The 8 Best Summer Festivals to Attend in Chicago
Warm weather and sunshine bring Chicagoans out full force for summer festivals and memorable events. The Windy City has no shortage of summer festivals, with events occurring throughout town. From food to music to exciting live shows, summer festivals provide fun entertainment for everyone in the family. Here are some of the best family-friendly festivals for you to enjoy soon in Chicago.
Aug. 4 – 7: Windy City Smokeout
Image by Melissa Askew is licensed with Unsplash License
Windy City Smokeout is one of Chicago’s biggest country music festivals. This family-friendly event is a celebration filled with country music, food, and drinks. Attendees can see more than 15 live music performances over the four-day festival. Willie Nelson performs on Thursday evening, and other headliners throughout the weekend include Tim McGraw, Sam Hunt, and Miranda Lambert.
Dozens of vendors from all over the U.S. will serve festival food such as barbecue ribs, roasted pork, tacos, Chicago-style hot dogs, burgers, and more. There will also be plenty of desserts, including ice cream, funnel cakes, and homemade cookies.
The event takes place in the United Center Parking Lot at 1901 West Madison St. General admission starts at $64.95 a person, and four-day passes are available for $184.95. Children 10 and under are free (excluding the VIP area).
Aug. 5 – 7: C2E2: Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo
The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, or C2E2, takes place over the first weekend of August. Explore hundreds of booths and attractions related to comic books, video games, anime, film, and more at this gigantic pop culture convention. Self-proclaimed geeks, nerds, and gamers assemble to participate in this massive fandom event. You’ll be able to get autographs and photographs with your favorite comic book artists, authors, and many other genre celebrities.
The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo 2022 will take place in the South Building at McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive. Tickets start at $40 for a one-day adult pass and $20 for a three-day pass for children ages 6-12 with the purchase of an adult pass. Family and multiple-day passes are available.
Aug. 19 – 21: Ribfest Chicago
Ribfest Chicago, one of the city’s most popular food festivals, is celebrating its 22nd year this summer. The family will enjoy ribs, rock music, and beverages from more than 30 food vendors at this three-day event. Northcenter Chamber of Commerce sponsors this event that historically draws more than 60,000 attendees who consume over 50,000 pounds of mouthwatering ribs.
Ribfest Chicago takes place in Northcenter along Damen, Irving Park, and Lincoln streets. Admission is free.
Aug. 19 – 21: Ruido Fest
Ruido Fest is Chicago’s Latin alternative music festival. The all-ages event features more than 40 live performances over the three-day weekend. Attendees can purchase food and merchandise from dozens of vendors during the event.
Ruido Fest takes place at Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St. Tickets are $99.99 per day or $199.99 for a three-day pass. Children 14 and under are free with a paid adult admission. Gates open at 3 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Aug. 20 – 21: Chicago Air and Water Show
The annual Chicago Air and Water Show is the largest free event of its kind in the U.S. Observers line up along the lakefront at North Avenue Beach and from Fullerton to Oak Street to watch stunning aerial displays. The show takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Aug. 26 – 28: Taste of Greektown
Chicago’s assemblage of diverse ethnic groups is one of the city’s major perks. Celebrate the city’s Mediterranean heritage at Taste of Greektown the last weekend in August. The event features live entertainment, including musical and dance performances, games and attractions for kids, and plenty of traditional Greek cuisine. Hellas 2000 will perform various traditional and modern Greek music every day of the festival.
Check out Taste of Greektown at 315 S. Halsted St. from 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Entry is free with a suggested donation of $7.
Sept. 4: Bike the Drive
Cycle along with your family and thousands of other Chicago residents at Bike the Drive, a fun experience that provides health benefits and lots of enjoyable social interaction. The city shuts down vehicular access to scenic Lake Shore Drive for the morning of this legendary cycling event. The entire course is 30 miles, and your family can ride its entirety or just segments of the route. Three rest stops are set up to provide restroom access and supply riders with water and energizing snacks.
Begin your ride at DuSable Lake Shore Drive at Jackson any time between 6:30 and 10:30 a.m. Cyclists have road access until noon, when vehicles can reenter the street. After riding, celebrate at the festival in Grant Park with other participants.
The event benefits Active Trans, a nonprofit agency that promotes improving public transit within the larger Chicagoland area. Adult admission is $50, and youth tickets for ages 17 and under are $18. An adult must accompany youth participants.
Sept. 16 – 18: Riot Fest
Music lovers of all ages can enjoy live rock and punk bands and a carnival at Riot Fest in Douglass Park this September. Dozens of bands, including My Chemical Romance, Nine Inch Nails, and the Misfits, will perform on the five stages at this three-day event. Many vendors will provide food and merchandise booths.
Riot Fest takes place on South Sacramento Drive and Ogden Avenue. General admission tickets are $99.98 for adults, and children 5 and under are free with a paying adult. Two- and three-day passes are also available. Festival grounds are open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. all three days.
Allied Plumbing & Heating Supply Co. wants to celebrate the community of Chicago by promoting these fabulous family events. Drop us a line to tell us what events and festivals you’re attending this summer and where your favorite family hangouts are in the Windy City.