Gospel music festival
Hear gospel choirs and soloists at the Chicago Gospel Music Festival in Millennium Park. Free.
Chicago Ale Fest features samples of 200 beers from 90 craft breweries, plus live music and restaurant food at Butler Field in Grant Park.
Division Street festival
Do Division Street Fest & Sidewalk Sale has rousing live music, a sidewalk sale, a fashion show, and a family fun fest (Sat. & Sun.) on Division Street between Ashland and Leavitt. Donation.
Lincoln Park Greek Fest serves Greek food, music, and dancing on Sheffield Avenue at 2701 N Sheffield Avenue. Donation.
June 1 – 3, 2018
The German festival known as Maifest Chicago serves beer, brats, sauerkraut, and music in Lincoln Square at Lincoln Ave. and Leland Ave. Free. [Not to be confused with Mayfest listed under May 18.]
Taste of Mexico
Taste of Mexico [formerly Taste of Little Village: Flavors of Mexico] offers food, music, and carnival rides at 26th & California Avenue. Free.
See postage stamp exhibits and shop from 50 dealers at Compex in River Grove. Free.
Harvard Milk Days has 30 events, including a parade on Sat., milk-drinking contest, talent show, carnival, petting zoo, entertainment, and fireworks. Free.
Friday sunset cruise
June 1 & 8, 2018
A Booze Cruise aboard the Anita Dee II offers amazing views from three decks, dancing, and a cash bar, departing from 200 N Breakwater Access for age 21+.
Physical Festival includes five creative theater shows that tell stories physically and visually, plus a one-night showcase of short theater at Stage 773.
Oklahoma! is Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Pulitzer Prize winner with classic songs and a romantic rivalry on the Western frontier at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire.
June 1 – 30, 2018
Adult variety show
Kiss Kiss Cabaret is a fun mix of burlesque, off-color comedy, music, magic, song, and variety acts for age 21+ Fridays and Saturdays at Uptown Underground.
Music on the lake
June 1 – Sept. 3, 2018
Hear live music in the Beer Garden at Navy Pier. Closed Mon. & Tues. except May 28. Free for all ages.
Movies in the Parks
See 250 Movies in the Parks, if weather allows. Free.
Ravinia music festival
See nationally known performers at Ravinia Festival, billed as America’s oldest outdoor music festival at Ravinia Park in Highland Park. Available discounts:
June 2, 2018
Second City’s Legendary Laughs delivers an hour of hilarious improvised comedy about famous scenes and songs, with audience interaction at Up Comedy Club.
The LaGrange Pet Parade includes marching bands, floats, clowns, and a creative costume contest. Line up is 8:30 a.m. at Cossitt Ave. & LaGrange Rd. Free.
A ticket to Wingout Chicago includes 20 varieties of chicken wings from restaurants and a beverage (beer, wine, or soda) at St. Michael’s Church parking lot with live reggae music. Expect lines.
See science-fiction and fantasy short films from around the world at Juggernaut Film Festival, an annual event at the swanky, art deco Music Box Theatre.
Hyde Park festival
June 2 – 3, 2018
It’s free to attend Hyde Park Brew Fest to hear live music and shop from craft vendors, but the beer and cider tasting at 1 p.m. requires a ticket.
Art fair in Hyde Park
Billed as Chicago’s oldest juried art fair, 57th Street Art Fair allows only original art and no alcohol on 57th Street (from Kenwood to Woodlawn). Free.
Holistic living expo
Body Mind Spirit Expo features speakers, workshops, and vendors for remaking your life at the Tinley Park Convention Center.
Run at the zoo
United Run for the Zoo is a popular 10K, 5K, and kids’ stampede in Lincoln Park Zoo and Lincoln Park.
June 3 – 14, 2018
Enjoy a buffet meal aboard the Spirit of Chicago Dinner Cruise, with views of the Chicago skyline and DJ dance music, departing from Navy Pier.
Millennium Park movies
Get a seat or sit on the lawn to see films on a 40-foot screen at Millennium Park Summer Film Series on Tuesdays plus July 9. Free.
Underground film festival
Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF) shows independent, experimental, and documentary films from around the world at the Logan Theatre, followed by nearby after-parties.
Adult zoo night
June 7, 2018
Leave the kids at home and head to Adults Night Out at Lincoln Park Zoo to experience unique animal chats and live entertainment. You must be age 18+ to attend, and age 21+ for the cash bars.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago performs the premiere of “Decadance/Chicago” during Summer Series at Harris Theater in Millennium Park.
Dark underworld fantasy
Deep below the streets of London lies a Neverwhereinhabited by a rogues’ gallery of liars, outcasts, and assassins, which two heroes must navigate as they seek to uncover a dark conspiracy at Lifeline Theatre.
World-famous Chicago Blues Festival brings top talent to Millennium Park, and music continues late into the night at city clubs. Free.
