Looking to wish America happy birthday in style? There are plenty of ways to celebrate in Chicago and the suburbs. From fireworks displays to live music to festivals and more, there's something for everyone this holiday!
When: July 2-4, 9:45 p.m. n Where: Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Parkway n Admission: $53.99 when purchased on the Six Flags site n Why Go: Independence Day at Six Flags Great America began early with holiday classics like fireworks every night and festive foods, as well as exclusive ride times and special ticket prices when attendees show up with Coca-Cola products and purchase tickets online.
When: July 4, 6:30 p.m to 8:45 p.m. n Where: Jay Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E. Randolph Street n Admission: Free n Why Go: July 4th will bring the Grant Park Orchestra front and center at Millennium Park with an Independence Day salute. Enjoy the sounds orchestra music with free seating in the Seating Bowl, on the lawn, or if you wish to be closer, tickets start at $26 (rain or shine).
Julie O’Brien/NRPRD Staff
When: July 4, starts at 10 a.m n Where: North Riverside Parks and Rec.,2401 Desplaines Ave. n Admission: Free n Why Go: North Riverside's 4th of July Festival in the park celebrates US Independence with a parade, t-ball, food, soda for the children and beer for adults, music, and fireworks at 9 p.m.
Joseph Aaron Campbell
When: July 4, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. n Where: Uihlein Plaza, 1601 N. Clark Street n Admission: Free for IL residents n Why Go: July 4th at the Chicago History Museum will showcase a reading of the Declaration of Independence, patriotic music, Illinois Supreme Court Justice and keynote speaker Anne M. Burke, as well as a parade tailored for children, led by the World’s Tallest Uncle Sam.
Pablo Cascio Photography
When: July 4, starts at 4 p.m. n Where: Intersection of I-390 and Park Boulevard, Itasca n Admission: Free n Why Go: Hamilton Lakes' fantastic fireworks will also have live music by Pat McKillen and Maggie Speaks with Fran and Anton performing some classic covers. Restaurants will offer picnic-style items and the Itasca Brewing Company will host a craft beer tent. The night will culminate with fireworks synchronized to music at dusk.
Choose Chicago/Ranvestel Photographic
When: July 4, 9:30 p.m. n Where: Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave, Chicago n Admission: Free n Why Go: The Pier hosts biweekly Aon Summer Fireworks throughout the summer on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and will of course have a show ready for Fourth of July. The holiday will include live music in front of Lake Michigan. Gates will close when the venue reaches maximum capacity!
When: July 4, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. n Where: RiverEdge Park, 360 N. Broadway n Admission: Free n Why Go: See fireworks and enjoy other festivities, including The American Legion Band starting at 6:15 p.m., followed by the Fox Valley Orchestra. After dark, Aurora promises a dazzling fireworks display.
Noel Amadeus Montenegro
When: July 2-4, typically at dusk n Where: Varying locations (see below) n Admission: Varies n Why Go: Get a head start on Independence Day fireworks or enjoy the day of. For a full list of times and locations around the city and suburbs click here.
When: July 4, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. n Where: 54th and Old Lake Park Ave., Hyde Park n Admission: Free, but donations welcomed n Why Go: The 4th on 53rd celebration is known as the "everybody marches nobody watches parade." In its 27th year, it features a lively, old fashioned holiday party.
Missy Donovan Photography
When: July 4-8, times vary from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.n Where: 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estatesn Admission: Freen Why Go: July 4th at Northwest Fourth Fest. kicks off with the "Wings of Freedom" parade in the morning and a daylong carnival until 10 p.m. The following days feature live music from Blooze Brothers and 7th Heaven, a bounce house, pony rides, face painting, a rock climbing wall, a pie eating contest, the fireworks display on July 6 at 9:30 p.m., and more live music from Hi Infidelity plus Rick Lindy and the Wild Ones.
When: Mondays - Saturdays, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m n Where: Tavern at the Park,130 E. Randolph Street n Admission: Free, pay to dine n Why Go: Overlook the city and Millennium Park at The Tree House, a rooftop extension of Tavern at the Park. It may be a good spot to dine as you view fireworks in areas nearby this holiday week.
When: July 4, 11, 18, 25, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.n Where: 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicagon Admission: $25, free for members n Why Go: Jazzin' at Shedd Aquarium begins with Fourth of July Jazzin'; every night will feature Chicago’s top jazz musicians, which adults can combine with cocktails, slow dancing, and the glistening night. Throughout, people can see more at Shedd’s, like the special exhibit "Underwater Beauty”, as well as fireworks.
When: July 2,5,6,7, starting at 8:30 p.m. n Where: Burnham Park, La Villita Park, Oz Park, and others n Admission: Free n Why Go: The Movies in the Parks program takes a break on July 4th, but you catch some flicks before and afterwards at various Chicago parks. Titles vary from classics like "The Truman Show" (Burnham Park) to recent releases like "Wonder Woman" (Dunbar Park). Full schedule
When: July 3, 5, 12, 19, 26, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. n Where: Parkway Bank Park, Rosemont n Admission: Free n Why Go: The Parkway Bank Park entertainment district will celebrate summer and independence with the Rockin’ in the Park free concert series. Free concerts are on Thursdays, featuring music by numerous cover bands, food vendors on the park’s lawn, and a fireworks show after the music!