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Top 5 Fourth of July Activities for Teens in Chicago

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The Fourth of July is coming up fast. Do you know where you’re going to celebrate America’s birthday? It’s not easy to decide when there are so many amazing things going on in Chi-town over Fourth of July weekend. Neighborhoods in the Chicago area are good about organizing their own fireworks displays. Check out this big ‘ol list of firework locations to find one close to you. And if you’re interested in leaving your neighborhood for one of the bigger Independence Day events, consider the Top 5 activities below.

celebrate the Fourth of July in Chicago It’s your civic duty to celebrate.

1. Independence Day at Navy Pier

The place to be on the 4th in Chicago, of course, is Navy Pier. This massively popular locale for watching fireworks in the city can be enjoyed in a few different ways. Try to get a spot on the Ferris wheel, reserve your dinner spot at one of the restaurants with a view, or get a ticket for one of the firework cruises (Try Shoreline Sightseeing). If you’re feeling athletic, get to Navy Pier by kayaking. Fireworks start at 9:30.

Navy Pier is a great place to watch fireworks in Chicago Get to Navy Pier early - it fills up fast!

2. Chicago History Museum

Looking for something free to do during the day on the 4th of July? The Chicago History Museum is putting on its 58th annual Fourth of July Celebration from 10 am to noon on the Uihlein Plaza, followed by free museum admission from noon to 4:30 pm. They’ve got patriotic tunes, a reading of the Declaration of Independence (the whole reason behind the holiday, BTW), musket firing, and a cute children’s parade led by the alleged World’s Tallest Uncle Sam.

Independence Day festival at the Chicago History Museum Learn what Independence Day is all about.

3. Naperville’s Ribfest

If you’re inclined to drive to nearby Naperville, a smorgasbord of ribs and live music (featuring big names in country and alternative rock that your parents will be excited about) await you at Ribfest. The festival runs from noon to 10 pm every day from Friday, June 30th to Monday, July 3rd. Ribfest is a fundraiser put on by the Exchange Club of Naperville, with proceeds going towards the fight against child abuse and domestic violence in the community. Tickets start at $20 per day for general admission.

celebrate the Fourth of July at Naperville ribfest Photo courtesy of the Chicago Tribune

4. International Festival of Life

Yes, the Fourth of July is all about ‘merica. But the great thing about about our country is the diversity of people who call it home. Celebrate all different cultures this year at the 25th annual International Festival of Life. Festivities last all weekend long (July 1-4) in Union Park. Enjoy concerts (everything from reggaeton to gospel to EDM), food vendors, contests, and cultural performances. Ticket prices start at $15 for a general day pass.

check out the International Festival of Life this 4th of July weekend Photo courtesy of

5. Go to a Baseball Game

July 4th is the perfect day to kick back and enjoy America’s favorite pastime. Grab a hot dog and a cold drink, and enjoy the game. Get your specially priced White Sox tickets here.

See a baseball game at Wrigley Field in Chicago Take in a baseball game to celebrate the 4th.

Krista Doyle