100+ Free Things to Do With Kids in Chicago

Posted: May 15, 2024

2024 Guide to Free Summer Fun

Best free kids events and activities this Summer in Chicago

Summer 2024 has arrived, and the Chicago Kids Guide to Free Summer Fun is jam-packed with the 100+ best 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 is Millennium Park’s ‘secret garden’. This naturalistic garden is a place of rest and renewal for humans and wildlife alike. An urban model of responsible horticulture, Lurie Garden provides a healthy habitat for a wide variety of plants, animals, and insects.

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 to view the this season's projections, including including Nora Turato, on display now through June 5, with new displays after. Hours are from 9:30pm through June 5; 9-10pm June 6-Sept 11, and 7:30-8:30 Sept 12-Dec 30.

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
2430 N. Cannon Dr., 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! Wednesdays this summer from 10am to noon at the Farm-in-the-Zoo from Wednesdays May 29 - August 28, enjoy Play! where kids ages 1-5 can take in a tall tale during story time, get messy at the process art station, sift and scoop at the sensory bin, or make music.

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. Closed on Fridays.

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 free general admission 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
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. Check out free family days the second Saturday of the month.

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 cream.

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
4018 W Irving Park Rd., 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 only 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. 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

May 18
What's Blooming on Harrison
Oak Park Arts District, 211 Harrison, Oak Park
11am - 7pm
Oak Park’s largest and favorite spring street festival includes an art fair, crafter booths, local business booths, food vendors, children's carnival rides, an art auction, craft beer garden, and entertainment stage. With live music and craft beer garden going until 9pm. Free.

Tuesdays May 14 - September 24
Wiggleworms at Gallagher Way
Gallagher Way, 3635 N. Clark St., Chicago
Join the Old Town School of Folk Music on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. for kid-friendly live music, movement, popjets and more! All ages are welcome. Plenty of fun for all ages but designed for 1-6 year olds and parents together. Following the music, bring a blanket and hang out on the greenspace to watch a kid-friendly movie on the Gallagher Way videoboard. Movies start at 11 a.m. Free.

Tuesdays, May 21 - August 13
Downers Grove Summer Concert Series
Fishel Park, 1036 Grove Street, Downers Grove
The FREE concerts are held Tuesday evenings May 21 through August 13 and will feature rock, country, blues and oldies. Doors open and food and beverage sales begin at 6pm each Tuesday. Music will play between 7 and 8:30pm. Music will play between 7 and 8:30pm.

May 24-26
Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest
Sheffield Ave. from Belmont to Roscoe, Chicago
Friday 5-10pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am to 10 pm
Don’t miss top local tribute bands on the main stage (near Roscoe), great eats, yummy food and artisans. Also expect an eclectic “community” entertainment stage near Belmont filled with fun neighborhood music acts, deejays and other performers. $10 donation benefits the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce.

May 25-26
Barrington Art Festival
Downtown Barrington, Cook ad Station Streets
10am - 5pm
Start your family or friend’s day downtown with coffee and breakfast, then soak in unique art from 125+ artists at this long-cherished community tradition. Make your masterpiece at our live painting class, or plan a creative stop in the Kids Art Zone. Be sure to look for Kid’s Art Stop and Live Art Demo signs to get interactive with the artists.

May 25 - August 31
Navy Pier, 600 E. Illinois St., Chicago
9pm Wednesdays, 10pm Saturdays
Enjoy Chicago’s beloved sky spectacle show every Wednesday night at 9pm and Saturday night at 10pm. Immerse yourself in the stunning visuals accompanied by a mix of dramatic and popular music, including some special occasion soundtracks.

Thursdays and select Fridays and holidays, May 26 - August 30
Rockin' in the Park Free Concerts and Fireworks at Rosemont's Parkway Bank Park
5501 Park Place, Rosemont
Free concerts feature music by classic cover bands alongside food and beverage tents on the park’s great lawn. Thursday night concerts will culminate with a musical fireworks display. Free.

Wednesdays May 29 - August 28
Play! at Farm-in-the-Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Dr., Chicago
10am - noon
From sorting pine cones to digging in smooth seeds, children ages 1–5 will explore the sights, smells, and textures that nature has to offer during this free, open-ended experience. Take in a tall tale during story time, get messy at the process art station, sift and scoop at the sensory bin, or make music. Free.

