How these listings work

We include mostly city events, with a few suburban highlights. One-of-a-kind events are listed by date. Unchanging summer-long events are listed each month by their first date. They are color-coded green for easy skimming. Many events start on Friday or Saturday and continue through the weekend, but we only list them opening day. 

FRI/24
Chicago Lakefront Beaches Season Opening 
Through September 2. Take advantage of Chicago’s twenty-six miles of beachfront open for the summer. Swimming is permitted when lifeguards are on duty 11am-7pm daily, unless otherwise posted. cpdbeaches.com or (312)742-7529. Free.

SAT/25
Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival
May 25-26. Rock out in Lakeview with both Journey and Dave Matthews Band tribute bands. On Sheffield between Belmont and School. Noon-10pm. $5.

Chicago Memorial Day Parade
Honor the nation’s fallen soldiers with CIA Director General David H. Petraeus. State Street from Lake to Van Buren. 11am wreath-laying ceremony. Noon parade. Free.

Green City Market
Outdoors every Wednesday and Saturday through Oct 26. Shop where the chefs do at this organic, local, sustainable-production-focused market. Located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton, (approximately 1790 N. Clark), (773)880-1266. 7am-1pm. Free.

Randolph Street Market Festival
May 25-26. Check out antiques, local fashion, vintage furnishings and collectibles. The festival runs monthly throughout the summer. 1350 West Washington. Saturday &  Sunday 10am-5pm. (312)666-1200. $8 online, $10 at the gate, $5 student.

SUN/26
Bike the Drive
Grab your bike for the one day a year Lake Shore Drive shuts down for cycling. Proceeds benefit the Active Transportation Alliance. Columbus and Jackson. 5:30am-9:45am. Register online: bikethedrive.org

ROOF Sundays: Lil Jon DJ Set
A daytime party with live music, DJs, dancers and performers. 201 North State. 2pm. roofonthewit.com

Second City’s Old Town Neighborhood Tour
Sundays at 10:30am and Wednesdays at 4pm through Oct 30. This walking tour both entertains and informs by highlighting the architecture, history and development of Old Town as well as various Second City alumni haunts and the stories that go with them. Tour begins at the Second City Theatre, 1616 North Wells, (312)337-3992. $15.

MON/27
City Winery Ciders & Sliders: Memorial Day Bluegrass Festival
City Winery opens its outdoor patio with Virtue Cider, bluegrass music and sliders. City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph. 2pm-9pm. $10, includes a glass of cider.

Downtown Sound: Lee Ranaldo Band + Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog
Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park near the corner of Michigan and Randolph, (312)742-1168. 6:30pm. Free.

THU/30
Maifest Chicago
May 30-June 2. Mayfest (Maifest in German) is the traditional German celebration of the arrival of spring. Food, dancing, live entertainment and German Gemutlichkeit. mayfestchicago.com. Lincoln and Leland Avenues. Thu 5pm-9:30pm, Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat noon-11pm, Sun noon-10pm.

FRI/31
7th Annual Do-Division Street Fest and Sidewalk Sale

May 31-June 2. Shopping, live music programmed by Empty Bottle and Subterranean, and entertainment in the open air along ten blocks of West Division. Division between Ashland and Leavitt. Fri, 5pm-10pm, Sat & Sun noon-1opm. (Family Fun Fest noon-6pm). $5. do-divisionstreetfest.com

SAT/1
57th Street Art Fair
June 1-2. Head down to Hyde Park for Chicago’s oldest juried art fair, where you can talk with artists from around the country in a family-friendly environment. There’s something for everyone, from paintings to glass to jewelry to ceramics and photography. 57th between Kenwood and Kimbark. Saturday 11am-6pm, Sunday 10am-5pm. Free. 57thstreetartfair.org

MON/3
Downtown Sound: Sharon Van Etten + Speck Mountain
Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park near the corner of Michigan and Randolph, (312)742-1168. 6:30pm. Free.

