Fun Things to Do at Navy Pier

The Navy Pier has been around for quite some time, as it was constructed back in 1914, but don’t let that keep you from experiencing all the cool things to do! While this back in the day, the area was initially used mostly for shipping, the entertainment value of the property has now created a fantastic destination that you can spend hours exploring.

Travel in Style

Boats docked on Lake Michigan

Depending on where you are staying in Chicago, you may be wondering how you will reach the Navy Pier. Luckily, there’s a free trolley that will pick you up at designated areas throughout downtown and then take you directly to the pier.

Once you have arrived, you may want to consider seeing the pier from a different vantage point. If that is the case, we recommend taking the 40-minute Classic Lake Tour, as it shows you all the major waterfront sites. This is a great way to get a good look at downtown, plus take some great photos.

Self-Guided Tours

Ferris Wheel in Chicago

A self-guided tour of Navy Pier is also a great way to see the sights if you’re prone to seasickness. You can walk along the South Dock down the pedestrian boardwalk, which is two thousand feet long, so you will get the full experience while getting those steps in.
Take in the Fantastic Views

One of the best ways to see the Chicago skyline is from high up on the Navy Pier’s Centennial Wheel. This Ferris wheel reaches heights of almost two hundred feet, which is more than enough for you to have three-hundred- and sixty-degree views of not only the city but Lake Michigan as well! The best thing is that you can ride in the enclosed gondolas of the Centennial Wheel at any time of the year unless the weather is terrible.

Feel Like a Kid Again!

Rides and Carousel at Navy Pier

Your kid years have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t encourage you to act like one again at Navy Pier. The miniature theme park is the perfect place to spend an hour or two at any age. We recommend that you start with the Pepsi Wave Swinger before relaxing on your favorite animal on the old-fashioned carousel.

See Some Great Entertainment

The Shakespear Theater

Whether you want to watch a larger than life movie at the IMAX theater or see a show from the Tony Award-winning group at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, you don’t have to settle for mediocre. There are always special events taking place as well, so check out the Navy Pier calendar to see what’s happening during your visit. Art lovers can also find an array of installations and historical statues in and around the property.

While it’s a tourist hotspot, there are plenty of things to do at Navy Pier that are great for families or first-time trips to Chicago. From the beautiful crystal gardens to the large selection of restaurants serving up everything from deep dish pizza to craft burgers, it’s a good day or afternoon activity. So if you’re looking to see the sights, this is a good one to check out!