Summer events are plentiful as Chicago gears up for summer
June 6, 2014

By Susan Fong

Chicago is one of the most fun places to be in the summer. Enjoy the Gazette’s annual Summer in the City guide to help you take advantage of special events and activities and make the most of all Chicago has to offer.

The Chicago Air and Water Show will feature the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights.


The Chicago Air and Water Show will be held Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 16 and 17, along the lakefront from Fullerton Ave. to the focal point at North Ave. Beach. Both shows run 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and are free; they will feature the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights. Log on to or call 311.

The Fashion Focus Chicago Sidewalk Sale at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., is sponsored by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. This shopping event on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 22 and 23, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. will allow the public to purchase apparel and accessories by Chicago designers and from independent boutiques. Log on to
city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_sidewalksale.html or call 311.

The Gold Coast Art Fair will be held at Grant Park’s Butler Field at Monroe St. and Lake Shore Dr., Saturday and Sunday, June 21 and 22. It will feature more than 350 international artists and include art demonstrations, live music, and fun art projects. Log on to

Millennium Park, Chicago’s fun downtown attraction, is bordered by Michigan Ave. to the east, Columbus Dr. to the west, Randolph St. to the north, and Monroe St. to the south. An award winning locale for art, music, architecture, and landscape design, it holds the Frank Gehry-designed Pritzker Pavilion, the interactive Crown Fountain, the Lurie Garden, and the hugely popular Cloud Gate sculpture (“the bean”). A complete calendar of summer events is online at See architecture, landscapes, and public art on the Millennium Park InstaGreeter Tour, which departs from the Millennium Park welcome center daily at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. See Between now and Monday, Aug. 11, Millennium Park will offer Downtown Sound, an eclectic mix of musical artists, including cutting-edge indie rock, pop bands, global sounds, and familiar rock veterans. To check schedules, log on to

Navy Pier attractions include the Chicago Children’s Museum, Amazing Chicago’s Funhouse Maze, boats and cruises, the IMAX Theatre, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Cirque Shanghai Warriors appear at Navy Pier’s Pepsi Skyline Stage throughout the summer. There will be twice weekly fireworks shows all summer, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Navy Pier also will offer Independence Day fireworks shows on Friday, July 4, at 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 5, at 10:15 p.m. Log on to for a full list of dates. Log on to

Taste of Chicago kicks off Wednesday, July 9, and runs through Sunday, July 13, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission to the Taste is free, but tickets are required for concerts and can be purchased behind the Petrillo Music Shell at Jackson Blvd. and Columbus Dr. This year’s musical lineup includes AWOLNation, Janelle Monae, Nickel Creek, Jeff Tweedy, and Aloe Blacc. Log on to or call 311.

Venetian Night will be held Saturday, July 26, at dusk around 8:30 p.m. at 31st St. Harbor, 3155 S. Lake Shore Dr. There will be a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. In a parade line near the shore, 30 or more boats will be outfitted in light displays and various decorations for audience enjoyment. The event is sponsored by the Chicago Yacht Club. Go to or email


The Chicago Blues Festival will be held at Millennium and Grant Parks from Friday through Sunday, June 13 to 15, with five stages of entertainment. This year’s festival features Billy Boy Arnold, followed by the Siegel-Schwall Blues Band with Sam Lay on Friday, Bettye LeVette on Saturday, and Dr. John on Sunday. Log on to

The Chicago Gospel Music Festival is scheduled for Friday through Sunday, June 27 through 29, in Ellis Park, 535 E. 35th St. Enjoy performances by members of the McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour including Kurt Carr, the Mississippi Mass Choir, Anthony Brown, and Group Therapy. Also featured will be a health and wellness oasis, an art fair and marketplace, and historic church tours. For information and a complete list of performers, visit or call 311.

The Chicago Human Rhythm Project will present Rhythm World Monday, July 7, through Sunday, August 3, in downtown Chicago. Rhythm World is the oldest, most comprehensive festival of American tap and contemporary percussive arts. The event begins with two weeks of residencies, courses, workshops, master classes, student showcases, tap jams, a cutting contest, and conferences at the American Rhythm Center in the historic Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Ave. The festival includes concerts at the Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Ct., and the Edlis Neeson Theater at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave. Visit

The Chicago Jazz Festival is scheduled for Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 28 through 31, at the Chicago Cultural Center and in Millennium Park. For more information see or call 311.