Electronic dance music festival
Spring Awakening Music Festival draws 75,000 to Addams/Medill Park to hear the best in electronic dance music (EDM) by some of the world’s top DJs. Requires age 18+ ID.
Pork ribs festival
Brave crowds, heat, and smoke in the quest for Chicago’s best BBQ from 15 Chicagoland restaurants at Ribfest Chicago, with 20 bands and a weekend kids’ area on Lincoln Avenue (from Irving Park Road to Berteau Avenue). Donation.
Andersonville Midsommarfest is a street fair with music, dancing, crafts, a kids’ area, and ethnic food (like cevapi, glogg, and sangria). Donation.
African film festival
See a dozen feature-length films about people of African descent, plus multicultural short films at African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) at Facets.
The Magic Parlour is an evening of close-up magic by an award-winning magician in the beautiful Palmer House Hilton Hotel.
Amazing interactive melodrama
All 30 members of the audience get to walk around the actors during Southern Gothic [website has sound], a retro drama about four Southern couples that takes place in a 1962 house inside Windy City Playhouse.
Naked bike ride
Ride in the World Naked Bike Ride: Chicago, nude or painted, to support safe biking and the environment. Free.
June 9, 2018
Watch jazz dance company Giordano Dance Chicago, which is known for exhilarating and emotional performances, live at Auditorium Theatre.
A ticket to Beach Slap Volleyball Tournament & Party gets you six beer tickets, DJ music, and games to play in the sand at North Avenue Beach for age 21+.
Lombard beer festival
June 9, 2018
Lombard Ale Fest has 100 craft beers, food trucks, and live music for age 21+ at Lilacia Park in Lombard.
June 9, 2018
Fronted by reality TV star Bret Michaels, Poison (Every Rose Has Its Thorn) performs with Cheap Trick (I Want You to Want Me) at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre.
Beer festival in St. Charles
Sample 80 different craft beers and hard ciders with music and food trucks at Tri-City Craft Brew Festival at Lincoln Park in St. Charles for age 21+. No pets.
Shop from 175 booksellers and attend 120 literary events and signings on the south end of Dearborn Street at the Printers Row Lit Fest, billed as the largest free outdoor literary festival in the Midwest.
Wells Street Art Festival
See works by 225 juried artists, hear live music, and enjoy beer and local restaurant food at Wells Street Art Festivalon Wells Street (from North Avenue to Division Street). Morning is quieter. Donation.
Old Town Art Fair
Shop from 250 juried artists at the highly rated Old Town Art Fair, with a garden walk, food court, live music, and children’s corner on the tree-lined streets surrounding Old Town Triangle Art Center. Donation.
See martial arts, power-lifting, strongman, and wrestling competitions plus 200 vendors of fitness products and services at TheFitExpo Chicago at the Rosemont convention center.
Hinsdale art festival
See works by 130 juried artists in shady Burlington Park at Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival. Free.
Arlington Heights festival
Shop from 100 artists, taste restaurant food, hear live music, and check out the activities for kids at Promenade of Art in Arlington Heights. Free.
Taste of Bolingbrook
Burgers, Brews & Blues Festival features 25 local restaurants, ticketed beer & wine tasting, live music, and kids’ activities. Free.
The Pirates of Penzance is about a young pirate apprentice and the woman who captures his heart, with catchy tunes by Gilbert & Sullivan, in Evanston.
Featuring a teenager who becomes a celebrity on a TV dance show, Hairspray is “piled bouffant high with laughter, romance, and deliriously tuneful songs” in Naperville.
Patriotic bicycle ride
Ride with wounded veterans 18, 37, or 50 miles on the non-competitive Honor Ride Chicago, starting and ending at Evanston Subaru, followed by a lunch with music.
June 13, 2018
The Chicago Tribune calls mentalist Mark Toland “mind blowing” because he can tell you your birthday, where you grew up, and what you did last summer during his show of psychological illusions and mysteries of the mind at Greenhouse Theater Center for age 16+.
Restaurant crawl in Lincoln Park
June 13, 2018
A ticket to Cravings on Clark gets you samples from 20 restaurants and discounts at shops on Clark Street and Diversey Parkway, beginning at HopCat.
Classical music festival
Grant Park Music Festival is an outdoor classical music series at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. The rear seats are free, or bring a blanket or lawn chairs.
June 14, 2018
Peter Frampton and Steve Miller Band team up for a blockbuster outdoor concert at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island.
A neat freak and a slob become roommates in Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, a comedy about mismatched personalities starring two women at Oil Lamp Theater.
June 15, 2018
Schlagernacht features a band playing classic German pop hits, bratwurst and German beer for sale, and views from the terrace at Dank Haus. Free.
