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Things to do in the summer in Chicago

Make the most of every single second of the season with concerts, festivals, beach days, rooftops and more

Photograph: cousindaniel.com

Whether you’re the type to go all out for Lollapalooza or you'd rather spend your weekends sipping cocktails on a patio, summer in Chicago has something for everyone. Cram in all the festivals, concerts, park hangouts, lazy beach days, baseball games and getaways that the season has to offer with our complete guide to summer. And hurry up—it’ll be fall again before you know it.

Things to do in the summer in Chicago

1
Have a lazy day at the beach
Things to do

Have a lazy day at the beach

Take advantage of our gorgeous lakefront this summer

2
Hit up a summer music festival
Music

Hit up a summer music festival

Chicago is the capital of summer music festivals

3
Party at one of the countless street fests
Things to do

Party at one of the countless street fests

Looking for things to do? There's a festival for that.

4
Sip drinks at the best rooftop bars
Bars

Sip drinks at the best rooftop bars

Drink in a view and a cocktail all at once

5
Go to a beer festival
Bars

Go to a beer festival

Sample all the newest craft beers at these great fests

6
Eat outdoors all season long
Bars

Eat outdoors all season long

Everything tastes better when you're eating outside

7
Catch a free movie in the park
Things to do

Catch a free movie in the park

This year's schedule includes over 200 screenings in parks across the city

8
Go berry picking
Kids

Go berry picking

Nothing like freshly-picked fruit for pies and cobblers 

9
Catch a free concert in Millennium Park
Music

Catch a free concert in Millennium Park

Kick back with a picnic underneath the skyline

10
Go shopping at your local farmers market
Restaurants

Go shopping at your local farmers market

Pick up fresh veggies for all your summer cooking needs

11
Wind down on a boat tour
Things to do

Wind down on a boat tour

Appreciate architectural wonders from a new vantage point

12
Attend outdoor theater shows
Theater

Attend outdoor theater shows

Enjoy the outdoor stage while you can

13
The most exciting Midwest roller coasters
Things to do

The most exciting Midwest roller coasters

Ride something a bit faster than the Red Line

14
Explore Chicago neighborhoods
Things to do

Explore Chicago neighborhoods

No two Chicago neighborhoods are alike

Eating and drinking

The best rooftop bars
Bars

The best rooftop bars

The best outdoor bars
Bars

The best outdoor bars

The best outdoor dining
Restaurants

The best outdoor dining

The best dog-friendly patios

The best dog-friendly patios

The best beer gardens in Chicago
Bars

The best beer gardens in Chicago

Chicago farmers market guide
Restaurants

Chicago farmers market guide

Kid-friendly bars and patios
Kids

Kid-friendly bars and patios

The latest restaurant reviews
Restaurants

The latest restaurant reviews

See a ballgame

Chicago Cubs guide
Sports and fitness

Chicago Cubs guide

Find sports bars, regular bars and pre- or post-game grub in Wrigleyville

Chicago White Sox guide
Sports and fitness

Chicago White Sox guide

Enjoy the Cell's superior bathroom facilities and stadium food options

Music festivals

Lollapalooza
Music

Lollapalooza

Pitchfork
Music

Pitchfork

Riot Fest
Music

Riot Fest

Spring Awakening
Music

Spring Awakening

Find more summer music festivals

Outdoor fun

Weekend getaways from Chicago
Travel

Weekend getaways from Chicago

Chicago pools guide
Things to do

Chicago pools guide

Playgrounds with water features
Kids

Playgrounds with water features

Great playgrounds
Kids

Great playgrounds

Events by month

Chicago events in June
Things to do

Chicago events in June

Start your summer by hitting the beach or taking to the street for Taste of Randolph

Chicago events in July
Things to do

Chicago events in July

Fireworks, giant balloons and the smell of barbecue fill the air in July

Chicago events in August
Things to do

Chicago events in August

Enjoy summer's last month by partying with the masses at Lolla or taking a trip to the State Fair

Chicago events in September
Things to do

Chicago events in September

Close out the last days of pool weather with Jazz Fest and German celebrations

Concerts by month

June concert calendar
Music

June concert calendar

July concert calendar
Music

July concert calendar

August concert calendar
Music

August concert calendar

September concert calendar
Music

September concert calendar

Archive things to do in the summer coverage

Summer in Chicago is the greatest
News

Summer in Chicago is the greatest

Frozen summer cocktails
Bars

Frozen summer cocktails

This summer, Navy Pier could actually be...cool?
News

This summer, Navy Pier could actually be...cool?

What to bring to the beach in Chicago
Shopping

What to bring to the beach in Chicago

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