Chicago events July 2018. Things to do in Chicago.

Best events for 12 months

Chicago events July 2018

Kids’ concert

July 1, 2018
(4 p.m.)
2.4 miles SE
High-energy Kidz Bop performs kid-friendly versions of today’s hottest pop hits in a concert for all ages at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island.

TIcket deal $30 to $55

Windy City RibFest

July 1, 2018
(begins June 29)
7.6 miles north
Windy City RibFest in Uptown has food, beer, wine, bands, arts & crafts, and afternoon kids’ activities at W. Lawrence Avenue & N. Broadway. Donation.

Botanic Garden Art Festival

July 1, 2018
(begins June 30)
24 miles north
Browse 95 booths of botanic-inspired arts and fine crafts offered by juried artists in pretty gardens at the Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival in Glencoe. Free except parking.
CityPass Chicago

Hot-air balloon festival

July 1, 2018
(begins June 29)
28 miles west
Lisle’s Eyes to the Skies Balloon Festival has colorful hot-air balloon launches, flights, and evening balloon glows, plus a food court, craft booths, a kids’ area, live music, and nightly fireworks at 9:45 p.m. Carnival rides begin earlier on June 27. Kids age 0 to 8 free.

Frontier Days

July 1 - 4, 2018
(begins June 29)
26 miles NW
Frontier Days Festival has family activities, live music, a carnival, a food pavilion, a beer & wine garden, a parade (July 4 at 10 a.m.), and a weekend craft market at Recreation Park in Arlington Heights. (Closed on Monday July 2 except for carnival rides.)

Fireworks shows

July 1 - 7, 2018
Chicago area (more cities)
Some of these events are all-day family festivals.

Interactive melodrama

July 1 - 29, 2018
7.5 miles north
All 30 members of the audience get to walk around the actors during Southern Gothic [website has sound], a retro drama about four Southern couples that takes place in a 1962 house inside Windy City Playhouse.

Tickets $80 to $100

Music on the lake

July 1 - Sept. 3, 2018
(also June)
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

July 1 - Sept. 14, 2018
(begins June 11)
Chicago locations
See 250 Movies in the Parks, beginning at dusk. Dates may change depending on the weather. Free.

Monday movies on the lake

July 2 - Aug. 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.
  • July 2 - Sing (PG)
  • July 9 - Pitch Perfect (PG-13)
  • July 16 - Charlie & Chocolate Factory (PG)
  • July 23 - Selena (PG)
  • July 30 - Viva Las Vegas (PG)

The story of Elvis Presley

July 2 - Sept. 9, 2018
0.9 miles north
Relive the exciting early years of Elvis Presley’s career at Heartbreak Hotel, which features many of his hit songs at Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.

Ticket deal $59

Ravinia music festival

July 2 - Sept. 16, 2018
(begins June 1)
23 miles north
See nationally known performers at Ravinia Festival, billed as America’s oldest outdoor music festival at Ravinia Park in Highland Park.

Friday sunset cruise

July 3, 2018
(boarding 5:15 p.m.)
0.7 miles east
A Booze Cruise aboard the Anita Dee II offers amazing views from three decks, dancing, and a cash bar, departing from 200 N Breakwater Access for age 21+.

Ticket deal $25

House music tour

July 3, 2018
10 miles south
Your ticket to House Club Tour [website has sound] gets you into a dozen clubs playing house music, with a bus connecting them all, and a free after party.

Oak Fest

July 3 - 8, 2018
26 miles SW
Oak Fest offers live music, a carnival, food vendors, bingo, a Sunday car/bike show, and July 4 fireworks at 159th & Central Avenue in Oak Forest. Schedule. Free.

Millennium Park movies

July 3 - Aug. 21, 2018
(begins June 5)
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.
  • July 3 - High Fidelity (R)
  • July 9 - Iron Giant (PG)
  • July 10 - Man on Wire (PG-13)
  • July 17 - International Media Mixer (PG)
  • July 24 - Get Out (R)
  • July 31 - Wall-E (G) & Crash (R)

Murder mystery

July 3 - Aug. 26, 2018
34 miles north
“A zany blend of classic musical comedy and madcap mystery,” Murder for Two has one actor playing a detective, a second actor playing all of the suspects, and both of them playing the piano at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire.

Ticket deal $30

Glen Ellyn Fourth of July

July 4, 2018
27 miles west
Fourth of July in Glen Ellyn includes a morning run, noon parade of floats and bands, afternoon carnival, bands, dancing, and fireworks at dusk. Free.

Highland Park festival

July 4, 2018
27 miles north
Fourth Fest includes a 10 a.m. parade of floats and bands, followed by carnival rides, food and music at 11 a.m., and then evening fireworks.

