CHICAGO — The Air and Water Show is taking over the city’s lakefront this weekend.
The Chicago Air and Water Show is free to attend it runs Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
North Avenue Beach is the center point for the show but all along the lakefront, especially Oak Street Beach to Fullerton Beach will be prime viewing.
The weekend’s show will be the first full show since 2019 and will include all the fan favorites — U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the U.S. Army Golden Knights and so much more.
This year’s show is dedicated to Rudy Malnati Jr. who was the show’s director for 30 years. He died this past Christmas Eve after a battle with gallbladder cancer. He attended every Air and Water Show since 1959. The Golden Knights will be holding a banner with his name when they jump Saturday.
Here are some tips for getting to the show and what you need to know this weekend:
“The Chicago Air and Water Show happens rain or shine, and we have every expectation of running the full show this year. Safety for our guests and performers is our number one concern, so in the event of severe weather, portions of the show may be delayed until the weather has passed.”Jennifer Johnson Washington, First Deputy Commissioner, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
Full forecast details and more at the WGN Weather Center blog
Keep in mind, parking is VERY limited by the action and there is no parking at the beach. Paid parking will be available at the Millennium Park Garages where you can then take a free shuttle to North Ave Beach. If you pre-purchase your parking online, it’s discounted at $25. Limited parking is also available at the Lincoln Park Zoo for $65. You can pre-pay on Eventbrite for a $10 discount.
If you’re taking a Metra train into downtown, the CTA can connect you to the lakefront. From Union Station or Millennium Station, you can board the CTA’s No. 151 bus to Oak Street and North Avenue beaches. It also stops within walking distance of Ogilvie and LaSalle Street stations.
Metra is adding service on four Metra lines: BNSF, UP-N, UP-NW and UP-W. The regular weekend schedules will be available on other lines. Full schedules for the weekend are here. You can purchase a $7 Saturday or Sunday pass OR buy a $10 weekend pass on the Ventra app for unlimited rides on both days. Also, up to three children 11 and under can ride free with each adult. Alcohol will NOT be allowed on trains this weekend.
The CTA Red Line gets you close to the show. You can take the Red Line to the Clark/Division stop and walk a few blocks east to the Oak Street Beach. If you exit at the Fullerton station, it’s about a mile walk east to the lakefront. The CTA Purple/Brown Line’s Sedgewick stop is about a 15 minute walk from the lakefront. If you take the Pink, Orange or Green lines into downtown, you can transfer to the Red Line at State/Lake.
The No. 72 North Ave and No. 151 Sheridan buses will also get you close to the action. Buses on the No. 145 Wilson/Michigan Express, No. 146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express and No. 147 Outer Drive Express routes operate to Michigan and Delaware and are within walking distance of the beach. The No. 22 Clark or No. 36 Broadway routes to North and Clark, are also within walking distance of North Avenue Beach.
The City recommends drivers drop passengers away from the entrance to North Avenue Beach to avoid traffic congestion in the area.
For more information, visit the City of Chicago’s website.