5 ways to extend your summer fun

Everyone here at Chicago Parent gets all cozy and weird when summer starts nearing the end. Natalie Dal Pra is wearing a burgundy pashmina right now and she’s surrounded by venison scented candles. I don’t get it. Summer is about fun, bright colors, few clothes, splashing water, hot sun, barbecue, Pharrell and joy. Fall is about work, sullen earth tones, sweaty layers of wool, damp mulch, grey skies, Kurt Weill and melancholia.

I got an e-mail this week from Starbucks that said “fallin’ for pumpkin.” There are so many things wrong with that, not the least of which is the sub-Hallmark level pun. Also, it isn’t Labor Day weekend yet and also gross. I threw my phone when I saw it, so if you want to get a hold of me, you’ll have to wait till I get to a computer. If you want to get a hold of me for something regarding gourds or cinnamon, don’t bother.

The rush to celebrate autumn is completely baffling to me. Don’t worry, autumn will find you, wrap its hideous itchy wines around you, squeeze the tan off of your skin and point you towards our endless frigid winters. Isn’t it better to hold onto summer for as long as the sunset is still late-ish and you can pretend there is still happiness left in this world? It’s going to be a hundred degrees for another month — let’s take a final lap around the best season of the year.

Just keep swimming.

Make like Dory the fish. Sure, the lifeguards get pulled this weekend, but you can still move the party inside. Why not keep living your beach life out of the elements at an indoor pool? You’re likely already a gym or YMCA member or swim school participant, but if not, The Chicago Park District operates 28 indoor pools, including the far North side’s Welles Pool. Check out the Park District website for locations and hours near you. Find more indoor pools around the city and suburbs to dive into. 

Even in September, we all continue to scream for ice cream.

Look, the guys pushing the carts with bells down the beach may have packed up for the season, but ice cream doesn’t go away just because you’re wearing shirts with sleeve. The scene gets no less fun nor the food less tasty at Lickety Split in Edgewater, even if you are starting to plan what zombies and scarecrows you’re putting on your porch. Enjoy an old-fashioned scoop at these local ice cream places too. 

There is still live music outside. 

Most parents seem to think that it’s illegal to stand in front of a live band between September and May. In fact, it’s only illegal between November and April. Do you want to see Sixteen Candles do their 80s thing some more? They don’t turn into snowmen after Labor Day. Go see them at Lakeview East Festival of the Arts on Sept. 9 or perhaps Berwyn Octoberfest on Sept. 15. I’m relatively sure Jesse will still have himself a girl and they will still want to make her theirs, even when the leaves are changing colors.

Fests don’t stop just because school starts.

Just because you sank half your income into glue sticks for the classroom doesn’t mean you can’t still eat while standing up in the middle of a street. Sure, the beer gets more German and there tend to be more apple pies floating around, but there are some fests that still feel pretty summery. Sam Adams’ Lakeview Taco Fest, Sept. 15-16, for instance. It’s got cilantro — how can that not be summery? See more family-friendly festivals to check out this September. 

Baseball season is really long.

The Sox aren’t going anywhere this year and the Cubs are will within blowing it distance, but the former is still fun to watch and there’s a lot of baseball left. Head out to the last two Sox family Sundays on Sept. 2 or Sept. 9. Or see that other team.

Friends, you don’t have to surrender to the umber monster of fall just yet. Drop that terrible orange beer bottle and put your shorts back on for a few more weeks. And knock it off with the scented candles. You don’t have to block the smell of burning leaves and decaying songbirds just yet!

Follow Matt at The Paternity Test Comedy Podcast.

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