Chicago events calendar for August 2017. 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 2017
August 2017

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

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

French fair

August 1, 2017 (2 to 9 p.m.)

11 miles west

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

French films

August 1 - 2, 2017 (begins July 14)

0.5 miles SW

Journeys Through French Cinema screens nine great films that built France’s cinema legacy, all with English subtitles at Gene Siskel Film Center.


August 1 - 31, 2017 (also July)

multiple locations

These discount ticket prices include all taxes and fees.

Acrobatic version of Moby Dick

August 1 - Sept. 3, 2017

0.7 miles north

See a high-flying cirque-style aerial and acrobatic version of Moby Dick, about a giant whale pursued by a sailing captain and crew at Lookingglass Theatre.

Discount tickets $33 to $65 at Goldstar.

Millennium Park movies

August 1 - Sept. 5, 2017 (begins June 13)

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 on Tuesdays plus Aug. 24. Free.

Movies in the Parks

August 1 - Sept. 9, 2017 (begins June 2)

Chicago locations

See 250 Movies in the Parks, if weather allows. Free.

Ravinia music festival

August 1 - Sept. 17, 2017 (begins June 10)

23 miles north

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

Watch football practice

August 2 - 13, 2017 (begins July 27)

59 miles south

Register online to visit Chicago Bears Training Camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais. Free.

Classical music festival

August 2 - 19, 2017 (begins June 14)

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.

Jazz at the aquarium

August 2 - Sept. 13, 2017 (Wed. 5 to 10 p.m.)

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.

Magic Cabaret

August 2 - 30, 2017 (Wednesdays 8 p.m.)

3.3 miles north

The Magic Cabaret entertains with mind-boggling sleight of hand and audience participation in small Greenhouse Theater Center.

Discount tickets $13 at Goldstar.

Rubber duck race

August 3, 2017

0 miles

Send a rubber duck downstream for charity and enjoy family entertainment at Windy City Rubber Ducky Derby downtown on the Chicago River.


August 3 - 6, 2017

1.5 miles south

Lollapalooza is a four-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.

Tropical rock party

August 3 - 6, 2017

40.3 miles west

Summer Chi.ill [sound] promises entertainment, music, food, and drink with a New Orleans & Bourbon Street theme at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles.

Film festival

August 3 - 11, 2017

6 miles north

Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival (BWiFF) screens dozens of bold and innovative films with new and exciting story elements at the Music Box Theatre.

International festival

August 3 - 17, 2017 (Thurs. 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.)

0.7 miles west

Celebrate the cultures of Chicago’s 28 sister cities with food, drink, and music at Unifest on the River on the Chicago Riverwalk (from Wells to Franklin). Free.

Art and music festival

August 4 - 6, 2017

10 miles NW

Jeff Fest Arts & Music Festival offers live music, art, food, craft beer, wine, and a kids’ corner in Jefferson Park at 4822 N Long Avenue. No pets. Donation.

Horror convention

August 4 - 6, 2017

16 miles NW

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

Family football festival

August 5, 2017

2 miles south

Chicago Bears Family Fest includes activities and live music outside Soldier Field at 11 a.m. Gates open 1 p.m. for a 3 p.m. team introduction, a 3:20 practice to watch, and a 5:20 p.m. kids’ run inside the stadium.

Beer festival

August 5, 2017

27 miles west

Taste 80 micro brews, sample food, and hear live music at Wheaton Brew Fest in Wheaton for age 21+.

Dogs at the park

August 5, 2017 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

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 5, 2017

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.

Rod Stewart & Cyndi Lauper

August 5, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

31.8 miles south

Rod Stewart (Forever Young, Maggie May) performs with special guest Cyndi Lauper at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park.

Discount tickets $25 to $70 at Goldstar.

Edgewater festival

August 5 - 6, 2017

8 miles north

Edge Fest offers North Side cuisine, local bands, and art on North Broadway (from Thorndale to Ardmore). Donation.

Glenview art festival

August 5 - 6, 2017

22 miles NW

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

Fairy festival

August 5 - 6, 2017

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.

Black film festival

August 5 - 31, 2017

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.

Renaissance fair

August 5 - Sept. 4, 2017 (weekends)

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).

