Your Guide to the Chicago Air and Water Show

Your Guide to the Chicago Air and Water Show

The free late-summer staple of Chicago is the Chicago Air and Water Show. The 57th annual Air and Water Show is happening tomorrow and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

The Air and Water Show is performed by military and civilian aircrafts, boats and diving teams. Whether you are a family, a young couple or just want to see what the show has to offer, planning out your trip can make it that much easier. 

With numbers that reach 2 million each year, North Avenue Beach will be packed with people. Follow these tips in order to survive the show.  

Don’t go both days. They don’t release the schedule of the order of who is performing, as the pilots decide in the morning who goes in what order. But, the program is the exact same both days, so you don’t need to go out in the crowds for both days. But if you can’t get out until the end, do not worry, because the headliners of the show end it. This year’s headliners are the U.S Air Force Thunderbirds, the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and the U.S. Navy Parachute Team Leap Frogs.

Leave your pets at home. Although this is on a public beach, there are no pets (except service animals) allowed on the grounds of the festival. Don’t take your pet with you and expect to get into the grounds to watch the show. You can watch from the lakefront area, so check out those places if you still want to bring your puppy.

Try viewing from a different location. Since the festival is half in the air, half in the water, you can see the action from multiple locations. This is nice because you can see the show from locations including Ohio State Beach and Oak Street Beach. You may miss a part of the water show from other locations, but the air show is still amazing.

Plan out your travel. The city is going to be packed full of people, so driving may be nearly impossible. Although public transit will also be packed, it may be the best option. It may run late due to packed trains, but it beats sitting in traffic for hours. Figure out your closest Metra line or bus route before heading out for the day.

Be ok with staying back. The wonderful thing about technology is that it allows you to see things you couldn’t before. They are livestreaming the events on the WBBM Newsradio website on both days. If you can’t head out to the show, just tune in to see some of the events.

Be prepared. The day is going to be hot, long and probably extremely sweaty. Be prepared with a bag full of snacks, water and a blanket to sit on. A backpack may be a hassle to carry around, but it will save money and time. Also pack sunscreen, ear buds (the show will be loud) and binoculars, so you can see if you are far away from the show. With almost 2 million people trying to see the same thing you are, it can be hard to get the full experience of the show.

The show started costing $88 million for the city to put on, but now it is completely free for all to view and is completely sponsored. Take advantage of the free show and head out there tomorrow or Sunday!

By Jessica Lynk