The warm weather has finally graced the Midwest with its presence! No more waiting around for summer to come. Watch as bare branches show off flower buds and brittle, brown grass blades turn into green, lush lawns! Take advantage of every sunny day that spring provides us by enjoying local free events or specialty festivals! Here’s a list of upcoming attractions to fill your calendars with:

Free Events

Don’t let this economy bring you down! Tons of free events are happening in the Chicago area everyday. Take a break from the work day by strolling down to Daley Plaza around lunchtime. Under the architectural Picasso gem, you can enjoy live performances, farmers markets and more!

Enjoy the sounds of jazz? On May 1, head to Warren Park around 7:30 p.m. as Eric Schneider plays a tribute to Benny Goodman, the “king of swing”.

On May 29, head to Tuley Park around 7:30 p.m. to enjoy the sounds of the Young Jazz Lions!

On May 2, gather your friends and family for Mayor Daley’s Kids and Kites Festival at Montrose Harbor in Lincoln Park. Free kites will be provided for children to design and create! Other activities include face painting, arts and crafts and variety of other entertainment options!

Want to make a difference in the world? Your chance is on May 9 at 9 a.m.! Volunteer your time with the Chicago Park District and help clean up the Chicago parks! Visit this website to choose from an array of parks that you can clean.

Between May and September, hundreds of events are occurring to support the use of bikes! Bikes save gas and decrease air pollutants that our vehicles use. Participate in the upcoming Bike the Drive on May 24, which allows you to drive down Lakeshore Drive between 5:30 and 10:30 a.m.! Afterward, enjoy pancakes and live music at Butler Field in Grant Park. On June 19, ride your bike to work during the Bike to Work Rally from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.!

Celebrate your success in the beer garden at Daley Plaza, where you can enjoy Chicago brewed Goose Island 312. For other upcoming events, visit www.bikechicago.us.

On May 25, celebrate Memorial Day in Chicago by enjoying the Memorial Day Parade! All of the beaches and outdoor pools officially open on this day, and multiple activities are provided in the parks to honor those who have fought for our country!

Chicago is known for its famous, free annual Blues Festival! This year, the three-day event has been boosted to four days! Head to Grant Park for free blues tunes from June 12-14.

Not sure what to do on a rainy day? Chicago’s museums all offer special free days! Click here for a list of all museums, zoos and the sort. Here are free days to remember for some of Chicago’s most famous museums:

  • May 11 and June 8 at the Field Museum
  • June 1-5 and June 19 at the Museum of Science and Industry
  • June 14-19, general admission at the Shedd Aquarium
  • Every Thursday from 5-8 p.m. and the first Monday of every month at the Chicago Children’s Museum

Fests/Specialty Events

From May 15-17, enjoy the traditional Chicago Mayfest in Lakeview.
Celebrate spring’s arrival while enjoying an array of food, beer, live music, and arts and crafts! Then, show off your pet at Sunday’s pet parade!

From May 28-31, Chicago Mayfest in Lincoln Square features a German twist!

Enjoy plates of German food, cupfuls of German beer, live music and maypole dancing!

It’s all about art and music at the 25th annual Belmont/Sheffield Music Festival! On May 30 and 31, enjoy the sounds of national, regional and local band entertainment while savoring an assortment of food, beer, arts and crafts and fashion displays!


Baseball season is here again! If you live in Chicago, you know this is an event that almost everyone looks forward to! Score some summer tickets for a hot summer day in Wrigley Field’s bleachers or for a tailgate party before a game at U.S. Cellular Field! Visit www.chicagocubs.com and www.chicagowhitesox.com for ticket information.

Is baseball not your thing? Cheer on the Chicago Fire soccer team! Ticket information is available at Chicago.fire.mlsnet.com.