Watch Chicago Air & Water Show Like a Local

Get ready, Chicago. The Air & Water Show is returning this weekend: Saturday, August 19 and Sunday, August 20.

A summer tradition since 1959, the Chicago Air & Water Show showcases a spectacle of performances — including the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights this year. The event will take place Saturday and Sunday, 10:00am – 3:00pm both days. Perhaps the best view would be from your own rooftop or personal boat, but rest assured there are plenty of amazing spots to catch the show for all to enjoy.

Here are 8 spots to watch Chicago Air & Water Show like a local:


Oakwood Beach

Chicago’s south side provides some of the best views of our city’s skyline. Escape the crowds and head to Oakwood Beach to catch the jets zipping around and looping back up toward North Ave. (Oakwood Beach, 4100 S. Lake Shore Drive)

Café Brauer

Grab a patio seat at Café Brauer. Located just south of Lincoln Park Zoo, the patio is offering an Air & Water Show special: a blue cheese burger, side of fries and domestic bottled beer for $15.95. (Café Brauer, 2021 N. Stockton Drive)

Montrose Harbor

On the city’s north side, Montrose Harbor provides a popular spot to catch the show. Visitors can play volleyball, bask under an umbrella on the beach, and bring their pups to a fenced-off dog friendly area. (Montrose Beach, 4400 N. Lake Shore Drive)


The chic 18th-floor bar of the Raffaello Hotel in Gold Coast offers a hip spot to post up. Mixologists at Drumbar serve specialty craft cocktails like “Aviation,” “Sidecar”  and “Mexican Firing Squad.” (Drumbar, 201 E. Delaware Place)

Northerly Island

Northerly Island is transforming into an urban oasis, providing green space, wetlands, hiking trails and places to camp. Add Northerly Island to one of the best spots to enjoy and view the show. (Northerly Island, 1521 S. Linn White Drive)

Wendella Boat

Take the Wendella Lake and River Tour, which highlights landmarks along the Chicago River and will give ample viewing from Lake Michigan. The tour lasts 90 minutes and costs $35.50 for adults. (Wendella, 400 N. Michigan Avenue)


Cindy’s rooftop at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel offers panoramic views of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan, making this spot ideal for watching the Blue Angel jets. (Cindy’s, 12 S. Michigan Avenue)

Shore Club

New for 2017, Shore Club is like the classy older sister of Castaways. Shore Club offers brunch from 9am to noon and a premium open bar, with premium outdoor space to lounge on cabanas. Tickets range from $125 to $750. (Shore Club, 1603 N. Lakeshore Drive)


Where do you want to catch the show this year?





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