If you want to see fireworks in Illinois this Independence Day, you have more opportunities to catch a show besides the Fourth of July. Plenty of festivals and spectaculars are offered on many dates, bookending the holiday itself. Read on to discover some of our favorite Illinois locations to watch fireworks on and around the Fourth of July.
Chicago: Navy Pier
Navy Pier is located on the banks of Lake Michigan, which makes for a perfect spot to enjoy a fireworks show. The beautiful bursts of light are reflected in the lake’s dark waters, adding to the drama and spectacle.
You can enjoy fireworks at Navy Pier almost every week of the year, and twice a week in the summer, with shows Wednesday and Saturday nights from Memorial Day through Labor Day. However, the Independence weekend fireworks are a sight to behold, with a nearly 10-minute pyrotechnic bombardment. Find a spot anywhere on the pier to enjoy the fireworks or watch the show from charter boats on Lake Michigan.
Location: 600 Grand Ave., Chicago.
Date and Time: Wednesdays at 9 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Chicago: Lake Michigan Boat Cruise
Booking a Shoreline Cruise on a fireworks night is a memorable way to experience the display without the crush of the crowd. Beginning at the Navy Pier’s dock, you’ll cruise on a north and south loop along Chicago’s famous skyline and take in views of well-known landmarks like the Willis Tower, Aqua Tower, and Vista Tower. The illuminated skyline is just a preview of what’s to come with the fireworks show, and you’ll have a front-row seat from the boat.
Enjoy alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages along with snacks for purchase. The skyline cruise lasts about an hour to 90 minutes before each Wednesday and Saturday fireworks display.
Location: 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago.
Date and Time: Wednesdays at 7:45 p.m. and 8:20 p.m. and Saturdays at 8:45 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Admission: Prices start at $38 per person.
Naperville: Community Fireworks Show 2023
The city of Naperville will celebrate Independence Day in style with a community fireworks show this Fourth of July. The event takes place at the Frontier Sports Complex, with 906 available parking spots. Attendees can view the fireworks from the field within the park or from their vehicles. The nearby Neuqua Valley High School has an additional 1,000 parking spots with a view of the fireworks. The show begins at 9:30 p.m., so get there early to snag your spot.
Location: 3380 Cedar Glade Drive, Naperville.
Date and Time: July 4, 2023, at 9:30 p.m.
Lake Forest: Festival and Fireworks
Enjoy the 16th annual Lake Forest Festival and Fireworks, with proceeds benefiting the Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Department. The event begins with a concert featuring Fletcher Rockwell, performing classic American rock ‘n’ roll, followed by Run Forest Run, the ultimate ‘90s party band. The kids area has plenty of inflatables, carnival rides, and games to keep them entertained. Food and beverages will be available for purchase, or you may bring your own. After the music, sit back, relax, and enjoy one of the best fireworks shows on the North Shore.
Location: Deer Path Middle School, 400 Hastings Road, Lake Forest.
Date and Time: July 4, 2023, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Admission: Prices start at $25 per person for residents, plus a $20 parking fee.
Westmont: Independence Day Celebration
The Parks Department of Westmont hosts a family-friendly Independence Day celebration each year. The party starts in Ty Warner Park with games, activities, food trucks, beer, concessions, and live music. At 9:30 p.m., a ground fireworks show in the park’s northeast corner accompanies aerial fireworks launched from the adjacent Willow Crest Golf Club. Bring blankets and lawn chairs, and get ready for a great show. Parking is available at Westmont High School, Westmont Junior High, and the FMC Natatorium.
Location: 800 Blackhawk Drive, Westmont.
Date and Time: July 4, 2023, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Bensenville: LibertyFest 2023
If you’re in Bensenville on Independence Day, you can celebrate LibertyFest with a 10 a.m. parade featuring the best bands, floats, and entertainment from around the region. Beginning in Town Center, it will continue its route through town and finish up at the Redmond Recreational Complex. The party starts at 6 p.m. with a DJ spinning tunes followed by a live band cranking out hip-hop hits from the ‘80s, ‘90s, and early 2000s. Food and drinks are available for purchase throughout the day. The fireworks are launched from the Public Works Facility and begin at 9:30 p.m.
Location: 735 E. Jefferson St., Bensenville.
Date and Time: July 4, 2023, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Peoria: Red, White, and Boom
Peoria’s largest event, Red, White, and Boom, attracts 200,000 visitors every Independence Day for a fun and festive atmosphere. This massive fireworks display features 2,000 shells launched per minute from a barge in the middle of the Illinois River. It’s timed to music visitors can hear on one of seven radio stations.
There are also fun events in the days leading up to the fireworks. Live music on June 30 and July 3 features The Boat Drunks and Fool House. On July 4, the live music stage hosts Chris Janson with Eddie Montgomery at Dozer Park. Tickets are available in advance or at the door for all the music events. Both the fireworks show and parking are free.
Location: Peoria Riverfront.
Date and Time: July 4, 2023, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m.
Springfield: Rock the Dock
Known as Central Illinois’s largest on-water fireworks display, Rock the Dock takes place over Lake Springfield on June 30. The gates open at 6 p.m. with live music, cold drinks, plenty of food, and a party atmosphere that continues through the night. Tickets are $10 at the gate, but there are opportunities to get free tickets leading up to the event.
Location: 17 Waters Edge Blvd., Springfield.
Date and Time: June 30, 2023, at 6 p.m.
Admission: $10 per person.
Where Do You Watch Fireworks in Illinois?
There’s nothing quite like the spectacle of a live fireworks show. So now that you’ve read our list of the best places to watch fireworks in Illinois, are there any we missed? Feel free to contact us and let us know of other great spots to catch incredible fireworks displays this Independence Day.