Chicago events calendar for July 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
July 2017
July 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.

Cardboard boat regatta

July 1, 2017

26 miles west

Watch crazy cardboard boats float or sink at the Cardboard Regatta on Lake Ellyn in Glen Ellyn. Bring a picnic or buy food and beer. Free.

Windy City RibFest

July 1 - 2, 2017 (begins June 30)

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.

Music & dance picnic

July 1 - 2, 2017

9 miles south

Dance to soulful house music (both live and DJ) at the Chosen Few Picnic & Music Festival in Jackson Park.

Botanic Garden Art Festival

July 1 - 2, 2017 (members only 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.

Hot-air balloons & fireworks

July 1 - 2, 2017 (begins June 30)

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 28.

American music festival

July 1 - 3, 2017 (begins June 30)

10 miles west

FitzGerald’s American Music Festival features 40 Americana/roots bands and BBQ in Berwyn.

Naperville RibFest

July 1 - 3, 2017 (begins June 30)

31 miles SW

Naperville RibFest has great food, plenty of music, and fireworks on July 3 at Knoch Park in Naperville.

Festival of Life

July 1 - 4, 2017 (noon to 10 p.m.)

2 miles west

African/Caribbean International Festival of Life features arts, crafts, food, soccer, and 50 acts from reggae to gospel at Union Park.

Discount tickets $19 at Groupon.

Festival in Mount Prospect

July 1 - 4, 2017 (begins June 30)

24.2 miles NW

Mount Prospect Lions Club Festival is a big carnival with food vendors, a beer and wine tent, evening entertainment, a car show July 1, and fireworks June 30 and July 4 at Melas Park. Schedule.

Frontier Days

July 1 - 4, 2017 (begins June 30)

26 miles NW

Frontier Days Festival has family activities, live music, a carnival, a parade (July 4 at 10 a.m.), and a weekend craft market at Recreation Park in Arlington Heights.

Oak Fest

July 1 - 4, 2017 (begins June 29)

26 miles SW

OakFest 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.

Northwest festival

July 1 - 4, 2017 (begins June 30)

35 miles NW

Northwest Fourth-Fest has carnival rides every day, concerts (Fri., Sat., Sun), a craft fair (Sat., Sun.), and fireworks (July 2 at 9:30 p.m.) at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates. The parade (July 4 at 9 a.m.) is on Hassell Road.

Acrobatic version of Moby Dick

July 1 - 22, 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 $65 at Goldstar.

Classical music festival

July 1 - Aug. 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.


July 1 - Aug. 31, 2017

multiple locations

These discount ticket prices include all taxes and fees.


July 1 - Aug. 31, 2017 (also June)

multiple locations

Kayak with a guide on Lake Michigan during the day or on the Chicago River in the evening.

Movies in the Parks

July 1 - Sept. 7, 2017 (begins June 2)

Chicago locations

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

Comedy dinner show

July 1 - Sept. 9, 2017

5.8 miles north

You’re invited to fictitious Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding at Resurrection Church, followed by a real Italian dinner at Chicago Theater Works, with plenty of comedy improv and audience interaction.

Discount tickets $59 to $69 at Goldstar.

Ravinia music festival

July 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.


July 2 - 4, 2017

Chicago area (more cities)

The dates for fireworks below are confirmed.

Rooftop fireworks

July 4, 2017 (6:30 to 11 p.m.)

1 mile east

Get a rooftop view of the Fourth of July fireworks above Navy Pier at Freedom Fest, which has DJ music, BBQ for sale, and a cash bar. Standing room only, except VIP.

Buy discount tickets at Goldstar $20.

Glen Ellyn Fourth of July

July 4, 2017

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, 2017 (9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.)

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. Free.

The Taste

July 5 - 9, 2017

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.

Jazz at the aquarium

July 5 - 26, 2017 (Wednesdays)

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

July 5 - Aug. 30, 2017 (also June)

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.

Adult zoo night

July 6, 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, age 21+ for the cash bars.

Railroad Days

July 6 - 9, 2017

33 miles west

West Chicago Railroad Days [sound] has a carnival, kids’ activities, live music, a beer garden, fireworks Saturday at dusk, and a parade Sunday at 1 p.m. in West Chicago. Free.

Wine tasting

July 7, 2017 (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+.

Discount tickets $40 at Groupon.

Millennium Art Festival

July 7 - 9, 2017

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 7 - 9, 2017

3 miles west

West Fest has cutting-edge music on 3 stages, a kid fest on Wolcott Ave., a pet fest, and local vendors on W Chicago Ave. from Damen to Wood. Donation.

