Best Memorial Day Weekend Events Chicago

Consider the weekend of Memorial Day your intensive summer course in Chicago. You can stay in the city, enjoy the weather and take a couple of grilled brats, or hit the road and explore the Midwest with a day trip nearby. We also launched a celebration the size of Chicago for the men and women who died protecting our country in one of the largest parades on Memorial Day.

Say Hello to the Troops

A garland placement ceremony takes place at 11 a.m. in the eternal flame in Daley Plaza. The Chicago Memorial Day Parade honors members of the armed forces, especially Gold Star families. As of noon, active military and veterans march, and a series of patriotic chariots show respect for their service.

Pack at Good Times on Navy Pier

Designed for fun and entertainment, the historic attraction along Lake Michigan encompasses 50 acres filled with things to do, see and experience. On Saturday night of Memorial Day weekend, Navy Pier marks the beginning of the season with a fireworks show synchronized with music. Watch the screen from the dock or book a nightly fireworks cruise to enjoy the show from the water. Visit Navy Pier’s cultural attractions, such as the AMC Navy Pier IMAX Theater, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and the Chicago Children’s Museum.

Hit the Trail and the Beaches

The 14 beaches administered by the city of Chicago officially open the weekend of Memorial Day. If the weather permits, there are opportunities to swim, sunbathe, play volleyball, build sandcastles or fly kites. The 18-mile paved Chicago Lakefront Trail along Lake Michigan offers experiences for cyclists, walkers, and runners. Lakefront Trail extends from Ardmore Avenue in the north to 71st Street. Rent bikes from one of the many fountains located near the road.

Travel the City

Tour the city by boat, bus or bicycle, or take a walking tour with the teachers of the foundation. Numerous companies offer meals and beers to explore Chicago’s culinary and beverage scene. Navigate the waters of the Chicago River or Lake Michigan to see the skyline and Chicago landmarks from offshore perspectives. Their cruises, including the weekend fireworks cruise on Memorial Day, depart from the Navy Pier. Children are welcome to join this summer welcome.