➊ Dave Matthews Band fans bummed that last year’s caravan isn’t rolling back for another go-around can take solace that the Trippin’ Billies, a DMB tribute band, is headlining Saturday night at the Wells Street Art Festival (Jun 8-9, 2013). If sitting through someone else singing Crash into Me doesn’t sound like a suitable replacement, you can at least buy some crafts with all that money you saved not seeing the GrooGrux King himself.
➋ Get ready to belt out “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Piano Man” during a cheesy, booze-fueled night with your friends. Chicago Summerfest (Jun 29-30, 2013) hosts performances from some of Chicago’s most-loved cover bands, including 16 Candles, Too White Crew and Wedding Banned. Be sure to make a pact not to post videos on Facebook the next day.
➌ At the inaugural Craft Beer Festival at St. Michael in Old Town (Jun 21-23, 2013), ale aficionados can pay $75 for access to an upgraded tasting area, where more than 70 regional pours will be available for sampling. Do the math: That’s $1.07 per beer—if only your beer belly could stomach them all.
➍ Working primarily with acrylic paint on wood, Byron, Illinois, painter Ted Simmering turns out dreamy, neutral-hued landscapes with unexpected geometric elements. Simmering will be among the some 100 artists exhibiting paintings, photos and handmade jewelry at the Lincoln Park Arts & Music Festival (Jun 29-30, 2013).
➎ Francophiles, take note: the Beaujolais-championing Georges Duboeuf Winery will be serving aperitifs at the Bastille Day 5K & 8K Run, Walk & Block Party (Jul 11, 2013). Duboeuf is credited with popularizing the easy-to-drink light-bodied red. It’s the perfect post-run drink. Well, maybe not—but we still love the stuff.
➏ Gather gardening inspiration at the Sheffield Garden Walk & Festival (Jul 20-21, 2013), which offers tourgoers access to more than 80 private gardens. A couple of highlights: At 2225 North Fremont Street, a collection of worldly antiques (a Copenhagen streetlamp, Parisian elevator doors repurposed as garden gates) and rare plants create a stunning yard. At 2106 North Clifton Avenue, we’re jealous of the rhododendrons, azaleas and hydrangeas paired with a goldfish pond, veggie planters and raspberry bushes.
➐ Lill Avenue will light up during the Taste of Lincoln Avenue (Jul 27-28, 2013). Peruse works from some 60 Midwestern DIY artisans exhibiting and hawking their cute-aesthetic crafts streetside, and sip vino and beer in a Lill Avenue beer garden.
➑ Don’t let sated sushi cravings be the only way you celebrate Japan. Go to Midwest Buddhist Temple’s Ginza Holiday Festival (Aug 9-11, 2013) for some ultra-refreshing kintoki ($3), a Japanese twist on the snow cone. A mound of crushed iced is topped with mashed azuki beans and white sugar for a unique summer treat you can savor as East meets North Side.
➒ The Chicago Air & Water Show’s (Aug 17-18, 2013) loudest-kept secret? Come to the beach a day early on Friday (Aug 16) from 10am to 3pm and watch pilots practice their full routines without the charms of a sweaty, noisy crowd. You won’t be able to soak in all the pomp and circumstance of show day, but doesn’t a peaceful sonic boom sound grand?