This summer isn’t stopping for anyone. Next up: 4th of July. There might not be any official fireworks this year, but there are parties, outdoor movies, Happy Hours, and free concerts happening all over Chicago. It’s a lot to keep track of, and that’s why we’ve curated a list of the most intriguing stuff to eat and do around the city over this 4th of July weekend.
The Stuff To Do
Music Box Theatre
From now until July 29th, Music Box theater is showing outdoor movies in their garden. And July 2nd through July 5th they’re playing Stand By Me, and from the 6th to the 8th Carrie. Which, incidentally, we consider American classics. Movies start at sundown and seating begins about 30 minutes before that. Reserve tickets here.
Grant Park Music Festival
The Grant Park Music Festival is back for summer, and throwing their Independence Day Salute on July 2nd and 3rd. The concert is free, but you need to [make reservations]((https://www.grantparkmusicfestival.com/seating-venue/free-seating-past) for seating on the lawn and within the Pritzker Pavillion. Check here for the full orchestral lineup.
On July 4th Lotties Pub is having a “Wet Hot American Summer” themed Happy Hour. It goes from 12-4pm, and has a bunch of specials including $6 pints and $25 Truly buckets. You can also order bar snacks like cheese curds and pretzels. Walk-ins are welcome, but you can reserve a table by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
There aren’t any fireworks at Navy Pier this year (whomp whomp) but they will have free live music on the 4th. Live on the Lake starts at 1pm and goes until 9pm, and you can see the band lineup here.
Chef’s Special Cocktail Bar
On July 4th American-Chinese restaurant Chef’s Special is throwing a party they’re calling “Western on Western.” A DJ will spin a mix of country and honky tonk from the ’50s through the’80s, and they’ll have drink specials too: $5 whiskey cocktails and $2 PBRs. The kitchen will serve food until 10pm, and the bar will be open until 2am.
Recess - the West Loop bar with a four million square foot patio - has DJs on Friday and Saturday. And this weekend they’re having a red, white, and blue Instagram photo contest, where you can win things like gift cards and bluetooth speakers.
4th On 53rd
The parade might have been cancelled, but the 4th on 53rd Independence Day Celebration is still happening in Hyde Park this year. It’s being held in Nichols Park from 11am to 3pm on Sunday. There will be lawn games, bike decorating, magicians, and more. Register here.