Fourth of July 2021 Guide for Chicago Families

Find patriotic events, recipes, activities and more.

This Independence Day marks the 245th birthday for the United States of America, and we have more than one reason to celebrate in 2021. With the state fully reopened, this Fourth of July might be the first holiday in a while we’re able to spend quality time with extended family and friends.

Get ready to see Chicagoland covered in red, white and blue. Even if you might plan to keep July 4 celebrations low key this year (especially with unvaccinated kids at home), you can still get into the patriotic spirit!

We assembled the ultimate Fourth of July guide for Chicago families to help you make new memories. Our guide includes patriotic events, recipes, activities and more. Have a great Fourth of July! 


Photo Credit: iStock/franckreporter

We might not have all our favorite Fourth of July events this year, but communities have made some adjustments to bring you parades and firework displays. Check out the latest events added to our calendar and find more our top picks in this 4th of July events roundup

Activating Freedom with Liberty and Justice for All

July 4, 2021

  • Hosted by: Chicago History Museum
  • Cost: Free (Donations appreciated)

Join Chicago History Museum for a virtual event filled with conversations, a show-and-tell of early items from the museum’s archives, Hands-On History activities, sounds and songs, connecting America’s past and present freedom movements, and hopes for the future!

4th on 53rd

July 4, 2021

While the Hyde Park parade is canceled this year, you can find family fun in Nichols Park. Enjoy traditional lawn games, bike decorating and magician John Measner will perform throughout the afternoon.

Glenview Fourth of July

July 4, 2021

For Fourth of July celebrations, will be hosting a “reverse” parade at Community Park West starting at noon on July 4. Residents are encouraged to decorate their vehicles and drive through the park to see the floats and become part of the parade. Later at Gallery Park, enjoy a DJ Dance Party at 5:30-9 p.m. and Twilight Fireworks starting at 9:15 p.m.


Photo Credit: Boulder Locavore

This year, we’re happy to spend some time with our family and friends during the Fourth of July. Make sure to bring some great food to celebrate. Here are some Fourth of July-focused recipes to try at home.

Red, White and Blue Desserts

Anyone with a sweet tooth can’t say no to dessert especially when it’s red, white and blue. Now you’ll really feel patriotic with these simple and delicious desserts.

Fourth of July Recipes for Family Parties (Metro Parent)

Our sister brand, Metro Parent, knows how to bring wow your family. Try out these unique Fourth of July recipes including “posh” piggies, root beer baked beans and more.

Fourth of July Barbecue Recipes (Food and Wine)

Prepare yourself for the ultimate cookout by trying a few of these recipes on the grill. Have you ever made brownie in a skillet before? It sounds amazing! 

Looking for more ways to celebrate Independence Day? Here are some activities to enjoy with your family at home and across the Chicago area.

More Activities

Photo Credit: Me And My Inklings

Patriotic Crafts to Make with Your Kids

Have the kids help out to get your house decked out in red, white and blue. These easy and patriotic crafts make a great Fourth of July activity, too.

Best Picnic Spots for Chicago Families

If it’s a beautiful day on the Fourth, pack some snacks to enjoy a meal at one of these scenic picnic spots in Chicagoland. Plan it out to stay later to catch some fireworks depending on where you go. 

Best Beaches in Chicago & Suburbs

Get up early and plan a beach day! These beaches in the city and suburbs might get busy, but’s it the best way to enjoy Chicago’s summer weather

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