July Fourth festivities | Other Stuff | Chicago Reader

July Fourth festivities Agenda Recommended

When: Wed., July 4 2012

Cheap thrills are called cheap thrills for a reason, and a good one at that. For the most classic of Fourths, check out the free events and dazzling fireworks along the coast. Soak up the good feeling in Millennium Park from the Grant Park Music Festival (6:30 PM, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E. Randolph, 312-742-7638, grantparkmusicfestival.com, free) or head straight to Navy Pier for close-up views of the night-sky displays (9 PM, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, 312-595-7437, navypier.com, free). If you're willing to front the cash (and get a little wet), take a kayak tour with Fireworks Paddle. Urban Kayak offers a brisk 45-minute tour, and Kayak Chicago offers an epic three-hour journey from North Avenue down to the pier. (8:45 PM, Urban Kayak, 270 E. Riverwalk South, 312-965-0035, urbankayaks.com, $50 for single, $90 for tandem; 7:15-10:45 PM, Kayak Chicago, 1220 W. LeMoyne, 630-336-7245, kayakchicago.com, $65 per person). Or, if you don't like to mess around with your views, try the skydeck at the John Hancock Observatory. The view from the 94th floor observatory is easily the best in town. (9:30 PM, 875 N. Michigan, 312-654-2892, jhochicago.com, $15). —Jordan Larson

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