Chicago 4th of July Events and Activities

Get All-American fun can be had in Chicago this Fourth of July with festive events that celebrate and honor our nation’s inspiring history. From amazing fireworks at the Navy Pier, to majestic concerts in Millenium Park, you can’t get more festive or patriotic than Chicago! Take a look at this overview of the wonderful opportunities that await you as you explore your community!


  • Spark your inner pyromaniac at Navy Pier this Independence Day along the downtown lakefront at 9 p.m. With a fifteen-minute display that will light up the sky and your inner patriot as you watch and listen to music accompanying the fireworks. If you find you just can’t get out on the 4th, you can look forward to more to keeping the celebration going, as the fireworks will also happen on July 7th at 10:15 p.m. Don’t miss out on this chance to be a patriot!
  • You can also visit the Millenium Park on July Fourth at 6:30 p.m. for a musical Independence Day Celebration conducted by Christopher Bell! Featuring Gershwin, Copland, Bernstein, Sousa, and more, you would be hard-pressed to find a better way to celebrate when you can enjoy a stirring musical celebration to honor our country!
  • The free Happy Fourth of July Annual Event at the Chicago History Museum from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. is yet another great event! With musical performances, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, and, led by the world’s tallest Uncle Sam, a kids costume parade, you’ll want to be a part of this outdoor event at the Uihlein Plaza. Admission is free.
  • A variety of dramatic, nighttime cruises, long and short, can transport you through all three branches of the historic Chicago River for a majestic view of the city’s well-known skyscrapers. You’ll have a front-row seat for the Navy Pier’s spectacular fireworks display from the mouth of the Chicago River, too. Plan on getting tickets to these and search online for availability.  Choose from the Spirit of Chicago, the SeaDog, or the Mystic Blue, or look into Urban Kayak, for even more adventure.
  • Amazing firework views can be seen from “The Ledge” at the Willis Tower, too, in one of the glass boxes off the 103rd floor Skydeck. A sky high trip to John Hancock Observatory might be another way to enjoy Independence Day, as well. You can take a 1,000-feet high ride in America’s fastest elevatorand enjoy the view from the 94th floor in a 360 spectacle  on the Skywalk, Chicago’s only open-air viewing platform.

No matter where you are in Chicago, your evening can be filled with fun, family, and fireworks, even if its just grabbing some friends, maybe a blanket or two, and looking to the skies. We hope you have a wonderful Independence Day and remember with gratitude the freedom which makes Chicago and the United States so special.

Learn more by visiting the event page at Explore Chicago.

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