May 31 - June 2
Lincoln Park Greek Fest
St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 2701 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago
Fri 5-11pm, Sat noon - 11pm, Sun noon - 10pm
Come experience the Ancient Greek concept of "filoxenia" and the famous hospitality of the Greek culture. This popular annual cultural celebration on the grounds of St. George Greek Orthodox Church will serve up authentic flavorful food, great music, dancing and pure fun. Suggested donation of $10.

June 1
Chicago Gospel Music Festival
Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue between Randolph/Monroe, Chicago
this FREE inspirational music festival brings audiences of all ages and backgrounds together to celebrate the power of music. 2024 features an all-star lineup headlined by the three-time GRAMMY® winning, highest-selling female gospel group in history, The Clark Sisters; plus Todd Dulaney; Chandler Moore; and Anita Wilson.

June 1-2
Windy City Hot Dog Fest
Portage Park, 4000 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Noon - 10pm
Some of Chicagoland’s favorite hot dog stands will compete for who has the best frankfurter! And you get to be the judge! Plus, in addition to tasty dogs, patrons will get to listen to great local and regional acts on the event’s mainstage. Plus, don’t miss the kids’ area, arts & crafts vendors and a community stage.

June 1-2
76th Annual 57th Street Art Fair
57th Street between Woodlawn and Kenwood, Chicago
Saturday 11-6, Sunday 10-5
The 57th Street Art Fair is THE place to buy art, whether you’re a seasoned collector or new to the art scene. Meet friends, bring your family, enjoy the day at this historic, welcoming, fun event. All artists exhibiting at the Fair are stationed in their booths throughout the weekend to discuss their work.

Wednesdays in June
Pier Dance - Free Dance Lessons
Navy Pier, City Stage Polk Bros Park, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Let loose and learn new moves with this exciting series of free dance lessons. Each week, you’ll dive into a different dance style taught by top-notch instructors from the city. After the lessons, it’s time to hit the dance floor and show off your newly acquired skills!

June 7-9
Andersonville Midsommarfest
Clark from Foster to Gregory
Friday 5-10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday noon-10 p.m.
The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to welcome summer with Andersonville Midsommarfest, one of Chicago's oldest and most beloved summer street festivals. Now in its 58th year, the annual festival will be held along Andersonville's Clark Street corridor. $10 suggested donation.

Fridays, June 7 - August 30
Moonlit Movies in the Park
Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton
8:15pm (sunset)
Bring the family and watch a favorite flick on a new 40-foot inflatable screen. All movies are outdoors and feature lawn seating. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets, and picnics are welcome. Included with admission, which is free for ages 0-15. Check rating - most movies are rated for kids. Free for ages 15 and under.

Thursdays, June 8 - August 10
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, Wendy & BB, Scribblemonster and more. Free.

June 8-9
Wells Street Art Festival
Wells Street between North Avenue and Division, Chicago
Saturday 10-10, Sunday 10-9
Art enthusiasts are guaranteed to find plenty of inspiration when the early summer showcase that is the Wells Street Art Festival celebrates its 49th year. $10 donation. Families can check out the children's play area at Wells and Evergreen where kids can enjoy arts & craft, participate in a performance, or just goof off.

June 8-9
Old Town Art Fair
Old Town Triangle Historic District, 1763 N. North Park Ave., Chicago
Saturday 10-7, Sunday 10-6
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. There’s fun for the whole family with Mad Science, Face Painting, plenty of arts and crafts and more! Suggested donation $12 per adult.

Sundays, June 9 - July 28
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.

Wednesdays, June 12 - August 14
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 Sushi Roll, Diamondback, Mellencougar and more. See web site for schedule. Free.

June 15-16
Gold Coast Art Fair
Grant Park Butler Field, S Lake Shore Dr. & E Monroe St., Chicago
10am - 5pm
This award-winning, family-friendly art fair welcomes 250 juried artists from around the country and draws thousands of art enthusiasts from Chicago and beyond. Ages 12 and under are free; adults $10 thru June 14, $15 June 15-16.

Saturdays, June 15 - August 24
Lombard's Cruise Nights & Summer Concerts
South Park Avenue, Lombard
Come out and enjoy this unique experience, which brings classic and custom cars, live music, and Lombard’s local businesses together for family-friendly summer events. Families can visit the Kids' Corner area to enjoy fun activities including face painting, balloon artists, magic shows and more.

