The summer is just getting started! June kicks off the season with more festivals than you can possibly attend and an entire month of warm weather (finally) to enjoy them in. Get out in the sun as Chicago blocks off its streets for some of the biggest celebrations of the year, packed with more food than you can shake a Chicago-style hot dog at, as well as many bands and performers we've been waiting all year to see. Even if your calendar is already full, you'll want to make some more room.
THINGS TO DO
June 1–5: You won't be seeing these movies at the multiplex anytime soon. Get out to the Chicago Underground Film Festival to catch under-the-radar films by filmmakers from Chicago and across the world.
June 2–5: Oktoberfest might be long-gone, but Maifest is a great reason to don your lederhosen and celebrate all things German in Chicago's traditionally Teutonic Lincoln Square.
June 3, 4: Drink beer and catch sets by the Cold War Kids, Lord Huron and more at the annual Two Brothers Summer Festival, near the brewery's expansive brewpub in Aurora.
June 4, 5: The 57th Street Art Fair, which is Hyde Park's oldest juried craft fair, lines the street with sculptures, jewelry and other art.
June 6: The Time Out Bar Awards recognizes the best talent in Chicago's bartending scene and offers attendees the opportunity to drink alongside them while enjoying an open bar.
June 9: For a few hours each month, ACTIVATE takes over a Chicago alley for an unforgettable outdoor pop-up art exhibition. This time, the art party is a silent disco. Stay tuned, the location will be announced soon!
June 10–12: Dance in the streets all weekend at Andersonville Midsommarfest, an LGBT-friendly festival celebrating the neighborhood's Swedish heritage.
June 10–12: World-class yacht sailors zip over the waves of Lake Michigan during the America's World Cup Series.
June 10–12: Chow down on a very, very small part of the 50,000 pounds of ribs and BBQ served up at Ribfest Chicago.
June 11: Leave your underwear at home and celebrate your striking natural figure at the World Naked Bike Ride.
June 11, 12: Revisit your childhood reading habits when Goosebumps author R.L. Stine comes to town for Printers Row Lit Fest.
June 11, 12: More than 25 of Chicago's best food trucks gather outside Thalia Hall for the Pilsen Food Truck Social.
June 12: Go nuts for donuts at Time Out Chicago's very first Donut Party, a tasting event which gathers some of the city's best fried dough purveyors.
June 16: Drink and learn something after hours in a museum at Adler After Dark, which explores the wacky technology that has changed daily life as we know it.
June 16: Take a ride on a boat at one of Time Out Chicago's Lake Michigan yacht parties.
June 16–19: Humboldt Park gets overtaken by carnival rides, food vendors and all things Puerto Rican during the annual Fiestas Puertorriqueñas.
June 17–19: Get a taste of Chicago's rich Italian culture and heritage at Oakley Festa Pasta Vino on the South Side.
June 17, 18: Gather around Buckingham Fountain and throw back a few beers at one of two sessions at Chicago Ale Fest.
June 24, 25: Hot Doug's just won't quit, and for the second year, the restaurant's founder, Doug Sohn, throws the Dog Dayz of Summer—a food and music fest dedicated to encased meats.
June 25: Culinary heavyweight Rachael Ray brings her Feedback food and music festival to Chicago for the first time ever.
June 25: Chicago Sport & Social Club's Six Pack Country Beach Party packs North Avenue Beach with patriotic partiers celebrating America with a beer garden and BBQ while a DJ spins country music.
June 25: Is the Old St. Pat's World's Largest Block Party really the world's largest? After a few beers it might just feel like it. Be sure to see Passion Pit take the stage at 9:30pm.
June 25, 26: The Fountain Square Art Festival floods Evanston's Fountain Square with over 150 juried artists for the North Shore's largest fine arts gathering.
June 25, 26: The pop-up edition of the Renegade Craft Fair hits the street outside the Hideout, where artists sell their handmade crafts and wares at this curated market.
June 25, 26: Randolph Street Market Festival returns (outdoors this time!) for another round of this maker and crafter bazaar.
June 25, 26: Elston Avenue Sausage and Music Fest offers a more cost-effective, less-crowded and possibly more-delicious alternative to Doug Sohn's hot dog fest.
June 29–July 3: Head out to Lisle and look up! Hot air balloons and fireworks overtake the skies during the Eyes to the Skies Festival.
RESTAURANTS & BARS
Early June: The Magnificent Mile gets Circa and Upstairs at the Gwen, a restaurant and lounge and outdoor terrace (respectively) in early June with prohibition punches and prosecco popsicles.
June TBA: Joining the ranks of Chicago’s ping pong bars, AceBounce will open downtown this June.
