Air & Water Show Quick Tips

August 16, 2011 3:00 PM

(credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

The 2011 Air & Water Show is finally approaching! To get you prepared, we’ve rounded up helpful tips, travel guides and line-up information.
bestof2 Air & Water Show Quick Tips

(credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)


Date: Aug 20, 2011 – Aug 21, 2011

Time: 10AM-3PM

Admission: Free

Location: Lakefront
North Avenue Beach
Chicago IL 60614

Twitter: @AirAndWaterShow
Listen LIVE: Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM


This year the Chicago Air and Water Show celebrates 53 years of daredevil thrills in the air and on the water at North Avenue Beach and along Chicago’s magnificent lakefront on Lake Michigan. With Chicago’s Skyline as a backdrop, audience numbers reach 2.2 million annually making the Chicago Air & Water Show the largest FREE admission air and water exhibition of its kind in the United States. Over the years the show has featured some of the top civilian and military pilots and aircraft. Biennially, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds headline along with the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights.

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(credit: WBBM)


U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds

The Thunderbirds continue to represent all Airmen across the globe. The Team is made up of over 120 personnel. The primary Thunderbird mission is to represent the Pride, Precision and Professionalism all Airmen demonstrate. From the ground show to the breathtaking aerial maneuvers, the Thunderbirds continue to represent America’s Airmen.

U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights

Jumping out of an aircraft 12,500 feet above the earth’s surface, racing to North Avenue Beach at speeds exceeding 120 mph and landing with smiles, ready to do it all again; all in a days work for the Golden Knights. For more than 50 years, the U.S. Army Parachute team has amazed and thrilled audiences with their precision parachute demonstrations in more than 14,000 shows in all 50 states and 48 countries.

See full list of performers @


It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’ll be indistinguishable—whatever it is—if you don’t have a good spot to watch the Air & Water Show come August 20th and 21st. Whether it’s Superman or, even cooler, a Thunderbird jet you’re looking for in the sky, the following spots will offer an unobstructed and clear view for you – ensuring you’ll know exactly what you’re looking at.

Check out this list for the best view of the show >>>

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(credit: Steve Hardy/CBS Local)


Craning your neck up towards the sky to catch sight of the white, cloud-like end trails behind jets and wishing you were the pilot of one of those giant, metal, flying beasts is usually expected of children, and only children. Come August 20th and 21st, the Chicago Air & Water Show gives everyone permission—children and adults alike—to look up at the sky and wonder exactly how amazingly rad being a pilot would be. It doesn’t matter where you’re coming from, this show is worth seeing no matter the distance. To prove this, we’ve figured out where you need to go to let your imagination fly and how to get there. All you need to do is read here


Bring a cooler with soggy PB&J sandwiches in it to the beach so you can watch The Air & Water Show if you want, but if I were you, I’d try to do something a bit more tasty. Along the lake there are many great restaurants that offer not only a great view of the Thunderbirds that will be flying overhead August 20th and 21st, but great food too. Some even offer specials for The Air & Water Show, which sure is swell of them! So why not take them up on one of their offers?

Dining Guides:

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Check out photos of the Blue Angels, Thunderbirds and more!

View Galleries >>>

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