1. Gaelic Park Irish Fest – Back for its 28th year, the Irish Fest is in full swing for 4 days in the Oak Forest. If you’re willing to make the drive, you’ll be able to get in for $8.00 and enjoy delicious fare, carnival rides and games, petting zoo, dog show, soccer game, theatre, live music, and more! Show your Irish pride at the fest! chicagogaelicparkirishfest.org
2. Millenium Park Free Music – There’s just something about going to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and sitting down on a blanket and enjoying the music. Not just because it’s FREE, but because it’s a part of Chicago culture. Take your date or whole family and enjoy the music, ambience, and beautiful scenery. cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/millennium_park1.html
3. Farmer’s Markets – I’m not going to suggest that you’ve been hibernating and eating canned foods over the winter and our chilly spring, but now’s the season to stock up on fresh and unique produce at your local farmer’s market. You’ll be supporting your community and smaller operations. When you pick through the produce, ask for recipe suggestions and make a new dish for your weekend gathering. cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/farmers_market.html
4. Randolph Street Market – Find that hidden treasure at Randolph’s annual street market in the West Loop. They have indoor and outdoor shops, perfect for browsing, people watching, or shopping for jewelry and collectibles. The market has been featured on shows and magazines and draws a great crowd every year. Don’t miss out! randolphstreetmarket.com/index.php
5. Barrington Art Festival – The drive to Barrington is worth seeing the work of over 130 talented artists across various mediums. Stunning watercolor, original jewelry designs, beautiful photography, and much more! If you’re an artist, take in the inspiration for your summer projects. If you appreciate art, come and support talented artists from around the world. amdurproductions.com/art-festivals/Barrington_Art_Festival.html
6. Red, White, and BBQ – Nothing like getting messy and chomping on BBQ to declare the summer season! Located in Westmont, the largest competition is set to amaze attendees once more. Admission is free and so is the music! Taste test BBQ vendors and find your favorite sauce. The BBQ Pittmasters will be there to film an upcoming episode as well, so get your camera smile ready! westmontbbq.com/index.html
7. Cubs VS Sox – Are you a loyal South Sider? Or do you bleed blue? Show your loyalty at the Crosstown Classic on Memorial Day. The rivalry dates back to the early 1900’s and has been breaking up friends and families ever since. Well, let’s not get carried away and enjoy the annual game!
8. The Beach – Officially opening this weekend, the hot and water loving crowd will be splashing around for Memorial Day. Lake Michigan adds to the charm of our city and it’s always an event to spend time on the beach. Wash away those winter blues and soak in the sun!
9. Memorial Day Parade – Let’s not forget the reason we have all the freedom to enjoy the city and its offerings. Memorial Day was created to honor the men and women who died in service to this country. Watch the annual parade downtown and remember those before us.
10. Too many choices? Don’t worry, there’s one place that’s exactly the way you want it. Your home! Host a lunch or get-together in your backyard. It’s a great time to spend with family and friends; enjoying the beginnings of summer. Watch the game on TV, play music on the radio, attend to your garden, and enjoy the wonderful things to come this summer.