s a day to celebrate all countries and cultures without leaving Barrington. The first ever Barrington International Fest is happening today from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and we’re all invited to share a sampling of dance, food and music from around the world.

International Fest in Barrington, Illinois

International Fest will be a day full of fun for all ages with vendors, performers and attendees from far beyond the Barrington area. There are activities planned for kids, teens and adults along with music from around the world.

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43. Fire it Up with the Smokin Gunz

43.  Fire it Up with the Smokin Gunz

Be sure you’re cocked, locked and ready to rock when you head to the Barrington Brat Tent today.  There’ll be lots of Country heat on hand tonight when Smokin Gunz takes the stage.  The band will be tonight’s finale performance after a full day of family fun at the Barrington 4th of July Weekend festivities.

Smokin Gunz Band will Perform at the Barrington Brat Tent Tonight

Smokin Gunz are otherwise known as “Chicago’s Hardest Working Country Band”. They’re a Top 40 Country band from the suburbs of Chicago, they have a reputation for getting the audience on their feet and you can learn more about them at SmokinGunz.net.

But the Smokin Gunz are just one of many great activities scheduled for the Brat Tent today…

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41. July 4th Barrington Brat Tent Returns with a Bang

41. July 4th Barrington Brat Tent Returns with a Bang

The Brat Tent entrance will blast open today to celebrate four days of July 4th festivities in downtown Barrington. The 27th Annual Barrington Fourth of July celebration will feature a packed schedule of entertainment for kids, families AND adults. We’ll be sharing fun details and the full events schedule in the coming days here at 365Barrington.com, but one of today’s highlights will be the festival’s opening performance this afternoon by OD TAPO IMI.

Barrington Fourth of July Brat Tent Festivities
OD TAPO IMI - Photo Courtesy of Rob Dicker

OD TAPO IMI is a Chicagoland band whose name is an acronym for “Oil Drums That Are Pounded Out Into Musical Instruments”.  They’re known for their Caribbean-style beats and best described as “Jimmy Buffet Meets Blue Man Group.”

OD TAPO IMI will light up the Barrington Brat Tent stage at 12:30 this afternoon with a powerful mix of vocals, steel drums, percussion, guitars and horns playing all genres of popular music with a unique tropical twist. But they’re just a delicious appetizer for a great list of highlights planned for Barrington’s Fourth Festivities this year.

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36. Welcome Back to the Barrington Farmers Market

36.  Welcome Back to the Barrington Farmers Market

We’ve been waiting since last fall for this!!! The weekly Farmers Market returns to Barrington for its 11th season this Thursday. So get ready for some freshly popped kettle corn, the balloon man, the lemonade guy and the return of some of your favorite farmers.  Plus, prepare to meet some brand new vendors this year.  To get into the spirit of the season, I found some of my favorite farmers market photos taken by Barrington photographer, Anthony Tortoriello.

Weekly Farmers Market Returns to Barrington
Photo Courtesy of Anthony Tortoriello and AtortPhotography.com

I also caught up with Farmers Market co-chair, Margaret Myren, earlier this week to get the scoop on which vendors are coming back and who will be new to the market this year.  You’ll be excited to find out what she had to say…

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24. Meet the Green Grocer in South Barrington

24.  Meet the Green Grocer in South Barrington

A Chicago neighborhood hot spot is opening for business in Barrington TODAY to offer a new place for us to find fresh local produce while shopping outdoors.  The Green Grocer is debuting a seasonal open air market this morning at the Arboretum of South Barrington and their colorful fruits and veggies are just waiting to come home to your table.

Open Air Produce Market at the Arboretum of South Barrington
Courtesy of Dan Wendt

The new Produce Market will be a great place to pop in and pick up essential grocery items, lunch to go, the ingredients for a fresh and delicious dinner, fresh flowers or a gift for a friend who loves unique and hard-to-find food items.

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23. Explore Citizens Park at Family Nature Fest

23. Explore Citizens Park at Family Nature Fest

Want to get outside and explore nature with your kids tomorrow? There’s a full schedule of exciting activities planned for all ages during Family Nature Fest from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 21st at Citizens Park in Barrington.

Family Nature Fest in Barrington, Illinois

There will be an interactive fitness trail set up for tomorrow’s festival, along with exciting fitness-themed games, activities and classes. Everything is designed to encourage kids and their families to turn off the TV and instead get outside with nature, have fun and get fit.

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22. Get Artsy Outdoors at Art in the Park

22.  Get Artsy Outdoors at Art in the Park

If you love art and you love the outdoors, you don’t want to miss the FREE “Art in the Park” art and music festival coming up in Barrington this weekend.  The third annual event kicks off the outdoor festival season and is happening all day this upcoming Sunday, May 22nd.  You can expect to find more artists displaying their works this year, along with more musicians, more children’s activities, more food AND more people gathered for a day of art and inspiration at Barrington’s Citizen’s Park.

Citizen's Park Art in the Park Festival
Photo Courtesy of Barrington Cutural Arts Center

There will be close to 60 area artists displaying their works for sale from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at this Sunday’s event, there will be eight musical acts performing live on the stage, you’ll find live art demonstrations happening throughout the park and just wait until you hear what’s planned for kids this year…

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258. Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides in South Barrington

258.  Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides in South Barrington

I always love the beginning of new traditions and the South Barrington Arboretum is adding complimentary horse-drawn sleigh rides to their list of things you can do when you visit their brand new outdoor skating plaza this year.

Sleigh Rides at the South Barrington Arboretum

Every Saturday and Sunday, they’re offering complimentary horse-drawn sleigh rides from 11AM until 3PM on Saturdays and Sundays. The rides start at the brand new Alexian Brothers Skating Plaza. Have you checked out the new open air ice rink yet?

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233. New Skating Plaza Opening in South Barrington!

233.  New Skating Plaza Opening in South Barrington!

I have a bad habit of overusing exclamation points, but today, I simply HAD to put one in our title! Because, one week from today, the area’s only Open-Air Skating Rink will be opening for business in South Barrington. They’re busy setting it up at the South Barrington Arboretum and there are two big events tied to the outdoor “Skating Plaza’s” grand opening next weekend. The first is an appearance by “Skates”, the Chicago Wolves Mascot.

Skates the Chicago Wolves Mascot

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228. Sign Up for the South Barrington Gobbler Gallop

228.  Sign Up for the South Barrington Gobbler Gallop

South Barrington is continuing a brand new tradition by hosting the second annual “Gobbler Gallop” one week from today on Sunday, November 21st. The 5K run and 1 mile walk is a great way to kick off the Thanksgiving season because you’ll be helping two important causes AND get a great workout at the same time.

Gobbler Gallop in South Barrington

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198. Trick or Treat Trot & The CROP Hunger Walk

198.  Trick or Treat Trot & The CROP Hunger Walk

Halloween is still a couple of weeks away, but if you have an awesome costume that you just can’t wait to show off, I have the perfect reason for you to get all dressed up this weekend. The Barrington Breakfast Rotary is hosting the fifth annual “Trick-or-Treat Trot” this Sunday morning and you’ll be ahead of the pack if you come in your costume.

Runningin the Trick or Treat Trot

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