Summertime is here in the Windy City, which means the list of free happenings is getting bigger and better. Read on for everything to do this month that will keep your social calendar and budget on track. Check out this variety of free things to do in Chicago this June — big name fests like Chicago Blues Festival, raucous celebrations like Chicago Pride Parade, and film screenings at Millennium Park.
1. Free Concerts at Navy Pier's Miller Lite Beer Garden
EVERY DAY IN JUNE
Admission is totally FREE to the public for concerts at the Miller Lite Beer Garden at Navy Pier. A different group will be performing almost every evening of the month. Catch the Old Town School of Folk on June 4 or Corey Dennison and Louisiana Al on June 7. Browse the complete schedule of concerts.
2. Maifest Chicago
Attend the city’s annual German festival for live entertainment and traditional food including plenty of beer and brats. Admission is free for all. Maifest takes place in Lincoln Square from June 1 to 4.
3. Millennium Park Summer Workouts
BEGINNING JUNE 3 (Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays)
Beginning on June 3, you can attend free workout classes in the morning on the Great Lawn of Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Yoga is offered three days a week, while Saturdays take it next level with yoga plus Pilates, Strength Training and Zumba® — view the schedule.
4. Free Days at Adler Planetarium
Illinois residents can visit the Adler Planetarium for free from June 5 to 9. You’ll be able to access all of the exhibits and experiences, with few exclusions. A valid Illinois ID is needed for entrance.
5. Chicago Blues Festival
Head to Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park on June 9 to 11 to attend the world’s largest free blues festival. Five stages will draw in an expected crowd of half a million blues fans. Check out the schedule of performers.
6. Naked Bike Ride
7. Pilsen Food Truck Social
Join the Pilsen Food Truck Social on June 10 or 11, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. You’ll find tons of Chicago’s favorite food trucks, including 5411 Empanadas, Da Lobsta, and Carnivale. A $5 donation is optional for entrance. Some proceeds from the event will benefit the Illinois Food Truck Owners Association, Pilsen's Saint Procopius Church food bank and soup kitchen, ArtReach Chicago and Chicago Dia de los Niños Scholarships.
8. Millennium Park Summer Music Series
BEGINNING JUNE 12 (every Monday & Thursday)
You can enjoy movies, workouts and also free music concerts, all in Millennium Park. The Summer Music Series starts on June 12 and runs through August 21. Performances take place every Monday and Thursday at 6:30 p.m. (with few exceptions).
9. Millennium Park Summer Film Series
JUNE 13, JUNE 20 & JUNE 27
Film lovers favorite free activity—downtown movies in the park—returns this summer and continues all the way through September 5. This summer’s Millennium Park Film Series schedule includes The Blues Brothers (June 13) to open the season, Caddyshack (June 20), as well as Julie and Julia (June 27) all starting at 6:30pm. While not set in downtown Millennium Park, another option Chicago Park District's Movies in the Park brings the neighborhoods together with 217 movies playing in public parks across Chicagoland. Most showings (from June to September) start at 8:30 p.m.
10. 21st Annual Chicago SummerDance
BEGINNING JUNE 23 (Fridays through Sundays)
SummerDance hosts totally free one-hour dance lessons in Grant Park. Learn how to swing, waltz and more to the live music of 48 different bands and DJs. Or, just sit back and observe. Classes begin on June 23. Browse the full summer schedule.
11. Pride Parade
Come together with Chicago’s LGBT community for this vibrant celebration. The parade begins at noon on June 25, but get there early if you want a seat to watch. More than a million attendees are expected. Find a parade map and more information on the 48th Annual Chicago Pride website.
12. Art in the Garden
Lurie Garden is located at the south end of Millennium Park. It’s free and open for the public to enjoy all year. There are also a number of free events for all ages offered in the garden this summer. On June 25 at 11 a.m., stop by Art in the Garden with kids in tow to learn how to capture the garden’s beauty through art. Register in advance. See more upcoming events, from looking at plants under a microscope to seeing birds of prey face-to-face.
13. Make Music Day
Make Music Day is held annually all across the city on the longest day of the year—June 21st. Attend free live performances at dozens of venues around Chicago.
14. Gold Coast Greek Festival
The Gold Coast Greek Festival happens on Friday, June 23, to Sunday, June 25, at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral on LaSalle Street. Enjoy authentic Greek food and homemade pastries, as well as live music and dancing. Admission is free.
15. Fireworks at Navy Pier
WEEKLY IN JUNE (Wednesdays & Saturdays)
Adults and kids alike will get excited for a spectacular fireworks display at Navy Pier, taking place every Wednesday and Saturday in June. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and 10:15 p.m. on Saturdays.
Did we miss any other great free things to do in June? Let us know by tweeting @ChooseChicago. Get a full list of all major Chicago festivals (many free!) with the month-by-month 2017 Event Guide, or find curated picks each week with the Weekend Alert. Looking to save? Search for more budget picks on the blog.