Chicago is a city CHOCK-FUL of amazing stuff to do year-round! If you're looking for the hottest local events, concerts, festivals, look no further than this page! We've got the 411 on all the cool stuff to do that you'll need - There are even direct links to book, ticket, or buy! Welcome to ACME and to our awesome city!
Nothing beats the classics. Get a true taste of Chicago at world-famous sights like the Willis Tower, Navy Pier or Lincoln Park Zoo.
Chicago is a sports town, no doubt about it . . . In summer and FALL, we've got the 2016 World Series Champion, CUBS - at the amazing Wrigley Field. Plus you can check out the notorious 3 B's - Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, and Bulls this fall and winter! Check their schedules and plan to spend a few nights in the Chi - even if you don't score tickets - there's plenty of fist-bumping and high-fiving to be had on game days at like a gazillion sports pubs around the city. Bear down!
free stuff - all summer-Long
We all dig cool, free, stuff - amiright? Well you're in luck, because Chicago is chock-full of fun free stuff to do all summer long! Now - Labor Day: Check out the Free Navy Pier Fireworks display every Wednesday and Saturday night. Yup. Ooh and Ahh yourself all summer long! Now - Sept 29: Do you ever wake up and say to yourself, "what am I going to do at sunset"? Check out Art on the Mart. You'll never wonder again! June 4 - Aug 20: Feed your need for films at the Millennium Park Summer Film Series - Every Tuesday night. For FREE! June 13 - Aug 15: With the wind in your hair, and the skyline behind you, check out the Millennium Park Free Music Series - Monday & Thursday nights June 17 - Aug 27: 32 FREE concerts . . . need we say more? The Grant Park Music Festival is back, featuring the Grant Park Orchestra. Pinch me!
Now - Sept 8
Did you know that Edouard Manet once challenged a man who wrote an insulting article about him to a duel? Yup! That's one spirited artist! Check out the ultimate exhibit of one of the greatest impressionist artists (and apparent dueling enthusiast) of all time! Manet and Modern Beauty comes to the Art Institute of Chicago. Be sure not to miss this one!
May 31 - June 1
The summer music festival kicks off with the annual Chicago Gospel Festival. A huge draw every year, this Grant Park festival features some of the best Gospel talent in the world. Check it out!
The Chicago Ale Fest at Butler Field features over 21 Ales and food trucks. That's a lot of ale! If you love Ale, you'll want to find yourself here!
"Bang Bang, there goes my heart . . . " and yours will go bang at the Ariana Grande Sweetener Tour. A multi-platinum artist with a voice bigger than her physical being, this promises to be an epic 2 nights at the United Center.
If you've got the blues, or just love the blues, check out the Chicago Blues Festival at Grant Park. It's a crowd favorite every year . . . Amazing guitar riff anyone?
Two of our favorite Art Festivals are back and promise to be full of fun, great art, live bands, food and music. Get to the Wells Street Art Festival, and while you're there, go next door to the Old Town Art Fair. On no other city street is there more art than these two. There both so good that we can never choose, so yup, we do both!
Voted Chicago's best food fest, the Chicago Ribfest at Lincoln/Damen/Irving Park coins themselves as "Celebrating Ribs, rock & roll". You don't need any commentary from us, other than bibs are optional, but always a good idea!
One of Chicago's hottest neighborhoods clears the streets to make room for bands, entertainment, food, drink, and all kinds of revelry. Dubbed as "Chicago's most iconic street fest", Now in its 22nd year, Taste of Randolph truly is a culinary adventure. And our people watching rating? TEN PLUS!
June 17 - aug 22
The Grant Park Music Festival kicks off for a series of 32 free concerts by the Grant Park Orchestra. It is the nations only free summer-long outdoor classical music festival of its kind, and one that is not to be missed! Grab a blanket and some bites and get your culture on!
June 21 - June 23
Northerly Island goes country for 3 days to host Country Lake Shake Festival featuring some of the biggest names in country music including Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, and Miranda Lambert.
June 21/june 25
The Rolling Stones take center stage for two nights for their No Filters Tour at Soldier Field. If you don't have tickets yet, you might want tto friend somebody that does!
June 22/june 23, June 29/june 30
June is indeed a PROUD month in Chicago! Chicago Pride Week kicks off with PrideFest featuring two days of live music in boystown. The event features 3 stages, lots of food and drink, 100+ arts and crafts, plus dj's, dancing, drag shows, a pet parade, and lots more!
The second weekend features an all new celebration to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Chicago Pride Parade called Pride in the Park, at Grant Park featuring headliners, Izzy Azalea and Steve Aoki. The festivities culminate on Sunday, June 30 back up in boystown for the Pride Parade.
It's like the worlds biggest tailgate, without the sporting event! The Windy City Smoke-out turns up the heat at the United Center parking lot with award winning country bands, Beer, and yup, you guessed it! BBQ!
AUG 1 - AUG 4
Bands will be announced soon for the biggest music event of the year, LollaPalooza! Stay tuned and start making your plans to get here!
DO YOUR THING - DIFFERENT! Check out our curated list of cool attractions
If you love the great outdoors, get yourself to the 606. An elevated jogging/hiking/biking path that takes you through some of the 312's most interesting neighborhoods like Bucktown, Wicker Park, Logan Square, and others.
Bike your way through town on a Divvy. Those are the blue bikes you see pretty much everywhere . . . We suggest a ride up the Lakefront, coz it will net you some pretty awesome instagram shots!
If you've been dying to check out EATALY, you're in luck - it's a block away, and yeah, it's awesome. It's a bustling Italian marketplace that offers some of the freshest fare and authentic Italian foods around. Foodies won't want to pass it up.
In season, there are few things cooler than getting out on the cool waters of lake Michigan on your own (rented) jet ski, and worth e-v-e-r-y penny! Or one with the river in your very own kayak. Here you'll get some of the best views of the city, and get in a pretty decent workout too. Of course, both are seasonal.
Check out the Riverwalk (hint: it's on the river), and check out the peeps walking and cruising by. It's a great stop for a cocktail, or just to brown bag it.
What better way to hold on to a memory than with body ink? Deluxe Tattoo is one of the best tattoo shops in Chicago. We just recommend you visit sober - you know, no regrets and all.
Everybody's heard about the Architectural Boat Tour, now go out and do it. It is def. one of the best "attractions" in Chicago.
CHICAGO'S MUSIC SCENE
If you dig music, you've come to the right city. In addition to the major arena's, Chicago boasts a ton of awesome, more intimate venues that often book the cutting edge talent on the cusp of stardom. You may also see them at one of Chicago's major music festival during the summer. Here is a short list of some of the best venues in the 312 to sit back and jam. - These even made TimeOut Chicago's best list!