Everything You Need to Do in Chicago This Summer

Updated On 06/25/2018 at 05:21PM EST Updated On 06/25/2018 at 05:21PM EST
new belgium brewing
New Belgium Brewing
Thursday - Sunday
Jun 14-Jul 15
Various locations
After four long years of waiting, the 2018 FIFA World Cup is finally here! The US may not be in the competition this year, but that doesn't mean that the games in Russia won't be a blast to watch. We've rounded up all the best bars in Chicago to watch the fĂştbol magic play out.
Cost: Varies by location.
Thursday - Thursday
Jun 21-28
Music Box
Cinepocalypse is the Midwest’s largest gathering of genre films and it goes down over the course of one week at the historic Music Box. The curated programming ranges from cult horror classics to Bill Murray docs, plus a live podcast recording and award presentation.
Cost: Show prices vary; $125-$175 for festival pass.
Saturday - Sunday
Jun 23-24
Oakwood Beach
Kick off the official start of summer on the beach with the help of a diverse music lineup including Common, Spoon, and Grizzly Bear plus beach volleyball, water balloon fights, yoga, and palm readings.
Cost: $79-$189
Friday - Tuesday
Jun 29-Jul 3
This neighborly Fourth of July tradition unfurls four friendly days of Americana and roots music glory on three stages, plus standout BBQ and New Orleans fare inside and outside iconic Berwyn club FitzGerald’s.
Cost: $40
Jun 30
Humboldt Park
One of the most delightfully weird days of the year moves into Humboldt Park for a biking-geared festival that features live bands including Best Coast, comedic acts, vaudeville, and plenty of bikes and beer at this Fat Tire-fueled feast of the absurd. Proceeds from this daylong salute to the joy of biking go to nonprofits.
Cost: $15
Roberto Panucci/Getty Images
Jul 3
Millennium Park
If you only make to one outdoor movie this year, make it to see this Chicago cult classic in Millennium Park on Fourth of July Eve.
Cost: Free
Friday - Saturday
Jul 6-7
United Center
Thom Yorke and company may not be taking the stage at any of Chicago's major music festivals this year, but that isn’t stopping them from coming into town to blow our minds for two nights at the United Center. This is not a cheap show, but it's worth it.
Cost: Tickets start at $64.
Jul 7
Jackson Park
One of the world’s longest-running house music festivals brings together icons of the genre in Jackson Park to eat, drink, and dance for 12 straight hours of music at this family reunion-styled event. It started in 1990 and has been going strong ever since.
Cost: $40-$400
Saturday - Sunday
Jul 7-8
Stockton & LaSalle
Why it took so long for Lincoln Park to host its own music fest we’ll never know, but this new event takes care of that problem with a chill lineup of reggae and jam band-inspired acts including Michael Franti & Spearhead, Mike Gordon, and The Wailers.
Cost: $20-$35
Wednesday - Thursday
Jul 11-12
Grant Park
The Taste kicks it up a notch this year with live acts including The Flaming Lips and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, served alongside a gargantuan assemblage of Chicago eats to keep you stuffed like a turkey until Thanksgiving.
Cost: Free
Friday - Sunday
Jul 13-15
Lincoln Avenue between Montrose and Wilson
Lincoln Square’s biggest bash of the year offers more than 60 acts on four stages including The Jayhawks and Matthew Sweet and The Tossers, along with classes from the Old Town School of Folk, food from local vendors, and a hella serious craft beer lineup.
Cost: $10 suggested donation
Friday - Sunday
Jul 13-15
560 West Grand Avenue
Live country bands including Brett Eldridge and Brothers Osborne soundtrack a delicious slathering of smoked eats from some of the world’s finest pitmasters, paired with a mini craft beer festival plus events including mixology classes and a BBQ brunch.
Cost: $40-$225
Jul 14
North Avenue Beach
One of the biggest beach volleyball tournaments in the country has morphed into a full-blown EDM festival with DJs, food and drink, and VIP cabanas.
Cost: Tickets start at $25 and go to $1,500 for the most VIP offerings.
