Best Spots to Catch 4th of July Fireworks

Top 5 4th of July Fireworks Spots in Chicago

We all know that catching the 4th of July fireworks in the city means heading East to the lake. But choosing your final resting place for the fantastic show doesn’t mean settling for the uber crowded Navy Pier. We’ve compiled a top 5 list of our favorite spots to watch the Chicago fireworks this year from Curbed Chicago:

Ohio Street Beach


There’s no doubt that Ohio Street Beach is going to be slammed on the weekend leading up to the big Fourth of July fireworks show, but it may be a little easier to find a spot on Monday evening for the show. This beach, although small, is the closest one to Navy Pier and will offer some of the best views of the show.

Oak Street Beach


If Ohio Street Beach is too packed, Oak Street Beach is also a great option to get a close view of the Navy Pier fireworks. This beach is a bit bigger and only a few blocks away.

Maggie Daley Park


Navy Pier will no doubt be to best spot to get an up close view of the fireworks show, but families may want to also consider Maggie Daley Park. Be sure to the park a little early though, it will likely be a popular spot to catch the show this year.



The rooftop level of the hip Chicago Athletic Association Hotel will no doubt will jam packed on Monday evening, but if you’re looking to sip on a fancy cocktail while watching the fireworks display, Cindy’s will be your best bet.

The Signature Lounge

A date with a view

Maybe you’re looking to escape the crowds entirely and have a nice romantic evening for the Fourth of July. In that case, consider the Signature Room and the Signature Lounge at the John Hancock Center. The restaurant and bar offer some of the greatest views of Chicago of any food and beverage establishment, and the atmosphere will certainly be much more mellow.


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How Died in That House?

Have you seen this in Yahoo!:

It’s a great new website to find out all the gory details of the people that may have died in your house.

You’ve heard the story: Family moves into new house, maybe some weird things happen, then they find out a bunch of people were killed there. It’s a horror movie standard.

If only these poor, unsuspecting families had known the horrible histories lurking in their home.

Now they really have no excuse. allows users to look up the morbid history of any home instantly. The website, sort of a Carfax for home deaths, churns out a report that lists all past owners and notes if any died in the house. It also provides meth lab and fire records.

Software developer Roy Condrey established the site two years ago after one of his tenants texted him in the middle of the night to say that the apartment was haunted. The text led Condrey to wonder if maybe someone had died there. So he began digging for answers.

“It’s really tough to do,” he tells Yahoo Real Estate. “Let’s say you research the history of your home. You can easily find the past owners and probably figure out if any died while owning the house, but where they died and how they died, that’s hard. Not to mention if someone else died there.”

So he invented a better way. Condrey wouldn’t give away specifics about how the algorithm behind the report works, but it relies on connecting the dots between government files, like the Social Security Death Master File,news reports and other research plugged into his database. Most of the information only goes back to the 1980s, when files were first digitized, but for information earlier than that, Condrey and his small team in South Carolina go hunting by hand and supplement the report (though that takes a little longer).

The data he uses includes 4.5 million listed deaths, and he says the team has added 300,000 additional files dating back to the 1800s since launching, he says. Each report costs $12 and includes an additional search done by Condrey’s team after the automated report.

For the record, nobody had died in his tenant’s apartment.

Most people who use Condrey’s service are just looking for a little reassurance before purchasing or renting a home.

Real estate disclosure laws are notoriously lax about death in a property. Few states in the U.S. have any real regulation surrounding the issue, Condrey says, and even then, they’re limited.

In California, which may have the strictest laws on the book, sellers must disclose if someone died on the property if selling within three years of the death; after that it doesn’t have to be mentioned.

But it’s not just silence that keeps death history hidden. Addresses also change, burying a home’s past even deeper, Condrey says. Homes associated with some of the most notorious deaths of the past half-century have different addresses: JonBenet Ramsey’s home in Boulder, Colorado; Nicole Brown Simpson’s condo in Brentwood, California; the San Diego mansion of the Heaven’s Gate cult where 39 members committed suicide: All changed addresses since their days in the spotlight (the Heaven’s Gate house has since been demolished).

(The Ramsey home in Boulder, Colorado, site of JonBenet’s notorious murder, was resold years after the Ramseys moved out. Photo: Getty)


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We’ve Got The Best Places To Raise Your Family

There comes a time in your life when you choose to settle down and that could mean having children. Of course, we always want the best for our kids. We want the best for our entire family. What’s the first thing you think about when raising your children? Education.You also look at the environment and crime rates.

Believe it or not, when it comes to crimes, it’s everywhere. But choosing a place to live that is safe and knows how to handle that kind of stuff is important.

Whether you are planning to move or are just curious for the future, we’ve got the best places to raise your family below:

  •  Provo, Utah is one of the top places to raise your family. Why? Because it has the highest percentage of mothers with children. It’s also known to be of the best in the nation for helping kids become successful.


  •  Grand Rapids, Michigan: If education is one of your top priorities, you will enjoy the success of the public school system here because they are supported by several charter schools.


  • Raleigh, North Carolina is a quiet city with a lot of culture. It is also named as the number 1 city for jobs by Glassdor.

Downtown Raleigh NC

  • Poughkeepsie, New York: Living here may be expensive but your income is also great. The crime rate is one of the lowest in the country.


  • Worcester, Massachusetts: Easy access to Boston and Hartford gives kids an outlet to great colleges.


  • Madison, Wisconsin: This is where the most active families live! There is so much to do and it’s close to Chicago and Milwaukee in case you need a road trip.


  • Virginia Beach, Virginia is where art and entertainment meet. Families here enjoy their time on the beach as well as learning about different cultures and communities.


  • Richmond, Virginia: This city is known for its strong private schools and education.


  • Dallas, Texas: A place with amazing public and private schools. There’s even a lot to do outside of education. The exploring is endless.


  • Boston, Massachusetts: Boston takes the number 1 spot because the city is filled with great schools and low unemployment rates. Take a walk through time on the Freedom Trail to learn about the American culture. The museums and art galleries are endless.


What are some other cities that are great to raise a family in?