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The 12 Coolest Things to Do This Summer on Chicago's North Shore

Summer is here — finally! — and it is time to get outside and enjoy everything about the season: sunshine, barbecues, and so many events that you’ll never be bored. Here are just 12 of the coolest events happening around Chicago’s North Shore this year. You’ll find even more here!
Bill Graham Exhibit at Illinois Holocaust Museum
Bill Graham Exhibit | Photo Courtesy of Illinois Holocaust Museum
Bill Graham and the Rock and Roll Revolution
Opening July 16 at the Illinois Holocaust Museum, this exhibit will highlight Bill Graham, a Holocaust survivor widely regarded as one of the best concert promoters of all time (he launched the careers of The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, among others). Events will take place throughout the summer and fall in connection with this highly anticipated exhibit.
Brazil in the Garden
From June 15 to Oct. 15, Chicago Botanic Garden will celebrate Brazil with tropical plants you don’t normally see in Chicago, a Roberto Burle Marx exhibition, Brazilian jewelry trunk shows, music, dance and more. Don’t miss it!
Central Street Art Walk 2017
For the second year, Evanston’s Central Street will host more than 15 local artists displaying their paintings, drawings, jewelry, photographs and more outside Central Street businesses. This year’s event, which takes place June 9-11, will kick off with a Sip & View reception. Participating businesses include Maya Papaya & Tony Macarony, Perennials and Stella.

Sunrise paddle with @skaw

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North Shore Beaches
What’s a summer on Chicago’s North Shore without a trip to the beach? You can always spend a relaxing day lounging on the sand, but why not rent a kayak or sailboat for a bit of fun out on the water? You can even take lessons beforehand or go on a kayak fishing trip, a twilight historical kayak tour, a tubing party or take part in the sand castle and sand sculpture contest on July 17. Learn more about all lakefront activities in Evanston and Glencoe.
Evanston Chamber Artisan Summerfest
Once called Fountain Square Art Festival, this event may have a new name this year but will still be one of the highlights of summer. In addition to the usual 100 juried artists in attendance, this year’s festival will welcome 30 artists who create with recycled and found materials. There will also be free educational workshops for visitors of all ages, as well as craft beer and wine tastings, street musicians and food. Plus, kids will be able to help create an art installation that will be displayed in Evanston after the festival.
Glencoe Festival of Art
This free festival, taking place July 29-30 in downtown Glencoe, will feature more than 130 juried artists from around the world. Browse a variety of pieces ranging from ceramics and glass to metal and wood while watching demonstrations, stopping by booth chats, and enjoying live music, food and kids’ activities.

Anyone else slowly reciting "By the big, red barn in the great, green field..." ? #downonthefarm #boymom #momlife #chicagomom #windycitybloggers

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Historic Wagner Farm
This farm sits on 18.6 acres in Glenview and is one of the only working dairy farms in Cook County. Visit the Heritage Center for interactive exhibits, a 1930s Grocery Store and the Museum Store. Kids will be able to learn about the farm’s animals (cows, chickens, draft horses and pigs) and crops, and families can attend the Dairy Breakfast and Stock Show on June 10. Plus, Wagner Farm is the site of Glenview’s Farmers Market, running Saturdays from June 24 to Oct. 28.

Monday Night Car Show
Monday Night Car Show
Through Sept. 4, you can stroll among as many as 400 vintage and nostalgic cars in the west parking lot of Westfield Old Orchard. And don’t forget to grab dinner at one of the shopping center’s many restaurants. Oh, and of course there’s the shopping too.
Northbrook Velodrome
This outdoor lighted cycling track/velodrome hosts Thursday night races throughout the summer for the Midwest’s top cyclists. Spectators can take in all the action for only $2, and children 12 and younger are free. Plus, Northbrook residents can use the track when it’s not reserved.
Ravinia Festival
Ravinia Festival | Photo Courtesy of Ravinia Festival

No summer is complete without a trip to Ravinia. Whether you snag tickets to one of the hottest shows of the year, catch a movie you’ve never seen before with the soundtrack performed live, or take advantage of special ticket offers, you’ll always have a wonderful evening at this outdoor music festival.

Much outdoorsy ??

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Skokie Lagoons
If you aren’t able to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city this summer, spend a day at Skokie Lagoons for a little R&R. Hit the water by canoe, kayak, sailboat or rowboat for a day of fishing (if you have a state license). Or, walk or bike along the miles of trails in this preserve. And don’t forget to pack a lunch and take a break at the Erickson Woods Picnic Grove.

Wild Belle at Winnetka Music Festival
Wild Belle | Photo Courtesy of Billions
Winnetka Music Festival
Winnetka will welcome bands from around the country at this brand new event taking place throughout downtown Winnetka June 23-24. Wild Belle, an indie rock group (and brother/sister duo) who has performed at Lollapalooza and on The Tonight Show, will headline this festival. Plus, enjoy tasty food and craft beer. There will even be a Family Music Stage for the youngest members of your family.

Find more summer fun by exploring our summer events page. What are you favorite summer activities on Chicago's North Shore? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Don't forget to share your North Shore summer adventures with us by tagging #chicagonorthshore.

This entry was posted in Attractions, Events, Music, Outdoors, Shopping, on June 7, 2017.

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