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Shore line and city of Chicago

Flights of Fancy

Our Hotel’s Near the Chicago Air and Water Show

A high-flying event

As the largest free show of its kind in the U.S., the Chicago Air and Water Show (Aug. 18-19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) has been delighting fans for 60 years with daredevil stunts over Lake Michigan’s North Avenue Beach. The Chicago skyline provides an ideal backdrop for the adrenaline-packed show, which always attracts some of the top civilian and military pilots and aircraft — along with 2 million spectators.

2018 Schedule

Tips for Attending

  • Leave alcohol, BBQ grills, balloons, kites, and pets behind — they’re not allowed on festival grounds.
  • For optimum comfort, bring a blanket or chairs. You can also have a cooler.
  • North Avenue Beach is the classic spot to take in the festivities, but there are tons of other options, including skyscrapers, restaurants, beaches, and boats.
Tan toy car on map

Getting There

North Avenue Beach is about three miles north of Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago. Divvy bikes is offering valet service at select stations.

lemon cocktail

Drinking & Dining

Order a meal to go from Fisk & Co., then pack it with you to enjoy when the planes are whizzing overhead. When you’re back, grab a cocktail in the bar or sit down to a dinner of mussels and beer.

Microphone Acoustic Guitar

A Familiar Voice

The longtime voice of the Chicago Air and Water Show, Herb Hunter was a military pilot and captain of a 747 before settling into his role as one of the smoothest talkers on a microphone.