author: Kaycie Kotas


Fourth of July Celebrations in Chicago

Whether you’re looking for traditional parades and fireworks, live music, pony rides, or pie eating contests, Chicago has something to offer you on the Fourth of July. The best part? You can find plenty to do for free. Be sure to check out this list before making your Fourth of July plans and check out the list of great firework shows in the Chicago area. You can’t choose wrong when it comes to Independence Day fun.

  • Fourth of July at the Chicago History Museum: 10:45 a.m.
    • Bring the kids for an Independence Day parade and live reading of the Declaration of Independence. Not only will it be fun and educational, but the museum offers free admission to state residents of Illinois.
  • Chosen Few Old School Reunion Picnic: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
    • Come to the world’s largest single-day house music festival for music, dancing, food, and fun. This festival boasts some of the country’s greatest DJ’s and performers. While tickets are a bit steep (starting at $25) the VIP options offer some pretty cool perks for your Independence Day fun.
  • Glen Ellyn Fourth of July
    • Start your day off with a morning run. Then, over the course of the day, there will be parade floats, a carnival, live music, and fireworks. The best part? It’s free.
  • “Fourth Fest” at Highland Park (Free)
    • This free festival includes a children’s bike and pet parade, floats and live music, carnival rides, food, and fireworks. Enjoy a traditional Independence day with a bit of a twist when the evening turns into a big Battle of the Bands. Find out who can rock the hardest at “Fourth Fest.”
  • Northwest Fourthfest
    • Looking for something slightly out of the ordinary? Come to the Northwest Fourthfest where you and your family can experience the children’s bike and trike parade, the arts and crafts fair, pony rides, pie eating contest, bags tournament, live music, and fireworks. There’s something unique and fun for everyone.
  • Frontier Days Festival
    • Parade, stampede race, soccer, volleyball, and Baggo tournaments, concerts, and more. Vertical Horizon will be playing on the main stage at 8:00 p.m., with plenty of fun before and after.
  • Some of the Best Firework Shows in Chicago:
  • Arlington Heights – Arlington Park Racetrack
  • Chicago – Navy Pier at 9:30 p.m.
  • Evanston – Clark Street Beach at 9:15 p.m.
  • Glenview – Gallery Park at twilight.
  • Itasca – Hamilton Lakes after 9:45 p.m.
  • Lake Forest Park – Deerpath Park at 9:40 p.m.
  • Naperville – Part of Rib Fest at 9:30 p.m.
  • North Chicago – Naval Station Great Lakes
  • Skokie – Niles West High School at dusk