July is one of Chicago's busiest and most fun months. The weather is warm. There is a street festival each weekend, Chicago Cubs baseball, and fireworks at Navy Pier every Wednesday and Saturday evenings. Temperatures in July average 85°F during the day and 62°F at night. Check out our list of top things to do this July in Chicago:
Old St. Pat's World's Largest Block Party - June 29 - 30, 2012 (no longer in July): The Old St. Pat's World's Largest Block Party attracts close to 30,000 people and hosts food, beer, and music. The block party is also known to locals as one of the biggest "singles parties." Close to 75 couples have said they have met there.
Taste of Chicago - July 11 - 15, 2012: The summer's biggest event known for its food (Turkey legs anyone?), beverages, and music attracting over 2 million people each year won't begin in June as it has in in the past but instead will have a shorten duration in July.
Fourth of July - July 4, 2012: Chicago celebrates Independence Day with fireworks over Lake Michigan, outdoor symphony concerts, and family-friendly activities at Chicago's beaches. This year, the Fourth of July falls on Wednesday, July 4. Here's your guide to celebrating the Fourth of July 2012 in Chicago.
Sixth Annual Chicago Sidewalk Sale at Daley Plaza - July 17-18, 2012: The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events presents the sixth annual Chicago Sidewalk Sale at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington Street. The two-day shopping event, held on Tuesday, July 17, and Wednesday, July 18, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., includes an assortment of affordable apparel and accessories by Chicago designers and from independent boutiques. With 40 participants showcasing everything from hats and handbags to shirts and shoes, the Chicago Sidewalk Sale offers fashion for everyone. In addition to the shopping, a runway show will take place at 12:00 p.m. on both days featuring the latest styles from the participating fashion talent.
Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz - July 19 - August 30, 2012: The Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz series returns to Millennium Park featuring Chicago’s leading jazz artists and concerts that "celebrate the sounds of blues, boogie, Latin, Bop and beyond." This free weekly series begins Thursday, July 19, and closes Thursday, August 30, 2012. (There is no concert scheduled on Thursday, August 9.) The 2012 series includes tribute concerts and retrospectives, along with opening night of the 34th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival. All concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. with a short set by young, aspiring musicians from Chicago-area high schools as part of the Jazz Institute of Chicago’s Jazz Links Student Ensembles and Gallery 37 After School Matters Jazz Big Band.
SummerDance in Grant Park - Starts July 19, 2012: This 11-week, free dance series offers an introductory one-hour dance lesson by professional instructors followed by two hours of live music and dancing on a 4,900 square-foot, open-air dance floor made out of 100% recycled materials. Professionals teach dance moves from 6 to 6:45 p.m. with live music going from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Chicago SummerDance is located in the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park, at 601 S. Michigan Avenue. Events occur every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.
Jammin' at the Zoo - July 21, 2012: The Lincoln Park Zoo's popular concert series takes place on the zoo's south lawn and seating (lawn-style) is first-come, first-serve. Food, beer and wine can be purchased on-site. Coolers and outside food and drinks are not permitted. Gates open at 6 p.m. (Tip: Zoo members with tickets can enter 15 minutes early.) The 2012 concert line up will be announced soon and this post will be updated with information on which band is playing in July. Tickets are about $23.
Equinox's Special Rooftop Barre Class at the Park Hyatt's NoMi Garden - July 24, 2012: Equinox instructor Karim Tonsy will lead a one–of–a–kind Rooftop Barre class from 9 - 10 a.m. outside on the seventh floor of the Park Hyatt's NoMi Garden. This class will offer views of Chicago's cityscape while helping you sculpt your hips, legs, abs, and arms. The class is open to the public and is free. To RSVP (space is limited) e-mail Sarah Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Tip: I have taken Karim's Barre class at Equinox and I can personally attest to how amazing it is. Karim's high energy and innovative moves have always succeeded in giving me a fab workout where I leave feeling sore. And sore in a good way. I leave his class feeling like I "got my money's worth" with arms and legs that are more toned than when I first worked into class.)