15 Things to Do In and Around Chicago This Memorial Day Weekend

There's no shortage of things to do for Memorial Day weekend in and around Chicago! But if you're in need of ideas, we've got you covered.

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Navy Pier fireworks
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Friday, May 25: Chicago Beach Season Officially Opens
Address: Varies; Price: Free; Hours: Swimming is permitted when lifeguards are on duty
Reason to go: Bathing suit season is here! The weather is expected to be partly sunny with highs being in the low to mid 80s. To celebrate, head out to one of Chicago's many beaches and kick off the start of summer -- whether you’re out to tan, swim, play in the sand or party with friends.
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Saturday, May 26: Chicago Memorial Day Parade
Address: State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren; Price: Free; Hours: Wreath Laying Ceremony begins at 11 a.m.; Parade begins at 12 p.m.
Reason to go: Honor the men and women who sacrificed their life in defense of our country. The city will recognize fallen heroes at the annual Wreath Laying Ceremony prior to the parade. The Chicago Memorial Day parade is considered one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the nation.
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Saturday, May 26: Navy Pier Fireworks synchronized to music on Lake Michigan
Address: Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.; Price: Free; Time: 10:15 p.m.
Reason to go: Navy Pier's bi-weekly Aon Summer Fireworks series returns. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and 10:15 p.m. on Saturdays.
Friday, May 25 – Sunday, May 27: Red, White and Bar-B-Q
Address: Ty Warner Park, 700 Blackhawk Dr., Westmont; Admission: Free; Hours: Fri. 4-10:30 p.m.; Sat. Noon-10:30 p.m.; Sun. Noon-9 p.m.
Reason to go: Come out for three days of free live music, the best BBQ vendors in the Midwest, craft and commercial vendors, a carnival and more.
Saturday, May 26 – Sunday, May 27: Randolph Street Market Festival Garden Party
Address: Plumbers Hall, 1341 W Randolph St; Price: $10; Hours: 10 a.m-5 p.m.
Reason to go: This unique indoor-outdoor antique market features 300 vendors for shoppers to find furnishings, vintage clothing, jewelry, collectibles and more.
Friday, May 25 – Sunday, May 27: Summer Camp Music Festival
Address: Three Sisters Park, 17201 Illinois 29, 3 Sisters Park, Chillicothe, Illinois; Price: $45+; Hours: 10 a.m.-4 a.m.
Reason to go: With thousands of attendees and dozens bands on multiple stages over three days, Summer Camp Music Festival welcomes music lovers to enjoy a wide range of bluegrass, electronic and jam bands.
Friday, May 25 – Monday, May 28: Gaelic Park Irish Fest
Address: Chicago Gaelic Park, 6119 147th St, Oak Forest; Price: $10; Hours: Varies
Reason to go: Enjoy a weekend filled with food, entertainment and an array of attractions, from tunes by American English and dance performances to petting zoos and sports contests.
Friday, May 25 – Tuesday, May 29: Navy Pier Memorial Day Weekend Cruises
Address: Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.; Price: Varies; Hours: Varies
Reason to go: Celebrate the beginning of summer aboard a two- to three-hour cruise on Lake Michigan. The Spirit of Chicago and the Odyssey ships set sail all weekend long with food, entertainment and views of the skyline.
Friday, May 25 – Sunday, May 27: Mole de Mayo
Address: Ashland Avenue & 18th Street, Chicago; Price: $5 suggested donation and $10 for families; Hours: Friday 5-10 p.m.; Sat. 12-10 p.m.; Sun. 12-10 p.m.
Reason to go: Find out which local chef or restaurant makes the best mole. The festival features some of the city’s finest food vendors and a market filled with local Pilsen businesses and crafters.
Saturday, May 26 - Sunday, May 27: Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival
Address: 3200 N. Sheffield Ave.; Price: $5 suggested donation; Hours: Noon-10 p.m.
Reason to go: Celebrate the start of summer festival season with one of Chicago’s most popular street parties featuring some of the region’s favorite tribute bands, as well as food, drinks and artisans.
Sunday, May 27: Bike the Drive
Address: Columbus Drive and Jackson Drive (starting line); Price: $61 (Active Trans Member) or $66 (Active Trans Non-Member); Hours: 5:30 a.m.-11 a.m. ("the earlier you start, the longer your ride")
Reason to go: Bike the open roads of Lake Shore Drive for this one-day-a-year unique riding experience. Enjoy the five-hour, car-free ride while you take in the views of the city and the lake.
Monday, May 28: Arlington Park Race Track Holiday Racing & Entertainment
Address: Arlington Park Race Track, 2200 W Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights; Price: $8 adults, $4 children; Active military and veterans receive free general admission; Hours: Gates open at 12 p.m. and for VIP at 10:45 a.m., first post 1:20 p.m.
Reason to go: Enjoy a day at the race track with entertainment featuring a live band, games and activities for kids, petting zoo, pony rides, and food and drink specials. The day will also feature a tribute to fallen heroes and a live national anthem with a Presentation of Colors.
Sat. May 26-Sun. May 27: St. Charles Fine Art Show
Address: Riverside Avenue between Route 64 and Illinois Avenue, Saint Charles; Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun.
Reason to go: Browse watercolor, oil, photography, jewelry, sculpture, ceramics and more at this 20th annual award-winning outdoor show and take the historic downtown trolley tour for free.
Saturday, May 26: 2018 Soldier Field 10 Mile race
Address: Soldier Field, 1600 S. Museum Campus Dr.; Price: $89+; Hours: 7 a.m. start
Reason to go: Run straight into summer like a Chicago Bear, taking in the city on a vehicle-free Lake Shore Drive and a memorable finish at Soldier Field's 50-yard line.
Fri. May 25, Sat. May 26 and/or Sun. May 27: Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants
Address: Lakeview Baseball Club 3633 North Sheffield Avenue; Hours: varies on day
Reason to go: Lakeview Baseball Club is the all-inclusive rooftop bar you're looking for, with great views of Wrigley Field, you'll enjoy unlimited food, beer and wine as the Chicago Cubs take on the San Francisco Giants.
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