Listen to author William Hazelgrove tell the exciting history behind Chicago's battle with the mob during "Al Capone and the 1933 World's Fair" on Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m. at the Brookfield Public Library, 3609 Grand Blvd.

Summer concert season arrives

The recreation departments in North Riverside and Brookfield kick off their free summer concert series this week, with a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, respectively.

On Thursday, June 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. enjoy modern country hits courtesy of the Nashville Electric Company at the gazebo behind the North Riverside Village Commons, 2401 Desplaines Ave.

While you’re having a high-energy, honky tonk time, you can also enjoy barbecue nachos and grab a country punch. Don’t forget to bring a blanket and chair.

Then on Friday, June 22 at 7 p.m. head over to the band shell in Brookfield’s Kiwanis Park, 8820 Brookfield Ave., and experience the British Invasion all over again courtesy of the Beatles tribute band BritBeat.

Food will be available for purchase. In case of inclement weather, concerts are held in the lower level of the Brookfield Village Hall, next door.

Brews at the zoo

ZooBrew the annual beer-tasting festival at Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Road in Brookfield, returns Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24 from 4 to 8 p.m.

The 21-over event on the East Mall offers a chance to sample more than 80 ales, lagers, stouts, porters and more from local and national brewers while taking in wildlife and nature. Live music will be provided by D.T. Funk on Saturday and Run Forrest Run on Sunday.

A variety of ticket options are available, and all include free parking and zoo admission anytime that day between 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. For ticket information, visit

Farmers Markets are back

Looking for fresh, locally sourced fruits and vegetables, prepared foods, handcrafted items and more? Be sure to stop by either or both of the local farmers markets, held each week in Brookfield and Riverside.

Riverside’s Farmers Market, held every Wednesday from 2:30 to 7 p.m. through the summer and early fall, is held in the shadow of the water tower in Centennial Park, 10 Pine Ave. Weekly scavenger hunt for kids.

The Brookfield Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Oct. 13 in the parking lot of the village hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave. Weekly special events and live music.

Big Al at the Fair

Listen to author William Hazelgrove tell the exciting history behind Chicago’s battle with the mob during “Al Capone and the 1933 World’s Fair” on Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m. at the Brookfield Public Library, 3609 Grand Blvd.

The story includes the Secret Six, Sally Rand, mayors “Big” Bill Thompson and Anton Cermak and more.

Registration required at 708-485-6917, ext. 130 or online at

What’s the Big Idea?

North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, invites kids 2 to 7 and their families to a free WTTW Kids Big Idea event on Sunday, June 24 from 10 to 11 a.m.

WTTW’s Kids Lab Guys will take kids on a 45-minute journey that will explore things like life cycles, recycling, the natural world and more. There will also be a VIP appearance by Curious George.

And more

  The Riverside Masonic Lodge No. 862, 40 Forest Ave., will host its annual Community Awards Dinner on June 21 at 6 p.m. For more information or to make a reservation, call 708-447-9628. 

  The Frederick Law Olmsted Society will hold its next walking tour of historic Riverside on June 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. with a stroll through the village’s south division. Meet at the east platform of the Riverside train station, 90 Bloomingbank Road. Tickets are $20 ($15 for seniors and society members). Learn more at

  The Compassion Factory Art Gallery, 9210 Broadway Ave. in Brookfield, continues its exhibition featuring the work of two artists, Andrea Johnson and Heidi Burtner through July 7. Free and open to the public on Thursdays from 4 to 9 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and first Fridays from 7 to 10 p.m.

  Brookfield Public Library, 3609 Grand Blvd., invites you to journey with Brian Michalski on a 22-month solo backpacking trip in “Vagabonding Around the World” on June 25 at 7 p.m. Get insider info that will let you travel like a pro. Registration required at 708-485-6917 or online at

  Riverside Public Library, 1 Burling Road, hosts “Plants and Animals of Illinois” with photographer John Lynn on June 21 at 7 p.m. in the Public Meeting Room and “How to Land a Literary Agent and Get Published,” featuring local author Karen Doornebos on June 26 at 7 p.m. in the Public Meeting Room

  North Riverside Public Library, 2400 Desplaines Ave., hosts a Senior Drop-in on June 22 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Meeting Room. Play cards and socialize every Friday. For kids, there’s Stories & Play (thru age 5) on June 21 at 10:30 a.m.; Love2Read (grades K-1) on June 23 at 2 p.m.; Book Treks reading adventures (grades K+) on June 21 at 3:30 p.m.; Mystery of Missing Manners (grades K ) on June 26 at 3:30 p.m.;  Mini Crafters (ages 3-6) on June 26 at 10:30 a.m. (DIY binoculars); Mega Crafters (ages 7 ) on June 27 at 3:30 p.m. (design your own treasure box); Wii Play Games and Watch Movies (teens/tweens) on June 25 from 6 to 8 p.m.; and Life-Size Jenga (teens/tweens) on June 27 from 6 to 8 p.m.

  The Brookfield Elks Lodge, 9022 31st St., hosts bingo every Monday night. Doors open at 5 p.m. and games start at 7 p.m. minimum cash payout of $2,275 a night, plus pull tabs, lightning, tic-tac and raffles.