Things to Do in Chicago in July

Summer is in full swing in Chicago – there’s a festival every weekend, tons of farmer’s markets to choose from, the beaches are packed and the best alfresco restaurants have their patios and decks up and running. There is so much to do in Chicago this month – here are a few of your best best for things to do in Chicago in July.

July 1 – July 3Taste of Chicago – The undisputed king of summer festivals, the Taste of Chicago is huge. Hundreds of thousands of people, hundreds of food vendors, and dozens of free musical performances and cooking demonstrations held in Grant Park over 10 days.

July 7 – 30 Summerdance – free dance lessons and music in the park.

July 7, 14, 21, 28– Free admission at the Art Institute from 5pm to 8pm and free admission at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum all day

July 5, 12, 29, and 26 – Free admission at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, with free tours on Tuesdays at 1pm, 2pm and 6pm

July 8, 9, 10Irish American Heritage Festival. Now in it’s 25th year, the event features live Irish music, Irish food, and of course, lots of beer.

July 14-15 Rock Around the Block. This showcase of local bands is all about the music, with bands performing on three stages.

July 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, 31 – Free tours of Half Acre Beer Company at 1pm. RSVP required.

July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 – Free for All. Free improv comedy shows at the Playground. Best of all, shows are BYOB.

July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 – DuSable Museum of African American History from noon – 5pm

July 5, 12, 19, 26 – Free admission at the Chicago History Museum

July 8 – Pilsen 2nd Friday Artwalk. One of my favorite monthly events, the Artwalk is held at galleries in Pilsen, around 18th and Halsted. Free wine and cheese and great art make this is an excellent (and low-cost) night out. 6pm-10pm

July 16-17 – Lincoln Park Arts Festival – featuring live music, food and drinks.

July 23-24 42nd Annual Sheffield Garden Walk and Festival – with live music from Soul Asylum and Mike Doughty, plus tours of more than 90 area gardens.

July 30-31 Taste of Lincoln – this food-centric fest features more than 350 vendors and 40 musical acts.

July 30-31 Summer on Southport – more booze, food, and live music.

Photo by adriangonsalves