Beer tasting at the zoo
Taste 20 samples of 75 beers, buy food, play lawn games, hear DJ music, and visit the animals at Lincoln Park Zoo during Craft Brews at the Zoo for age 21+.
Villa Park festival
Villa Park Summerfest has a car show, music, food, and drinks Friday night. On Saturday, enjoy an arts and crafts show, food fair, music, and kids’ entertainment on Ardmore Ave. in Villa Park. Free.
Family-friendly Scottish Festival & Highland Games has athletic competitions, piping and drumming, highland dancing, food vendors, Scottish dogs, a children’s area, and a whisky & spirits tent in Itasca.
Taste of Randolph
Popular Taste of Randolph Street offers six blocks of artisan and restaurant booths plus three music stages on Randolph Street (from Peoria Street to Racine Avenue). Donation.
Italian block party
Festa Pasta Vino celebrates Italian culture with three stages of entertainment, Italian wine and cuisine, and a Florentine market on Father’s Day weekend at 24th Street & Oakley Avenue. Donation.
Elgin Ribfest combines barbecue, live music, and a Sunday car show at Festival Park.
Country party (all included)
June 16, 2018
A ticket to the Country Day Party gets you a brunch buffet (noon to 2 p.m.), beer, Bloody Marys, and mimosas (noon to 3 p.m.) and live music (1 to 4 p.m.) at Old Crow Smokehouse for age 21+.
Browse collectible books, vintage magazines, rare maps, and autographs at the Chicago Book & Paper Fair at Plumbers Union Hall.
Puerto Rican Parade
June 16, 2018
The Puerto Rican People’s Parade is on Division Street from Western Avenue to Sacramento Avenue. Free.
June 16, 2018
Sample 150 wines from 15 local wineries and taste artisan foods with live music at Uncork Illinois in Oak Park.
Kids’ obstacle race
Kids 5 to 16 run through mud and over a dozen obstacles at Kids Obstacle Challenge at Lippold Park in Rolling Meadows. Parents can race for free.
Art fair in Grant Park
The Gold Coast Art Fair at Grant Park has 300 juried artists, plus live music, beer, and food at Butler Field on E. Monroe Street. Free.
Food truck fest
Pilsen Food Truck Social has dozens of food trucks, local restaurants, live music, craft vendors, and kids’ activities on 18th Street (from Racine to Throop). Donation.
Chicago Pride Fest is a huge weekend street festival for gay and lesbian pride with dance and pop music on two stages, food, drink, and arts & crafts vendors at Halsted Street & Waveland Avenue. The pet and family pride parade is Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Donation.
Enjoy barbecued ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken at 6 Corners BBQ Fest on N Milwaukee Avenue (from Irving Park Rd. to Belle Plaine Ave.). Donation.
Evanston arts festival
Custer Fair is a big arts and craft fair with three stages of jazz music, a children’s area, and food from 30 restaurants at Main Street and Chicago Avenue. Donation.
Cantigny Park art fair
Art in Bloom has juried artists, live music and demos, beautiful gardens, food trucks, and a Father’s Day brunch in Wheaton. Free admission except parking.
See amazing LEGO creations at Brickworld Chicago, with displays and vendors at Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center.
Father’s Day restaurants
OpenTable lists restaurants that offer special brunch, lunch, and dinner menus on Father’s Day.
Father’s Day dining cruise
Take a Father’s Day brunch or dinner cruise with views, departing from Navy Pier.
Shop from independent artisans at the pop-up Renegade Craft Fair, with craft cocktails for sale outdoors at The Park at Wrigley. Free.
Father’s Day BBQ
Make a reservation for the all-you-can-eat Father’s Day BBQ buffet with a cash bar at the Brookfield Zoo.
Millennium Park music
Millennium Park Summer Music Series features great music artists Monday and Thursday evenings in Millennium Park. Free.
Monday movies on the lake
June 18 – Aug. 20, 2018
Watch 10 different movies “that are sure to get you singing, clapping, and dancing along” during Water Flicksat Polk Bros Park. Free.
Swedish Days features arts & crafts, Scandinavian food, a Maypole dance, music, and a Swedish Days Parade on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Geneva. See schedule.
Jazz at the aquarium
June 20 – Oct. 10, 2018
Hear musicians and vocalists, see views from the terrace, buy cocktails & food, and visit the aquarium at Jazzin’ at the Shedd at Shedd Aquarium.
Hear music at dozens of locations on Make Music Day. Free.
Adult night at the planetarium
June 21, 2018
Adler After Dark offers open access, unlimited shows, entertainment, and no-host bars at Adler Planetarium for age 21+. The June event is a “Solstice Bash” to celebrate the longest day of the year.
Block party at St. Pat’s
The World’s Largest Block Party has bands, food, drink, and a kids’ area (Saturday 2 to 6 p.m.) on the campus of Old St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.
