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Chicago is hot in July, making it the perfect time to visit. Slip on your sandals, throw on that sundress or your Bermuda shorts and head on out on the town. There are so many street festivals, music festivals, food festivals and special events, we couldn’t begin to name them all. Here’s a list of some of our hand-picked suggestions to make your July in Chicago oh-so-memorable! And don’t forget to sneak in some time sunbathing at the beach!
June 29-July 1, 2018
4800 N. Broadway St.
The Windy City Rib Fest has food, beer, wine, bands, arts & crafts, and afternoon kids’ activities at W. Lawrence Avenue & N. Broadway.
July 1 - Sept. 3, 2018
Reggae, disco, swing, 80s cover bands, and more! Enjoy live music and dancing in the Miller Lite Beer Garden at Navy Pier. Some evenings also offer free dance lessons. Free for all ages.
The Art Institute Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
From July 1 through September 30, the Art Institute of Chicago presents an exhibition of American Portraitist John Singer Sargent with a focus on his numerous Chicago connections. Featuring nearly 100 objects from the Art Institute’s collection, private collections, and public institutions, John Singer Sargent and Chicago’s Gilded Age examines Sargent’s impressive breadth of artistic practice and the network of associations among the artist, his patrons, his creative circle, and the city.
Movies in the Park
Hollywood stars return to Chicago skies this summer, as Movies in the Parks brings big-screen entertainment to local parks for the eighteenth season. Featuring everything from classics from the Golden Age of Hollywood and retro childhood favorites, to the best family-friendly box office favorites from recent years. All movies begin at dusk. Check out the full lineup in the My Chi Parks App.
Wednesday: Board 6:30 p.m. Cruise 7-10 p.m.
Saturday: Board 7:45 p.m. Cruise 8:30-11:30 p.m.
Memorial Day through Labor Day
There are so many dinner cruises out on Lake Michigan we can’t begin to name them all. This 3-hour cruise is a sure bet for a good dinner, heart-pumping music, and the best views of Chicago’s skyline, including the nightly fireworks over the lake.
Fourth of July Fireworks
July 4th, beginning at 9:30 p.m.
Need we say more? Expect to be wowed. Always a showstopper, and a great way to celebrate our nation’s freedom!
Summer in Chicago is built around one event each year, Taste of Chicago, and continues to capture the favorites and the future of Chicago’s restaurant and dining community. Perennial favorites include Chicago style hot dogs, deep dish pizza, and Eli’s cheesecake, but there are dozens of ethnic, creative, and upscale choices as well. The nation's premier outdoor food festival showcases the diversity of Chicago's dining community and the Bud Light Stage offers five days of top performances from up-and-coming as well as established Chicago artists.
Chinatown Summer Fair
Sunday, July 15, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
2200 S. Wentworth Avenue
This iconic and popular annual celebration of Far East culture returns for its 40th festive year. Highlights include the Dragon & Lion Dance Procession, artisans, plenty of great cuisine, activities for families and children, and more.
July 16 - 22, 2018
Bonjour to fine French cuisine. Why are there so many food-related options on my July events not-to-miss blog? Because Chicago is the food capital of the world. Let me repeat that. Chicago has some of the top chefs and restaurants in the world. Check out the special deals at French restaurants in the week following France’s Bastille Day.
July 20 - 22, 2018
The free Health and Fitness Expo is Friday and Saturday 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.
July 28 - 29, 2018, 12-10 p.m.
2500 N Lincoln Ave.
Chicago is known for its summer street festivals and this is one of our all-time faves! 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 from Fullerton to Wrightwood. You’ll come home happy, full and exhausted!
Saturday, July 21, 6:30–11 p.m.
Lincoln Park Zoo
Join thousands of 20 and 30-somethings for “Night at the Zoo!” This adults-only event will let guests experience the zoo's amazing animals and gardens with a beer or wine in hand. There will be food for purchase, DJ entertainment, games, giveaways and more. Spend a beautiful summer Night at the Zoo with your friends!
Friday, July 27, 5-11 p.m.
Saturday, July 28, 3-11 p.m.
Sunday, July 29, 12-10 p.m.
2727 W. Winona Street, Chicago
Opa! Summer is not summer in Chicago without a few trips to Greektown for some amazing grub or a visit to the iconic Lincoln Square Greek Fest! Chicago has a long and rich history of Greek culture and food. Don’t miss out on one of the best food festivals ever. Come early and stay late for homemade Greek food and pastries, traditional dance, pop bands, cash raffle, and kids’ activities at Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church.