Thu16 Fifth House Ensemble in Austin Town Hall Park The community-based chamber music ensemble presents a narrative concert about a secretary whose work piles up as she’s sucked into a consumerist nightmare on the Internet. Hm. 6:30-8 PM, 5610 W. Lake, 773-287-7658, chicagoparkdistrict.com, free.
Fri17 HoZac Blackout Fest Day two of local garage label HoZac’s annual music fest features Unnatural Ax, Chrome, Wizzard Sleeve, and power-pop genius Dwight Twilley. 5/16-5/19, 8 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600, hozacrecords.com, $25, $70 four-day pass.
Sat18 The Field of Screams Murder Mystery Scavenger Hunt Figure out who’s been knocking off museum staffers (not really) and explore the Field Museum at the same time during a grown-ups-only scavenger hunt. 1:30 PM, Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore, 866-811-4111, watsonadventures.com, $33.
Sun19 Kartemquin Spring Showcase Kartemquin Films, the company that produced Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters (and a lot more), screens previews of four upcoming docs with the filmmakers on hand. 5 PM, Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State, 312-846-2600, kartemquin.com, $11.
Mon20 Chicago Craft Beer Week We’re in the thick of Craft Beer Week (5/16-5/26) and pubs all over town are hosting beer dinners, beer tastings, trivia nights, and brewing demonstrations. Find a place with a porch. Drink. Various times and locations, chibeerweek.com.
Tue21 Play tennis in Humboldt Park Chicago’s parks aren’t just for blatant drug activity. Grab a racket and a sweat band and go play at one of Humboldt’s three public courts. 1350 N. California, 312-742-7549, chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks/humboldtpark.
Wed22 The Onion Live! Before the Onion takes its live show on the road, its performers want to test out new material on Chicago audiences. Not just “raw.” Also “uncensored.” 8 PM, Up Comedy Club, 230 W. North, 312-662-4562, upcomedyclub.com, $15.
Thu23 Get a room at Sybaris in the middle of the day There’s something wonderfully seedy about a hotel that has afternoon rates—especially when it also has pools and/or hot tubs in the rooms. Perfect for your next afternoon orgy. Locations in Northbrook, Frankfort, and Downers Grove, sybaris.com, rates vary.
Fri24 Electric Daisy Carnival An enormous EDM festival—ahem, experience-based event—that lets you camp overnight. Or, more likely, camp through the morning. 5/24-5/26, 5 PM-4 AM, Chicagoland Speedway, 500 Speedway Blvd., Joliet, electricdaisycarnival.com/chicago, $89-$295 three-day pass.
Sat25 Cannibal Holocaust A midnight screening of a 1980 Italian horror film so graphic and upsetting it’s still banned in several countries. Doesn’t that sound fun? 11:59 PM, Music Box, 3733 N. Southport, 773-871-6604, musicboxtheater.com, price TBA.
Sun26 Go to the beach (because it’s open now) Baptize yourself in the oft-polluted waters of Lake Michigan. Quick. Before it’s cold again.
Mon27 Memorial Day! Drink lots of canned beer and eat, like, 11 hot dogs because America.
Tue28 The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are spending three nights in Chicago, part of their “50 and Counting” tour. Fifty what? Minutes each morning till Keith remembers who he is? Fifty wrinkles in Mick’s jowls? Go and find out. 8 PM, United Center, 1901 W. Madison, unitedcenter.com, EXPENSIVE.
Wed29 White Sox at Cubs Your chance to witness a Chicago team win at Wrigley Field. 5/29-5/30, 1060 W. Addison, chicago.cubs.mlb.com, $29-$335.
Thu30 Camp out in your backyard Lock every gate, pitch a tent and “rough it” for a night. Not recommended in all Chicago neighborhoods.
Fri31 Millennium Art Festival Dozens of artists set up booths and clog the city’s busy streets with their jewelry, paintings, and framed photography. Live easy listening will keep everyone calm. Or drive them mad? 5/31-6/2, Fri 11 AM-5 PM, Sat and Sun 10 AM-5 PM, Lake and Michigan, amdurproductions.com, free.