Saturday - Sunday
Jul 14-15
Belmont & Damen
Sink your teeth into some of the most inventive burger offerings of the year from top vendors including Kuma’s, Reggie’s, and Butcher & the Burger plus live music and art made from recycled material.
Cost: $10 suggested donation
Friday - Sunday
Jul 20-22
Union Park
This year’s hipster Christmas includes excellent headliners Tame Impala, Fleet Foxes, and Lauryn Hill, plus plenty of new discoveries ripe for sprucing up your playlist. When you want to take a break from the tunes check out the on-site record bazaar, book fort, and indie craft and poster fair.
Cost: $75-$375
Saturday - Sunday
Jul 21-22
Sheffield & Webster
The iconic summer fest turns 50 this year with more neighborhood gardens to stroll, food and drink to consume, and live bands to rock out to in collaboration with the Chicago Craft Beer Fest held on the same grounds.
Cost: $10 donation
Friday - Sunday
Jul 27-29
Milwaukee Avenue, from North to Paulina
See live acts including Against Me! alongside offbeat art installations, fashion shows, and cultural demos including stage combat and burlesque at one of the best neighborhood street festivals of the summer.
Cost: $10 donation
Jul 28
Lake Michigan Playpen
The biggest floating party on Lake Michigan sets up an island of shenanigans when more than 500 boats tie up in the Playpen, an area north of Navy Pier. It's sort of an annual spring break-style bacchanal at sea, so pack the floaties and the sunscreen.
Cost: Free
Lollapalooza/Greg Noire
Thursday - Sunday
Aug 2-5
Grant Park
This year’s edition of North America’s largest music festival features Arctic Monkeys, Jack White, Bruno Mars, and The Weeknd plus a stacked lineup of aftershows across the city that turn Chicago into a mini-SXSW for the week.
Cost: Single-day tickets for the festival start at $120, plus fees
Friday - Sunday
Aug 10-12
Stockton & LaSalle
Feast on a fine assortment of unique takes on Chicago’s most famous encased meat as you listen to live bands and maybe evenlearn a little history at the Chicago History Museum, located steps from the fest.
Cost: $5 suggested donation
Saturday - Sunday
Aug 18-19
North Avenue Beach
Watch Top Gun-style fighter jets and daredevil parachute teams perform stunts at the largest free show of its kind in the US, which can be viewed along the lakefront from Fullerton to Oak Street.
Cost: Free
Aug 25
Tinley Park Convention Center
Punk bands including Descendents and Less Than Jake will rock "350 Fest 4: Citizens on Patrol" -- a beer-soaked party complete with live wrestling, pop-up tattoo shop, hot wing challenge, and an assortment of rare suds from 350 Brewing Company.
Cost: $45-$65
Thursday - Monday
Aug 30-Sep 3
Jefferson Park
From theatre and dance to puppetry and spoken word, nothing is too weird or out of bounds for this always-entertaining fringe theatre fest. It goes down in multiple venues across Jefferson Park.
Cost: $10 per show
Friday - Sunday
Aug 31-Sep 2
Union Park
One of the most diverse music festival lineups of the year includes Jamiroquai, DJ Snake, and Miguel plus a silent disco and plenty of raucous aftershows to keep the city raging all Labor Day Weekend long.
Cost: $45-$199
Friday - Saturday
Sep 14-15
Lincoln Park Zoo & Diversey River Bowl
The dude abides at this annual congregation of costumed weirdos and Big Lebowski fanatics, featuring a screening of the film with CCR cover band at Lincoln Park Zoo followed by a bowling party with trivia contests at Diversey River Bowl.
Cost: $20-$30 per event
Friday - Sunday
Sep 14-16
Douglas Park
Cap off your summer at Chicago’s premier music fest and punk rock carnival, this year featuring another massive lineup of everyone from Beck and Elvis Costello to Father John Misty and Jerry Lee Lewis plus burlesque and circus sideshow acts.
Cost: The three-day passes start at $160, plus fees.