Best 4th Of July Parties In Chicago

June 20, 2013 7:00 AM

(Credit: Thinkstock)

With Independence Day just around the corner, you might be wondering how you can celebrate the Fourth of July in style. In the Chicago area, there are a number of places for you to party, including family-friendly events and late-night fireworks cruises. The events also stretch from Lake Michigan out to the suburbs, ensuring you can get your party on no matter where you live. To find the right event for you and your crew, check out the following Fourth of July celebrations in Chicago.

(Credit: Thinkstock)

(Credit: Thinkstock)

RIVA Crab House on Navy Pier
700 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 644-7482

Date: July 3 and 4, 2013

Do you want to see the fireworks show on Navy Pier, but also want to avoid the crowds? Then consider having a late dinner at RIVA Crab House. Located directly on Navy Pier, the restaurant boasts views of the fireworks display. How good are the views, anyway? OpenTable named RIVA one of the top 100 restaurants with scenic views in 2012. The restaurant’s menu includes ahi tuna filet, halibut, New York strip steak and rack of lamb. If you wish to grab a seat during the fireworks display, it is highly recommended that you make a reservation in advance. You can also head to RIVA during the other fireworks shows this summer.

Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 642-4600

Date: July 4, 2013

As long as you’re celebrating the Fourth of July, you might as well add some history to your festivities. If history is your thing, then check out the Chicago History Museum’s 54th annual Independence Day celebration, held on Uihlein Plaza behind the museum. The family-friendly event includes face-painting, a parade and live music. The event is capped off with free admission to the museum for Illinois residents, where you can check out exhibits including one on President Abraham Lincoln and “Sensing Chicago,” a kid-friendly exhibit that lets visitors explore the city’s history and landmarks through their senses.

(Credit: Thinkstock)

(Credit: Thinkstock)

Oak Street Beach Food + Drink
Oak Street Beach
1000 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 988-4650

Date: July 4, 2013

Is there anything more fun or more casual than partying on a beach? Plan to head by Oak Street Beach Food + Drink for an afternoon of fun on the beach while sitting just steps from Lake Michigan; after all, it’s located right in Oak Street Beach, which is the place to see and be seen along Chicago’s lakefront. The bar is holding a pig roast on the Fourth of July, complete with sides, beer and cocktails. Before tucking into your meal, consider going for a dip in the lake or riding or walking along the lakeshore.

Related: Best Post-Fireworks 4th Of July Bars In Chicago

Wickets Bar And Grill
601 N. Martingale Road, Suite 100
Schaumburg, IL 60173
(847) 619-1400

Date: July 4, 2013

This year, celebrate the Fourth of July by heading out to the ‘burbs and partying at Wickets Bar and Grill. Wickets is having a hot dog and brat bar every Thursday in July, starting on Independence Day, for both lunch and dinner. Pile your dog with 13 toppings that include grilled onions, sport peppers, pickles, chili and cheese sauce. You can also wash down your brat or hot dog with the bar’s special drink for July, the Fourth Flute, which has marinated Loco rum cherry, Prosecco and Blue Curacao Brittle.

Lake Michigan Fireworks Cruise
Wendella Boats
Departs from the Wrigley Building
400 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 337-1446
Date: July 4, 2013

While everyone is partying on land, take the party out to Lake Michigan by hopping on board Wendella Boats’ fireworks cruise. The cruise on Independence Day is 2.5 hours long and gives you a spectacular view of the fireworks show. And whether you’re a long-time resident of Chicago or just visiting for a few days, you’re sure to love this tour. As this tour is in high demand, it is advised that you purchase your tickets in advance. To keep the party vibe going, a cash bar and snacks are available for purchase. If you missed the boat on the Fourth of July cruise, there’s no need to worry as Wendella Boats offers fireworks cruises every Wednesday and Saturday night.

Related: Best Anti-Football Bars In Chicago

Megan Horst-Hatch is a mother, runner, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She loves nothing more than a great cupcake, and writes at I’m a Trader Joe’s Fan. Her work can be found at

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