You don’t need to reach for your wallet to get your fill of fun things to do all around the city. Here are 10 of our favorite free events and activities this month in Chicago, including over-the-top Pride celebrations, outdoor adventures, iconic Chicago experiences, and so much more. Start planning your budget-friendly Chicago adventures for June 2024.

1. Party at Pride

Pride Chicago, Adam Alexander Photography

June is Pride Month and there are plenty of fun (and free!) ways to celebrate all around Chicago. The city’s signature Pride celebrations are the Chicago Pride Fest on June 22 – 23 and the annual Chicago Pride Parade, back for its 53rd year in the Northalsted neighborhood on June 30.

All month long, the Legacy Walk lights up the streets of Northalsted, the oldest official gay neighborhood in the country. This free outdoor museum honors the historic contributions of the LGBTQ+ community. And check out other LGBTQ+ attractions in Chicago for more ways to honor Pride Month.

Check out all the ways to celebrate Pride Month 2024 in Chicago.

2. Attend a music festival in Millennium Park

Millennium Park Pritzker Pavilion
Abel Arciniega :: @tequilagraphics

The city’s iconic Millennium Park is filled with live music every summer, from major music festivals to casual weekday concerts. Check out the packed lineup of free shows coming to the Pritzker Pavilion this June. No tickets needed, just show up and grab a spot on the Great Lawn to enjoy live music under the stars.

  • Chicago Gospel Music Festival on June 1: This free daylong concert brings together traditional choirs, contemporary urban gospel artists, and more.
  • Chicago House Music Festival and Conference on June 2: House music fans from around the country flock to Chicago for this free celebration of the Chicago-born genre.
  • Chicago Blues Festival on June 6 – 9: One of the city’s most legendary music festivals draws hundreds of thousands of fans and blues icons from all over the country.
  • Grant Park Music Festival beginning June 12: This 90-year tradition brings free classical music to Millennium Park all summer long.

Check out the full Millennium Park events calendar.

3. Celebrate Juneteenth

Juneteenth Market at the Museum of Contemporary Art
Juneteenth Market at the Museum of Contemporary Art; Photos by Tori Torison

Juneteenth, a national holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, is the perfect occasion to learn more about Black culture, traditions, and the contributions of Black Chicagoans past and present. Here are a few free ways to honor Juneteenth in Chicago.

  • 1865 Fest in Garfield Park on June 14 – 16: This three-day cultural experience offers educational workshops, live music, free food, and a Black veterans military ceremony.
  • Juneteenth Village Fest on June 15: Commemorate the holiday with a free, family-focused event that supplies carnival rides, games, food, and national and local performers.
  • Juneteenth Celebrating Freedom on June 19: Attend this annual celebration at DuSable Black History Museum and enjoy live music, local vendors, food trucks, and children’s activities.

Explore more: Check out more Juneteenth 2024 celebrations in Chicago.

4. Explore a new neighborhood

The Nine Dragon wall in Chinatown Chinatown; photo by Adam Alexander

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a long-time resident, there’s always something new to discover in Chicago. Get to know a new neighborhood on a free Chicago Greeter tour, led by a friendly local who will show you each neighborhood’s landmarks, hot spots, and hidden gems.

This month, Chicago Greeter is bringing free pop-up walks to neighborhoods across the city all summer long. Check out this month’s neighborhoods:

  • Chinatown (June 1)
  • South Loop (June 1)
  • Pilsen (June 8)
  • Bronzeville (June 8)
  • Uptown (June 15)
  • Rogers Park (June 15)
  • Lincoln Square (June 22)
  • Hyde Park (June 29)
  • South Shore (June 29)

5. Attend a neighborhood event

A man samples food at Taste of Chicago
Taste of Chicago; photo courtesy City of Chicago DCASE

Almost every Chicago neighborhood has its own signature summer event. There are music festivals, block parties, art fairs, and more dedicated to food, culture, and beyond. Here are just a few of the neighborhood festivals and events with free admission:

  • Maifest Chicago on May 30 – June 2: Get a taste of German heritage at this annual gathering known for giant beers, traditional foods, and lively bands.
  • 57th Street Art Fair on June 1 – 2: This long-running event features an array of artists from all over the country in the historic Hyde Park neighborhood.
  • Puerto Rican Day People’s Parade on June 8: Immerse yourself in Puerto Rican culture and a celebratory atmosphere during this lively parade in Humboldt Park.
  • Taste of Chicago pop-up event on June 15: Taste of Chicago will bring local favorite vendors to Touhy Park in Rogers Park for this neighborhood pop-up.

6. Enjoy a free museum day

Field Museum with guests socially distanced
Photo by Lucy Hewett

Spend an afternoon wandering through a Chicago museum, where you can dive into fascinating history, provocative contemporary art, and galaxies far, far away.

Here are the upcoming free museum days in Chicago this month for Illinois residents:

You can also visit one of the city’s always-free museums, like the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, the National Museum of Mexican Art, and the Hyde Park Art Center

Explore more: Mark your calendar for free museum days throughout the year.

7. Experience Chicago’s dance scene

SummerDance in Spirit of the Music Garden Grant Park summer dancing
SummerDance in Spirit of the Music Garden Grant Park summer dancing

Chicago’s diverse and dynamic dance legacy spans everything from classic ballet to stepping and other modern forms. And June is the perfect time to experience it for yourself. The 21st annual Chicago Dance Month will offer free events all month long, starting with a kick-off performance at Navy Pier on June 1. The free event will feature a variety of performers across genres.

If you want to learn some moves, check out the free Chicago SummerDance lessons during the Taste of Chicago pop-up event in the Rogers Park neighborhood on June 15.

8. Watch the summer fireworks on the lakefront

NYE Fireworks at Navy Pier

The Navy Pier summer fireworks display is one of the most iconic parts of a Chicago summer. These twice-weekly shows take place on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 p.m. all summer long. The breathtaking display is accompanied by a soundtrack of popular music, with special themed nights for holidays. The best places to watch the show include the Navy Pier Beer Garden, Offshore Rooftop, or along the nearby lakefront.

9. Hit the beach

Abel Arciniega :: @tequilagraphics

Beach season is officially here, which means Chicago’s dozens of free beaches are open to enjoy. People watch at North Avenue Beach, take in the views at South Shore Beach, play some volleyball in the sand at Foster Beach, and beyond. Many Chicago beaches are connected via the Lakefront Trail, an 18-mile path perfect for running, walking, or biking.

Explore more: Check out more sandy spots to explore with our Chicago beach guide.

10. Catch a new season of Art on THE MART

Art on theMART
Art on theMART

Art on THE MART is now showing brand new works along the Chicago Riverwalk. The latest edition of the massive waterfront display kicks off with a new commission by American post-conceptual artist Cory Arcangel inspired by earth, wine, and fire. The new program is on view nightly (9 p.m. to 10 p.m.) throughout the month, beginning with the world premiere on June 6.

Looking for more? Check out our guide on free things to do in Chicago all year long.