Chicago events calendar for August 2016. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend street fairs, kids activities, and free entertainment in Chicago, Illinois.

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Best events for 12 months
August 2016
August 2016

Enjoy the best Chicago events, festivals, and things to do with this calendar of events.

Mileage is from the Wrigley Building in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Classical music festival

August 1 - 20, 2016 (begins June 15)

Chicago locations

Grant Park Music Festival is an outdoor classical music series at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. The rear seats are free, or bring a blanket or lawn chairs.

Millennium Park music

August 1 - 25, 2016 (begins June 6)

0.7 miles SE

Millennium Park Summer Music Series (formerly Downtown Sound) features great music artists Monday and Thursday evenings in Millennium Park. Free.

Movies in the Parks

August 1 - Sept. 5, 2016 (begins June 13)

Chicago locations

Watch Movies in the Parks, if weather allows. Free.

Ravinia music festival

August 1 - Sept. 17, 2016 (begins June 2)

23 miles north

See nationally known performers at Ravinia Festival, billed as America’s oldest outdoor music festival at Ravinia Park in Highland Park.

French fair

August 2, 2016

11 miles west

Immerse yourself in French art, food, wine, music, activities, and films at Art dans la Rue in Oak Park.

Disney musical

August 2 - 7, 2016 (begins July 28)

0.7 miles SW

Newsboys take on a ruthless newspaper tycoon to fight for what’s right in the high-energy Broadway hit Newsies at Cadillac Palace Theatre.

Discount tickets $45.

Millennium Park movies

August 2 - 30, 2016 (Tuesdays from June 21)

0.5 miles south

Get a seat or sit on the lawn to see films on a 40-foot screen at Millennium Park Summer Film Series. Free.

Rocking dinner show

August 2 - Sept. 27, 2016 (7:30 p.m. Tuesdays)

0.8 miles NW

Hear hits from the rock and roll era at Rock Baby Rock featuring a band and vocalists with optional dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. Discount tickets $8 to $20.

Evening cruise

August 3 - 31, 2016 (7 p.m. Wednesdays)

0.7 miles east

An After Work Cruise on Anita Dee II offers amazing views from the open top deck, dancing, and pricey drinks, departing from 200 N Breakwater Access. Discount tickets $12.

Jazz at the aquarium

August 3 - Sept. 14, 2016 (Wed. from June 22)

2 miles south

Hear musicians and vocalists, see views from the terrace, buy cocktails & food, and visit the aquarium at Jazzin’ at the Shedd at Shedd Aquarium.

Rubber duck race

August 4, 2016

0 miles

Send a rubber duck downstream for charity and enjoy family fun at Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby.

Baseball & fireworks

August 5, 2016 (7:10 p.m.)

5.5 miles south

Watch the White Sox play the Baltimore Orioles followed by fireworks at U.S. Cellular Field. Discount tickets $11.

Rap festival

August 5, 2016 (5:30 p.m.)

32.4 miles south

Hear a dozen rap music artists at Art of Rap Festival at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park.

Hot dog festival

August 5 - 7, 2016

2.3 miles north

Chicago Hot Dog Fest features hot dog vendors, beer, music, and entertainment in Lincoln Park at Clark Street and W LaSalle Drive. Free entry.

Horror convention

August 5 - 7, 2016

16 miles NW

Flashback Weekend offers celebrity guests, vendors, and evening events at Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare.

Black film festival

August 5 - Sept. 1, 2016

0.5 miles SW

Black Harvest Film Festival celebrates the stories, images, heritage, and history of the black experience with dozens of films at Gene Siskel Film Center.

Beer festival

August 6, 2016

27 miles west

Taste 80 micro brews, sample food, and hear live music at Wheaton Brew Fest in Wheaton.

Dogs at the park

August 6, 2016

27 miles west

Dog Days offers a pet play area, high-flying disc-catching dogs, agility demonstrations, and vendors at Cantigny Park in Wheaton. Free except parking.

