Our 2024 Guide to Unique Ways to Celebrate the 4th of July in Chicago

Have fun and stay safe!

By Debra Flanagan, Publisher June 19, 2024

This Guide is sponsored by Pilgrim Lutheran School
Pilgrim offers a dynamic preschool program that encourages children ages three through five to explore their world and develop a love of learning - in a nurturing classroom environment, where they feel safe and supported!

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 week 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 25th to September 29th. The series includes live music from multiple bands with most of the concerts beginning at 2pm and ending around 8pm or later. 

This year, while there will be concerts on July 3rd and 4th, Navy Pier Fireworks will be on Wednesday, July 3rd only.

Parkway Bank Park “Rockin’ in the Park”
“Rockin’ in the Park” concerts run from 7pm-10pm every Thursday and select Fridays, beginning on May 30th and ending September 5th. 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, including July 4th, will culminate with a musical fireworks display after the show.

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 July 4th-6th each night at 9:45pm. 

Santa's Village Amusement and Water Park 
There's never a bad day to visit Santa's Village Amusement and Water Park, but what a great way to spend July 4th. We are nearly halfway to Christmas after all.

Santa's Village Amusement & Water Park 
Valid Any Day of the 2024 Regular Operating Season!

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The Forge: Lemont Quarries - Food Truck Fest
June 29th beginning at 12pm, back after popular demand, The Forge will be hosting its third 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! Sing your hearts out on June 30th at Movie in the Park: Frozen Sing Along. Or, just take advantage of a full day off on all the obstacles and adventures at The Forge: Lemont Quarries. 

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

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Enjoy a Favorite Sporting Event

Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field - Chicago
Cubs are in town July 2nd - July 7th. On July 4th, the first 10,000 fans 21 years of age or older to enter the ballpark will pick up a Red, White & Cubbie Blue Hawaiian Shirt. Don't forget to get your tickets!

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. There will be fireworks after the home game on July 4th!

Chicago Fire FC. Soldier Field - Chicago
The Chicago Fire will take on the Philadelphia Union on July 3rd, followed by a fireworks display. The first 5,000 fans will also get a patriotic flag. 

NASCAR Chicago Street Race - Chicago Loop
July 6-7th, with a lineup of top-tier racing, headline musical acts, and a picturesque city circuit, this event promises an unforgettable experience for fans of high-speed action. Kids 12 and under are FREE on Saturday, $45 on Sunday.

Schaumburg Boomers, Wintrust Stadium - Schaumburg
There will be post-game fireworks on July 3rd and 4th. The 4th will have a Fireworks Supershow, plus the first 1,500 fans receive a patriotic Boomers Baseball cap.

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

Grand Geneva Resort and Spa: Independence Day Celebration
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, 2024. The day will be filled with music, games, and activities for resort guests. Reserve your spot for dinner and then enjoy the dazzling display. 

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!

You can catch the fireworks from the Timber Ridge Lodge as well.

The Abbey Resort
Celebrate Independence Day with games and activities all day 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.

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!

Navy Pier
Navy Pier kicks off Independence Day week with its weekly, dazzling, fireworks display scheduled for 10pm on Saturday, June 29th and again on Wednesday, July 3rd at 9pm. 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:

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 Thursday, July 4th.

Winnemac Park
A group of volunteers are organizing Winnemac Park’s first official Fourth of July event after decades of unsanctioned and controversial fireworks displays at the popular park. Winnemac Park’s inaugural Fourth For All event from the Winnemac Park advisory council is set for July 4 at the park, 5100 N. Leavitt St. There are fire spinners and fire dancers on the bill, but no fireworks.


Evanston Parade and Fireworks
July 4th, 2024
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. 

Glenview 4th of July Celebration
July 4th, 2024
11:15am: 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

Niles Parade and Post Parade Fest
July 4th, 2024
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.
10:30am-2:00pm: 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.

Skokie Parade and Festival
July 4th, 2024
Noon: Downtown Parade - Floats, marching bands, and more! (Lincoln and Niles Center to Oakton and Skokie Blvd.)
5:30pm: Niles West High School Gates open. Live music, family activities, and a spectacular fireworks show after dusk. (The fireworks rain date is July 5.)

Wilmette Fun and Fireworks
July 3rd, 2024 in Gillson Park
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.

Wilmette Star Spangled Splash
July 3, 2024 at Centennial Park 1pm-3pm
Come out and enjoy carnival games, face painting, bounce houses, confetti fireworks, and more! Centennial Pools are open 2pm-6pm on July 3. Residents receive FREE pool access for the day. Daily fee applies for non-residents.

Wilmette Yankee Doodle Dash 5K
July 3, 2024 in Gillson Park at 8am
Runners will receive a fabulous event shirt, event swag and a participant medal to show off to all your friends.