20 Ways to Celebrate the 4th of July in Chicago

Photograph by Antonio Gabola

Our Guide to Independence Day Festivities

Celebrate Independence Day in the Windy City! Chicago is gearing up for a spectacular Fourth of July with a myriad of events and festivities. From dazzling firework displays and restaurant specials to lively concerts and family-friendly activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Immerse yourself in the patriotic spirit as Chicago comes alive with this special holiday’s sights, sounds, and flavors!

Things to Do

Nascar Street Race

Experience the fun of the first ever Nascar Street Race in Chicago by either attending or celebrating! Excitement will fill the air during the 4th of July weekend as the NASCAR Street Race takes over the city streets on July 1st and 2nd. To celebrate this thrilling event, a wide range of fabulous escapades awaits you in the Windy City. Check out CP’s Nascar Special to discover all the different ways the city is celebrating!


Witness the mesmerizing firework display at Navy Pier from the water with CityCruises’ incredible offers. Whether you desire a romantic evening on Lake Michigan with a delectable dinner or prefer a more chilled experience with a beer aboard the casual Seadog, there’s a deal tailored just for you. From a curious 12-month-old to a seasoned 80-year-old, the enchanting lights that shoot to decorate Navy Pier’s sky offer a spectacle that captivates everyone.

Evanston Parade

Evanston’s 100th 4th of July celebration offers a day filled with endless activities. Across seven locations, the event will offer morning games such as Frisbee, sack races, and more! Children aged 10 and younger can join the Kids Fun Run, while the award-winning Evanston 4th of July Parade takes place in the afternoon. The day concludes with a concert by the Palatine Concert Band and a breathtaking fireworks display at Dawes Park! It is the most classic, yet lively way to celebrate the 4th in Chicago!

Navy Pier

Celebrate the 4th of July at Chicago’s iconic Navy Pier, where there is always something exciting happening. Don’t miss the Pixar Putt event on July 1st and 2nd, featuring beloved characters from Toy Story, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc., and more. Whether you’re feeding your inner child or enjoying quality family time, this youthful mini-golf experience is perfect for all. On Saturday, indulge in a stunning fireworks display as you putt your way through the course. For a celebration closer to the holiday, join The State of Sound: A World of Music from Illinois on July 3rd and 4th. Here, you can experience the diverse magic of music and celebrate Independence Day in style.

Sable Hotel 

Experience the breathtaking Navy Pier fireworks show from the comfort of your hotel room with the exclusive Fireworks Package. Available twice a week throughout the summer, this package offers everything you need to enjoy the spectacle. On Wednesdays, savor a specialty cocktail from On the Rocks, while Saturdays include Champagne for two. Indulge in specialty chocolate truffles and, based on availability, enjoy a high floor placement!

Wrigley Field

Cheer on the Chicago Cubs during their two home games on July 1st and 2nd. Spend Independence Day in one of the most historical stadiums, surrounded by the colors of the country! Wave a foam finger, indulge in a hotdog, and bet on the Guardians’ loss. Bring the family to enjoy one of America’s most cherished sports, celebrating the 4th accordingly. 

VU Rooftop

Join in on one of the most eye-catching Fourth of July celebrations in the city at VU Rooftop. This rooftop is renowned for its breathtaking views, making it perfect for the scorching weather. Experience a backyard bash 22 floors up, featuring an all-day, all-night fireworks show! Enjoy a barbecue buffet, open bar, live entertainment, and photo opportunities, all in one place. Get your tickets here for admission to the venue and indulge in a fabulous BBQ buffet!


Head to one of Chicago’s favorite rooftops at Recess to experience an inflatable safari on July 3rd. Yes, you read that correctly. This ultimate party experience will be complete with Afro House DJs, a multitude of inflatable animals, refreshing summer cocktails, and more! Don’t lie, you’re getting curious. Secure your tickets here and embrace the spirit of the safari by adorning your finest animal-printed pieces!

Places to Eat

Bub City

Experience the ultimate 4th of July celebration at Bub City, where their menu is crafted for the occasion: Barbecue, burgers, and ice-cold beer! Prepare to groove to 11 consecutive nights of live music from June 28th to July 8th, starting at 10pm. If grilling isn’t your thing, bring Bub City to your backyard with their catering services for a hassle-free and delicious Independence Day feast.

Chicago Burger Company

Chicago Burger Company invites you to celebrate Independence Day with a pre-4th of July party on their picturesque riverfront patio. Join them on Saturday, July 1st from 1pm to 3pm for an outdoor gathering filled with games, food and drink specials, and exciting giveaways. Make a plate of their mouth watering Smokehouse BBQ Burger or sip on their refreshing Red, White, and Booze cocktail pouches while enjoying the sun-soaked ambiance with friends and family. No tickets are required, so make your way to the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk and kick off the holiday weekend in patriotic style!