Corn festival

August 6, 2016

28 miles NW

A ticket to Corn Fest gets you a hamburger, brat, or hot dog; pop, watermelon, and all the fresh-picked corn you can eat. Also see the arts & craft fair and bazaar at Community Church in Rolling Meadows.

Taste of Lincoln Avenue

August 6 - 7, 2016 (12 to 10 p.m.)

3.5 miles north

Hear 25 music acts on 3 stages, see juried art, shop vendors, and take the kids to an afternoon carnival on Altgeld Street with games, pony rides and petting zoo at Taste of Lincoln Avenue from Fullerton to Wrightwood.

Wrigleyville summer festival

August 6 - 7, 2016

5 miles north

Wrigleyville Summerfest has a kids’ zone, food, drinks, and music at 3300 N Seminary Ave. Donation.

Edgewater festival

August 6 - 7, 2016

8 miles north

Edge Fest offers North Side cuisine, local bands, karaoke, costumed dogs, and art on North Broadway from Thorndale to Ardmore. Donation.

Evanston arts festival

August 6 - 7, 2016

13 miles north

Lakeshore Arts Festival showcases 100 artists, live music (jazz, blues, folk, bluegrass, rock, baroque, and indie pop), a silent art auction, a children’s craft tent, and food vendors at Dawes Park in Evanston. Free.

Glenview art festival

August 6 - 7, 2016

22 miles NW

Art at the Glen Town Center features 185 artists, live music, food, and kids’ activities in Glenview. Free.

Fairy festival

August 6 - 7, 2016

38 miles west

The World of Faeries Festival welcomes you with or without costume for dance, music, games, shopping, and tea parties at Vasa Park in South Elgin.

Renaissance fair

August 6 - Sept. 5, 2016 (weekends from July 9)

49 miles north

Watch knights joust, shop an artisan market, mingle with costumed minstrels, play games, and attend shows at Bristol Renaissance Faire in 16th century England (i.e. Kenosha, WI).

Taste of Andersonville

August 10, 2016 (6 to 9 p.m.)

9 miles north

A ticket to Taste of Andersonville Dinner Crawl gets you samples from 12 local restaurants.

Nerdy comedy

August 11 - 14, 2016

5 miles north

If you love comedy about nerdy subjects like the Twilight Zone, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Jane Austen, and Star Trek, NerdFest will get you laughing at Stage 773.


August 11 & 27, 2016

2 miles south

The Chicago Bears play the Denver Broncos Aug. 11 and Kansas City Chiefs Aug. 27 in pre-season games at Soldier Field. Discount tickets $45 to $145.

Naperville Wine Festival

August 12 - 13, 2016

33 miles west

Sample fine wines, buy restaurant appetizers, and hear music at Naperville Wine Festival.

Japanese festival

August 12 - 14, 2016

3 miles north

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

Retro on Roscoe

August 12 - 14, 2016

7 miles NW

Watch top entertainment on 3 stages, shop 6 blocks of art and antique vendors, and see 50 classic cars at Retro on Roscoe in Roscoe Village. Donation.

Cuban festival

August 12 - 14, 2016

12 miles NW

Festival Cubano [sound] promises Cuban music, Latin American food, vendors, and a kids’ area in Riis Park at Narragansett Ave. & Fullerton Ave. Discount tickets $12 for two.

Beatles festival

August 12 - 14, 2016

16 miles NW

The Fest for Beatles Fans has a Beatles marketplace, guest speakers, a dance party, look-alike contest, games, and exhibits at Hyatt Regency O’Hare.

Overnight bike ride

August 13, 2016

1 mile south

L.A.T.E. Ride begins late Saturday night at Buckingham Fountain and continues 15 or 25 miles into Sunday morning, followed by optional breakfast. Awards for the best “glowing” bicycle decorations.

African American parade

August 13, 2016

5 miles south

Bud Billiken Parade is billed as the oldest and largest African American parade in America. It goes south down MLK Drive from Oakwood Blvd. to a picnic with food vendors in Washington Park. Free.

