When June arrives in Chicago, the number of events on your calendar can get higher than the temperature outside. With summer just around the corner, there are music festivals, outdoor movie screenings, days on the beach and a long list of warm-weather activities to keep you occupied. Yes, it's a bit overwhelming, but you've got to soak up these ideal outdoor (and air-conditioned indoor) conditions while you have the chance. Kick off summer on a high note with our guide to 68 essential June openings in Chicago.
THINGS TO DO
Now open: Kids become the captain of their own ship at the Chicago Children's Museum's latest exhibit, "Boats," a hands-on display that sails Chicago through October.
June 1, 2: Gather by Buckingham Fountain to taste beer from more than 100 craft breweries at the Chicago Ale Fest.
June 2, 3: Independent publishers and comic artists gather to showcase their DIY work at CAKE: Chicago Alternative Comics Expo.
June 2, 3: Take in a set from DJ Jazzy Jeff while sipping a beer or cider at the Hyde Park Brew Fest.
June 3: Love the Lincoln Park Zoo? Sign up for Run for the Zoo, with timed 5 and 10K races that benefit the free Chicago attraction.
June 8–10: Watch an ABBA tribute act while enjoying food from Hamburger Mary's during the annual Andersonville Midsommarfest.
June 9: Nearly-nude cyclists wind through the city's streets after sundown during the World Naked Bike Ride.
June 9, 10: Meet authors, stock up on summer reading and learn more about literature at the Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest.
June 9, 10: The Pilsen Food Truck Social sets up outside of Thalia Hall, hosting local bands as well as grub from rolling restaurants.
June 10: The Chicago Children's Theatre invites families to celebrate summer with live performances, aerial circus acts and airbrush tattoos at BOING! Festival.
June 15: Hit the sand after work for Chicago Sport & Social Club's Boozy Beach at Shore Club, where you can enjoy a three-hour drink package, play beach games and listen to live music.
June 15–Jan 6: The Field Museum's new “Antarctic Dinosaurs” exhibit displays newly-discovered fossils of dinosaurs who roamed the continent 200 million years ago.
June 15–18: Puerto Rican delicacies, carnival rides and Latin performers fill Humboldt Park during Fiestas Puertorriqueñas.
June 15, 16: Craft Brews at the Zoo gives you the opportunity to drink a beer within eyeshot of a lion, tiger or bear.
June 16, 17: Marvel at giant LEGO models and buy some new sets at Brickworld Chicago in Schaumburg.
June 17: Get coated in brightly colored powder during the Color Run, a 5K race through the city that makes a beautiful mess.
June 22, 23: Its name might be an exaggeration, but the World's Largest Block Party does host plenty of people and cover bands in front of Old St. Patrick's Church.
June 23: Strap on your fanny pack and get ready for a blast from the past with Chicago Sport & Social Club's 90’s Beach Party, a day-drinking event that includes a '90s DJ, nostalgic games and amazing photo opportunities.
June 23: Celebrate a Chicago institution at the 606 Block Party, which features processions on the North Side trail and a street festival on Humboldt Boulevard.
June 23, 24: Fiery foods, amateur wrestling and a “Death Wing Eating Challenge” take the spotlight at the inaugural Chi-Town Hot Sauce Expo.
June 23, 24: Mobile eateries from across the city gather at the Chicago Food Truck Fest, where attendees can sample pizza, tamales, pierogi and more delicious finger foods.
June 23, 24: Begyle, Dovetail, Empirical and more "Malt Row" breweries come together for a weekend of beer (and more beer) at Ravenswood on Tap.
June 28–July 1: Hover over Lisle, Illinois, in a hot air balloon at the annual Eyes to the Skies Festival.
June 28–Aug 25: Take a free dance lesson and then show off your new moves during Chicago SummerDance.
June 30: New Belgium's Tour de Fat festival moves to Humboldt Park, where Best Coast soundtracks an afternoon of beer and bikes.
June 1, 2: Taylor Swift contrasts the aggressive, R&B-inflected production of Reputation with the wholesome, enthusiastic pop of her past.
June 1–3: Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne explores his catalog at this trio of highly-choreographed performances.
June 1–3: Indie veterans Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, garage rockers La Luz and afrobeat band Antibalas headline this year's Do Division Street Festival.
June 3: Justin Vernon brings his genre-hopping band Bon Iver to Millennium Park—the group's first Chicago show in nearly seven years.
June 5: Party like a "Rockstar" as Post Malone and 21 Savage join forces for an evening of chart-topping hip-hop on Northerly Island.
June 7: Modern rock juggernauts Alt-J skip Lollapalooza in favor of a headlining set at Huntington Bank Pavilion.
June 8–10: Singers Mavis Staples and Fantastic Negrito top the lineup of free performances at this year's Chicago Blues Festival.
June 8–10: Deadmau5, Afrojack, Kaskade and more EDM heavyweights take over Addams/Medill Park during Spring Awakening Music Festival.
