Top 12 things to do in Chicago before summer ends

Top 12 things to do in Chicago before summer ends
Visit a farmer's market.

Don’t let all those Halloween displays popping up in stores around town scare you.

There still a lot of summer left. But nothing lasts forever. So it you’ve been putting things off. Now is the time to get out there. Here is a baker’s dozen (thirteen) events that won’t disappoint.

Neighborhood and City FestivalsMayfestivalsChicago

Chicago is home to the best summer neighborhood festivals on the planet, bar none. Although the season begins in May, there is still time to hit some of the hottest fests of summer both in the neighborhoods and on the lakefront. 

Millennium Park Summer Film Series

One of our favs, the Millennium Park Summer Film Series final film of the season will be screened on Tuesday August 21 at 6:30 p.m. Free admission on the lawn or Prizker Pavilion.

Movies in the Park rooftop-style

ROOF on theWit offers a Monday night movie series. Movies start at 8:30 p.m. on the ROOF on theWit hotel (201 N. State St.)  These events are 21+ and include complimentary popcorn for attendees.  

Free Summer Workouts in Millennium Park

FREE Summer Workouts on the Great Lawn in Millennium Park continue through Saturdays, September 1. Each workout is 45 minutes, with classes beginning on the hour, every hour from 7–11 a.m. Workouts and start times are: Pilates at 7 a.m., Yoga at 8 a.m., Strength Training at 9 a.m.  and Zumba® at 10 a.m. Weekday Yoga will also be offered on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, through August 31, 7:30–8:15 a.m. 


This is a no-brainer. With 28 miles of prime shoreline, Chicago beaches offer a great staycation or even a lunch hour escape. Check out Chicago Traveler’s  list of Chicago’s most popular beaches.  And make sure to take a dip. August is the best time to go for a swim in Lake Michigan with the water  often warming up to 80 degrees.

Farmers Markets

There is a Farmers Market somewhere in the city, every day of the week. There are evening markets, day markets, French Markets and more from Daley Plaza on Thursdays to the mostly organic Green City Market where many of Chicago’s top chefs get their produce and so much more. Click here for a day by day list from Redeyd.

Art Festivals

From the city to the burbs there are a host of art festivals. Click here for some upcoming festivals. 

Get out on the waterfirstladyboatdock

Be it a water taxi, a tour boat, the Seadog, the wooden ship Windy or one of Chicago’s Cruise ships mostly docked along Navy Pier get out and see Chicago by water.

Ravinia Festival

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett from summer's past at Ravinia Festival. Photo: Chicago Tribune

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett from summer’s past at Ravinia Festival. Photo: Chicago Tribune

A concert at Ravinia is a rite of summer for many. A host of good acts are still on the calendar for the festival which runs  through September 16. For tickets and information, click here.

Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks

Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks brings free world-class performances to  neighborhood parks throughout Chicago, but hurry it only goes through August 26, 2018


Navy Pier has fireworks every Wednesday (9:30) and Saturday (10:15) through September 1.

The Riverwalkriverwalkcelebration401

You can rent a kayak, have a glass of wine at City Winery or watch a show being performed on a barge. There’s a boatload of things to do at Chicago’s popular attraction on the Chicago River from Columbus Drive to Lake St.

The Randolph Street Market

The Randolph Street Market continues their 15th Anniversary celebration with their outdoor market on Saturday, August 25 and Sunday, August 26th and on September 29 and Sunday, September 30. Located in the heart of Downtown Chicago, the Randolph Street Market is an internationally revered European-style antiques and vintage market in Chicago’s historic West Loop/Fulton Market. The Chicago gem is known as the treasure hunting destination for antique collectors, merchandisers, decorators, fashionistas, stylists and Hollywood set decorators. Not only is there shopping but there’s food, booze and entertainment offering a festival-like atmosphere.  For more information, click here.

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