Our 2023 Guide to Unique Ways to Celebrate the 4th of July in Chicago

Have fun and stay safe!

By Deja Bailey, Jr. Reporter and Debra Flanagan, Chicago Northside June 28, 2023

Glittering lights, raining colors, and blazing sounds. When you think of the fourth of July, what do you think of? The same word comes to mind everywhere, Fireworks. But they are just the icing on the cake. There are so many ways to celebrate our nation's Independence Day, in Chicago, with exciting activities and events all weekend long. And of course, we have all the parades and firework shows for you too!

Enjoy live music in a beautiful setting

Navy Pier: Live on the Lake!
The free concert series is scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays from May 27th to September 10th. The series includes live music from three different bands with most of the concerts beginning at 2pm and ending around 8pm or later. 

This year, Navy Pier will have performances on July 4th by “The King of Mars” (2:00-4:30pm) ; “The Sweet Lillies” (4:30-7:00pm) ; and “Southern Accents” (5:30-8:00pm.)  

Parkway Bank Park “Rockin’ in the Park”
“Rockin’ in the Park” concerts run from 7pm-10pm every Thursday beginning on May 28th and ending August 31st. Admission to “Rockin’ in the Park” is free. Outside food and coolers are prohibited. Parking is available at the Parkway Bank Park parking garage and is free with validation from any of the park’s venues.  Food and beverage tents will be available on the park’s great lawn. Thursday night concerts and holiday shows will culminate with a musical fireworks display after the show.

Monday, July 3rd special performance by Heartache Tonight– the phenomenal band plays tribute to all eras of music and delivers a true concert experience.

Go to an Amusement or Adventure Park

Six Flags Great America
Enjoy heart-pounding thrills rides like the Maxx Force or Revolution, and make a splash on Loggers Run. Plus enjoy fireworks shows every Saturday from June 3rd until August 12th, 15 minutes before the park’s closing time.

Santa's Village Amusement & Water Park - Kids Fest
July 1-2 from 11am-6pm, enjoy extra activities like a magic show, a strolling magician, and a one-of-a-kind Foam Party!

Santa's Village Amusement & Water Park 
Valid Any Day of the 2023 Regular Operating Season!

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The Forge: Lemont Quarries - Food Truck Fest
July 1 beginning at 11am. Back after popular demand, The Forge will be hosting its second annual Lemont Food Truck Festival. Come taste food from 18 of the region's best food trucks, enjoy live music and visit vendors (featuring local businesses) - plus all the fun activities that The Forge offers will be available for purchase! 

The Forge: Lemont Quarries - The Largest Adventure Park in the USA! 
Just 22 Miles Southwest of Chicago

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Enjoy America's Favorite Pastime

Chicago Dogs Game, Impact Field - Rosemont
The Dogs bring summer, baseball and families together for a festival of fun, with themed Saturdays and fireworks after all Thursday and Saturday games.  

In addition to Star-Wars themed, July 2nd, there will be a Fireworks Extravaganza after the game on July 4th as well. 

Schaumburg Boomers, Wintrust Stadium - Schaumburg
There will be post-game fireworks on July 3rd, 4th, 7th-9th, and the 21st as well as pre-game autographs and a pre-game catch on the field on July 9th.  

Stick around after the game on July 4th for the Fireworks Supershow!

Chicago White Sox, Guaranteed Rate Field - Chicago
Post-game fireworks on Tuesday, July 4th, and the first 10,000 fans will get a Sox 4th of July inspired t-shirt. The 4th also lands on “$5 Tuesdays” at Guaranteed Rate Field, where select concessions will be available for only $5!

Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field - Chicago
Cubs are in town June 27th - July 2nd.  Don't forget to get your tickets!

Head Out of the City. With the 4th landing on a Tuesday this year, its a great excuse for an extra long weekend getaway.

Grand Geneva Resort and Spa: Independence Day Dining and Fireworks Display
Situated on 1,300 acres in the woodlands of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, The Grand Geneva Resort and Spa will host its annual fireworks display on July 3, 2023. Reserve your spot for dinner during the dazzling display with options ranging from romantic al fresco dining to a festive and family-friendly picnic.  Continue the celebration with an overnight stay.  

If you can't make it up there for the 3rd, don't worry. Every Sunday between Memorial Day and Labor Day guests will be treated to a Sunday evening fireworks show. Grand Geneva has tons of other experiences too: swimming, horse-back riding, volleyball, and a trolley tour making it perfect for a quick vacay!

