Summer is not over yet in Chicago! There’s more fun, more festivals, more events to enjoy, starting with the week before Labor Day, right through the Labor Day Weekend. So, don’t put away that suntan lotion yet; keep the picnic basket and blanket handy, cause I’m going to show you a few great places to go.
Tall Ships Chicago 2010
Bring the whole family to Navy Pier to see more than 20 historical tall ships sail the waters of Lake Michigan. The ships hail from around the globe, a beautiful sight to see. Board and tour 12 of the vessels, or sail aboard one of the five magnificent tall ships. Hours are from 10am-9pm, Aug. 25-28; 10am-6pm Aug. 29. Event overview here. Get ticket information here. Purchase tickets here. What is a tall ship? here. Hotel packages here.
Movies in the Parks
BYO picnic and blanket, they are still showing flicks in the park and the best thing is its FREE! Films start at dusk. Aug. 25, “The Goonies” is playing at River Park; “Kung Fu Panda” at Schreiber Playground Park, and “The Blind Side,” with Oscar winner Sandra Bullock is running at Washington Park. For a complete schedule of featured films and park locations, go here.
Over 8,500 athletes from around the world take part in this amateur and professional sports event. Competitors swim, bike, and run in the world’s largest triathlon, right here in the Windy City. The race begins at Monroe Harbor, (400 E. Monroe Street), with the swim. Randolph Street begins the next leg of the race where athletes bike north on Lake Shore Drive to Foster Ave., then turn around and head south to Randolph. The last stage of the race will be a run along the lake front south to the Museum Campus, then north again. The race ends at Columbus Drive, south of Balboa Drive. Best viewing locations: Monroe Harbor for the swim; north of Ohio Street Beach for the biking, Shedd Aquarium, or anywhere along Lake Shore Drive, south of Navy Pier for runners. You know where to go for the finish line.
The race is FREE to watch and starts early at 6am. Check out the post-race party from 8:30am-3pm for live music, food, drinks, an awards ceremony, and more! Spectators Guide to the race here. Course info here. Post-race party info here.
Bucktown Arts Festival
Enjoy art, music, food in the ‘hood, the Bucktown neighborhood, that is. This popular festival attracts up to 30,000 attendees, and it’s FREE! Kick-off party is Aug. 26 at the Jackson Junge Gallery, 1389 N. Milwaukee Ave., from 6-9pm. The cost: $30 in advance, $40 at the door. Festival schedule here.
Lake View Music Festival
The Wrigley Field neighborhood hosts their ninth annual event from 12pm-10pm. As always, live music, food vendors, plus arts & crafts to enjoy. Saturday features performances by The Ginge, Sorry for Partying, Petty Cash, Modern Day Romeos, and Too White Crew. Sunday’s lineup includes Fortunate Sons, Stubhy & the Bad Habits, Rock Candy, 7th Heaven, and Infinity. Gate donations: $5 until 5pm; after 5pm, $7. Details here.
Boulevard Lakefront Tour
Bike ride through Chicago’s historic neighborhoods with live music and entertainment after the ride. Go on the 16-mile Neighborhood Ramble, 32-mile Boulevard Tour, or be adventurous on the 62-mile Ultimate Neighborhood Ride for all you pros. The rides begin in the West Loop, corner of Morgan and Taylor Streets at the University of Illinois campus. Cost for members of the Active Transportation Alliance-$27, Non-members-$32, Youth (17 and under), $15. Purchase a bag lunch at $7, or bring your own picnic along. Ride info here. Sign up here.
Chicago Jazz Festival
Coming to you from three locations, the 32nd Annual Chicago Jazz Festival is the longest running lakefront music festival sponsored by the city. It’s a Labor Day tradition. Artists scheduled to appear are Nicole Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, Brad Mehldau, Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band, Rene Marie, and more. Best yet, its FREE! Locations include: Millennium Park at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Roosevelt University in the Loop, Chicago Cultural Center, and Grant Park. Jazz Festival info here. Thursday, Sept. 2 lineup and directions here. Friday, Sept. 3 lineup and info here. Saturday, Sept. 4 lineup and more here. Sunday, Sept. 5 lineup and venue info here.
North Coast Music Festival
Labor Day Weekend rocks in Union Park! Come hear a lineup for all rock ages in this first year event, sure to be back annually. Making an appearance are: The Chemical Brothers, Nas & Damian Marley, Lupe Fiasco, Moby (dj set), Umphrey’s McGee, De La Soul, Boys Noize, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Orchard Lounge, Jay Electronica, Cold War Kids, and more. Tickets, Festival Guide, Lineup, Directions, and After Parties here.
African Festival of the Arts
This 21st annual festival features food, jewelry, and art, all on the South Side in Washington Park, 10am-10pm. Don’t miss Chicago native Chaka Khan perform on Sept. 6. Performances by West African Grammy-award winner Angelique Kidjo, and Tito Jackson of the Jackson Five on Sept. 4. Cost: $30 for a weekend pass, $10-$15, $5 for seniors and children 12 and under. Highlights here.
Taste of Polonia
Umm, love those Polish sausages with sauerkraut! Try one, or a pierogi. How about kabobs, pizza, hot dogs, and beer, all at the 31st Annual Taste of Polonia in the Jefferson Park neighborhood. This cultural family event highlights the Polish culture with Polish and American bands performing rock, blues and polka from five stages. Take part in Sunday mass, enjoy folk dancers, arts and crafts, plus kids activities. Known as the largest ethnic festival in Chicago, its a great way to spend your Labor Day weekend. Kicks off at Lawrence Ave., between Milwaukee Ave. and the Kennedy Expressway. Donations: $6 Adults, $3 Seniors. Everything you need to know is here.
Bash on Wabash
Come to the South Loop for their 7th annual Labor Day family friendly fest from 11am-10pm. Feast on the ever-popular roasted corn, beer and wine, enjoy live music and DJ’s on two stages, arts & crafts, and lots of kids activities. The action is on Wasbash, between 13th and 14th Streets. Cost: Donation of $5. See festival info here.
As you can see, there’s lots to do in Chitown, and summer is still in full swing, so head on out and join the fun. Have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend! See you at the festivals!
navypier.com, chicagoparkdistrict.com, chicagotriathlon.com, bucktownartsfest.com, chicagoevents.com, boulevardtour.org, explorechicago.org, northcoastfestival.com, chicago.metromix.com, tasteofpolonia.copernicusfdn.org, greatersouthloop.org.