Visiting the Pier

The best way to spend a day at Navy Pier:

  • If possible,  try to arrive by Water Taxi from Union Station,  Michigan Avenue, or the Shedd Aquarium.
  • Take a walk to the end of the Pier to enjoy the great views of the city and see all that Navy Pier has to offer.
  • Visit Amazing Chicago!
  • Stop at Navy Pier Park for the Centennial Ferris Wheel, Carousel, and Wave Swinger Swings.
  • Enjoy the serenity of the Crystal Gardens—a great place for a quiet snack. Parents can relax while the kids watch the leap-frog fountains shoot overhead. Usually cool and quiet any time of the year.
  • Take a Seadog Cruise for a view of the skyline from Lake Michigan. Seadog offers open water speedboat cruises on the lake or relaxed architectural tours down the Chicago River.
  • Stop by Giordano’s or Harry Caray’s for lunch. Our Pier food favorites!
  • Before you end your day, visit the Polk Brothers Park at the front of the Pier. The kids can run and play in the fountain and cool off from the summer heat! Be sure to bring your swimsuit and towel!

Trying to avoid the crowds?
Visit the Pier before Noon or come after the summer season in September and October when the weather is beautiful, the crowds are light and all the fun things to do on the Pier are still available.

When are the Fireworks?
Wednesday at 9:30pm and Saturday at 10:15pm (Memorial Day through Labor Day) and during special events. Please click here for more information

Is Navy Pier open after Labor Day?
You bet! Want to know a secret? Visiting in the off season is a great time to enjoy the Pier without the crowds. You can relax and your kids can run off their excess energy! The Pier offers free family events in the Family Pavilion throughout the year.