Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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From movies and concerts to free days at Museums, here are some free things to do this summer in Chicagoland

The+Chicago+area+is+offering+many+summer+events+ranging+from+music+to+movies+that+dont+break+the+bank.++
Illustration by Nineth Kanieski Koso
The Chicago area is offering many summer events ranging from music to movies that don’t break the bank.

Having fun this summer does not have to require spending a lot of money. Here are some fun, free events happening in Chicago and Evanston this summer. 

Starlight Concert & Movie Series 

The City of Evanston is hosting a free concert and movie series this summer. The concerts are held almost every Tuesday in June and July at various parks around Evanston, starting at 6:30 p.m. Each concert features a different Chicago-area artist like punk-rock band Chicken Bone, on June 25, and Suite Mollie, on July 9, and accompanied by a food truck. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own seating. 

The movies are held on Fridays and Saturdays in June, July and August at various parks and beaches around Evanston. Almost all the movies begin around 6 or 7 p.m. Select movies will be accompanied by food trucks. Here is the list of artists and movies. 

Millennium Park Summer Music Series

The Millennium Park Summer Music Series will feature artists from a wide variety of backgrounds and styles. All the concerts will occur at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m and will feature two artists each night. Gates open at 5 p.m. The concerts will happen on Mondays and Thursdays in July and August. Here is the list of performers.

Downtown Summer Sounds and Thursday Night Markets 

Every Thursday in July, August and September, Downtown Evanston will be hosting a free outdoor concert from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Fountain Square. A variety of different artists will be featured from a wide range of musical genres. On July 11, August 1 and September 5, Downtown Summer Sounds will be joined by the Thursday Night Markets which will feature local artists, makers and retailers. Here is the schedule of performers.

Millenium Park Summer Film Series

Every Tuesday from July 16 through August 20, the Millenium Park Summer film series will play a different film each night, except July 16 which will be a double feature. All the films, except the double feature, will start at 6:30 p.m. at the Pritzker Pavilion. Gates open at 5 p.m. Here is the list of movies. 

Free Museum Days for Illinois Residents 

Select Chicago museums are hosting free admission days for Illinois residents with proof of residency: 

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is free to Illinois residents every Tuesday. 

The Shedd Aquarium is free to Illinois residents every Tuesday evening in June, July and August. Reservations are suggested but not required.

The Field Museum is free to Illinois residents every Wednesday. In June, free ticket reservations can only be made in person. Otherwise reservations can be made online and in person.

The Adler Planetarium is free to Illinois residents every Wednesday evening from 4 to 10 p.m. Registration is required. 

The Art Institute of Chicago is free to Illinois residents every Thursday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. in June, July, August and September. Reserve free tickets online in advance. Northwestern students have free admission everyday with use of their wildcards. 

The Chicago History Museum is free to Illinois residents on June 19, 23, 26 and 29; July 4 and 17; and August 28. 

The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center is free for everyone to visit on Wednesdays. Registration is required. 

Email: [email protected] 

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