Best Chicago events all year. Also see Chicago events in October 2014.

Best events for 12 monthsevents12
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Best events all year

This page lists the biggest and best Chicago events, festivals, and fun things to do in 2014 - 2015.

Events are listed by starting date, and all dates are confirmed. Mileage is from the Wrigley Building in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

To see more events, please click a month above.

January 2015
January page

Sketch Comedy Festival

January 8 - 18, 2015

5 miles north

Choose from more than 170 shows to watch during Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival at Stage 773. Cost.

Travel show

January 17 - 18, 2015

17 miles NW

The Chicago Travel & Adventure Show brings together travelers, travel experts, and travel service providers at the Rosemont convention center. Cost.

Winter beer festival

January 24, 2015 (uncertain)

7 miles north

Winter Brew is a Lincoln Square beer fest that features local brew and food at the DANK Haus German American Cultural Center. Cost.

more January events...

February 2015
February page

Snow Days at Navy Pier

February 7 - 8, 2015

1 mile east

See teams sculpt masterpieces from snow during Snow Days in Gateway Park at Navy Pier. Live entertainment, snowboarding, and kids’ activities like snow painting. Free.

Folk music festival

February 13 -15, 2015

9 miles south

Celebrate traditional music from around the world in concerts and workshops at University of Chicago Folk Festival at Mandel Hall, 1131 E 57th St. Cost.

Auto show

February 14 - 22, 2015

3 miles south

Admire new vehicles at the Chicago Auto Show, where exhibits are spectacular due to the large size of McCormick Place convention center. Cost.

more February events...

March 2015
March page

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 14, 2015

1.3 miles south

The Chicago River flows green at 10 a.m. near Michigan Ave. & Wacker Dr. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins at noon, rain or shine, at Balbo Ave. and goes north on Columbus Dr. to Monroe St. Free.

Flower and garden show

March 14 - 22, 2015

1 mile east

Chicago Flower & Garden Show features 20 gardens, 100 vendors, cooking demonstrations, seminars, and a kids’ activity garden at Navy Pier. Cost.

Beer festival

March 21, 2015

1.5 miles SW

The Chicago Beer Festival features unlimited tastings in the afternoon or evening, with food sold separately, in Union Station. Repeats in October. Cost.

Flower show

March 22 - April 5, 2015

0.5 mile south

Macy’s Flower Show features 2 million flowers and exotic topiaries plus scheduled events at Macy's on State Street. Free.

more March events...

April 2015
April page

Movies and music festival

April 16 - 19, 2015

5 miles NW

The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMfest) is “where movies and music meet.” See films with a music connection by day, and hear live music with a film connection by night at Wicker Park and Logan Square. Cost.

Healthy Living Expo

April 18 - 19, 2015

27 miles NW

Learn about healthy lifestyles and fitness, and shop for natural products, foods, and wellness services at Healthy Living Expo at Arlington Intl. Racecourse.

Improv festival

April 20 - 26, 2015

Chicago locations

Billed as the world’s longest running festival of improvisational theater, the Chicago Improv Festival includes music, song, comedy, story, and puppetry performances in multiple locations. Cost.

Comic and Entertainment Expo

April 24 - 26, 2015

3 miles south

Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) is a convention for fans of comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies, and pop culture at McCormick Place. Cost.

more April events...

May 2015
May page

Underground film festival

May 13 - 17, 2015

7 miles NW

Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF) shows independent, experimental, and documentary films from around the world at the Logan Theatre, followed by nearby after-parties. Cost.

Mayfest

May 15 - 17, 2015

5 miles NW

Mayfest [sound] has bands, festival food, pretzels, and beer. Saturday is kids’ day. Sunday is a pet pageant & expo. At 3100 N Ashland Ave. Cost.

Bicycle along the lake

May 24, 2015

1 mile south

Ride your bike up to 15 miles each way on Lake Shore Drive when it shuts down for five hours during Bike the Drive. Enter at S Columbus Dr. and Jackson downtown. Register early. Cost.

Maifest

May 28 - 31, 2015

8 miles NW

Maifest serves beer, bratwurst, sauerkraut, and music on two stages in Lincoln Square at Lincoln Ave. and Leland Ave. Free.

MAY continues in the next column.

Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
Cloud Gate at Millennium Park in Chicago

Millennium Art Festival

May 29 - 31, 2015

0.5 mile south

The Millennium Art Festival features artwork, food from local restaurants, and live easy-listening music on Lake Street at Michigan Avenue. Free.

Division Street festival

May 29 - 31, 2015

4 miles NW

Do Division Street Fest & Sidewalk Sale has rousing live music, a sidewalk sale, a fashion show, and a family fun fest (Sat. & Sun.) on Division Street between Damen and Leavitt. Donation.

Craft beer week

May 2015 (undated)

Chicago locations

Chicago Craft Beer Week features hundreds of craft beer events in the greater Chicago area, from special $4 tastings of rare beers to beer dinners. It’s sponsored by the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild.

more May events...

June 2015
June page

Blues festival

June 12 - 14, 2015

1 mile south

Chicago’s biggest music festival, Chicago Blues Festival, brings top-name talent to multiple stages. After the show, music continues late into the night at city clubs. Free.

Old Town Art Fair

June 13 - 14, 2015

3 miles north

See drawings, paintings, photography, ceramics, jewelry, and works in metal, stone, glass, and wood by 250 juried artists at Old Town Art Fair on tree-lined Lincoln Ave. at Wisconsin. Donation.

Taste of Randolph

June 19 - 21, 2015

1.5 miles west

The highly acclaimed Taste of Randolph [sound on website] offers six blocks of artisan and restaurant booths plus three music stages on W Randolph Street from Peoria St. to Racine Ave. Donation.

Pride festival & parade

June 20, 21, 28, 2015

6 miles north

Chicago Pride Fest is a huge two-day street festival for gay and lesbian pride with music on two stages, food, drink, arts & crafts vendors, and a pet parade in Northalsted. Donation. Pride Parade is June 28.

Ravinia music festival

June 2015 (undated)

23 miles north

Ravinia Festival is billed as America’s oldest outdoor music festival, with a long series of performances at Ravinia Park in Highland Park. Cost.

Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival

June 2015 (undated)

5 miles north

Celebrate Memorial Day weekend with local bands, food, drink, and street vendors at the Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival on N. Sheffield from Belmont to School. Donation.

Classical music festival

June 2015 (undated)

Chicago locations

Grant Park Music Festival is an outdoor classical music series at Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park. Free.

Electronic dance music festival

June 2015 (undated)

2 miles south

Spring Awakening Music Festival draws 75,000 to Soldier Field to hear the best in electronic dance music (EDM) by some of the world’s top DJs. Cost.

more June events...

July 2015
July page

Southport street fair

July 18 - 19, 2015

6 miles north

Summer on Southport [sound] is a mellow event with live music, vendors, food, and a children’s festival on N Southport Ave. at Waveland. Donation.

Clark Street festival

July 18 - 19, 2015 (uncertain)

10 miles north

Enjoy multi-cultural food, art, music, and dance at Celebrate Clark Street Festival on N Clark St. from Morse to Estes. Kids’ activities. Donation.

Lollapalooza

July 31 - August 2, 2015

1.5 miles south

Lollapalooza is a three-day music festival with more than 100 popular alternative rock, punk rock, heavy metal, and hip hop bands; comedy and dance; and craft booths in Grant Park. Cost.

The Taste

July 2015 (undated)

1.5 miles south

A million people get a taste of 35 restaurants and enjoy music & entertainment at Taste of Chicago in Grant Park. Free, except permanent concert seats.

Downtown art festival

July 2015 (undated)

0 miles

Shop from 200 of the best painters, sculptors, and jewelry makers along eight blocks at the North Michigan Avenue Art Festival at Pioneer Court. Free.

Pitchfork Music Festival

July 2015 (undated)

2.5 miles west

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

Wicker Park music festival

July 2015 (undated)

3.5 miles NW

Wicker Park Fest brings cutting-edge local and national acts to three stages on Milwaukee Ave. from North Ave. to Paulina St. Go early for the best shopping and best-behaved crowd. Donation.

more July events...

August 2015
August page

Japanese festival

August 7 - 9, 2015

3 miles north

Ginza Holiday offers Japanese dance, martial arts, drumming, bonsai, craftsmen at work, and teriyaki chicken at Midwest Buddhist Temple. Donation.