Wednesdays, June 19 - August 7
Childrens Concerts | Wednesdays in the Woods
Hubbard Woods Park, 939 Green Bay Road, Winnetka
11:00 am - 11:45 am
Enjoy free interactive children’s concerts. 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. Entertainment includes Scribble Monster, Mary Macaroni, Ben Tatar and more.

Select Wednesdays, June 19 - August 28
Wednesdays in the Woods - Family Concerts
Hubbard Woods Park, 939 Green Bay Road, Winnetka
Join us for FREE live music every Wednesday night throughout the summer! Bring chairs + blankets to enjoy the warm summer night with friends and family. Entertainment includes popular local bands like Mike and Joe, Trippin' Billies, 7th Heaven, Hellow Weekend and more.

Thursdays, June 20 - July 25
Summer Celebrations Series
Ross Ferraro Town Center, 960 N Gary Ave, Carol Stream
Taking place on Thursday nights, these concerts provide free fun and entertainment that the whole family can enjoy.Bands include local favorites like Billy Elton, 7th Heaven, Anchors Away and more.

June 22-23
Chicago Pride Parade
N. Halsted Street at Addison, Chicago
11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
Pride Fest features live music on 3 stages, a Youth Pride Space for teens, best of Chicago drag performance, the Proud Pet Parade with prizes, dance exhibitions, Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus, guest speakers and over 150 food and merchandise vendors. $15 donation appreciated.

Sundays, June 23 - August 11
Summer Concert Series Floral Park
Floral Park, Floral Park Trail, Deerfield
5 - 6:30 PM (July 2 1pm)
Join your friends and neighbors at Floral Park for our Summer Concert Series. Bring a picnic dinner, chairs or a blanket for an evening of live music and fun.

Wednesdays, June 26 - August 7
Dancin' In The Streets Summer Concerts
Downtown Clarendon Hills on Prospect Avenue
Gather your family, friends, and neighbors and head to downtown Clarendon Hills. Bring your own chairs and blankets, and set up your space to enjoy a fun and relaxing summer evening with live music, food and beverages under the stars.

Wednesdays, June 26 - August 7
Music Under the Stars
Memorial Park, 132 Oak Ave.. La Grange Park
Concerts are every Wednesday June 26 through August 7 from 7-8:30pm. Bands include local favorites like Mr. Myers, Sting Rays, Telltale Hearts and more.

June 28-30
Logan Square Arts Festival
Logan Square, Milwaukee and Logan, Chicago
Friday 5-10pm, Saturday and Sunday 12-10pm
The Logan Square Arts Festival is three-day celebration of the diversity and vitality of this neighborhood. The festival partners with neighborhood art organizations on the presentation of visual art across the festival grounds, and with local music venues to present a diverse array of music representative of our neighborhood. Suggested donation.

Mondays and Thursdays, July 1 - August 8
Millennium Park Summer Music Series
Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue between Randolph/Monroe, Chicago
Millennium Park Summer Music Series features a wide variety of music from established and emerging artists at the iconic Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

July 12-14
Square Roots Festival
Lincoln Square, 4400-4560 N Lincoln Ave., Chicago
See web site for hours
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. Suggested donation.

July 12-14
West Fest
West Town, 1800-2000 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago
Friday 5-10pm, Saturday and Sunday 12pm-10pm
The Festival features local restaurants, food trucks, food vendors, West Town retail vendors, corporate sponsors, local artists and more. Kid Fest on Saturday and Sunday is a kid friendly event complete with its own vendors and live entertainment stage. Also Saturday and Sunday is Pet Fest, with a dog obstacle course, paw painting, pet retail and services booths and more. Suggested donation.

July 12-14
Jeff Fest
Jefferson Memorial Park, 4822 N Long Ave., Chicago
Friday 5-10, Saturday 2-10 and Sunday 2-9pm
Held in idyllic (and popular) Jefferson Memorial Park just west of the intersection of Milwaukee and Lawrence Avenues, Jeff Fest is a proud tradition in one of Chicago’s most friendly communities. 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.” $10 for adults, kids free.

July 13-14
Southport Art Fest
Southport Corridor, Waveland and Southport, Chicago
10am - 7pm
Southport Art Fest is perfect place to spend the weekend with your family and enjoy all that Southport Art Fest has to offer. A special kid's area has been designed with interactive games and activities, ideal for the artist to shine in every kid.

