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Your guide to the Fourth of July in Chicago

Make the most of the day off with our guide to 4th of July fireworks, events and more

Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

Can't turn the 4th of July into weekend getaway this year? Don't worry about it—Chicago is a great place to celebrate America's birthday, whether you prefer fireworks, festivals or a relaxing afternoon in Chicago parks. With the 4th of July falling on a Thursday in 2019, you're probably going to have some extra days off to experience Chicago's best restaurants or to plan a staycation at a cool boutique hotel. If you're looking for something more patriotic, you can make the trip to Navy Pier or a nearby suburb to catch some stunning fireworks display (there's a good chance that you'll see some in your neighborhood, too). Have the best holiday weekend ever with our guide to the Fourth of July in Chicago.

4th of July fireworks and events

Where to see Fourth of July fireworks around Chicago
Things to do

Where to see Fourth of July fireworks around Chicago

The best displays in the city and suburbs.

Lounge around Chicago’s coolest outdoor bars
Bars

Lounge around Chicago’s coolest outdoor bars

Stake out a spot on one of these patios while the fireworks explode overhead.

Rent a lakefront Airbnb for a weekend away
Travel

Rent a lakefront Airbnb for a weekend away

From adorable tiny houses to rustic log cabins to luxe shore-side chalets.

Check out the best new patios
Bars

Check out the best new patios

These outdoor spots will be in-demand.

Enjoy a beer at Chicago’s best breweries
Bars

Enjoy a beer at Chicago’s best breweries

Enjoy the day off with an ale in hand.

Pig out at the tastiest BBQ restaurants in Chicago
Restaurants

Pig out at the tastiest BBQ restaurants in Chicago

From Chatham to Pilsen to Wicker Park and beyond, the best BBQ in Chicago is found all over the city.

Cool off with a cone from the city’s best ice cream shops
Restaurants

Cool off with a cone from the city’s best ice cream shops

Check out our favorite scoop shops.

Soak up the sun at Chicago’s most beautiful beaches
Things to do

Soak up the sun at Chicago’s most beautiful beaches

Throw on a suit and dive in.

4th of July fireworks photos

2016: Navy Pier fireworks
Things to do

2016: Navy Pier fireworks

2015: Fireworks Instagram roundup
News

2015: Fireworks Instagram roundup

2014: Navy Pier fireworks

2014: Navy Pier fireworks

2013: Navy Pier fireworks
Things to do

2013: Navy Pier fireworks

2012: Navy Pier fireworks
Things to do

2012: Navy Pier fireworks

2011: 4th of July at Oak Street Beach
Things to do

2011: 4th of July at Oak Street Beach

Archive 4th of July coverage

Fourth of July fireworks
Kids

Fourth of July fireworks

Chicago-area Fourth of July Parades
Kids

Chicago-area Fourth of July Parades

Revolutionary beach reads
Things to do

Revolutionary beach reads

Fourth of July Fireworks Guide 2011
Things to do

Fourth of July Fireworks Guide 2011