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June 2020 events calendar for Chicago

Jump into summer in Chicago with our picks for the best art, music, beaches, events and festivals

pride parade 2017, jordan avery
Photograph: Jordan Avery

We're not sure that there's a more beautiful month than June in Chicago. It's the time of year when you can visit Chicago beaches and rooftop bars every weekend—at least when you're not indulging in a veritable mountain of events through the city. When June arrives, Chicago's summer festival season kicks into high gear, with weekend gatherings devoted to everything from barbecue and beer to gospel music. It's also the season for naked bike rides, genre film festivals and annual Chicago Pride celebration, including the 50th Chicago Pride Parade. Not sure which June events are worth adding to your summer schedule? We've filled our June events calendar with the cream of the crop, including festivals, concerts, theater, art exhibits and more.

RECOMMENDED: Events calendar for Chicago in 2020

Featured events in June 2020

Photograph: Courtesy ACTIVATE
Things to do, Quirky events

ACTIVATE: Premiere

icon-location-pin Various locations throughout Chicago,

Chicago Loop Alliance's pop-up party series returns to alleys and other unexpected downtown locations this summer, giving you a good reason to hang out downtown after work. The first of four events will be hosted at MacChesney Court, and guests can enter at the corner of Lake Street and Garland Court. Inspired by circus arts, this surprising seasonal pop-up transforms a hidden alley for one night only. The event features contortionists, magicians and hip-hop acts on two stages, plus a costume photo booth and live murals. This year's theme, "ACTIVATE: Backstage," celebrates the city's Year of Chicago Theatre initiative by honoring the local performing arts community through its programming. Look out for more ACTIVATE events on July 18, August 22 and September 26 at soon-to-be-announced urban spaces around the Loop.

Off-White for Nike, Virgil Abloh
Photograph: Courtesy MCA Chicago
Art, Design

Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech”

icon-location-pin Museum of Contemporary Art, Streeterville

A Rockford, Illinois-native and a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology's architecture program, Virgil Abloh's decision to pursue a career in fashion recently landed him a job as the artistic director of Louis Vuitton. The MCA's latest exhibition explores Abloh's career, including his time as creative director of Kanye West, his popular streetwear company Off-White and the various high-profile collaborations he's had a hand in. Throughout the exhibit, you'll find examples of Abloh's work in fashion, music, design and architecture, offering an intimate look inside his creative process. Naturally, you'll also be able to cop some exclusive Abloh-designed threads when you exit through the gift shop.

Hideout Picnics on the Porch
Photograph: Courtesy Hideout
Music, Folk, country and blues

Picnics on the Porch

icon-location-pin Hideout, River West/West Town

Hideout's annual summer concert series brings the bands out of the back room and onto the venue's front porch for intimate performances under the setting sun. As usual, the Picnics on the Porch series features sets from a selection of folk and country acts, including Big Sadie, Joan Shelley and Freakwater. Ukranian Village eatery All Together Now will be offering a menu of picnic meals and snacks to accompany the music, including "Lunchables for Grownups," brats and roasted beet sandwiches. If you're craving dinner and show, this summer tradition is one of the best ways to spend a warm Chicago evening. Big Sadie kicks of the season on June 28.

Gallagher Way
Photograph: Courtesy Gallagher Way

Movie Night at Gallagher Way

icon-location-pin Gallagher Way, Wrigleyville

Wrigley Field-adjacent green space Gallagher Way teams up with the Music Box Theatre to program free outdoor movie screenings on Wednesday evenings when the Cubs are on the road. Nearly all of the films being shown are family-friendly (with the exception of the R-rated High Fidelity) so feel free to bring along the kids. Gates open for each screening at 6pm and the movies begin at 7:30pm, giving you some time to claim a spot on the lawn and grab food from Big Star, West Town Bakery or the Smoke Daddy food truck.