1. Dig in
Kimchi cheese fries, turkey legs, jollof rice, Italian ice and alligator sausage (not from Humboldt Park) are among dozens of dishes being served up at the Taste of Chicago. Over 80 vendors, including pop-up eateries that vary daily, are participating in this year’s fest. Cooking demonstrations, live music and a children’s area with an inflatable playground round things out.
Details: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Grant Park, 337 E. Randolph St. Free admission; $10 for 14 food and beverage tickets / MAP
Find more fests: 2019 Summer Festival Guide
Hidden gardens and community green spaces are yours to explore at the Bucktown Garden Walk & Block Party. Take a self-guided tour or hop on a trolley to find your way to more than 90 gardens. Beer and wine gardens, a children’s fest and food trucks set up shop in Churchill Park for the annual block party.
Details: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (11 a.m.-5 p.m. for gardens) Saturday and Sunday at Churchill Park, 1825 N. Damen Ave. $5 suggested donation to block party; $5 for a garden guidebook (includes trolley rides and block party access) / MAP
A dozen local eateries fire up their grills and serve sizzling patties at Roscoe Village Burger Fest. New this year: a food and beer pairing session, homebrew demonstrations and a “burger battle” chef cooking competition. Live music, kids’ activities and an artist fair are also on tap.
Details: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Belmont and Damen avenues. $10 suggested donation / MAP
Chicago imagist Ed Paschke would’ve turned 80 years old this weekend. To honor the iconic Chicago imagist, the Ed Paschke Art Center is hosting Paschke in the Park. The family art day includes Paschke-themed art projects, face painting, a petting zoo and inflatable bounce houses. Organizers advise wearing appropriate clothing for painting activities.
Details: 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sunday at Jefferson Park, 4822 N. Long Ave. Free / MAP
Lace up your skates for a Feminist Roller Skating Party at Union Park, where the basketball courts are transformed into a retro roller rink. Skates are available for rent on a first-come, first-served basis. Presented as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks with Vocalo 91.1 FM, the event includes sets from DJ Ca$h era and djcutcuz.
Details: 6-10 p.m. Friday at Union Park’s basketball courts, 1501 W. Randolph St. Free / MAP
6. Say ‘Bonjour!’
Bust out the beret for Bastille Day Chicago. The national French holiday commemorates the storming of the Bastille, a medieval fortress and prison in Paris, on July 14, 1789 that helped usher in the French Revolution. Pack a picnic, but leave the booze at home. (Beer and wine are available for purchase.) Nibble on crepes from vendors, play a game of petanque (or bocci), listen to live music and enjoy Navy Pier’s weekly fireworks show (10:15 p.m.).
Details: 6-10 p.m. Saturday at Navy Pier, Lake Stage, 600 E. Grand Ave. Free / MAP
More than 60 acts rock out on four stages, including a pair of stages inside the Old Town School of Folk Music, at the annual Square Roots Festival. Performers include Son Volt, Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker, 47 Soul and The Wild Reeds. Dine on fare from local restaurants, including Bistro Campagne and Artango Bar & Steak, and sip brews from more than 20 Midwestern breweries.
Details: 5-10 p.m. Friday; noon-10 p.m. Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday along Lincoln Avenue between Montrose and Wilson avenues. $10; $5 for kids and seniors; $20 for families / MAP
Get your fill of country tunes and barbecue at Windy City Smokeout, where smoky eats come from 20 American pitmasters, including Chicago’s own Bub City and Lillie’s Q. Non-barbecue options are also available, like mac ‘n’ cheese, pizza and ice cream. Headlining acts include Chris Young (Friday), Old Dominion (Saturday) and Cole Swindell (Sunday).
Details: Gates open 2 p.m. Friday; noon Saturday and Sunday at United Center Parking Lot C, 1901 W. Madison St. $40-$49.95 single day; $115 three-day pass / MAP
Passion, love and intrigue – the classic trappings of a telenovela – get an improvisational twist in “With Tequila y Amor.” Presented in English and “Spanglish,” the improvised telenovela is performed by Chicago-based Latinx comedy group, Las Tinas.
Details: 9:30-10:30 p.m. Saturdays through Aug. 3 at McKaw Theater, 1439 W. Jarvis Ave. $10 / MAP
10. Gear up
Looking to start a new hobby this summer, like kayaking? Or planning a hiking trip? Stop by Outside Experience to shop for the outdoor gear you need. Check out adventure vehicles, test mountain bikes on a demo course, and participate in yoga and fitness sessions.
Details: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at McCormick Place Lakeside Center, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive. $20 in advance; $25 on site; $10 in advance for kids; $12.50 on site for kids / MAP
Events listed are subject to change. We recommend double-checking times and locations before you head out the door. Want to share your upcoming events with us for consideration in a future roundup? Send us an email.