Chicago Air & Water Show Aug 21-22. The Chicago Air and Water Show is one of the world’s best air shows and its FREE to attend.
When: Saturday and Sunday, August 21-22, 2021; 12pm – 1pm both days. Practice show: August 20, practice runs from 11am–2pm.
8/20/21 10AM: They’re flying around now downtown and along the lakefront. Watch here or here
The US Navy Blue Angels will be the only performers this year. More info
Where: The Lakefront, Fullerton Beach to Oak Street Beach with North Avenue Beach as the focal point. Guide to Chicago Beaches
Catch the rehearsal
- Most the flight teams will practice their entire show on August 20, practice runs from 10am–2pm. See the planes without a million other people. Blue Angels may start zooming around downtown around at 12PM. Watch along the Lakefront Trail or head to the beach.
- Or grab some lunch and head over to Millennium Park or Grant Park or anywhere along the lake downtown. If your at Millennium Park the Grant Park Orchestra has an open rehearsal scheduled for Friday, August 20 11:00am – 1:30pm.
Chicago on the Cheap tips:
- If you’re heading to the beach to watch the show get there early. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to North Avenue, Oak Street, Ohio Street, Fullerton Beaches etc. so it will be extremely crowded. Guide to Chicago’s Lakefront Trail North.
- If you’re just interested in the “Air” part of the show skip the crowds at the beach. Most of the planes flying in the show take off and land at the Gary International Airport in Gary, Indiana.
- This flight path requires them to fly in from the south. They won’t be performing their routines but they will be flying in formation as they pass over downtown, buzzing buildings and flying low over the lake before they head north to North Avenue.
- Find a friend who lives in a high rise along the lakefront or who has an office along the lakefront.
- Tune into WBBM Newsradio 780 and 105.9FM on Saturday and Sunday from 12pm until 1pm for a live broadcast of the show. WBBM Newsradio will also provide livestream video on their website.
Rules and regs:
- You can bring a blanket, chairs and a cooler to the beach.
- You cannot bring the following to the beach during the show: Alcoholic Beverages and BBQ Grills (Open Flames), Fireworks or Explosives Illegal Substances & Weapons, Pop-up Tents/Canopies, Balloons, Kites, flag Poles All Pets (except Service Animals)
Chicago Air & Water Show Aug 21-22
2019 Chicago Air & Water Show Flight Schedule: ( The schedule is decided the morning of the show by the pilots. Performers are subject to change.) Performers This year’s headliners include the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.