Summer House

Enjoy an extended weekend brunch at Summer House this 4th of July. From Monday, July 3rd to Tuesday, July 4th, a delightful brunch experience will be offered until 3:00 PM. Treat yourself to a range of dishes, from fluffy pancakes to savory eggs Benedict, crafted with the finest ingredients. Don’t miss out on this perfect opportunity to savor a specialty brunch celebration at Summer House!


Celebrate the 4th of July with locally sourced flavors at Yardbird. Enjoy the acclaimed American menu and signature bourbon cocktails at this James Beard Award-nominated restaurant! Their special 4th of July offerings include The All-American Burger and Heirloom Tomato Salad, all to be perfectly paired with their signature bourbon cocktails! Make reservations here to secure your spot for a holiday dining experience at Yardbird.

The Hampton Social

Embrace the summer vibes at The Hampton Social, one of Chicago’s most adored summer-themed restaurants. As the 4th of July approaches, they’re offering a special treat perfect for this beachy holiday: the Blue Frosé. Available at all Chicagoland locations on the 4th, this refreshing concoction combines Tito’s vodka, rosé wine, and peach purée, creating a delightful summer sip. Priced at $17, indulge in the ultimate beach-inspired libation and embrace the spirit of the 4th by “rosé-ing” all day at The Hampton Social!


Elevate your Fourth of July weekend celebrations at Lírica, situated on the iconic Navy Pier in Chicago. Witness the enchanting ambiance of live music, Flamenco dancing, and a dazzling firework finale beneath the starry sky. From July 1st to July 4th, savor Lírica’s Spanish-inspired menu alongside the bustling atmosphere of Navy Pier. Experience a fabulous culinary journey while reveling in the lively spirit of the holiday!

Offshore Rooftop

Celebrate the 4th of July at Offshore Rooftop, the world’s largest rooftop located atop the scenic Sable Hotel on Navy Pier. Take advantage of the special menu offerings from July 1st to the 4th, featuring a delightful BBQ-style cookout that promises to impress. Customize your hot dog at the build-your-own hot dog bar and enjoy a variety of Jell-O Shots as you soak in the views and celebrate the holiday weekend with friends. Don’t miss out!

Liva at Chicago Winery

Paint your 4th of July with red, white, and bubbly wine with LIVA and Chicago Winery! From June 30th, you can reserve the exclusive Red, White, and Bubbles Party Pack from Chicago Winery, featuring a bottle each of their Cuvee Noir, Unoaked Chardonnay, and Blanc de Blancs. Accompanied by a delightful Chef’s Whim charcuterie board, you’ll have everything you need to enjoy a festive experience! If you’re looking for a delicious dinner on July 4th, LIVA has you covered with their full menu, including specials like BBQ Half Chicken Plate, Chef Graves’ Famous Roast Beef Sandwich, and refreshing cocktails like Bomb Pop Mimosas and Bourbon Sparklers!

Soul & Smoke 

Celebrate Independence Day at Soul & Smoke, one of Chicago’s top spots for comfort food and barbecue classics. Chef D’Andre Carter has curated a special menu for pre-order and pick-up throughout the holiday weekend. Enjoy signature dishes like Smoked Prime Beef Brisket and Prime Brisket Slider Kits, along with delectable options including Smoked Spare Ribs and Smoked Rib Tips. Pair these 4th staples with a variety of a la carte sides such as Collard Greens, Apple Slaw, and creamy Mac + Cheese!

Stan’s Donuts & Coffee

Rev up your Fourth of July weekend celebrations with Stan’s Donuts as they pay tribute to Chicago’s NASCAR race! From June 28th to July 2nd, spoil yourself with their special Pit Stop Donut, featuring a checkered flag atop a beloved Chocolate Dipped donut. On the day itself, Stan’s will also offer a patriotic twist by transforming their classic rainbow-sprinkled donuts into a festive treat. Visit one of Stan’s 16 locations and grab both of these delectable delights to embrace the spirit of the holiday! See their entire list of locations here


Beat the summer heat this 4th of July by ascending to the elevated Boleo, a rooftop restaurant and lounge situated on the 15th floor of the Kimpton Gray Hotel. Celebrate Independence Day with their special red, white, and blue pina coladas priced at $17. Expect some creatively concocted cocktails, cuisine, lively music, and stylish atmosphere. It will certainly create the necessary ambiance to kick-start your holiday celebrations in style!

Jaleo by José Andrés

Get ready to embrace the summer vibes as Jaleo by José Andrés kicks off the 4th of July weekend with their Summer of Sangria. Throughout the month of July, indulge in a variety of special sangrias available by the glass or pitcher, along with an offer of Sangria plus a tasting of 3 tapas for $22! Don’t miss this opportunity to savor the perfect blend of Spanish sangrias and delectable tapas at Jaleo.

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