Chicago events August 2018. Things to do in Chicago.

Best events for 12 months

Chicago events August 2018

Classical music festival

August 1 - 18, 2018
(begins June 13)
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.

Dance outdoors

August 1 - 25, 2018
multiple locations
Dance to live bands and DJs at Chicago SummerDance in city parks, including a one-hour lesson and then a two-hour dance. See schedule. Free.
CityPass Chicago

Music on the lake

August 1 - Sept. 3, 2018
(also July)
1 mile east
Hear live music at Live on the Lake in the beer garden at Navy Pier. Free for all ages. Closed Monday and Tuesday.

Movies in the Parks

August 1 - Sept. 14, 2018
(also July)
Chicago locations
Watch 250 Movies in the Parks, beginning at dusk. Dates may change depending on the weather. Free.

Ravinia music festival

August 1 - Sept. 16, 2018
(also July)
23 miles north
See nationally known performers at Ravinia Festival, billed as America’s oldest outdoor music festival at Ravinia Park in Highland Park.

Jazz at the aquarium

August 1 - Oct. 10, 2018
(Wednesdays 5 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.

Short film winners

August 2, 2018
6 miles north
See the winning films from Chicago 48 Hour Film Project, which locals made in only two days, at Music Box Theatre.


August 2 - 5, 2018
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 2 - 5, 2018
27.3 miles NW
Summer Chi.ill [sound] promises entertainment, music, food, and drink with a tropical theme at the Hyatt Regency in Schaumburg.

Music in Lincoln Square

August 2 - 30, 2018
(Thursdays 6:30 p.m.)
9.1 miles NW
Hear a wide variety of music at the Summer Concert Series in Giddings Plaza if weather permits. Free.

Jeff Fest Arts & Music Festival

August 3 - 5, 2018
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 3 - 5, 2018
16 miles NW
Flashback Weekend offers celebrity guests, vendors, and evening events at Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare.

Jazz on the lake

August 3 - 24, 2018
(6:30 p.m.)
0.9 miles east
Hear “top Chicago jazz artists” play for 90 minutes at Water Colors on Fridays at Polk Bros Park. (Also July 15 at 3 p.m. and July 21 at 6:30 p.m.). Free.

Hip car show

August 4, 2018
(4 to 10 p.m.)
11 miles NW
Hot Import Nights brings exotic cars, nightclub acts, DJ music, and foreign models to Northeastern Illinois University. Free.

Ticket deal $7

Beer festival

August 4, 2018
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 4, 2018
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 4, 2018
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.

Edgewater festival

August 4 - 5, 2018
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 4 - 5, 2018
22 miles NW
Art at the Glen features 185 artists, live music, food, and kids’ activities in Glenview. Free.

Fairy festival

August 4 - 5, 2018
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.

Watch football practice

August 4 - 11, 2018
(begins July 21)
59 miles south
Register online to visit Chicago Bears Training Camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais. Free.

Black film festival

August 4 - 30, 2018
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 4 - Sept. 3, 2018
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 (also known as Kenosha, WI).

Made in Chicago

August 5, 2018
(11 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
2.3 miles west
Shop 70 vendors of locally made clothing, housewares, jewelry, food, and drink at Made in Chicago Market in Chicago Journeymen Plumbers (Plumbers Hall). Held in August and December. Free admission and parking.

Millennium Park music

August 6 - 16, 2018
(6:30 p.m., also July)
0.7 miles SE
Millennium Park Summer Music Series features great music artists Monday and Thursday evenings (plus Aug. 12) in Millennium Park. Free.

Monday movies on the lake

August 6 - 20, 2018
(Mondays 7 p.m.)
0.9 miles east
Watch 10 different movies “that are sure to get you singing, clapping, and dancing along” during Water Flicks at Polk Bros Park. Free.
  • Aug. 6 - Frozen (PG)
  • Aug. 13 - The Wedding Singer (PG-13)
  • Aug. 20 - Grease (PG-13)

French fair

August 7, 2018
(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.

Movies in Millennium Park

August 7 - 21, 2018
(also July)
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 July 9. Free.
  • Aug. 7 - School of Rock (PG-13)
  • Aug. 14 - Coco (PG)
  • Aug. 21 - Slumdog Millionaire (R)

Rubber duck race

August 9, 2018
0 miles
Send a rubber duck downstream for charity and enjoy family entertainment at Chicago Ducky Derby [website has sound] downtown on the Chicago River.

Hot dog festival

August 10 - 12, 2018
2.4 miles north
Chicago Hot Dog Fest features hot dog vendors, beer, music, and entertainment in Lincoln Park (at Stockton Drive and LaSalle Drive). Donation.