Glide across the 4,900-square-foot open-air dance floor at Chicago SummerDance.
Chicago SummerDance will be held Friday, June 27, through Sunday, Sept. 14. Glide across the 4,900-square-foot open-air dance floor in Grant Park’s Spirit of Music Garden. Dance swing, waltz, and cha-cha or simply enjoy music by 44 different bands this summer. Food and beverages are available for purchase at the SummerDance Grill. See or call 311 for times and days of the week.

The Grant Park Music Festival will be held Wednesday, June 11, through Saturday, Aug. 16, in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. The fest’s classical music lineup includes opening night with Carlos Kalmar conducting a Tchaikovsky Extravaganza featuring piano sensation Natasha Paremski. Ten weeks of performances follow. For a list of artists, log on to or call 311.

Lollapalooza will be held Friday through Sunday, Aug. 1 through 3, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., highlighting alternative rock, punk rock, heavy metal, hip hop, and electronica. This year’s headliners include Eminem, Outkast, and King of Leon. Green Street will be on site to sell wares from local, national, and international artisans, and the Lolla Farmers Market will bring vendors with the best locally grown festival fare. Organizers also are launching Art Alliance: The Provocateurs, featuring a range of artists from around the world on Block 37. For a complete lineup and other details, go to

Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz can be heard Thursday, July 24, through Thursday, Aug. 28, at Millennium Park. All concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. with a short set by young, aspiring musicians from Chicago-area high schools as part of the Jazz Institute of Chicago’s Jazz Links Student Ensembles. The series of six concerts highlights Chicago’s own jazz musicians, who explore everything from the roots of blues and ragtime to big band swing and beyond. See Rush Hour Concerts’ Summer Concert Series takes place at River North’s historic St. James Cathedral, 65 E. Huron St., every Tuesday evening through Aug. 26. The classical music events begin with refreshments at 5:15 pm in the cathedral foyer, followed by a 30-minute concert at 5:45 pm. Concerts will be broadcast live on 98.7 WFMT. See


Chicago Bike Week runs Friday, June 13, through Friday, June 20, ending with the Bike to Work Rally in Daley Plaza uniting cyclists, local media celebrities, and live bands; activities run from 7 to 9 a.m. The rally provides free breakfast for bicyclists along with a t-shirt and complimentary bike valet. See

Bobby’s Bike Hike, 540 N. Lake Shore Dr., offers tours such as Lakefront Neighborhoods; Bike, Bites, and Brews; and Museum Parks at Sunset. All ages and fitness levels welcome. For families with children younger than ten, try Bobby’s Tike Hike: Kids Edition. Rentals include a bike, helmet, and printed guide. Check the calendar for various biking events in the city at or call (312) 915-0995.

The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers tours, exhibitions, lectures, special events, and adult and youth education activities to enhance the public’s awareness and appreciation of Chicago’s outstanding architectural legacy. Visit or call (312) 922-3432 for locations, dates, and pricing.

The Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise aboard Chicago’s First Lady will be offered through Sunday, Nov. 23. The cruise departs from the corner of Michigan Ave. and Wacker Dr. at the Chicago River and highlights 50 buildings and architecturally significant sites. CAF-certified volunteer docents lead all tours. Tickets are available online at, at the dock, or at the CAF Shop at 224 S. Michigan Ave. Call (312) 922-8687. The Chicago Challenge Urban Adventure Race will be held Saturday, July 12, with check-in from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Teams of two or more compete against each other in this scavenger race for prizes, cash, and a chance to compete in Las Vegas. The event closes with a crazy costume contest and an awards ceremony. Log on to or email

Chicago Water Sport Rentals at the 31st Street Harbor offers the Flyboard, which allows users to soar over Lake Michigan on a pillar of water, as well as aquatic adventure equipment including banana boats, kayaks, paddleboards, jet skis, and equipment for other outdoor water sports. Groups of up to 50 are welcome. Rentals are available from now through Friday, Oct. 31. Reservations recommended. Visit or call (312) 924-7994.

L.A.T.E. Ride 2014 will be held Saturday night, June 21, through Sunday morning, June 22. Cyclists will meet by 1 a.m. on the 22nd at Buckingham Fountain, 500 S. Columbus Dr., and ride under the moonlight through the city’s neighborhoods and along the lakefront bicycle path. Awards will be given for the most creatively decorated bike and bike helmet at the pre-ride party. The 2014 Ride will fund Friends of the Parks’ Chicago Plays Program, an initiative that will build more than 300 new playgrounds in the city. Log on to or call (312) 857-2757.


