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Chicagoist's Guide To June: 20 Fun Things To Do This Month

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 1, 2016 8:25PM

Millennium Park's Free Summer Workouts begin June 1. Photo courtesy of DCASE.

It’s music fest and street fest season. Get outside and enjoy these June events.

June 1 to September 3


Downard dog, dance and drip sweat at the city’s free Summer Workouts in Millennium Park. Every Saturday morning beginning at 7 a.m., just show up for free tai chi, yoga, Pilates and Zumba classes. There will also be Wednesday morning yoga classes at 7:30 a.m. with local instructors from studios like Moksha and Kundalini Yoga in the Loop. See the full class schedule.

June 1 to 5


The 3rd Annual 26th Annual (those guys at The Onion AV Club are so funny) AV Club Comedy Festival is upon us. Taking place at different venues all over the city, the club has pulled in names like Sarah Silverman, Tracy Morgan, Reggie Watts, Jenny Slate, Michael Che and more. We’re starstruck already. For the full schedule, locations and tickets, check the festival’s website.

June 1 to August


If you haven’t noticed, we’re pretty excited about the Saved By The Max pop-up. The Saved By The Bell-themed restaurant and bar was announced in February and has earned national attention; some SBTB cast members are even on board. Who knew were all missing the Bayside crew so much! Tickets have been selling like hotcakes (or uh, A.C. Sliders), but some are still available for later dates. There will be limited availability for walk-ins each night for dinner, too, and brunch and late-night menus are walk-in only. Many surprises are in store, including meet & greets, TV-karaoke, trivia and a Zack Attack cover band.

Tim Meadows hosts the Break Out Comedy Festival. Photo courtesy of The Second City.

June 1 to 4


Check out the next generation of diverse comedy stars at UP Comedy Club during The Second City & NBCUniversal’s Break Out Comedy Festival. Hosted by Second City and Saturday Night Live alum Tim Meadows, the festival celebrates young, diverse talent in sketch, improv and stand-up. The Defiant Thomas Brothers and Sammy Arechar are just a couple of names scheduled to perform, plus graduates from the Bob Curry Fellowship program. The festival kicks off on Wednesday, June 1 with the Bob Curry Fellowship Showcase in The Second City e.t.c. Theatre. All tickets are $20.

June 3 to 6


West Town is on full display at the Do Division Street Fest & Sidewalk Sale. The street is closed from Ashland to Leavitt with local vendors and more than a few boutiques moving business outside. The big draw for this street fest, though, is the two main stages at each end, boasting a lineup of bands curated by The Empty Bottle and Subterranean. Headliners this year include BADBADNOTGOOD, Doomtree, Beach Fossils and A Place To Bury Strangers, plus some local acts rounding out the bill like ShowYouSuck and Bloodiest. Entry is a $5 donation.

Tuesdays on the Terrace. Photo courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art.

June 7 to September 27


Relax in the Museum of Contemporary Art’s sculpture garden or take a seat on the terrace for free performances from some of Chicago’s quintessential jazz musicians every Tuesday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The museum is free to residents all day on Tuesdays, plus there’s a farmer’s market on the front plaza during the day.

June 7


We’ve all got our favorite local band, venue or bartender, and we get the chance to honor those folks at the 3rd Annual Chicago Nightlife Awards at Concord Music Hall at 7:30 p.m. Root for your favorites to win and watch performances from ProbCause, My Gold Mask and more. Tickets are $15.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and The Second City join forces for The Art of Falling. Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

June 9 to 19


We’re falling all over ourselves to tell everyone how great this show is. The one-of-a-kind collaboration between Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and The Second City premiered last year, and it received such rave reviews that they brought it back for another run this summer—and they keep adding shows. The performance tells three stories of “falling,” whether it’s falling in love or completely literally falling, and the improv talents of these two Chicago institutions will give you all the feels. Tickets start at $30.

Toronzo Cannon performs at Blues Fest. Photo by Marilyn Stringer.

June 10 to 12


It’s time again for the Chicago Blues Festival downtown in Grant Park. This is the 33rd year for the fest in the city where the music is so prominent. This year’s fest will begin on Friday with the 45th anniversary celebration of local blues label Alligator Records. The whole night is full of dedicated performances featuring 2015 Grammy nominee Shemekia Copeland as well as Toronzo Cannon, Lil’ Ed and The Blues Imperials and many other Alligator artists. The fest closes on Sunday with a tribute to Otis Rush, and there’s so much music in between. See DCASE’s website for the full schedule. All performances are free.

