Boom! 6 Ways To Celebrate The Fourth Of July In Chicago

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2-fireworks Happy Independence Day! You've guessed it: The whole city is ready to celebrate, Chicago style. Whether you plan to grill out at home, catch the fireworks at Navy Pier (you're never too old), or brush up on your history, these local businesses have got you covered.

Chicago History Museum
Forget about that barbecue for a moment and take some time to reflect on what the Fourth of July is really about. The Chicago History Museum is hosting its 54th annual patriotic celebration (from 10 a.m. to noon), complete with live music, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, and a children’s parade led by the world’s tallest Uncle Sam. Best of all? It’s free to Illinois residents!
Chicago History Museum, 1601 North Clark Street (between LaSalle Drive and North Boulevard); 312-266-2077.

e+o
Give Dad a break from the grill this year and head to e+o (earth and ocean) in Mount Prospect for a family-style cookout instead. The restaurant is serving a feast of epic proportions all weekend long (July 4 through 7), for only $15 per person at lunch and $25 at dinner. Better strap on the ol' feed bag, because chef Rodelio Aglibot will be serving up 12-hour cooked beef brisket, pork ribs, creole dusted wings, duck confit potato salad, Carolina cole slaw, and mango-jalapeño cornbread.
e+o, 125 Randhurst Village Drive (Mount Prospect); 847-398-3838.

Magnolia Bakery
If you're having guests (or mooching off of someone else's barbecue), don't forget the sweets! Magnolia Bakery is offering special red, white, and blue-themed treats, including the Patriot Cupcake Pack (a dozen minis for $24), fruit pies ($8), or single Fourth of July cupcakes for $3.50 for those who want to indulge in a single act of patriotism.
Magnolia Bakery, 108 North State Street (between North State and Dearborn streets); 312-346-7777.

Edith Hart
Celebrate Independence Day with some retail therapy at Edith Hart! The store is offering 40% off some of its best stock, including select items from Ladakh, Paper Crown, Wildfox, White Suede, Generation Love, Cameo, Woodleigh, and C/Fan. Check out the online store on Thursday (customers will also be privy to free shipping) and stop by the storefront July 5 and 6 to score some mind-blowing deals. Cue the fireworks!
Edith Hart, 1917 North Damen Avenue (between Homer and Cortland streets); 773-252-3350.

Little Market Brasserie
Want more beach time? Then leave the cooking (and the dirty work) to Chef Ryan Poli at Little Market Brasserie. Feast on all of your barbecue faves (think ribs, Kobe hot dogs, grilled corn on the cob, house-made potato salad) and get buzzed with American pride with the Tippling Bros. special, layered (red, white, and blue) cocktail aptly named Independence Fever.
Little Market Brasserie, 10 East Delaware Place (between Rush and State streets); 312-640-8141.

Fireworks Cruise
We may not have the pleasure of Chicago's big July 3 fireworks celebration anymore (sniff, sniff), but at least the Fourth is still recognized with a bang. But forget the crowded beachfront. Entertainment Cruises is offering guests with parties of four or more 15% off to check out the sky magic happening over Lake Michigan on the Odyssey, Spirit of Chicago, and Mystic Blue dinner cruises. All you have to do is enter the promo code FIREWORK54 at checkout.
Reservations are required and can be made by calling 866-305-2469 or visiting the Entertainment Cruises website and clicking ont the your boat of your choice.

Photo: Courtesy of Navy Pier