Things to do in Chicago

Chicago Jazz Festival, Navy Pier's Giant Lobster Festival and More: 10 Ways to Spend Labor Day Weekend in Chicago

Labor Day Weekend in Chicago

Events are ramping up for the weekend, especially with Labor Day right around the corner.

From music festivals to $3 movie tickets, Chicago will be bustling with ways to kick off the unofficial start to fall. Here are 10 events the city has to offer over the long holiday weekend:

Chicago Jazz Festival

A Chicago Labor Day tradition, the Chicago Jazz Festival in Millennium Park showcases local and national talent. All performances will be free.

The event began Thursday and runs through Sunday. Here's more information.

Bulls Fest

The Chicago Bulls are ringing in Labor Day weekend by hosting the inaugural "Bulls Fest," a two-day event designed to celebrate the organization through sport, art and food.

The lineup for the proceedings is stacked with events ranging from player meet-and-greets with Ayo Dosunmu to high-profile concerts with G Herbo, as well as a 3-on-3 basketball tournament.

Events will unravel Saturday and Sunday between Wood Street and Damen Avenue, with an extension into the United Center's main atrium. Here's more information.

Navy Pier Events

Navy Pier will have a revolving door of programs on the waterfront this weekend.

The Great American Lobster Fest will kick things off, offering foodies live lobster from the cold waters of the East Coast, live music performances and family-friendly activities. Organizers noted that other meals will be available for non-seafood lovers.

The festival, which is billed as the largest seafood festival in the Midwest, will run from Friday to Sunday. Tickets start at $70 and can be purchased here.

On Labor Day, the Bitter Jester Music Festival will give way to a concert competition between emerging artists at the pier's Beer Garden.

The free event will take place from 1 to 8 p.m. Monday. More information is available here.

National Cinema Day

For just one day, big screens will reel in film buffs for "National Cinema Day," a newly-created event that will take place Saturday.

Regardless of the movie, showtime or format, moviegoers will be able to snag tickets at a discounted price of $3 across 40 theatres in the Chicago area from major movie chains, including AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas.

Information about participating theatres can be found here.

Boat Tours and Cruises on the Chicago River

Chicagoans can sail into the holiday by boarding cruises that will take off throughout the weekend on the city's waters.

From architecture tours to sunset boat rides, here are some cruises to check out:


Notable names from Chicago's food scene will offer brunch specials Monday. Here are a few:

Lincoln Square Greek Fest

From St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, the popular festival serves up authentic Greek flavorful food, live music and dancing.

The event begins Friday and runs until Sunday. More information can be found here.

The Lumineers Concert

The Lumineers are set to roll through Chicago, bringing their "Brightside World Tour" to Wrigley Field this weekend.

With performances from special guests Caamp and James Bay, the concert will start at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are available here.

ARC Music Festival

ARC will ring electronic dance music Friday through Sunday throughout Union Park, with sets from Adam Beyer x Cirez D, Carl Cox, Charlotte De Witte, DJ Tennis and Skream among others. 

Three-day passes are still available starting at $319 here

North Coast Music Festival

North Coast will also spotlight renowned electronic artists at SeatGeek Stadium in Chicago's Bridgeview neighborhood.

Illenium, Diplo, Kaytranada, Armin van Buuren and Madeon will be joined by a handful of others on the lineup throughout Friday to Sunday. Tickets are still available. 

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