Greek festival on Gold Coast
Looking for a small, friendly, free festival? Gold Coast Greek Fest offers Greek food, beverages, music, and dancing at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Free admission.
Country music festival
Hear 33 country artists, including Rascal Flatts and Miranda Lambert, at the all-ages Country LakeShake, with food, drinks, vendors, and games at Huntington Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island.
Latin music festival
Ruido Fest “celebrates youth-oriented Latin music and culture with internationally headlining acts from all over the Spanish-speaking world” performing on four stages, plus vendors at Addams/Medill Park.
Art festival on Logan Square
Logan Square Arts Festival offers art installations, local music, family activities, beer, and local restaurant food on Logan Square. Donation.
June 23, 2018
The annual Chicago Zombie March begins at Millennium Park. Free.
Join 5,000 volunteers helping to make Chicago a better place during Serve-a-thon, a single day of community service starting at Daley Plaza. You must register in advance for $10, which includes lunch, transportation, and an after-party.
Chicago Bears run
June 23, 2018
Join the official Chicago Bears 5K (and kids’ dash for ages 5 to 12 at 9:30 a.m.), with food, games, live music, the Bears Drumline, Monster Squad, and Staley Da Bear at Soldier Field.
Dragon boat races
Watch teams compete in colorful boats on the river, hear music, see dance, shop vendors, and attend an awards ceremony at Dragon Boat Race for Literacy at Ping Tom Memorial Park, 300 W 19th Street. Free.
Beer at the arboretum
Bring a chair or blanket to the Craft Beer Festival to taste beers from 40 breweries, buy food, and hear a cajun band in the green surroundings of The Morton Arboretum for age 21+.
Beer and wine festival
Try samples from 10 local breweries and wineries at Solstice Hop & Vine Fest, with food and live music at Meineke Park in Schaumburg for age 21+.
Food truck festival
Chicago Food Truck Fest brings 50 food trucks, music, a sangria garden, and games to 1600 S. Wabash Ave.
Ravenswood on Tap features beer & spirits from local producers, food from nearby restaurants, live local music, and handmade goods from vendors outdoors at Ravenswood Avenue and Berteau Avenue. Donation.
Evanston Chamber Artisan SummerFest features 100 juried artists, an eco-art “remix” area, strolling musicians, a kids’ area, food vendors, and craft beer and wine tasting at Church & Sherman in Evanston. Donation.
Beer at the zoo
Enjoy 80 craft beers, live music, and animals at Zoo Brewat Brookfield Zoo for age 21+.
Hot sauce tasting
The new Chi Town Hot Sauce Expo promises free hot sauce tastings, competitive eating events, and 40 vendors, plus both a chihuahua beauty pageant and a cocktail competition on Sunday at Toyota Park.
Civil War event
Hear a cannon fire (11 a.m., 12 & 1 p.m.), see a battle skirmish, hear about Sherman’s march to the sea, meet Abraham Lincoln, and buy lunch on Civil War Reenactment Weekend at Fischer Farm in Bensenville. Free.
Highland Park art festival
The Art Center of Highland Park – Festival of Fine Arts has 125 juried artists who create visual art (glass, wood, ceramics, fiber, jewelry). Donation.
Chicago Pride Parade for gay and lesbian pride has 200 floats, decorated vehicles, performers, and marching bands that go past 800,000 spectators on N. Broadway. No alcohol. Free.
Underwater science-fiction drama
Lookingglass Theatre is transformed into an ocean filled with fantastic creatures for Jules Verne’s classic tale 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas.
Hot-air balloon festival
Lisle’s Eyes to the Skies Balloon Festival has colorful hot-air balloon launches, flights, and evening balloon glows, plus a food court, craft booths, a kids’ area, live music, and nightly fireworks at 9:45 p.m. Carnival rides begin earlier on June 2. Kids age 0 to 8 free.
Windy City RibFest
Windy City RibFest in Uptown has food, beer, wine, bands, arts & crafts, and afternoon kids’ activities at W. Lawrence Avenue & N. Broadway. Donation.
Botanic Garden Art Festival
Browse 95 booths of botanic-inspired arts and fine crafts offered by juried artists in pretty gardens at the Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival in Glencoe. Free except parking.
American music festival
FitzGerald’s American Music Festival features 40 Americana/roots bands and BBQ in Berwyn.
Frontier Days Festival has family activities, live music, a carnival, a food pavilion, a beer & wine garden, a parade (July 4 at 10 a.m.), and a weekend craft market at Recreation Park in Arlington Heights. (Closed on Monday July 2 except for carnival rides.)
Cardboard boat regatta
Watch crazy cardboard boats float or sink at the Cardboard Regatta on Lake Ellyn in Glen Ellyn. Bring a picnic or shop from the food trucks. Free.
June 30, 2018
PIQNIQ is an all-star lineup of alternative-rock bands headlined by American band AWOLNATION at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park.