June 10 to 12


Spring Awakening is the music festival for EDM lovers. The three-day fest at Addams/Medill Park is put on by party experts React Presents and is packed with names like Steve Aoki, deadmau5, Kaskade, The Chainsmokers and so many more. There’s also a whole section of local artists on the lineup to check out. Tickets are $325 for a three day pass or $125 for a single day pass, and there’s special discounted prices for attendees under 21.

June 10 to 12


The name says it all. This Northcenter street festival has 15 BBQ rib vendors from all over the city, plus other concessions to wash down all that meat. Things get started Friday evening with the RibMania eating competition. In it’s 28th year, the festival has also earned a reputation for its music lineup. This year they’ve got Jukebox the Ghost, Kevin Devine and the Waco Brothers headling. Entry is $5 suggested donation.

June 10 to 12


This is the 51st year for Andersonville street festival Midsommarfest, which spans Clark Street from Foster to Catalpa. The street is filled with music, dancing, food and vendors from around the region. There’s also plenty of entertainment for the kids. Entry is a $10 donation.

Photo via Wells Street Art Fest's Facebook page.

June 11 to 12


It’s Old Town’s weekend to shine with the Wells Street Art Fest and the Old Town Art Fair happening at the same time. Artists of all types using all kinds of mediums are celebrated at the fair, with almost 500 artists featured between the two festivals. Both will also have food, drink and live music. Be sure to check out Old Town’s accompanying Garden Walk, and sing along with the cover bands 16 Candles and Catfight headlining at Wells Street. Entry to Wells Street Art Fest is a $7 donation at the gate; Old Town Art Fair is a $10 donation.

CAKE. Photo courtesy of Chicago Alternative Comics Expo.

June 11 to 12


Celebrate independent comics, artists, presses and publishers at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (a.k.a. CAKE). The free expo at the Center on Halsted will have comics for sale from vendors, plus workshops, exhibitions, panel discussions and more. For more details, including a list of special guests, visit CAKE’s website.

JUNE 17 to 19


Peter Bjorn & John, MS MR, Atlas Genius...The Taste of Randolph is much more than just food. The weekend street fest celebrating its 20th anniversary this year has always had a music lineup as good as its restaurant lineup. In addition to the 30+ acts scheduled to play, they’ll also show off the culinary talents of restaurant row with eats from Alhambra, Belly Q, Forno Rosso and more from the West Loop. Entry is $10 suggested donation.

Green Music Festival Highlight Reel from GreenMusicFest on Vimeo.

June 18 to 19


The only street fest with a pedal-powered bike stage returns to Wicker Park this weekend. This is the eighth year for the eco-minded Green Music Fest which encourages the community to lead sustainable lifestyles with music, food and fun. Black Joe Lewis, King Khan & The Shrines and Langhorne Slim are among the headliners as the fest expands to three stages this year. Entry is $5 suggested donation.

June 19


Humboldt Park is alive in celebration during the Puerto Rican People’s Parade down Division Street. The annual Fiestas Puertorriqueñas celebrates the culture with music, Caribbean cuisine, carnival rides and more over four days culminating with the parade which steps off at 2 p.m. Free.

June 21 to August 30


Millennium Park’s Summer Film Series kicks off after dark with a screening of Ferris Bueller's Day Off on the 40-foot LED screen at Pritzker Pavilion. The much-loved Chicago-based film was released 30 years ago this month. Other titles playing at this weekly series throughout the summer include Grease, Finding Nemo and Purple Rain. See the full schedule here. Free.

June 25


Rachael Ray brings a festival of food and music to Lincoln Park Zoo. The evening festival is inspired by the celebrity cook’s SXSW party in Austin with her favorite musicians and food pairings all in one place. Chicago’s lineup includes Grace Potter, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Los Colognes and more. Gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $49.50.

Gay & Lesbian Pride Parade. Photo by Benjy Lipsman.

June 26


Pride Fest begins June 19, but the main event is the Gay & Lesbian Pride Parade, stepping off at noon today. The LGBT community in Lakeview has been going strong for decades, and this year marks the 47th Annual Pride Parade. Anything goes at the rainbow celebration, with plenty of skin, beads, feathers and fabulousness spilling into the streets. See a photo gallery from last year's parade here.