AUGUST 2018 – People always think Labor Day signifies the end of summer, but if you just look at a calendar, you know you have so much more summer to play. Before we even start thinking about winding down, there’s still so much fun to be had all over Chicago. Here’s your list of things to take in this August — and there’s plenty to help fill your social calendar.
What: The granddaddy of all fests, Lolla takes over downtown Chicago for four full days of incredible music covering hip-hop, rock, electronic, experimental and way more than you’ll hope to see. With more than 100 bands converging on Chicago, you can choose from headliners like The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Post Malone, Jack White and Jungle to bands lower down the lineup including A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Parquet Courts, Bomba Estereo, Anderson East, Rex Orange County and countless others.
Where: Grant Park
When: Aug 2-5
Cost: Various prices for general admission to uber-VIP.
Cones of Chaos
What: A punk rock button museum and vegan creamery is popping up at the hotel, just in time for Lollapalooza. With specially crafted vegan treats, stop by on your way to the festival to cool off with a dairy-free treat and learn about some punk history.
Where: Chicago Athletic Association Hotel (Madison entrance at 71 E. Madison St.)
When: Aug 2-5; 1-4pm only
Cost: Various treat prices
Ice Box Derby
What: Come cheer on teams of young women create derby cars in this event that helps foster more STEM learning among girls.
Where: Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington)
When: Aug. 4 from 12-3 p.m.
What: Whether you’re making it to Lolla, this is another party you’ll want to hit that weekend. Check out performances by Just Loud, Japanese Breakfast and a special DJ set from Annie Clark a.k.a. St. Vincent.
Where: Stagg Court at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel
When: Aug. 4 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Cost: Free but must RSVP and its first come, first entry.
Chicago Hot Dog Fest
What: If Chicagoans ever needed another reason to enjoy a good hot dog, this annual festival, this year celebrating the 125th anniversary of the introduction of the beloved encased meat at the 1893 World’s Fair, brings together some of the Chicago area’s best vendors, including Chicago’s Dog House, Edzo’s and Byron’s Hot Dogs. Live music and rides will also entertain.
Where: Chicago History Museum (Stockton and LaSalle)
When: Aug 10-12
Cost: Suggested $5 donation
Bud Billiken Parade
What: The country’s largest African-American parade, which celebrates the city’s youth with a focus on getting back to school, returns with a parade and festival. This year’s theme, “Back to Bud,” encourages people to remember the core focus of the event: To bring people together with life-changing opportunities.
Where: Parade kicks off in Bronzeville on MLK Drive and heads south to Garfield Blvd. and Elsworth Drive.
When: Aug. 11 starting at 10 a.m.
Northalsted Market Days
What: The Midwest’s largest street festival, with an expected 200,000 attendees, returns to the heart of Boystown for two days of vendors, live music and dancing in the street. Artists include Betty Who, Martha Wash, Todrick Hall, Crystal Waters, Expose and more.
Where: Halsted between Addison and Belmont
When: Aug. 11-12
Cost: $10 suggested donation
Broadway in Chicago Summer Concert
What: Bring the family, pack a picnic and get ready for an evening of entertainment with performances from The Book of Mormon, Cats, Dear Evan Hansen, Hello, Dolly! and more.
Where: Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park
When: Aug. 13 starting at 6:15 p.m.
Chicago Air & Water Show
What: This annual event brings together one of Chicago’s largest public gatherings to ooh and aah as classic planes, fighter jets, Coast Guard boats and more seek to thrill audiences over two days along the Chicago lakefront.
Where: North Avenue Beach (but there are plenty of places to watch along the lakefront, tops of apartment buildings and hotels, boats on the lake and more).
When: Aug 18-19
What: Can you think of a better way to continue your summer soiree than with the chance to taste through more than 20 different kinds of sangrias? Add in a Latin flair with flamenco dancers, a samba parade, food from local vendors like Tapas Valencia, Flash Taco and Sweet Lady Flan and an array of other live entertainment.
Where: Humboldt Park (3021 W. Division)
When: Aug. 18-19
What: The grunge-era rockers and Hall of Famers — not to mention big Cubs fans – return to the Friendly Confines for their first concert there since the Cubbies won the World Series.
Where: Wrigley Field
When: Aug. 18
Cost: Various prices
Chicago Women’s Funny Festival
What: The seventh annual comedy fest, held over four days, features dozens of performers like Tattoo Floozies, Kerri Morrison and Royal Tease, who are all ready to make you LOL.
Where: Stage 773 (1225 W. Belmont)
When: Aug. 23-26
Cost: Various prices for single show tickets and festival passes.