Sat1 Do-Division Street Fest Tilly & the Wall headlines the West Stage and Ariel Pink headlines the East at this weekend-long music fest, which shuts down Division between Damen and Leavitt. 5/31-6/2, Fri 5-10 PM, Sat-Sun noon-10 PM, 312-850-9390, do-divisionstreetfest.com, $5 suggested donation.
Sun2 Fashion in the Street Gaze awkwardly at live mannequins or do some al fresco shopping as local designers and boutiques take their clothes outdoors for a weekend of fashion shows and music in warm weather. 6/1-6/2, noon-10 PM, Dearborn and Polk, fitschicago.com, free.
Mon3 Sharon Van Etten The folky Aimee Mann sound-alike (that’s good) plays for free. 6:30 PM, Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph, 312-742-1168, cityofchicago.org, free.
Tue4 Go to an arcade bar You spent the summers of your youth in an arcade. Now, at places like Emporium in Wicker Park (1366 N. Milwaukee) and Headquarters in Lincoln Park (950 W. Wolfram), it’s even more fun because you can get drunk at the same time.
Wed5 Collaboraction’s Sketchbook Festival Over the course of 25 days (starting today), the local troupe stages 14 brand-new theater pieces, both short and full length. 6/5-6/30, times vary, Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N Milwaukee, 312-226-9633, collaboraction.org.
Thu6 Chicago Blues Festival Shemekia Copeland headlines the first night. Otis Clay, Bobby Rush, James Cotton, and others play over the course of the weekend. 6/6-6/9, Thu 6:30-9 PM in Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph; Fri-Sun 11 AM-9:30 PM in Grant Park, Jackson and Columbus, chicagobluesfestival.us, free.
Fri7 Ribfest Chicago Eat food, listen to music, but mostly go watch professional eaters gorge themselves on pork products at Ribmania IV, the annual rib-eating competition. 6 PM at the Reader Stage, 4165 N. Lincoln, 847-6770-8273, ribfest-chicago.com.
Sat8 Naked Bike Ride Simultaneously protest oil dependence and underpants dependence on a 12- to 22-mile, clothing-optional bike ride. 6 PM, 1025 W. Randolph, chicagonakedride.org, free.
Sun9 Judy Blume at the Printers Row Lit Fest Author Judy Blume, a lady who was likely integral in fostering your love of reading, is presented with the 2013 Chicago Tribune Young Adult Literary Prize. Superfudge really is great. 10 AM-6 PM, Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State, 312-747-4300, chicagotribune.com/entertainment/books/printersrowlitfest.
Mon10 Go see the Mississippi River Make it a long weekend and drive west till you hit water. We recommend Mississippi Palisades State Park in Savannah, Illinois, for the views and nearby biker bars. 16327 Rte. 84, Savannah, 815-273-2731, dnr.illinois.gov, free.
Tue11 West Side Story Racism and gang violence have never been quite so romantic. Or dancey! Through 6/16, 7:30 PM, Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph, 312-977-1700, broadwayinchicago.com, $33-$279.
Wed12 Just for Laughs The annual comedy fest continues with TV sketch troupe the Whitest Kids U’ Know at Park West and rolls through next week with performances by Seth Meyers, Maria Bamford, John Hodgman, Bob Newhart, and Bill Maher. 6/12-6/16, venues and times vary, justforlaughschicago.com.
Thu13 Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band Actor-slash-bass-player Gary Sinise and the band he named after America’s most beloved big-screen double amputee perform at Ravinia. 8 PM, Ravinia Festival, Green Bay and Lake Cook, Highland Park, 847-266-5100, ravinia.org, $55-$65, $22 lawn seating.
Fri14 Taste of Randolph Street A three-day food fest conveniently located on Chicago’s favorite foodie thoroughfare. There’s music, too. 6/14-6/16, Fri 5-10 PM, Sat-Sun 11 AM-10 PM, 900 W. Randolph, tasteofrandolphstreet.com, $10.
