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5 Things You Didn’t Know about Navy Pier

At Navy Pier, there is more than meets the eye! From historical facts to on-site perks, here are the top 5 things you might not know about Chicago’s lakefront treasure. Impress your friends, family and more with this hidden gem knowledge!


Did you know that Navy Pier dates all the way back to 1916? Historic Navy Pier began as part of Daniel Burnham’s vision to transform the lakefront into attractive and useful public space for active recreation and social interaction. Since its reopening in 1995, the Pier has welcomed over 186 million guests, including a record-breaking 9.3 million guests in 2016. The Pier continues to evolve with exciting developments and new venues, and if you want to learn more, check out WTTW’s documentary “Navy Pier: A Century of Reinvention.”



Non-Profit Status

In 2011, Navy Pier became a not-for-profit corporation to maintain the Pier and oversee the redevelopment of one of the most important civic landmarks in the U.S. and one of the top-visited leisure and cultural destinations in the world. As the People’s Pier, Navy Pier welcomes all and offers dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs that inspire discovery and wonder. To support Navy Pier, visit here.



Year-Round Destination and Programming

The Pier is a great summer spot for Chicagoans and other guests alike, but Navy Pier also is a wonderful year-round spot to enjoy city views, amazing attractions, cultural programming and more. The Centennial Wheel, with climate-controlled and enclosed gondolas, is open year-round, as well as all of the retail and dining in the Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion. Don’t forget about the free year-round programming for dynamic events to attend!



Free WiFi

Presented by Impact, Navy Pier offers free WiFi, a complimentary service throughout Navy Pier and Polk Bros Park so guests can stay connected and enjoy the Internet throughout their visit.





Drinks To-Go

At various restaurants around the Pier, guests can take their drink to-go and stroll along the Pier with a tasty beverage they’ve purchased. From happy hour to weekends, enjoy this perk throughout the Pier, both indoors and outdoors.




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