Fourth of July Guide for Chicago Families

Show your red, white and blue spirit with these patriotic crafts and recipes, local parades, fireworks displays and more!

This Independence Day marks the 247th birthday for the United States of America. Get ready to see Chicagoland covered in red, white and blue. Whether you plan on attending a patriotic parade or festival or prefer to spend the Fourth at home with a cookout and fireworks, there are so many ways to 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

These are just some of the patriotic events, summer festivals and fireworks displays happening around town. For more things to do on the Fourth, check out the latest events added to our calendar and find more of our  top picks in this 4th of July fireworks roundup

Aurora Fourth of July Fireworks

July 3, 2023

Join the city of Aurora for their annual firework show with the theme, “City of Lights” this year. DJ Suave Smooth will be spinning at RiversEdge and DJ Pena will be spinning at McCullough Park. Wilder Park and Promenade will host a food truck court beginning at 5 p.m.

Glen Ellyn 4th of July Parade & Festival

July 4, 2023

Downtown Glen Ellyn will host their 4th of July Parade at noon with music, floats and American pride. Later in the evening, head to Lake Ellyn Park to see their fireworks display at dusk.

Glenview Fourth of July

July 4, 2023

Join the Fourth of July celebrations with a bike parade, floats, live music, entertainers, food trucks and more. End the evening with a fireworks show, synchronized to music in Galley Park.

4th on 53rd Parade and Free Festival at Hyde Park Bank

July 4, 2023

Celebrate July 4 in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood with Chicago’s largest 4th of July parade, with a 30-plus year history. The day will begin at 11 a.m. with the parade and feature floats, community groups, marching bands and kids on decorated bikes and scooters on the 1.3-mile route. Afterwards, there will be a free festival at noon with performances, face painting, bounce houses, petting zoo, magician and much more.

Independence Day | Remember, Reconnect, and Represent

July 4, 2023

  • Address: Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago
  • Cost: Illinois residents/free; Nonresidents: $19/adult, $17/senior and students, free/ages 12 and under

Join the museum for their Fourth of July event featuring music from the Americana Concert Band and family-friendly activities.

Lake Forest Festival and Fireworks

July 4, 2023

  • Address: Lake Forest Parks & Recreation, 400 Hastings Road, Lake Forest
  • Cost: $30-$35/non-residents, $25-$30/residents, free/under 5; $20/parking pass day of event (cash-only)


Photo Credit: Boulder Locavore

From dishes to elevate your backyard party to red, white and blue desserts that are sure to be crowd pleasers, 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

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

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! 

More Activities

Photo Credit: Me And My Inklings

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

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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Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Since 1984, the Chicago Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for Chicagoland families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.
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