Navy Pier

Sure, it might seem like just a giant walkway on Lake Michigan from afar, but Navy Pier is actually a pretty freaking cool way to spend an afternoon. That's right, for almost 20 years, tourists and Chicagoans alike have enjoyed trips down the mile-long Navy Pier. It's the largest tourist attraction in the Midwest, drawing more than 8.6 million people a year. Sure, there's plenty of eating a drinking on the pier (and who doesn't love that?), but you'll find that Navy Pier holds some amazing surprises for you and your family.

Chicago Children's Museum

Children's Museum

This fun and interactive spot will keep your kids occupied for hours. They get to create an elaborate river lock system, excavate dinosaur bones, or build their own skyscraper. The exhibits are specially tailored for hands-on, interactive learning and will result in an exhausting, enlightening, and exciting day.

Chicago Shakespeare Theatre

Shakespeare Theater

The Chicago Shakes (as it's lovingly called by theatre nerds) features some of the finest talent in the country. Shakespeare's masterpieces are re-interpreted for today's audience on a classic theatre-in-the-round style stage. Those plays you couldn't get through in high school will become your most-valued stories because of the creative staging by this top-notch company.

Cruises

Cruises at Navy Pier

Navy Pier might seem like it's just a cultural and entertainment hub, but it's also an actual, bona-fide, pier. That means that boats can depart from and arrive at its already action-packed aisles. There are several ships that will take patrons on dinner, cocktail, or firework cruises. There is no better backdrop than Chicago's legendary skyline.

Fireworks

Fireworks

Fireworks are shot from Navy Pier every Wednesday at 9:30PM and Saturday at 10:00PM between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. Beautiful things on fire in the sky where no one gets hurt? I think that's enticing enough. Let's move on.

Mini-Golf, Crystal Gardens and Amusements

Crystal Gardens

Everyone knows about the Ferris Wheel, and it's definitely a must-ride, but did you know that Navy Pier offers other rides for its patrons? You know that thing with the swings on it that spins around? It has one. It also has a mini-golf course to guarantee an entire day of outdoor fun.

Seagulls

Seagull

Have you ever seen a seagull run? It's pretty awesome. 

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