Get obsessed with these acres of amazing outdoor adventures this season. Open air music festivals will have you dancing, swaying and swooning to big name performers and stunning new talent. Farmers markets, beaches, art fairs and pro bike races represent all the best in local food, art and athletics under the sun. Jump into all the fun, Click here for What’s There to Do in Chicago’s North Shore. Do it!
Ravinia Festival, Highland Park
200 Ravinia Park Rd., Highland Park
Multiple shows, dates
One of the highlights of the year is exploring the Ravinia calendar and planning that pretty picnic outing. The mind-blowing talent just keeps coming! In addition to enjoying classical piano, violin and cello virtuosos, sit under the stars for Ruth Page Festival of Dance (June 15 and 17), Lauryn Hill (June 17), legendary rock and roll band Chicago (June 18), Pat Metheny (June 20), Charlie Puth (June 24) and many more. You can also pick from seated restaurants, quick bites and bar service, as well as Ravinia Market with five mini restaurants or grab chilled food, drinks, specialty coffees and ice cream at the newest Ravinia Café.
Skokie Farmers Market, Skokie
Evanston, Glenview, Northbrook, Skokie, Wheeling, Wilmette, Winnetka
Fresh is the name of the game at local farmers markets where you can fill your baskets and your eyes with all the gorgeous sights, sounds, produce and products. Plenty of fruits and veg — often picked just hours before being made available to customers — flowers, baked delights and a variety of artisans grace these bountiful weekly events. Inviting and walkable, these community-spirited events are all about the benefits of buying locally, eating healthy and living green.
Winnetka Music Festival, Winnetka
Winnetka Music Festival
800 Elm St., Winnetka
June 16–17, Father’s Day Weekend
Returning to the streets of Winnetka on Father’s Day weekend, this expertly curated music festival is a dream come true for lovers of tunes and outdoor fun. The exciting roster includes The Wallflowers, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Maggie Rose, Alejandro Escovedo and local party favorites Funkadesi — just a taste of the nearly two dozen acts gracing two stages. A VIP Experience gets you access to an exclusive main stage viewing area for the, complimentary food and beverages, indoor bathrooms and other perks.
Fourth of July Parade, Evanston
Celebrate the Fourth of July
June 24, 2023 - July 4, 2023
Nothing feels more summer than celebrating the Fourth of July. From fun runs and family festivals to parades, live music and grand fireworks displays, the festivities are nonstop this July Fourth weekend on Chicago’s North Shore.
Out of Space, Canal Shores Golf Course, Evanston
Out of Space
Canal Shores Golf Course, 1030 Central St., Evanston
June 27–30; 5:00–10:00 pm
Out of Space takes the summer concert experience to the next level with beautifully manicured green space and the twinkle of lanterns. Concerts unfold on the charming tree-lined first two holes of the course for a picturesque night minutes away from Lake Michigan. Pack your picnic baskets or pick from delicious food and drinks (adult and otherwise) by local restaurants and food trucks. The dynamite line-up: Dawes & Lucius (July 27), Lord Huron with Allie Crow Buckely (July 28), Regina Spektor with Allison Russell (July 29) and Andrew Bird with Uwade (July 30).
Plein Air Festival, Evanston
Evanston Plein Air Festival
En plein air, or plein-air painting, is the act of painting outdoors. Artists are invited to engage in this celebration of sights all across Evanston, capturing the beauty of this pretty city’s natural environment, favorite landmarks and built spaces. The July 16th Grand Finale is an exhibit with a piece from each artist submitted for judging for Best of Show, Honorable Mention awards and a community vote for Festival Favorite. The open-air event is complemented by the participating artists’ additional work for sale.
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Northbrook Grand Prix, Downtown Northbrook
Northbrook Grand Prix of Cycling
Village Green Park, 1810 Walters Ave., Northbrook
July 27; 11:00 am—8:00 pm
Returning for another year of thrilling races, the Intelligentsia Cup Pro/Am Bike Race brings this fast and punchy one-kilometer criterion to the streets of downtown Northbrook! The tight course demands attention and defiance from the cycling pros on every short stretch and turn as they wind around the beauty of the Village Green. Join the Family Fun ride on the same course with your family and friends (6:15 to 6:45 pm). A variety of food/drink venues within the downtown area will be part of the festivities, as is the kids craft table (4:00 pm–8:00 pm).
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Gaze out over the sparkling waves of Lake Michigan from the sandy beaches that line the shore with prime spots to soak up the sunshine and the views. Six public swimming beaches dot the coast like Lighthouse Beach sitting just steps away from the iconic landmark. Plenty of adjacent spots for picnicking, tennis, a dog park and more dot the coastline, too. Passes are required with daily options available for a fee to nonresidents via app on your smartphone (free for residents).