Farm festival

August 13, 2016

25 miles SW

Farm & Barn Fest has sheep shearing, blacksmithing, horse riding, restaurant food, music, and contests at Yunker Farm in Mokena.

Arlington horse race

August 13, 2016

27 miles NW

Watch jockeys compete for $1 million in the prestigious Arlington Million horse race in Arlington Heights.

Northalsted Market Days

August 13 - 14, 2016

5 miles north

Northalsted Market Days is a popular gay-friendly street fair and music festival with 300 food, art, and craft vendors plus musical acts on 4 blocks of North Halsted Street from Belmont to Addison. Donation.

Kite festival

August 13 - 14, 2016

24 miles north

Make a kite in a workshop and fly it, watch stunt kites perform to music, and buy lunch at the Kite Festival in the meadow at Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe. See schedule of events.

Art fair in Lincolnshire

August 13 - 14, 2016

33 miles north

Lincolnshire Arts & Eats features 100 juried artists, live music, food, and children’s art activities. Free.

French day in the park

August 14, 2016

27 miles west

French Connection Day features a French open-air market, wine tasting, French food, music, street performers, and children’s activities at Cantigny Park in Wheaton. Free except parking.

Military block party

August 18, 2016

1 mile NW

Celebrate America’s military service members and their families with live music, games, military vehicles, and refreshments at USO Clark After Dark in River North. Donation.

Italian festival

August 18 - 21, 2016

3.5 miles SW

Festa Italiana [sound] features Italian food, music, folk dance, a meatball-eating contest, and a Sunday procession on W Taylor Street at Ashland. Donation.

Comic book convention

August 18 - 21, 2016

17 mile NW

Wizard World Chicago Comic Con is about comic books, wrestling, science fiction, fantasy, film, horror, animation, anime, manga, and card games, at the convention center in Rosemont. Discount tickets $23.

Scrapbook Expo

August 19 - 20, 2016

27 miles NW

Scrapbookers will find classes, vendors, and crop parties at the Scrapbook Expo at Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center.

Art on Glenwood Ave.

August 19 - 21, 2016

9 miles north

Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest (GAAF) is a Friday night Cobblestone Jam plus a weekend artists’ market with 3 stages of music in Rogers Park. Free.

Edison Park festival

August 19 - 21, 2016

14 miles NW

Edison Park Fest offers food, beer, live music, a Saturday parade, a family stage, and a ticketed amusement area at 6730 N Olmsted Avenue. Free.

Noir film festival

August 19 - 25, 2016

6 miles north

Noir City screens classic films that are stylish, cynical, and melodramatic at the Music Box Theatre.

Oak Park beer tasting

August 20, 2016

11 miles west

Oak Park Micro Brew Review features tastings of 200 craft beers from 70 Midwest microbreweries and local restaurant food at 100 N Marion St. in Oak Park.

Air and water show

August 20 - 21, 2016 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

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.

Albany Park festival

August 20 - 21, 2016

8.7 miles NW

Albany Park World Fest offers diverse music, eclectic cuisine, global arts and crafts, and a family activity area at W. Lawrence Ave. and N. Kimball Ave. Donation.

Oak Park art festival

August 20 - 21, 2016

9.1 miles west

The Arts & Crafts Show at Oak Park Ave. & Lake St. features 125 artists in Scoville Park. Free.

Holistic expo

August 20 - 21, 2016

16 miles NW

Body Mind Spirit Expo has 110 exhibitors and 72 presentations about alternative health and psychic powers at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.

Oak Brook art fair

August 20 - 21, 2016

19 miles west

The Fine Art Festival features art, artists in action, and music in Oak Brook. Repeats in May. Free.

Japanese garden festival

August 20 - 21, 2016 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

24 miles north

Malott Japanese Garden Summer Festival has a tea ceremony, stories, drumming, and harp playing at Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe. Free except parking.

Dance festival

August 23 - 27, 2016

Downtown Chicago

See ballet, dance, and dance films in multiple venues at Chicago Dancing Festival. Free.

