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The West End Art Festival will brighten the La Grange landscape, with lots of new activities. (Photo provided)

Looking for something to do this week? We have some suggestions, ranging from an art festival to outdoor jazz and blues concerts to a theater classic, a cleverly named "Swinging from the Vines" wine tasting at the zoo, and a newly published book to help people through the grieving process.

Burlington Avenue between Brainard and Waiola avenues, La Grange
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15
COST & INFO: Free admission; details at on Friday night prelude event with jazz and food
Chefs' culinary demos and performing arts add spice to the annual West End Art Festival, showing works by 50 juried artists from across the U.S., plus hands-on activities for children, presented by the La Grange Business Association and village. New will be Performing Arts Day on Saturday, with live performances by dance, theater and music groups, and The Art of Food, featuring Sunday demonstrations by culinary artists from prasino, Sushi House, Isn’t That Sweet Bakery and other eateries. Artwork will be available in a variety of mediums, including painting, acrylics, oils, sculpture, woodwork, jewelry, photography, watercolor and mixed media. Patrons can contribute their talents to a community mural organized by Bottle and Bottega that will find a permanent home in La Grange.

Jedlicka Performing Arts Center, 3801 S. Central Ave., Cicero
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays, Sept. 13 to 28
COST & INFO: $17, $15 for seniors;, 708-656-1800
"A Streetcar Named Desire" launches Jedlicka's new season. Set in New Orleans after World War II, the play follows Blanche DuBois, a fragile and neurotic woman, played by Kirstin Franklin (from left). When she arrives at the doorstep of her sister Stella (Anslee Burns) and short-fused brother-in-law Stanley (Carl Herzog), the visit triggers explosive events one steamy summer. Christopher Pazdernik directs the play, which earned Tennessee Williams the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Memorial Park, La Grange Road and Woodlawn Avenue, La Grange Park
WHEN: 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13
COST & INFO: Free;, 708-354-4580
Musicians will descend on the Memorial Park Amphitheater for a fourth annual evening of jazz and blues, presented by the Community Park District of La Grange Park. In addition to three bands, the night offers edibles from vendors, a beer and wine tent, raffles, and a "Cruise In" car show as part of the lineup. Be sure to bring your blanket and chairs to kick back and relax at the end-of-summer Jazz and Blues Festival.

Order online
WHEN: Available now
COST & INFO: $12 at or
Westchester residents Nancy Steker and Susan Troppito had happy suburban marriages and families, until they both became widows too soon. "A Grieving Widow's Journal: A Collection of Thoughts" is the book they co-authored about facing loss. "We each wrote about our personal journey since becoming widows," Troppito said. "We certainly don’t feel like we know all the answers, but we hope our experiences and thoughts can bring comfort to other widows or anyone suffering from losing a loved one.”

Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W. 31st St., Brookfield
WHEN: 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15
COST & INFO: $100 or $275 with VIP perks;, 708-688-8393
“Swinging from the Vines,” offering tastings of 80 wines, is part of an event also featuring Scotch, craft beers and appetizers in the Wines in the Wild fundraiser by the Women’s Board of the Chicago Zoological Society. Silent and live auctions tempt with such items as trips to the Kentucky Derby, Daytona 500 and California wine country or tickets to hear Beyoncé. Hors d’oeuvres are prepared by Brookfield Zoo’s executive chef.