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Chicago Summer Dancing Events and Festivals 2017: What to Do and Where to Go

Updated on May 8, 2017
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Anya Brodech is from Chicago and has been ballroom dancing for 10 years. Check out her website anyabrodechdance.com for more information!

Chicago Summer Dance

Chicago Summer Dance outside at Grant Park
Chicago Summer Dance outside at Grant Park

Chicago Summer Dance

Summer is a special time of year that is fun and full of exciting events, especially in Chicago.. One of my favorites is the Chicago Summer Dance in Grant Park downtown. It is one of the largest outdoor dancing events in the entire country. No matter what your dancing level is, you will find dancers of all types, ranging from first-time beginners to professionals. It is a great way to get outside and either learn how to dance or show off your moves. There are different bands that play all types of music every week, ranging from salsa to waltz to swing; all of which are listed on the Chicago Summer Dance website. The event is free and all ages are welcome, so you can bring anyone you want. I recommend getting there early and bringing some blankets and folding chairs so you can stake out an area and have a place to sit down and relax when you’re not dancing. If you are not in the mood dance, it is still fun to watch people dance, especially the advanced dancers. Parking downtown can be difficult, so consider taking public transportation like the CTA or Metra if you are coming from the suburbs. Also, remember that it can get chilly by the lake, especially at night, so bring something warm. If you plan to stay late, there is a there is a firework show at Navy Pier which can be seen from the lake every Saturday night at 10:15, which is a perfect way to end your evening. Chicago Summer Dance is sure to be a fun and memorable experience that you will want to add to your list of summer traditions!

Map of Grant Park

A markerGrant Park, chicago, IL -
Grant Park, Chicago, IL, USA
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View of Fireworks at Navy Pier

Live Music and Dancing at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Once again the Chicago Botanic Garden is hosting its Summer Evenings events, filled with live music and dancing, as an easy way to relax and have fun in a friendly atmosphere and beautiful surroundings with your family and friends. There are different types of music every evening that cover many genres, such as American blues and swing, Spanish guitar music and Tango, Jazz, and many more. The variety of events ensures that you will find something that interests you; a complete listing with detailed information can be found on the Garden’s website.One of my favorites is “Music on the Esplanade” Tuesday nights which features a live band playing on the Esplanade with a beautiful lake-view of the fountain. “Hot Summer Nights” on Thursdays is another favorite of mine because there is an instructor that teaches you different types of dances and later you get to practice your moves when the live band starts playing. Even if you don’t like to dance, you can enjoy listening to the music, exploring the rest of the Garden, visiting the gift shop, or getting something to eat at the Garden Grille. If you are feeling romantic, you can bring your special someone and enjoy a bottle of wine and some refreshments before taking a sunset walk. I recommend bringing blankets or some folding chairs to sit on, as well as drinks and snacks, so you can picnic on the grass while watching the band. Regardless if you go with a date, your friends, or your family, you will be sure to have fun and want to come back for more!

Sunset at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Map of Chicago Botanic Garden

A markerChicago Botanic Garden -
Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022, USA
get directions

Dancing outside in the summertime with your family and friends is a great way to get out and have a fun summer evening!
Dancing outside in the summertime with your family and friends is a great way to get out and have a fun summer evening!

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