100 Free Things to Do With Kids in Chicago

Posted: May 13, 2022

100 Free Things to Do with Kids in Chicago This Summer
2022 Guide to Free Summer Fun

Best free kids events and activities this Summer in Chicago

We've got the best free things to do with kids in Chicago this summer! Summer 2022 is here, and the Chicago Kids Guide to Free Summer Fun is jam-packed with the 100+ FREE kids events and activities taking place in and around Chicago! Our Guide to free summer fun includes the best free activities for kids and families, and with over 100 to choose from you can keep your family busy all summer long.

Check out the guide to find the best free kids events and family activities in Chicago and the suburbs, including plenty of free outdoor nature fun, story times, movies in the park, concert series, fairs and festivals, and much more!

Note: We've included some events and activities that might appreciate a donation, or that might be free for kids but may have a fee for adults. Always check your destination's web site for the most up-to-date details!

Below, you'll find ongoing Locations and Destinations that includes activities available on a regular basis, followed by Special Events such as festivals, concerts, summer movies, farmers markets and more, listed by start date. Click here to jump to Special Events.

Locations and Destinations

The 606
Daily 6am - 11pm
Along the Bloomingdale Trail (1800N) between Ashland (1600W) and Ridgeway (3750W)
What was an abandoned rail line is now The 606, with 2.7 miles of multi-use recreational trail and park that serves as an alternative transportation corridor, a living work of art, and a spectacular new green space for all to enjoy. Set above city streets, this 2.7 mile path offers trails for biking, running and strolling, connecting parks, people, and communities.

Lurie Garden
Daily 8am - 9pm
Southeastern end of Millennium Park, Chicago
Lurie Garden in Millennium Park is an urban oasis. The garden's design pays homage to Chicago'' transformation from flat marshland to innovative green city. Stroll the beautiful Lurie Garden and see the dramatically lit, 15-foot-high "shoulder" hedge, cross the hardwood footbridge, and be inspired to learn about and enjoy the natural world.

Adams Water Playground
1919 N. Seminary Avenue, Chicago
Cool off on a hot day with this Lincoln Park gem that features water play with fountains and sprays that even the tiniest tots can enjoy. The shady playground offers a reprieve from the summer heat.

Art on the Mart
Merchandise Mart, 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago
Stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk nightly at 8:30 & 9:00 p.m. to view the this season's projections, including Floe and Choral through June 29, and Nick Cave's Ba Boom Boom Pa Pop Pop, created specifically for Art on theMart, through September 7.

Garfield Park Conservatory
300 North Central Park Avenue, Chicago
The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the largest and most stunning botanical conservatories in the nation, showcasing thousands of plant species from around the world throughout eight indoor display gardens. Year-round, visitors can enjoy the lush flora and tropical temperatures indoors, or more than 10 acres of outdoor gardens, nature play spaces for children, water lily pond, and much more. Many family programs are offered throughout the year, including free activities, cultural performances, hands-on classes, unique fundraisers, educational demonstrations, and more.

Notebaert Nature Museum - Sugested Donation Thursdays
300 North Central Park Avenue, Chicago
On Thursdays, Illinois residents can enjoy free admission during Suggested Donation Days. A $10 suggested household donation is appreciated. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is one of Chicago’s most family-friendly science museums for children and adults.

Lincoln Park Zoo
2200 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago
Stroll the scenic zoo and visit the local animals, all for free! Visit the Kovler Seal Pool daily at 11:30 a.m. or 2:00 p.m to see seal training and feeding sessions, or learn about Ape Cognition and Care Mondays - Fridays at 1:30pm at Regenstein Center for African Apes.

Skokie Lagoons
Bordered by Lake-Cook, Willow, Edens, and Forest Road
The Skokie Lagoons are a prime destination for water exploration in northern Cook County. This network of pools, channels and islands winds between Winnetka, Northfield and Glencoe. Bring the family for boat access, fishing, biking, picnic areas, hiking, kayaking, birdwatching and more.

Maggie Daley Park
337 E Randolph St, Chicago
Maggie Daley Park offers the Climbing Park with features on the wall for experts and beginners, the Play Garden, an Enchanted Forest with a mirrored maze and kaleidoscope, The Lagoon, The Sea and The Harbor play apparatus for toddlers, a Wave Lawn for recreation for all ages, and a Slide Crater with a spiral slide.

Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center
9800 Willow Springs Rd., Willow Springs
Explore the Little Red Schoolhouse grounds on three unpaved walking trails or the paved accessible garden trail, and from there you can connect to the Palos Trail System which winds through rolling hills and deep ravines, providing beautiful views of the surrounding landscapes.

Indiana Dunes
1215 SR-49, Chesterton IN
Indiana Dunes National Park runs along 15 miles of the southern shore of Lake Michigan, and offers 15,000 acres of beautiful scenery and 50 miles of trails that pass over and through rugged dunes, mysterious wetlands, sunny prairies, meandering rivers and peaceful forests.

