Chicago

Everything You Need to Know About This Weekend’s Chicago Air & Water Show

View the complete guide to a stress-free, fun-filled weekend in Chicago

Since 1959, crowds gather to Chicago for its annual Air and Water Show, where military and pilots perform various stunts above Lake Michigan. 
This years’ 60th annual show will take place Aug. 17 – Aug. 18 from 10 a.m. –  3:00 p.m., remaining the oldest free air and water show in the United States. 
The historical show is just around the corner, and here’s what you need to know: 
Where to Watch: 
Chicago Beaches: People are encouraged to bring chairs or a blanket to claim a spot in the sand or grass anywhere along North Avenue Beach or Oak Street Beach. 
Navy Pier: Cruise ships at Chicago’s Navy Pier give a view of the show from the water itself, while enjoying a buffet and entertainment.  Prices for cruises through Odyssey, Spirit Cruises and Mystic Blue start at $64.90.  Or the Seadog speed boat offers rides starting at $27.95. 
Sky high: The John Hancock building offers 360 Chicago and The Signature Room at the 95th for viewing of the performance.  People can also visit the Skydeck at the Willis Tower for a view of the city front – both water and sky.  
Where to Park: 
Millennium Park Garage provides parking spots and a free shuttle to and from North Ave. Beach to avoid crowds the day of the Air and Water Show. 
How to Get There: 
This weekend, the Metra train line will run added/modified service for the Air and Water Show.  These will affect the following lines: Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation, Union Pacific North, Union Pacific Northwest and Union Pacific West. 
The Chicago Transit Authority will also be in operation, running the red, blue, brown, green, orange, purple, pink and yellow lines. 
Performers: 
Military Teams 
USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II 
U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Demo 
U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights 
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter 
U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter 
C-130 Hercules 
T-38 Talon 
USMC Osprey Demo 
KC-135 Stratotanker 
U.S. Navy Blue Angels 
U.S. Navy Parachute Team Leap Frogs 
Royal Air Force Red Arrows 
Civilian Teams 
American Airlines 
Bill Stein Aerosport 
Chicago Fire Department Air/Sea Rescue 
Chicago Police Department Helicopter 
Sean D. Tucker & Team Oracle 
Susan Dacy in the Super Stearman Model 70 
The Firebirds Delta Team 
Matt Chapman Air Shows 
Warbird Heritage Museum Foundation P-51 Mustang 
What can you NOT bring: 
Alcoholic Beverages
BBQ Grills (Open Flames)
Drones (Personal and Commercial)
Fireworks or Explosives
Illegal Substances & Weapons
Pop-up Tents/Canopies
Balloons
Kites
Flag Poles
All Pets (except Service Animals) 
Accessibility 
 For those with disabilities, seating will be available primarily at the north end of North Avenue Beach.  The following list can obtain accessible seating: 
Individuals who use wheelchairs 
Individuals with disabilities who are ambulatory, but use mobility devises such as walkers or crutches
Individuals who are ambulatory, but who are unable to stand during the performance
Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and need unobstructed sightlines to the sign language interpreter
Individuals who are blind or have visual impairments that require seating in close proximity to the stage 

All eyes will be on the skies this weekend in Chicago as the Air and Water Show returns. 

This years’ 61st annual show will take place from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. on Aug. 17–18, remaining the oldest free air and water show in the United States. 

Here’s what you need to know: 

Where to Watch 

Chicago Beaches: People are encouraged to bring chairs or a blanket to claim a spot in the sand or grass anywhere along North Avenue Beach or Oak Street Beach. 

Navy Pier: Cruise ships at Chicago’s Navy Pier give a view of the show from the water itself, while enjoying a buffet and entertainment. Prices for cruises through Odyssey, Spirit Cruises and Mystic Blue start at $64.90. Or the Seadog speed boat offers rides starting at $27.95. 

Sky high: The John Hancock building offers 360 Chicago and The Signature Room at the 95th for viewing of the performance. People can also visit the Skydeck at the Willis Tower for a view of the city front – both water and sky.  

Where to Park 

Millennium Park Garage provides parking spots and a free shuttle to and from North Ave. Beach to avoid crowds the day of the Air and Water Show. 

How to Get There 

This weekend, the Metra train line will run added/modified service for the Air and Water Show.  These will affect the following lines: Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation, Union Pacific North, Union Pacific Northwest and Union Pacific West. 

The Chicago Transit Authority will also be in operation, running the red, blue, brown, green, orange, purple, pink and yellow lines. 

Performers

Military Teams 

USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II 

U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Demo 

U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights 

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter 

U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter 

C-130 Hercules 

T-38 Talon 

USMC Osprey Demo 

KC-135 Stratotanker 

U.S. Navy Blue Angels 

U.S. Navy Parachute Team Leap Frogs 

Royal Air Force Red Arrows 

Civilian Teams 

American Airlines 

Bill Stein Aerosport 

Chicago Fire Department Air/Sea Rescue 

Chicago Police Department Helicopter 

Sean D. Tucker & Team Oracle 

Susan Dacy in the Super Stearman Model 70

The Firebirds Delta Team 

Matt Chapman Air Shows 

Warbird Heritage Museum Foundation P-51 Mustang 

What can you NOT bring

  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • BBQ Grills (Open Flames)
  • Drones (Personal and Commercial)
  • Fireworks or Explosives
  • Illegal Substances & Weapons
  • Pop-up Tents/Canopies
  • Balloons
  • Kites
  • Flag Poles
  • All Pets (except service animals) 

Accessibility  

For those with disabilities, seating will be available primarily at the north end of North Avenue Beach.  The following list can obtain accessible seating: 

  • Individuals who use wheelchairs 
  • Individuals with disabilities who are ambulatory, but use mobility devises such as walkers or crutches
  • Individuals who are ambulatory, but who are unable to stand during the performance
  • Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and need unobstructed sightlines to the sign language interpreter
  • Individuals who are blind or have visual impairments that require seating in close proximity to the stage 
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