My Chicago Summer Bucket List

May 22, 2018 | by Carlie Miller

With summer fast approaching and the temperature in Chicago climbing, the number of events happening around town is also on the rise. While during the winter months I find that I rely on podcasts, videos and articles for daily inspiration, over the summer months I try to attend as many new and unique events as I can to keep my creative tank full. With this in mind, I’ve compiled my summer bucket list with events ranging from industry-related to cultural and educational to fun and quirky.


Pixels of Fury

June 7th, Venue West

At this one-of-a-kind event, several designers will compete on-stage in a live design battle. Think, battle of the bands, but for design instead of music. Grab a beer, cheer on your favorites and see who gets crowned the very best designer of them all!

More info & Tickets



June 12, Venue Six10

As a big fan of watching TED talks online, I love even more whenever I have the chance to attend a TED event in-person. This year, TEDXChicago has the theme No Limits, with 16 speakers taking the stage to discuss their take on the topic. There’s something super magical and inspiring about hearing people speak on what they’re most passionate about.

More info & Tickets



June 13, Ignite Glass Studios

If you want to switch up your pre-work gym routine, be sure to check out Daybreaker, an early morning dance party sure to get you pumped for the day. I attended a Daybreaker event several month ago and was shocked to see how much energy everyone could have at 6:30 in the morning. It turns out the energy is infectious, and I left the event feeling great about the day ahead.

More info & Tickets


Solstice Bash – Adler After Dark

June 21, Adler Planetarium

In celebration of the first day of summer, Adler Planetarium is throwing a Solstice Bash as a way to say thanks to the sun. In addition to full museum access as well as admission to all shows, visitors will also be given the opportunity to attend special programming related to the summer sky and light pollution, and the importance of the solstice around the world.

More info & Tickets


606 Block Party

June 23, Humboldt Boulevard between Cortland and Wabansia

Now in its 4th year, the 606 Block Party celebrates the neighborhoods surrounding the 606 with live music, food and drinks, hands-on activities from community organizations, and even a pancake breakfast. Grab a friend or five and head to the 606 to check it out!

More info


Newberry Library Book Fair

July 26, Newberry Library

Find inspiration amongst thousands of books at the Newberry Library Book Fair. Browse through categories including psychology, business, travel, cookbooks, fiction and several others, and pick up most copies for under $3.

More info



June 7, July 12, August 16, Multiple Locations

The Chicago Loop Alliance has been transforming Chicago’s downtown alleys into unique spaces for live music, art installation and interactive experiences over the last few years. Activate is back this summer and promises to switch up your routine and to get you to experience something new in an unexpected place.

More info


Big Table Dinners

June 10, August 12, Multiple Locations

Enjoy a farm-to-table-style dinner with local eats, new friends and lively conversation in Chicago’s parks. This event, put on by the Chicago Park District, is completely free, but you’ll need to sign up for a ticket in advance to get a spot at the table.

More info & Tickets


Full Moon Fire Jams

June 27, July 26, August 27, Foster Beach

Bring a blanket and some snacks and and come watch fire dancers, fire throwers, fire jugglers and maybe even fire eaters at this monthly celebration around the time of the full moon. Or perhaps even take up a new hobby as a fire spinner while you’re there!

More info


What’s on your bucket list this summer? Let us know in the comments!

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