Lincoln Square music festival

July 7 - 9, 2017

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 (Montrose to Wilson). Donation.

Irish fest

July 7 - 9, 2017

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 7 - 9, 2017

16 miles NW

Anime Midwest features a costume masquerade, vendors, video games, concerts, dances, guest speakers, and panels at Hyatt Regency O’Hare.

Discount tickets $30 at Goldstar (Sunday only).

Games convention

July 7 - 9, 2017

27 miles west

Wolfcon is for players of board games, computer games, and role-playing games at the College of DuPage.

Discount tickets $3.75 at Goldstar.

Pole dancing contest

July 7 - 9, 2017

41 miles west

Great Midwest Pole Dance Convention has workshops, contests and vendors at Pheasant Run in St. Charles.

Adult variety show

July 7 - Aug. 26, 2017

7 miles north

Kiss Kiss Cabaret is a fun mix of burlesque, off-color comedy, music, magic, and variety acts at Uptown Underground for age 21+ on Fridays and Saturdays.

Discount tickets $7.50 at Goldstar.

Margarita tasting

July 8 - 9, 2017

1 mile east

Chicago Margarita Festival [sound] promises live music, dancing, games, and margarita tasting at Navy Pier for age 21+.

Hamburger festival

July 8 - 9, 2017

5 miles NW

Enjoy fine beef, veggie, and turkey burgers with toppings or BBQ, plus music, arts & crafts, and a kids’ zone at Roscoe Village Burger Fest on Belmont Avenue from Damen to Oakley. Donation.

African art festival

July 8 - 9, 2017

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.

North Shore art festival

July 8 - 9, 2017

17 miles north

North Shore Art Market features juried artists, live music, and art projects for kids at outdoor Westfield Old Orchard Shopping Center in Skokie. Free.

Thomas Train ride

July 8 - 9 and 15 - 16, 2017

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.

Renaissance fair

July 8 - 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 at Goldstar for July 22+.

Basketball tournament

July 10 - 12, 2017

3 miles south

Watch teenage teams compete on 60 courts at the Tournament of Champions at McCormick Place.

Millennium Park music

July 10 - Aug. 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.

Millennium Park movies

July 11 - 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. Free.

French celebration

July 14, 2017 (5:30 p.m.)

8.3 miles north

Bastille Day features French music, entertainment, snacks, and a kids’ corner at Lycée Français de Chicago in Ravenswood. Free.

Half marathon & fitness expo

July 14 - 16, 2017

Chicago locations

The free Health and Fitness Expo is Fri. & Sat. at McCormick Place. The 5K is Saturday, and the Rock ’n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon & 10K are Sunday in Grant Park, followed by an after-festival at Butler Field.

Discount 5K race registration $46 at Groupon.

Discount 10K race registration $90 at Groupon.

Country BBQ

July 14 - 16, 2017

1.5 miles NW

Windy City Smokeout features barbecue, country bands, and beer at 560 W. Grand Ave. on the river.

Pitchfork Music Festival

July 14 - 16, 2017

2.5 miles west

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

Family festival

July 14 - 16, 2017

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.

Greek festival

July 14 - 16, 2017

15 miles NW

The Big Greek Food Fest of Niles features authentic Greek food, live music, and dancing in Niles.

Hard-core rock festival

July 14 - 16, 2017

15.4 miles SW

Chicago Open Air brings an all-star lineup of 40 rock & heavy metal artists to Toyota Park, including KISS, Korn, Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie, and Megadeth.

Parade of boats

July 15, 2017 (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 party at the east end of Navy Pier. Free.

Ale festival

July 15, 2017

36 miles west

Naperville Ale Fest showcases 200 craft beers with live music and restaurant food on the beautiful grounds of Naper Settlement.

Southport street fair

July 15 - 16, 2017

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.

Festival of Colombia

July 15 - 16, 2017

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.

World arts festival

July 15 - 16, 2017

13 miles north

Evanston World Arts & Music Festival (formerly Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival) offers international songs, dance, art, and food in Dawes Park. Free.

Dearborn Garden Walk

July 16, 2017

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 16, 2017

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 16, 2017 (3 to 6 p.m.)

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+.

Adult night at the planetarium

July 20, 2017 (6:30 to 10:30 p.m.)

2.5 miles SE

Adler After Dark: All-Star explores “the intersections of sports and science” including sports on other planets at Adler Planetarium for age 21+.

County fair

July 20 - 23, 2017

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.

