End-of-summer Seattle fun includes the Arts in Nature Festival, the Duwamish River Festival and downtown Seattle's Sandfest, all over the weekend of Aug. 22-24, 2008.

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Where have all our summer weekends gone?

The end of summer has sneaked up on us, and with Bumbershoot and other Labor Day weekend activities taking up the last days before schools start up again, this might be your last chance to go out and enjoy the fleeting Seattle sun.

From movies to beach festivals, Seattle offers a plethora of outdoor options this weekend.

Arts in Nature Festival

The quirky Arts in Nature Festival in West Seattle brings together artists from all over the state, from dance troupes to string quartets.

The two-day event is sponsored by the Nature Consortium, a grass-roots organization that aims to teach youth environmental lessons by means of creative art and hands-on conservation projects.

“Ten years ago the Arts in Nature Festival started out small,” said Nancy Whitlock, executive director of the Nature Consortium. “Now, we’ve grown to a two-day event with 120-plus artists and performers. Those who come say they’ve never experienced anything like it.”

Arts in Nature Festival, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Camp Long, 5200 35th Ave. S.W., at Southwest Dawson Street, in West Seattle; $5 suggested donation (206-923-0853 or www.naturec.org/festival.htm).

Concerts at the Locks

With its spacious botanical garden, informative visitors center and the chance to see boats and fish ladders, the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks — more commonly known as the Ballard Locks — are a great place to visit during the summer. This weekend you can listen to Boro d’Amato, a woodwind quartet, and the 85th Street Big Band, while also catching outdoor performances of Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen.”

Concerts at the Locks: Boro d’Amato woodwind quartet, 2-3:15 p.m. Saturday; the 85th Street Big Band, 2-3 p.m. Sunday; “The Snow Queen,” 5-6:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Hiram M. Chittenden Locks 3015 N.W. 54th St., Seattle; free (information, www.nws.usace.army.mil/PublicMenu/Menu.cfm?sitename=lwsc&pagename=mainpageasp).

Duwamish River Festival

The fourth-annual Duwamish River Festival, held this Saturday at the Duwamish Waterway Park near South Park, features live music and free family-friendly activities.

Enjoy kayak tours and water-taxi rides on the Duwamish River, along with updates on the progress of the river’s cleanup. Visitors can expect to hear the sounds of Caribbean steel-drum music, Mexican folk dancing and Duwamish tribal music.

“The purpose of it is really to inform the public about the Superfund cleanup and the related state cleanups of the Duwamish River, but we decided to do it in a more family-friendly, musical way,” said Molly Morris, public-involvement coordinator at the Department of Ecology.

Duwamish River Festival, 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. Saturday, Duwamish Waterway Park, 7900 10th Ave. S., in South Park, Seattle; free (425-649-7135 or e-mail momo461@ecy.wa.gov.).

KEXP Concerts at the Mural

The KEXP Seattle Center concert series continues this weekend with more free shows at Seattle Center’s Mural Amphitheatre. KEXP DJ El Toro will open the night tonight, before musical artists Remarks, Carter Tanton and Pela grace the stage. Saturday night will see the likes of DJ Lisa Wood, Ms. Led and Goodness.

Seating is first-come, first-served, and at 5 p.m. a beer and wine garden will be open for people 21 and older.

KEXP Concerts at the Mural, 5-8 p.m. today and Saturday, Mural Amphiteatre at Seattle Center; free (www.kexp.org/events/seattlecenter.asp).

Seattle Sandfest

If you’re downtown shopping this Saturday, you might be surprised to find yourself in the middle of the beach. It’s time for Seattle Sandfest, an urban beach festival that showcases giant sand sculptures, and passers-by can vote on their favorites and listen to island-inspired music. Several downtown stores and restaurants are also offering discounts.

Sandcastle winners are announced at the end of the event, and donations go toward Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound.

Seattle Sandfest, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Westlake Park and Westlake Plaza; $1 suggested donation to vote for sculptures (information, www.downtownsummer.com/sandfest).

Outdoor movies and theater redux

Earlier this summer, we rounded up outdoor movies and outdoor theater (see the stories at www.seattletimes.com/summerguide), and there are still a few chances to enjoy screen or stage acts outside.

“Hairspray,” “Galaxy Quest” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” are among the offerings this weekend at Seattle locations in Fremont, West Seattle and Rainier Square. Outdoor theater this weekend, on the other hand, is outside of Seattle, with the Kitsap Forest Theater near Bremerton and Leavenworth Summer Theatre still in production.

Arla Shephard: 206-515-5632

or ashephard@seattletimes.com