The Best 8 Chicago Summer Events

 In Chicago, Events, Travel

Whether you’re heading into town for business or pleasure, the summer is a great time to be in Chicago because there are so many unique events to check out. So clear your schedule while you’re in town to make room for at least one of Chicago’s top 8 events.

  1. grantparkfestival1. Chicago Blues Festival at Grant Park

When: June 12-14th

About: In its 32nd year, the Chicago Blues Festival is not only Chicago’s largest music festival, but it is the largest FREE blues festival in the world! This year it’s being held in Grant Park, and Blues legend Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal Trio, and Toronzo Cannon will headline the second day. Other acts include Syl Johnson, Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues, and the Heritage Blues Orchestra Quartet. There will also be a few jam sessions and centennial tributes to Blues icons Muddy Waters and Billy Dixon. And the best part… it’s FREE!

Photo credit:

  1. BelmontSheff2002. Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest

When: May 23 & 24, 2015 at 3200 N. Sheffield Ave. (12noon-10pm)

About: FREE admission or if you’re feeling generous a $5 gate donation that benefits the Central Lake View Merchants Association gets you into this popular warm weather festival located in the heart of the Lakeview neighborhood. This fun festival features a variety of local musicians.

  1. Mole de Mayo

When: May 23 & 24 starting at 12 noon.  1400-1800 W 18th St.

About: FREE admission or a $5 donation gets you into this fun event. This outdoor festival will also feature a number of the city’s finest food vendors, an open-air Mercado/Market that will be filled to the brim with local Pilsen businesses and crafters.

  1. milleniumartfestivalMillennium Art Festival

When: May 29-31 on N. Michigan Ave. and E. Lake St. (11am-6pm)

About: FREE admission – Located two blocks from Chicago’s bustling Millennium Park, the Millennium Art Festival returns to downtown Chicago’s iconic Michigan Avenue for its fifth year.


  1. Chicago Symphony Orchestra Spring Festival

When: May 7-23rd

About: Known as one of the ‘big 5’ orchestras in the United States the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is not to be missed! Tickets are available online or at the box office.

  1. American Beer Classic

When: May 9, 2015 at Soldier Field

About: If you’re a beer lover do not miss this one! Come out to celebrate with your favorite American breweries. Sample and learn from a diverse lineup of breweries while connecting with other beer enthusiasts. Tickets are available online.

  1. Ribfest Chicago

When: June 12-14, Lincoln/Irving Park/Damen

About: Featured on Food Network and USA Today, this is one of the best BBQ festivals in the country. Friday 5-10PM, Saturday Noon-10PM, Sunday Noon-10PM

  1. Brew to Be Wild

When: June 13, 2015 at the Lincoln Park Zoo

About: Get ready to go wild craft beer lovers! Lincoln Park Zoo is hosting a “hoptastic” craft beer fest! Savor a selection of 75-plus specialty brews produced by more than 35 local and regional breweries at this one-of-a-kind event. Beer tasting stations will be set up throughout the zoo’s beautiful gardens during this after-hours experience just for adults. Plus, enjoy food for purchase, DJ entertainment, lawn games and views of the zoo’s amazing animals!

Brew to Be Wild is expected to sell out early, so purchase your tasting pass today. (A limited number of VIP tickets will also be sold. VIP tickets include exclusive beer tastings, snacks and access to a private lounge and restrooms.) 6–11 p.m. General Admission/5–11 p.m. VIP Admission. Get tickets here.

And as always, when you’re flying into Chicago pre-book your airport ground transportation and other transportation needs during your stay online or by phone through SMART Cars!

Know about other cool Chicago events we should add to our list? Great! Share it with us on Twitter @SmartCars1 with hashtag #chicagosummer.

smart-cars-yelp-ad copyWe have a great new deal going on! New customers get 15% off your first booking – just mention the deal when placing your reservation.


Recommended Posts