June 9: Garage rock acts the Detroit Cobras and White Mystery provide the soundtrack in East Room's parking lot during the Rock ‘n’ Roll Market.
June 9, 10: Get drenched in green goop and catch sets from Zedd, Liam Payne and Flo Rida at Nickelodeon Slime Fest.
June 13, 14: UK jazz trio GoGo Penguin explore the structure of modern electronica with pianos, bass and drums.
June 15: Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar headlines a lineup of his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates, including Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and more.
June 15–17: R&B crooner Allen Stone, Americana trio the Devil Makes Three and psychedelic soul group Chicano Batman top the bill at Taste of Randolph.
June 17: Erstwhile Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant explores the Celtic melodies, 12-bar blues and folk-influenced sounds of his solo output.
June 18, 19: Prolific SoCal prog-rock outfit Wand turns in a two-night stand at the Hideout, filling the venue with psychedelic riffs.
June 22–24: Country LakeShake celebrates a genre often excluded from big summer fests, with performances from Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley and Florida Georgia Line.
June 22–24: Dance-rockers !!! (Chk Chk Chk), punk outfit Priests and noise rock duo No Age perform beneath the monument at the Logan Square Arts Festival.
June 22–24: Latin American rock en español, pop and electro takes the spotlight at Ruido Fest, including performances from Caifanes and Los Ángeles Azules.
June 23, 24: Hip-hop and indie-rock collide at Mamby on the Beach, which boasts sets from Common, Russ, Grizzly Bear and Spoon.
June 23: Young Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds brings a string section, a drummer and some self-playing pianos to Thalia Hall.
June 27–30: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performs the score to Star Wars: A New Hope, synced to a screening of the classic blockbuster.
June 30: Breakout One Direction star Harry Styles brings his pop anthems to the United Center with support from country singer Kacey Musgraves.
THEATER & DANCE
June 1–24: The Goodman Theatre stages Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3), a Civil War tale told in Greek style about a slave fighting for the Confederacy.
June 1–July 22: In Steppenwolf's Guards at the Taj, two low-ranking guards recount a dark legend about the construction of the mausoleum.
June 1–July 29: The Gift Theater puts a contemporary spin on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, casting the titular role as a young black man seeking revenge.
June 7–10: Hubbard Street Dance performs a pair of pieces by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin during its Summer Series showcase.
June 12–July 15: Broadway-bound musical The Cher Show features three actresses playing the iconic singer at various stages in her career.
June 2–23: Dutch painter and illustrator Collin van der Sluijs brings an exhibition of new work called “No Concessions” to Vertical Gallery.
June 8–Sept 3: The Art Institute of Chicago looks back on the life and work of a pivotal Chicago-born African American artists in “Charles White: A Retrospective.”
June 9–Aug 18: Artist Jeff Sonhouse explores the ways in which African American males are represented in Western culture in “Entrapment.”
June 16–Aug 18: Figuration and portraiture are the focus of the group show “Parallel Lives,” assembled by Kavi Gupta.
June 23–Oct 24: The MCA's new exhibit, “I Was Raised on the Internet,” features works that reckon with the effect of the digital world on our physical lives.
June 29–Sept 2: Keyboards become a way to interact with art in VGA Gallery's “Hunt and Peck: Alternative Expressions of the Keyboard.”
June 6–9: See Chicago's latest crop of rising stand-up comedians at the Second City NBCUniversal Break Out Comedy Festival.
June 12, 13: Comedy legend Carol Burnett shares nostalgia-inducing stories from her lengthy Hollywood career.
June 28: Kathy Griffin returns to the comedy circuit after a trumped-up backlash to her 2017 photo shoot with a bloody replica of the president’s noggin.
June 16, 17: Before the parade arrives, Chicago Pride Fest brings a block party to Boystown, complete with music from American Idol alums Blake Lewis and Jessica Sanchez.
June 22: Red Bull Music presents a special Pride weekend edition of Smart Bar house music party Queen!, featuring Steve “Silk” Hurley and singer CeCe Peniston.
June 23: Marching bands, drag queens and fireworks are on the schedule at Navy Pier Pride.
June 23, 24: The L Word’s Kate Moennig, rapper Brooke Candy and L.A.-based DJ KITTENS headline the annual Back Lot Bash.
June 24: Join hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets for the city's largest LGBTQ celebration during the 49th annual Chicago Pride Parade.
June 26: Chicago-based RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants (including the Vixen and Shea Coulee) join forces to present the Black Girl Magic showcase.
Now open: Slurp noodles at Ramen-san's second location in the West Loop. The new outpost will serve three new types of ramen plus late-night fried rice.
Now open: Boka Restaurant Group does its part in the Wrigleyville revamp with Dutch & Doc's, a brasserie-style eatery situated across the street from Wrigley Field.
June 24: New Orleans darling Bacchanal takes over the patio at Sportsman's Club. Pay $20 for a plate of food, beer and prime alfresco hangs.
Note: Restaurant and bar openings are subject to change and can be delayed; we recommend calling ahead.