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Chicago Pride Parade
Photograph: Jordan Avery

65 exciting openings in Chicago in June

Written by
Grace Perry
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Buckle up, y’all. It’s time for summertime Chi. After a rainy, chilly May that’s driven us near insanity, the most glorious time of the year is finally here. June is jam-packed with fantastic street fests, beer events, and other things to do that don’t involve wearing a jacket. When you’re not cooling your heels at the best beaches in Chicago or having drinks with your best friend on dog-friendly patios, check out these 65 exciting openings.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete June events calendar

THINGS TO DO

June 1–4: Maifestit’s Oktoberfest, in June. That might not make sense now, but it will after a few days of throwing back beers and pretzels at this Lincoln Square fest.

June 2–4: Devour gyros and hummus to the sounds of live Greek music at the Lincoln Park Greek Festival, hosted by St. George Greek Orthodox Church.

June 2, 3: Head out to Aurora for Two Brothers Summer Festival, the brewery’s annual bash, where X Ambassadors, Saint Motel, and Blind Pilot will headline.

June 3: See a print magazine brought to life at Pop-Up Magazine, which presents multimedia storytelling from artists, writers, filmmakers and more.

June 3, 4: Buy paintings, sculptures, jewelry and ceramics from more than 200 artists at Hyde Park’s 57th Street Art Fair.

June 9–11: Gather your favorite carnivores for Ribfest, North Center’s summertime homage to BBQ sauce-slathered pork.

June 9–11: Celebrate the Summer Solstice (a little early) in Andersonville at the neighborhood’s annual Midsommarfest fair.

June 10: Downtown Lombard is overrun with dozens of craft brewers and Chicago food trucks at the Lombard Ale Fest.

June 10: Strip down and bear all at the World Naked Bike Ride, which is exactly what it sounds like.

June 10, 11: Discover your new favorite prints, zines and comics at CAKE: Chicago Alternative Comics Expo.

June 10, 11: Portage Park goes H.A.M. at 6 Corners BBQ Fest, which features food from local restaurants, huge Jenga and Connect Four games, and a 40-ft roller rink.

June 10, 11: Pick up new and rare literature and listen to author panels at the Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest.

June 10, 11: Hit up Green Music Fest, Wicker Park’s environmentally conscious street fest that features a bicycle-powered live music stage.

June 10, 11: More than 25 of Chicago’s best food trucks will be parked outside of Dusek’s for the Pilsen Food Truck Social.

June 10, 11: Over 250 juried artists put their work up for sale at the Old Town Art Fair, a neighborhood favorite now in its 69th year.

June 10, 11: Just down the street from the Old Town Art Fair is the Wells Street Art Festival, where you can view and bid on the works of over 200 artists.

June 15: Pick up fresh produce and goods from Midwest farmers at Green City Market at the Park, the beloved Lincoln Park market’s fourth location.

June 16, 17: Lions and tigers and beers, oh my! Party with the animals at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Craft Brews at the Zoo, which features 75 beers from local breweries.

June 17: Kill an afternoon relaxing on a huge Wicker Park patio at Chicago Social’s Summer Rooftop Park.

June 23: Take a free dance lesson set to live music at SummerDance in Grant Park, which runs all summer long.

June 24: Spend a lovely afternoon at the Morton Arboretum Craft Beer Festival, which boasts much more impressive scenery than the average beer fest.

June 24–25: Taste beers from some of Chicago’s best craft breweries (Dovetail, Half Acre, Aquanaut, Band of Bohemia and more) at Ravenswood on Tap.

June 28–July 2: Trek out to Lisle for the Eyes to the Skies Festival, fives days of a carnival, live music and dozens of incredible hot air balloons.  

MUSIC

June 2-4: Kick off street festival season with music from reunited local garage rockers the Ponys and post punk act Protomartyr at Do Division.

June 3: Lose yourself in the grandiose Icelandic post-rock of Sigur Rós, as the group's visually stunning tour comes to the Auditorium Theatre.

June 3, 4: Celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree, U2 headlines two nights at Soldier Field.

June 5: French indie rockers Phoenix return behind the buoyant, disco-inspired melodies of their new LP, Ti Amo.

June 6: Show off your most meme-worthy dance moves as electro-pop act Future Islands headline the Riv.

June 9–11: Gary Clark Jr. and William Bell headline Chicago Blues Festival, which makes its Millennium Park debut this summer.

June 9–11: It's the biggest weekend of the summer for EDM, as Diplo, Armin Van Buuren and more DJs come to Addams/Medill Park for Spring Awakening.

June 14, 15: Former Broken Social Scene singer Feist brings dreamy folk rock songs to a two-night stand at the Vic.

June 15–17: Consummate bar band The Hold Steady take over Chicago venues for three nights, including a sure-to-be raucous show at the Empty Bottle.

June 16–18: Listen to Dawes, Robert DeLong and more great acts as you chow down at West Loop street fest Taste of Randolph.

