Your summer plans likely include backyard barbecues, watching fireworks over Lake Michigan, and maybe a weekend away. But what about a convention? With summer on the horizon, consider spending a few days attending a convention or expo that’s right up your alley. Conventions are also great places to meet others who share your interests, and can help you learn more about trends in the industry. Check out these summer conventions in the Chicago area if you’re looking for something to do.

Viking ship and town, created by Bill Anjo (Ontario, CA) – this model presents a history lesson while providing a chance for the kids to be close enough to touch while the ship circles the town and monastery built on the rocks above. (photo by Alex Taylor)

Viking ship and town, created by Bill Anjo (Ontario, CA) – this model presents a history lesson while
providing a chance for the kids to be close enough to touch while the ship circles the town and
monastery built on the rocks above. (photo by Alex Taylor)


Brickworld Chicago
Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center
1551 N. Thoreau Drive
Schaumburg, IL 60173
www.brickworld.com

See LEGO bricks — a lot of LEGO bricks — when you visit Brickworld Chicago. The convention, which is open to the public on June 18 and 19, has a number of LEGO creations all under one roof. In previous years, visitors to the convention have seen scale models of iconic landmarks, as well as fictional displays of castles, ships, cities and more. The convention is also a way to meet other fans of LEGO and learn how the extensive displays came to fruition. Brickworld Chicago also has a number of vendors on the list, so you can purchase unique LEGO gear to add to your collection.

Bridal Show Expo
Marriott Hotel Michigan Avenue
540 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 427-4325
www.bridalshowexpo.com

Will you hear wedding bells in the next few months? If you or someone you know is getting married, then you might be feeling overwhelmed by the seemingly limitless quantity of wedding vendors in Chicago and the suburbs. If that’s the case, then consider taking a look at vendors in the area when you check out Bridal Show Expo. Held June 12 in Chicago’s downtown, the event gives happy couples an opportunity to scope out florists, bakeries, makeup artists, photographers, teeth whitening services, and other vendors. Bridal Show Expo has additional dates this summer, and will take place in venues throughout the Chicago suburbs.

(Photo Credit: christmasexpo.com)

(Photo Credit: christmasexpo.com)


Christmas Expo
Midwest Conference Center
401 W. Lake St.
Northlake, IL 60164
www.christmasexpo.com

This year, celebrate Christmas a little bit early when you attend Christmas Expo. Held July 14-16, the three-day event is open to the public and will help you get ready for the holiday season. While you’re visiting the expo, take some time to explore the latest products in home decor for the holidays, or take classes on how to make your home stand out from the crowd by using new lighting ideas. Are you more of a do-it-yourselfer when it comes to holiday decorations? Christmas Expo has a slew of classes on the schedule so you can learn how to use plastics with your holiday display, the basics of wireframes, and other topics; additional classes are posted online.

Related: Best Art Classes For Adults In Chicago

Rock ‘N’ Roll Chicago Health & Fitness Expo
McCormick Place
2301 S. King Drive
Chicago, IL 60616
www.runrocknroll.com

Whether you’re running in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago race or just want to learn more about running, Rock ‘N’ Roll Chicago Health & Fitness Expo just might be for you. The event takes place in McCormick Place’s Hall D1 Lakeside and features vendors showing the latest in sports technology, health and fitness, and more. Mark your calendar, as the event takes place July 15 and 16. According to the event’s website, the expo is free and open to the public. McCormick Place is located near several options for public transportation, including the Cermak-McCormick Place station on the Green Line of the “L.”  Parking is also available.

(Photo Credit: Windy City Pet Expo's Facebook)

(Photo Credit: Windy City Pet Expo’s Facebook)


Windy City Pet Expo
Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center
1551 N. Thoreau Drive
Schaumburg, IL 60173
www.windycitypetexpo.com

Learn more about petcare this summer with the Windy City Pet Expo, held July 23 and 24 in the northwest suburb of Schaumburg. The two-day event is packed with the latest products for pets, as well as demonstrations, entertainment, and even free nail trims. There’s also a costume contest, so Fido and Fluffy can take to the catwalk in style. Just take a look at the expo’s website regarding details on bringing your pet to the expo. If you’re ready to welcome a new pet to your home, then make plans to check out the expo’s adoption event.

Related: Ask A Chicago Expert: Tips For Building A Cat Tunnel

Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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