Free Essential Summer Festivals in Chicago

Summertime Chi is upon us and if your weekends aren’t fully booked yet, we’re here to help! Chicago goes into full bloom in the summer and no city does street fests better than Chicago. You can find festivals that celebrate everything from tacos to hot dogs and sangria to tequila. To keep you on budget if you’re saving for your first home, we’ve compiled a list of budget-conscious and free festivals throughout the summer. 

The list below includes free and low cost festivals. Most Chicago street/neighborhood festivals have a suggested donation for entry ($5-10 typically). If you can pay it, you definitely should! If you’re on a budget, give what you can. Most street festivals have food vendors and craft vendors selling things like hot sauce, clothes, and jewelry. 

We included cultural events and family-friendly events on the list, as well as information on free music events that are held weekly at Millenium Park and Grant Park. Please note that all ongoing summer festivals are highlighted at the end of our list. Each event has a link for more information. There’s something for everyone on this list, so get outside and enjoy the sun!

Path to Summer Film Series in Millenium Park



Jul 25

Fiesta Del Sol

July 25-28

Newberry Library Book Fair

July 26-28

Andersonville Sidewalk Sale

July 26-28

Wicker Park Fest

July 27-28

Taste of Lincoln Avenue

July 28-29

Randolph Street Market

Jul 27

South Loop Beer + Cider Fest

Jul 27

Bantu Festival

Jul 27

Chicago Margarita Fest




Aug 3-5

Jeff Fest Arts & Music Festival

Aug 4–5

Edge Fest

Aug 9

Festival cubano

Aug 10-12

Chicago Hot Dog Fest

Aug 10-12

Retro on Roscoe

Aug 10-12

Ginza Holiday Fest

Aug 11-12

Northalsted Market Days

Aug 13

Second Tuesdays on the Riverwalk

Aug 16

Clark After Dark River North

Aug 16-19

Little Italy Festa

Aug 17

The Big North

Aug 17 – 19

Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest

Aug 17-18

Sangria fest

Aug 18-19

Chicago Air & Water Show

Aug 18-19

Pilsen Fest

Aug 24

Lagunitas beer circus

Aug 24-26

Taste of Greektown

Aug 25-26

Ukrainian Days Festival

Aug 24-25

Randolph Street Market West Loop

Aug 24-26

Logan Square “Food Truck” Social

Aug 25-26

Bucktown Arts Fest

Aug 29 – Sept 1

Chicago Jazz Fest

Aug 30 – Sep 1

Lobster fest

Aug 31-Sept

Taste of Polonia




Sep 6-8

German American Fest

Sep 7

Von Steuben German Day Parade

Sep 7-8


Sep 8

Festival on Prairie Avenue

Sep 13-29

Annual World Music Festival Chicago

Sep 14-15

Lakeview East Festival of the Arts

Sep 14-15

Printer’s Row Art Fest

Sep 14-15

Ravenswood Art Walk

Sep 21-22

Lakeview Taco Fest Chicago

Sep 24-29

Chicago Gourmet

Sep 28-29

Randolph Street Market

Sep 28-29

Hyde Park Jazz Fest

Sep 28-30

Oktoberfest Chicago




May 26 – Sept 1

(Wed & Sat)

Navy Pier Summer Fireworks Wednesdays and Saturdays May 26-Sept 1

Jun 26 – Aug 24

(Wed – Sun)


June 4 – August 20


Millennium Park Summer Film Series


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