This year Independence Day falls on a Thursday. All federal and city offices will be closed.
Fireworks at Navy Pier: Enjoy a show of pyrotechnics with fireworks along the downtown lakefront at Navy Pier. Beginning at 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, 15-minute displays will light up the sky, with a mix of patriotic music in the background. Navy Pier fireworks will also take place on Saturday, July 6, at 10:15 p.m. (Check out our Guide to July 4 Parades and Fireworks Happening Throughout the Chicagoland Area.)
Grant Park Music Festival - Independence Day Celebration in Millennium Park: The Grant Park Music Festival’s annual Independence Day celebration concert conducted by Christopher Bell will feature beloved favorites (and a few surprises) by Gershwin, Copland, Bernstein, Sousa, and others. Thursday, July 4, at 6:30 p.m. (Avoid the traffic. Take public transit to Grant Park.)
Chicago History Museum - Happy Fourth of July Annual Event: Celebrate our nation's independence with your family at the Museum's 54th annual Fourth of July event. Highlights include patriotic musical performances, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, and a children's parade led by the World's Tallest Uncle Sam. Guest speaker Carlos Tortolero, President of the National Museum of Mexican Art, will also join the celebration. Thursday, July 4, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Shoreline Sightseeing - Architecture Fireworks Cruise: This nighttime cruise takes riders down all three branches of the historic Chicago River for a glittering view of the city’s iconic skyscrapers. The evening ends with a front-row seat for Navy Pier’s fireworks display from the mouth of the Chicago River. Thursday, July 4, at 8:30 p.m.
Seadog - Lakefront Fireworks Cruise: Every seat on the Seadog fireworks cruise has open panoramic views of the Chicago skyline, which are paired with a narrated tour and extended speedboat cruise on this 60-minute ride. Thursday, July 4, departing at 9 p.m., fireworks at 9:30 p.m., teturning at 10 p.m.
Wendella Boats – July 4th Fireworks Cruise: Experience the fireworks display while enjoying traditional American music on this two-hour boat tour that takes riders on a trip through the Chicago Lock to see the city from the lake, along with a mini river tour. Thursday, July 4, boat departs at 7:30 p.m.
Entertainment Cruises – Independence Day Fireworks Dinner Cruises: Take part in America's birthday with your choice of festive dining cruises. See the fireworks display from the the Odyssey, which features live music and creative cuisine during a three-course meal; or enjoy interactive DJ entertainment on multiple dance floors and dinner selections aboard the Spirit of Chicago or Mystic Blue. Thursday, July 4, at boat departs at 6: 30 p.m., cruise is from 7:30 - 10:30 p.m.
Navy Pier Fireworks Kayak Paddles: Kayak through the city on guided twilight tours and see the fireworks display from the water. Choose from a 45-minute paddle with Urban Kayak, a 90-minute paddle from Wateriders, or a three-hour paddle offered by Kayak Chicago (7:15 p.m. - 10:45 p.m.).
Chicago White Sox Baseball: On July 3 - 5, the Chicago White Sox take on the Baltimore Orioles and kick off a baseball filled weekend at U.S. Cellular Field on Chicago’s South Side. Fourth of July game starts at 1:10 p.m. (The Chicago Cubs are out of town, playing the Oakland Athletics.)