TUE/4
Rush Hour Concerts: Sergei Rachmaninoff: Sonata for Cello and Piano in g minor, Op. 19
Brant Taylor, cello; Kuang-Hao Huang, piano. St. James Cathedral, 65 East Huron. 5:15pm, reception with artists, 5:45pm, half-hour concert. Free. rushhour.org

Streeterville Farmer’s Market
June 4 through October 29. European-style outdoor market. Museum of Contemporary Art Plaza, 220 East Chicago. 7am-3pm. Free.

Tuesdays on the Terrace: Corey Wilkes
Live jazz on the MCA’s garden lawn, plus Summer Studios art making for families. Lawn chairs available for rental for $5. Hotdogs and burgers from the grill, and locally grown cuisine from the MCA Farmer’s Market. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago. 5:30pm-8pm, (312)397-4034 for dinner reservations. $25 dinner buffet. Free to attend.

THU/6
Chicago Blues Festival
Special kickoff concert with Shemekia Copeland and Quinn Sullivan. Millennium Park, near the corner of Michigan and Randolph. 6:30pm-9pm.

Low-Line Market
Through Oct 17. A new market offering goods from local and regional farmers, sweets merchants and bread sellers, as well as ready-to-eat stuffs, taking place every Thursday at the auxiliary exit of the CTA Brown Line Southport Station. 4pm-8pm till Sep 5, then 4pm-7pm thereafter. lowlinemarket.com

FRI/7
Andersonville Midsommarfest
June 7-9. Andersonville celebrates its Swedish heritage with international food, music, a festive dance around a Maypole and Nordic folk dancers. 5200 North Clark. $10 donation.

Chicago Blues Festival
June 7-9. Irma Thomas, James Cotton and Otis Clay are among the headliners of the largest free blues festival in the world. Grant Park, Jackson and Columbus, (312)744-3316. 11am-9:30pm. Free.

Pedal Oak Park
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning at 9:30am through Sep. 29. Experience all twenty-two of Oak Park’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings on this two hour bicycle tour. Bring your own bike, or one will be provided for you at no additional charge. Greenline Wheels, 105 South Marion. GoWright.org. $35 for non-members. $30 for Preservation Trust members.

Ribfest Chicago
June 7-9. Ribs and BBQ from dozens of restaurants; plus live music. Professional rib-eating contest on Friday. Intersection of Lincoln, Irving Park and Damen. Friday 5pm-10pm, Saturday and Sunday noon-10pm. $5 donation.

SAT/8
Bellwether
June 8-9. Renegade Craft Fair, Vintage Bazaar and The Hideout team up for “a celebration of locally produced goods, music, objects, and art.” The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia. Noon-dark. $10. followbellwether.com 

Millennium Park Workouts
Saturday mornings June 8-Sep. 7. Start your weekend with free 45-minute exercise classes from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. Tai Chi at 7am, Yoga at 8am, Pilates at 9am and Zumba at 10am. Great Lawn, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park near Michigan and Randolph, (312)742-1168. Free.

Old Town Art Fair
June 8-9. An independent jury of professional artists, curators, and gallery owners selects work from 250 artists to display. Also included is the garden walk through nearly fifty urban home gardens. Lincoln and Wisconsin, (312)337-1938. $7 donation.

Printers Row Lit Fest
June 8-9. 10am-6pm Explore five blocks of book selling, poetry slams, writing workshops, author conversations and book signings. Dearborn from Congress to Polk. Free.

Walk for Peace
The Alliance of Local Service Organizations in Logan Square presents its eighteenth annual Walk for Peace, which aims to promote violence-prevention programs in the Chicago area. After an hour-long walk, which begins at 11am, there will be a celebration with food, games and entertainment.  Meet at Yates Elementary School in Logan Square for opening remarks. (1839 North Richmond @ Cortland) 10am-4pm. also-chicago.org

Wells Street Art Festival
June 8-9. A juried fair with more than 250 artists, plus music. Wells between Division and North. 10am-10pm. Donation.

MON/10
Downtown Sound: An Evening with Glen Hansard featuring Lisa Hannigan and members of The Frames
Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park near the corner of Michigan and Randolph, (312)742-1168. 6:30pm. Free.