July 26-28
Taste of Lincoln Avenue
Lincoln Park, 2500 N Lincoln Ave., Chicago
Friday 3-10pm; Sat-Sunday Noon-10 p.m.
Taste of Lincoln Avenue offers plenty of food and arts and crafts vendors, an amazing line-up from bands all over the Midwest, Arts & crafts galore, and a Kids’ Carnival with non-stop activities for your littles including inflatables, arts/crafts and performances. Suggested donation.

July 27-28
Chinatown Summer Fair
2200-2400 S. Wentworth, Chicago
Saturday noon - 10pm, Sunday 10am - 7pm
This neighborhood street festival will open with a Lion Dance procession at 12:30 p.m., a welcome at 1 p.m. on Main Stage, followed by cultural performances. The fair will also feature a taste of Chinatown’s restaurants, unique gift shops, and a children’s area.

July 27-28
Chinatown Summer Fair
2200-2400 S. Wentworth, Chicago
Saturday noon - 10pm, Sunday 10am - 7pm
This neighborhood street festival will open with a Lion Dance procession at 12:30 p.m., a welcome at 1 p.m. on Main Stage, followed by cultural performances. The fair will also feature a taste of Chinatown’s restaurants, unique gift shops, and a children’s area.

August 3-4
Wilmette Art Fair
Wilmette & Central Avenues, Wilmette
Enjoy thousands of paintings, sculptures, photographs, jewelry, and more on Wilmette and Central Avenues. Become living art with face painting, and make your masterpiece with a live painting classes. Be sure to look for Kid’s Art Stops and Live Art Demo signs to get interactive with the artists. There’s something for everyone from traditional to modern tastes.

August 10-11
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 10-11
Printer's Row Art Fest
701 S. Dearborn, Chicago
10am - 5pm
Browse thousands of art pieces from 95 truly unique artists, and then be sure to get creative in the Kids Art Zone for art projects, face painting and more. Take a break with tasty treats and live music, and look for Kids Art Stop & Live Art Demo stations to interact with our artists.

August 16-18
Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival
800 Church St., Evanston
Fri 12pm-5pm, Sat/Sun 10am-5pm
Join fellow art lovers in browsing thousands of original pieces from an impressive 150 juried artists showing paintings, sculpture, jewelry, mixed media, photography and so much more. Take a break at the extensive tasty foods area, try a painting class, or visit the Kids Art Zone with the little artist in your life.

August 24-25
Port Clinton Art Festival
600 Central Ave., Highland Park
See paintings, sculpture, mixed media work and more. Get your steps in while browsing thousands of art pieces from 260 of the best artists in the country. Have kids? Get creative at the Kids Art Zone with art projects, face painting and more. Take a break with a cold beer, specialty coffee, tasty treats and live music. Look for Kids Art Stop & Live Art Demo stations and interact with our artists! Celebrate 41 years of art at Port Clinton Art Festival in Highland Park.

September 6-8
Taste of Greektown
Greektown, 315 S. Halsted St., Chicago
Friday 4-10, Saturday & Sunday 11am-10
Blending Old World traditions with a 21st century freshness, the tantalizing food and spirits from neighborhood eateries will again be the main attraction. There will also be plenty of music and entertainment including Greek bands and games for both kids and families. Opa! $10 donation.

Farmers Markets

May through October
Lincoln Square Farmers Market
Lincoln Square, 4513 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
Tuesday 7am - noon, Thursday 3-7pm
Discover over 50 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. Note: No market May 30, July 4 or Sept 5.

Wednesdays and Saturdays, May - October
Green City Market Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park, 1817 N Clark St., Chicago
7am - 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 November.

Saturdays, May through November
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, May through November, in Mary Bartelme Park.

Tuesdays June 4 - October 8
Lakeview Low Line Farmers Market
Southport Brown Line Auxiliary Exit, 3410 N. Southport Ave., Chicago
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.

Wednesdays, June - October
Ravenswood Community Farmers Market
Ravenswood Evangelical Covenant Church, 4900 N. Damen Ave., Chicago
Ravenswood Community Farmers Market is a collaboration between vendors, local businesses, residents, and The Ravenswood Evangelical Covenant Church. During the event, kids can enjoy activities including the bouncy house, science projects, and water games. In addition, the new market will have food only vendors, and a strong focus on Community Outreach.