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10 Free Things to Do in Chicago 

June 2019

You don't need to reach for your wallet to get your fill of culture and fun in Chicago. Here are just 10 FREE festivals, exhibits, concerts, and events to enjoy around the city this month.

1. Attend the legendary Chicago Blues Festival

Skyline during Blues Fest

June 7 – June 9

The lineup for this year’s Chicago Blues Festival celebrates blues legends past and present. The city’s largest free music festival attracts more than 500,000 fans to three days of free performances in Millennium Park.

2. Explore the country’s oldest planetarium

Adler Planetarium

June 3 – 5, 10 – 13

Illinois residents get free admission to the Adler Planetarium on select dates in June. See a Sky Show in their state-of-art dome theatre, peer through ancient telescopes, and experience America’s first steps on the moon.

3. Party at a hidden alleyway pop-up

Activate

June 6

This popular series of pop-up art parties takes over Loop alleyways each summer. Watch circus-inspired acts like contortionists and magicians, Chicago’s best hip-hop acts on two stages, an interactive costume photo booth, live mural painting and more. RSVP online for a free drink at the event.

4. SEE A SUMMER FIREWORKS SHOW 

Navy Pier fireworks

Wednesdays and Saturdays through Labor Day

The beginning of summer marks the start of Navy Pier’s spectacular fireworks display. You can see the show on Wednesdays and Saturday evenings anywhere along the lakefront, though the best viewing spot has to be the Pier itself.

5. Catch a movie at Millennium Park

Millennium Park Summer Film Series

Select Tuesdays through August

The popular Millennium Park Summer Film Series features free movies under the stars on Tuesdays throughout the summer. Grab a blanket and a picnic, then settle in to watch modern hits and cult classics.

6. Make history AT PRIDE

wh pride parade

June 22 – 23 and 30

Celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride at Chicago’s biggest party of the year. Pride Fest is a massive two-day festival in the heart of Boystown from June 22 – 23, followed by the Pride Parade (one of the nation’s largest) on June 30. This year marks the celebration's 50th anniversary.

7. Catch a classical concert at Grant Park Music Festival

Grant Park Music Festival

June 12, 14, 15 19, 21, 22, 26, 28

Hear the acclaimed Grant Park Orchestra in this series of free outdoor concerts in scenic Millennium Park. The festival, now in its 85th season, features an array of classical masterpieces, from Beethoven to Sousa to Bach.

8. Celebrate Pride at the Pier

Navy Pier Chicago

June 29

Enjoy a full day of family-friendly activities celebrating the LGBTQ+ community at Navy Pier, one of Chicago’s most iconic destinations. The event includes storytime with drag queens, live performances, special film presentations, and a new “Queer the Pier” fashion and music show.

9. Hear live music and more outside Wrigley Field

Park at Wrigley

Throughout June

Gallagher Way, the green space right outside historic Wrigley Field, is hosting tons of free events all summer long. Their jam-packed June schedule includes classical, rock, and blues concerts, theatre performances, gardening workshops, a Women’s World Cup viewing event, yoga classes, and more.

10. Take the kids to the Family Fun Festival

Family Event

Starts June 24

This free fest in Millennium Park offers educational, kid-friendly activities all summer long. You can catch daily performances from the Wiggleworms, story time at the Reading Circle, and activities and crafts from top Chicago museums.

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