Buffalo Creek
18163 West Checker Road, Long Grove
This expansive 408-acre preserve offers 5.5 miles of gravel trails for walking and biking. Trails run through open areas within the preserve, crossing several creeks, skirting the reservoir and traversing restored prairie. Fishing is allowed in the reservoir.

Glacial Park
6705 Route 31, Ringwood
Glacial Park is characterized by its rolling prairie, delta kames, oak savanna and the tranquil presence of the meandering Nippersink Creek. Encompassing 3,439 acres, Glacial Park contains over 490 acres of dedicated nature preserve; harbors 40 state endangered and threatened plant and animal species; is listed as one of the top five areas to view migratory wetland birds in the region.

Lincoln Park Conservatory
2391 N. Stockton Drive, Chicago
Visit a tropical oasis and other floral scenes at this oasis in the hear of the city, located right next to Lincoln Park Zoo. Bring a blanket and treats and enjoy a picnic, then head to the zoo afterwards for a special day.

Dave's Rock Shop
711 Main St., Evanston
Dave's Rock Shop has something for everyone, with more than just rocks. The shop is filled with all kinds of stones and gems, fossils, crystals, shells, jewelry and Native American finds. Kids can visit the fossil museum in the basement, and entertain themselves at the rock table while you shop for unique jewelry (that part is NOT free!)

Ukrainian National Museum
2249 W. Superior St., Chicago
The Museum Collection includes 1,140 artifacts, Traditional Folk Arts, Agricultural Tools, Artwork, Musical Instruments, Trophies and Miscellaneous Artifacts. Open Thursday through Sunday from 11am - 4pm. Children under 12 are free; adults $10.

Indian Boundary Park
2500 W Lunt Ave., Chicago
In the Nature Play Center, kids use their imagination and get creative while playing in this incredible outdoor space. Visitors can discover a beautifully restored nature area and duck-filled lagoon. The water spray feature has dancing bears and spray misters to cool off community children and adults too.

Ping Tom Memorial Park
1700 S. Wentworth Ave., Chicago
Ping Tom Memorial Park's 17.44-acre site was originally a Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad yard located along the edge of the South Branch of the Chicago River in the Armour Square Community. Today, Ping Tom Memorial Park holds a children's playground, community gathering areas and Chinese landscape design elements. Outdoor featured include an athletic field, walking paths by the river, and a boat house with kayak rentals. Check first to see if rentals are available.

Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum Free Wednesdays
1300 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago
The Adler is excited to announce that we will be free for Illinois residents (with proof of residency) every Wednesday evening from 4-10 pm all summer. Stop by after work or school, or for date night and enjoy everything the Adler has to offer at night, for free as part of our Illinois Resident Discount Days program.

National Museum of Mexican Art
1852 W 19th Street, Chicago
The museum displays a significant permanent collection of Mexican art, rich visual and performing arts programs, high quality arts education programs and resources and professional development of Mexican artists. The Museum welcomes all people and strives to foster a world where all are included. Admission is always free. Closed Mondays.

Busse Woods
E Higgins Rd/Rte 72, east of I-290/Hwy 53, near Elk Grove Village
Busse Woods is one of the largest and most diverse locations in the Forest Preserves. The site includes ancient upland forests, one of the largest fishing and boating waters in Cook County, nearly 13 miles of paved trail, an elk pasture and much more, making it one of the best-used natural areas in Illinois.

Old School
28285 St. Mary's Road, Mettawa
Old School offers miles of trails, great bass fishing and secluded picnic spots in the heart of Lake County. A 2.7-mile gravel loop trail explores woods and prairies and is open for hiking, biking and horseback riding. The 1-mile lake loop trail encircles the lake and is open to for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing. The 1.2-mile fitness trail is open only to foot traffic and offers workout stations that build strength and endurance. A paved 1.5-mile roadway trail winds through the preserve offers a special one-way lane popular for biking and in-line skating, and also for hikers.

Lake Katherine
7402 W Lake Katherine Drive, Palos Heights
Lake Katherine's grounds are open to the public. Bring your family and stroll around the gardens, and explore the trails around the lake and along the Cal-Sag channel. Don't miss the man-made waterfall, and the buzz n' bloom prairie where you can find species such as compass plant, bee balm and Indian grass. There's also an organic garden where crops are harvested and donated to the local food pantry. On the south side of Lake Katherine is the arboretum full of different species ranging from sweet gum to native oaks to beeches, with a children's forest comprised of wetlands, the schoolhouse arch, a salamander mound, a spider maze and more.

Baha’i House of Worship
100 Linden Ave., Wilmette
Explore the Baha'i Temple's lovely gardens and architectural beauty. During your visit, you may also explore the Baha’i Faith’s unifying teachings, including the oneness of humanity, the common threads among all major religions, and the connection between the human spirit and the betterment of the world.

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
220 E Chicago Ave., Chicago
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is one of the world’s largest museums dedicated to contemporary art. The Museum of Contemporary Art is open Tuesday - Sunday, and admission for ages 18 and under is free.

