30 of the Best Things to Do in Chicago This June

30 of the Best Things to Do in Chicago This June (Ribfest Chicago)

Say hello to summer with these Chicago and North Shore events, one for every day of the month.


June 9: Giordano Dance Chicago

America’s original jazz dance company closes out its 55th season with its fourth full-evening appearance at the Auditorium Theatre. 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago, 312-341-2300

June 12 to July 15: “The Cher Show

Two-time Tony nominee Stephanie J. Block stars as one of three actresses portraying Cher in this bio-musical, which chronicles the life of the Oscar-winning star. Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., Chicago, 312- 977-1700


June 12: Carol Burnett

During “An Evening of Laughter and Reflection Where the Audience Asks the Questions,” Carol Burnett will take questions from the audience in a format that harkens back to the legendary openings of “The Carol Burnett Show.” The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago, 800-745-3000


June 6-10: Chicago Underground Film Festival

This annual film festival showcases the best in new American and international cinema and provides the public with access to some of the most critically acclaimed filmmakers and emerging talent from around the globe. 2558 W. 16th St., Stage 18, Chicago, 773-998-1082


June 8-10: Chicago Blues Festival

Chicago Blues Festival
Photo courtesy of City of Chicago, DCASE.

This fest features performances from more than 100 national, international, and local artists celebrating the city’s rich blues tradition, while shining a spotlight on the genre’s contributions to soul, R&B, gospel, rap, and more. Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St., Chicago

June 9-10: North Shore Blues Fest

210 Live will host the Lurrie Bell Band, the Chicago Blues Super Session, and the Blues Harmonica Summit during this free festival (advance seating is available for $10 per day or $18 for both days). 210 Live, 210 Green Bay Road, Highwood

Begins June 12: Events in the Plaza Music Series

This Lake County Forest Preserves outdoor concert series begins June 12 with Rockin’ Fenderskirts playing favorites rock ‘n’ roll oldies. Concerts will take place Tuesdays through Aug. 7. Independence Grove Forest Preserve, 16400 W. Buckley Road, Libertyville

Begins June 13: Grant Park Music Festival

Chicago events: Grant Park Music Festival
Photo by Norman Timonera.

This series returns with concerts like Independence Day Salute + Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (July 4), Music of the Silver Screen: An American in Paris and More (July 11), I Could Have Danced All Night: Broadway’s Lerner and Loewe (July 13-14), and Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet (Aug. 1). Various locations, Chicago

June 15-16: Winnetka Music Festival

Winnetka’s free music festival returns with ZZ Ward, A Thousand Horses, Andrew Belle, Jake Allen, and more acts on three main stages and a family stage, plus craft beer, wine, and food trucks. Village of Winnetka

June 27-30: “Star Wars: A New Hope” in Concert

John Williams’ Oscar-winning score performed live to a backdrop of the full feature film? “Star Wars” fans, this is your moment. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago


Opens June 2: Alexis Rockman: The Great Lakes Cycle

This multifaceted project explores the past, present, and future of the Great Lakes. Chicago Cultural Center, Exhibit Hall, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago


Opens June 15: Antarctic Dinosaurs at The Field Museum

Chicago events: The Field Museum
© The Field Museum

This new exhibition follows Field Museum scientists on the thrilling search for never-before-seen fossils from Antarctica and sheds new light on our planet’s changing climate and geology. The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, 312-922-9410


Saturdays: Chicago Pizza Bus Tour

Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7 Chicago food reporter and author of the upcoming book “Pizza City, USA: 101 Reasons Why Chicago Is America’s Greatest Pizza Town,” will take you on a tour of four pizzerias serving up everything from classic Chicago deep dish to tavern-style thin pizza. Meet at Labriola, 535 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago

June 8-10: Ribfest Chicago

Ribfest Chicago
Photo by Beking Joassaint of Beking Joassaint Photography.

With food (ribs, tacos, sliders, ice cream, and more), music, a Kids Square, and more, this festival is not to be missed. Intersection of Lincoln Avenue, Irving Park Road, and Damen Avenue, Chicago

June 8-10: Andersonville Midsommarfest

Chicago events: Andersonville Midsommarfest
Photo by Starbelly Studios.

