Events

Watch Chicago Air & Water Show Like a Local

Get ready, Chicago. The Air & Water Show is returning this weekend: Saturday, August 19 and Sunday, August 20.

A summer tradition since 1959, the Chicago Air & Water Show showcases a spectacle of performances — including the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights this year. The event will take place Saturday and Sunday, 10:00am – 3:00pm both days. Perhaps the best view would be from your own rooftop or personal boat, but rest assured there are plenty of amazing spots to catch the show for all to enjoy.

Here are 8 spots to watch Chicago Air & Water Show like a local:

 

Oakwood Beach

Chicago’s south side provides some of the best views of our city’s skyline. Escape the crowds and head to Oakwood Beach to catch the jets zipping around and looping back up toward North Ave. (Oakwood Beach, 4100 S. Lake Shore Drive)

Café Brauer

Grab a patio seat at Café Brauer. Located just south of Lincoln Park Zoo, the patio is offering an Air & Water Show special: a blue cheese burger, side of fries and domestic bottled beer for $15.95. (Café Brauer, 2021 N. Stockton Drive)

Montrose Harbor

On the city’s north side, Montrose Harbor provides a popular spot to catch the show. Visitors can play volleyball, bask under an umbrella on the beach, and bring their pups to a fenced-off dog friendly area. (Montrose Beach, 4400 N. Lake Shore Drive)

Drumbar

The chic 18th-floor bar of the Raffaello Hotel in Gold Coast offers a hip spot to post up. Mixologists at Drumbar serve specialty craft cocktails like “Aviation,” “Sidecar”  and “Mexican Firing Squad.” (Drumbar, 201 E. Delaware Place)

Northerly Island

Northerly Island is transforming into an urban oasis, providing green space, wetlands, hiking trails and places to camp. Add Northerly Island to one of the best spots to enjoy and view the show. (Northerly Island, 1521 S. Linn White Drive)

Wendella Boat

Take the Wendella Lake and River Tour, which highlights landmarks along the Chicago River and will give ample viewing from Lake Michigan. The tour lasts 90 minutes and costs $35.50 for adults. (Wendella, 400 N. Michigan Avenue)

Cindy’s

Cindy’s rooftop at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel offers panoramic views of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan, making this spot ideal for watching the Blue Angel jets. (Cindy’s, 12 S. Michigan Avenue)

Shore Club

New for 2017, Shore Club is like the classy older sister of Castaways. Shore Club offers brunch from 9am to noon and a premium open bar, with premium outdoor space to lounge on cabanas. Tickets range from $125 to $750. (Shore Club, 1603 N. Lakeshore Drive)

 

Where do you want to catch the show this year?

 

 

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Events, Festivals

Things To Do in Your Chicago Neighborhood in July

French celebration

July 14, 2017 (5:30 p.m.)

8.3 miles north

Bastille Day has French music, entertainment, beer & wine for sale, a kids’ corner, and an outdoor movie at Lycée Français de Chicago in Ravenswood. Free.

French Restaurant Week

July 14 – 16, 2017

multiple locations

French Restaurant Week includes special deals at a dozen restaurants on the days between America’s Independence Day and France’s Bastille Day.

Half marathon & fitness expo

July 14 – 16, 2017

Chicago locations

The free Health and Fitness Expo is Fri. & Sat. at McCormick Place. The 5K is Saturday, and the Rock ’n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon & 10K are Sunday in Grant Park, followed by an after-festival at Butler Field.

Country BBQ

July 14 – 16, 2017

1.5 miles NW

Windy City Smokeout features barbecue, country bands, and beer at 560 W. Grand Ave. on the river.

Pitchfork Music Festival

July 14 – 16, 2017

2.5 miles west

The free-spirited Pitchfork Music Festival features alternative rock, rap and hip-hop, electronica, and dance music in Union Park.

Family festival

July 14 – 16, 2017

6 miles NW

BenFest serves food, beer, music, and activities for kids on the grounds of St. Benedict’s parish, with a vendor market on the adjacent street. Donation.

Greek festival

July 14 – 16, 2017

15 miles NW

The Big Greek Food Fest of Niles features authentic Greek food, live music, and dancing in Niles.

Hard-core rock festival

July 14 – 16, 2017

15.4 miles SW

Chicago Open Air brings an all-star lineup of 40 rock & heavy metal artists to Toyota Park, including KISS, Korn, Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie, and Megadeth.