Sat15 Puerto Rican People’s Parade The downtown and Humboldt Park factions of Fiestas Puertorriqueñas have joined forces for one big parade down Division. Noon, Division and Western, 773-584-6642, prpcchicago.org.
Sun16 SausageFest It’s not what you’re thinking. This really is a two-day celebration of forcemeat and live music in the city’s most bro-tastic neighborhood, culminating in the crowning of Abe Froman’s successor as Sausage King of Chicago. 6/15-6/16, noon-10 PM, Sheffield between Addison and Waveland, sausagekingchicago.com, $5.
Mon17 Golden Dragon Acrobats from China Their act is more than 2,000 years old, but these acrobats are so skilled, you’d never know it. 8 PM, Ravinia Festival, Green Bay and Lake Cook, Highland Park, 847-266-5100, ravinia.org, $20, $5 lawn seating.
Tue18 Read a book outside It’s a nice way to get some sun without draining your cell phone battery. At a loss for something to read? Hit up our website for suggestions: chicagoreader.com/literature.
Wed19 Chicago Architecture Foundation’s River Cruise Everybody knows Chicago’s got the best buildings. And the best way to admire them is from a boat on the river. Daily, various times, 112 E. Wacker, 312-922-8687, architecture.org, $37.85.
Thu20 Chicago Gospel Music Festival Tonight’s “Battle of the Gospel Choirs” at Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion (201 E. Randolph) kicks off a weekend of joyful noise. 6/20-6/23, various locations, chicagogospelmusicfestival.us, free.
Fri21 Make Music Chicago The city will be alive with the sound of music of all genres and performer abilities. 8 AM-9 PM, various locations, makemusicchicago.com, 312-640-7418, free.
Sat22 Green Music Fest Wicker Park will be alive with the sounds of music and eco-consciousness. 6/22-6/23, noon-10 PM, Damen between North and Schiller, 773-384-2672, greenmusicfestchicago.com, $5 suggested donation.
Sun23 Pride Fest This year, Pride expands to two weekends—with two parades. Because as everyone knows, humans cannot possibly outshine their pets, who march down Halsted today. 6/22-6/23, Sat 12:30 PM-10 PM, Sun noon-9 PM, Halsted and Waveland, 773-868-3010, northhalsted.com, $7.
Mon24 Carolina Chocolate Drops Settle in on the lawn for an evening of African-American roots music. 6:30 PM, Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph, cityofchicago.org, free.
Tue25 Visit the dog beach Would you deprive your pet the chance to dump her leash and cool off in the lake—and yourself the opportunity to watch her act like a total goofball? Montrose Beach, 4400 N. Lake Shore, free.
Wed26 Summerfest Get ye to Milwaukee for the world’s largest music festival. This year’s lineup has 800 acts, including the Violent Femmes, Avett Brothers, Tom Petty, Fun., and the New Kids on the Block. 6/26-7/7, noon-midnight, closed 7/1, 200 N. Harbor, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 414-273-2680, summerfest.com, $17, $16 before 6/2.
Thu27 Chicago SummerDance Don’t worry if you don’t know the steps. There’ll be instructors on hand to show you how to do those new moves. 6/27-9/15, Thu-Sat 6-9:30 PM, Sun 4-7 PM, Spirit of Music Garden, Grant Park, 601 S. Michigan, cityofchicago.org, free.
Fri28 Old St. Pat’s World’s Largest Block Party Twenty-nine years and counting. This year features Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. 6/28-6/29, 5:30-10:30 PM, Old St. Patrick’s Church, 700 W. Adams, 312-648-1021, worldslargestblockparty.com, $45, $40 in advance.
Sat29 Starving Artist Chefs and visual artists team up to produce plates that are both exquisite and tasty. The event name is a lie. No one goes home hungry. 7 PM-midnight, 217 N. Carpenter, chicagoartistscoalition.org/starvingartist, $125, $100 before 6/15.
Sun30 Pride Parade Once again, Pride month concludes with a triumphant march through Boystown. Noon-TBD, Montrose and Broadway to Diversey and Sheridan, 773-348-8243, chicagopridecalendar.org, free.
