• Chicago: The Place to Be for Fourth of July

      Survey names Chicago the #1 Destination for July 4th Weekend

      Chicago, Illinois - Experience great value and discover something new this Fourth of July with a visit to Chicago, which Priceline.com just named the most popular destination for the July 4th weekend. For the second year in a row, Chicago captured the #1 spot in priceline.com’s survey of the nation’s 50 most popular July 4th destinations.

      Celebrate the summer’s biggest holiday and America’s birthday by visiting Chicago’s lakefront beaches, enjoying magnificent fireworks at Navy Pier, experiencing the Taste of Chicago or attending a Major League baseball game. Learn about Chicago’s exquisite cuisine, incredible sights, and affordable options for a fun-filled weekend getaway on a budget. Begin your adventure at the Visitor Information Centers at the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph St., and Water Works, 163 E. Pearson St. at Michigan Ave. For more information about all Fourth of July weekend events, visit www.ExploreChicago.org.

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      Electric Picnic: Bomb Squad in Millennium Park, July 2
      Catch a special DJ set by Hank Shocklee, co-founder of Public Enemy, at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at noon, presented as part of the LunchBreak Music Series.

      Independence Celebration in Millennium Park, July 3
      Get a head start on the holiday at the Grant Park Music Festival’s Independence Celebration at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. A free concert by the Grant Park Orchestra with Conductor Christopher Bell at 5:30 p.m. celebrates our country’s birthday and musical heritage.

      Taste of Chicago, through July 3
      Celebrating its 31st Anniversary, Taste of Chicago is the world’s largest outdoor food and entertainment festival. Through July 3, the ten-day lakefront event in Grant Park features food choices ranging from ethnic to exotic to Chicago specialties. Check out Country Music Day on July 1, along with many other bands throughout the event.

      Downtown Sound Concert in Millennium Park, July 4
      Celebrate the Fourth of July when the circus punk marching band, Mucca Pazza, comes to the stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at 6:30 p.m. as part of the Downtown Sound: New Music Mondays series. Opening for the night is the psychedelic rock group, Cave.

      Fireworks at Navy Pier, July 4
      Enjoy a spectacular display of pyrotechnics on the Fourth of July with fireworks at Navy Pier. Beginning at 9 p.m., 15 minute displays will light up the sky, with a mix of patriotic music in the background.


      Family Adventures, July 1
      Families can explore Chicago with affordable, fully-guided excursions created specifically for them. These one-day expeditions feature hands-on activities to keep the kids and their parents entertained while learning about Chicago neighborhoods and parks. 0n July 1, Family Adventures goes to Bridgeport to tour U.S. Cellular Field for a behind-the-scenes look followed by a picnic lunch on the Illinois Institute of Technology campus and a visit to a new exhibition at the Crown Hall, “It All Comes Back” by Chicago Robotic Theater. $12 per person includes lunch and transportation.
      Chicago Neighborhood Tours, July 1
      Venture out of the Loop and into some of Chicago’s most fascinating neighborhoods. Take a tour on July 1 and visit Greektown, Chinatown, & Little Italy. The tour leaves at 10 a.m. from the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph Street; lasts approximately three hours; and is $30. For more information, including a complete schedule of Chicago Neighborhood Tours, visit www.ChicagoNeighborhoodTours.com.

      Crosstown Classic, July 1-3
      Complete your all-American weekend with a trip to Wrigley Field on Chicago’s North Side. On July 1, the Chicago Cubs kick off a three day series, hosting their cross-town rivals, the Chicago White Sox, for the Windy City Showdown. Wrigley Field is easily accessible by car or on Chicago’s rapid transit system. To buy tickets, visit www.chicago.cubs.mlb.com.

      Neighborhood Festival, July 2-5
      Discover the many diverse neighborhoods of Chicago this Independence Day weekend. On July 2 through July 5, visit Washington Park for the 18th annual African-Caribbean International Festival of Life. The festival includes live music, including reggae, calypso, and gospel, plus food vendors, arts and crafts, games, kids' activities and exhibits. Artists featured this year will be Angela Winbush, Alison Hinds, Admiral Bailey, Calypso Rose, Gramps Morgan, and Shaggy. Admission is $15.

      Farmers Markets, July 2-3
      Over 70 vendors offer fresh fruits, vegetables, plants and flowers at local Farmers Markets that sell to more than 20 neighborhoods throughout the city. On July 2, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., visit the Lincoln Park Farmers Market at Lincoln Park High School and the Division Street Farmers Market in the Gold Coast. On July 3rd, the Erie Street Farmers Market will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

      Hyde Park and Old Town InstaGreeter Outposts, July 2
      Pay a visit to Hyde Park, President Obama’s long-time home or stroll through the historic Old Town neighborhood with the Instagreeter program, free one-hour walkabouts guided by a knowledgeable local. Stop by the Hyde Park InstaGreeter Outpost at the Hyde Park Art Center or the Old Town Neighborhood Outpost at Second City anytime on July 2 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Visits are given on a first-come, first-served basis, and no reservations are needed.

      Chicago’s Lakefront Beaches
      Chicago offers 15 miles of lakefront beaches for the enjoyment of locals and visitors. Lifeguards are on duty all weekend long. The lakefront is also home to the lakefront trail, volleyball, soccer, concessions, golf courses, harbors, bird sanctuaries, and natural areas.

      Museum Exhibitions
      Escape into a whole new world at Chicago’s renowned museums. Explore the relationships between humans and horses at The Field Museum’s “The Horse” exhibition or visit “Whales: Giants of the Deep” to see how a Sperm Whale hunts and to explore a life-sized whale heart. The Shedd Aquarium’s “Jellies” looks into the world of Jellyfish including how they travel thousands of miles in a lifetime and range in size as small as a contact lens to larger than a mini-van. At The Museum of Science and Industry, check out “Suited for Space” and see how the spacesuit enables astronauts to live and work in space.

      The Ledge at the Skydeck Chicago
      Experience never-before-seen views of Chicago at “The Ledge” at the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower. It features all glass boxes set 1,353 feet up that extend out 4.3 feet from the 103rd floor Skydeck. The famed Willis Tower Skydeck also offers additional attractions including interactive and educational museum-quality exhibits that celebrate the City of Chicago.

      Visitors and Chicagoans planning to entertain out-of-town guests can receive trip-planning assistance and information by visiting www.ExploreChicago.org. Brochures and information on Chicago’s exciting events and activities are also available at the Visitor Information Centers. Friendly Visitor Representatives can answer questions and assist in planning an unforgettable itinerary. The visitor centers are located in two of the city’s most popular areas: across from Millennium Park in the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph Street; and at the historic Water Works pumping station, 163 E. Pearson Street at Michigan Avenue.

      For daily alerts about fun and free things to do in Chicago, follow ExploreChicago on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/ExploreChicago and “like” us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ExploreChicago, where you can also weigh in on your Chicago favorites. Receive answers to your Chicago questions on the go, restaurant recommendations, and tips on the latest citywide events and activities via the FREE Twitter Concierge Service (@explorechicago) available daily.

      The Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture is dedicated to promoting Chicago as a premier cultural destination to domestic and international leisure travelers, providing innovative visitor programs and services, and presenting free world-class public programs. For more information please visit www.ExploreChicago.org.