R & B soul concert

July 4, 2018
(7 p.m.)
40.3 miles NW
Enjoy Independence Day at a concert featuring Kool & The Gang (Celebration) and Motown legends The Commodores (Three Times a Lady) in Elgin.

Ticket deal $20 to $60

Naperville RibFest

July 4 - 7, 2018
31 miles SW
Naperville RibFest has great food, plenty of music, and fireworks (July 4 at 9:30 p.m.) at Knoch Park in Naperville. Admission to the fireworks on July 4 is free if you enter South Park from W. Martin Avenue after 5 p.m. Free parking and shuttle bus.

Festival in Mount Prospect

July 4 - 8, 2018
24.2 miles NW
Mount Prospect Lions Club Festival is a big carnival with food vendors, a beer and wine tent, evening entertainment, and fireworks July 4 & 8 (9:30 p.m.) at Melas Park. Schedule.

Northwest festival

July 4 - 8, 2018
35 miles NW
Northwest Fourth-Fest includes a parade July 4 on Illinois Boulevard, a carnival July 4-8, live music July 6-8, fireworks July 7 (9:30 p.m.), and a crafts fair July 7-8 at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates.

Classical music festival

July 4 - Aug. 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.

Jazz at the aquarium

July 4 - Oct. 10, 2018
(begins June 20)
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.

Wine tasting

July 6, 2018
(6 to 9:30 p.m.)
36 miles NW
A ticket to Uncork Barrington includes 20 samples of wine (one ounce each) plus appetizers in downtown Barrington for age 21+.

Ticket deal $39

Millennium Art Festival

July 6 - 8, 2018
0.5 mile south
The Millennium Art Festival features juried artwork, food from local restaurants, and live music on Lake Street at Michigan Avenue. Free.

West Town street fair

July 6 - 8, 2018
3 miles west
West Fest has cutting-edge music on two stages, a weekend kid fest on Wolcott Ave., a weekend pet fest, and local vendors on W. Chicago Avenue (from Damen to Wood). Donation.

Irish fest

July 6 - 8, 2018
9 miles NW
Irish American Heritage Festival has Irish music and dance on multiple stages, a folk tent, food vendors, clothing, jewelry, beer, wine, and family activities at Irish American Heritage Center.

Japanese animation festival

July 6 - 8, 2018
16 miles NW
Anime Midwest features a costume masquerade, vendors, video games, concerts, dances, guest speakers, and panels at Hyatt Regency O’Hare.

Music & dance picnic

July 7, 2018
9 miles south
Dance to soulful house music (both live and DJ) at the Chosen Few Picnic & Festival in Jackson Park. Children age 12 and younger are free.

Renaissance fair

July 7 - 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).

Adult variety show

July 7 - Oct. 27, 2018
(also June)
7 miles north
Kiss Kiss Cabaret is a fun mix of burlesque, off-color comedy, music, magic, song, and variety acts for age 21+ Fridays and Saturdays at Uptown Underground.

Ticket deal $7 to $14

French Restaurant Week

July 9 - 22, 2018
multiple locations
French Restaurant Week features special deals at dozens of restaurants in the week that includes France’s Bastille Day.

Free black films

July 9 - 23, 2018
(begins June 25)
multiple locations
Best of Black Harvest Film Festival screens select films from last year’s festival in Chicago public libraries. Free.

Basketball tournament

July 10 - 12, 2018
3 miles south
Watch teenage teams compete on 76 courts at the Tournament of Champions at McCormick Place.

Scavenger hunt

July 11, 2018
(5 to 9:30 p.m.)
0.8 miles west
Complete mental and physical challenges with teammates at River North Challenge, which includes appetizers, beverages, prizes, and an after party.

The Taste

July 11 - 15, 2018
1.5 miles south
Taste of Chicago has 40 restaurant booths, food trucks, a beer hall, a wine garden, a cocktail lounge, and first-rate concerts (free if you sit on the lawn) in Grant Park.

Mind reader

July 11 - Oct. 31, 2018
(Wednesdays 8 p.m.)
3.4 miles north
The Chicago Tribune calls mentalist Mark Toland “mind blowing” because he can tell you your birthday, where you grew up, and what you did last summer during his show of psychological illusions and mysteries of the mind at Greenhouse Theater Center for age 16+.

Ticket deal $13

Railroad Days

July 12 - 15, 2018
33 miles west
West Chicago Railroad Days has a carnival, kids’ activities, live music, a beer garden, and a parade Sunday at 1 p.m. in West Chicago. Free.

French celebration

July 13, 2018
8.3 miles north
Bastille Day has French music, entertainment, beer & wine for sale, a kids’ corner, and an outdoor movie at Lycée Français de Chicago in Ravenswood. Free.