Palmisano Park (formerly Stearns Quarry)
2700 S. Halsted St., Chicago
This former quarry offers a fishing pond, interpretive wetlands, preserved quarry walls, trails, an athletic field, a running track, and a hill with spectacular city views. Over 1.7 miles of paths, including recycled timber boardwalks, concrete walks, a crushed stone running path, and metal grating walkways traverse the park.

Emily Oaks Nature Center
4650 Brummel, Skokie
Explore this natural oasis full of native wildflowers, grasses, oak trees, a 3-acre pond and trails, and try to spot native animals like great Great Blue Herons, Coyotes, Flying Squirrels, Northern Water Snakes, Red Foxes and Cooper's Hawks. The nature center offers a variety of free programs for kids.

Chicago Riverwalk
Chicago River along Wacker Drive
The 1.25-mile long path has been constructed in phases over time and includes four distinct districts; The Confluence, The Arcade, The Civic, and the Esplanade. Stroll along the river and take in the views, and then find a family-friendly place to relax and have lunch or ice vream.

Des Plaines History Center
781 Pearson Street, Des Plaines
The Des Plaines History Center offers tours of the restored 1906-07 Kinder House. Kids can learn what a stereo viewer is, how to work a boot jack, and why 1907 light fixtures used both gas and electricity. The experience during this interactive tour features hands-on objects that kids can try out for themselves. Tours are available upon request during History Center's regular open hours.

Crabtree Nature Center
3 Stover Road, Barrington
Over a thousand acres of rolling, glacier formed landscape in northwest Cook County has been set aside as Crabtree Nature Center. Teach your kids about "Birding," with more than 260 possible bird species to spot. Take in the self-guided hiking trails and spot ducks, geese and wildflowers. The Nature Center offers a variety of free family-friendly summer events.

North Park Village Nature Center
5801 North Pulaski Road, Chicago
This 46-acre nature preserve and educational facility offers trails that wind through woodland, wetland, prairie and savanna. Kids can get hands-on with nature in the discovery room, handling natural objects and learning with interactive displays.

Wildwood Nature Center
529 Forestview Avenue, Park Ridge
Visit Wildwood Nature Center and take a self-guided walk through the five acre nature haven and enjoy the two ponds and butterfly garden. Stop by the Nature Nook, a free, interactive, educational area complete with books, puzzles, puppets, games, and activities. The Animal Exhibit Room is home to over 35 animals, including Ball Python Snakes, Red Tailed Boa Constrictor Snake, Rabbit, Guinea Pig, Prairie Dogs, Soft Shelled Turtles, Aquatic Turtles, Box Turtles, Tiger Salamander, Ferret, Iquana, Tree Frogs and more.

Old Town Aquarium
1538 N Wells Street, Chicago
Little ones are easily entertained in this kid-friendly aquarium store, with dozens of tanks and displays. Kids can get up close to hundreds of beautiful fish and sea life, and see stunning corals, starfish, snails, sea cucumbers and many more exotic water residents.

Chicago Women's Park & Gardens Indoor Play Space
1802 S. Indiana Ave., Chicago
Chicago Women's Park and Gardens honors the contributions women have made to the city throughout its history and provides a quiet respite for the community. Outside, the park offers a beautiful garden, and indoors is a playground with multi-level play apparatus, a toddler climbing wall, and more.

Kline Creek Farm
1N600 County Farm Road, West Chicago
Step back in time to experience life on a working farm in the 1890s at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago. Stroll through restored farmstead structures and meet the historically costumed interpreters operating this living history farm using the tools and techniques of the past. Activities and events at the farm re-create the seasonal rhythms that have governed farm life for centuries.

Storybook Trail
Little Bear Garden at Gallery Park, 2001 Patriot Boulevard, Glenview
Daily at the Storybook Trail, kids can walk, skip, jog, or, better yet, bike along the path, to read a perfect seasonal story. Presented by the Glenview Park District, the Bike Glenview Initiative, and the Glenview Public Library.

Thorn Creek Nature Center & Preserve
247 Monee Road, Park Forest
Explore over 3 1/2 miles of trails that take you through an oak-hickory woodland, floodplain and scenic ravines and pine plantations. Trails are open daily, the nature center is open Fridays and Sundays from Noon - 4pm.

Hidden Oaks Nature Center
419 Trout Farm Road, Bolingbrook
Hunt for animal homes, learn the history of the land, and discover items found on the site. Hidden Lakes features three secluded fishing ponds within the 80-acre conservation site that also houses Hidden Oaks Nature Center. The site also connects to the Will County Forest Preserves Whalon Lakes making it a great location to ride bikes, walk the trails or fish.

Major Taylor Bike Trail
105th St. to 129th St., Chicago
This 6+ mile path was named after legendary African American cyclist Marshall "Major" Taylor, and stretches through several sections of the city and through the neighborhoods of Brainerd, Gresham, Beverly, Morgan Park, Roseland and West Pullman, as well as the Village of Riverdale.

