Navy Pier, Chicago
Some 4 million Chicagoans and visitors will gather on the 50 acres of shoreline and promenade that make up historic Navy Pier.
For more than 14 years, the Pier has combined fireworks over Lake Michigan with a festival vibe: The waterfront Pier Park
includes a musical carousel and—of course—warm, sugary fried dough.
Celebrate all day: Free live music, street entertainers, shopping, and two sandy beaches are within walking distance of the Pier.
Showtime: At 9 p.m., the 15-minute display is synchronized to music.
Best view: See the show from the Navy Pier AeroBalloon ($25 per adult). Or, ride the 150-foot Ferris Wheel ($6 per adult). If you have a crowd, Dock Street is the place to be.
After the show: Grab a burger at the Navy Pier Beer Garden; navypier.com