Mon1 Canada Day Take a moment to think of our dear neighbors to the north and some of the great contributions they have made to world culture: hockey, Leonard Cohen, the McKenzie brothers, Lush Cosmetics, Unibroue, and poutine. BadHappy Poutine Shop, 939 N. Orleans, 312-890-2165, badhappypoutineshop.com.
Tue2 Jason Seed Stringtet Rush Hour Concerts will be going on all summer, but today’s your only chance to catch the world premiere of “Goulash Rag” and “Pictures of an Exhibitionist.” 6/4-8/27, Tue 5:45 PM, St. James Cathedral, 65 E. Huron, 312-640-7418, rushhour.org, free.
Wed3 Navy Pier Fireworks Start your Fourth of July with a bang. You’ll probably get the best view if you steal a boat. 9:30 PM, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, 312-595-7437, navypier.com, free
Thu4 Bernstein’s Songfest Celebrate America with the words of 13 of our greatest poets accompanied by the music of one of our greatest composers. 2 PM, Martin Theatre, Ravinia Festival, Green Bay and Lake Cook, Highland Park, 847-266-5100, ravinia.org, $40-$60, $10 lawn seating.
Fri5 International Festival of Life Make this weekend not just about America but about the rest of the world—with global food, merchandise, and live music. 6/4-6/7, 10 AM-10 PM, Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph, 312-427-0266, martinsinterculture.com/ifol, $15, $5 under age 12, free under age six, $40 weekend pass.
Sat6 Fountain Square Art Festival At more than 225 artists, this is the largest art show on the North Shore. Live jazz will make you feel even more sophisticated. 7/6-7/7, 10 AM-6 PM, Church and Sherman, Evanston, 773-868-3010, chicagoevents.com, $5 suggested donation.
Sun7 Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival Not to be confused with the Fountain Square Art Festival, this is the largest botanical art festival on the North Shore. 7/6-7/7, 10 AM-5 PM, Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook, Glencoe, 847-835-5440, chicagobotanic.org/artfestival, free.
Mon8 Bonjour Tristesse When the weather’s this hot, it’s time to go see a cool movie set in the French Riviera. 7:30 PM, Portage Theater, 4050 N. Milwaukee, 773-736-4050, northwestchicago filmsociety.org, $5.
Tue9 Bicycle Illinois Illinois is a beautiful state. This week experience it from the saddle of your bike, all the way from Cairo to Chicago. 7/6-7/13, bicycleillinois.com, $699, $130 single day.
Wed10 Taste of Chicago It’s that time, y’all. Time to grab a giant turkey leg and stuff your face. This year with Robert Plant, Robin Thicke, Jill Scott, and food trucks! 7/10-7/14, 11 AM-9 PM, Grant Park, Columbus and Jackson, tasteofchicago.us, free admission, $25 for concerts, $8 for 12 food and beverage tickets.
Thu11 The Lone Ranger It’s been a busy week. Start the weekend early with this revisionist take on the radio and TV classic, starring Johnny Depp and the guy who played the Winklevii in The Social Network. Various theaters, disney.go.com/the-lone-ranger.
Fri12 Americanarama Festival of Music Bob Dylan takes the stage with Wilco, My Morning Jacket, and Richard Thompson, who is not American, just British and awesome. 5:30 PM, Toyota Park, 7000 S. Harlem, Bridgeview, toyotapark.com, $62.
Sat13 Tour de Fat New Belgium Brewing rides its weirdo, modified bikes into town yet again to throw its annual Palmer Square circus and get you drunk in the middle of the day. 10 AM-10 PM, Palmer between Sacramento and Kedzie, newbelgium.com/tour-de-fat, free.
Sun14 Bastille Day Storm Place de Daley in the name of liberté, égalité, fraternité. There will be a circus and live music. 4 PM-10 PM, Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington, bastilledaychicago.org, free.
Mon15 Go surfing It’s a thing. The diehard Lake Michigan surfers—those who don’t mind a backdrop of steel mills—can often be found along a south-side shoreline that stretches from 57th Street into Gary, Indiana.
