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Wicker Park Fest 2017
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

July 2023 events calendar for Chicago

Plan your July in Chicago with our calendar of events and things to do, including festivals, music and movie screenings.

Emma Krupp
Jeffy Mai
Written by
Emma Krupp
Jeffy Mai

Summer in Chicago hits its peak during July, when some of the city's biggest festivals and events return to town with enough live music, incredible food and general outdoor merry-making to fill every weekend (and probably a good amount of weekdays, too). Kick off the month with Fourth of July celebrations, highlighted by sparkling fireworks shows across the city and suburbs. From there, take a deep dive into the heart of summer festival season at events like Wicker Park Fest, Fiesta del Sol, the Silver Room Sound System Block Party and Chinatown Summer Fair. One of the biggest summer music festivals, Pitchfork Music Festival, also returns this month. For even more ways to keep busy on long summer days and nights, check out our guide to the best things to do in Chicago this July.

RECOMMENDED: Events calendar for Chicago in 2023

Featured events in June 2023

  • Things to do

Lawn chairs and snacks at the ready! The Chicago Park District's Movies in the Parks program offers enough blockbusters, classic and kid-friendly picks on the roster for you to plan movie nights all summer along—no pricey theater tickets required. From June through September, the annual series brings dozens of free movie screenings to neighborhood parks across the city, from Humboldt Park to the South Shore Cultural Center. Check out the full schedule here.

  • Movies
  • Wrigleyville

Wrigley Field-adjacent plaza Gallagher Way is once again showing free outdoor movie screenings this summer. Admission is free and attendees are welcome to bring their own food, enjoy on-site concessions or snag a meal from nearby restaurants like Big Star and Smoke Daddy. VIP seating is also available for $33—check out the Gallagher Way website for more details. Gates open at 6pm for each screening and the movies start at 7:30pm.

  • May 17: Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  • May 31: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
  • June 7: The Mitchells vs. The Machines
  • July 5: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
  • July 12: Clueless
  • July 26: Top Gun: Maverick
  • August 23: Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
  • August 30: The Dark Knight
  • September 13: Back to the Future
  • September 27: The Blues Brothers
  • Museums
  • Museum Campus

Escape the planet with exhibits about the first lunar missions, the solar system and more, plus immersive shows in the dome theater. The Doane Observatory is also home to the largest public telescope in the area, and gathers 7,000 times more light than the human eye. Every Wednesday, the Adler stays open late from 4pm-10pm so that folks can visit after work or school. And best of all, admission is free on those nights for Illinois residents.

  • Shopping
  • Markets and fairs
  • West Loop

Originally established in the late 1800s, the Maxwell Street Market brought vendors, musicians and cooks to an open-air flea market where shoppers could find just about anything they wanted. The market introduced the Maxwell Street Polish sausage, provided a venue for rising Chicago blues musicians and was immortalized in a scene in The Blues Brothers. These days, the market sets up on nearby Desplaines Street (between Roosevelt and Howard) every Sunday, where visitors will find vendors hawking their wares, an abundance of delicious Mexican food and occasional performances by local bands and dance troupes. Don't let the cold or wet weather scare you away—the Maxwell Street Market takes place outdoors year-round.

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