Fourth of July is creeping up on us, Chicago. Conveniently, this year it falls on a Tuesday, meaning it’s the perfect opportunity to spend a long July 4 weekend in Chicago. Celebrate this Independence Day with a concert or a food festival or a boat cruise. Work your way through this summer bucket list to cover all the basics. Or test out this action-packed adventurer's itinerary. Below are more ideas on things to do in Chicago this weekend and events for the extended holiday!
Broadway in Chicago: Aladdin & The King and I
June 28 – July 9 // TICKETS HALF PRICE
Chicago welcomes some of the best theater shows and musicals. There are two phenomenal productions being performed in the city that you should check out this weekend in Chicago with a special promotion of 1776 half-price tickets for Disney’s Aladdin and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I. Broadway in Chicago is working through the Chicago League of Theatre’s Hot Tix program for this amazing deal, so head over to a Hot Tix booth (72 E. Randolph Street, 108 N. State Street, or 163 E. Pearson Street) or at their website while this limited 1,776 supply last. Tickets are being sold from June 28-July 9 for select performances at this amazing rate, you will not want to miss out on this opportunity!
Windy City Ribfest
June 30 – July 2 // Suggested $5 donation
Throughout the summer, there are hundreds of different food festivals that keep the streets of Chicago busy and smelling delicious. Follow the smokey smell to Uptown, where locally and nationally celebrated rib joints will be presenting their meaty slabs slathered with saucy finishes. While getting your face smeared with sauce, an eclectic mix of music will be performed. To welcome a diverse crowd, kid’s activities can also be enjoyed.
Chosen Few Music Festival
July 1 – 2 // $40 and up
This weekend, the nicknamed “Woodstock of House Music”, will be stationed at Jackson Park for a two-day festival. This music event brings BYOB to a whole other level. Not only are you allowed to bring your own beer, but you’re also allowed to bring food, tents, grills, other drinks, etc. This experience is unlike any other. This concert on the lakefront will celebrate house music and Chicago’s house music heritage. More outdoor music festivals fill the city's calendar all summer long -- browse this year's lineup.
Live on Lincoln
July 1 – 2 // $10
Kick off your 4th of July weekend with this brand new street festival hosted by StarEvents and Silver Wrapper. This event will feature a well-known list of indie rock, jam band, and funk music to their lineup. The community of Lakeview welcomes you to this first time event and vendors will be open for local food options. You won’t want to miss Live on Lincoln in its debut weekend!
African/Caribbean International Festival of Life
July 1 – 4 // $25 and up
Chicago has historically been known for the diversity of backgrounds, color, food, music, and art. This festival spans four days and features ethnic and contemporary music (native, R&B, blues, reggae, and more) and family fun for all ages. Experience the beauty of this event that celebrates various cultural music and entertainment.
Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist
June 25 – September 10 // General Admission $14 and up
Rated the #1 museum in the world by TripAdvisor travelers and filled with creative and artistic history, the Art Institute of Chicago is a must. And the timing is perfect as its opening week for the new exhibit on the work of Paul Gauguin, a French post-Impressionist. Recognized for his experimental use of color and forming completely new, complex form from combinations. Gauguin strongly distinguished himself against the Impressionist movement by pushing the boundaries through his creative process. Head to the Art Institute to check out the history of this French artist and his innovative work, one of several incredible exhibitions on display now
Annual Independence Day Events: The weekend in Chicago doesn’t end there! With the holiday on Tuesday, there are plenty of things to do in Chicago to look forward to in celebration of Independence Day. Navy Pier is the place to be for their spectacular fireworks celebration, free of charge and booming with color. There will also be an Independence Day concert at Millennium Park where you can bring your friends and family for a night under the stars. Sightseeing cruises are also available for an evening on the water, watching the booming fireworks reflect off the Lake Michigan water with DJ entertainment, food, drinks, and more. Check out our full Fourth of July Guide to plan out this special summer holiday.
Food & Drink Specials: Some Chicago restaurants are creating a tasty deal that will have you drooling. RJ Grunts is serving a limited-time 4th of July-only fried dessert. Treat yourself to a Deep-Fried Twinkie served with vanilla ice cream and lathered in hot fudge and caramel sauce and topped with whipped cream. If you’re craving something fishier, head over to Shaw’s Crab House for a stacked Happy Hour, featuring half-priced hand-shucked oysters, select cocktails, wine, and draft beer. Finally, Stella Barra welcomes you to enjoy a spectacular spread of a brunch buffet, select cocktails for $5, specialty artisanal pizzas, and a warmed chocolate chip cookie topped with ice cream for a delicious feast before the firework celebrations.
More Weekend Agenda Items: Cheer on the Department of Defense Warrior Games (featuring wounded Military competing in eight sporting events from June 30-July 8), sip on craft beers at 10 top taproom bars (including Goose Island and Lagunitas) or check out our events calendar for concert tickets still available for this weekend (Red Hot Chili Peppers, SOJA, Train, and others). More hot seats to know about... a Buffet+Bleacher Ticket package for the Cubs game, hosted by Reggies, and a $59 Blue Man Group deal with promo code CHI59.
Bonus! After enjoying a fun -- and extended! -- four days off with the 4th of July holiday weekend, keep the festivities going with the highly anticipated Taste of Chicago food and music extravaganza, kicking off July 5-9.