Tue16 Novelty Golf & Games A pair of 18-hole miniature golf courses, batting cages, a game room, and ice cream. Your best option for a Karate Kid-style date in the near suburbs. 10 AM-midnight (through 9/2), 3650 W. Devon, Lincolnwood, 847-679-9434 noveltygolf.com.
Wed17 Beyonce The otherworldly pop-music force will be strutting hard and continuing to wow everyone all the time on the “Mrs. Carter Show” world tour. StubHub, go! 8 PM, United Center, 1901 W. Madison, 312-455-4500, unitedcenter.com, sold out (get creative).
Thu18 Adler After Dark Guzzle wine out of a plastic glass and gaze at the final frontier through the lens of the Doane Observatory. Third Thursdays, 6:30-10:30 PM, Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore, 312-922-7827, adlerplanetarium.org, $17, $12 in advance.
Fri19 Pitchfork Music Festival R. Kelly, Bjork, Swans, Wire, El-P, Mikal Cronin, Killer Mike, Pissed Jeans, Andy Stott, Metz . . . we’re all good here. 7/19-7/21, Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph, pitchforkmusicfestival.com, $50 per day, $120 three-day pass.
Sat20 Chicago Fire vs. D.C. United Dwayne De Rosario and the United pay a visit. Take a break from Chicago baseball—it’s ruining your life by now. 7:30 PM, Toyota Park, 7000 S. Harlem, Bridgeview, toyotapark.com, $20-$50.
Sun21 Maxwell Street Market Your chances of purchasing a car battery, a samurai sword, and an excellent tamale are unreasonably high. Sundays, 7 AM-3 PM, 800 S. Des Plaines, maxwellstreetmarket.us, free.
Mon22 Melvins The sludgy noise-rock outfit celebrates 30 years of being loud as all hell. 8 PM, Double Door, 1532 N. Milwaukee, 773-489-3160, doubledoor.com, $25.
Tue23 Movies in the parks From June till September, the series screens more than 170 films in Chicago’s public parks. BYO blanket and popcorn. Visit chicagoparkdistrict.com for schedule, free.
Wed24 National Tequila Day When life gives you National Tequila Day, make margaritas. Or visit a spot like Logan Square’s Masa Azul and enjoy an expertly crafted tequila cocktail. Masa Azul, 2901 W. Diversey, 773-687-0300, masaazul.com.
Thu25 Reader booze cruise Our monthly team-up with the Empty Bottle includes live local music, plenty of drinkin’, and a sailboat on Lake Michigan. 7:30-10:30 PM, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, realdeal.chicagoreader.com, $40.
Fri26 Critical Mass On the last Friday of each month you too can ghetto-rig a boom box to your bike and roam the city streets with a strong legion of like-minded cyclists. 5:30 PM, Daley Plaza, Dearborn and Washington, chicagocriticalmass.org, free.
Sat27 Fiesta del Sol The midwest’s largest Latino festival in full swing. 7/25-7/28, Thu 5-10 PM, Fri-Sat 11 AM-11 PM, Sun 11 AM-10 PM, 1400 W. Cermak, fiestadelsol.org, free.
Sun28 Final day of Pierogi Fest Maybe you miss the International Polka Parade on Friday, and maybe the Pierogi Songfest on Saturday, but no way are you missing today’s Pierogi Toss (3 PM) and fabled eating contest (3:30 PM). 7/26-7/28, Fri-Sat 11 AM-10 PM, Sun 11 AM-5 PM, Indianapolis and 119th, Whiting, Indiana, pierogifest.net, free.
Mon29 Dessa A member of the Minneapolis hip-hop collective Doomtree, Dessa wraps up this year’s Downtown Sound series. Psalm One opens. 6:30 PM, Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph, cityofchicago.org, free.
Tue30 Skydive Chicago Summerfest What the hell, go jump out of a plane. Or marvel at those who have the guts to do it as a hobby. 7/27-8/4, 3215 E. 1969th, Ottawa, 815-433-0000, skydivechicago.com.
