Amid budgetary cutbacks in Chicago, Fourth of July fireworks have been trimmed by more than 60 percent. In contrast to previous years, when the city had three different firework shows, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority is sponsoring the honors exclusively at Navy Pier for this year’s Fourth of July pyrotechnics, blasting off at 9 p.m.
Navy Pier is virtually an isle in that only one street accesses the area, Illinois Street. And, Grand Street serves as an exit for all area traffic. Add the fact that Navy Pier has a maximum capacity of 250,000 occupants–this makes pyrotechnics in Chicago a very precisely planned operation.
Chicagoans and visitors, lacking the vantage point from a roof garden, a yacht or any other site rendering an unobstructed view of the fireworks, have a slew of choices.
Sites Away from Navy Pier to Catch the Fourth of July Fireworks
Options for Fourth of July fireworks in Chicago bifurcate into–at Navy Pier or beyond its peninsula. Here are sites outside of Navy Pier.
Adequately spaced to avoid traffic and congestion, some landmarks and hotels in Chicago showcase amazing views for July fourth fireworks. Yet, few hotels in Chicago portray the Windy City’s cosmopolitan splendor in par with the standards of Mr. Donald Trump. That would be the Trump Terrace at the Trump International Hotel & Tower, whereby the vista accentuates the Chicago River, illuminated by towering skyscrapers and a mesmerizing backdrop of the Fourth of July fireworks. This summer, chef Frank Brunacci maintains a plenitude of seafood platters, curries and more. Reservations recommended. (Pricey, but worth it). Trump International Hotel & Tower | 401 N. Wabash Avenue | Chicago, IL 60611 | 312.588.8000
A second choice, literally on a different level is the Signature Room on the 95th floor of the John Hancock building. Reserve dinner around 8 p.m. and perhaps dessert maybe precisely timed with the main course at Navy Pier. Be sure to request seating on the southeast side of the building. Signature Room at John Hancock | 875 N Michigan Avenue | Chicago, IL 60611 | 312.787.9596
Closer to the action, but far enough to evade any post traffic snarls is the W. Hotel. A bar menu backed with a panoramic view of Lake Michigan depicts a prime gawking spot for July Fourth pyrotechnics. Whiskey Sky resides on the 33rd floor of the W Hotel.Whiskey Sky | 644 North Lake Shore Drive | Chicago, Illinois 60611 | 312.943.9200
Across the street from the entrance to Navy Pier, the 19-acre recreation area, Gateway Park is a free site to watch the fireworks. Pack a picnic and hop the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus to Navy Pier, which has a stop between Gateway Park and Navy Pier.
Top Locations for Pyrotechnics at Navy Pier Chicago
There are several excellent spots to view the Fourth of July pyrotechnics at Navy Pier. The trick will be finding a spot along the pier. Between several restaurants, and a short supply of benches, here are some alternatives for scoring a seat. 600 E. Grand Avenue | |Chicago, IL 60611 (Please visit http://www.navypier.com for more information).
Accomplish two missions for the price of one. Riva Restaurant dishes out seafood, steaks and a viewpoint of the pyrotechnics on Lake Michigan on the Fourth of July, (as well as Wednesdays and Saturdays during the summer). Reservations are not a requirement, but highly recommended. This Navy Pier restaurant provides a discounted parking validation. Riva Restaurant on Navy Pier | 700 E. Grand Ave. | Chicago, IL 60611 | 312.644.7482
Sip on a frosty beer and witness the fireworks culminate right before your very eyes. Facing south, the Landshark Beer Garden presents another option within the confines of Navy Pier.
On the upper deck of Navy Pier, among the Crystal Gardens and the Pepsi Skyline Stage is Pier Park. This landscaped exterior embodies a field of amusement. There’s a musical carousel, an old-fashioned swing ride, a permanent 150-foot-high Ferris wheel, an 18-hole miniature golf course and more. Perhaps the kids want to go for a Ferris wheel ride, where each gondola seats six and it’s possible to time the seven-minute ride with a segment of the July Fourth fireworks. ($6 per person)
The ultimate place to absorb Chicago’s Fourth of July pyrotechnics is aboard a Shoreline Fireworks Cruise. Rendering a reverse perspective of Chicago’s magnificent skyline andpyrotechnics, three cruises afford a variation of viewing vantages. Select from the “lake fireworks cruise,” an architecture fireworks cruise, or a two-hour sunset fireworks cruise, which includes appetizers and a cash bar.The rate for each cruise starts at $45 with different amenities.Given the limited availability, immediate bookings advised. (Please visit http://www.shorelinesightseeing.com/ for additional details).
Wherever the family or group settles, this Fourth of July, in Chicago, allow plenty of time to beat the crowd,and reach your destination to nab a prime spot.