Mayslake Peabody Estate Story Walk: Daniel Finds a Poem
1717 W. 31st St., Oak Brook
The lushly illustrated pages of Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer come to life on large displays along a half-mile path that encourages children and their families to explore their surroundings and their inspirations. As you follow the story, you’ll discover that nature and poetry are all around if you take the time to look and listen.

Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington St.. Chicago
Drawn by its beauty and the fabulous free public events, hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the Chicago Cultural Center every year, making it one of the most visited attractions in Chicago. The stunning landmark building is home to two magnificent stained-glass domes, as well as free music, dance and theater events, films, lectures, art exhibitions and family events.

Clark Playlot Park
3400 N. Rockwell St., Chicago
Richard Clark Park comprises nearly 19 acres of greenspace along the east bank of the Chicago River in the North Center neighborhood. At the park you'll find soccer field, the WMS Boat House, and new Kerry Wood Cubs Field. Bring your bikes to The Garden and try out a set of dirt jumps. There are 3 jump lines and a pump track with multiple routes, and terrain for all ages and skill levels.

Wagner Farm
1510 Wagner Road, Glenview
Historic Wagner Farm is one of the last working dairy farms in Cook County. Here you can take a leap back in time to farm life from decades past. Wagner Farm provides a unique opportunity for families to learn about its heritage. The Heritage Center is home to many exhibits that teach “life on the farm” during early 20th century.

Plum Creek Nature Center
27064 S. Dutton Road, Beecher
The Plum Creek Nature Center offers visitors a place to explore the natural world, with hands-on exhibits in addition to a natural playscape for outdoor educational experiences, featuring a pollinator garden, rain garden, and interactive play elements. Kids can touch feathers and rocks, see animal skulls, and watch the birds. Closed on Mondays.

River Trail Nature Center
3120 Milwaukee Ave, Northbrook
River Trail Nature Center tells the story of native plants and animals that remain in the urban environment. Learn how to make maple syrup, meet an owl or join a guided hike at all-ages events each week—or just let the kids climb and create at indoor and outdoor play areas.

31st Street Beach (Burroughs Beach Park)
3100 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago
The 31st Street Beach offers plenty of features to keep kids busy, including a playground with rope structures, a climbing wall and a water spray area, plus slides, swings and more.

Heller Nature Center
2821 Ridge Road, Highland Park
Oak-hickory forests, tall grass prairie, oak savanna and natural wetlands are an oasis for native plants and animals at this 97-acre preserve. Visitors can enjoy a picnic in our woodlandsand explore 3 miles of trails. The Heller nature Center Building and water fountains are closed. Trails are open from 7:30am to Dusk.

Downers Grove Museum
831 Maple Avenue, Downers Grove
Step across the threshold of the Blodgett House for a glimpse of the past. Enter a bygone era when families rested on fainting couches instead of recliners, stored food in iceboxes instead of refrigerators, and entertained themselves with parlor games instead of cyber games. Kids will find a treasure trove of fascinating facts and fun, and can view the museum collections that include everything from buttonhooks to butter paddles, washboards to wedding dresses, and baby frocks to clocks. Make a reservation for self-guided and guided tours, along with access to the Museum's research library and archival collection.

Montrose Beach
4400 N. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago
Pack your blankets, picnic and frisbees - and bring your dog, too! This is a great family friendly beach where you can enjoy free parking, restroom and grills. An ADA accessible beach walk is available. A dog friendly beach is located at north end of Montrose Beach, and south of the recreational beach is a natural area that attracts migratory birds during the fall and spring seasons. A serene dune habitat has a rare panne habitat and endangered plant life thrives at this location.

Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary
1111 E. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg
Spring Valley is an outdoor living museum, where visitors can learn about nature and local history. Spring Valley is a refuge of 135 acres of fields, forests, marshes and streams. Spring Valley also features over three miles of handicapped-accessible hiking trails, a nature center with natural history displays and information, and an 1880s living history farm.

Volkening Heritage Farm
201 S. Plum Grove Road, Schaumburg
Step back into the 1880s for a look at when Schaumburg was a rural German farm community. On a visit to Volkening Heritage Farm, you can help with seasonal farm chores, participate in family activities and games of the 1880s or simply visit the livestock and soak in the quiet. Authentically dressed interpreters welcome and guide visitors through the site. Heritage Farm also offers a variety of school programs as well as programs for the general public.

Oak Park Conservatory
615 Garfield St, Oak Park
The Oak Park Conservatory carries the distinction as one of the top three historical sites in Oak Park, drawing over 50,000 visitors annually. Free to the public, The Oak Park Conservatory offers a rich atmosphere of flora and fauna throughout three indoor Conservatory showrooms including a Mediterranean room, Tropical room and Desert room.

Illinois Beach State Park
1 Lake Front Dr, Zion
Illinois Beach State Park stretches 6.5 miles along the sandy shore of Lake Michigan and offers a full range of recreation opportunities. Illinois Beach is the only remaining beach ridge shoreline left in the state, with dunes and swales, sprawling marshes, forests of oak and vast arrays of animal life and vegetation. Explore and check out the swimming, boating, picnicking, hiking, fishing, camping and nature.

