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Best Winter Activities for Families at Navy Pier

Navy Pier, Chicago’s iconic lakefront destination, is open year-round and offers great activities, attractions and more to stay entertained and warm this winter season! We’ve listed out some great seasonal activities here at the Pier for you and your family to enjoy.


Sequence Ch!cago: A Blues Christmas

A Blues Christmas is a free, special concert presented in collaboration with Alligator Records and is the final program of the Sequence Ch!cago music and market series, supported by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation. Visit the Aon Grand Ballroom on Friday, December 20 from 7 – 8:30 p.m. and enjoy Toronzo Cannon and guests Lil’ Ed, Lynne Jordan and Matthew Skoller as they perform classics from Alligator Records’ Christmas collection, along with other seasonal favorites.



Winter Wonder Market

Navy Pier’s Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion has transformed this holiday season into an all-new holiday market. Winter Wonder Market is your one-stop-shop to all things holiday featuring holiday gifts, seasonal treats, daily appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus and free gift wrapping with any $20 purchase from a Navy Pier merchant (limit 3 gifts to be wrapped). Winter Wonder Market opened on Friday, November 29 and will run through Tuesday, December 24.



19th Annual Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest

Packed with fun for all ages, Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier is a favorite Chicago family winter event, featuring 170,000 square feet of rides, giant slides, holiday-themed activities, the Xfinity Ice Skating Rink and more. Make a full staycation of it with Hilton’s bundle packages and experience sensory friendly hours on Thursday, January 9 from 4 – 8 p.m. New this year, try The Wind Chill, a brand-new exciting ride! Purchase tickets here.



Centennial Wheel

No trip to Navy Pier is complete with a ride on the iconic Centennial Wheel, and this includes a winter visit! No matter the season, the enclosed gondolas provide a comfortable experience and miraculous city views. And great news – each Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest ticket includes a ride on the Centennial Wheel (valid through March 2020), so you and your family can enjoy a ride all season long.




Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s “Q Brothers Christmas Carol”

Now through December 23, Chicago hip hop sensations, the Q Brothers Collective, heat up the holiday season with a wildly entertaining ad-rap-tation of Charles Dickens’ classic. The crew mashes up hip hop with contemporary musical styles, ranging from reggae to dancehall music, dubstep and rock ballads. Most enjoyed by ages 12 and up, this is a great entertaining show for families. Buy your tickets today here.



Winter Food & Drink Specials

This winter, enjoy wintry specials at participating onsite establishments during Winter Wonder Market. Participating partners include America’s Dog & Burger, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Giordano’s, Harry Caray’s Tavern, Margaritaville Chicago, Offshore, Riva Crabhouse and Tiny Tavern. Visit here for a full list of specials to get inspired!



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