BEST Things to Do in Chicago in June 2024 (From a Local!)

Searching for what to do in Chicago this June? Here are the best things to do in Chicago in June 2024 (from a local) – from fun outdoor activities and attractions to the best June 2024 events.

I suggest bookmarking this blog post as I will be updating it regularly with new events and activities.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. I may make a small commission if you make a booking using my links at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

What to Pack for Chicago in June 2024

For out of town visitors, please note that the weather in Chicago in June is usually warm but the weather can be unpredictable and temperatures can vary greatly from day to day or even hour to hour. Be prepared for both summer and spring temperatures as well as rain. Make sure to pack layers and check the weather right before your visit to know what to expect.

Here are my must pack items if you are visiting Chicago in June for the first time:

• Comfortable walking shoes – Chicago is a very walkable city so you will do a lot of walking
• Reusable water bottle – It can get very hot so it is important to stay hydrated
• Sunglasses
• A hat
• A travel umbrella– It does occasionally rain in June
• Light sweater (and scarf) – For cooler nights and cold air conditioned places
• Waterproof case – For your phone if you plan to go kayaking
• Bathing suit and other beach essentials (if you are planning to spend time at the beach)
• External battery for your phone – it will be hard to find an outlet to recharge your phone’s battery when you are outdoors

If you forget to bring something essential, don’t worry. There are many drugstores located close to the popular tourist attractions if you need to pick something up.

Things to Do in Chicago in June 2024

Below are the top things to do in Chicago in June including all of the best June 2024 events and festivals.

Take an Architecture River Cruise

river cruise is one of the best things to do in June

Chicago has amazing architecture and the best way to enjoy it is joining an architecture river cruise.

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Take a Lake Cruise

If you enjoy being on the water, a lake cruise is a fun activity whether in the day, around sunset or in the evening. While you don’t get to see the buildings up close like on a architecture river cruise, you do get to enjoy skyline views especially around sunset and a refreshing cool lake breeze. Lake cruises depart from both Navy Pier or the Michigan Avenue Bridge (DuSable Bridge).

If your time is short, you can do a combination river and lake cruise.

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Enjoy the Views at Navy Pier

Navy Pier is a must do if you are visiting Chicago with toddlers or young kids.

Check out the new Flyover Chicago, an immersive flyover experience.

Other fun attractions at Navy Pier including a large Ferris wheel (click here to purchase a fast pass ticket and skip the long line), restaurants, shops and the Chicago Children’s Museum.

Make sure to come back or stay for the free fireworks every Wednesday and Saturday night.

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In addition to Navy Pier’s attractions, visitors in the summer can enjoy free events and programs including Live on the Lake!, an outdoor live music series featuring free live music every weekend in the Navy Pier Beer Garden.

Watch Free Fireworks at Night

You don’t have to wait until July to see fireworks. If you are looking for a fun thing to do in Chicago at night, Navy Pier puts on a free fireworks show on Wednesday and Saturday nights during the month of June.

While you can watch the fireworks show from Navy Pier, you can also watch the show from various spots along the Lakefront.

If you enjoy guided tours, you can see the fireworks and other must see attractions on this fireworks segway tour.

Another great option for watching the fireworks is a lake or river cruise which will stop on the water for passengers to enjoy the show.

Dinos Alive: An Immersive Experience

The Dinos Alive: An Immersive Experience will only be in Chicago for a limited time. Dinos Alive is a dinosaur exhibition featuring life-size animated replicas in an immersive Jurassic venue. This immersive experience brings you face-to-face with the fearsome and spectacular dinosaurs that dominated the animal world for 140 million years. From the turkey-sized Velociraptors to the mighty T-rex, interact with life-sized, moving animatronics of a large variety of species, and see these magnificent creatures in their natural Jurassic habitat. Kids can enjoy a “Budding Experts” interactive space, where they can become paleontologists and tame the most iconic dinosaurs.

Where: Exhibition Hub Art Center Chicago, 2367 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647

Cost: Price varies. Children ages 3 and under enter free of charge. Click here for full prices and to purchase tickets in advance.

Bouncy Games

The Bouncy Games is another limited time experience in Chicago for kids. This large inflatable course is full of giant slides and obstacle courses for kids 3+.

Where: Exhibition Hub Art Center Chicago, 2367 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647

Cost: Price varies. Children ages 3 and under enter free of charge. Click here for full prices and to purchase tickets in advance.

Heart Strings by UNICEF – An Interactive Experience

The Heart Strings by UNICEF – An Interactive Experience is a unique, family-friendly experience-for-good coming to Chicago in mid-June. Walk through captivating exhibits and interactive activities to gain a deeper understanding of UNICEF’s life-changing work—and have fun along the way. Afterwards, take part in UNICEF’s mission by visiting the Action Center.

