Completed in 1916, Navy Pier is undeniably one of Chicago’s top attractions. Stretching into Lake Michigan, this year-round destination truly comes to life in the summer, with fireworks displays, live music, theatre, and cruises setting sail daily. Come fall and winter, Navy Pier is still hopping, with special events, sights, and activities that span all ages and interests.
Here’s just a glimpse of the fun to be had at Navy Pier.
Rides and games
Centennial Wheel and Pier Park
Pier Park is the epitome of fun. It’s where you’ll find the amazing Centennial Wheel, the Pepsi Wave Swinger, a 1920s-inspired musical carousel, and other nostalgic fairground rides. Just so you know, the Centennial Wheel soars to nearly 200 feet, with year-round, climate-controlled gondolas for the most spectacular Ferris wheel ride ever. It’s an iconic part of the Chicago skyline and a treasured piece of Chicago history, harkening to the city’s 1893 World’s Fair. You can even book a VIP Centennial Wheel experience in a glass-bottomed, plush-seated gondola.
Virtual Rush: Chicago
This groundbreaking 4D VR adventure takes riders on a thrilling virtual voyage over and through a futuristic Chicago cityscape, immersing them in all the sci-fi action.
Amazing Chicago’s Funhouse Maze
This is Chicago’s only self-paced, full-sensory maze experience. Navigate your way through 4,000 square feet of tunnels, mazes, and games.
Aon summer fireworks
Fireworks perfectly synchronized to music have become a Navy Pier tradition. Biweekly shows are scheduled on Wednesdays and Saturdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day. For an extra-special experience, watch the fireworks from the water on the deck of a cruise boat.
AMC Navy Pier IMAX Theatre
A towering screen. Striking clarity. Deep, sharp sound. This is the ultimate immersive movie-going experience. Find out about upcoming screenings.
Chicago Children’s Museum
Kids dig for bones on a dinosaur expedition, scale a three-story schooner, and even make a splash in a water playground. Chicago Children’s Museum is three floors of unadulterated fun for kids aged 10 and under. Don’t miss the Chicago Children’s Museum store while you’re there for fun, educational, and imagination-expanding toys and games.
Whatever’s on your cruise wish list, you’ll find it at Navy Pier. Cruise on Lake Michigan and the Chicago River and experience everything from laid-back sightseeing and elegant dining to heart-pumping thrill rides and private charters. There’s even a cruise you and your dog can enjoy.
Tours by land, water, or air
Access any number of Chicago tours from Navy Pier, including Chicago Big Bus Tours, architecture and sightseeing cruises, Navy Pier food and history tours, and Bike & Roll Chicago tours. You can also rent bicycles to explore the lakefront at your own pace.
This breathtaking, one-acre indoor garden is housed in a six‐story glass atrium, with amazing views of the lakefront, Chicago skyline, and Centennial Wheel. Within the garden you’ll find over 80 live palm trees, lush foliage, hanging twinkle lights, and leapfrog fountains that keep kids entertained for hours.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater
This Tony Award-winning theatre hosts more than 650 performances a year, with a year-round season that presents plays, musicals, world premieres, and visiting touring companies. The theatre is particularly celebrated for The Yard, an engineering marvel in stage design, consisting of nine moveable towers that can be reconfigured to accomplish the vision of each production.
Public art and exhibitions
Navy Pier presents a rotating array of contemporary art designed to excite and inspire visitors. An ever-evolving schedule of art installations and exhibits keeps Navy Pier’s art scene hopping throughout the year.
Polk Bros Park
Polk Bros Fountain and Plaza at the entry to Navy Pier features a dramatic fountain with more than 150 jets that mimic the movement of waves, schools of fish, or flocks of birds. The Performance Lawns include two performance spaces to host live arts and cultural events, with Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline as their backdrops. Definitely stop in at The Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion, too, for information about things to do and see at the pier, guest maps, and more.
Food & dining
Miller Lite Beer Garden
From May through October, the beer garden becomes one of Chicago’s go-to destinations for free, live, outdoor music. This lakeside venue also offers some of the city’s best lake and skyline views.
Offshore Rooftop & Bar
The nation’s largest rooftop bar, Offshore Rooftop & Bar offers panoramic lakefront and city views from atop Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. The space features a full-service kitchen, creative cocktails, cozy fire pits, and lounge seating.
Food and drink
There’s really too much to mention if you’re after great food and drink at Navy Pier. From island-inspired cocktails to dinner in the company of sports memorabilia, there’s something for everyone at Chicago’s iconic attraction.
600 E. Grand Ave., (800) 595-PIER. Free admission.
Navy Pier RTA
The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) trip planner makes it easy to use CTA, Metra, and Pace buses and trains with real-time next-bus and next-train travel information. Access the latest transit information and the RTA trip planner.
Navy Pier Metra
Transfer from your Metra train to CTA buses and travel directly to Navy Pier. Use CTA bus #124 from Union Station, Ogilvie Station, and Millennium Station and CTA bus #29 from LaSalle Street Station and Millennium Station. Plan your route.
Navy Pier CTA bus
The following bus routes all serve Navy Pier:
#29 State (serving Metra lines from LaSalle Street Station and Millennium Station)
#124 Navy Pier (serving Metra lines from Union Station, Ogilvie Station, Millennium Station)
#2 Hyde Park Express (during weekday morning and evening rush hours only)
Taxis and rideshare
You can get to Navy Pier via taxi and rideshare from anywhere in the city. In addition to hailing taxis, you can e-Hail and e-Pay with CHICABS-approved apps ARRO and CURB. Credit cards are accepted in all taxis.