How to Celebrate 4th of July in Chicago This Year

Usually, the 4th of July is a great opportunity for us to get together and hang with our friends and family — it’s the middle of the summer, it’s a national holiday, and Chicagoans know how to maximize our limited warm weather. We will hopefully reach Phase 4 of reopening the city in July, but things are still a bit different this year; starting June 26, our gatherings can increase to 50 people, but Chicago beaches will still be closed and Navy Pier won’t be doing their regular fireworks show. Luckily, Chicago has more great summer hang spots beside the lakefront, and more things to do than just lying on the sand in the sun. Check out these options for getting together with your friends and celebrating 4th of July this year.


Photo Credit: Ras Dashen Yelp Page

View the Best Global Eateries in Chicago

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Photo Credit: Uncommon Ground Edgewater Facebook Page

Eat Local

What’s a holiday without good food? This year, maybe leave the preparation to someone else. As part of Phase 4, restaurants and bars will be able to open for indoor dining, but you’ll wanna be outside anyway, right? Plenty of establishments are already open with patio seating. Uncommon Ground’s Lakeview location has a sidewalk café and is home to Greenstar Brewery, and the Edgewater location has an open beer garden! In Hyde Park, you can visit Chant’s patio, complete with great martinis and globally-inspired food. If you prefer to celebrate the 4th with tequila, you’ll find it at La Vaca in Pilsen, where the margaritas pair nicely with tacos, fajitas, and more.

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Photo Credit: Chicago Park District Facebook Page

Go to the Park

It’s not the beach, but it’s still outside, and summer in Chicago is a pretty great time to be outside. All the parks in Chicago are open (lakefront parks are open as long as they are west of Lake Shore Drive), and are great places for eating a picnic, having a dog wedding, or playing catch— just wash your hands afterward.

Photo Credit: Indiana Dunes

Escape to the Dunes

If you’re hoping to escape the city for a little bit, visiting the Indiana Dunes is a great way to get back to nature without having to travel very far. While it’s best to check with restaurants and retailers ahead of time to find out the extent of services they’re currently providing, most trails and access points remain open in the state and national parks, with just a few key closures.

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Photo Credit: Chicago Botanic Garden

Get Into Greenery

For a small dose of plant life that doesn’t require you to leave the metro area, you have a couple of options. The Chicago Botanic Garden is gradually reopening in late June and requiring all visitors to preregister for a specific date and time in order to help maintain social distancing. Morton Arboretum, which is already open, is implementing similar timed-entry procedures.

Photo Credit: Cruise Chicago

Go Boating

Just because you can’t go to the beach doesn’t mean you have to socially distance yourself from the water! Urban Kayaks is open now for tours and rentals by reservation only— take a friend, rent two kayaks, and it’s basically a beach day without the sand. If you like watercraft but prefer something less physically demanding, consider going on the Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise. The cruise is tentatively resuming June 26, so with any luck, you’ll be out on that boat looking at all the historic Chicago buildings by early July. In the meantime, Chicago Electric Boat Company is already touring the River, so book your waterfront staycation today.

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Featured Image Credit: Uncommon Ground Edgewater Facebook Page

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