Country BBQ

July 13 - 15, 2018
1.5 miles NW
Windy City Smokeout features barbecue, country bands, and beer at 560 W. Grand Ave. on the river.

Lincoln Square music festival

July 13 - 15, 2018
8 miles NW
Square Roots Festival offers a mix of music from local indie rockers to world stars. Enjoy nightly dance parties, open jams, 30 selections of craft beer, local food, and family activities on Lincoln Avenue (from Montrose to Wilson). Donation.

Electronic music at the beach

July 14, 2018
2.9 miles north
Volleywood Electric Beach is an electronic beach party with DJ music, a beer garden, and a volleyball tournament at North Avenue Beach for age 21+.

Ale festival

July 14, 2018
36 miles west
Naperville Ale Fest showcases 200 craft beers with live music and restaurant food on the beautiful grounds of Naper Settlement.

R&B concert

July 14 - 15, 2018
2.4 miles SE
Billed as “the biggest summertime R&B and throwback event in the city,” Summer Block Party brings 11 top acts to Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island.

Hamburger festival

July 14 - 15, 2018
5 miles NW
Enjoy BBQ or burgers (beef or veggie or turkey), plus music, arts & crafts, and a kids’ zone at Roscoe Village Burger Fest on Belmont Avenue (from Damen to Oakley). Donation.

Southport street fair

July 14 - 15, 2018
6 miles north
Southport Art Festival is a mellow event with live music, artists, food, and a kids’ area on N Southport Ave. at Waveland. Donation.

African art festival

July 14 - 15, 2018
9 miles south
The Arts and Crafts Festival at DuSable Museum features traditional, ethnic, and experimental fine arts and crafts with African-American themes. Free.

Thomas Train ride

July 14 - 15 and 21 - 22, 2018
67 miles NW
Day Out With Thomas includes a 20-minute train ride, stories, videos, music, and crafts for kids at Illinois Railway Museum in Union.

Dearborn Garden Walk

July 15, 2018
(12 to 5 p.m.)
2 miles north
Dearborn Garden Walk admits you to 20 award-winning gardens (some with live jazz or classical music), a garden exhibition, and an architectural walking tour of historic Dearborn Street.

Chinatown Summer Fair

July 15, 2018
3 miles south
Chinatown Summer Fair features a lion dance procession, food vendors, artisans, live music, martial arts, and a children’s area on S. Wentworth Ave. at Cermak Rd. Free.

Wine & dessert walk

July 15, 2018
5.2 miles north
A ticket to Lakeview East Wine & Sweets Stroll includes 12 wine samples and sweet bites in neighborhood shops for age 21+.

African book fair

July 15, 2018
10 miles south
Soulful Chicago Book Fair “is a celebration of literacy and literary arts found throughout the African Diaspora” with food vendors on E. 61st Street (from Cottage Grove Ave. to M.L.K. Drive). Free.

County fair

July 18 - 22, 2018
41 miles west
Kane County Fair is an old-fashioned fair with farm animals, a petting zoo, midway, live music, bull riding, truck pull, and fair food in St. Charles.

Millennium Park music

July 19 - Aug. 16, 2018
(begins June 18)
0.7 miles SE
Millennium Park Summer Music Series features great music artists Monday and Thursday evenings in Millennium Park. Free.

Art festival

July 20 - 22, 2018
0 miles
Shop for a wide variety of art made by 100 juried artists at the new Artfest Michigan Avenue. Free.

Pitchfork Music Festival

July 20 - 22, 2018
2.5 miles west
The free-spirited Pitchfork Music Festival features alternative rock, rap and hip-hop, electronica, and dance music in Union Park, with arts & crafts for sale.

Mexican festival

July 20 - 22, 2018
3.6 miles SW
Tacos & Tamales Festival promises authentic Latin American cuisine, a beer garden, art vendors, traditional music in the daytime, and high-energy Latin rock music in the evening at 16th Street & Peoria Street. Donation.

Family festival

July 20 - 22, 2018
6 miles NW
BenFest serves food, beer, music, and activities for kids on the grounds of St. Benedict’s parish, with a vendor market on the adjacent street. Donation.

Festival of Colombia

July 20 - 22, 2018
8.2 miles NW
Colombian Fest has top musicians, DJs, arts & crafts, cultural exhibits, vendors, a kids’ zone, food, beer, and wine at Kelvyn Park. Children 12 and younger are free.

Festival in Forest Park

July 20 - 22, 2018
11.7 miles west
Forest Park Music Fest offers two stages of bands, arts and crafts, food vendors, beer gardens, carnival games, and Saturday family activities on Madison Street (from Des Plaines to Circle Avenues).

Disability Pride Parade

July 21, 2018
1 mile south
Disability Pride Parade goes from behind the library to Daley Plaza for a 12:30 post-parade event. Free.

