Come July 4th, many people will look up. As the night sky darkens, fireworks will start to fly up and explode, creating gorgeous murals in the sky all over the city. But where should you go to get the best view? Of course, we recommend joining us up at Cindy’s, our rooftop lounge, for cocktails and eats, but not everyone will get a front-row seat. So if you do have to go somewhere else, here are a bunch of outdoor options around Chicago to catch Independence Day fireworks shows. Note that the city’s official show starts just off Navy Pier at 9:30 p.m.
Navy Pier: This likely will be one of the most crowded spots, since the city’s main fireworks show gets shot off just off the end of the pier. Want a guaranteed spot? Buy tickets for the Pier’s Freedom Fest and watch the show from the rooftop! The show will start at 9:30 p.m.
Lake Michigan Cruise: You can either find a friend with a boat, rent a boat with a captain or reserve a spot on one of the many boats that cruise Lake Michigan, including the Odyssey, Spirit of Chicago, Mystic Blue or Seadog.
Museum Campus: Pack a picnic, grab a blanket and head over to the Museum Campus. You can set up on the grassy areas outside the Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium or Northerly Island and watch the show.
Beaches: Camp out at North Avenue Beach or Ohio Street Beach for the Navy Pier fireworks or head north to Montrose or Foster beaches for a North Side show.
Your Friend’s Roof: If you have a friend with a rooftop deck in any neighborhood west of the Loop, you’ll see a bevy of fireworks shows from numerous neighborhoods pretty much stretching in a 360-degree perimeter.