Visiting the Midwest's most visited attraction, Navy Pier, is like going on a vacation within a vacation. This waterfront venue covers six city blocks and includes 50 acres of shops, restaurants, theaters, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, and dozens of activities geared toward families and adults.
NEW FEATURES, CLASSIC ATTRACTIONS
Now Navy Pier is adding even more features and renovating old favorites as part of its centennial celebration in 2016, including the addition of several authentic Chicago restaurants to the new food experience, the grand opening of Polk Bros Park, and the transformation of the South Dock as a step toward reimagining the Pier into a bolder, greener and more contemporary urban space.
New elevated dining experiences include Big Bowl Chinese Express, DMK Burger and Fish Bar, Frankie's Pizza by the Slice, Big City Chicken and Porkchop, a Southern comfort food and barbecue spot. Look for an expansive communal dining area with waterfront views and Wi-Fi.
Guests can also enjoy the many other on-site venues and attractions, such as the massive indoor botanical space known as the Crystal Gardens, Chicago Children's Museum, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, IMAX Theatre and more.
NEW FERRIS WHEEL
The world's first Ferris wheel was unveiled at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, and in 2016, Navy Pier is getting a new one. The year-round 20-story attraction features 42 enclosed climate-controlled gondolas, perfect for viewing sunsets and the Chicago skyline. The new Ferris wheel will celebrate its grand opening May 27, kicking off Navy Pier's summer centennial celebrations.
The Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Chicago (June 10-12) makes Chicago the first freshwater venue to ever host the America's Cup in its 164-year history. Watch majestic sailboats racing at speeds of more than 40 miles per hour!
The Fourth of July celebration is one befitting of the Windy City. Which is to say: they do it big! For an Independence Day to remember, watch the celebration from the water on a party boat with Entertainment Cruises or Shoreline Sightseeing Company.
Tall Ships Chicago 2016 (July 27-31) showcases another side of the sailing life. This unique and exciting spectacle features more than 15 massive sailboats reminiscent of centuries past. Visitors can come aboard for a tour, and even set sail on one of these beauties.
Venetian Night (September 10) is a summertime tradition that is quintessentially Chicago. Boats festooned in lights and decorations parade along the lakefront in a dazzling display that is followed by fireworks.
Big attractions and big events. That's how Navy Pier's been running for the past 100 years. And with its extensive renovations, new features and outstanding events, it'll continue going strong for at least 100 more.
Photos courtesy Navy Pier