Get us in your inbox

Photograph: Max HermanPop culture geeks and cosplay fanatics hit the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, August 8-11, 2013.

40 exciting things opening in Chicago in August

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

Summer is more than halfway over, but you still have plenty of time to enjoy yourself before the leaves begin to change. Tear yourself away from the pool and start making plans for August with our list of the month's most anticipated events and openings. Get your fill of one the city's most famous delicacies at Chicago Hot Dog Fest, discover the "fifth taste" when Umami Burger opens its first midwest location in Wicker Park, or dance under the stars in Millennium Park as Robyn and Röyksopp play in the pavilion. We've poured over our listings and assembled the best openings in Chicago in August.


Aug 1: Party in the alley behind the Chicago Theatre at the Chicago Loop Alliance's monthly ACTIVATE event.
Aug 7-17: You can't really call yourself an Illinois resident until you've made a trip to the Illinois State Fair to see the butter cow.
Aug 9: Entering its 85th year, the Bud Billiken Parade marches through Chicago's South Side.
Aug 16, 17: Planes dart through the sky and onlookers meander across the beach during the annual Chicago Air and Water Show.
Aug 21-24: Squeeze into your Spiderman costume and hit the floor at Wizard World Chicago Comic Con
Aug 23: Make a fool of yourself (and try to become a viral video star) while running through an obstacle course at the Epic Fail Challenge 5K.
Aug 23, 24: Food Truck Social brings together mobile eateries, accompanied by live music.


Aug 9, 10: Celebrate the city's signature dish at Chicago Hot Dog Fest.
Aug 9, 10: Northalsted Market Days, one of the city's most popular LGBTQ street festivals, takes over Lakeview.
Aug 16, 17: The Great American Lobster Fest invites you to put on a bib and dig into some buttery crustaceans.
Aug 20-23: Enjoy free performances from Hubbard Street Dance, Joffrey Ballet and more at the Chicago Dancing Festival.
Aug 22-24: The Boulevard street festival brings performers like the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Rubblebucket to Logan Square.
Aug 23: Midwest Brewers Fest offers up samples of the region's best beer.


Aug 11: Soho House, a London export that’s part private club, part hotel, includes a lounge, pizzeria and rotisserie chicken spot.
Aug (second week): Rick Bayless heads to Wicker Park to open his second outpost of Xoco, which will be larger than the original and feature a bar.
Aug 22: South Loop brewery Vice District Brewing Co. is opening a taproom with their Black IPA, Extra Special Bitter, IPA, Blonde and Molasses Porter on tap.
Late August: Bar Takito, a second restaurant from the group behind the excellent Takito Kitchen, will offer tacos, but also ceviche, arepas and other dishes.
August TBD: RPM Steak, the latest collaboration between RJ, Jerrod and Molly Melman, Bill and Giuliana Rancic, and Doug Psaltis (RPM Italian), opens in River North at 66 W Kinzie St.
August TBD: Umami Burger, a California-based fancy burger spot, will open a 90-seat restaurant in Wicker Park.

Note: Food & Drink openings are subject to change and can be delayed; call ahead before setting out.


Aug 1: Chris Pratt and a CG raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper join the Marvel universe in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Aug 15: Michael Fassbender dons a papier-mâché mask and joins a band in the darkly comedic Frank.
Aug 15:
 The Trip to Italy reunites Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, who embark on a (largely improvised) journey across Europe.  
Aug 15: 
A struggling married couple, played by Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss, go on a weekend getaway in The One I Love.
Aug 22: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For brings Frank Miller's violent, black and white faux-noir back to the big screen.


Aug 4: Stoner comic Doug Benson, host of the Doug Loves Movies podcast, spouts half-baked witticisms at Zanies Rosemont.
Aug 7-9: Former Last Comic Standing semifinalist Nikki Glaser returns to town for a string of dates at both Zanies locations.
Aug 27:
Energetic and rambunctious comic and storyteller Ari Shaffir brings his filthy jokes to Zanies.


Aug 22: Artists on Board puts more than 350 amazing skateboard decks on display at the Lacuna Artist Lofts.


Aug 8-Sep 6: The stage adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Coralinefeaturing music by Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields, makes its Chicago debut.
Aug 1-24: First Look Repertory of New Work introduces three new plays by Joshua Conkel, Tanya Saracho and Martyna Majok to the Steppenwolf Theatre.
Aug 16-Sep 21: The title Stupid Fucking Bird should tell you something about the reverence level in Aaron Posner's 2013 "sort-of adaptation" of Chekhov's The Seagull.
Aug 21-Sep 28: Six people find themselves caught between despair and joy in Equity company Cole Theatre's production of Ecstasy.


Aug 1-3: Lollapalooza returns to Grant Park with headliners like Arctic Monkeys, Outkast and Skrillex in tow.
Aug 7, 8:
 Relive your Teenage Dream with Katy Perry as she brings her Prismatic World Tour to the United Center.
Aug 14: Miley Cyrus is coming into the United Center like a "Wrecking Ball" on her Bangerz Tour.
Aug 16: Violinist and whistling aficionado Andrew Bird returns to the city for a gig at the Chicago Theatre.
Aug 24: Swedish sensations Robyn and Röyksopp take over Pritzker Pavilion to throw one the summer's last big dance parties.
Aug 26, 27: Canadian superstars Arcade Fire bring the disco-tinged Reflektor to the United Center, with support from Devo.
Aug 28-31: Sun Ra Arkestra, Ravi Coltrane, bassist Dave Holland and more hit the stage during Chicago Jazz Festival.
Aug 29-31: Bassnectar, Snoop Dogg and Kid Cudi bring the noise in Union Park at the fifth annual North Coast Music Festival.

Latest news


    The best things in life are free.

    Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

    Loading animation
    Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

    🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

    Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!