July 4th is fast approaching, so it is time to start looking into how to celebrate Independence Day this year! The patriotic celebrations will undoubtedly be a huge blowout; from fantastical firework displays to barbeques, there is sure to be an array of fairs, family fun picnics, and red, white, and blue color explosions. Fourth of July is a time to come together and celebrate with friends and family. There are loads happening to fill your weekend, so here are the best events happening for the 4th of July in Chicago:
1. Fireworks at Navy Pier
Live on the Lake is back and better than ever. This 4th of July weekend, enjoy performances while taking in a stunning view. This July 1st and 2nd, starting at 3 PM and going to 6 PM, there are live shows lined up with the summer’s firework schedule. There are fireworks at Navy Pier all summer, starting at 9 PM every Wednesday and 10 PM on Saturdays, but the 4th of July is a special occasion and calls for even more fanfare. Head to the Navy Pier and spend the 4th Of July in Chicago watching a special fireworks display.
Address: 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL
Spend the 4th of July in Chicago watching a street race. this full course will cover a 2.2-mile stretch with 12 turns. The race will start in Grant Park, with Buckingham Fountain as the official start and end place. Covering Lake Shore Drive, Michigan Avenue, Columbus Drive, and other surrounding streets, the high-intensity race is sure to be a spectacle to behold. Turn one will see drivers taking a left on East Balbo Drive, while Turn 12 will take them from the intersection of Michigan and Jackson and back onto the front straightaway on Colombus Drive.
Address: 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL
If you’re looking to step into the Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for some magical potions classes and so much more, you’re in luck! Harry Potter™: Magic at Play in Chicago recently extended until Labor Day, so you have the entire summer to explore this experience. The boat ride to Hogwarts™, stepping into the Great Hall, and sipping on an endless supply of Butterbeer are just a few things you’ll enjoy at this limited-time adventure on the Magnificent Mile!
Make the most of the Independence Day weekend as you cruise down the Chicago River in style—on a decked-out boat with all your friends. Don’t forget to take in the optimal view as a DJ plays the best Top 40 hits. Enjoy endless drinks and plenty of fun on this 21+ booze cruise. Starting at 4:00 PM, the party doesn’t stop until 7:30 PM, so put on your most fabulous red, white, and blue outfit and climb aboard; it’s time to celebrate!
Address: 900 South Wells St., Chicago, IL
5. Head to a family-friendly parade in Hyde Park
Celebrate the 4th with a classic parade in Hyde Park. Filled with floats, decked-out bikes, and more, the annual parade takes place in Hyde Park and is sure to be a fun time. The parade ends in Nichols Park. Make sure to bring your favorite picnic blanket for a traditional picnic in the park after the parade. It’s a wholesome way to spend the Fourth of July with family!
Address: 1355 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL
6. Head up to VU Rooftop for a Backyard Bash
Of course, Chicago’s rooftops are some of the most incredible places to thrive in the city’s euphoria. There is an abundance of incredible hideouts up among our city’s stunning skyline, but VU Rooftop is one of our picks of the bunch this Fourth of July.
Located 22 stories high next to McCormick Place, VU offers some absolutely gorgeous views of the Lake and Downtown Chicago. , there are three different bars and two patios to enjoy top-notch cocktails and bites.
This coming Tuesday, a special “July 4th Rooftop Backyard Bash” will offer a full barbecue buffet, open bar, live entertainment, and photo opportunities all up on its 3,000-foot space, where you’ll also find a front-row seat to all of Chicago’s neighborhood fireworks from its West Terrace.
Address: 133 E Cermak Road, Chicago, IL
Chicago doesn’t play around when it comes to patio season. Drinking with friends on a vast patio is the perfect way to spend the fourth, and if there were a pinnacle to the season, the Fourth of July would be it. Take a spin down to West Loop for Recess’s gigantic patio bar. If you’re looking for a spot around the Fourth of July, make that reservation now!
Address: 838 W. Kinzie Street, Chicago, IL
8. Indulge in Fourth of July treats
What’s the Fourth of July without devouring a range of red, white, and blue treats courtesy of Chicago’s varied gastronomy scene? Of course, there will be themed treats all over the city, and hunting down some tasty snacks is no hard task. We recommend taking a look at some of the best bakeries in town to see what’s on offer.
West Town Bakery is one such place that is already showing off its colorful creations, and with various locations in West Town, Wrigleyville, and the Financial District, you can find one near you. Alternatively, you can also order them through West Town Bakery’s website
Address: 1916 W. Chicago Ave (West Town)
Address: 3626 N. Clark St (Wrigleyville)
Address: 190 S. LaSalle St (Financial District)
9. Grab a hot dog
If you don’t eat some type of hotdog — whether meat-based, vegetarian, vegan, or otherwise — over the 4th of July in Chicago weekend, are you American? Just kidding… sort of. There are so many fantastic hot dog joints in Chicagoland, whether they’re your go-to stops for a pre-game meal or late-night sanctuaries when you’re buzzed and undernourished. Here is the sausage capital of the United States; our hot dog stands are protected with unwavering loyalty.
This Fourth of July, you can either support one of the great many Chicago hot dogs stands; if you’re something of a hot dog connoisseur and will only settle for the best of the best, you can check out our favorite spots to grab a hot dog for the perfect snack on this year’s Fourth of July.
10. Watch Independence Day on The Emily Hotel rooftop
A relaxing yet memorable way to celebrate the Fourth of July can be had at Emily Hotel’s fantastic Rooftop Cinema Club in Fulton Market. Located on the fifth-floor terrace of the hotel, the one-of-a-kind outdoor cinema experience features a weekly lineup of cult-classic films and timeless favorites. For the 4th of July in Chicago, they will be showing Independence Day at 10:15 pm.
Grab some popcorn, order your favorite beverage, and put on wireless headphones as you kick back to watch this epic blockbuster on the huge state-of-the-art LED screen. You’ll also be in a prime location to catch fireworks all around you after the movie. Also, check out all the free movies playing all summer at different Chicago parks.