The African Festival of the Arts will be held in Washington Park, 51st St. at Cottage Grove Ave., Friday, Aug. 29, through Monday, Sept. 1. Enjoy education, entertainment including music and dance, a wellness area, a books and authors pavilion, a food court, and a quilting pavilion. Log on to for hours or call (773) 955-ARTS (2787).

The Bastille Day 5K/8K Run/Walk, and Block Party will be held Thursday, July 10, at 7:15 p.m. at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum at Cannon Dr. and Fullerton Ave. Following the run/walk, participants will be treated to a free block party with food, refreshments, and entertainment at the museum. Log on to or call (312) 448-2966.

The Chicago Arts District 2nd Fridays Gallery Night is a monthly walking tour of more than 30 art and creative spaces at South Halsted and 18th Sts. every second Friday of the month from 6 to 10 p.m. Admission is free; tour starts at 1821 S. Halsted St. For more information call (312) 738-8000, ext. 108.

The annual Dragon Race for Literacy at Ping Tom Memorial Park will be held Saturday, June 28.
Chicago Festa Pasta Vino will be held Friday through Sunday, June 13 through 15, in the Heart of Chicago community on Oakley Avenue and 24th Street. Festivities run from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday; noon to 11 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. This annual festival transforms a generations-old Italian neighborhood into the streets of Italy with columns, fountains, and statues and features live performers and craft vendors. Sample Italian food from La Fontanella, Bacchanalia, Ignotz’s, and Miceli’s Deli. Visit or call (630) 962-7000.

The 30th anniversary of the Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest runs Saturday, June 7, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, June 8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The fest is held between Dearborn and Polk Sts. and will host more than 200 authors, performers, and presenters. All events are free but reserve in advance for select programs. Log on to

The Chinatown Summer Fair will be held Sunday, July 20, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wentworth Ave. at Cermak Rd. Along with the Lion Dance procession, entertainment includes Chinese classical dance and music, martial arts demonstrations, and displays of ancient art forms and disciplines. Enjoy a taste of Chinatown’s many restaurants, items from gift shops, Chinese arts and crafts exhibits, street vendors, and a children’s area at 24th Pl. and Wentworth. See or call (312) 326-5320.

The Dragon Race for Literacy at Ping Tom Memorial Park, 300 W. 19th St., happens Saturday, June 28, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with an awards ceremony at the end. More than 25 teams will compete in a fast-paced boat race along the south branch of the Chicago River on decorated dragon boats. Enjoy music, food, crafts, and entertainment. Proceeds support literacy programs. See or call (312) 326-5320.

Festa di Tutti I Santi (All Saints Festival), sponsored by the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii, 1224 W. Lexington St., will be held Sunday, Aug. 24. The Festa begins with Mass at 11 a.m., followed by a procession from the shrine to the Festa led by the Sicilian Band of Chicago and members from various patron saint societies. Reservations are required, and no outside food is allowed. The price for a table of ten is $130, which includes $20 worth of food and activity tickets. Enjoy a picnic, music, raffle, kids’ games, and a bocce ball tournament along with live music. Call (312) 421-3757 or email to make reservations.

Fiesta del Sol, Pilsen’s annual alcohol- and tobacco-free festival, runs Thursday through Sunday, July 31 through Aug. 3, at 1400 W. Cermak Rd. Festivities include live music by local talent, carnival ides, sports tournaments, an art pavilion for indigenous crafts, and authentic Mexican food and drinks. Fiesta del Sol has become Pilsen’s largest source of revenue to support immigrants’ civil rights and education reform. See or call (312) 666-2663.

Lakeside Bank and community partners will present VanderCook College of Music’s Graduate Band at two special summer concerts. A Chinatown Concert, Tuesday, July 1, will be held in Chinatown Square, 2133 S. China Pl. The South Loop Concert in the Park will be held Tuesday, July 15, at the Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens behind the Clarke House Museum, 1827 S. Indiana Ave. In conjunction with the South Loop concert, the Toddlers, Tunes & Turtles program will begin at 5:30 p.m. A family drum circle demonstration, where kids can enjoy interactive creative music making with their families using rhythm, song, and dance, will begin at 6:30 p.m. at both venues, followed by the concert at 7 p.m. Log on to The free North Michigan Avenue Art Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, July 11 and 12, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, July 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The festival turns North Michigan Ave. into an outdoor art gallery with original photography, mixed media, acrylic paintings, woodwork, life size sculptures, 3-D metal creations, blown glass, and handcrafted jewelry. For information, contact or call (561) 746-6615.

Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St., will host the North Coast Music Festival from Friday through Sunday, Aug. 29 through 31, featuring electronic music and hip hop. Log on to for times, lineup, and after party events. Notre Dame de Chicago parish’s seventh annual August Fest will be held Saturday, Aug. 16, from 2 to 10 p.m. in the garden and parking lot at 1336 W. Flournoy St. Enjoy live music as well as games, raffles, and children’s events. This year the parish is celebrating its 150th anniversary and additional entertainment is planned. Call (312) 243-7400 or log on to

Old St. Patrick’s Church World’s Largest Block Party is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, June 27 and 28, 5 to 10:30 p.m. in the West Loop. Enter at Madison and Des Plaines Sts. Participants must be at least 21 years old. Take your chances this year at winning $25,000 in the Pot O’ Gold Raffle. The block party benefits the church’s mission and outreach programs and attracts about 18,000 people annually for mingling and dancing to live music on its two stages. Guster and G. Love & Special Sauce headline on Friday. Log on to or call (312) 648-1021.

The Pitchfork Music Festival runs Friday through Sunday, July 18 through 20, at Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St. Artists Beck, Neutral Milk Hotel, and many others will perform. Single day tickets cost $60. Log on to

The Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance (PDNA) and Glessner House Museum participate in several neighborhood events. Sunday, June 8, from 1 to 4 p.m., take a walk through time with a tour of Prairie Avenue mansions, starting at the Glessner House Museum, 1800 S. Prairie Ave. Reservations recommended. Check calendars at or for more events.

PDNA and Glessner will host a campout beginning at 4 p.m. on the Fridays of June 27, July 18, and Aug. 8 and ending the next morning. These overnight tent camping events for youngsters ages six through 13 cost $20 for families of two and $25 for families of three or more; registration required, as tent space is limited.

The Chicago Blues Festival will offer five stages of entertainment.
Prairie Avenue walking tours are held the Sundays of July 20, Aug. 17, and Sept. 21, 2 to 4 p.m., starting at Glessner House. PDNA’s Movies in the Park returns to the Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens at Indiana Ave. and 18th St. at sundown (about 8 p.m.) on Thursday, Aug. 28. PDNA’s Festival on Prairie Avenue block party will be held noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, at the park. Call (312) 401-2688 or log on to

The Randolph Street Market Festival at 1340 W. Washington St. is home to the Chicago Antique Market, Indie Designer Market, Modern Vintage Chicago, and the Holiday Market. Browse plentiful vintage items, with more than 150 vendors selling their favorite collectibles, and enjoy live music and food. Dates are the Saturdays and Sundays of June 28 and 29, July 26 and 27, Aug. 30 and 31, Sept. 27 and 28, Oct. 18 and 19, Nov. 22 and 23, and Dec. 13 and 14. Free parking available. Call (312) 666-1200 or email

Ribfest Chicago will be held Friday through Sunday, June 6 through 9, from 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The fest takes place on Lincoln Avenue between Irving Park Road and Warner Avenue, featuring barbecue and music by live bands. The $5 suggested donation benefits the North Center Chamber of Commerce. Call (773) 525-3609 or go to

Greektown will host Taste of Greece, 100 to 400 S. Halsted St., on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 23 and 24, noon to 11 p.m. Come and enjoy food and spirits from neighborhood eateries along with music and entertainment by Greek bands and belly dancers plus games for both kids and families. New for 2014 is a fine arts area. Call (847) 509-8050 or go to

Taste of Randolph Street will be held Friday through Sunday, June 13 through 15. Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Spanning six blocks, including 900 W. Randolph St., the event will feature food from neighborhood restaurants, cooking demonstrations, and artisans and vendors selling their goods. Call (312) 458-9401 or go to

The Taylor Street Festa Italiana, brought to the community by the University Village Association, will be held on Taylor Street east of Ashland Ave. Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 14 through 17; 5 to 11 p.m. Thursday and Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. Hear live musical performances; enjoy food; and browse handmade crafts, jewelry, clothing, and accessories. Call Star Events at (773) 665-4682 or log on to


The Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Dr., offers free days for Chicago residents on the Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays of June 3 through 5 and 10 through 12. Call (312) 922-7827.

