With the 4th of July on a Wednesday this year, Chicagoans may not get the chance to travel to spend time with family or check off those annual traditions that are easier to pull off on a weekend.
But that certainly doesn't mean Windy City residents can't celebrate Independence Day (and a day off from work) in style.
We rounded up some of the best bets for mid-week festivities, and definitely recommend loading up on more than one to jam-pack the holiday with a Chicago-centric "staycation."
Did we miss one of your must-see events for the big day? Tell us about it in the comments.
IndepenDANCE Day Fireworks Cruise
IndepenDANCE Day Fireworks Cruise <br> Want to party it up on the fourth without having to travel to a great view of Chicago's Navy Pier fireworks show? Book a ticket to <a href="http://oncruises.com/events/chicago/independence-day-fireworks-cruise-aboard-the-anita-dee-ii.php " target="_hplink">the Anita Dee II's IndepenDANCE Day Fireworks Cruise</a>, where top 40 hits will be spinning, classic barbecue fare will be served buffet-style, and guests need only walk out on the deck for the best seat in town to view the spectacular night sky's display. <br> <em>7:30 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 4 at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave. $180 per ticket</em>
Bars and Stripes
Bars And Stripes Beer Oh'lympics with Get Derailed <br> If you're using the mid-week holiday as an excuse to get out of family pot lucks and fireworks-watching traditions, then you might as well maximize your family-free time with some not-so-kid-friendly festivities. Sign up soon for <a href="http://www.getderailed.com/WRIGLEYVILLE/barolympics.html" target="_hplink">Get Derailed's Independence Day-themed Beer Oh'lympics</a>, "Bars and Stripes," which will split 4-person teams into beer pong and bags competitions to vie for the grand prize: a $500 bar tab--all while hitting up some of the city's best watering holes. <br> <em>6 p.m. Wednesday, July 4 at Uncle Fatty's, 2833 N. Sheffield Ave. $20 per 4-person team</em>
Chicago History Museum's Fourth Of July Celebration
Chicago History Museum's 53rd Annual Fourth of July Celebration <br> Looking to teach your little ones (and maybe yourself) a little more about America, and your city, while celebrating Independence Day this year? As they have for the last 53 holidays, <a href="http://chicagohistory.org/planavisit/upcomingevents/special-events/special-events" target="_hplink">the Chicago History Museum</a> is rolling out a morning full of family-friendly activities, including patriotic musical performances, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, and a children's costume parade led by the World's Tallest Uncle Sam. Museum admission is also free for Illinois residents all day. <br> <em>10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Wednesday, July 4 on Uihlein Plaza at the Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St. Free</em>
White Sox vs. Texas Rangers
White Sox vs. Texas Rangers <br> It's been called the Great American Pastime for decades, so what better time to take in some baseball than on Independence Day? Snag tickets ASAP to the White Sox home game against the Texas Rangers Wednesday afternoon (and plan to be especially enthusiastic during the national anthem this time). <br> <em>6:10 p.m. Wednesday, July 4 at U.S. Cellular Field, 333 West 35th St. Ticket prices vary</em>
WaterWar 2012 <br> Are your favorite 4th of July memories the iconic celebrations from your childhood, rife with worry-free indulgences in grill fare, face paint, parades and plenty of water fights? Walk down memory lane with <a href="http://do312.com/event/2012/07/04/waterwar2012-w-do312-redeye-and-gapers-block" target="_hplink">Do312, RedEye and Gapers Block's #waterwar2012</a>, a BYOWB (bring your own water balloons) all-out battle at Churchill Park. <br> <em>12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4 at Churchill Park, 1825 N. Damen Free</em>
Grant Park Music Festival
Grant Park Music Festival's Independence Day Celebration in Millennium Park <br> If you prefer your Independence Day celebrations to be less booze-soaked and more teary-eyed, plan to swing by this week's installment of Grant Park's Music Festival. The <a href="http://grantparkmusicfestival.com/the-music/2012-season" target="_hplink">Independence Day Celebration in Millenium Park </a>will feature the pride-inducing music of American composers including Gershwin, Copland, Bernstein, Sousa and other beloved natives. <br> <em>6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 4 at Millenium Park, Michigan and Randolph Free</em>