Between festivals and city-wide parties, summer is a spectacular time to be in Chicago. Whether you’re a Chi-town native or new to the Windy City, here are 13 summer events in Chicago that you’ll definitely want to be a part of.
Special Events in Chicago
From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 18th, the Oak Street shopping district will host its Summer Shop-Around event. You can find special offers and in-store events at more than 20 stores, and entertain yourself with live music, fashion shows, and tarot card readings. Plus 10% of sales go to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
The Chicago Ale Fest features 200 American craft beers from 100 different breweries. On June 19 and 20, you can sample these beers while you listen to live music and indulge in tasty foods. Part of the proceeds will benefit the Grant Park Conservatory.
On June 27, there will be a crawfish boil on the Chicago lakefront to benefit the Multiple Myeloma Cancer Research Foundation. In addition to a crawfish feast, Crawfish for Cancer also includes live music, raffles, and other entertainment.
Chicago has amazing diversity when it comes to food, and on July 8-12, you’ll get to sample over 60 different Chicago eateries at Taste of Chicago. There will be five-day and pop-up restaurants, food trucks, and a host of entertainment options for while you dine.
July 25 is the ultimate boating day. More than 800 boats carrying thousands of people will pour into Lake Michigan for the Chicago Scene Boat Party, which has been called “Mardi Gras on the water.”
On August 7-9, the Chicago History Museum will host the Chicago Hot Dog Festival right in the heart of the Gold Coast. All hot dogs will be Vienna Beef and served in true Chicago fashion (no ketchup!).
The Chicago Air and Water Show is a free event on August 15 and 16, taking place at North Avenue Beach as well as Fullerton and Oak Street beaches. This air and water show is the largest in the United States, so it’s a must-see.
Chicago Summer-Long Events
Relax and take in the beautiful nature and city skyline all at once at the Oak Street Beach right in the middle of the Gold Coast. You can also sit lakefront at the North Avenue and Montrose beaches. Either way, a day in the sun makes for great family fun.
Fireworks Boat Tour
Take a Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture Fireworks Tour any Wednesday or Saturday evening this summer. Boats leave from the Navy Pier and take you on a 60- or 90-minute tour of Chicago’s historic architecture all under the glistening light of fireworks.
New Riverwalk on the Chicago River
Stroll along the newly renovated riverwalk on the Chicago River. New concessions have just started to open, giving you amazing dining and entertainment options as you take in the city scene.
Lots of Concerts
Chicago in the summer is home to the biggest names in music. This summer’s lineup includes Taylor Swift, Brian Wilson, Wiz Khalifa, Murder by Death, Van Halen, and Aretha Franklin — to name just a few. The Grant Park Orchestra will also be playing throughout the summer as part of the Grant Park Music Festival.
Chicago’s events come in all varieties and fit all budgets, so there’s no excuse for not getting out there and having fun this summer.