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The inaugural Mamby on the Beach music festival brought electronic acts and DJs to Oakwood Beach on July 12, 2015.
Photograph: Cousin DanielThe inaugural Mamby on the Beach music festival brought electronic acts and DJs to Oakwood Beach on July 12, 2015.

The five best things to do this weekend in Chicago

Written by
Sara Freund

1. Soak up sun at a music festival

Mamby On the Beach kicks off this Fourth of July weekend with two days of music at Oakwood Beach. Spend an afternoon on the beach and catch sets from headliners such as Animal Collective, Milky Chance, Atmosphere and Santigold. (Oakwood Beach, 4100 S Lake Shore Dr, Sat–Sun 1pm. $115, VIP $199)

2. Celebrate life

Explore markets, new music and food at the annual African Caribbean International Festival of Life in Union Park. Get ready for a weekend full of reggae, dancing, hand-crafted art and Afro-Caribbean cooking. (Union Park, 1501 W Randolph St, Fri–Mon noon–10pm. $15-$45)

3. Chow down on some ‘cue

It's time for yet another barbecue-focused weekend smorgasbord at the Windy City Ribfest. Sample ribs from BBQ King Smokehouse, Chicago BBQ Company and much more. There's nothing more American than grilled meats, so it's a fitting way to spend the Fourth of July weekend. (Lawrence Ave at Broadway, Fri–Sat noon–10pm, Sun noon–9pm. $5 suggested donation)

4. Enjoy art in the garden

The Chicago Botanic Gardens are already an amazing place to spend an afternoon, and this weekend they’ll be hosting an art festival. Find amazing botanic-themed paintings, photography, art, ceramics and much more. (Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake-Cook Rd, Sat–Sun 10am. Free)

5. Dance the night away

It doesn't matter if you're gifted with grace of cursed with two left feet—all are welcome at Chicago SummerDance. You’ll get a one-hour lesson from an instructor and a live band to keep you twirling through the evening. (Grant Park Spirit of Music Garden, 601 S Michigan Ave, Fri–Sat 6pm, Sun 4pm. Free)

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