5 Things to Do in Chicago: July 14-16

Summer continues to roll along with a birthday bash at Navy Pier, a jewelry trunk show at Chicago Botanic Garden, a fair in Chinatown, free ice cream from the Museum of Science and Industry, and a new rock ‘n’ roll exhibit at the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

Plus, find even more things to do in Chicago with our 2017 Summer Go Guide.

Navy Pier’s 101st Birthday

Navy Pier

Photo courtesy of Navy Pier.

July 15

Celebrate 101 years of Navy Pier with Lakefront Swing, a free concert honoring Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and Lena Horne, and a special Aon Summer Fireworks viewing. It all kicks off with an opening ceremony (complete with traditional Native American drumming and dancing), a ceremony for the 101 Rides for 101 Nonprofits program, an African drum performance, and an Asian drum and lion dance performance. (While you’re there, check out these restaurants.)

Veronica Riley Martens Trunk Show

Chicago Botanic Garden: Brazil in the Garden

Photo courtesy of Chicago Botanic Garden.

July 15-16

Through Oct. 15, Chicago Botanic Garden is celebrating “the influence of Brazil on gardens, arts and culture, and conservation” with Brazil in the Garden. This weekend, shop Brazilian jewelry from Veronica Riley Martens at The Garden Shop.

Chinatown Summer Fair

Chinatown Summer Fair

Photo courtesy of Special Events Management.

July 16

In its 39th year, this festival will feature a Dragon & Lion Dance Procession, dance and martial arts demonstrations, music, kids activities, artisans, food from local restaurants and more.

National Ice Cream Day With MSI

Museum of Science and Industry: National Ice Cream Day
July 16

July 16 is National Ice Cream Day and the Museum of Science and Industry has partnered with Nitro Dessert Station of Polonia Catering to use liquid nitrogen to make ice cream for Chicagoans (for free!). Ice cream will be available at Guaranteed Rate Field, MSI and Maggie Daley Park. Find a complete schedule and ice cream flavors here.

Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution

Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution

Photo courtesy of Illinois Holocaust Museum.

Opens July 16

The Illinois Holocaust Museum’s latest exhibit explores the life of Holocaust survivor Bill Graham, who launched the careers of bands and artists such as Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones. Events will take place throughout the exhibit’s run and include Meet the Photographer with Baron Wolman of Rolling Stone (Aug. 17) and Family Program: Posters That Rock! (Sept. 24).


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Anna Carlson writes the weekly 5 Things to Do column and monthly Recommended Events. A graduate of Glenbrook South High School and the University of Missouri, she loves cheering on the Cubs and Blackhawks and also fears she watches too much Netflix.