Five ideas on where to watch the Chicago Air and Water Show

Chicago Air and Water Show comes Aug. 17-18. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events)
Chicago Air and Water Show comes Aug. 17-18. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events)

If you hear thunder but the sky is blue, Aug. 16, it is likely the U.S. Navy Blue Angels are flying overhead on their way to practice above North Avenue Beach.

The Chicago Air and Water Show, now in its 61st year, will be above and on the popular beach from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 17-18. By the way, the U. S. Air Force Thunderbirds headlined last year.

The event is free but given that it attracts about two million people those two days, it makes sense to go the day before when the headliners and acrobatic flights are practicing.

Tip: All the fly-bys are great but the top draw this year, the Blue Angels, come at the end of the show.

Taking public transportation  is best. Parking is also available in Millennium Park Garages where people can take a shuttle to North Avenue Beach.

But an alternate to going the day before or milling with the crowds during the show is to watch from somewhere between Ohio Street and Fullerton Avenue such as the places listed below where you can eat lunch or brunch during the show.

Royal Airforce Aerobatic Red Arrows will be at the Chicago Air and Water Show(Photo courtesy of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events)
Royal Airforce Aerobatic Red Arrows will be at the Chicago Air and Water Show (Photo courtesy of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events)

Offshore Rooftop & Bar at Navy Pier 600 E. Grand Ave.  Pier entry is free and there are lots of place to get snacks and drinks while watching the show. But arguably the best viewing point there would be Offshore Rooftop & Bar, a 65,000 square-foot rooftop. Tickets include open bar, food and music.  For tickets and more information call (312) 535-6660 or visit Offshore Rooftop & Bar

Odyssey Lake Michigan will be among the boats watching the action from out on the lake. Board from Navy Pier, 600 E.Grand Ave., then do brunch if going in the morning or lunch if on board for the afternoon. Cruises will also go out on Friday. For tickets and more information call (888) 957-2634 or visit Odyssey Lake Michigan

360 Degrees in the former Observation Deck of what was called the John Hancock Center, 875 N. Michigan Ave., has great views 1,000 feet above the Mag Mile and Lake Michigan. For tickets and more information call  (312) 751-3681) or visit 360 Chicago.

The Signature Room, also in the former John Hancock Center building, 875 N. Michigan Ave., has a gourmet buffet and bar package for ages 21 and older. For reservations and more information call (312)280-0465. And visit The Signature Room

Theater On The Lake is holding a viewing party with reserved seating, bar and food at its Lakefront Green, 2401 N. Lake Shore Drive, beginning at 11 a.m. For tickets and more information call (312) 414-1313 or visit Eventbrite/air and water show or Theater On The Lake

 

For all the headliners and special guests visit the Chicago Air and Water Show 

Jodie Jacobs

 

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