The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Avenue, is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays until 8 p.m. Thursday evenings are free for Illinois residents from 5 to 8 p.m. Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, runs Tuesday, June 24, through Monday, Oct. 13; Architecture to Scale: Stanley Tigerman and Zago Architecture runs Thursday, June 26, through Sunday, Sept. 28. Log on to

Located at Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave., the Chicago Children’s Museum is open every day except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum features Ready, Pet, Go!, an exhibit about pets and children’s connection to them. Call (312) 527-1000.

Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., (312) 642-4600. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the museum features exhibits related to Chicago, Illinois, and national history. Log on to DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Pl., (773) 947-0600, hours Monday through Saturday, 10a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday noon to 5p.m. Admission is free to all every Sunday. The museum was founded to preserve and interpret the experiences and achievements of people of African heritage. Log on to

Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., open every day except Christmas, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., (312) 922-9410. The museum’s mission is to collect, study, and disseminate information on natural history. Comprehensive educational programs are offered for adults and children covering a range of topics. Log on to Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr.,
(773) 684-1414. Open every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving.

As the nation celebrates the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, the museum highlights its famed U-505 German submarine, captured off the coast of West Africa on June 4, 1944. For a complete list of permanent and temporary exhibits, go to

The National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St., (312) 738-1503. Hours: daily 10 a.m. to 5p.m., closed Mondays. Mexican Art of the Jewish Diaspora and Galeria sin Fronteras exhibitions run through Sunday, Aug. 3, and Sunday, Aug. 17, respectively. Log on to

Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Dr., offers summer hours from Memorial Day through Labor Day, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and weekends. Feel the wonder and underwater grace of stingrays in a hands-on experience at Shedd Aquarium Stingray Touch. Located under a tented structure on the aquarium’s south terrace, the 18,000-gallon pool features approximately 40 cownose rays. Call (312) 939-2438 or log on to


Kayak Chicago offers tours, lessons, and rentals for those wishing to experience Chicago along Lake Michigan or the Chicago River. Kayak at night to watch fireworks over Navy Pier, paddle through the sunset, or experience architecture tours. Also, learn how to paddleboard or execute expert techniques of kayaking. Call (312) 852-9258 or go to www.kayakchicago. com.

Hubbard Street Dance will host Summer Series performances at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 7, and at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 8; another performance, Inside/Out, will be given Thursday, June 13. Hubbard Street Dance is located at 1147 W. Jackson Blvd. Call (312) 850-9744.

Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St., (312) 742-2000, will summer events including Sleep Under the Skyscrapers family campout on the Saturdays of June 14, July 5, and Aug. 9. and the Fridays of July 18 and Aug. 15. The Twilight Safari will be held on the Wednesdays of June 25, July 23, Aug. 27, and Sept. 24 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Yoga at the Zoo is held every Tuesday for adults or for parents with toddlers who will do fun animal yoga poses and engage in activities such as guided nature exploration and reading storybooks. For information, call (312) 742-2000 or log on to

Red Bull Flying Bach fuses breakdancing with classical music by Johann Sebastian Bach. Performances are at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Dr., Friday through Sunday, June 20 through 22 and June 27 through 29. Log on to to obtain tickets.

Daley Plaza, Washington and Dearborn Sts., Thursdays through Oct. 30, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Link accepted. Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 W. 35th St., Saturdays from June 21 through Oct. 4, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fulton Market Pop-Up, on Fulton between Peoria and Green Sts., Tuesday, June 10, 4 to 8 p.m. Green City Market, two locations: 1800 N. Clark St. and 53rd St. and Hyde Park Blvd. at Harold Washington Park. Thursdays through Oct. 30. Link accepted. Pilsen Community Market, 1800 S. Halsted St., Metro Bank parking lot, Sundays through Oct. 26, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Printers Row, Dearborn and Polk Sts. at Printers Row Park, Saturdays from June 21 through Oct. 25, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Union Park Community Market, Ogden Ave. and Washington St., Tuesdays from July 8 through Sept. 9, 4 to 8 p.m.