For the 53rd year, the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce will host this festival of local vendors, food, music, and kids’ activities to celebrate the Swedish midsommer tradition. Friday: Clark Street between Summerdale and Catalpa, Chicago; Saturday and Sunday: Clark Street between Foster and Catalpa, Chicago

June 9: Dairy Breakfast and Stock Show

Historic Wagner Farm invites you to enjoy a farm-style breakfast, live music, dairy demos, wagon rides, and more. Historic Wagner Farm, 1510 Wagner Road, Glenview

Begins June 9: Glencoe French Market

Shop fresh fruit, produce, locally sourced flowers, and more at this market every Saturday (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) through Oct. 13. And find more can’t-miss farmers markets hereWyman Green, 675 Village Court, Glencoe

June 9-10: Wells Street Art Festival

This early summer art extravaganza is recognized as one of Chicago’s most popular fairs, thanks to works from more than 200 artists. Expect live music, kids’ activities, and tastes from Old Town restaurants, too. Wells Street between North Avenue and Division, Chicago, 773-868-3010

June 9-10: 34th Annual Printers Row Lit Fest

Don’t miss the Midwest’s largest literary festival. Printers Row neighborhood, Chicago

June 9-10: Pilsen Food Truck Social 2018

Almost 30 food trucks will participate in this year’s Pilsen Food Truck Social, which will also feature live music from local artists as well as local artisans, retailers, and nonprofits. 18th Street between Racine and Throop, Chicago

June 10: Greater Chicago Jewish Festival

This year’s headliners include Corky Siegel, Howard Levy, and RebbeSoul, and new events include the Chicago Kosher Barbecue Competition and ComedySportz’s “improv with a Jewish twist.” St. Paul Woods, Oakton Street, Morton Grove

June 14: Rosé Patio Party for Charity

grace + hudson jewelry will host this party to raise funds for Girls Inc., an organization that “inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through direct service and advocacy.” DL Loft, 3050 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago

June 16-17: Gold Coast Art Fair

Celebrate the summer season with an art-filled experience at the 61st annual Gold Coast Art Fair, a celebration of more than 300 juried artists from around the world. Experience artist demonstrations, live music, and interactive art projects. Grant Park’s Butler Field, S. Lake Shore Drive and E. Monroe Street, 847- 926-4300

June 22-24: Logan Square Arts Festival

This immersive arts and music experience is presented by local nonprofit organization I Am Logan Square, with music curation and cocktails by The Whistler, 30 bands, 50 art vendors, and food from neighborhood restaurants. 3131 W. Logan Blvd., Chicago

June 23-24: Evanston Chamber Artisan SummerFest

This annual North Shore art happening features the works of nearly 100 juried artists, as well as more than 25 artists focusing on eco-friendly and recycled pieces. Peruse it all while checking out craft beer and wine tastings, strolling musicians, food, and kids’ activities. Sherman and Church streets, Evanston, 773-868-3010

June 24: 49th Annual Chicago Pride Parade

Celebrate the culmination of Pride Month with one of the largest gay pride parades in the country. Parade kicks off at noon on the corner of Montrose and Broadway avenues, Chicago 

Opens June 28: 22nd Annual Chicago SummerDance

Chicago events: SummerDance
Photo courtesy of City of Chicago, DCASE.

Swing, waltz, cha-cha, or simply enjoy the music at the largest outdoor social dancing series in the United States. Dancers of all ages and skill levels are invited to take part in introductory one-hour dance lessons from professional instructors, followed by live music and dancing. Grant Park, Spirit of Music Garden, 601 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago

Editor’s Picks:

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Begins June 7: Food Truck Thursdays with Music in the Park

The Ravinia District of Highland Park will host Food Truck Thursdays with Music in the Park through Sept. 13. These evenings will feature food from local food trucks; adult beverages from Abigail’s, Ravinia Brewing Company, and Viaggio; and live music. Jens Jensen Park, 486 Roger Williams Ave., Highland Park

June 17: Race Against Hate

YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s annual Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate brings together thousands to “run and walk in unity against racial hatred and violence” and raise funds for racial justice and violence prevention programs. 2436 Sheridan Road, Evanston

June 20: Chicago Debate Commission Luncheon

2018 Champion of Debate Andrea Zapp will be honored at the seventh annual Make Room for Debate luncheon. Noon to 1:30 p.m., Fairmont Chicago, 200 N. Columbus Drive, Chicago


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Nicole SchnitzlerNicole Schnitzler is a freelance writer who covers​ ​food, drink, ​travel, and ​lifestyle. When she is not planning her next adventure​​, she can be found​ ​commuting between bakeries, yoga classes,​ live music shows, and libraries ​in her hometown of ​​Chicago. She is most comfortable with a pen in one hand and a fork in the other. Nicole is also the founder of Doors Open Dishes, an initiative committed to keeping the doors open to the group homes and workshops of individuals with special needs by partnering with chefs and restaurants across the city. Follow her on Twitter (@Write_To_Eat) or on Instagram (@WriteToEat).



Anna Carlson writes the weekly 5 Things to Do column and monthly Recommended Events. A graduate of the University of Missouri, her work has been published in Chicago Parent, Inside Columbia Magazine and Central California Parent Magazine. She is a proud supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital