Explore Chicago

Celebrate the Fourth of July in Chicago

We've rounded up some fantastic Fourth of July events and specials for a wonderful Independence Day in Chicago!

The 4th of July is a holiday best enjoyed outside thanks to the summer weather. Whether you open up the grill or watch a fireworks show, there’s always a way to celebrate with those you love. Chicago loves to throw a holiday party in every corner of the city, and there are many activities you can experience when you visit. You’ll find traditional favorites like parades and festivals, but you can also enjoy the day with a different kind of party. Stop by the Windy City this Fourth of July and see what’s waiting for you there.

Independence Day in Chicago

Navy Pier Fireworks

Everyone loves the summer fireworks show over at Navy Pier each week, and that’s why they’re amping up the fun this year. When visitors stop by on the weekend, they can enjoy not one but two different fireworks shows! These 15-minute shows will light up the night sky on July 2 and July 4, so you don’t have to worry if you missed the first burst of red, white and blue. The best part is that both shows are free, so you can find a spot anywhere on the pier to watch everyone’s favorite Independence Day activity come to life.

Fireworks Signature Dinner Cruise

Chicago gives you plenty of options to experience the holiday on the water, so why not try a dinner cruise? With City Experiences, passengers can step on board a ship this Fourth of July and enjoy a Fireworks Signature Dinner Cruise. The boat takes you around Lake Michigan, where you can get a perfect view of the city’s most significant landmarks as well as the Navy Pier fireworks. Before the show begins, enjoy a buffet-style meal of delicious chicken, ribs and pasta dishes on the water, and dance the night away with a DJ to complete the perfect holiday party cruise. 

July 4th Fireworks | WhereTraveler
July 4th Fireworks (©Jim Strasma)

International Festival of Life

Chicago has much more to celebrate this Fourth of July weekend besides the holiday, giving you the opportunity to experience a world of cultures in one city. One festival that promises this is the International Festival of Life in Washington Park. This is the 29th year for the festival celebrating African and Caribbean culture, and it’s happening all weekend long. Stop by for a chance to enjoy the sounds of music from around the world, such as reggae, R&B, soul and more. You’ll also have a taste of some of the best Caribbean food in the city, as well as games and crafts to keep the fun going throughout the day.

Chosen Few Picnic & Festival

Chicago is said to be the birthplace of house music, thanks to a group of DJs from the South Side known as Chosen Few. To celebrate their 30th anniversary, the group is bringing back their Chosen Few Picnic & Festival in Jackson Park. On July 2, visitors can see the original artists back together to perform for a day filled with the best dance tracks that are sure to get you on your feet. Guest DJs and other dance music artists will stop by throughout the day, so the party never has to stop once you arrive. If you’re looking for a way to get your blood pumping this holiday weekend, this music festival is sure to give you the answer you’re hoping to find.

DJ Booth | WhereTraveler
DJ Booth (©Jorik Kleen)

4th on 53rd Parade and Picnic

Chicago is known for their larger-than-life holiday parades throughout the year, and one of its best is its Fourth of July parade. 4th on 53rd Parade and Picnic begins at Hyde Park, where guests can watch the city come to life with color thanks to its floats and performers. Participants can even join in by decorating a bike beforehand to ride along with some holiday style. The hour-long parade ends at Nichols Park, where visitors can take a bite at a summer picnic and join in activities both old and new to the party with their family and friends. 

Independence Day Salute

If you’re looking for a different kind of music festival this year, stop by Millennium Park to experience the Grant Park Music Festival. On July 2, they’ll be hosting their annual Independence Day Salute, a traditional concert filled with patriotic orchestral pieces to ring in the holiday. You’ll hear classic favorites from composers like Irving Berlin and Glenn Miller, as well as more recent songs from famous composer John Williams. Celebrate the Fourth of July this year with a song in your heart when you stop by this free concert in the park. 

Flag Waving on the 4th of July | WhereTraveler
Flag Waving on the 4th of July (©Paul Weaver)

Burger Bar

Burger Bar has a special Super Stacker Party Pack that provides everything you need for a special Independence Day cookout. The package includes eight burger patties, buns, toppings, Burger Bar queso, chips guacamone and a salad with dressing. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a holiday celebration at home without the added trip to the store. Place orders here