- 268 Ratings
Chicago Fireworks Paddle
Enjoy a dazzling fireworks display like you've never seen before: against the backdrop of Chicago's lit-up skyline from a kayak in the Chicago river and Goose Island Channel.
What You Will Do
- Kayak the Chicago River and Goose Island Channel to watch the colorful fireworks display at Navy Pier
- Follow your guide into the heart of downtown for water-level views of the city's sparkling urban landscape, then enjoy the shimmering lights as you paddle past Lake Shore Drive for views of the city and fireworks
- Get a crash-course in kayaking, including on-land instruction in paddling basics and the safety rules of the waterways
- Enjoy a snack and a leisurely paddle back to the dock after the show
- Guided kayak tour and fireworks display
Choose single or double boats upon arrival. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to departure. Dress for the weather; lightweight, synthetic clothing is best. Be prepared to get a little wet from the drip and splash of your paddle.
We make the call on weather at the time we start the event; if there are signs of severe weather, we will cancel and reschedule. If we cancel due to weather, you will receive a rain check to reschedule for another date of your choice. In the event your tour is cut short due to weather, you will receive a voucher to join us on another tour. No refunds are given if your event is cut short due to weather.
Cancellations must be made seven days prior to an event for a full refund. Cancellations four days prior to an event will receive a 50% refund, or may reschedule. A $25 rescheduling fee per boat is applied for cancellations made within 48 hours.
- 268 Ratings
Great staff. Very informative/ entertaining and super helpful! Tour is long but so worth it, this is my favorite way to see the city and the fireworks.
The staff were super informative , fun and overall helpful.
Riding distance is a little too long. It was tough coming back to the dock.
Help and instruction were great...
We had a great time and a very enjoyable experience! Our only recommendations would be to get some sort of a bullhorn or speaker system when instructing large crowds. We were in the back of the group and ourselves and everyone around us could not hear what was being described and/or instructed to us. Also, for us personally, a smaller group would have been preferred as there was quite a bit of bumping and crowding. A suggestion to the participants would be to walk the Riverwalk prior to kayaking if you get a chance. It's remarkable how different things seem from the water, the day after kayaking, we walked the river walk and both of us wished we had actually done that previous because I think we would have had a better sense of where we were and enjoyed the sites a bit more. All-in-all, great time and we will most definitely be returning.
The views and experiences were great. The guides were funny and supportive would definitely recommend this to everyone.
Four of us from Toronto went on the Fireworks Paddle, we had a great time and the staff at Kayak Chicago were very friendly. Highly recommend this to anyone visiting Chicago. Barry Dawkins
The tour was very well organized and the guides were very helpful. It was considerably longer than 3 hours (nearly 4 hours) so I think that should be mentioned in the event description.We had a great time!
Good crew in explaining how to kayak. Staff was very friendly. In order to be more efficient in taking the kayaks to the dock, spend more time telling people to grab one end of their kayak and the end of anothers. Not to take two down at a time. it doesn't work.
Staff is super friendly. Well worth the money$ firework spot on the river is incredible
Great instructors and safe long trip! The river water smells horrid twice or so but you can't change that. It was enjoyable, exciting, and very simple yet quite an exercise! Thank you Kayak Chicago!
Lots of fun and great views for the fireworks tour. Helpful and funny instructors.
We had so much fun! The guides were funny and in great moods. The kayaks were stable and I felt totally safe the entire time. And the views.... Just WOW!!! I smiled the entire time. Such a wonderful experience. Thank you!!!
The online sign up and information was easy to understand and informative. The email we received with instructions for our trip provided all the details needed. Once we arrived, we were greeted by a staff member right away and led to the check in process which was very nicely organized. The whole staff was so friendly and helpful during the whole trip. This was our first time kayaking and doing an organized trip like this. I was really impressed with the staff and the procedures you go through. I felt very comfortable the whole trip and felt that we could always get help if we needed it. We have been telling everyone about Kayak Chicago!
It was a great 1st time experience. The staff was amazing!
It was a good experience and the fireworks were great! The kayaking was too long for my taste though. Two hours would have been sufficient.
The guides were great. The ride was s little long. It would be nice to be able to end closer to navy pier. Also, drinks an food half way or a food truck at your location.
It was so fun. Really enjoyed the experience. Thank you.
Guides were great, very helpful and entertaining. The actual kayaks were really good quality and the trip down the river was amazing.
I enjoyed the ride, I underestimated the trip being long but it was great thanks
This was fun! Wrote a full review on Trip Advisor.
well guided tour, highly recommended. Very friendly tour guides. Amazing views of the paddle through the city. Will do it again
wonderful trip! The folks at Kayak Chicago thought of everything...from providing lockers to store stuff you realize shouldn't be on the water, to giving a short, funny, and well-presented introduction to maneuvering a kayak. Paddling on the river on a Saturday night was an adventure. The start of the trip led us through lush, quiet environs with some good bird watching. When we hit the eastern bound portion, it was amazing! The lights from the buildings, the tour/party boats all with their own style of music and partiers...it was like being a spectator on a movie set. Best part? The guides. Patient, funny, knowledgeable and each one interested in ensuring we were safe and having a great time. Five stars!!
The pre-kayak instruction was great! I learned a lot from Bubba about how to paddle efficiently so we would not get worn-out too quickly. The guides kept us on track and stayed to the outside so we stayed together. The fireworks were great! I felt safe the whole time. On the way back my sister was struggling to keep up with the group so I stayed back with her. We finished last and we did not have a guide with us. It would have helped to have someone guiding us, encouraging us, and offering suggestions on how to finish strong. Overall it was a great, but tiring, experience!
It was my first experience Kayaking and I never felt more safe and satisfied with my instructors. Honestly, I was probably a bit challenging for them but they had all the patients in the world for me. I had an awesome time and viewing our beautiful city from that prospective was an experience I'll never forget. Pure safe and enjoyable for a first time Kayaking experience.
We had an awesome time! The guides were super helpful and attentive, keeping us safe the whole time. It was a well organized trip with nice guides. The fireworks show was amazing and it was a truly unique way to see the city. Highly recommend this outfitter.
The whole experience was amazing! How horrid I smelled after getting slightly wet in the Chicago River? not so amazing. I Wont be doing this again soley based on that. Thank you for everything though.
We had a good time, the views where amazing, the staff was really nice and funny, and talked to us and shared stories whenever we approached them during the trip! The only reason I'm bumping down a star is that it felt a little rushed to get down to Navy pier to watch the fireworks that lasted 10min to then rush back to return the kayaks. The location where you start/end is up the river so it takes a while to get to the navy pier, it's a beautiful stretch (minus the stinky part), but I would have preferred to have more time to relax and enjoy the view and not feel rushed to paddle all the way to navy pier and back. It would have helped to have known what the timeline was for the paddle "it's going to take xxx to get there, we will watch the show that lasts xxx, then another xxx to get back". I would return to them just not for fireworks, prob try a different tour.