The annual Dragon Boat Race in Ping Tom Memorial Park. Photo courtesy of the  Chinatown Chamber of Commerce
The annual Dragon Boat Race in Ping Tom Memorial Park. Photo courtesy of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce

40+ Kid-Friendly Summer Festivals and Fairs in Chicago

Here it comes: The most fun-packed, jam-packed, outdoor festival-and-fair-packed season of the year in Chicagoland. The debut of warmer weather prompts a head-spinning number of fantastic fetes with so many different themes, cultures, and neighborhoods, it's easy to find something to appeal to everyone in the family. 

So while your local playground or pool may beckon and your backyard grill may look lonely, you’ve simply got to sample a street fair or two this summer. Bookmark this list and get your calendar (and some comfy shoes) ready. And check out our Chicago Summer Fun Guide for even more great kid and family activities and outings.

Some things to know before you go in 2021: Some May and June festivals were postponed because of COVID-19 and are now happening in August or September instead. Be sure to check on your favorites—you may not have missed them while waiting to be vaccinated! Also, many festivals still recommend masks for unvaccinated people, so if you've got littles under 12, keep the masks handy. 

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Places featured in this article:


Millennium Park, Jay Pritzker Pavilion & Great Lawn

Jefferson Memorial Park

Northbrook Metra Station Parking Lot

St. George Greek Orthodox Church

Downtown Wheaton

Lakeview and Roscoe Village

State Street from Madison to Lake

Millennium Park, Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Illinois Free Days at the Museum of Science and Industry
The Museum of Science and Industry - 9:30 AM Pick
Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light
Museum of Science and Industry - 9:30 AM Pick
Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light
Museum of Science and Industry - 9:30 AM Pick
Mrs. Claus! A Holiday Musical
Beverly Arts Center - 10:30 AM Pick
Mrs. Claus! A Holiday Musical
Stahl Family Theatre - 10:30 AM Pick
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides