Street fest, check. Live music, check. Gardens, check.

Possibly the greatest street festival in Chicago, the Sheffield Garden Walk & Music Festival,  is taking place in Lincoln Park this weekend, July 19th and 20th.  This is the 46th year that residents of Lincoln Park have opened their gardens up to the public for your viewing pleasure.

Once you enter the festival for a $5 suggested donation, you can pick up a guidebook that will direct you on the self-guided tour from noon to 5:30 p.m. throughout the the various gardens in the Sheffield neighborhood. The gardens extend from Halsted west to the Chicago River, and from Armitage north to Fullerton. There are more than 100 gardens to explore!

Also, be sure to check out the select garden tours that start at 3:30 p.m. A master gardener and landscape expert will accompany the small group on the tour and answer any questions you may have.


On top of the garden tours, there are also free walking tours of the architecture in the Sheffield neighborhood. At 2 and 4 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 and 3 p.m. on Sunday, follow your guidebook to view Victorian-era architectural styles dating back to 1875, including Italianate, Romanesque, and Queen Anne.

If any of  that went over your head, not to worry. The tours are conducted by the Historic Resources Committee of the Sheffield Neighborhood Association, which will be happy to fill you in and answer any questions you may have. It's highly recommended that you show up in advance at the Information Booth on the lawn of St. Vincent de Paul Church to make sure you secure a spot. 

Sheffield Garden Walk

The Sheffield Garden Walk is very kid friendly and even designates a "Kid Corner" on the cross streets of Sheffield and Kenmore. Kids can enjoy bouncing around in an inflatable moon-bounce, ride the pig train, go for a trip on a kiddie Ferris wheel, get acquainted with some new animals at the petting zoo, and even go for a pony ride!  In addition to all of these fun activities, kids can get their faces painted, get a tattoo (temporary of course), and tap into their creative sides at the activity center!

Now, don't worry if you don't have kids, because the rest of the festival is very adult friendly too. The fest is sponsored by the always delicious Blue Moon and is featuring plenty of great food vendors including: Bridgeport Pastry, Crave Bar, Derby, Genoa Italian, Greek Delights, Home Bakery, LA Mexicana, L&D Restaurant, Nicholas Quality Meats, Robinson's Ribs and St. Vincent de Paul Church!

As always, The Sheffield Garden Walk books some great bands to jam out to. Saturday's headliner is the very talented ZZ Ward and playing out the festival Sunday is the Chicago native roots-rock band The Freddy Jones Band. View the complete lineup here and make your way to one of the best festivals in Chicago this weekend!