30 Best Things to Do in Chicago and the Suburbs in June 2024

School’s out for summer and that sun-filled surge of seasonal fun throughout Chicago and the suburbs starts now. From art fairs to food fests, Pride Month to Juneteenth, there are countless ways to celebrate summer, party with purpose, and support deserving local nonprofits. To help you get started, here are 30 of the best things to do in Chicago and beyond this month.

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All Month

Dinos Alive!

Travel back to the Jurassic in a thematic park full of realistic dinosaurs — see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Come face to face with over 80 specimens of life-sized, moving replicas: T-rex, Stegosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Velociraptors, and many more. Visit the Dinos Alive! website for details and tickets.

2367 W. Logan Blvd.

Farmer’s Market at MCA Plaza

Photo by Jeremy Lawson Photography

Every Tuesday this summer from 7am-2pm — rain or shine — you can shop at the SOAR Farmers Market on the MCA Plaza. Many beloved vendors will be back at the colorful open-air market offering their fresh fruits and vegetables, cut and potted flowers, baked goods, cheeses, spices and more. The market runs June 4 – October 29, head over to the Farmer’s Market at MCA Plaza online for more.

220 E .Chicago Ave.

Christina Ramberg: A Retrospective

Untitled (Hand), 1971 | Photo courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

Christina Ramberg was an influential member of Chicago’s contemporary art scene in the ’70s and ’80s. While best known for her paintings of fragmented female bodies, throughout her career she vacillated between the depiction of various figural elements while also creating abstracted forms that emphasize structure and surface. View her exhibit at the Art Institute now through August 11 — reserve your chance to see it by visiting Christina Ramberg: A Retrospective online.

111 S. Michigan Ave.

Homeschool Days at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago

Join Homeschool Days for discounted LEGO® educational play! Tickets are $7/child and $10/adult. No group minimum. Inspire creativity with friends on the ultimate LEGO® field trip. Visit LEGO® online for more.

601 N Martingale Rd, Schaumburg

Rhinoceros Theater Festival

As Chicago’s longest-running fringe festival, since 1988, the Rhinoceros Theater Festival brings in theater lovers from all walks of life and from all around the city. With multiple venues this year — Chicago Dramatists, Facility Theatre, Perceptions Theatre and Labyrinth Arts — this month-long series is sure to attract many. All tickets are pay-what-you-can, and seats can be reserved ahead of time though not required. The full lineup of shows — from comedy, to drama, to romance and more — and tickets can be found at the Rhinoceros Theater Festival.

007 Science: Inventing the World of James Bond

Through October 27, The Museum of Science and Industry wants to welcome guests to the first-ever “official exhibition to focus on the science and technology behind the world’s longest-running movie franchise” — 007 Science: Inventing the World of James Bond. From iconic cars and gadgets to props from the James Bond film series, this exhibit has it all. Go behind the scenes to learn how the production team pulled off the marvel that is the James Bond series. All exhibit logistics and tickets can be found online at 007 Science: Inventing the World of James Bond

5700 South Lake Shore Dr.

June 1: Junior League of Evanston-North Shore’s 100th Anniversary Gala

Join the Junior League of Evanston-North Shore on Saturday, June 1st for their 100th Anniversary Gala from 6-10pm at the Deer Path Inn in Lake Forest. The evening will include dinner, drinks, a DJ and dancing. The event is also open to the public — secure your tickets now by visiting Junior League of Evanston-North Shore online.

June 1: Putt for History Golf Outing

In partnership with Pine Hills Golf Club, the Reddick Mansion Association is proud to announce the 4th Annual Putt for History Golf Outing. The format is an 18-Hole, 4-Person Scramble, and the First Place Purse is $500. There will also be chances for a great variety of gift baskets, too.

June 1-2: Maifest Chicago

At this annual festival located in Lincoln Square, food, dancing and German Gemütlichkeit are always in full swing. All days of the event include live music and entertainment, plus vendors, games and more. Check out the Maifest website, and find all the cool ways this fest celebrates every year.

June 1-2: Do Division Street Fest

Like many other festivals in the city, Do Division Street Fest has food vendors and live music — but did you know they will also have a family fun fest and fashion runway supported by local boutiques? Well they do, and an array of arts, entertainment and cuisine will also be present at this year’s fest. Leashed dogs are welcome, too, making it a great outing for families! Check out the Do Division Street Fest site for a full list of what to expect at this community get together.

Division Street between Damen and Leavitt

June 1-2: Windy City Hot Dog Fest

If there is one thing Chicagoans know, it’s that hot dogs are a delicacy here. And the vendors at the Windy City Hot Dog Fest know that, too, which is why some of the city’s best hot dog artisans are coming out for the droves of hungry attendees. From noon – 10pm each day catch some delicious dogs in Portage Park, while also acting as a judge for best dog and enjoying live, local music. There’s a kids activity area too, making this a perfect event to feed the family and enjoy some time outside. Want to find out more? Visit Windy City Hot Dog Fest.

