4th of July roundup

Celebrating our nation’s birthday means all things American – baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and exploding firecrackers, right? It doesn’t matter how patriotic you are, take your day off of work to put on those American flag cut-offs or ironic flag tank you told yourself you’d wear, buy a box of sparklers, spend some time with friends and family and have some fun around Chicago! Here’s a list of The DePaulia’s best finds around the city for the 4th.

Chicago Beaches
As the holiday that falls right in the middle of summer, it seems natural that the celebration should take place on a beach. Fight the crowds at North Avenue Beach and enjoy live music at Castaways by the resident DJ DJ Jem from 1-7 p.m. Travel one beach south to Oak Street Beach for their 4th of July barbecue from 2-6 p.m. for $35.

Head south for the White Sox vs. Texas Rangers game at 6:10 p.m. at U.S. Cellular field. The ballpark will have an Independence Day Celebration with fireworks set to patriotic music, and the Banjo Buddies Dixieland Band playing at gate 5.

Don’t want your skin matching the stripes on the flag after a day outside? Take refuge in a dark and air conditioned theater and catch one of the big summer blockbusters, like the newly opened “The Amazing Spiderman.” Experience the film in IMAX 3D at the Navy Pier IMAX at 12:30 p.m., 3:25 p.m., 6:20 p.m., 9:15 p.m., or 12:10 a.m.

Art Institute
Lucky for us, the 4th is the first Wednesday of the month, falling into the Art Institute’s free admission days. Check out the museum’s newest exhibit “Roy Lichenstein: A Retrospective,” or finally see all of those painting your art history professor was talking about for yourself.

No Independence Day celebration would be complete without a fireworks display. Chicago’s only official firework display will take place at Navy Pier at 9 p.m. Catching a front row seat for the show on one of Navy Pier’s dinner cruises or speedboats will make a considerable dent in your wallet ($55-$130 per person), but finding a seat on a beach or a roof will be more than enough to enjoy the show.