Special Events
Festivals, Concerts, Movies and More

Tuesdays May 10 - September 27
Wiggleworms at Gallagher Way
Gallagher Way, 3635 N. Clark St., Chicago
Gallagher Way brings Wiggleworms® to you live every Tuesday morning this summer, led by your favorite performers and Wiggleworms teaching artists. Wiggle along with your friends and neighbors right outside of Wrigley Field on Clark Street. All ages.

Wednesdays May 11, 25; June 8, 22; July 6, 20, 27; Aug 3, 17, 31; Sept 14, 21.
Music Box Theatre Movies at Gallagher Way
Gallagher Way, 3635 N. Clark St., Chicago
The historic Music Box Theatre has chosen 12 music-themed movies showing on Gallagher Way’s video board at 7:30 p.m. on various dates. Gates open at 6 p.m. Movies include School of Rock, Encanto, Grease, Josie and the Pussycats and more. Visit web site for schedule.

May 14
Parkway Bank Park's "Spring Fun Fest"
Parkway Bank Park, 5501 Park Place, Rosemont
1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Families are invited to visit Parkway Bank Park Saturday, May 14 for a fun-filled day of outdoor festivities at “Spring Fun Fest.” A variety of free activities will be offered from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. including balloon sculpting, bounce houses, face painting, a petting zoo and live entertainment from ScribbleMonster. Ages 5-13.

May 21-22
Northbrook Art in the Park
Northbrook Village Green, Walters Avenue, Northbrook
The park is a beautiful tree shaded venue perfect for seeing more than 85 artists showing paintings, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, and more. Live music in the gazebo, festival food, and youth art activities make this a family-friendly event for all. Free parking is nearby and easily accessible, and there are plenty of restaurants located minutes from the festival.

May 21-22
Lincoln Roscoe Spring Art & Craft Fair
Lincoln Avenue From Roscoe to School, Chicago
10am - 5pm
Illinois Beach State Park stretches 6.5 miles along the sandy shore of Lake Michigan and offers a full range of recreation opportunities. Illinois Beach is the only remaining beach ridge shoreline left in the state, with dunes and swales, sprawling marshes, forests of oak and vast arrays of animal life and vegetation. Explore and check out the swimming, boating, picnicking, hiking, fishing, camping and nature.

Tuesdays, May 24 - August 16
Downers Grove Summer Concert Series
Fishel Park, 1036 Grove Street, Downers Grove
This concert series will feature rock, country, blues and oldies. Watch the concerts in person at Fishel Park! Doors open and food and beverage sales begin at 6pm each Tuesday.

Thursdays, May 26- August 11
Music at the Gazebo
Wild Meadows Trace Park, 483 Spring Road, Elmhurst
6:30pm - 8:30pm
All acts start at 6:30 pm. Bring your lawn chair or blanket and enjoy an evening of musical entertainment under the stars! Takes place on Thursdays May 26 - August 11.

May 27-28
Prismatica Family Fun
Oakbrook Center, 100 Oakbrook Center, Oakbrook
Friday 5:30-7:30pm, Saturday 1-3pm
Explore the Prismatica Kaleidoscope Experience and enjoy 2 special days of family fun for all ages. Friday May 27, enjoy a colorful night of music from famed Ukrainian cellist, Alexey Poltavchenko at the Prismatica Kaleidoscope Experience, located near Crate & Barrel. Saturday, enjoy exciting activities such as face painters, balloon artists, kids musical games, DJ, and butterfly stilt walkers near The Lawn.

Wednesdays and Saturdays May 28 - September 3
Navy Pier, 600 E. Illinois St., Chicago
9pm Wed, 10pm Sat
Chicago’s favorite sky spectacle show Wednesday and Saturday nights from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Find a spot anywhere on the pier to take in this dazzling free display. Soundtracks feature dramatic and popular music with some special occasion soundtracks.

Thursdays, May 29 - September 1
Rockin' in the Park Free Concerts and Fireworks at Rosemont's Parkway Bank Park
5501 Park Place, Rosemont
"Rockin' in the Park" takes places Thursdays and other select dates from May 29 - September 1. Featuring music by classic cover bands alongside food and beverage tents on the park’s great lawn, all Thursday night concerts will culminate with a musical fireworks display.

May 31 and June 7
Family Night - Kids Free
Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Dr., Chicago
5:30 PM - 8:30
Kids 10 and under free, adults $10
Bring the kiddos to your zoo for a night of family fun! Lincoln Park Zoo’s new Family Nights series includes free unlimited rides on the carousel and Lionel train adventures; free live entertainment with Mary Macaroni and more, animal chats and enrichment, animal buildings op, and more. Kids are free, adults $10, register online.

Thursdays and Fridays in June
Skyline Sessions
Navy Pier's Wave Wall Staircase, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago
Grab a seat on the Wave Wall Staircase near the Centennial Wheel and take in live music every Thursday and Friday in June. With two acts on each date, you can expect an eclectic variety of music performed by solo artists and small ensembles. Thursdays and Fridays in June.

