Seasonal travelTrip inspiration
Lindsay Eagan

Things to Do in Chicago in August 2018

Chicago is one of the largest cities in the United States, so you know there is always something fun to do or see. This August is no different, enjoy food, music, and culture galore as you take advantage of all that the Windy City has to offer in the summertime. If you’re looking for things to do in Chicago in August 2018, check out our list of the best local activities and attractions, including...

  • Architecture River Cruise
  • The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Navy Pier Centennial Wheel
  • LEGOLAND Discovery
  • Chicago Hot Dog Fest
  • and more...

Save on Attraction Admission

Regular admission to a number of these popular Chicago attractions are included on the Go Chicago® Card. Choose as you go from dozens of top attractions and save up to 45% on combined admission vs paying at the gate. See all available passes, attractions & prices – Learn more. Please note, the seasonal events taking place at these attractions may be separately ticketed and not included on the Go Chicago Card. If you want a bigger list of seasonal events, then check out our suggested things to do in Chicago in the summer.

The Architecture River Cruise

Image of City, Metropolis, Urban, Condo, Housing, High Rise, Office Building, Water, Waterfront, Boat, Vehicle, Skyscraper, Ferry, Arch, Barge, Watercraft, Apartment Building, Cityscape, The Architecture River Cruise is a must-do attraction in Chicago, a city famous for their architecture and landmarks. The tour takes you along the Chicago River and passes many famous Chicago spots like the Willis Tower and the Old Post Office Building. As you take in all of the iconic skyscrapers that line the river, you'll learn more about the architectural history of their buildings. Many famous architects have come from and are based in Chicago. Getting In: Chicago Architecture River Cruise Tickets are included on the Go Chicago Card.

Art Institute of Chicago

Image of City, Animal, Lion, Urban, Office Building, Metropolis, Flag, Neighborhood, Condo, Housing, Downtown, High Rise, Plant, Grass, Arch, Make sure to check out the new summer exhibit opened on July 7th, The Yoshida Family : Three Generations of Japanese Print Artists. The exhibition will showcase the work of the Yoshida family, starting with Yoshida Hiroshi in the late 1800s. Yoshida was considered one of the most prolific woodblock printing artists in the entire history of the art form. Other notable exhibitions incolude Helen Frankenthaler Prints: The Romance of a New Medium, Max Lamb: Exercises in Seating and Forever Egypt! Works from the Collection of Harold Allen. All of the the display rooms at the Art Institute are full of beautiful pieces of all different mediums, styles and colors. Getting In: These exhibitions are included with Art Institute of Chicago tickets on the Go Chicago Card.

Navy Pier Centennial Wheel & Rides

Image of Amusement Park, Fun, Stretching out over 3,000 feet into Lake Michigan, the iconic Navy Pier is home to some of the most popular Chicago attractions. It's the perfect place for the whole family to spend an entire day, with diverse activities, tours, cruises, and rides to make everyone happy. Check out the iconic Centennial Wheel, its surely one of the most fun things to do in Chicago in August. Being right on the pier is the perfect place to spend a hot summer day. The breeze from the water will cool you down as you ride the wheel, explore the shops and restaurants and spend the day getting to know Navy Pier. Getting In: Navy Pier Centennial Wheel and Rides tickets are included on the Go Chicago Card.

Rent a bike and ride river-side

Image of Helmet, Adult, Female, Person, Woman, Male, Man, Bicycle, Vehicle, Cycling, Shoe, A sunny day is the perfect excuse to rent a bike and explore the outdoors. Chicago is a biking paradise with 26 miles of lakefront trails to follow. Explore the river and lakes, ride through Millenium Park or take your new ride over to the Museum Campus and learn something new! Getting in: Bike and Roll Chicago: 4 Hour Bike Rental Tickets are included on Go Chicago Card.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Image of A trip to LEGOLAND Discovery Center is always fun, but it's even better during the summer when there are tons of events and special occasions to celebrate. Kids will enjoy construction demonstrations, interactive areas and exciting rides. Make sure to check the website for upcoming summer events. Getting In: Legoland Discovery Center tickets included on the Go Chicago Card.

Chicago Hot Dog Fest

August 10th - 12th, 2018

Image of Adult, Female, Person, Woman, Head, Face, Backpack, Eating, Food, Photo by City of Chicago
The Chicago-style hot dog is a famous and delicious staple of the city. Visit the 6th annual Chicago Hot Dog Fest to celebrate the Chi-city hot dog's premier at the World's Columbian Expedition in 1893. More than 30,000 people visit the festival to enjoy the red hot recipes and unique hot dog styles. While you're dining on hot dogs, you can also enjoy live music, drinks, desserts and entertainment throughout the day. The best part is that proceeds from every hot dog sale will go to the Chicago History Museum, one of the best establishments in the city. Getting In: Admission to the Chicago Hot Dog Fest is free. Chicago History Museum tickets are included on Go Chicago Card.

Millennium Park Summer Concert Series

August 6th, 12th & 16th, 2018

Image of Concert, Crowd, Person, People, Stage, Speaker, Photo by City of Chicago
The Millennium Park Summer Concerts Series features a wide variety of music. You'll be able to see local, national and international artists playing original songs all summer long. Getting In: Admission to this event is free.

Field Market Days at the Field Museum

August 11th & 25th, 2018

Enjoy fresh food, music, and lake front views in the backyard of the Field Museum. Shop around at the booths of local farmers, bakers and vendors curated by Field to Table Catering and Events. Try fresh baked cookies, sip on specially brewed craft beer and take in the live music as you explore all that the market has to offer. Getting In: Admission to this event is free.

The 58th Annual Chicago Air And Water Show

August 18th & 19th, 2018

Journey over to North Ave Beach for the air show of the summer. Watch as jets fly over heads, boats zip through the water and the sun shines down on the beach. This free event is perfect for the whole family. Get there early to snag an awesome spot on the water! Getting In: Admission to this event is free.

Remember to Save on Attraction Admission

There you have it - all the best events and attractions to visit this August in Chicago. Remember, many of these great attraction options are included on the Go Chicago Card, where you can save up to 45% on combined admission vs paying at the gate. Please note, the seasonal events taking place at some of these attractions may be separately ticketed and not included with the Go Chicago Card. Consider adding a few of these fun options to your August vacation itinerary.

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