4000 N. Milwaukee Ave.

June 2: New Georgia O’Keeffe Exhibition at the Art Institute

Georgia O’Keeffe, East River from the Shelton (East River No. 1) | Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

Georgia O’Keeffe: “My New Yorks” is on view from June 2 – September 22. This exhibition — featuring approximately 100 works across a range of media, including paintings, drawings, pastels and photographs — is the first to examine O’Keeffe’s urban landscapes, situating them in the diverse context of her other compositions of the 1920s-1930s. Head over to the Art Institute online for more information.

111 S. Michigan Ave.

June 2: Chicago House Music Festival

One of Chicago’s many success stories is that it is the birthplace of house music, a genre “that has gone on to revolutionize dance music internationally.” This month, we celebrate the sounds, moves and community surrounding this way of expression at the annual House Music Festival. To find out what acts will be there and how to plan your visit, head over to the Chicago House Music Festival and Conference online.

1301 N. Humboldt Dr.

June 5: Parenting with Pride: A Discussion with Heather Hester

The Book Stall will be hosting author Heather Hester for an in-store discussion, featuring her new book, Parenting with Pride: Unlearn Bias and Embrace, Empower, and Love Your LGBTQ+ Teen — “the ultimate LGBTQ parenting handbook.” The book is packed with accessible knowledge and “provides actionable yet profound tools and mental shifts to help parents support their teens and themselves and to be a catalyst for change in their communities.” Check out The Book Stall online for more details about this free event.

811 Elm Street, Winnetka

June 6: Strides for Peace Race Against Gun Violence

The Race Against Gun Violence (RAGV) “celebrates the life-changing work of community organizations and provides a dynamic platform for people who care about ending gun violence to connect and get involved.” This annual event takes every charitable contribution and sends it directly to nonprofit organizations that are doing the work to end gun violence. Participate in the 8k, 5k, 2 Mile Walk and Tots for Peace Sprint. Visit Strides for Peace Race Against Gun Violence online for full details.

Grant Park, 200 E. Balbo Dr.

June 6-9: Chicago Blues Festival

The present, past and future of Blues music will be represented and celebrated at this year’s Chicago Blues Festival in both The Loop and at venues throughout the city. Enjoy a lengthy line-up of musicians waiting to rock the city with shows playing all day long, featuring genres like soul, R&B and gospel. Visit Chicago Blues Festival for additional information.

June 7-9: Andersonville Midsommarfest

Midsommarfest 1. Photo by Timmy Samuel-Starbelly Studios
Photo by Timmy Samuel-Starbelly Studios

The Andersonville Midsommarfest is back in full swing with a plethora of goodies such as all-day music acts, diverse food vendors and even events for the kids. This Swedish tradition is in its 57th year here in the heart of Andersonville, and will do what it always does best: highlighting all of the gems the neighborhood has to offer. Admission is a $10 donation, and hours of operation vary per day though no doubt each day is packed with activities and goodies — visit the Andersonville Midsommarfest website for specifics.

From Foster to Gregory on Clark St.

June 8: ArtEdge 2024

ArtEdge, Chicago’s most anticipated gala, builds on a legacy of unforgettable events that fuel philanthropic support of MCA exhibitions and programs. This year, enter the daring world of cabaret, where live music, performances and a curated menu of cocktails and decadent fare capture the spirit of this unique art form. The Museum of Contemporary Art‘s website has all the details you need.

220 E. Chicago Ave.

June 8-9: The Forge Sings Disney

Whether it’s you or your kids who have appreciation for the wonders of Disney movies, music and characters, you’ll love The Forge Sings’ series, which this month will feature a two-night performance with beloved Disney storylines. Little ones can take part in a Princess Meet-and-Greet before the show starts, after which the characters take us on a journey with iconic songs from some of Disney’s best-loved movies. Head over to The Forge Sings for logistics and tickets.

1001 Main St., Lemont, Illinois

June 7-15: American Spanish Dance & Music Festival

Returning for a vibrant 48th year, the American Spanish Dance & Music Festival is ready to once again celebrate the beauty and passion of music and dance with Chicagoans. The critically acclaimed concerts will feature “company favorites in the Flamenco, Classical and Folkloric Spanish dance styles in both traditional and contemporary genres.” Performances will feature the full company as well as guest artists and musicians from Spain. See how you can join in the excitement of this art form by visiting the American Spanish Dance & Music Festival online.

North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, 9501 N Skokie Blvd.

