Fourth of July Events in Chicago That Sparkle & Shine

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Stars, stripes and so much fun. Soak it all up this Fourth of July, when our country turns the big 2-4-6. The 4th falls on a Monday this year, which gives us a three-day weekend for fun-filled family days and legendary fireworks shows. We put our eyes to the skies in search of the most amazing fireworks displays and day-time events if you want to party all day and hit the hay early. Read on and plan on, Chicago.

Lakeside is the Best Side

Take a Family Boat Cruise
Many boat tour and kayak companies in Chicago host special 4th of July firework cruises on Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. These tours are a great way to get front-row seats to the action, with the Chicago skyline serving as a gorgeous backdrop.

Live at the Lake at Navy Pier
Make the 4th of July weekend all about live music and dancing the days away at Navy Pier’s Live on the Lake, Jul. 2-4. 

Keep it Traditional with Parades & Fireworks

Navy Pier Fireworks
Start the celebrating early with Navy Pier’s weekly fireworks display, Jun. 2.

Naperville Salute
The Naperville Salute, Jul. 1-4, is all about celebrating veterans, active military, first responders and their families. Along with a musical lineup, family entertainment will include an exotic animal display, face painting, glitter tattoos, balloon art, an obstacle course and fitness fun, crafts, a magic show and more.

Glen Ellyn Fourth of July
Everyone loves a parade — especially one as cheerful and colorful as the one in downtown Glen Ellyn, Jul. 4. The festivities will conclude with fireworks at dusk.

3D Fireworks Display in Skokie
The Skokie Fourth of July Fireworks, Jul. 4, is a 3-D extravaganza with the first 10,000 visitors receiving a free pair of 3D glasses. The day begins with a parade at noon followed by family activities, games and a concert. At dusk, break out those 3D glasses for a fireworks display that pops out at you.

St. Charles July 4th Celebration
When the sun goes down, the night sky will light up in a festival of color, lights and sound. Before the St. Charles fireworks show, Jul. 4, Feel Good Party Band will take the stage to keep you entertained with music from the 80s and 90s.

Itasca Fireworks
Itasca boasts the largest fireworks display in the Chicago area. The Itasca fireworks display, Jul. 4, is popular for families because the fireworks are so huge, they feel like they’re going off right above you.

Northwest Fourth Fest
Kids and adults can have a blast on more than 30 carnival rides, listen to live music, fill up on fest food and watch one of the best fireworks displays in the area at Northwest Fourth Fest, Jun. 30-Jul. 4.

Evanston 4th Celebration
Evanston’s 4th of July celebration, Jul. 4, starts with outdoor games (think three-legged races, pie-eating contests and water balloon tosses). Afterward, join in on a fun run before the parade kicks off. Then, the party moves to a lakefront concert followed by fireworks.

Celebrate with Music

Independence Day Salute
Prepare for a sensory feast featuring a medley of patriotic favorites at The Independence Day Salute, Jul, 2, at Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

Rock in the Park at Parkway Bank Park
Parkway Bank Park’s Rockin’ in the Park, Jul. 4, is a free summer concert that features a post-show musical fireworks display.

Make it a Sporty Weekend

Chicago Dogs Fireworks Extravaganza
Chicago’s newest baseball team that pays homage to our favorite street food, HOT DOGS, is hosting a Chicago Dogs fireworks extravaganza, Jul. 2, after their home game.

Relax & Catch a Movie

Outdoor Movie with Rooftop Cinema Club
Rooftop Cinema Club at the Emily Hotel in Fulton Market is hosting two daytime family friendly movies during the Fourth of July weekend. See The Parent Trap, Jul. 2 and The Sandlot, Jul. 3.

Keep the Food Patriotic

Cupcake Making at Taste Buds Kitchen
Show your USA pride and whip up perfectly patriotic Red, White and Blue Cupcakes, Jul. 2, completely from scratch. Plain old vanilla? Bore-ring. Bring on the pizzazz, the color, the fireworks.

JoJo’s Shake Bar 4th of July Shake
JoJo’s 4th of July Shake, Jun. 27-Jul. 4, is a strawberry-blueberry shake topped with red, a white and blue sprinkled sugar cookie, cupcake and ice cream sandwich.

— Maria Chambers

Featured photo: iStock


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