Fresh Peter Pan

July 20 - Aug. 20, 2017

26 miles NW

Peter and the Starcatcher is a swashbuckling prequel to Peter Pan, a madcap adventure with music, pirates, orphans, and secret agents at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.

Discount tickets $19 at Goldstar.

Art festival

July 21 - 23, 2017

0 miles

Shop for a wide variety of art made by 100 juried artists at the new Artfest Michigan Avenue. Free.

Taste of River North

July 21 - 23, 2017

1.5 miles NW

Enjoy food from local restaurants, shop from local vendors, and hear live music at Taste of River North at Ward Park (Kingsbury & Erie). Donation.

Disability Pride Parade

July 22, 2017

1 mile south

The Disability Pride Parade goes from the library to Daley Plaza for a 12:30 post-parade event. Free.

Family art festival

July 22, 2017 (10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

1 mile south

Make art and explore special activity stations during Kaleidoscope Family Festival in the Ryan Education Center at the Art Institute of Chicago. Free.

R&B concert

July 22, 2017 (6 p.m.)

2.4 miles SE

Summer Block Party features Jill Scott, Bell Biv DeVoe (BBD), Nelly & Kelly, and SWV in Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island.

Green home tour

July 22 - 23, 2017


See 13 sustainably built and energy-saving homes on the self-guided GreenBuilt Home Tour.

Beer festival

July 22 - 23, 2017

4 miles NW

Chicago Craft Beer Festival features beer tasting and live music at Sheffield Ave. and Webster Ave. on the same weekend as the nearby Sheffield Music Festival & Garden Walk.

Discount tickets $25 at Groupon.

Sheffield Avenue festival

July 22 - 23, 2017 (some events Friday)

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.

Pet expo

July 22 - 23, 2017

28 miles NW

Windy City Pet Expo has vendors, adoptions, and demos at Schaumburg Convention Center. Free entry.

Film festival

July 23 - 30, 2017

25 miles NW

Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival (BWiFF) screens dozens of bold and innovative films with new and exciting story elements at AMC Randhurst 12 in Mount Prospect.

Latino festival

July 27 - 30, 2017

4 miles SW

Fiesta del Sol delivers live entertainment, local art, diverse cuisine, carnival rides, but no alcohol on W. Cermak Rd. between Morgan and Ashland. Free.

Prairie festival

July 27 - 30, 2017

25 miles NW

Wood Dale Prairie Fest offers live music, carnival rides and games, food vendors, bingo, and Saturday fireworks at the Town Square in Wood Dale. Free.

Addams Family musical

July 27 - Aug. 13, 2017

6.9 miles NW

In this “lost” episode of The Addams Family TV show, the daughter falls in love and invites a “normal” boy and his parents to dinner, live onstage at Prop Thtr. All tickets include a free beverage or concession item.

Discount tickets $30 at Goldstar.

Wine tasting in southern suburbs

July 28, 2017

34 miles south

A ticket to Festival of the Vine (see their page 3) gets you three tastes of wine, a jazz band, and an art fair at Sergeant Means Park in Olympia Fields for age 21+.

Music and beer party

July 29, 2017 (4 to 9 p.m.)

2.4 miles SE

Tour de Fat is “a mix of musicians, circus performers, vaudeville acts, magicians, comedians, and mind-blowing provocateurs” with Fat Tire beer and music by “The Roots” (as seen on the Tonight Show) at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island. Children 12 and younger are free.

Discount tickets $19 at Goldstar.

Sustainable food festival

July 29, 2017 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

8.6 miles SW

Closed Loop Food Fest features food trucks, DJs and live bands, yoga, and workshops on environmentally friendly ways to grow food at The Plant. Donation.

Taste of Lincoln Avenue

July 29 - 30, 2017

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.

Wicker Park music festival

July 29 - 30, 2017

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.

Glencoe art festival

July 29 - 30, 2017

24 miles north

Glencoe Festival of Art offers fine works from 110 artists, live music, kids’ activities, and food vendors in downtown Glencoe. Free.

Kids’ concert

July 30, 2017 (3 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.

Discount tickets $25 to $41 at Goldstar.

Bloody Mary festival

July 30, 2017

28 miles north

Buy samples and then vote for your favorite at Bloody Mary Fest, which includes food vendors, live music, kids’ activities, and a 5K race in Highwood.

Watch football practice

July 2017 (undated)

59 miles south

It’s free to attend the Chicago Bears Training Camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais.
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© July 2017 calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois. ord-07