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5 Free Activities at Navy Pier

Navy Pier is proud to be an accessible and welcoming destination to inspire its guests to discover all that the Pier and Chicago has to offer. While some activities at the Pier are ticketed or require payment, we’ve listed our favorite free things to do at the Pier so you can watch your wallet and have a great time at Chicago’s lakefront destination.


Stroll the Pier

Navy Pier stretches more than six city blocks and offers incredible views of the Chicago skyline, parks and Lake Michigan. Walk the Pier and green spaces and enjoy the peace that nature can bring – all for free! If you need any other convincing, check out this article about the health benefits that time in nature provides from Science Daily!




Attend a Free Event

There is always something going on at Navy Pier. From cultural programming and seasonal celebrations to special events, festivals and more, discover free and fun Chicago events at Navy Pier all year long. Please visit here for an ongoing list of events to attend! We’re excited for Pier Pumpkin Lights, our new October pumpkin pop-up coming October 1!






Enjoy a Free Public Art Installation

Navy Pier is an architectural gem and an engineering marvel, which makes it one of the best places to gather and display public art and exhibitions. As Navy Pier continues to evolve in its second century, the Pier has become a community-focused cultural district. The Pier offers rotating free art installations and also has ongoing public art and historical points of interest on display. Don’t miss our new installation “The Ship of Tolerance” in partnership with EXPO CHICAGO through October 6, and visit here to see all of our art offerings!



Watch a Fireworks Show

Navy Pier is the destination for spectacular fireworks in Chicago, perfectly synchronized to music on Lake Michigan. The biweekly Aon Summer Fireworks show occurs Memorial Day through Labor Day, and be sure to check out the New Year’s Eve Fireworks presented by Miller Lite on December 31!




Go Fishing!

If you love to fish, visit Navy Pier’s North Dock and fish for free. Enjoy amazing sunrise views as you fish for Chicago’s perch, salmon, bass and trout. Check out our Fishermen’s Guide to Navy Pier for more info on this fun and free activity that can be enjoyed on the lakefront.





We would love to see you enjoying yourself and a free activity at Navy Pier! Share your posts on social media and post it with #NavyPier for a chance to be featured on our social media channels. Don’t forget to follow us on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

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