There are so many great things to do in Chicago this month. July brings a jam-packed schedule of block parties, festivals, concerts, sporting events, art exhibits, parades, cultural celebrations, outdoor adventures, and more. Check out these top picks for things to do in Chicago this month and beyond. Please note that all events are subject to change. 

Top events in Chicago this July

A musician interacts with the crowd at Windy City Smokeout

Feel the thrill of NASCAR Street Race Weekend(July 1 2): NASCAR is coming to Chicago for its first-ever street race starting in Grant Park. Plus, the Black Crowes, Miranda Lambert, and The Chainsmokers will be performing. 

Head to the Chosen Few DJ’s Picnic + Festival(July 8): House music takes center stage for this festival in Jackson Park, featuring performances from Chicago’s Chosen Few DJs and special guests.

Enjoy the Millennium Park Film Series (starts July 11): Grab a blanket and pack a picnic, this beloved free movie series is back. Catch Fast Five, Turning Red, and Black Panther in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion this month.

Get ready for the Windy City Smokeout(July 13 16): Chicago’s four-day barbecue and country music fest is back with the county’s top pitmasters and headliners like Zach Bryan, Darius Rucker, Zach Brown Band, and Luke Bryan. 

Chow down at the Taste of Chicago Pullman(July 15): The iconic Taste of Chicago festival gets a neighborhood twist, bringing a pop-up version to Pullman with food and drink samples from local eateries, live music, and family fun.

Be dazzled by the Navy Pier fireworks (various dates): It’s not summer in Chicago without the Navy Pier fireworks, located right on the lakefront. 

Dance with Chicago SummerDance (starts July 15): The Chicago SummerDance series offers introductory dance lessons by professional instructors, followed by live music and dancing in parks around the city.

Head to Sundays on State (July 16): The iconic State Street in downtown Chicago will be open to pedestrians for a family-friendly day of activities, from music, to games, dance, food and drink vendors, and lots more.

Enjoy live music at Pitchfork (July 21 – 23): The Smile, Big Thief, and Bon Iver headline this eclectic music in the West Loop’s Union Park, where you’ll also find an on-site vinyl shop, craft fair, artist interviews, and more. 

Visit the Chinatown Summer Fair(July 2930): A joyous celebration of Chinese culture takes over historic Chinatown with a lion procession, food and drink samplings, street vendors, children’s areas, and more. 

More things to do this July

Tuesdays on the Terrace at the MOCAC
Tuesdays on the Terrace at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Check out the International Festival of Life (July 14): The annual African and Caribbean International Festival of Life comes to Washington Park with plenty of live musical performances, including reggae, R&B, afrobeat, and more.

Shop the Argyle Night Market in Uptown(starting July 6): Every Thursday, a stretch of Argyle Street transforms into a bustling night market, complete with Asian street food, performances, and alfresco dining area. 

Celebrate the Black dance at Art on the MART (starting July 6): Art on the MART’s July season features work by the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project that celebrates and strengthens the impact of Black dance in Chicago.

Listen to live jazz in Hyde Park (July 7): Enjoy a free afternoon music performance in Hyde Park’s Harper Court as part of the free Jazz in the Court series.

Rock out at WestFest (July 79): West Town’s summer festival brings plenty of live music, local fine artists and makers, a Kid Fest, and Pet Fest.

Sip on craft beers at the Square Roots Festival (July 79): The annual festival brings together live music, local restaurants, and an impressive selection of local craft brews in Lincoln Square.

Chow down at Roscoe Village Burger Fest (July 79): Local restaurants fire up the grill and compete to be named best burger at this Roscoe Village festival.

Grab a Revolution beer at Freedom Fest(July 8): The Revolution Brewing taproom will be hosting its second annual Freedom Fest, a beer-filled block party complete with drag performances and great local bites.

Hunt for treasure at the Andersonville Vintage Market (July 9): Search for vintage finds at this summer market, with 30 vendors selling antiques, home decor, jewelry, clothes, and more.

Admire local art at Southport Art Fest (July 89): This summer favorite highlights some of the city’s best artistry, showcasing a variety of mediums throughout the two-day fest.

Head to Edgewater Greek Fest(July 12 14): A tradition for more than 60 years, Edgewater Greek Fest highlights traditional food favorites, as well as plenty of live music, drinks, and more.

Take a historic tour in the Pullman neighborhood (through July): The Historical Pullman Foundation hosts a variety of tours throughout July, spotlighting the lesser known history of this fascinating neighborhood.

Catch a screening for a top film festival (starting July 13): Enjoy a complimentary film screening from the Chicago International Film Festival at the Chicago Cultural Center on Wednesdays throughout the summer.

Get tickets to an immersive concert series (various dates): Live @ Lighthouse pairs a dynamic lineup of classical and jazz performers with captivating visuals.

Browse the Millennium Art Festival (July 14 16): More than 140 artists will display their works in Millennium Park, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, jewelry, and beyond.