Timber Ridge Lodge
Celebrate with the ultimate weekend getaway! Games and activities all weekend long. Start your week with a bang with Sunday night fireworks. Then enjoy the Grand celebration and fireworks show on Monday, July 3. Resort games, bags tournament, live music, balloon artist and more! 
Friday, June 30 - Sunday, July 2 | 5-8pm | Timber Ridge Pool Party with DJ
Sunday, July 2 | Weekly Fireworks Show
Monday, July 3 | Grand Picnic, Family Games and Grand Fireworks Show

The Abbey Resort
Celebrate Independence Day with games and activities all weekend long. On July 4th, join for fun in the sun with inflatable activities and harborside games during the day and get the best seat in the house for the Village of Fontana fireworks at night in the Village of Fontana beginning at 9:00pm. 

While there is much else to do, it still wouldn't be the 4th of July without parades and fireworks, and there are plenty of ways to see some locally

The Lakeshore
While there will be no official, organized, firework shows on the lake on July 4th, private citizens will shoot off an endless barrage and they will impress! Grab a blanket and a cooler, lie back and enjoy!

Saddle and Cycle Club
The firework display at the Saddle and Cycle Club, at Foster Ave. and Marine Dr. is a bit of a Northside secret.  While it is meant for members only, you can easily grab a first class seat to the spectacle on Foster Beach or even Margate Park.  This year's event is scheduled for dusk (apx 9pm) on Tuesday, July 4th.

Winnemac Park
It's a well-kept secret, until now, that Community Christian Church sponsors a firework show at Winnemac Park, as they plan to do again this year on July 4th. 

Navy Pier
Navy Pier kicks off Independence Day weekend with its weekly, dazzling, fireworks display specially scheduled for 9pm on Saturday, July 1st. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to find a great viewing spot along the Pier. 

Navy Pier shoots off fireworks every week from Memorial Day to Labor Day on Wednesdays at 9pm, and on Saturdays regularly at 10pm. 

See the Navy Pier fireworks from the water:

Skokie Parade and 3-D Fireworks Festival
Tuesday, July 4th, 2023
Noon: Downtown Parade - Floats, marching bands, and more! (Lincoln and Niles Center to Oakton and Skokie Blvd.)
5pm: Niles West High School Gates open. Festival attendees may stake out a spot on the festival grounds. Food will be available for purchase during the event.
6:30pm: Family Fun and Games - Face painting, hula hoop, egg race, water balloon toss, sack race, and tug of war.
6:30–7:30pm: The Empty Pockets - Indie-Americana drawing from classic rock, folk, and blues.
8:00–9:30pm: 7th Heaven - Pop and Rock hits from the '70s through today.
Dusk:3-D Fireworks - Customized 3-D fireworks glasses will be distributed to the first 10,000 visitors.

Wilmette Independence Day Celebration
Monday, July 3rd, 2023
Gillson Park
8am: Yankee Doodle Dash 5K.
5pm: Fun and Fireworks - Enjoy the free family event beginning at 5pm. There will be food vendors, live music, performers, and a fireworks show to kick off the 4th a day early.

Centennial Park
11:30am-1:30pm: The all new Star Spangled Splash - Come out and enjoy carnival games, face painting, bounce houses, confetti fireworks, and more! (Centennial Pools are open 11am-4pm on July 3. Residents receive FREE pool access for the day. Daily fee applies for non-residents.)

Niles Parade and Post Parade Fest
Tuesday, July 4th, 2023
8:45am: The parade steps off from the Notre Dame College Prep parking lot, proceeding down Ozark Avenue to Main Street, then Main to Harlem Avenue, past St. John Brebeuf Catholic Church to Monroe Street, and Monroe to Oketo Avenue, ending at Grennan Heights Park.
11am-2pm: Park District’s Post-Parade Family Fest at Grennan Heights Park. The fest at Grennan Heights is expected to include entertainment, kid’s play areas, food, games, and inflatables.

Glenview 4th of July Celebration
Tuesday, July 4th, 2023
11:30am: The 4th of July Bike Parade, through downtown Glenview
6pm: Celebration in Gallery Park with a DJ, food vendors, and live band
9:20pm: Fireworks.

Evanston Parade and Fireworks
Tuesday, July 4th, 2023
Evanston is celebrating its’ 100th Independence Day!
9:00am: Morning games at seven local playgrounds. Playground activities include Frisbee, jump rope competitions, sack races, pie and watermelon eating contests, and more.
12:45pm: Kids Fun Run - Children age 10 years and younger are then invited to take part in the half-mile tradition at Ackerman Park. Register Here.
2:00pm: The award-winning Evanston 4th of July Parade.
7:30pm: Concert begins at Dawes Park.
9:30pm: Lakefront fireworks. 

Evergreen Park Parade and Fireworks
Friday, June 30, 2023
6:30pm: Evergreen will be hosting its’ 53rd annual parade. The parade will begin on 95th and Springfield, proceed on 95th to Richmond, turn north, and conclude on 91st street.
9:00pm: Fireworks at the Martin B. Duffy Park, located at 92nd and Ridgeway.