It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy! Chicagoland knows full well the precious warm days are not to be taken for granted. With festivals in full swing, the choices of how to maximize your time outdoors can be overwhelming. If you find yourself in that situation, look no further if you are living in or venturing near the North and Northwest suburban area. Let’s look at some of the local flavor that can help spice up your summertime outdoor experiences.

July 4th: Lake Forest Festival & Fireworks (Lake Forest)

This year, Lake Forest celebrates their 15th annual 4th Fest at Deerpath Community Park. Volunteers run the entire event, which includes music and entertainment. They offer inflatables and carnival rides for the kids, while adults can enjoy live music. This year Tommy DeCarlo (Lead Singer of Boston) performs with special guest Rudy Cardenas (American Idol), playing classic hits from Boston and Journey. Fireworks follow the music, beginning at 9:40. Gates open at 4 pm. Purchase your tickets online.

July 20-24: Rotary Fest (Elk Grove)

Moved from its original date, Rotary Fest is partnering with Elk Grove Village’s Mid Summer Concert Series for five days of festivities. Besides live music nightly, there are carnival rides, food, drink, and a nightly 50/50. They also provide a Special Needs Day to accommodate all patrons. Saturday night features a fireworks display, starting at 9:30. The highlight of the event is the Luxury Car Show. Check out for more information.

July 28th-31st: Prairie Fest (Wood Dale)

One of our favorite things to do in the northwest suburbs of Chicago in the summer is the Prairie Fest. Specifically, let loose with four day of food trucks, craft vendors, and a carnival! Each day is packed with live music including such headliners as: Fool House, 16 Candles, Jefferson Starship, and Heart to Heartbreaker: Saluting Women of Rock.

July 29th-31st: Streamwood Summer Celebration

Streamwood Summer Celebration is at Hoosier Grove Park. The three day fest has a wide variety of events for all ages. For the kids, there’s a craft area, rides and attractions, water balloon contest, jugglers, a parade, police K9 demonstration, and a schoolhouse museum. Plus, don’t miss out on the ice cream eating contest! Adults can enjoy daily Bingo, Business Expo Booths, hula hoop contest, golf outing, and live music featuring: Maggie Speaks, 7th Heaven, and American English. For more info, checkout the Streamwood website.

August 6th: Cornfest and Arts & Crafts Fest (Rolling Meadows)

Looking into August, the Community Church of Rolling Meadows has held this sizable event for more than 60 years. This one day fest begins at 11 am and finishes at 7 pm. With over 100 exhibitors, there are plenty of arts and crafts to select from. When it comes to food, you’ll find all you can eat locally-grown sweet corn, picked just hours before it is boiled and smothered in butter. The meal also includes your choice of grilled sandwich (hamburger, brat or hot dog, with grilled onions and condiments) as well as a slice of watermelon and a cold beverage. Purchase your meal tickets at the door. Cost is $15 for adults; $13 for seniors; and $5 for kids ages 4-10. Children 3 and younger receive a free hot dog meal. Presale tickets are available online at¬†with $1 discount.


Photo by Cristian Bortes under CC BY 2.0