Coming-of-age comedy

July 14 – 23, 2017

0.5 miles SW

Relive the fireworks of first-time love in Ah, Wilderness! a delightful tale of adventure, angst and young romance by Eugene O’Neil at Goodman Theatre.

Discount tickets $13 to $35 at Goldstar.

French films

July 14 – Aug. 2, 2017

0.5 miles SW

Journeys Through French Cinema screens nine great films that built France’s cinema legacy, all with English subtitles at Gene Siskel Film Center.

Classical music festival

July 14 – Aug. 19, 2017

Chicago locations

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.

Adult variety show

July 14 – Aug. 26, 2017 (10 p.m.)

7 miles north

Kiss Kiss Cabaret is a fun mix of burlesque, off-color comedy, music, magic, and variety acts at Uptown Underground for age 21+ on Fridays and Saturdays.

Discount tickets $7.50 at Goldstar.

Magic show

July 14 – Aug. 28, 2017

0.7 miles south

The Magic Parlour is an evening of close-up magic by an award-winning magician in the beautiful Palmer House Hilton Hotel.

Discount tickets $49 at Goldstar.

Attractions

July 14 – Aug. 31, 2017

multiple locations

These discount ticket prices include all taxes and fees.

Movies in the Parks

July 14 – Sept. 9, 2017

Chicago locations

See 250 Movies in the Parks, if weather allows. Free.

Ravinia music festival

July 14 – Sept. 17, 2017

23 miles north

See nationally known performers at Ravinia Festival, billed as America’s oldest outdoor music festival at Ravinia Park in Highland Park.

Parade of boats

July 15, 2017 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

1 mile east

Watch hundreds of boats leave for the ritzy Race to Mackinac at the Ashore Thing with a cash bar at the east end of Navy Pier. Free.

Electronic music at the beach

July 15, 2017

2.9 miles north

Volleywood is an electronic beach party with a bar and a volleyball tournament at North Avenue Beach for age 21+.

Ale festival

July 15, 2017

36 miles west

Naperville Ale Fest showcases 200 craft beers with live music and restaurant food on the beautiful grounds of Naper Settlement.

Southport street fair

July 15 – 16, 2017

6 miles north

Southport Art Festival is a mellow event with live music, artists, food, and a kids’ area on N Southport Ave. at Waveland. Donation.

Festival of Colombia

July 15 – 16, 2017

8.2 miles NW

Colombian Fest has top musicians, DJs, arts & crafts, cultural exhibits, vendors, a kids’ zone, food, beer, and wine at Kelvyn Park. Children 12 and younger are free.

World arts festival

July 15 – 16, 2017 (12 to 7 p.m.)

13 miles north

Evanston World Arts & Music Festival (formerly Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival) offers international songs, dance, art, and food in Dawes Park. Free.

Thomas Train ride

July 15 – 16, 2017

67 miles NW

Day Out With Thomas includes a 20-minute train ride, stories, videos, music, and crafts for kids at Illinois Railway Museum in Union.

Sketch comedy

July 15 – 29, 2017

2.1 miles north

The Second City’s Fast, Loud & Funny promises an “in-your-face indictment of the modern condition” including social media, dating, and auto-tuned relationships at Up Comedy Club.

Discount tickets $13 Tues. & Wed. ($16 Sat.).

Family play

July 15 – Aug. 27, 2017

1 mile east

Madagascar brings the movie vividly to life on stage with high-energy dancing and singing by everybody’s favorite zoo refugees at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

Discount tickets $29 (child $17) at Goldstar.

Renaissance fair

July 15 – Sept. 4, 2017 (weekends)

49 miles north

Watch knights joust, shop an artisan market, mingle with costumed minstrels, play games, and attend shows at Bristol Renaissance Faire in 16th century England (i.e. Kenosha, WI).

Comedy dinner show

July 15 – Sept. 9, 2017

5.8 miles north

You’re invited to fictitious Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding at Resurrection Church, followed by a real Italian dinner at Chicago Theater Works, with plenty of comedy improv and audience interaction.

Discount tickets $59 to $69 at Goldstar.

Dearborn Garden Walk

July 16, 2017

2 miles north

Dearborn Garden Walk admits you to 20 award-winning gardens (some with live jazz or classical music), a garden exhibition, and an architectural walking tour of historic Dearborn Street.

Chinatown Summer Fair

July 16, 2017

3 miles south

Chinatown Summer Fair features a lion dance procession, food vendors, artisans, live music, martial arts, and a children’s area on S. Wentworth Ave. at Cermak Rd. Free.