TUE/11
Rush Hour Concerts: Music of J.S. Bach and the World Premiere of Mischa Zupko’s “Parables of Zion”
Fulcrum Point New Music Project, Stephen Burns, trumpet; David Schrader, organ. St. James Cathedral, 65 East Huron. 5:15pm, reception with artists, 5:45pm, half-hour concert. Free. rushhour.org

TBS Just For Laughs
June 11-16. Seth Meyers, Bill Maher, Russell Brand and David Cross headline this annual comedy festival at various Chicago venues. justforlaughschicago.com

Tuesdays on the Terrace: Tomeika Reid
Live jazz on the MCA’s garden lawn plus Summer Studios art making for families. Lawn chairs available for rental for $5. Hotdogs and burgers from the grill, and locally grown cuisine from the MCA Farmer’s Market. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago. 5:30pm-8pm, (312)397-4034 for dinner reservations. $25 dinner buffet. Free to attend.

WED/12
Grant Park Music Festival Opening Night: Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4
Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Stefan Jackiw, violin. Also featuring Norman: “Drip” and Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 5, “Turkish.” Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park near Michigan and Randolph. 6:30pm-8pm. Free.

Mini Tour of Near North Side
Two-hour architectural and historic bike tour of Chicago’s Near North Side, led by Lee Diamond. Meet at Buckingham Fountain, 6pm. Free, but advance registration required and is limited. bigshouldersrealty.com

Theater on the Lake: The Bear Suit of Happiness by The New Colony
Through June 16. Opening night USO Dance at 6pm. 2401 North Lake Shore, (312)742-7994. Wednesday-Saturday 7:30 pm, Sunday 6:30pm. $18.

American Spanish Dance and Music Festival
Through June 23. Immerse yourself in the dance, culture and music of Spain as this festival celebrates its 38th year with classes, performances and exhibits kicking off tonight with Duende Flamenco Concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music at 8:30pm. For a full schedule, see ensembleespanol.org.

THU/13
Chicago Park District’s Movies in the Parks
Through Sep 14. 195 screenings in 150 city parks. Films begin at dusk. For a full schedule and locations, call (312)742-1134 or visit chicagoparkdistrict.com. Free.

Live Lit on the Lake
Thursdays and Fridays at 9:30pm through August 9. Write Club’s Ian Belknap hosts a rotating lineup of Chicago’s literary all-stars. Theater on the Lake, 2401 North Lake Shore, (312)742-7994. Free.

Loops and Variations: Falty DL + Bill Kouligas
New music meets electronica. Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park near the corner of Michigan and Randolph, (312)742-1168. 6:30pm. Free.

FRI/14
Bike to Work Rally
Celebrate the benefits of bicycle commuting with your fellow cyclists. Daley Plaza, Washington and Dearborn. 7am.

Grant Park Music Festival: Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky
June 14-15. Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Christopher Bell, chorus director; Emilia Boteva, mezzo-soprano. Also featuring Barber: “Medea’s Meditation and Dance of Vengeance” and Copland: Suite: “Billy the Kid.” Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park near Michigan and Randolph. 6:30pm Friday, 7:30pm Saturday. Free.

Night Tour of Near North Side
Architectural and historic bike tour of Chicago’s Near North Side, led by Lee Diamond. Meet at Buckingham Fountain, 8pm. $10. bigshouldersrealty.com

Scottish Festival and Highland Games
June 14-15. Now in its 27th year, the largest Scottish Festival in the Midwest, with exhibits, vendors and events celebrates Scottish culture and tradition. Proceeds benefit the Illinois Saint Andrew Society, the oldest nonprofit in the state. Hamilton Lakes, I-290 and Thorndale Avenue, Itasca, 4-10pm Friday and 8am-9pm Friday $10, Saturday, $18.

Spring Awakening Music Festival
June 14-16. Bassnectar, Calvin Harris and Moby headline this EDM extravaganza. Local favorites include Felix Da Housecat, Green Velvet and Flosstradamus. Soldier Field.