When: Opens June 15, 2024.

Where: Water Tower Place, FashionBar, Level 3, 835 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Cost: Price varies. Kids ages 17 and under enter for free but must be accompanied by an adult. Click here for full prices and to purchase tickets in advance.

Listen to Concerts Under The Stars

Enjoy a music concert on a beautiful rooftop with city views. Concerts Under The Stars taking place this June include:

Sinatra Under the Stars at AIRE
A Starlit Tribute to Taylor Swift at The Aire Rooftop
Queen: Rock the Aire! at the Aire Rooftop

You can find the full list of Concerts Under The Stars here.

Attend a Candlelight Concert

Chicago’s Candlelight Concerts is a series of special classical music concerts that take place in beautiful venues bathed in candlelight. Some of the concerts taking place this June include:

A Tribute to Taylor Swift
A Tribute to Beyoncé
A Tribute to U2
A Tribute to Tracy Chapman
A Tribute to Coldplay at Music Box Theatre
Classic Rock on Strings
Neo-Soul & Hip-Hop Favorites

You can find the full list of candlelight concerts in Chicago here.

Titanic: The Exhibition

Titanic: The Exhibition is ending its limited time run in the Chicago area soon. This interactive experience allows you to step inside recreations of the Titanic’s interior. Immerse yourself in the stories of its passengers, see hundreds of artifacts, and discover the tale of the design, creation, launch, maiden voyage, and tragedy of the historic ship.

Where: 4963 Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie, IL 60077 (about 17 miles from downtown Chicago)

Cost: Price varies. Click here for full prices and to purchase tickets in advance.

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition is in the Chicago area for a few months. Delve deep into the post-Edwardian era with never-before-seen treasures, from original costumes to iconic props, and exclusive series footage. Traverse the grandeur of the Crawley estate, from the bustling kitchen to the opulent dining room. Explore British society, culture, and fashion amidst historical upheavals.

Where: 4963 Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie, IL 60077 (about 17 miles from downtown Chicago)

Cost: Price varies. Click here for full prices and to purchase tickets in advance.

Hang Out on the Riverwalk

hicago riverwalk travel blog

The Chicago Riverwalk is one of the best spots in Chicago for boat and people watching. There are also restaurants, bars, shops and spots to sit and relax along the way.

June is one of the best times of the year to visit Chicago

Where: Along the south bank of the Chicago River in downtown Chicago from Lake Michigan to west of Franklin Street. You can see a map of attractions on the Riverwalk here.

Hours: Open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Go Kayaking in the River

A fun way to explore the city is to go kayaking in the Chicago River or in Lake Michigan.

There are several companies that offer kayaking tours in Chicago including Urban Kayaks, Kayak Chicago and Wateriders. Some of these companies offer sunset tours, evening tours or fireworks tours.

Please note that you will get a little wet so bring a waterproof case for your phone and water-resistant or quick-drying clothing.

You can also rent kayaks at Ohio Street Beach here.

Enjoy Free Music Concerts at Millennium Park

concert at Millennium Park Chicago
One of the best things to do in Chicago during a nice summer evening is listening to free concerts at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.

The annual Grant Park Music Festival, the only free outdoor classical-music concert series in the US, starts its summer season June 12, 2024. It features the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra and Grant Park Chorus along with guest performers and conductors. You can see the full schedule here.

See Buckingham Fountain

Buckingham Fountain in Chicago
Buckingham Fountain, a well known Chicago landmark in the center of Grant Park, is one of the largest fountains in the world.

When the water is turned on, it produces a major water display for 20 minutes every hour with a center jet shoots water to a height of 150 feet into the air. Beginning at dusk, a spectacular light and music display accompanies the major water display.

Hang Out at the Beach

Most people don’t think of Chicago as a beach destination but Chicago has many beaches on Lake Michigan. The most popular beaches are located downtown (Oak Street and North Avenue) but they are also the busiest.

You can check swimming conditions at all Chicago beacheshere.

Explore the Lakefront

walking and relaxing on the Lakefront Trail in Chicago
Chicago’s Lakefront Trail is a paved path on a 18-mile-long stretch along Lake Michigan. In the summer and especially on weekends, the lakefront is packed with locals and visitors walking, running and riding bikes. Walking or biking all or part of the trail is a great way to enjoy the Chicago skyline, people watch and get some exercise. Here is a map of the trail as well as its access points.

Look for Street Art

Moose Bubblegum Bubble by Jacob Watts

Chicago is full of street art and there are always new murals popping up. One of the most famous Chicago murals is “Moose Bubblegum Bubble” (pictured above) by Jacob Watts located at 33 E. Ida B. Wells Drive. It is part of the Wabash Arts Corridor which is walking distance to Millennium Park, The Art Institute of Chicago and other tourist attractions.

