6 Summer Events to Catch in Chicago

Chicago is known as a hub of culture, music, and art. This summer, there are many events that are set to showcase all that Chicago has to offer, from classic museum exhibits to exciting concerts. With so much to do, it can be overwhelming to plan a trip. There are always traditional things to do in the city, like going up the Willis Tower skydeck, taking photos in front of The Bean, and exploring Navy Pier. These activities are usually enjoyable and are definitely worth checking out.

While these traditional Chicago tourist sights are fun, what people often overlook are the seasonal events. Here is a list of various events that are worth attending in the city this summer, whether you’re on vacation or a local Chicagoian.

Experience a night at the zoo

On August 18th, Lincoln Park Zoo is hosting Adults Night Out: ’90s Block Party. This adults-only party encourages you to come dressed in your 90s best and enjoy a DJ spinning blasts from the past. Featuring lawn games and free rides on the carousel, this event is a great chance to chat and have a unique night out with friends. Don’t forget to say hi to the animals while enjoying food and drinks.

Browse a street or farmers market

Celebrating local artists, cooks, and creators, Chicago hosts a variety of markets during the summer. This is one way to ensure that you make a break from the traditional tourist activities and really get to know the city. The Uptown Farmers Market, Edgewaters Monday Market, Low Line Farmers Market, and Andersonville Farmers Market are open every week during the summer.
However, one of the largest and most acclaimed street market events, the Randolph Street Market Festival, only takes place from July 30 to 31. This market features 200+ vintage, homemade, and globally sourced vendors. This massive festival spans an entire block and hosts shops both indoor and outdoors. Enjoy the live music as you shop around to discover something unique that you’ll treasure for years to come.

Watch a Cubs baseball game

Sports fans, there’s something for you too. Chicago is home to multiple professional sports teams, including the winners of the 2016 world series, the Chicago Cubs. Wrigley Field’s unique traditions are fun no matter what your age is. From August 19 to 21, you can catch a game against the across-the-border rivals, the Milwaukee Brewers, which are always highly anticipated games. A summer in Chicago is not complete without a trip to the ballgame.

Enjoy a day with Da Bears

On August 9th, the city’s favorite football team is holding their Chicago Bears Family Fest. Bring the whole crew to watch the Bears in their first practice in the stadium this season. Everyone can enjoy the games and activities set up outside Soldier Field, along with music and food. Come wearing your orange and blue to have a great day in the sun.

Listen to live music at a concert

One of the biggest events of the year, Lollapalooza is hosted every summer in Chicago’s Grant Park. The enormous 4-day music festival takes place at the end of July. Performers this year include Metallica, Dua Lipa, Glass Animals, J. Cole, Machine Gun Kelly, and many more. While partying and listening to your favorite artists, enjoy food from local restaurants served at the festival.
Summer isn’t complete without the Windy City Smokeout, the nation’s premiere country music and BBQ festival in Chicago. From August 4 to 7, you can enjoy live performances from Tim McGraw, Sam Hunt, Miranda Lambert, and more, all while indulging in BBQ from the world’s best pit masters. From local artist performances to big and loud music festivals, there is a variety of music for everyone in the city this summer.

Try local cuisine at a food festival

The moment we’ve all been waiting for: the food festivals. Chicago is more than just pizza and beer, and there is no better way to try all the various foods than at a food festival. Little Italy Fest occurs from August 11 to 14 and celebrates the vibrant Italian culture on Taylor Street. This showcase of Italian culinary excellence gives everyone the opportunity to try cuisine from award winning restaurants in the area. There are also opportunities to purchase authentic merchandise and experience vibrant attractions. From sweet treats and savory snacks to true Italian culture, the variety here will fill your belly and make for a wonderful summer day.

Chicago wouldn’t be Chicago without a pizza-centered event. This July 23 to 24, don’t miss out on the Pizza City Fest. This 2-day pizza party hosts professionals from across the nation, offering lessons on how to make the best pizza at home, lessons on the history of different types of pizza, and of course, pizza tastings. Kids 10 and under are free, and with all the varieties of pizza pies, you’re sure to find a type of pizza that you love.

Planning your trip

No matter when you visit Chicago, you’ll be sure to find something to do that will make your trip one to remember. Consider booking a room in a boutique hotel like Hotel EMC2, located in the heart of the city, to make your trip even more unforgettable. Chicago offers something new to do no matter how many times you’ve been to the city, and the summer is the best time to experience these memorable events.
Need a place to stay when visiting Chicago? Book your reservation here.