Meal deal $25

Japanese festival

August 10 - 12, 2018
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 10 - 12, 2018
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 10 - 12, 2018
12 miles NW
Festival Cubano [slow website] promises Cuban music, Latin American food, vendors, and a kids’ area in Riis Park at Narragansett Avenue & Fullerton Avenue.

Beatles festival

August 10 - 12, 2018
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.

Taco bar crawl

August 11, 2018
0.7 miles west
A ticket to The Taco Crawl [sound] gets you “one taco per hour” and drink specials at 16 bars in River North.

Beach party

August 11, 2018
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 for age 21+.

African American parade

August 11, 2018
(10 a.m.)
6.2 miles south
Heralding the new school year, Bud Billiken Parade is billed as the oldest and largest African American parade in America. It begins at Oakwood Boulevard & Martin Luther King Drive, and it ends at a picnic with food vendors in Washington Park (1 to 4 p.m.). Free.

Freaky circus

August 11, 2018
(12 to 5 p.m.)
6.6 miles SW
Lagunitas Beer Circus promises “freaktacular entertainment” by 100 performers (burlesque, side show acts, aerialists, marching band), midway games, food trucks, beer, and a costume contest at Douglas Park for age 21+.

Concert & car show

August 11, 2018
(3 to 8 p.m.)
11.7 miles SW
See hundreds of hot custom cars and hear live music at the Chicago Dub Show at Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero.

Arlington horse race

August 11, 2018
27 miles NW
Watch jockeys compete for $1 million in the prestigious Arlington Million horse race in Arlington Heights.

Farm festival

August 11, 2018
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.

Northalsted Market Days

August 11 - 12, 2018
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 four blocks of North Halsted Street (from Belmont to Addison). Donation.

Kite festival

August 11 - 12, 2018
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 11 - 12, 2018
33 miles north
Lincolnshire Art Festival features 100 juried artists, live music, food, and children’s art activities. Free.

French day in the park

August 12, 2018
27 miles west
French Connection Day features a French open-air market, a beer & wine garden, French food, music, street performers, and children’s activities at Cantigny Park in Wheaton. Free except parking.

Taste of Andersonville

August 15, 2018
(6 to 9 p.m.)
9 miles north
A ticket to Taste of Andersonville gets you samples from 11 local restaurants, including desserts beginning in 2018.

Military block party

August 16, 2018
(4 to 10 p.m.)
1 mile NW
Celebrate America’s military service members and their families with live music, games, military vehicles, and food vendors at USO Clark After Dark at 420 N. Clark Street in River North.

Scrapbook Expo

August 17 - 18, 2018
27 miles NW
Scrapbookers will find classes, vendors, and crop parties at the Stamp & Scrapbook Expo at Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center.

Art on Glenwood Ave.

August 17 - 19, 2018
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 17 - 19, 2018
13 miles north
Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival features restaurant food, live music, and an art festival, all beginning Friday evening. Free.

Edison Park festival

August 17 - 19, 2018
14 miles NW
Edison Park Fest offers food, beer, live music, a kids’ area, and a family stage at 6730 N. Olmsted Avenue. Donation.

Noir film festival

August 17 - 23, 2018
6 miles north
Noir City screens classic films that are stylish, cynical, and melodramatic at the Music Box Theatre.

West Indian carnival

August 18, 2018
8.6 miles south
Windy City Carnival promises an all-day event with music and vendors plus “a traditional parade of bands” and outrageous costumes at noon at Midway Plaisance (59th Street & Woodlawn Avenue).

Oak Park beer tasting

August 18, 2018
11 miles west
Oak Park Micro Brew Review features tastings of 200 craft beers from 80 Midwest microbreweries and local restaurant food at 100 N Marion St. in Oak Park.

Air and water show

August 18 - 19, 2018
2 miles north
The Chicago Air & Water Show features daredevil pilots, parachute teams, and jets flying in formation, plus an air/sea rescue demonstration. See it from the waterfront near North Avenue Beach. Free.

Sangria festival

August 18 - 19, 2018
(noon 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 a blanket, but no food or pets.

Holistic expo

August 18 - 19, 2018
16 miles NW
Body Mind Spirit Expo has 110 exhibitors and 50 presentations about alternative health and psychic powers at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.

Japanese children’s festival

August 18 - 19, 2018
24 miles north
Learn about children’s celebrations in Japan at Malott Japanese Garden Summer Festival. Listen to taiko drum and koto harp music, hear folktales, and watch a tea ceremony at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe. Free except parking. Repeats in April.

Brunch & bar tasting

August 19, 2018
5.2 miles NW
BrunchCon includes tastes from 30 vendors, a bottomless Mimosa and Bloody Mary bar, lawn games, and DJ dancing at Windy City Fieldhouse for age 21+.

South Shore Summer Festival

August 19, 2018
(3 to 8 p.m.)
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 23, 2018
(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.