Wine & dessert walk

July 16, 2017 (3 to 6 p.m.)

5.2 miles north

A ticket to Lakeview East Wine & Sweets Stroll includes 12 wine samples and sweet bites in neighborhood shops for age 21+.

African book fair

July 16, 2017 (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

10 miles south

Soulful Chicago Book Fair “is a celebration of literacy and literary arts found throughout the African Diaspora” with food vendors on E. 61st Street (from Cottage Grove Ave. to M.L.K. Drive). Free.

Kayaking

July 16 – Aug. 31, 2017

multiple locations

Kayak with a guide on Lake Michigan during the day or on the Chicago River in the evening.

Millennium Park music

July 17 – Aug. 21, 2017

0.7 miles SE

Millennium Park Summer Music Series features great music artists Monday and Thursday evenings in Millennium Park. Free.

Millennium Park movies

July 18 – Sept. 5, 2017

0.5 miles south

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 Aug. 24. Free.

Dinner cruise

July 19 & 21, 2017

1 mile east

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.

Discount tickets $78 to $80 at Goldstar.

Magic Cabaret

July 19 – Aug. 30, 2017 (8 p.m. Wednesdays)

3.3 miles north

The Magic Cabaret entertains with mind-boggling sleight of hand and audience participation in small Greenhouse Theater Center.

Discount tickets $13 at Goldstar.

Jazz at the aquarium

July 19 – Sept. 13, 2017 (Wed. 5 to 10 p.m.)

2 miles south

Hear musicians and vocalists, see views from the terrace, buy cocktails & food, and visit the aquarium at Jazzin’ at the Shedd at Shedd Aquarium.

Adult night at the planetarium

July 20, 2017 (6:30 to 10:30 p.m.)

2.5 miles SE

Adler After Dark: All-Star explores “the intersections of sports and science” including sports on other planets at Adler Planetarium for age 21+.

County fair

July 20 – 23, 2017

41 miles west

Kane County Fair is an old-fashioned fair with farm animals, a petting zoo, midway, live music, bull riding, truck pull, and fair food in St. Charles.

International festival

July 20 – Aug. 17, 2017 (Thurs. 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.)

0.7 miles west

Celebrate the cultures of Chicago’s 28 sister cities with food, drink, and music at Unifest on the River on the Chicago Riverwalk (from Wells to Franklin). Free.

Fresh Peter Pan

July 20 – Aug. 20, 2017

26 miles NW

Peter and the Starcatcher is a swashbuckling prequel to Peter Pan, a madcap adventure with music, pirates, orphans, and secret agents at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.

Discount tickets $19 at Goldstar.

Art festival

July 21 – 23, 2017

0 miles

Shop for a wide variety of art made by 100 juried artists at the new Artfest Michigan Avenue. Free.

Taste of River North

July 21 – 23, 2017

1.5 miles NW

Enjoy food from local restaurants, shop from local vendors, and hear live music at Taste of River North at Ward Park (Kingsbury & Erie). Donation.

Festival in Forest Park

July 21 – 23, 2017

11.7 miles west

Forest Park Music Fest offers two stages of bands, arts and crafts, food vendors, beer gardens, carnival games, and Saturday family activities on Madison Street (from Des Plaines to Circle Avenues).

Disability Pride Parade

July 22, 2017 (11 a.m.)

1 mile south

Disability Pride Parade goes from behind the library to Daley Plaza for a 12:30 post-parade event. Free.

Family art festival

July 22, 2017 (10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

1 mile south

Make art and explore special activity stations during Kaleidoscope Family Festival in the Ryan Education Center at the Art Institute of Chicago. Free.

Gospel music

July 22, 2017

7.9 miles south

Taste of Gospel promises 25 gospel artists on stage and 23 restaurants selling food in Washington Park.

Discount tickets $3 to $10 at Goldstar.

BBQ in south Chicagoland

July 22, 2017 (11 a.m.)

21.2 miles south

Pig City Challenge is a barbecue competition and music festival with a bar and food for sale (chicken, brisket, ribs, and pulled pork) in Merrionette.

Green home tour

July 22 – 23, 2017

Chicagoland

See 13 sustainably built and energy-saving homes on the self-guided GreenBuilt Home Tour.