June 18: Genre-defying electronic duo Mount Kimbie set up in the middle of Thalia Hall for a special "in the round" performance.

June 20: Celebrating 20 years of music, French electro-acoustic duo Air deliver a career-spanning set at the Auditorium Theatre.

June 23–25: Put on your cowboy boots and sing along to Thomas Rhett, Miranda Lambert and more Nashville-approved acts at Country LakeShake Festival.

June 23–25: Logan Square Arts Festival brings food, beverages and music from the likes of Metz and Strand of Oaks to the streets of Chicago's hippest hood.

June 24, 25: Hit the sand at Oakwood Beach and take in sets from MGMT, Walk the Moon and Flying Lotus during Mamby on the Beach.

June 25, 26: Norwegian band Jaga Jazzist mixes jazz, electronica and rock during two performances in Chicago: first at Lincoln Hall and then at Pritzker Pavilion.

June 29: Rock icons Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers bring "Free Fallin'" and more radio staples to the Friendly Confines.

June 30, July 1: Expect a shirtless Flea and plenty of songs about California at these Red Hot Chili Peppers area shows.

ART

June 1–31: Logan Square art space Comfort Station stands against intolerance and injustice with a month of artist- and community-led lectures, discussions and happenings called "The P.O.W.E.R. Project."

June 6–Sept 24: The colorful anime-inspired paintings of noted Japanese artist Takashi Murakami are on display (alongside some graphic sculptures) in the MCA's summer exhibition, "The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg."

June 21–Aug 6: DePaul Art Museum's "Stranger Things" exhibit has nothing to do with the Netflix series, instead it features art based around warped interpretations of familiar objects.

June 25–Sept 10: Influential French post-Impressionist painter Paul Gaugin's work as a sculptor, ceramist and printmaker gets the spotlight in "Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist."

THEATER & DANCE

June 1–July 9: The routine of two young black men standing on the corner, shooting the shit and waiting for change, is interrupted by the unexpected intrusion of a white man in Pass Over at Steppenwolf.

June 1–11: The annual Pivot Arts Festival celebrates theater, music and dance with performances all over Uptown and Edgewater.

June 7–Sept 3: Lookingglass Theatre Company’s 2015 adaptation of the classic Moby Dick splashes back home for a summer remount.

June 8–11: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Summer Series includes Lou Conte’s The ’40s, Twyla Tharp’s The Golden Section (set to music by David Byrne) and Alejandro Cerrudo’s One Thousand Pieces.

June 14–July 2: Lincoln Center Theater’s Tony-winning revival of The King And I, about schoolteacher Anna Leonowens and the King of Siam arrives on tour in Chicago.

June 17–July 23: Ah, Wilderness!, Eugene O’Neill’s sole comedy, centers on 16-year-old Richard Miller, who gets a taste of adult highs and lows over the Fourth of July, 1906. 

COMEDY

Until June 4: The A.V. Club’s Fourth Annual 26th Annual Comedy Festival (rolls right off the tongue) brings excellent comedy acts to Chicago, including Patton Oswalt, Eugene Mirman, Jon Glaser and Christopher Guest in conversation.

June 1–3, 8–10: Sketch group Vienna Juvenile launches the first-ever Story Arc Sketch Comedy Festival, featuring Chicago’s top experimental sketch acts.

June 2–July 21: Beloved Annoyance Theatre show Improvised Twilight Zone is back for another round, creating hilarious new episodes of the sci-fi favorite out of thin air.

June 8–10: The Second City’s Break Out Comedy Festival celebrates exciting new voices in the stand-up comedy world, with hosts including Danny Pudi and Chris Redd.

June 13: Chicago’s brightest and funniest discuss their passions after a few drinks at Drunk Education (formally Drunk TED Talks).

June 15–18: Stage 773 hosts the 6th annual Chicago Women’s Funny Festival, featuring Chicago’s best female-identifying stand-ups, improvisers and sketch comedians.

June 23, 24: Just in time for the Pride Parade, GayCo, Chicago’s seminal LGBTQ sketch group, shows a beach-ready Boystown comedy show, Gaywatch.

June 24–July 15: The Neo Futurists host staged readings of some of the worst movies ever in their summer series, It Came From...the Neo-Futurarium!

LGBTQ

June 17, 18: Prep for the following weekend's annual Pride Parade with Chicago's LGBT community at Pride Fest, a two-day street fest in Boystown.

June 24: Dyke March, the fierce and festive celebration of community activism and queer solidarity, moves to Little Village for the first time.

June 25: Chicago's LGBT community comes out to celebrate at the Chicago Pride Parade, which travels from Uptown to Lakeview and through the heart of Boystown.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS

June 7: Daisies, a new veggie-focused restaurant opens in Logan Square with a pasta-driven menu and locally sourced ingredients.

June: Sepia’s Proxi opens in West Loop with a focus on bold multicultural street foods elevated with pristine ingredients. 

Note: Restaurant and bar openings are subject to change and can be delayed; call ahead before setting out.

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