How to Spend July in Chicagoland -
How to Spend July in Chicagoland

Summer is in full swing, and the best is yet to come. July means fireworks, pools and popsicles on the lawn. Curious about the best events in your area? We have you covered!

South Suburbs

Tinley Park’s Caribbean Block Party, July 19, features live music on two stages, family-friendly activities, a bite sized Taste of Tinley Park and a classic car show. Don’t miss out on the free trolley shuttle that will transport attendees to and from this year’s Block Party.

July wouldn’t be complete without fireworks. Tinley Park’s 4th of July Party sets the bar high with all-day festivities beginning with a 5k race and ending with the Firework Extravaganza!

The 28th Annual OakFest returns to Oak Forest with five days of festival fun. A full carnival, food and drink vendors, a car show, bingo, a bean bag tournament, live music and two firework shows fill this epic fest! Come see why Oak Fest is known as the ‘Best Fest on the Southside.’


If you somehow managed to miss the hype, now you know – The Grateful Dead are reuniting to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead” concert will span July 3 – 5, marking the members’ last ever performance together.

There’s no question about it, our city loves food. Enjoy the best of the best at Taste of Chicago, where you can sample more than 200 menu items from a variety of cuisines. As if that wasn’t enough, this foodie fest will be accented by performances by acts including Weezer, Spoon and Erykah Badu.

New Belgium Brewery brings Tour de Fat to Palmer Square, lighting up the neighborhood with beers, bikes and costumes.

Fireworks continue all summer long at Navy Pier on both Wednesdays and Saturdays. Head to the pier on July 4 to celebrate Independence Day with an especially spectacular show!

West Suburbs

Blues on the Fox Aurora, July 19 – 20, returns this year bigger than ever. This 19-year Aurora tradition brings the hottest blues artists to RiverEdge Park. For only $20 per day, you can enjoy top-of-the-line entertainment from the best blues acts around.

Where can you find one of Chicagoland’s most critically acclaimed summer music festivals? Roots and regional music rule at Berwyn’s annual American Music Festival, July 1 – 4, featuring over 40 bands on three stages.

For a different kind of music festival, mark your calendar for the Berwyn Park District’s Arts & Music Fest, July 25, which will feature youth art galleries, kid’s music, art creation stations and a battle of the bands.

For over 30 years, Lisle’s Eyes to the Skies Festival has provided the best of the best in hot air balloons, fireworks, non-stop kid’s activities, a carnival, great food and top musical performers. This year’s fun kicks off on July 1.

No corners are cut at Naperville’s Ribfest, July 2 – 5. Hosting musical acts ranging from local bands to nationally known groups and boasting rib vendors that are numerous and noteworthy, this event benefits The Exchange Club of Naperville, the foundation who established Project HELP as a Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse.

South West Suburbs

Enjoy Bluegrass music in the idyllic, historic Frankfort at the Frankfort Bluegrass Fest, July 11-12. Free concerts, workshops and plenty of picking will fill the two-day fest.

If you haven’t had a chance to experience Joliet’s Concerts on the Hill, then make a point to make it there in July! The fun continues with five separate performances this month. Concerts on the Hill runs throughout the summer every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Love comic books, science fiction, steampunk or pop culture? Get ready for Comicopolis, July 25, in LockPort. This event is free, and will be stocked with comic book authors and artists, a cosplay contest, photo booth and workshops.

North Shore

Kicking off with a parade at noon, Skokie’s Independence Day festival will be one for the books. Following the parade, food, drinks and live bands will be provided until dusk. Then, fireworks – in 3D!

The Libertyville Rose Garden Concerts kick off in June, but five of the concerts occur throughout July with a special July 4 concert followed by fireworks.

The Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival, July 18 – 19, is a celebration of arts and cultural diversity. For two days, Evanston’s lakefront is transformed into a Global Village. The event is free and features a variety of performances, cuisines, family craft activities and, of course, art.

Northwest Suburbs

Uncork Barrington, July 10, provides 50 fine wines for tasting along with bites from local restaurants. Tickets providing access to multiple levels of access are available for purchase, and proceeds benefit local charities.

Prefer your beverage with hops? Don’t miss Barrington Brewfest, July 11, featuring multiple brewers and benefiting the Barrington Area Council on Aging.

Transport yourself to Greece with GreekFest in Elgin, the 37th annual celebration of Greek food, dance and entertainment.

The 40th Annual Arlington Heights Frontier Days, July 1 – 5, is absolutely packed with the best a summer festival can offer, and it’s absolutely free! Check the schedule to see all there is to do.