Weekend Alert July 15-17

Ready for a weekend of celebration, Chicago? If you're into vintage clothing, energetic music festivals or stuffing your face with smoked barbecue, Chicago is the place to be this weekend. The weather will be beautiful, perfect for creating a memorable visit to Chicago. It's time to make weekend plans! Tweet & Instagram your photos with #mychicagopix to share your adventure with us.  


Navy Pier's 100th Birthday
July 15 // FREE Admission

Navy Pier 100th Birthday

Celebrate Navy Pier's 100th birthday by taking a ride on the new 20-story Ferris wheel, watching a free Chicago Shakespeare performance on the East End or eating free slices of a giant Eli's Cheesecake. You can also view our city's beautiful skyline, test your strength on their new climbing wall, sip brews in the beer garden (details below) and more! Navy Pier will conclude the celebration with a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. 


Miller Lite Beer Garden 100 Penny Birthday Special
July 15 // FREE Admission

Miller Lite Beer Garden

The Miller Lite Beer Garden on the East End of Navy Pier invites all to celebrate the 100th birthday of Navy Pier with a special food and drink menu from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. In honor of this celebration, each menu item will be only 100 pennies (or $1) and includes Miller Lite, Coors Light, hot dogs and more! Additional specials available all day will include a $6 birthday hurricane cocktail.


Windy City Smokeout
July 15-17 // Starts at $30

Join the massive crowds of country fans (and bbq fans!) heading to the River North neighborhood for the 3rd annual summer festival bringing together the best of live country music, beer and BBQ! This year's BBQ lineup includes Hogapalooza, Myron Mixon, 17th Street BBQ and many more. You'll have the opportunity to learn at the Myron Mixon Cooking School, experience the barbecue brunch and see the first ever Amateur BBQ Rib Competitions. Country fans can also take in performances by the 2016 headliners Chase Rice, Billy Currington, Old Dominion and other emerging talent.


Pitchfork Music Festival
July 15-17 // Start at $65

Pitchfork Music Festival

Head to Union Park to celebrate 11 years of the three-day festival as it offers an inclusive, wallet-friendly and expertly-curated weekend of music. This year's music acts include Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals, Beach House, BJ the Chicago Kid, Blood Orange and more. With 50 individual vendors, including Chicago-based organizations, the fest supports local businesses and promotes the Chicago arts community. 

A Brick by Brick LEGO celebration
July 6 // Prices vary

Brick by Brick Summer Party

In celebration of its new temporary exhibit, Brick by Brick, the Museum of Science and Industry (aka "MSI" to locals) is hosting two "brick-tacular" events. During the Summer Brick Party, get creative at an all-ages, block party-style event with interactive stations including engineering catapults. Plus enjoy a free showing of "The LEGO Movie" beginning at 1 p.m. (tickets are on first-come, first-serve basis). Later that night at MSI After Hours: Brick Bash, guests ages 21 and older will enjoy building their own sliders or work with an expert mixologist to build their own cocktail. The museum's first adults-only evening is a great way to get exclusive access to the hit exhibit, which only gets better with a craft beer in hand!


Cocoa + Co. debuts new ice cream sandwiches
July 17

Cocoa + Co.

Prepare to celebrate the greatest day of summer, National Ice Cream Day, this weekend with Cocoa + Co.'s new ice cream sandwiches. Each sandwich is handmade in collaboration with local ice cream hotspot, Homers, exclusively for Cocoa + Co. to produce the perfect summer treat! Ice cream flavors at the Old Town sweet spot include Coffee Toffee, Peppermint, Vanilla Oreo and Chocolate Chocolate Chip.  


Chicago Rockabilly & Tiki at the Vintage Garage
July 17 // $5 Admission  

Vintage Garage

Celebrate the Chicago Rockabilly scene at the Vintage Garage, the hippest garage sale in the city. There will be 100 vendors with full variety of vintage furniture, home decor, mid-century modern, vintage clothing, vintage lighting and so much more. A new addition for the 2016 Rockabilly show, Rosie and the Rivets will bring in some classic 1950's music!


Chinatown Summer Fair
July 17 // FREE Admission

Chinatown Summer Fair

Join visitors from around the Midwest for the annual Summer Fair festival in Chinatown. Back for its 38th year, the iconic celebration of Far East culture includes the Dragon & Lion Dance Procession, artisans, the food of neighborhood restaurants and more.


Dearborn Garden Walk
July 17 // Advance: $30 | At the gate: $35

Dearborn Garden Walk

One of several Chicago garden walks coming up, the 58th Dearborn Garden Walk is a nationally recognized event that draws crowds from all over the world to take part in this one-day, self-guided walking tour. Many of Chicago's most spectacular, private rear gardens will be on display. There will also be an architectural tour and never-before seen backyard garden vignettes created by some of Chicago's top interior designers.


Find more July festivals in our complete event guide, or check out our roundup of top Chicago food fests and music fests happening this summer.