Fridays, June 3 - August 19
Movies in the Park
Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton
8:30pm (sunset)
Note: Parking fee applies
All movies are outdoors and feature lawn seating. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets, and picnics are welcome. Concessions are available by Mamie’s Toffee & Treats. Movies take place at the Cantigny bandshell, except as noted, and are free with paid parking. This year's movies include favorites like Frozen, Up, Hook, Jurassic Park, Paw Patrol, Beetlejuice and more. Movie is free, parking fee applies.

June 4
Chicago Gospel Music Festival
Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue between Randolph/Monroe, Chicago
Celebrating the great influence of the music genre born in this city more than 80 years ago, the Chicago Gospel Music Festival will present the top gospel artists in the country. Over the years, the festival has featured traditional choirs to contemporary urban gospel mixed with hip-hop and house music.

June 4
La Follette Park, 1333 N Laramie Ave., Chicago
This free, family-friendly festival will feature student readings and performances of their published works, as well as educators sharing their experience of bringing creativity into the classroom. There will be music from DJ A’Jua Pryor, games, and an array of age-inclusive events, including storytelling workshops, book making and book giveaways.

June 4-5
75th Annual 57th Street Art Fair
57th Street between Woodlawn and Kenwood, Chicago
Saturday 11-6, Sunday 10-5
Featuring nearly 200 artists, live music presented by Buddy Guy’s Legends, and a Food Court presented by the Ray School PTA, the 57th Street Art Fair is held on the streets of the historic Hyde Park neighborhood and offers art lovers a fantastic opportunity to view and shop original works of art from around the country.

Wednesdays, June 8 - August 24
Wednesdays on the Green
Skokie Village Green, 5127 Oakton Street, Skokie
Enjoy FREE fun on Wednesday nights this Summer. Bring the kids and enjoy music from bands like Second Hand Soul Bank, Whiskey River, Serendipity, Mellencougar and more. See web site for schedule.

Thursdays, June 9 - August 11
Lunchtime Live: Children's Music Concerts
Cerny Park, 4S150 River Road, Warrenville
11:30am – 12:30pm
Join us for free Lunchtime Children’s Music Concerts! Pack a lunch, bring a friend and enjoy live musical entertainment. All concerts are located at Cerny Park and begin at 11:30A. Concerts take place on select Thursdays, NOT weekly, so check calendar. Performers include Mr. Dave Music, Miss Liz Music, Jodi Koplin's Jigglejam and more,

Thursdays, June 9-30
Pier Dance - Free Dance Lessons
Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago
New this summer, Navy Pier will help guests leave it all on the dance floor with a series of free dance lessons on the Polk Bros Performance Lawn City Stage. A different style of dance will be taught each week by some of the most sought-after instructors in the city. After some focused lessons, the floor will be opened to free dance.

June 10-12
Andersonville Midsommarfest
57th Street between Woodlawn and Kenwood, Chicago
Friday 5-10PM, Saturday and Sunday 12-10PM
$10 suggested donation
Featuring nearly 200 artists, live music presented by Buddy Guy’s Legends, and a Food Court presented by the Ray School PTA, the 57th Street Art Fair is held on the streets of the historic Hyde Park neighborhood and offers art lovers a fantastic opportunity to view and shop original works of art from around the country.

June 11-12
Old Town Art Fair
Old Town Triangle Historic District, 1763 N. North Park Ave., Chicago
Saturday 10-7, Sunday 10-6
Suggested donation $12.50
There will be 200+ nationally acclaimed artists, an estimated 10,000 art lovers, a Garden Walk, Live Music, Food Court and Children’s Corner. Gates open Saturday 10:00 am to 7:00 pm and Sunday 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, rain or shine. In the Children's Corner, Let your kids unleash their inner artist! There’s fun for the whole family with Mad Science, Face Painting, plenty of arts and crafts and more!

Sundays, June 12 - July 31
Concerts in Your Park
Various parks in Naperville
Concerts in Your Park is a Sunday evening summer music series for families and neighbors; each concert is held at a different neighborhood park. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets for a FREE evening of outdoor musical entertainment from 7:00-8:30 pm. Bands include Mr. Myers, Feel Good Party Band, Good Clean Fun and more.

Wednesdays, June 15 - August 3
Wednesday Children’s Concert
Hubbard Woods Park, 939 Green Bay Road, Winnetka
11:00 am - 11:45 am
Enjoy a free interactive children’s concert! Bring a picnic lunch or pick up food from one of the nearby Hubbard Woods businesses. Be sure to bring your bathing suit to enjoy the splash pad at the park! All children must be accompanied by an adult. Concerts are free but please register for the events to receive weekly Children's Concerts emails to stay up-to-date on what to expect, weather updates, and more.

Wednesdays, June 15 - October 12
Ravenswood Farmers Market
Ravenswood Evangelical Covenant Church, 4900 N. Damen Ave., Chicago
The Ravenswood Farmers Market is a weekly, open-air summer market at 4900 N Damen Avenue. Join us Wednesdays evenings from June through October. Our market connects residents to farmers and food producers and provides a meeting place for neighbors to come together. In addition to a variety of farmers and vendors, you’ll also find guest artists, retailers, health and wellness providers, and local non-profit organizations.

