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Navy Pier

Navy Pier is one of Chicago’s most iconic landmarks and a premier tourist destination in the Midwest. Stretching over 3,300 feet into Lake Michigan, it offers an array of attractions, entertainment options, dining, and shopping for visitors of all ages. With its unique combination of historical significance and modern-day entertainment, it has become a vibrant part of Chicago’s cultural landscape.


Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreational facility, Navy Pier has a rich history. It was named after the naval veterans of World War I and served as a training center for the U.S. Navy during World War II. In the post-war era, it became a site for public events and exhibitions. However, it wasn’t until 1995 that Navy Pier was redeveloped into the bustling entertainment complex it is today, blending its historical structures with contemporary attractions.


Navy Pier is located at 600 E. Grand Avenue on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan. It is easily accessible by public transportation, car, and even by foot from many downtown hotels and landmarks.


For more information about Navy Pier, including event schedules, maps, and other visitor information, you can visit the official website at Navy Pier.

Opening Hours

Navy Pier’s general operating hours are Sunday to Thursday from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM, and Friday to Saturday from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM. However, hours may vary for different attractions, events, and seasons, so it’s recommended to check the website or contact the Pier directly for the most current information.

Things to do

Navy Pier offers a wealth of activities for visitors:

  • Ferris Wheel: Enjoy a ride on the iconic Centennial Wheel, providing breathtaking views of the city skyline and lake.
  • Chicago Children’s Museum: A wonderful place for families with interactive exhibits.
  • Shakespeare Theater: Catch a world-class theatrical performance at the renowned Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
  • Seasonal Festivals: Experience various cultural and food festivals throughout the year.
  • Boat Tours: Embark on scenic boat tours and cruises from the Pier.
  • Dining and Shopping: Savor a meal at one of the many restaurants or find unique gifts and souvenirs in the shops.
  • Fireworks: See spectacular fireworks shows during the summer and other special events.

Tips For Visiting

  • Plan Ahead: Check the calendar for special events and weather conditions.
  • Wear Comfortable Shoes: Expect to do a lot of walking.
  • Purchase Tickets in Advance: Save time by buying tickets online for attractions and rides.
  • Take Public Transportation: Parking can be expensive and limited, so consider using the city’s public transit options.
  • Enjoy the Freebies: Navy Pier offers free admission, with some free seasonal events and outdoor activities.


Navy Pier is a must-visit destination that encapsulates the spirit of Chicago. Whether you’re a history buff, a cultural enthusiast, or just looking for an enjoyable day out, Navy Pier has something for everyone. Its vibrant atmosphere and stunning location make it a cherished landmark that continues to delight visitors year after year.

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