The Must-See Summer Events in Chicago

Chicago is our home. Summer in Chicago always melts away the pains of winter. Thanks to the city’s active citizens, curious visitors, and accommodating infrastructure, Chicago blooms into a bustling cultural playground in the warmer months. The best part? Almost everything is free! (Food and drink is usually on you, though.)

Here are the five summer events in Chicago we’re most excited for here at GMS DMC:

1. Chicago Blues Festival: June 13-15, Grant Park (Free!)

Come see why Chicago is known as the blues capital of the world. The Chicago Blues Festival is the largest free blues festival in the world and has featured past legends such as B.B. King, Ray Charles, and Buddy Guy. This year will include Dr. John, Bettye LaVette, Billy Boy Arnold, and many more.

2. Taste of Chicago: July 9-13, Grant Park (Free!)

Get ready to be stuffed! The annual Taste of Chicago is the world’s largest outdoor food festival. The event features live music, children’s activities, and of course, food. More than 200 different dishes representing a wide range of cuisine will be featured on this year’s menu. Music headliners include Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Janelle Monae, AWOLNATION, and many more!

3. Lollapalooza: August 1-3, Grant Park

If you’re looking to enjoy today’s best music amid the towering skyline of Chicago, Lollapalooza is for you! One of the best known music festivals in the US, Lollapalooza isn’t just any music festival; it’s a “cultural experience.” Spanning a mile from end to end, the festival features a wide selection of live music, vendor booths, and festival giveaways. And fill up your belly at Chow Town, a selection of festival food from some of Chicago’s favorite restaurants.

4. Air and Water Show: August 16-17, North Avenue Beach (Free!)

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Here’s your chance to witness daring thrills and death-defying action as pilots fly across the sky along Chicago’s lakefront. The annual Chicago Air & Water Show is the largest free air and water exhibition of its kind and is expected to pull in an audience of more than 2 million people. Pack a cooler, lay out a beach towel, and enjoy the show!

5. Millennium Park Celebrates its 10th Anniversary: All Summer (Free!)

There’s no shortage of things to see and do at Chicago’s Millennium Park, from architecture and gardens to movies and music concerts. This year marks the 10th anniversary since this magnificent public park transformed into the architectural wonder it is today, and this summer will be full of free events to check out.