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

fireworks
Photograph: Shutterstock

While Chicago is cautiously reopening, it's no secret that celebrating the 4th of July will be a different experience this year. Navy Pier has already canceled its annual fireworks display and events throughout the suburbs have followed suit, though every Chicagoan knows that there will be plenty of amateur displays to fill the void. Thankfully, you'll still be able to relax in Chicago parks over the long weekend, go for a stroll on the reopened Lakefront Trail or catch a screening at a Chicago drive-in movie theater. Use our 4th of July guide to find the best places to eat, drink and spend time outdoors on America's birthday.

4th of July fireworks and events

Things to do on the Fourth of July
Things to do

Things to do on the Fourth of July

Attend virtual festivals, dancing lessons and more virtual events

Have a drink on a bar or brewery patio
Bars

Have a drink on a bar or brewery patio

These outdoor spots are perfect for a realxing beer or cocktail over the long weekend

Head to these restaurant to enjoy outdoor dining
Restaurants

Head to these restaurant to enjoy outdoor dining

Grab a seat on patios or rooftops and enjoy an Independence Day feast

Pig out at the tastiest BBQ restaurants
Restaurants

Pig out at the tastiest BBQ restaurants

From Chatham to Pilsen to Wicker Park and beyond, great BBQ is everywhere

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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

There's nothing more refreshing that a scoop of ice cream or a popsicle

Sip a to-go cocktail
News

Sip a to-go cocktail

Some of the city's best bartenders are bottling up booze!

Spend an afternoon in the park
Things to do

Spend an afternoon in the park

Many of the city's most beautiful parks are open and ready to host your picnic

Watch a movie from your car
Things to do

Watch a movie from your car

Drive-in theaters are popping up throughout the city—here's where to find them

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

Escape the city and go camping near Chicago
Things to do

Escape the city and go camping near Chicago

Pack your tent and reserve a campsite at these beautiful parks

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

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