By Jasmin Curtiss
Grab your red, white and blue. The Fourth of July is almost here! If you’re not packing your bags and heading out of town for an extended holiday weekend getaway, don’t worry. There are a ton of activities right here at home to help you celebrate America’s birthday.
Kick off the holiday weekend at the 27th International Festival of Life. Celebrate 50 years of reggae at Washington Park from noon to 10 p.m. Dubbed the “Carnival of Nations,” this four-day festival is sure to bring beats, tradition and culture from the Caribbean, Africa and more.
There are no shortage of opportunities to spend the holiday on the water. Join Seadog Cruises at 9 p.m. for a one-hour cruise on Lake Michigan. There will be glow sticks, popcorn, soda and water.
Book your spot on the 4th of July Fireworks Booze Cruise, sailing the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. The party leaves DuSable Harbor at 7:30 p.m. with a free post party for those over 21. There will be a DJ, cocktails and fireworks. Remaining tickets are $59, but act fast. It’s almost sold out.
Spend the fourth aboard the Spirit of Chicago on Lake Michigan with a DJ, drinks, buffet dinner and a fireworks show. The three-hour cruise boards at 7 p.m., leaving from Navy Pier. All guests must be 21 and over.
America’s favorite pastime
Head to Guaranteed Rate Field and spend the afternoon with the White Sox. There will be free t-shirts for the first 10,000 fans so be sure to arrive before first pitch. Can’t wait for the holiday to begin? Start celebrating a day early with a game on Wednesday evening for $1 hotdogs,
and a fireworks show following the 27th out. www.mlb.com/whitesox/
Picnic in the park
It’s time to fire up the grill! Grab your friends, family and food and head to a local park for a picnic or BBQ. Be sure to stop by Nichols Park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the 4th on 53rd Parade and Picnic.
Join the Grant Park Orchestra and conductor Christopher Bell for the Grant Park Music Festival. They’ll be playing patriotic tunes at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Big fan of the orchestra? Concert rehearsal will be held July 3 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Can’t make the real show in person? Check out the live broadcast on 98.7 WFMT or the live stream on the WFMT website.
Know where you came from
Need a history lesson? The Chicago History Museum has you covered this holiday. Join the team for some family-friendly fun including patriotic music and a costume parade for the kids. Ever wonder what the Declaration of Independence actually says? Stick around to find out at a reading of the famous document. The world’s tallest Uncle Sam will also be in attendance and museum president Gary T. Johnson will make a special address to the crowd. After the free event on the plaza, Illinois residents can enter the museum for free.