June TBA: Tiny Lounge brings Tiny Hatt to the Chicago Riverwalk, featuring cocktails and live music.
Note: Restaurant and bar openings are subject to change and can be delayed; call ahead before setting out.
June 3–5: Prepare for a summer of street festivals at Do Division Street Fest, which boasts a music lineup that includes A Place to Bury Strangers, BADBADNOTGOOD and Diane Coffee.
June 6: The Millennium Park Summer Music Series kicks off with a free performance by eclectic indie pop outfit Blonde Redhead.
June 9: Aussie psych rockers Tame Impala brings its woozy, R&B-inflected tunes into the arena at UIC Pavilion.
June 10, 11: Touch up your eye liner and prepare to hear some of the mopiest pop songs ever created as Robert Smith and The Cure come to town.
June 10–12: Celebrate joyful, mournful music as the Chicago Blues Festival, where you can take in free shows from Shemekia Copeland, Fred Wesley & The New JB's and more.
June 10–12: Prepare for bass drops and fireworks as Spring Awakening brings Deadmau5, Steve Aoki and more EDM heavyweights to Addam/Medill Park.
June 17: Local hip-hop radio station WGCI throws its annual Summer Jam, with a stacked lineup that features Fetty Wap, Jeezy, 2 Chainz and T.I.
June 17–19: LakeShake Festival brings a weekend of twangy Nashville tunes to Northerly Island, including Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw and Brooks & Dunn.
June 17–19: When you're not gorging on local dishes at Taste of Randolph, take in sets from Peter, Bjorn and John, MS MR and Atlas Genius.
June 19: Comedic musical duo Flight of the Conchords reunite at Pritzker Pavilion, armed with odes to the Hiphopopotamus and post-apocalyptic robots.
June 21, 28: Millennium Park Summer Film Series kicks off with a screening of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and continues the next week with a showing of Soul Food.
June 24, 25: The Grateful Dead may have called it quits last summer, but jam-band fanatics will find plenty of winding guitar solos on display when Phish plays Wrigley Field.
June 24–26: The Logan Square Arts Festival sets up pop-up art galleries along Milwaukee Avenue and a stage on the square, filled by acts like Xenia Rubinos and Blitzen Trapper.
June 26: Members of Slowdive, Mogwai and Editors come together to blend shoegaze and post-rock as Minor Victories.
June 30: Adult contemporary icon James Taylor lays down soothing, folk-rock tunes at Wrigley Field.
June 5–Sep 18: The Art Institute displays 50 pieces created during the Great Depression by artist like Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe in “America After the Fall: Painting in the 1930s.”
June 5–Nov 13: The multi-part videos of Vietnamese art collective “The Propeller Group” are the centerpiece of the MCA's latest exhibition.
May 31–June 3: Bummer, dude. You probably didn't get a ticket to Louis CK's four-night stand at the Chicago Theatre, but you can still try!
June 1–5: The A.V. Club's confusingly named Third Annual 26th Annual Comedy Festival brings high profile comedians like Tracy Morgan and Sarah Silverman to venues all over the city.
June 11, 25: Every other week the Yeah Buddy Awesome Time Comedy Show holes up at Brainstorm Comics in Wicker Park's Flatiron Building for a free night of comedy.
June 17, 18: Chicago comedy scene vet Jane Lynch returns to former stomping grounds with her cabaret show and fellow Annoyance Theatre alumna (and The Office star) Kate Flannery.
May 26–July 3: Constellations follows beekeeper Roland and theoretical physicist Marianne through multiple possible iterations of their relationship after they meet at a party.
June 28–Aug 14: Theater divas Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole star as cosmetics magnates and competitive rivals Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden in War Paint.
June 7–July 10: The SpongeBob Musical brings together SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward and friends, who come to life in this musical adapted from the Nickelodeon cartoon.
June 16–Aug 14: See John Steinbeck’s sprawling Dust Bowl story of the Joad family, The Grapes of Wrath, in Frank Galati’s Tony-winning adaptation for Steppenwolf Theatre.
June 9–19: The Art of Falling, a collaboration between Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and the Second City first staged in 2014, gets a return engagement.
June 16, 18, 19, 24–26: Lisa Loeb, Cathy Richardson, Rapper Chicks and a DJ set by Orange Is the New Black’s Taryn Manning provide the entertainment at Back Lot Bash in Andersonville.
June 18, 19: Chicago Pride Fest offers up traditional street fest fare, LGBT-positive events and happenings, along with music headliners Daya and American Idol alum Jordin Sparks.
June 25: For the 35th year, the Proud to Run 10K or 5K raises money for LGBTQ causes.
June 26: It's back! One of the oldest and best pride parades in the U.S. marches down Halstead Avenue, taking over the entirety of Boystown.Share the story