Wed31 National Ice Cream Month ends Go to our “restaurant search” at chicagoreader.com and apply the “ice cream” filter. Once you’ve reached your destination, upgrade to the waffle cone. Always upgrade to the waffle cone.
Thu1 Argyle Night Market The new “spin-off” night market—Logan Square got a Wednesday-night one, too—perhaps offers the opportunity to buy a bushel of kale without having to dodge a weekend stroller brigade or the gaggle of puppies that absolutely must be petted. 6/27-9/19, Thu 4-8 PM, Argyle and Broadway.
Fri2 Lollapalooza The Cure, Mumford & Sons, Nine Inch Nails, the Postal Service, the National, Queens of the Stone Age, and Kendrick Lamar: just a sliver of another outrageous and overblown lineup. 8/2-8/4, Grant Park, Columbus and Jackson, lollapalooza.com, sold out (whatever).
Sat3 Wrigleyville Summerfest The historic north-side neighborhood is transformed into one gigantic outdoor drinking party. Hey, wait a sec. . . 8/3-8/4, Sat noon-10 PM, Sun 11 AM-9 PM, wrigleyvillesummerfest.com, $5 suggested donation.
Sun4 The World of Faeries Festival A steampunk festival—yes, a steampunk festival—featuring old-world music, swordplay demonstrations, and jewelry vendors. 8/3-8/4, 10 AM, Vasa Park, 35W217 on Route 31, South Elgin, $11.
Mon5 Black Harvest Film Festival Independent feature-length and short films from African-American filmmakers. 8/3-8/30, Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State, 312-846-2600, siskelfilmcenter.org, $7-$11.
Tue6 Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival A music festival by women, featuring women, for women. Literally. No men allowed. 8/7-8/12, Hart, Michigan, michfest.com, sliding pay scale.
Wed7 Gathering of the Juggalos Every year, you tell yourself, “Maybe I’ll go—just to see what it’s like.” Make this the year, ninja. 8/7-8/11, IL-1 and Lamb Road, Cave-in-Rock, juggalogathering.com, $100-$400
Thu8 Tug Fest Enjoy live music, food, and entertainment while residents of Port Byron, Illinois, and Le Claire, Iowa, duke it out in a tug-of-war battle that stretches across the Mississippi River. 8/8-8/10, downtown Port Byron, tugfest.com, $5, $8 weekend pass.
Fri9 Tall Ships Festival This boating festival, which features local vendors and live entertainment, is helmed by Chicago Match Cup, a series of over 100 races between a dozen sailing teams. 8/7-8/11, 10 AM, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, chicagocup.org, $5
Sat10 Retro on Roscoe An antique auto show is at the center of this nostalgia-driven street fest. 8/10-8/11, Sat-Sun noon-10 PM, 2000-2300 W. Roscoe, starevents.com, $10 donation.
Sun11 Veggie Fest A food fest that promotes clean, healthy eating, featuring local vendors and cooking demos. 8/10-8/11, Science of Spirituality Meditation Center, 4S175 Naperville-Wheaton, Naperville, veggiefestchicago.com, free.
Mon12 Illinois State Fair The state fair is in full swing. Today’s activites incude a mule show (!) and performance by New Odyssey. 8/8-8/18, Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 E. Sangamon, Springfield, agr.state.il.us/isf, $7.
Tue13 Chicago Underground Comedy Witness the best comedy show in town, where Chicago expats like Kumail Nanjiani and Cameron Esposito cut their teeth. 7:30 PM, Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, chicagounderground comedy.com, $5
Wed14 The Intruder The classic Roger Corman social drama, screened by the fine folks at the Northwest Chicago Film Society. 7:30 PM, Portage Theater, 4050 N. Milwaukee, northwestchicago filmsociety.org, $5
Thu15 Chicago Symphony Orchestra The CSO performs the complete score for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Now you won’t feel like a nerd when you say, “It’s hotter than Mordor out here!” 7:30 PM, Green Bay and Lake Cook, Highland Park, 847-266-5100, ravinia.org, $25
Fri16 Indiana State Fair Still jonesin’ for funnel cake after the Illinois State Fair? Indiana’s is just a short drive away, and it has the reputation of being one of the best around. 8/2-8/18, Indiana State Fairgrounds, E. 38th and Fall Creek, Indianapolis, in.gov/statefair, $10.