Discount tickets $19 (on July 30 & Aug. 6).

Millennium Park music

August 7 - 21, 2017 (begins June 12)

0.7 miles SE

Millennium Park Summer Music Series features great music artists Monday and Thursday evenings in Millennium Park. Free.

Taste of Andersonville

August 9, 2017 (6 to 9 p.m.)

9 miles north

A ticket to Taste of Andersonville Dinner Crawl gets you samples from 11 local restaurants.

Adult zoo night

August 10, 2017 (6:30 to 10 p.m.)

2.5 miles north

Leave the kids at home and head to Adults Night Out at Lincoln Park Zoo to experience unique animal chats and live entertainment. You must be age 18+ to attend, and age 21+ for the cash bars.

Hot dog festival

August 11 - 13, 2017

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. Donation.

Buy $30 worth of food tickets for $25 at Groupon.

Japanese festival

August 11 - 13, 2017

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 11 - 13, 2017

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 11 - 13, 2017

12 miles NW

Festival Cubano [sound] promises Cuban music, Latin American food, vendors, and a kids’ area in Riis Park at Narragansett Avenue & Fullerton Avenue.

Discount tickets 2 for $12 at Groupon.

Beatles festival

August 11 - 13, 2017

16 miles NW

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

Idina Menzel

August 12, 2017 (8 p.m.)

0.4 miles SW

The world tour of Idina Menzel promises “songs from Idina, as well as classic pop, musical theater favorites, and her own personal catalogue” at The Chicago Theatre.

Discount tickets $40 at Goldstar.

Beach party

August 12, 2017

2 miles north

A ticket to The Big Dig Beach Party gets you six drink tickets, DJ music, and games to play at North Avenue Beach.

Tequila tasting

August 12, 2017 (SOLD OUT)

3 miles north

A ticket to Chicago 2017 Old Town Summer Tequila Fest gets you 15 tasting tickets plus food and drink specials at Old Town Social.

African American parade

August 12, 2017 (10 a.m.)

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.

Alphabetical beer tasting

August 12, 2017 (3 to 6 p.m.)

6.6 miles north

At AlphaBeer, you’ll drink beer with names that begin with all 26 letters, guided by brewery representatives in AJ Hudson’s Public House.

Arlington horse race

August 12, 2017

27 miles NW

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

Northalsted Market Days

August 12 - 13, 2017

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 12 - 13, 2017

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.

Vegetarian festival

August 12 - 13, 2017

30 miles west

Veggie Fest features a food court, kids’ activities, demos, exhibits, speakers, and music in Lisle. Free.

Art fair in Lincolnshire

August 12 - 13, 2017

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 13, 2017 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

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.

Short plays by women

August 16 - 20, 2017

8 miles north

Snapshots is 10 plays, 10 minutes long, by 10 female playwrights in Ravenswood.

Military block party

August 17, 2017 (4 to 10 p.m.)

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.

Adult night at the planetarium

August 17, 2017 (6:30 to 10:30 p.m.)

2.5 miles SE

Adler After Dark: Solar Eclipse includes music, dancing, cocktails, and information about the total solar eclipse happening in southern Illinois on Aug. 21 at Adler Planetarium for age 21+.

Museum party

August 18, 2017 (9 p.m. to midnight)

1 mile south

Mix and mingle, visit the bar, eat appetizers, and dance to a Brazilian band at After Dark in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago for age 21+.

Scrapbook Expo

August 18 - 19, 2017

27 miles NW

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

Discount tickets $7 at Goldstar.

Discount tickets 2 for $12 at Groupon.

Italian festival

August 18 - 20, 2017

3.5 miles SW

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

Mexican festival

August 18 - 20, 2017

3.6 miles SW

Tacos & Tamales Festivale promises authentic Latin American cuisine, beer, art vendors, traditional music by day, and high-energy Latin rock music in the evening at 16th Street & Peoria. Donation.

Art on Glenwood Ave.

August 18 - 20, 2017

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.

Art, food, and music festival

August 18 - 20, 2017

13 miles north

Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival features restaurant food, live music, and an art festival, all beginning Friday at 4 p.m. Free.

