Labor Day Weekend : What to Do in Chicago

Did you know that Chicago is the most popular city to visit over Labor Day?  This year’s the most popular U.S. cities to visit over Labor Day Weekend include:

  1. Chicago
  2. Orlando
  3. Atlanta
  4. Las Vegas
  5. Washington, D.C.

For the third year in a row, Chicago holds the top spot at #1 surpassing Orlando and Atlanta, who also remain strong again at #2 and #3 respectively. With more than four major events for 2018 in the area from a spectacular firework show to a music and food festival, Chicago is planning to host the biggest Labor Day bash in the city to date. Las Vegas moved up significantly on the list from last year and Washington, D.C. made a reappearance since ranking in 2015.

More things to Learn About

WTTW: 12 Things to Do This Labor Day Weekend in Chicago: Aug. 30-Sept. 3

Top 8 Things to Do in Chicago THis Labor Day Weekend

ChicagoMag:   Ten Things to Do on Labor Day Weekend (and Beyond) in Chicago


Chicago Labor Day Weekend Events


    • FREE Navy Pier Fireworks and Fun — Navy Pier is hosting a weekend full of events in celebration of Labor Day. The Great American Lobster Fest on Friday and Saturday bills itself as the largest seafood festival in the Midwest, offering lobster flown in from the East Coast, beverages, activities and live music. At the Labor Day Rooftop Party, stylish folks are invited to sip cocktails on Saturday night, listen to music provided by three DJs and enjoy prime viewing of the fireworks show at 10:15 p.m. Or, you can gather in Navy Pier’s Beer Garden to watch the final fireworks display of summer. Details: Various times Friday and Saturday, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.; Saturday fireworks show is free, admission charges apply for other events;


    • FREE Chicago Jazz Festival —  Known for its artistic creativity, the FREE Chicago Jazz Festival is a favorite Labor Day Weekend tradition in Chicago. It promotes awareness and appreciation for all forms of jazz through free, quality live musical performance. Since 1979, the festival’s mission is to showcase Chicago’s vast jazz talent alongside national and international artists to encourage and educate a jazz audience of all ages.  The 40th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival returns this weekdend  at Millennium Park and the Chicago Cultural Center. The free event is a showcase of local and international jazz artists.


      • FREE Taste of Polonia — The FREE Taste of Polonia over Labor Day weekend at the Copernicus Center in Jefferson Park offers 4 days of non-stop live music, food and fun. Festival Highlights 4 stages and 30+ live bands: rock, pop, jazz, polka, reggae, world & more Varieties of Polish food and beer.    Since 1980, Taste of Polonia Festival 2018 — which benefits the Copernicus Foundation — fills the Copernicus Center and grounds with non-stop LIVE MUSIC, food, and activities for all ages yearly over Labor Day Weekend! The Taste of Polonia has been a festival in Jefferson Park since 1980 and encompasses four days of Polish food and beer, plus family-friendly music performances and carnival rides. Free admission. 5-10 p.m Friday. 1; noon to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, and Sunday. 3; noon to 10 p.m. Monday, at 5216 W. Lawrence Ave.,



      September 1-3, 2018 (begins August 30)
      Jefferson Park

      Watch 50 wonderfully weird shows performed by local theater groups at the Chicago Fringe Festival in Jefferson Park. This year’s troupes include 2000FeetUp, BimBamBoom and the Minneapolis Ballet Dancers.

    • For more fun and music, head to the North Coast Music Festival from August 31-Sep 2 at Union Park featuring an electric array of bands from Deadmau5 to Gucci Mane and more. Single day tickets and weekend passes are available for purchase with kids 10 and under free with a general adult ticket. Parking is limited with pricing TBD. The best recommendation is to access Union Park by CTA. Take the bus and get off at the #9 Ashland stop or by train, take the Green Line to the Ashland stop where either transportation will drop you off right on location.
    • Take in some experimental theater — Edinburgh’s legendary Fringe Fest has expanded to cover the globe, and this weekend, Chicago plays host to its own version. Running August 30 through September 3, the Chicago Fringe Festival takes over the Copernicus Center in the Jefferson Park neighborhood with 50 weird and wacky performances. Expect everything from dance and miming to puppetry and monologues, but remain open-minded enough for surprises. At $5 to $10 a show, there’s plenty to see and do on a budget.
    • Get two events in one location with a trip to the Great American Lobster Fest from August 31-  September 2 at Navy Pier. Enjoy live music, eat delicious seafood, and on September 2nd at 10:15 pm, catch the Navy Pier Summer Fireworks for the last time this summer for free. General tickets to the seafood festival are $44 per person with the outside festival area free and open to the public. Purchase an array of seafood and other fare. On-site parking starts at $25 at Navy Pier in the West and East Garages.

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