Taste of Randolph Street
June 14-16. The top-rated restaurants of the West Loop come together for this culinary festival featuring cooking demonstrations, live entertainment and eclectic vendors. The music, programmed by Silver Wrapper, is several notches above most street festivals. Randolph between Peoria and Racine. Friday 5pm-11pm, Saturday 2pm-11pm, and Sunday 2pm-10pm. $10 donation.

SAT/15
Custer’s Last Stand Festival of the Arts
June 15-16. An Evanston tradition with 400 arts and crafts exhibitors, thirty restaurants represented, live music and performances. Chicago and Main, Evanston. 10am-9pm. Free. custerfair.com

Puerto Rican People’s Parade
Humboldt Park’s Puerto Rican community will celebrate their heritage with their 35th annual parade. Division between Western and Sacramento. Free.

SausageFest Chicago
June 15-16. Enjoy your favorite encased meats with continuous live music in Wrigleyville at Sheffield and Addison. Noon-10pm. Donation to benefit Lake View Citizen’s Council.

6 Corners BBQ Fest
June 15-16. If Ribfest wasn’t enough for you, head to Portage Park for some mouth-watering BBQ and entertainment. 4000 North Milwaukee. Saturday noon-10pm, Sunday noon-8pm. Donation.

Takin’ It to the Streets
Muslim-led “urban international festival” with three stages featuring the likes of Blackstar, Brother Ali, Vieux Farka Toure and Talib Kweli, along with an international bazaar, a prayer area, etc. Marquette Park, 6734 S. Kedzie. 10am-9pm. $5. imanstreets.org

MON/17
Downtown Sound: Daniel Lanois + Brokeback
Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park near the corner of Michigan and Randolph, (312)742-1168. 6:30pm. Free.

TUE/18
Rush Hour Concerts: All-Bach Double Header
Music of J.S. Bach for strings, organ, voice and harpsichord with Bruce J. Barber II, organ; Robert Morgan, oboe; Sandra Morgan, flute; David Schrader, harpsichord; Brant Taylor, cello; Members of St. James Cathedral Choir. St. James Cathedral, 65 East Huron. 5:15pm, reception with artists, 5:45pm, half-hour concert. Free. rushhour.org

Tuesdays on the Terrace: Douglas Ewart
Live jazz on the MCA’s garden lawn plus Summer Studios art making for families. Lawn chairs available for rental for $5. Hotdogs and burgers from the grill, and locally grown cuisine from the MCA Farmer’s Market. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago. 5:30pm-8pm, (312)397-4034 for dinner reservations. $25 dinner buffet. Free to attend.

WED/19
Grant Park Music Festival: Pink Martini
Carlos Kalmar, conductor. Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park near Michigan and Randolph. 6:30pm. Free.

Theater on the Lake: Blackademics by MPAACT
Through June 23. 2401 North Lake Shore, (312)742-7994. Wednesday-Saturday 7:30 pm, Sunday 6:30pm. $18.

THU/20
Chicago Gospel Music Fest Opening Night
Inaugural “Battle of the Gospel Bands” finale. Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park near the corner of Michigan and Randolph, (312)742-1168. 6:30pm. Free.

FRI/21
Chicago Gospel Music Fest

Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington, noon-3pm. Movie at 5:30pm. Free.

“Flamenco Passion” at the American Spanish Dance and Music Festival
June 21-23. Take in the vibrant costumes and stage settings at this gala performance that fuses traditional folkloric Flamenco and dramatic theatrical production. North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie, Skokie. For tickets call (847)673-6300 or visit northshorecenter.org. Friday and Saturday 7:30pm, Sunday 3pm. $26-$46.

Grant Park Music Festival: Qigang Chen’s “Iris dévoilée
June 21-22. Carlos Kalmar, conductor. Also featuring Fauré: “Pelléas and Mélisande” Suite; Ravel: “La Valse.” Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park near Michigan and Randolph. 6:30pm Friday, 7:30pm Saturday. Free.