June 11: Swing Into Summer

Swing into Summer with Morton Grove Park District! Enjoy Yappy Hour at 4pm, a reptile show at 5:30pm, and a free concert at 7pm with Mr. Myers. Fun for all, so bring the whole family. First, check out the Swing Into Summer site.

June 14-16: Taste of Randolph

This one is for all you live music lovers! Taste of Randolph returns for their 27th anniversary this summer with a lineup of “delectable” restaurant vendors and a curated list of “the nation’s hottest up-and-coming bands and musicians and the biggest names in Chicago.” Entrance to any day of the event is a suggested $10 donation — visit Taste of Randolph for what to know before you go.

900 W. Randolph St.

June 14-15: Plymouth Arts Center Spring Art Tour

Explore Sheboygan County’s vibrant arts scene at the 10th Annual Northern Moraine Spring Art Tour. Visit studios, galleries and boutiques for a diverse showcase of local talent. Want to learn more? Check out the Spring Art Tour webpage.

June 15: 2024 Highland Dance Competition, Scottish Festival & Highland Games

Always wanted to explore the traditions of Scottish culture? You’re in luck as Chicagoland is home to the Midwest’s largest Scottish event, the 38th annual Scottish Festival & Highland Games. This family-friendly festival will feature an array of events from competitions to dancing to bagpipes, the list goes on. Find all the details and how to secure your entry by visiting the 2024 Scottish Festival & Highland Games.

DuPage Event Center and Fairgrounds, Wheaton, IL

June 15-16: Gold Coast Art Fair

The Gold Coast Art Fair supports all kinds of artists and attracts all kinds of guests, which explains why they are successfully returning for their 65th summer this June. The fair joins together 200 juried artists from across the country to showcase their work to a crowd of thousands over the course of the two-day exhibit. While there, enjoy food, drink and live entertainment — all for an entry fee of $10. To continue supporting the arts in Chicago and for more details, visit the Gold Coast Art Fair.

S. Lake Shore Dr. & E. Monroe St.

June 19: Thank You Chicago Juneteenth Market

The Juneteenth Market — held at The Promontory — is the perfect way to support Black-owned businesses this Juneteenth. This indoor and outdoor market will feature a wide variety of vendors, from beauty and fashion, to food and more — so make sure you also bring your appetite. This free “culture market” welcomes everyone to celebrate; find all the logistics on the Thank You Chicago Juneteenth Market webpage.

5311 S. Lake Park Ave.

June 22: Marvel Studios’ Black Panther in Concert

The Chicago Philharmonic, in conjunction with Auditorium Theatre, will show Marvel Studios’ Black Panther live in concert — as a part of their Auditorium Philms Concert Series. The 2018 film will be projected on the big screen as the Philharmonic plays the riveting, award-winning score from Ludwig Göransson’s. Tickets sell fast, so grab yours today and don’t miss out on the showing of the summer — find details at Auditorium Theatre online.

50 E. Ida B Wells Dr. 

June 22: Roaring Nights at Brookfield Zoo Chicago

Join us the Brookfield Zoo for three unforgettable nights of music, fun and celebration as they mark their 90th anniversary with Roaring Nights. Set against the backdrop of the Zoo’s landscapes and diverse wildlife, immerse yourself in the sounds of three incredible bands in June, with additional dates in July.

June 22-23: Chicago Pride Fest

5 Can’t-Miss Chicago Festivals to Put on Your Calendar
Photo by Todd Rosenberg

In honor of Pride Month, one of the many celebrations and festivities planned to honor the LGBTQIA+ community is Chicago Pride Fest. Celebrated a week prior to the Pride Parade, Pride Fest will be an open space throughout Halsted — formerly Boystown — and feature countless food and merchandise vendors as well as stages headlined by various entertainment, including drag performances and DJs. Get into the spirit and show your Pride all month long, visit the Chicago Pride website for all details.

June 22-23: North Shore Art League’s Art in the Village

Art in the Village, sponsored by the North Shore Art League, will take place at Hubbard Woods Park in Winnetka on June 22 – 23, from 10 am-5 pm. NSAL, the 100 year old arts organization, is located in the historic Community House, Winnetka.

939 Green Bay Rd.

June 30: Chicago Pride Parade

Chicago Pride Parade
Chicago Pride Parade 2019 | Photo by Steven Koch

Back in all its colorful glory, the 53rd annual Pride Parade will make its way from Uptown, through Northalsted — formerly Boystown — and end in Lincoln Park, kicking off at 11am. So grab your friends and your flags and hit the streets to show a little Pride this summer! Visit the Pride Parade website for the parade route, additional details and other ways to celebrate this month.

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Margaret Smith is a Chicago-based writer and editor with a passion for socio-political storytelling about their community. They are a graduate of Columbia College Chicago.

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