5 Giant Chicago Events to Attend This Summer

May, 25 2016

Summer in Chicago is hot, busy, and exhilarating. If you’re one of the nearly 40 million people who visit America’s third-largest city each year, you might find so many interesting things to explore that you have trouble choosing among them. Here are five giant events to make your visit so memorable, you'll wish you could stay longer.

1. Lollapalooza, July 28-31

If you love music, you won’t want to miss Lollapalooza 2016. Tickets via the event’s website are sold out, but other vendors indicate availability. General daily admission starts at $125 at TicketCity, with 4-day passes available. Founded in 1991 by Perry Farrell, Jane’s Addiction lead singer, Lollapalooza makes its permanent home in 319-acre Grant Park, adjoining Lake Michigan in Chicago’s downtown area. The feel of this popular four-day event has evolved over the years to feature the most popular music of the time. Headliners this year include acts from LCD Soundsystem, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Radiohead, along with artist J. Cole. Join 50,000 other music lovers for an experience you won’t forget. Gates open each day at 11 a.m., with world-class music until 10 p.m.

2. Air and Water Show, August 20-21

The shoreline of Lake Michigan is the setting for the Air and Water Show. Presented by Shell Oil Products U.S. along with the City of Chicago, it’s the largest free air and water exhibition in the nation, with 2 million visitors each year. While enjoying the city’s dramatic skyline as a backdrop, you’ll take in daredevil exploits both on the water and in the air at the North Avenue Beach. This show has been a staple of Chicago summers for 57 years. Events have been scheduled each day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Over the years, attendees have enjoyed performances by favorites such as the Navy’s Blue Angels, the Air Force’s Thunderbirds, and other top military and civilian pilots and aircraft.

3. Windy City LakeShake, June 17-19

Take a citywide block party, mix it with country-Western music, and the result is the Windy City LakeShake. The popular yearly festival features three days of top artists and bands. You’ll be treated to performances by unforgettable performers like Martina McBride, Tim McGraw, Brooks & Dunn, and Travis Tritt. This country extravaganza is held at the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, an outdoor amphitheater on a manmade peninsula in the city. While enjoying performances, you can also take in memorable views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. Gates open at 2 p.m. and close at 11 p.m. Expect to pay $99.50 plus applicable fees for a 1-day general admission pass or $225.00 plus fees for a 3-day pass.

4. Chicago Jazz Festival, September 1-4

Celebrate the Labor Day weekend with free live performances by Chicago’s up-and-coming jazz artists alongside popular international artists. Jazz lovers arrive from far and wide to enjoy this festival, known for its artistic creativity in live jazz performances. Produced by the City of Chicago, the annual Chicago Jazz Festival is held at the Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park. The festival began as a way to commemorate the 1974 death of the popular composer, bandleader, and jazz legend Duke Ellington. In addition to immersing yourself in jazz, you can take in the festival’s art fair September 2-4, also in Millennium Park.

5. Chicago SummerDance, June 24-September 11

Looking for a fun activity on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday during your stay in Chicago? Get ready for Chicago SummerDance, presented by the City of Chicago. This series of free introductory one-hour dance lessons is now in its 20th year. Whether the cha-cha, waltz, or swing is your thing, you can learn it on a 4,900-square-foot open-air dance floor in Grant Park’s Spirit of Music Park. During any session, you can expect around 42 live bands and dance styles from around the globe. Not ready to dance? Just sit back and enjoy the variety of music. How popular is this event? Planners expect 46,500 people of all ages to attend.

When it comes to summer fun, Chicago is the place to be. Make your stay in the Windy City even more enjoyable with a short-term, fully furnished housing solution from PF Suites.

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