Chicago Blues Festival
raucous weekend-long Blues Festival kicks off summer in Chicago. An
estimated 750,000 listeners converge on Grant Park for the world’s
largest free blues event. The main stage line-up spans traditional
bluesmen like Honey Boy Edwards, jazz interpreters such as Mose Allison,
and blues-inflected popsters like Bonnie Raitt. Smaller side stages
offer a more intimate audience experience.
312 744 3315
Late May–early Jun
Chicago Summer Neighborhood Festivals
is a city of neighborhoods with upwards of 100 neighborhood festivals
to prove it. Virtually every summer weekend features an event or three
ranging from the gay-oriented North Halsted Market Days to the ethnic
Korean Street Festival.
Neighborhood festival in Chinatown
Chicago Gospel Music Festival
three days Grant Park resounds with stirring choirs and impassioned
soloists. Headliners have included R&B-star-turned-Memphis-preacher,
Old Town Art Fair
50-year-old fair installs 250 artist booths along Old Town’s historic
and leafy lanes. The artwork is supplemented by food vendors, kids’
entertainment, and garden tours.
summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ravinia stages concerts
(classical, jazz, and pop) in suburban Highland Park. Sheltered seats
are available but it’s more fun to pack a picnic and join the crowds on
Taste of Chicago
signature foods including deep dish pizza star during the nearly
two-week long Taste. Musical entertainers, a carnival with rides, and
cooking demonstrations entertain at the sprawling Grant Park event.
312 744 3315
Late Jun–early Jul
this night, boat owners dress up their ships and form a festive marine
parade that culminates with fireworks over the lake. For the best views
try Monroe Harbor at the lakefront.
312 744 3315
Late Jul/early Aug
Chicago Air & Water Show
massive display of military power features historic aircraft flybys, a
staged amphibious attack, and precision flying teams. Prime beachfront
viewing spots are from Oak Street to Montrose Beach.
Chicago Jazz Festival
as the Blues Fest ushers in summer, the smaller Jazz Fest caps it.
Music fans are drawn to Grant Park for free concerts by a range of jazz
greats like Branford Marsalis and Roy Hargrove.
Magnificent Mile Holiday Lights Festival
mark the start of the holiday season by lighting the shops, lampposts,
and trees along Michigan Avenue. The parade and fireworks above the
Chicago River on the Saturday night before Thanksgiving warrant braving
the inevitable chill.
Top 10 Sports Teams & Events
Despite the Cubbies’ losing streak, their baseball games are often sell-outs .
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox are renowned for their top-quality baseball.
A football team generating rabid fans and tailgate picnics on Soldier Field.
Their basketball just hasn’t been the same since superstar Michael Jordan left.
NHL ice hockey team sharing the United Center with the Bulls.
Thoroughbreds race just north of Chicago.
Many local Latino soccer fans support the Fire.
AHL’s Wolves have a better playoff record than NHL’s Blackhawks.
40,000 entrants run through the city.
Over 6,000 run, bike, and swim in this one-dayer.