4th of July: Where to Watch Fireworks

From beaches to rooftops, there's no bad seat in the city to watch fireworks this year

JUNE 2019 — Come July Fourth, 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 you should go to get the best view depends on your crowd, vibe, and location preferences — might we recommend joining us up at Cindy’s, our rooftop restaurant and bar, for cocktails and eats?) — so we’ve put together a round-up of outdoor options around Chicago for you to catch some Independence Day fireworks:

Navy Pier: The most iconic fireworks display takes place from Navy Pier starting at 9:30 p.m., in sync with a score of patriotic music. Get down to Navy Pier earlier in the day for live music performances and activities at the Miller Lite Beer Garden, and stake out your spot — Navy Pier sees its biggest crowds for fireworks on the Fourth. Can’t make it on the big day? Navy Pier hosts fireworks displays every Wednesday and Saturday evening all summer long.

Millennium Park: A Grant Park Music Festival tradition, the Independence Day Salute is played in Millennium Park from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. with rousing marches and patriotic anthems including Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever, the Armed Forces Salute and more.

Lake Michigan Cruise: You can rent a boat with a captain for small groups, or reserve a spot on one of the many boats that cruise Lake Michigan, including the Odyssey, Spirit of Chicago, Mystic Blue or Seadog. Get an overview of all Fourth of July cruises available from Choose Chicago.

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 Oak Street Beach for the Navy Pier fireworks, or head north to Montrose or Foster Beach for a North Side view with a little less of a crowd.

Your Friend’s Roof: Time to invite yourself over to that one friend’s place with that rooftop deck. From 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.

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