A trip to Navy Pier always promises a day of fun, but this spring, visitors to Chicago's top family travel destination will be invited to seesaw into the season... literally! Impulse, an internationally acclaimed, interactive public-art installation of 15 musical and illuminated seesaws in Polk Bros Park, invites both little kids and kids at heart to bounce to musical beats and beams of light at this musical playground.


Impulse at Navy Pier

Open daily through May 21

These aren't just any old playground seesaws: they feature special LED lighting and sound systems that are activated through the motion of its users. As the board’s angle shifts up and down, the music and light intensify, turning the seesaws into large-scale urban instruments.

First presented as part of Luminothérapie, an annual winter experience in Canada, the engaging installation is the work of Toronto-based firm Lateral Office and Montreal-based CS Design, in collaboration with Générique Design of Montreal. The traveling exhibit has made its way through five cities since its debut in Montreal, including London (see the video above); Lugano, Switzerland; Brussels, Belgium; and Scottsdale, Arizona — making Chicago the second U.S. city to experience Impulse.

Impulse is very much in keeping with Chicago’s culturally rich and distinguished art scene, while also in alignment with Navy Pier’s mission of offering unparalleled experiences that inspire discovery and wonder,” said Michelle T. Boone, chief program and civic engagement officer of Navy Pier. “We invite guests of all ages and backgrounds to come experience the Pier’s ongoing programmatic evolution this spring, starting with this truly unique and artistic spin on a classic playground activity.”

Impulse was one of the first Year of Public Art projects to kick off, marking the the 50th anniversary of the gift of the Picasso work at the Daley Plaza and the 50th anniversary of The Wall of Respect, a seminal piece recognized as one of the first community murals painted in Chicago.  

Navy Pier  |  600 E. Grand Avenue  |  312-595-7437
FREE Admission


For more information on Impulse and other fun offerings at the Pier — from sightseeing Big Bus Tours to the must see 18,000 sq. feet showcase dedicated to rock n' roll legends, Exhibitionism The Rolling Stones — visit navypier.org.