Explore natural beauty at the Bucktown Garden Walk(July 1516): Enjoy the beautiful homes and gardens of historic Bucktown during this neighborhood fest that includes access to over 100 urban gardens, live music, and more.

Hear live music under the stars at Millennium Park (through July): Millennium Park’s Summer Music Series is back, so pack a blanket, food and drink, and settle in for a variety of musical performances at Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

Enjoy a beer at Horner Brew Fest  (July 21): Have a drink (or two) for a good cause at this neighborhood craft beer festival with over 30 local breweries, as well as food trucks and live music.

Spice things up at the Tacos y Tamales Festival (July 2123): It’s all things tacos and tamales at this Pilsen food festival, also featuring music and dance performances, a Modelo beer garden, and more.

Eat local at Taste of Lincoln Avenue (July 2123): Food, music, arts, crafts, and local vendors are coming together for the Taste of Lincoln Avenue in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Step aboard the Bronzeville Art Trolley Tour (July 21): Art lovers won’t want to miss the opportunity to tour multiple galleries throughout the Bronzeville neighborhood with hop-on/hop-off double-decker buses.

Check out Ravenswood on Tap(July 22 23): Chicago’s famed Malt Row is the focus of this two-day outdoor beer festival with special tappings, live music, food, axe-throwing, and more throughout the weekend.

Watch a free live dance performance(July 23): In its 35th anniversary season, the Chicago Human Rhythm Project will be showcasing free dance performances, classes, and interactive events culminating in a performance at Millenium Park.

Grab a seat for Shakespeare in the Park (July 25 – 29): Now in its 12th year, this annual series hosted by the acclaimed Chicago Shakespeare Theater Free brings free pop-up performances to parks across the city.

Sip and savor at Lincoln Park Wine Fest(July 28): Over 50 varieties of wine from 20 different wineries will be on offer throughout historic Lincoln Park Zoo, alongside lush gardens and animal habitats.

Shop the Randolph Street Market (July 29 – 30): Browse wares from vintage and antique dealers while enjoying music, beer and wine gardens, food vendors, and more.

Check out Retro Rides at Navy Pier(July 28 – 30): Car enthusiasts won’t want to miss over 100 vintage automobiles being showcased at Retro Rides Experience presented by Klairmont Kollections at Navy Pier.

Head to the beach for the Silver Room Block Party (July 2930): Oakwood Beach is the home of the 18th annual Silver Room Block party, featuring live music, beach volleyball, food, drink, artist vendors, and more.

Hear live music on the Chicago Riverwalk(through July): Summer brings nine weeks of free live music to the downtown waterfront, with Sunday afternoon shows featuring local artists and scenic views.

Celebrate Latino heritage at Fiesta del Sol (July 27 30): The largest Latino festival of its kind in the country, Fiesta del Sol has been running strong in the Pilsen neighborhood for more than 50 years.

Listen to live music at Wicker Park Fest (July 2830): This three-day fest draws inspiration from the vibrant neighborhood it calls home, with eclectic music, great local food, retail and crafts, and more.

Travel the world at Bantu Fest(July 29 30): With cuisine, music, and vendors representing countries from around the world, Bantu Fest in Hyde Park is the city’s largest multicultural festival.

Enjoy live music at Ravinia Fest(through July):There’s so much to love about Ravinia, the outdoor music venue in Highland Park. July brings many performances, including NeYo, John Fogerty, Laurie Berkner, and many classical artists as well.

Catch a movie at Gallagher Way (through July): The Music Box Theater and Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field are teaming up for free movie nights, complete with food and drink vendors, and plenty of outdoor family fun.

Listen to live jazz at the Shedd Aquarium (through July): Every Wednesday in July, catch a live jazz musical performance at the Shedd, with skyline views as your backdrop.

Enjoy the sounds of Grant Park Music Fest(through July): Held at Millennium Park and neighborhood venues around the city, the festival is the nation’s only free, summer-long outdoor classical music series.

Check out Tuesdays on the Terrace (through July): The Museum of Contemporary Art’s summer concert series highlights jazz, hip-hop, house music, blues, and more performances on a weekly Tuesday basis.

Admire Impressionist masterpieces (through July): The Art Institute of Chicago is debuting a new exhibition that features the innovative works of Vincent van Gogh and his fellow luminaries.

Find the best deals at Maxwell Street Market(various dates): The annual Maxwell Street Market is a Chicago tradition filled with live music, family activities, plenty of shopping from local artisan vendors, and lots of food, drink, and fun. 

Play Pixar Putt at Navy Pier (through July): Enjoy a round of mini-golf at this Pixar-themed pop-up with 18 holes of movie-inspired magic. 

Catch a free movie outside Wrigley Field (various dates): Free movie nights return to Gallagher Way this month, featuring family-friendly films.

Immerse yourself in nature at the Morton Arboretum (through July): Artist Olga Ziemskawill be debuting her largest and newest exhibit, a sculpture series created exclusively for the arboretum.