Wednesdays, June 15 - August 17
Wednesdays in the Woods
Hubbard Woods Park, 939 Green Bay Road, Winnetka
Come enjoy live music every Wednesday night throughout the summer! Bring chairs + blankets to enjoy the warm summer night with friends and family. Bands this summer include No Turn On Red, Billy Elton, 7th Heaven, Good Clean Fun and more.

Thursdays, June 16 - July 28
Summer Celebrations - Music and Movies
Carol Stream Town Center, 960 N Gary Ave, Carol Stream
7-9pm. Movie on June 30 at 8pm.
Concerts take place Thursdays from June 16 - July 28, with the movie Encanto on Thursday June 30. Bands include local favorites like Trippin Billies, 7th Heaven, Strawdawg and more.

June 18-19
Gold Coast Art Fair
Grant Park, S Lake Shore Dr. & E Monroe St., Chicago
Sat 10-5, Sun 10-5
Children 12 and under are free. Over 12 $10
This award-winning, family-friendly art fair welcomes 200 juried artists from around the country and draws thousands of art enthusiasts from Chicago and beyond, creating an exceptional, shoppable art experience. Paintings, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, mixed media and more will be exhibited and available for purchase, and live music stages will provide entertainment in various locations, along with delicious food.

Saturdays, June 18 - August 27
Lombard's Cruise Nights & Summer Concerts
South Park Avenue, Lombard
Kick back, relax and enjoy this unique experience that brings classic and custom cars, live music, and Lombard’s local businesses together for family-friendly summer events in Downtown Lombard. All concerts will be held at S. Park Ave. from 6 - 9 p.m., and guests may set up chairs at 5 p.m. with parking available in the Metra commuter lots.

Sundays, June 19 - August 7
Deerfield Sumer Concert Series
Floral Park, Floral Park Trail, Deerfield
5 - 6:30 PM
Join your friends and neighbors at Floral Park for Deerfield's Summer Concert Series. Bring a picnic dinner, chairs or a blanket for an evening of live music and fun.

Mondays and Thursdays, June 20 - August 18
Millennium Park Summer Music Series
Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue between Randolph/Monroe, Chicago
See web site for schedule
Mondays and Thursdays, June 20–August 18, 2022. Millennium Park Summer Music Series features a wide variety of music from established and emerging artists at the iconic Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

Wednesdays, June 22 - July 27
Dancin' In The Streets Summer Concerts
Downtown Clarendon Hills on Prospect Avenue
Bring your own chairs and blankets, visit the beer tent for adult beverages, and grab dinner and dessert from our local restaurants and food retailers.

Wednesdays, June 22 - August 10
Music Under the Stars
Memorial Park, 132 Oak Ave.. La Grange Park
Concerts are every Wednesday beginning June 22 through August 10, no concert on August 3. - August 4 from 7-8:30pm. Bands include local favorites like Jolly Ringwalds, Second Hand Soul Band, Mr. Blotto and more. In the case of inclement weather Music Under the Stars will be Cancelled.

Fridays, June 24 - August 26
Wiggleworms at Navy Pier
10am-10:45am and 11am-11:45am
Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago
Join us Fridays at Navy Pier for Wiggleworms, Old Town School of Folk Music's celebrated early childhood music program. Free and open to the public! This free program for babies, toddlers and preschoolers features two back-to-back 45-minute performances, separated by a 15-minute break.

June 24-26
Logan Square Arts Festival
Logan Square, Milwaukee and Logan, Chicago
See web site for schedule
The Logan Square Arts Festival features two stages of live music, food, drinks, and a renewed focus on creating a one-of-kind experience in one of the most iconic green spaces in the city of Chicago. The LSAF is three-day celebration of the diversity and vitality of our neighborhood, and it all takes place on first of?cial weekend of the Summer.

July 6
Cirque Goes to Hollywood
Pritzker Music Pavilion, 201 E Randolph St., Chicago
6:30 - 8pm
Sweeping Hollywood melodies meet the soaring acrobatics of Troupe Vertigo. Aerialists and jugglers performing eye-popping feats of form and agility choreographed to music from hit films such as Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, the spy-thriller Mission Impossible, plus Up, ?Batman, Chicago and more.

Wednesdays, July 6 - August 10
Northcenter Summer Concert Series
Northcenter Town Square, 4100 N Damen Ave., Chicago
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Join us on Wednesdays July 6, 13, 20, 27 and August 3, & 10 for the return of the Northcenter Summer Concert Series in Northcenter Town Square! Bring your own blanket or chair.

July 8-10
Square Roots Festival
Lincoln Square, 4400-4560 N Lincoln Ave., Chicago
See web site for schedule
Suggested Donation $10 Adults; $5 Seniors over 65 and Children under 12
Square Roots brings together the best of Lincoln Square, Chicago, and beyond, with live music, family fun, local restaurants and vendors, and the best craft beer showcase of any Chicago street fest. More than 50 acts will appear on 4 stages, and food will be served up from a variety of Lincoln Square restaurants.