Parade of boats

July 21, 2018
(10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
1 mile east
Watch hundreds of boats leave for the ritzy Race to Mackinac at the Ashore Thing with a cash bar at the east end of Navy Pier. Free.

Party at the zoo

July 21, 2018
(6:30 to 11 p.m.)
2.5 miles north
Check out the animals, hear DJ music, and buy beer, wine, and food during Night at the Zoo at Lincoln Park Zoo for age 21+.

Beach party

July 21, 2018
6 miles north
Taste 40 whiskeys and wines, eat from food trucks, and hear live music at Chicago Whiskey Wine & Spirits Beach Festival [formerly Whiskey Wine and Swine] at Montrose Beach for age 21+.

Gospel music

July 21, 2018
7.9 miles south
Taste of Gospel promises 25 gospel artists on stage and 23 restaurants selling food in Washington Park.

Sheffield Avenue festival

July 21 - 22, 2018
4 miles NW
Sheffield Music Festival & Garden Walk features two stages of live music, self-guided tours of 80 gardens, guided architectural tours, food and drink, and kids’ activities at N Sheffield Ave. & Webster. Donation.

World arts festival

July 21 - 22, 2018
13 miles north
Evanston World Arts & Music Festival (formerly Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival) offers international songs, dance, art, and food in Dawes Park. Free.

Korea festival

July 21 - 22, 2018
16.9 miles north
Taste of Korea Chicago Festival features authentic Korean food, a beer and soju (Korean vodka) garden, cultural performances, DJs, a singing and dancing contests, bounce houses, and a Korean War ceremony at Old Orchard Shopping Center in Skokie. Donation.

North Shore art festival

July 21 - 22, 2018
17 miles north
North Shore Festival of Art features juried artists, live music, and art projects for kids outdoors at Westfield Old Orchard Mall in Skokie. Free.

Watch football practice

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

Latino festival

July 26 - 29, 2018
4 miles SW
Fiesta del Sol delivers live entertainment, local art, diverse cuisine, and carnival rides at 1400 W. Cermak Road. No alcohol. Free.

Prairie festival

July 26 - 29, 2018
26 miles NW
Wood Dale Prairie Fest offers live music, carnival rides and games, food vendors, bingo, and fireworks (9:15 p.m. Sat.) at the ballfields in Wood Dale. Free.

Wicker Park music festival

July 27 - 29, 2018
3.5 miles NW
Wicker Park Fest brings cutting-edge local and national acts to three stages on Milwaukee Ave. from North Avenue to Paulina Street. Go early if you want to avoid crowds. Donation.

Greek festival

July 27 - 29, 2018
10 miles north
Lincoln Square Greek Fest features Greek food, traditional dance, pop bands, and kids’ activities at Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church.

Beer & cider festival

July 28, 2018
(4 p.m, early 3 p.m.)
2.6 miles south
A ticket to South Loop Beer & Cider Fest includes beer and hard cider samples, with live music and food for sale at Chicago Women’s Park & Garden.

Tasting party

July 28, 2018
(6 p.m., VIP 5 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.

Sustainable food festival

July 28, 2018
8.6 miles SW
Closed Loop Forum & Fest features food trucks, DJs and live bands, yoga, and workshops about growing food in environmentally friendly ways at The Plant. Donation.

African festival

July 28, 2018
8.7 miles south
Dance to live African music, shop from diverse vendors, visit the children’s village, and eat food from 30 countries at Bantu Fest at Midway Plaisance Park near U.C. Free.

Green home tour

July 28 - 29, 2018
See 13 sustainably built and energy-saving homes on the self-guided GreenBuilt Home Tour.

Margarita tasting

July 28 - 29, 2018
1 mile east
Chicago Margarita Festival [website has sound] promises live music, dancing, games, and margarita tasting at Navy Pier for age 21+.

Taste of Lincoln Avenue

July 28 - 29, 2018
3.5 miles north
Hear 20 music acts on two stages, see juried art, shop vendors, visit SausageFest, taste wine, 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. Donation.

Wine-tasting deal $18

Glencoe art festival

July 28 - 29, 2018
24 miles north
Glencoe Festival of Art offers fine works from 110 artists, live music, kids’ activities, and food vendors in downtown Glencoe. Free.

Puerto Rican festival & parade

July 28 - 29, 2018
42 miles west
Aurora Puerto Rican Heritage Festival has live music, Caribbean cuisine, and arts & crafts at RiverEdge Park, plus a parade Sunday at noon in downtown Aurora.

Bloody Mary festival

July 29, 2018
28 miles north
Buy samples and then vote for your favorite at Bloody Mary Fest, which has food vendors and live music at Everts Park in Highwood. Free admission.