Northalsted Market Days

August 8 - 9, 2015

5 miles north

Northalsted Market Days is a popular gay-friendly street fair and music festival with 400 food, art, and craft vendors plus musical acts on 6 blocks of North Halsted Street from Belmont to Addison. Donation.

Italian festival

August 13 - 16, 2015

3.5 miles SW

Festa Italiana [sound] has music on 4 stages, Italian cuisine, a local artisan market, and the Momsay Kids Stage on W Taylor Street at Ashland. Donation.

Air and water show

August 2015 (undated)

2 miles north

The Chicago Air & Water Show features daredevil pilots, parachute teams, and jets flying in formation, plus water-skiing and boat jumping. See it from the waterfront near North Avenue Beach. Free.

more August events...

September 2014
September page

Opera in the park

September 6, 2014

0.5 mile south

Spectacular singing and orchestral music await at Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park. Free.

Berghoff Oktoberfest

September 10 - 12, 2014

1 mile south

Berghoff Oktoberfest serves bratwurst, sauerkraut, chicken, pretzels, and apple strudel plus German music at W Adams St. and Dearborn. Free to 9 p.m.

Chicago Gourmet

September 26 - 28, 2014

0.5 mile south

Chicago Gourmet is a premium food and wine event with 100 chefs, cooking demonstrations, beer and food pavilions, and wine tastings in Millennium Park.

Hyde Park Jazz Festival

September 27 - 28, 2014

8 miles south

Hear 40 jazz performances by top artists indoors and outdoors at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival. Free.

more September events...

October 2014
October page

Film festival

October 9 - 23, 2014

0.5 mile east

The Chicago International Film Festival features more than 100 short and full-length films from 50 countries, free panel discussions, and opening night gala. Films show at the AMC River East 21. Cost.

Marathon & fitness expo

October 10 - 12, 2014

Chicago locations

The free Chicago Marathon Health & Fitness Expo is Friday and Saturday at McCormick Place. The Chicago Marathon begins and ends Sunday in Grant Park, with an after-festival in Butler Field.

Architecture open house

October 18 - 19, 2014

Chicago locations

Get a rare behind-the-scenes look at 150 of the city’s finest buildings during Open House Chicago. Free.

Children’s film festival

October 24 - Nov. 2, 2014

Chicago locations

Billed as North America’s largest film festival for children, the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF) showcases the best in new cinema for children and offers interactive workshops. Cost.

more October events...

November 2014
November page

Christmas market

November 21 - Dec. 24, 2014

1 mile SW

Christkindlmarket is an open-air European holiday market on Daley Plaza featuring traditional art, handmade gifts, German foods, choirs, carolers, and an opening ceremony. Free.

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

November 22, 2014

Downtown Chicago

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival begins midday with family events at Lights Festival Lane in Pioneer Court. The 5:30 p.m. Tree-Lighting Parade starts at Oak Street and runs down Michigan Avenue to the Chicago River, ending in fireworks. All free.

Thanksgiving Parade

November 27, 2014

1 mile south

The morning Thanksgiving Parade includes giant balloons, floats, and marching bands that go north on State Street from Congress to Washington. Free.

ZooLights

Nov. 28, 2014 - Jan. 4, 2015 (dates below)

2.5 miles north

ZooLights at the Lincoln Park Zoo features millions of holiday lights, ice carvings, music, carousel and train rides, food and gift shopping, plus photos with Santa (some days). Open Nov. 28 - 30. Dec. 5 - 7, 12 - 23, 26 - 31. Jan. 1 - 4. Free entry.

more November events...

December 2014
December page

Giant gift fair

December 5 - 7, 2014

29 miles NW

Holiday Lights Gift and Craft Fair has 500 holiday booths at Arlington International Racecourse. Cost.

Winter WonderFest

December 5, 2014 - Jan. 11, 2015

1 mile east

Festival Hall at Navy Pier becomes an indoor Winter WonderFest for the holidays, with music, carnival rides, and entertainment. Expect crowds. Free entry.

New Year’s Eve restaurants

December 31, 2014

Chicago locations

These restaurants offer specials on New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Eve fireworks

December 31, 2014

1 mile east

Welcome the new year with New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Navy Pier at midnight. Free.

more December events...

January February March April May June July August September October November December

Calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois.     steve.adams@events12.com