July 8-10
West Fest
West Town, 1800-2000 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago
Friday 5-10pm, Saturday and Sunday 12pm-10pm
$10 optional donation
West Fest Chicago presents neighborhood retailers and restaurants, plus local fine artists and makers as vendors. The event also features Pet Fest with dog activities for charity, and Kid Fest with family activities and live entertainment, and more. West Fest Chicago reflects the eclectic West Town community, and is also renown for cutting edge live music programmed by Empty Bottle Presents, plus the ever popular West Fest Chicago House DJ stage.

July 9-10
Southport Art Fest
Southport Corridor, Waveland and Southport, Chicago
10am - 7pm
This two-day festival will showcase some of the city’s best and most diverse artists. Families will have the opportunity to bring their children and enjoy all that Southport Art Fest has to offer. A special Kid's area has been designed with interactive games and activities that will make for an unforgettable time.

July 22-24
Taste of Lincoln Avenue
Lincoln Park, 2500 N Lincoln Ave., Chicago
12:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Taste of Lincoln Avenue offers plenty of food and arts and crafts vendors, and one main music stage with amazing regional and local entertainment.

July 29-31
Jeff Fest
Jefferson Memorial Park, 4822 N Long Ave., Chicago
Friday 5-10, Saturday and Sunday 2-10
12 and under free with paying adult; Adults $7
Get down to great tunes, tasty foods, family fun and more at the 21st annual summer happening that is Jeff Fest (aka Jefferson Park Arts & Music Festival). Beyond music and food, the Kids’ Zone area on the north side of the park features a ton of cool activities for families. It’s also where one will find the fest’s groovin’ "Community Stage."

August 12-14
Retro on Roscoe
Roscoe Village, Roscoe and Damen, Chicago
See web site for schedule
$10 suggested donation
Go back in time with music enthusiasts, families, and gearheads for a back in the day weekend. Three stages will be spread amongst an eminent six-block stretch in Chicago’s favorite Roscoe Village. After eating some small bites make sure to head over to the family area that offers prime inflatables, delectable crafts, balloon artists, face painting, music, rides and more.

August 20-21
Chicago Air and Water Show
North Avenue Beach, 1600 North, Chicago
10am - 2pm
The Chicago Air and Water Show presented by the City of Chicago is the largest FREE show of its kind in the United States. The show can be viewed along the lakefront from Fullerton to Oak Street, with North Avenue Beach as the focal point.

August 26-28
Taste of Greektown
Greektown, 100-400 S. Halsted St., Chicago
Friday 4-11, Saturday & Sunday noon-11
A mix of local Greektown businesses and food vendors will provide refreshments and authentic Greek cuisine, like feta, tzatziki and roasted chicken, so Windy City foodies can experience traditional Mediterranean dishes. Lively Greek bands, dance troupes, local musicians and The Jesse White Tumblers will perform throughout the weekend.

Farmers Markets

Sundays, April 30 - November 19
Lincoln Park Farmers Market
Lincoln Park High School Parking Lot, 2001 N Orchard St., Chicago
7am - 1pm
This Lincoln Park neighborhood Farmers Market features produce and items from a variety of local farmers and vendors from Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. Takes place every Saturday from 7-11am, April 30 to May 1st to November 19th, 2021 Rain or shine!

Tuesdays, May 3 - November 22
Lincoln Square Farmers Market
Lincoln Square, 2309 W. Leland Ave., Chicago
7am - noon
Discover over 40 vendors each week at the Lincoln Square Farmers Market. Occurring Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon in the heart of Lincoln Square, the market connects local farmers, artisans, and food purveyors to the Northside of Chicago.

Wednesdays and Saturdays, May 4 - October 29
Green City Market Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park, 1817 N Clark St., Chicago
Wednesdays 7am - 1pm, Saturdays, 8am - 1pm.
Discover the best of the Midwest at Green City Market's Lincoln Park farmers' market, with dozens of local, sustainable farmers and food producers, community programs for all ages, and more, April through October. Time: Wednesdays 7am - 1pm, Saturdays, 8am - 1pm.

Saturdays, May 7 - October 29
Green City Market West Loop
Mary Bartelme Park, 115 S Sangamon St., Chicago
8am - 1pm
Discover the best of the Midwest at Green City Market's West Loop farmers' market, with dozens of local, sustainable farmers and food producers, community programs for all ages, and more, every Saturday, June through October, in Mary Bartelme Park.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 7 - October 11
Lakeview Low Line Farmers Market
Southport Brown Line Auxiliary Exit, 3410 N. Southport Ave., Chicago
Tuesdays 7am - noon; Thursdays 3-7pm
The Low-Line Market is a conveniently located and carefully curated farmers market, with the goal of creating an experience where neighbors can meet and gather while having greater access to a collection of high-quality produce, proteins, flowers and artisanal foods from local farms and vendors.