Sat17 The Mad Science Scramble Family Scavenger Hunt Search for clues among the MSI’s various artifacts. 10:30 AM, Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore, $19.50-$24.50.
Sun18 Chicago Air and Water Show The cool thing about the Air and Water Show is that you can catch the high-flying acrobatics from basically anywhere in the city, so haul a lawn chair onto the roof of your apartment building and crack a cold one. 8/17-8/18, Fri-Sat 10:30 AM, North Avenue Beach, 1600 N. Lake Shore, free.
Mon19 Visit the beach And not North Avenue or Oak Street—the beaches farther north are way less crowded and far more picturesque.
Tue20 Millennium Park Greeter Tours Family in town? Or perhaps you’re curious about that big, shiny, bean-looking thing that’s in all those movies? This guided tour can help. 11:30 AM and 1 PM, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, chicagogreeter.com, free.
Wed21 Bristol Renaissance Fair See what those Dungeons & Dragons kids you went to high school with are up to now. 7/6-9/2, 10 AM-7 PM, 12550 120th, Kenosha, Wisconsin, renfair.com/bristol, $7.50-$17.95.
Thu22 Model Railroad Garden Eighteen model trains run on intricately placed tracks throughout botanic gardens. It’s way more impressive than it sounds. 10 AM-5 PM, Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook, Glencoe, chicagobotanic.org, $4-$6.
Fri23 The Boulevard Logan Square’s most famous tree-lined street plays host to this music and arts festival. 8/23-8/25, Fri 5-10 PM, Sat noon-10 PM, Sun noon-9 PM, Logan and Sacramento, starevents.com, $5 suggested donation.
Sat24 Naperville Wine Festival Return to Naperville to enjoy food and entertainment while sampling wine from around the globe. 8/24-8/25, 2-8 PM, CityGate Centre, 2135 City Gate, Naperville, napervillewinefestival.com, $29-$35
Sun25 Get brunch Preferably outside. Check our restaurant listings to find the best spot. chicagoreader.com/food
Mon26 The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival Chicago’s busiest avenue gets even busier as shoppers enjoy exclusive sales and fashion shows. 8/23-9/2, various times, Michigan between Grand and Walton, free
Tue27 Visit the Lincoln Park Zoo Because watching the people is usually just as good as (if not better than) watching the animals. 7 AM-6 PM, Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon, lpzoo.org, free.
Wed28 Loops and Variations The outdoor music series that blends new music with electronica features performances by Glenn Kotche and Lesley Flanigan. 6:30 PM, Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph, chicagofestivals.net/loops-and-variations, free.
Thu29 Chicago Jazz Festival Performers at this year’s fest include the Charles Lloyd Quartet, Jason Moran, and Donald Harrison 8/29-9/1, multiple venues, chicagojazzfestival.us, free.
Fri30 North Coast Music Festival The highlight of this year’s fest is the reunited Wu-Tang Clan performing the seminal Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) in its entirety. 8/30-9/1, noon-10 PM, Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph, northcoastfestival.com, $135, $225 for a three-day pass.
Sat31 Chicago Fringe Festival It doesn’t get more off-Loop than this theater festival, which specializes in experimental and independent performances. 8/29-9/8, various times and locations, chicagofringe.org, various prices
Sun1 Logan Square Farmers Market The best neighborhood in the city (just ask last year’s Best of Chicago voters) plays host to an equally great farmers’ market. This is your last chance to visit before summer’s end. 10 AM-3 PM, Logan Boulevard between Milwaukee and Whipple, logansquarefarmersmarket.org, free
Mon2 Labor Day That’s it. It’s all over. We suggest you throw a BBQ, or find someone who is. Otherwise, spend the day soaking up as much sun as possible before nine months of indomitable coldness forces everyone indoors.
In February 2018, this article was updated to use the phrase ‘arcade bar’ in place of the word originally used.