July 01, 2014 07:07 ET

10 Things to Do in July in Chicago 2014: 4th of July in Chicago, Summer Activities, and July Events Listed by

Any Chicagoan Knows That Summers in Chicago Are Filled With Incredible Events, Delicious Food, and Mesmerizing Fireworks; Come Enjoy the Top Things to Do This July 2014 in Chicago

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Jul 1, 2014) - Whether experiencing the city from a rooftop perch or cruising on an amazing boat, Chicago offers a wonderful summer experience. Today, one of Chicago's leading travel and tourism guides, announced a list of top 10 things to do in July 2014 in Chicago. The list includes 4th of July, general summer activities, and fun events during the month, so come enjoy summer in the Windy City.

1. Chicago Elevated Tour

Chicago Elevated offers the best walking tours in Chicago. They have several engaging tours but the more popular tours are the Binoculars Tour and the Loop Tour. These tours occur every Thursday through Saturday in July at 1pm and 4pm, respectively. The Binoculars Tour uses a pair of binoculars to view the city in a unique way. The tour guide is Chicago comedian Margaret Hicks and she mixes laughter with knowledge throughout the tour. Using the binoculars helps to offer a different view of historical buildings. The tour views steel gargoyles, griffins, and concrete demons atop many of the cities well-known buildings.

The Loop Tour is another popular tour that walks around the loop and informs guests of skyscrapers, fancy hotels, architecture, and art. The tour travels down State Street beginning at Harold Washington Library. There is an easy walking pace which is ideal for children. The tour covers a mile of the city and is Thursday through Saturday at 4pm.

2. July 4th in Chicago

There are numerous activities to enjoy on the 4th of July in Chicago. There are quite a few amazing places to listen to music, eat tasty food, and view fireworks.

  • Shoreline Sightseeing Fireworks Cruise - Chicago loves to celebrate and the biggest event of the summer is the July 4th holiday topped off with the biggest fireworks display of the season! One of the best, and most popular ways to catch Chicago's fantastic July 4th fireworks is on a boat tour. Shoreline Sightseeing runs a number of special July 4th Fireworks cruises including Architecture Fireworks Tours and Lake Fireworks Tours. Both offer dramatic cruising on Chicago's lake or river and include ideal viewing of Chicago's July 4th fireworks displays.

  • Arlington Park - Fireworks begin after the sun sets at Arlington Park. The first 5,000 guests receive complimentary 4th of July accessories. Tickets are available until Wednesday, July 2nd.

  • Navy Pier - Fireworks begin at 9:30pm. The Chicago lakefront location is perfect for enjoying 4th of July celebrations.

  • Hamilton Lakes In Itasca - There is live music that begins at 7:15 followed by a spectacular fireworks display in Chicago between 9:45pm and 10:00pm. Admission is free.

  • Naperville's Ribfest - The Ribfest is located on Lincoln Ave. from Irving to Berteau. The fest includes live music, delicious barbeque, and a fireworks display. Fireworks begin at 9:30pm and the event will be simulcast on K Hits radio station.

3. Hot Summer Nights

Hot Summer Nights at the Chicago Botanic Garden is a live musical festival that occurs throughout the month of July from 6pm to 8pm. The event includes the Silver Stars on Thursday, July 3rd. José Valdes & Mambo All-stars perform on Thursday, July 10th. El Payo plays on Thursday, July 17th. The Boils perform on Thursday, July 24th and Grupo Cha Cha perform on Thursday, July 31st. Guest to the festival are encouraged to bring chairs as the Botanic Garden has a limited amount available for each Hot Summers night event. Admission is free.

4. BenFest Festival

BenFest 2014 has an event for visitors of all ages. This festival lasts for three days and includes chances to win prizes, great music, activities for kids, and delicious foods from local restaurants. The Grand Prize Drawing for 2014 is a cash prize of $10,000. The festival lasts from July 18th to July 20th. BenFest is located at 2215 W. Irving Park Rd. Admission requires a $5 donation and children under 5 are free. The Kids' Activities Wristband is $10 a day and $25 for the entire weekend. BenFest hours are 4pm to 10pm on Friday, 1pm to 10pm on Saturday, and 1pm to 7pm on Saturday.