Make Music Chicago
Celebrate the first official day of summer with a city-wide music festival. Performances from more than 100 musicians in different genres will occur beginning midmorning around the city. Grand finale at St. James Cathedral Commons, 65 E. Huron, (773)850-0662. makemusicchicago.com.

SAT/22
Chicago Gospel Music Fest
June 22-23. Two days of spirited singing in the music genre’s Bronzeville birthplace. Ellis Park (37th and Cottage Grove), 11am-8pm. Free.

Chicago Green Music Fest
June 22-23. Discover new ways to be environmentally conscious at the green technology-themed festival while enjoying outdoor music and arts and crafts in Wicker Park. Damen between North and Schiller, (312)850-9390. Noon-10pm. $5 donation.

Chicago Pride Fest
June 22-23. Show your pride with some of the finest entertainers in the GLBT community. The weekend before Chicago’s iconic Pride Parade, highlights include drag shows and a pet pride parade. Proceeds go to the Northalsted Business Alliance, Halsted and Waveland. Noon-1opm. Donation.

MON/24
Downtown Sound: Carolina Chocolate Drops + Angela James
Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park near the corner of Michigan and Randolph, (312)742-1168. 6:30pm. Free.

TUE/25
River North Challenge
Grab a team of four and explore River North by answering trivia and competing in physical challenges, then head to the afterparty at Hard Rock Cafe. Register at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza, 350 West Mart Center. 5:30pm-9:30pm. For questions, call (312)645-1047. Individual tickets $40, group of 4 $150. Register online at rivernorthassociation.com

Rush Hour Concerts: Johannes Brahms: Piano Trio in B Major, Op. 8
Trio Voce. St. James Cathedral, 65 East Huron. 5:15pm, reception with artists, 5:45pm, half-hour concert. Free. rushhour.org

Tuesdays on the Terrace: Chris Greene
Live jazz on the MCA’s garden lawn plus Summer Studios art making for families. Lawn chairs available for rental for $5. Hotdogs and burgers from the grill, and locally grown cuisine from the MCA Farmer’s Market. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 East Chicago. 5:30pm-8pm, (312)397-4034 for dinner reservations. $25 dinner buffet. Free to attend.

WED/26
Grant Park Music Festival: Nielsen Clarinet Concerto
Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Martin Fröst, clarinet. Also featuring Vaughan-Williams: Symphony No. 5 and Martinu: “Thunderbolt P47.” Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park near Michigan and Randolph. 6:30pm. Free.

Theater on the Lake: Lula del Ray by Manual Cinema
Through June 30. Family-friendly shadow play. 2401 North Lake Shore, (312)742-7994. Wednesday-Saturday 7:30 pm, Sunday 6:30pm. $18.

THU/27
Chicago SummerDance Festival
Thursdays-Sundays, June 27-Sep 15. An hour of dance lessons led by professional instructors followed by live music and dancing. Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park, 601 South Michigan, (312)742-4007. 6pm-9:30pm; Sunday 4pm-7pm. Free.

Loops and Variations: Matmos + Fonema Consort
New music meets electronica. Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park near the corner of Michigan and Randolph, (312)742-1168. 6:30pm. Free.

FRI/28
Grant Park Music Festival: Britten War Requiem
June 28-29. Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Christopher Bell, chorus director; Erin Wall, soprano; Jeremy Ovenden, tenor; Alan Held, bass; Chicago Children’s Choir, Josephine Lee, artistic director. Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park near Michigan and Randolph. 6:30pm Friday, 7:30pm Saturday. Free.

SUN/30
L.A.T.E. Ride
Twenty-five-mile moonlight ride through Chicago’s neighborhoods and lakefront. Buckingham Fountain Plaza. 1am (Sunday morning). $45-$65. lateride.org

Pride Parade
Join 750,000 or so revelers at one of the largest pride parades in the country in its forty-fourth year. Noon. Broadway from Montrose to North Halsted, then Halsted to Belmont, Belmont to Broadway, Broadway to Diversey, Diversey to the Park. chicagopridecalendar.org. Noon. Free.