Edison Park festival

August 18 - 20, 2017

14 miles NW

Edison Park Fest offers food, beer, live music, an 11 a.m. Saturday parade, a family stage, and a ticketed amusement area at 6730 N Olmsted Avenue. Free.

Oak Park beer tasting

August 19, 2017

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.

Farm festival

August 19, 2017 (10 a.m. to 11 p.m.)

37 miles SW

Farm & Barn Fest has sheep shearing, blacksmithing, horse riding, a petting zoo, a flea market, restaurant food, music, and contests at Mokena Main Park.

Air and water show

August 19 - 20, 2017

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.

Holistic expo

August 19 - 20, 2017

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 19 - 20, 2017

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 19 - 20, 2017

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.

Sangria festival

August 20, 2017 (12 to 10 p.m.)

7.4 miles NW

Sangria Festival Chicago promises multiple flavors of sangria (wine with fruit), food vendors, live music, and flamenco dancers in Humboldt Park for age 21+. Bring a chair and blanket, but no food or pets.

South Shore Summer Festival

August 20, 2017

10.1 miles south

South Shore Summer Festival is a family-friendly event with music and dance, plus food, wine, and beer for sale at South Shore Cultural Center. Free.

Tasting event

August 24, 2017 (5:30 to 9 p.m.)

0.5 miles south

Taste “signature grill recipes” from a dozen restaurants paired with summer cocktails during Chefs On The Grill outside the Park Grill.

Comic book convention

August 24 - 27, 2017

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.

Adult scavenger hunt at the zoo

August 25, 2017 (6:30 to 10:30 p.m.)

2.5 miles north

Form a team with your friends age 21+ to solve clues and compete for prizes at Lincoln Park Zoo Challenge, with a free beer at the after party. Costumes welcome.

Beer at the zoo

August 25 - 26, 2017

14 miles SW

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

Naperville Wine Festival

August 25 - 26, 2017

33 miles west

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

Discount tickets 2 for $50 at Groupon.

Taste of Greece

August 25 - 27, 2017

2 miles SW

Enjoy Greek restaurant food, traditional music and dance, handcrafts, and family games at Taste of Greektown at 400 S Halsted Street. Free.

Food truck fest

August 25 - 27, 2017

6.3 miles NW

Logan Square Food Truck Social features 20 trucks selling food and beverages with live music on Humboldt Boulevard (from Armitage Avenue to Bloomingdale Avenue). Donation.

Skokie festival

August 25 - 27, 2017

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.

Street fair in DeKalb

August 25 - 27, 2017

65 miles west

Corn Fest has vendors, a carnival, a family-friendly beer garden and concert area (adults $5), a Saturday car show, and kids’ art activities on the weekend. Free.

Noir film festival

August 25 - 31, 2017

6 miles north

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

Lionel Richie

August 26, 2017 (7 p.m.)

2.9 miles west

Lionel Richie & Mariah Carey perform the hits that earned them Grammy Awards at the United Center.

Discount tickets $35 (in level 300) at Goldstar.

Circus in the park

August 26 - 27, 2017 (plus Sept. & Oct.)

Chicago locations

Midnight Circus in the Parks [slow website] is a series of daytime shows on weekends at eight parks, which is perfect for families.
  • Aug. 26 to 27 - Gately Park

Bucktown arts festival

August 26 - 27, 2017

5 miles NW

Bucktown Arts Fest is an arts celebration that showcases 190 artists, musicians, dancers, poets, and performers at N Oakley and Lyndale. Free.

Oak Park art festival

August 26 - 27, 2017

9.1 miles west

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

Art & food festivals

August 26 - 27, 2017

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 26 - 27, 2017

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.


August 27, 2017

1.5 miles south

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

Bonnie & Clyde musical

August 27 - Sept. 24, 2017

4.8 miles north

Bonnie & Clyde are notorious gangsters in an electrifying story of love, adventure, and crime at Theater Wit.

Discount tickets $13 to $19 at Goldstar.

Fringe theater festival

August 30 - Sept. 10, 2017

10 miles NW

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

Jazz festival

August 31 - Sept. 3, 2017

0.5 miles south

The Chicago Jazz Festival is Labor Day weekend at Millennium Park. No dogs. Free.
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© August 2017 calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois. ord-08