5. WestFest Chicago

This festival occurs on Saturday, July 12th and Sunday, July 13th from 12pm to 10pm. The festival is located on Chicago Ave. between Damen and Wood. Over the last decade, WestFest has grown from a small street festival into one of the Chicago's most popular yearly festivals. WestFest offers live music, the Kid Fest, and the Pet Fest. These are three incredible festivals all wrapped into one amazing weekend. WestFest requires a $5 donation for entry to cover the costs of the event. This donation also helps benefit the West Town Chamber of Commerce.

WestFest displays the best up-and-coming neighborhood in the city. This festival showcases local restaurants, cafes, and shops.

KidFest is a smaller fest-within-the-fest. KidFest offers activities that include photo booths, train rides, football tosses, bouncy houses, bean bag tosses, bottle tosses, ring tosses, balloon darts, and more.

PetFest is a small fest inside of WestFest that is committed to dog related activities. These activities are for charity and benefit pet related vendors.

6. Go To The Beach

Chicago has some of the finest beaches along the lakefront. All of the beaches offer stunning scenery and most have some historical significance. Enjoying the sun and water on one of Chicago's many beaches is a great way to have fun this summer. Chicago beaches:

Illinois Beach State Park - This beach is ideal for biking, beach camping, and hiking. There are several nature trails that run aside the shoreline.

Rogers Ave. Beach - This is a smaller beach that includes a beautiful shoreline and tennis courts.

Pratt Boulevard Beach - Pratt Boulevard is a culturally diverse beach that is separated into two halves by a long pier.

Kathy Osterman Beach - This beach is one of the city's little secrets. Osterman beach offers white sands, clean water, and a beautiful shoreline.

Foster Avenue Beach - This is a small man-made beach that is generally unoccupied. Foster provides a relaxing atmosphere free from loud music and crowds.

Montrose Dog Beach - Montrose offers one of Chicago's only dog beaches. Montrose was recently remodeled to incorporate a 3,000 square foot deck.

North Ave. Beach - This is the most popular beach in Chicago. North Ave. is considered Chicago's premier beach.

7. Chicago Boat Tours

Shoreline Sightseeing Cruise - Now celebrating its 75th anniversary, Shoreline is a fixture of the summer season in Chicago not only on holidays, but every day of the week! Shoreline's famous Architecture River Tours, featuring expert and entertaining guides, take passengers on a dramatic, 75-minute journey along the Chicago River to view more than 40 of the city's landmark buildings. Shoreline's Classic Lake Tours showcase Chicago's skyline and history as seen on a 40-minute cruise on Lake Michigan. Find more information about Shoreline Sightseeing Cruises here:

8. Baseball Games

Spending a warm summer evening watching baseball in Chicago is an experience like none other. Chicago is one of the few cities with two major baseball teams. The Cubs have the historically known Wrigley Field located on the north side in Wrigleyville and the White Sox have U.S. Cellular Field located on the south side on 35th. The smell inside the ballpark, the excited fans, and the energy inside the building create the perfect atmosphere for a summer fun. Find Cubs tickets here, and White Sox tickets here.

9. Go To The Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo is a great zoo in Chicago. This zoo is located in Lincoln Park at 2200 N. Cannon Dr. and admission is free. This is an incredible family-friendly zoo that is open year round. Lincoln Park offers a diverse selection of animals. There are all types of species and the zoo features more than 1200 animals. This zoo will entertain the entire family. There are a few bonus attractions that include a children's train ride and the Endangered Species Carousel. Tickets for these rides cost between $2.50 and $2.75 per person.

10. Play In The Park

  • Grant Park: This park is known as the front yard of downtown Chicago. The northern end of the park has the Daley Bicentennial Plaza which includes anything from 16-inch softball to yoga. During the summer, Monroe Drive offers Blues and Jazz festivals. Grant Park is also the home to three of Chicago's most popular museums. On the southern end of the Museum Campus is where the Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum are located. The Art Institute is located in front of the Petrillo Band Shell.

  • Navy Pier Park: Navy Pier Park is located on the upper deck. This is an outdoor area that includes several exciting attractions. There is the famous Navy Pier 150-foot high Ferris Wheel, the Links Mini Golf Course, remote control boats, light tower ride, carousel, wave swinger, and more. During the summer, all rides and attractions are open when the weather permits.

Summers in Chicago are great as a result of the city's distinct culture, popular baseball teams, unique events, delicious food, and beautiful architecture. can help guide travelers around the top 10 things to do in July in Chicago this summer.

Chicago is one of the top vacation destinations in America famous for its unique character, annual events, popular foods, architecture and top sports teams. guides travelers to all the best things to do, top places to eat and deals on the best places to stay in Chicago.

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