Fake wedding

August 23, 2018
(7 p.m.)
6.3 miles south
Attend an emotional wedding ceremony, have a drink and appetizers (included), and dance at a reception while you check out wedding vendors in action at The Big Fake Wedding Chicago at Zhou B Art Center.

Women’s comedy

August 23 - 26, 2018
5 miles north
See 400 women perform stand-up, sketch, improv, burlesque, and musical comedy shows at Chicago Women’s Funny Festival at Stage 773.

Comic book convention

August 23 - 26, 2018
17 mile NW
Wizard World Chicago Comic Con is about comic books, science fiction, fantasy, film, horror, animation, anime, manga, and card games, at the convention center in Rosemont.

Tasting party

August 24, 2018
(5 p.m., VIP 4 p.m.)
3.6 miles SW
Bites & Booze Festival features drinks paired with food, a mixology stage, a craft cocktail corner, a rooftop bar, and a dance floor on three floors of Lacuna Artist Lofts.

Ticket deal $23 (VIP $33)

Naperville Wine Festival

August 24 - 25, 2018
33 miles west
Sample fine wines, buy restaurant food, and hear live music at Naperville Wine Festival.

Taste of Greece

August 24 - 26, 2018
2 miles SW
Enjoy Greek restaurant food, traditional music and dance, handcrafts, and family games at Taste of Greektown at 400 S. Halsted Street. Donation.

Food truck fest

August 24 - 26, 2018
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 24 - 26, 2018
14 miles NW
Skokie’s Backlot Bash has live music, a carnival, a classic car show, free classic movies at noon, a kids’ run and a 5K, a beer tent, and food vendors. Free.

Street fair in DeKalb

August 24 - 26, 2018
65 miles west
Corn Fest has vendors, a carnival, a family-friendly beer garden and concert area ($5 for age 12+), a Saturday car show, and kids’ art activities weekend afternoons. Free.

Local music festival

August 25, 2018
0.5 miles west
I Am Fest is an independent art & music festival that focuses on local artists at the House of Blues Chicago.

Small-town beer festival

August 25, 2018
(5 to 8 p.m.)
14.9 miles SW
Sample offerings from local craft breweries, cideries, and distilleries at Hop Stop, which also has children’s art activities, live music, and food trucks in Riverside.


August 25 - 26, 2018
1.5 miles south
The Chicago Triathlon follows a picturesque course along Lake Michigan, beginning at Monroe Harbor.

Bucktown arts festival

August 25 - 26, 2018
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.

Oak Park art festival

August 25 - 26, 2018
9.1 miles west
The Arts & Crafts Show at Oak Park Ave. & Lake St. features 125 artists in Scoville Park. Free.

Glen Ellyn art festival

August 25 - 26, 2018
28.7 miles west
Glen Ellyn Festival of the Arts features 85 juried artists, live music, a beer and wine garden, and food at Lake Ellyn Park.

Circus in the park

August 25 - Oct. 19, 2018
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.

Taste of the Nation

August 29, 2018
(6 to 9 p.m.)
1.9 miles west
Enjoy gourmet food from 27 restaurants, fine wine, beer, cocktails, and live music at Chicago’s Taste of the Nation at Revel Fulton Market for age 21+.

Chicago Jazz Festival

August 30 - Sept. 2, 2018
0.5 miles south
The Chicago Jazz Festival is Labor Day weekend at Millennium Park. No dogs. Free.

Fringe theater festival

August 30 - Sept. 3, 2018
10 miles NW
See 50 weird and wonderful shows by local theater groups at Chicago Fringe Festival in Jefferson Park. The first day usually has a free preview party.

North Coast Music Festival

August 31 - Sept. 2, 2018
2 miles west
North Coast Music Festival is an all-ages music fest that ranges from hip-hop to electronic to indie rock in Union Park on Labor Day weekend.

Festival of Lebanon

August 31 - Sept. 2, 2018
24 miles west
Enjoy Lebanese food, beer, wine, music, folk dancing, belly dancing, and kids’ activities at the Lebanese Food Festival at Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Lombard. Donation.

African festival

August 31 - Sept. 3, 2018
7.9 miles south
African Festival of the Arts celebrates African art, crafts, drumming, food, and entertainment at a festival Labor Day weekend in Washington Park.

Polish festival

August 31 - Sept. 3, 2018
10 miles NW
Taste of Polonia has 30 bands on four stages, food (polska kielbasa, potato pancakes, pierogi, and beer), exhibitors, and carnival rides in Jefferson Park.

Ticket deal $5

Naperville festival

August 31 - Sept. 3, 2018
34 miles west
Naperville Last Fling is a family event with carnival rides, a children’s area, music stages, food vendors, a 5K, and a parade (Monday 10 a.m.) over Labor Day weekend at Naperville’s Riverwalk Park.

Family football festival

August 2018
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.