Things to do in the summer in Chicago

Squeeze the fun out of every single second of summer in Chicago with concerts, festivals, beach days, rooftops and more

Lollapalooza 2017
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

We get roughly four months of real summer in Chicago, so you need to enjoy it while it lasts. It doesn't matter if you're a festival freak who needs to attend Lollapalooza or the type of person who would rather sip cocktails on a quiet patio—summer in the city is made for people of every stripe. Just make sure you pack in as many days in the park, afternoons on the beach and evenings at a free concert as possible, because fall will be here before you know it. We rounded up our favorite things to do this season in Chicago—take a look.

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

Spend some time on the city's gorgeous lakefront this summer

2
Rock on at a summer music festival
Music

Rock on at a summer music festival

From Lollapalooza to Pitchfork, Chicago is the capital of summer music fests

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

Party at one of the countless street fests

There's plenty of room on the pavement in Chicago's crowded lineup street festivals

4
Sip drinks at the best rooftop bars
Bars

Sip drinks at the best rooftop bars

Drink in the views (and a cocktail) from high above the streets

5
Go to a beer festival
Bars

Go to a beer festival

Find your new favorite brewery at these beer-soaked 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

There's 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

See a classical play performed on an outdoor stage

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
Restaurants

The best dog-friendly patios

The best beer gardens
Bars

The best beer gardens

Kid-friendly bars and patios
Kids

Kid-friendly bars and patios

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 Guaranteed Rate Field'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

Hit the beach, party at Spring Awakening or feast at the Taste of Randolph

Chicago events in July
Things to do

Chicago events in July

See the fireworks, hang out at Pitchfork Festival and check out the Taste of Chicago

Chicago events in August
Things to do

Chicago events in August

Enjoy Lollapalooza, the Air and Water Show and plenty of great weather

Chicago events in September
Things to do

Chicago events in September

Wrap up summer with Riot Fest, Oktoberfests and two different jazz festivals

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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