Another famous mural is the Greetings From Chicago Mural at 2226 N Milwaukee Ave. You can see this mural and other street art on this street art tour.

Watch a Baseball Game

wrigley field Chicago

Chicago is known for their love of their sports teams, so if you are visiting in June you might want to attend a baseball game. Chicago has two MLB baseball teams (Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox).

You can find the Chicago Cubs schedule here and the Chicago White Sox schedule here.

Listen to Free Music at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tuesdays on the Terrace

The Museum of Contemporary Art hosts the popular Tuesdays on the Terrace this summer starting in June. Enjoy free music highlighting artists from Chicago’s internationally renowned jazz community at at MCA’s Anne and John Kern Terrace Garden. For the first time, Tuesdays on the Terrace expands beyond its jazz focus to include more diverse genres and styles that have unique Chicago roots. This year’s series includes house, Guatamalan marimba, electro-pop, and more, while maintaining a set of jazz performances. Light refreshments and a full bar with cold beverages, wine, and cocktails are available for purchase on the upper terrace.

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

When: Every Tuesday starting June 25, 2024.

Cost: Free.

Visit Local Farmers Markets in Chicago

You can find many farmers markets around Chicago in June. These markets are a great place to buy healthy, local, farm-fresh foods. Two of the best farmers markets in Chicago include the Green City Market in Lincoln Park and the Logan Square Farmers Market. You can see the list and schedule of all Chicago farmers markets here.

Walk The 606

The 606 is Chicago’s version of The Highline in NYC, an elevated trail goes through 2.7 miles of the city’s northwest side neighborhoods: Wicker Park, Bucktown, Humboldt Park, and Logan Square. It is a bit off the beaten tourist path but it great place to walk, run or bike. There are several access points so you can get off the trail to explore the various neighborhoods.

Eat or Drink on a Rooftop

Chicago has several rooftop bars and restaurants with amazing views of Chicago. Here are some of the best rooftops in Chicago:

Cindy’s (12 S Michigan Ave) – Restaurant and bar on the rooftop of the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel located across Millennium Park which offers panoramic instagram worthy views of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan. This is a popular spot and the wait for the elevator can be long but if you visit around the time it opens you can enjoy the great views without the crowds.

LH ON 22 (85 East Wacker Drive) – Enjoy classic cocktails and small bites from the outdoor LH terrace of LondonHouse Chicago which offers great views of the Chicago River, Lake Michigan and the Magnificent Mile.

The J. Parker (1816 N Clark St) on the rooftop of the Hotel Lincoln with great views of Lincoln Park.

Kennedy Rooftop (1551 W North Ave) on top of the Hyatt Place Wicker Park, has amazing skyline views.

Attend an Outdoor Festival

Want to enjoy live music, food, drink and people watch? June is a busy month for outdoor festivals and events in Chicago from neighborhood family friendly events to popular alcohol fueled music festivals. Outdoor festivals scheduled for June 2024 include: Chicago Gospel Music Festival (June 1, 2024), Chicago House Music Festival (June 2, 2024), Do Division Street Fest (June 1-2, 2024), Maifest (June 1-2, 2024), Windy City Hot Dog Fest (June 1-2, 2024), 57th Street Art Fair (June 1-2, 2024), Lincoln Park Greek Fest (June 1-2, 2024), Chicago Blues Festival (June 6-9, 2024), Puerto Rican Fest (Humboldt Park) (June 6-9, 2024), Andersonville Midsommarfest (June 7-9, 2024), Lincoln Square Greek Fest (June 7-9, 2024), Wells Street Art Festival (June 8-9, 2024), Old Town Art Fair (June 8-9, 2024), Ribfest Chicago (June 14-16, 2024), Taste of Randolph Street (West Loop) (June 14-16, 2024), Navy Pier’s Chi-Soul Fest (June 15-16, 2024), Gold Coast Art Fair (June 15-16, 2024), Sundays on State (June 16, 2024), Vegandale Fest (June 22-23, 2024), Chicago Pride Fest (Northalsted) (June 22-23, 2024), Logan Square Arts Festival (June 28-29, 2024), Pride in the Park (June 28-29, 2024) and Millennium Art Festival (June 28-30, 2024).

More Chicago June 2024 Events

In addition to the festivals and activities mentioned above, other Chicago June 2024 events include:
Swiftie Party Cruise! (June 9, 2024), Craft Brews at Lincoln Park Zoo (June 15, 2024) and Chicago Pride Parade (June 30, 2024).

For more events in June 2024 check out my post on the best things to do in Chicago this weekend which is updated weekly.

As you can see there are many things to do in Chicago in June. If you are looking for more things to do in Chicago in June or the rest of the summer, see my list of the Best Things to do in Chicago in the Summer.

Planning a trip to Chicago? Check out my Chicago guides and itineraries:



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