Turkish fest

August 24 - 27, 2016

0.7 miles SW

Experience the art, music, dance, and cuisine of Turkey at the free Chicago Turkish Festival at Daley Plaza, 50 W Washington St. Free entry.

Funny musical

August 24 - Oct. 16, 2016

27.8 miles north

An ambitious window washer learns how to climb the corporate ladder in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, an award-winning musical at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. Discount tickets $30.

Beer at the zoo

August 26 - 27, 2016

14 miles SW

Enjoy 60 craft beers, live music, a silent auction, and animals at Zoo Brew at Brookfield Zoo for age 21+.

Skokie festival

August 26 - 28, 2016

14 miles NW

Skokie’s Backlot Bash has 15 hours of live music, a carnival, classic car show, free classic movies, kids’ run & 5K, and food and beer vendors. Free.

Taste of Greece

August 27 - 28, 2016 (12 to 11 p.m.)

2 miles SW

Enjoy Greek restaurant food, traditional music and dance, handcrafts, and a children’s play area at Taste of Greektown at 400 S Halsted Street. Free.

Beverage tasting

August 27 - 28, 2016 (1 to 10 p.m.)

2.1 miles south

Get 15 tastes of beer and wine, and purchase cocktails, at Motor Row Craft Beer & Wine Festival, with vintage cars and live music on Michigan Avenue at Cermak. Donation.

Fashion festival

August 27 - 28, 2016

3.7 miles NW

Chicago Fashion Fest features outdoor runway shows with live music and food vendors on W Division Street from Damen to Paulina. Donation.

Bucktown arts festival

August 27 - 28, 2016

5 miles NW

Bucktown Arts Fest is an arts celebration that showcases 200 artists, musicians, dancers, poets, and performers at N Oakley and Lyndale. Free.

Art & food festivals

August 27 - 28, 2016

27 miles north

Top-rated Port Clinton Art Festival has 260 artists, a youth division, and kids’ art activities on Sat. & Sun. Nearby Taste of Highland Park is 5 p.m. Fri. to 6 p.m. Sun. Free.

Glen Ellyn art festival

August 27 - 28, 2016

28.7 miles west

Glen Ellyn Festival of the Arts features 80 juried artists, 12 musical acts, children’s activities, and food at Lake Ellyn Park.

Circus in the park

August 27 - Oct. 16, 2016

Chicago locations

Midnight Circus in the Parks is a series of daytime shows on the weekends at eight parks, which is perfect for families.


August 28, 2016

1.5 miles south

The Chicago Triathlon follows a picturesque course along Lake Michigan, beginning at Monroe Harbor.

Art fair

August 28, 2016

26 miles NW

See original works from 100 juried artists at A Walk in the Park - Summer Art Fair at North School Park in Arlington Heights. Free.

Fringe theater festival

August 31 - Sept. 11, 2016

10 miles NW

See 50 weird and wonderful shows by local theater groups at Chicago Fringe Festival in Jefferson Park.

Beer, bourbon, barbecue

August 2016 (undated)

0.7 miles west

A ticket to Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Fest gets you a BBQ lunch, 20 samples of bourbon/whiskey, and 10 samples of beer at John Barleycorn. Requires age 21 ID.

Family football festival

August 2016 (undated)

2 miles south

Chicago Bears Family Fest includes activities and live music outside Soldier Field from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., plus a 10:15 a.m. youth football demonstration and an 11:35 a.m. team practice inside the stadium.

Family-friendly festival

August 2016 (undated)

7 miles SW

CreateFest features hands-on art activities, food trucks, live music, and even dance lessons at Bridgeport Art Center.

German fashion & wine

August 2016 (undated)

7 miles north

Mingle with German fashion designers, see an exhibit of Old World fabrics, and taste German wines and appetizers at Vintage Deutsch at Dank Haus.

Short film winners

August 2016 (undated)

7.2 miles NW

See the winning films from Chicago 48 Hour Film Project, which locals made in only two days, at Logan Theatre.
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© August 2016 calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois.