The Chicago Air and Water Show, one of the summer's most thrilling spectacles, kicks off on August 20-21. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and many more experts in speed will hit the skies over our fair city. While you can always catch the Air & Water Show from pretty much anywhere on the lakefront from Fullerton Avenue to Oak Street, here are four ways to view the show in comfort and style.
1) The Miller Lite Beer Garden Air Show Viewing and Live Music
Located at the East End of Navy Pier, the Miller Lite Beer Garden is an Air Show viewing hotspot on both Saturday, August 20 and Sunday, August 21. To celebrate, the beer garden will have live entertainment all weekend long (lineup below). For guests craving a quick bite, the quick-service walk-up window offers summer favorites like homemade pizza, brats and burgers as well as beer, wine, cocktails and frozen drinks.
Saturday, August 20
- 2 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.: The Charlie Wheeler Band
- 9 p.m. - 11:30 pm: Mr. Blotto
Sunday, August 21
2) Pop Up Sand Bar Beer Garden
New this year a Sand Bar Beer Garden will pop up on the beach near the northeast corner of the North Avenue Beach boathouse (a.k.a. Castaways), the center of all the Chicago Air and Water Show action.
The beer garden will be open August 19, 20 and 21 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (last call occurs at 3 p.m.), giving guests the opportunity to view the show from a private beach location, while enjoying food and drinks available for purchase. Menu items will include $6 cheeseburgers, $5 hot dogs, $4 bottled water, $1 bags of chips and $7 beers. *This is the only space on the entire beachfront where alcohol is permitted during the Chicago Air and Water Show.
3) Deluxe Air and Water Show Weekend Package at the Renaissance Blackstone Hotel
The iconic Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel will offer an exclusive, all-encompassing viewing experience for travelers looking to take their vacation to the next level, via air, land and sea. This over-the-top package includes...
- Two nights accommodation in the hotel's luxury Sky Suite, boasting an exquisite marble foyer, 25-foot ceilings, a spacious dining area and a dreamy king-sized bed, on Friday, August 19 through Sunday, August 21, 2016.
- A day out on Lake Michigan (Saturday, August 20 from 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.) on a captained 31-foot "Sporting" Sailing Boat* to marvel in the Air & Water Show action. The boat will stop in a designated viewing area so guests can see both parts of the show. The day is deliciously topped off with a gourmet lunch picnic and alcoholic refreshments. Guests will be escorted to and from the docking station by a premium car service.
- Catalan-inspired breakfast served over the weekend from Mercat a la Planxa, the Spanish-style tapas restaurant at the hotel helmed by Chef Jose Garces. Breakfast is served in-room on Saturday, August 20, with mimosas and Bloody Mary's to toast to the occasion, and at the restaurant on Sunday, August 21.
- A personalized welcome amenity, including a chic beach bag, boating essentials (such as sunscreen, a waterproof iPhone case and a misting fan) and a book detailing the event's significant past, will prepare and excite guests for the weekend ahead.
Rate starts at $3,312 (plus tax), with the flexibility to adjust the package to accommodate four people. For more information or to book, visit blackstonerenaissance.com (must be booked by August 10).
4) Air & Water Show Cruises on the Odyssey
Get into the Air & Water Show action by stepping aboard the Odyssey for a cruise that promises premium views. The lake breezes will keep you cool as you enjoy not only the stunning show happening literally overhead, but also delicious meals and entertainment.