Beer festival

July 22 – 23, 2017

4 miles NW

Chicago Craft Beer Festival features beer tasting and live music at Sheffield Ave. and Webster Ave. on the same weekend as the nearby Sheffield Music Festival & Garden Walk.

Discount tickets $25 at Groupon.

Sheffield Avenue festival

July 22 – 23, 2017 (some events Friday)

4 miles NW

Sheffield Music Festival & Garden Walk features two stages of live music, self-guided tours of 80 gardens, guided architectural tours, food and drink, and kids’ activities at N Sheffield Ave. & Webster. Donation.

Pet expo

July 22 – 23, 2017

28 miles NW

Windy City Pet Expo has vendors, adoptions, and demos at Schaumburg Convention Center. Free entry.

Romantic musical

July 25 – Aug. 13, 2017

0.5 miles SW

An American in Paris tells the romantic post-war story of an American soldier and a mysterious French girl with music by Gershwin at Oriental Theatre.

Discount tickets $59 to $69 at Goldstar.

Latino festival

July 27 – 30, 2017

4 miles SW

Fiesta del Sol delivers live entertainment, local art, diverse cuisine, and carnival rides at 1400 W. Cermak Road. No alcohol. Free.

Prairie festival

July 27 – 30, 2017

26 miles NW

Wood Dale Prairie Fest offers live music, carnival rides and games, food vendors, bingo, and fireworks (9:15 p.m. Sat.) at the ballfields in Wood Dale. Free.

Addams Family musical

July 27 – Aug. 13, 2017

6.9 miles NW

In this “lost” episode of The Addams Family TV show, the daughter falls in love and invites a “normal” boy and his parents to dinner, live onstage at Prop Thtr. All tickets include a free beverage or concession item.

Discount tickets $20 to $30 at Goldstar.

Watch football practice

July 27 – Aug. 13, 2017

59 miles south

Register online to visit Chicago Bears Training Camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais. Free.

Tasting party

July 28, 2017 (5 to 11 p.m.)

3.6 miles SW

Bites & Booze Festival features drinks paired with food, a mixology stage, a craft cocktail corner, a rooftop bar, and a dance floor on three floors of Lacuna Artist Lofts.

Discount tickets $30 (VIP $45) at Goldstar.

Music and beer party

July 29, 2017 (4 to 9 p.m.)

2.4 miles SE

Tour de Fat is “a mix of musicians, circus performers, vaudeville acts, magicians, comedians, and mind-blowing provocateurs” with Fat Tire beer and music by “The Roots” (as seen on the Tonight Show) at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island. Children 12 and younger are free.

Discount tickets $19 at Goldstar.

Sustainable food festival

July 29, 2017 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

8.6 miles SW

Closed Loop Food Fest features food trucks, DJs and live bands, yoga, and workshops about growing food in environmentally friendly ways at The Plant. Donation.

Barry Manilow

July 29, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

18 miles NW

Barry Manilow, the best selling adult-contemporary artist of all time, belts out his hits (Copacabana, Mandy, Ready to Take a Chance Again) at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

Discount tickets $30 to $40.

Taste of Lincoln Avenue

July 29 – 30, 2017

3.5 miles north

Hear 20 music acts on two stages, see juried art, shop vendors, visit SausageFest, taste wine, and take the kids to an afternoon carnival on Altgeld Street with games, pony rides and petting zoo at Taste of Lincoln Avenue from Fullerton to Wrightwood. Donation.

Discount wine-tasting tickets 2 for $20 at Groupon.

Wicker Park music festival

July 29 – 30, 2017

3.5 miles NW

Wicker Park Fest brings cutting-edge local and national acts to three stages on Milwaukee Ave. from North Avenue to Paulina Street. Go early if you want to avoid crowds. Donation.

Glencoe art festival

July 29 – 30, 2017

24 miles north

Glencoe Festival of Art offers fine works from 110 artists, live music, kids’ activities, and food vendors in downtown Glencoe. Free.

Kids’ concert

July 30, 2017 (3 p.m.)

2.4 miles SE

High-energy Kidz Bop performs kid-friendly versions of today’s hottest pop hits in a concert for all ages at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island.

Discount tickets $25 to $41 at Goldstar.

Bloody Mary festival

July 30, 2017

28 miles north

Buy samples and then vote for your favorite at Bloody Mary Fest, which has food vendors and live music at Everts park in Highwood. Free admission.

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Festivals, Uncategorized

Chicago’s 70 Summer Fests

2017 Chicago Summer Festivals

 

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