School is out and Navy Pier is in full spring-mode! Plan the perfect Spring Break in Chicago with our 2019 Spring Break Guide.
The Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier offers stunning 360 views of Chicago and Lake Michigan. By day, or by night, the year-round, enclosed and temperature-controlled Centennial Wheel is sure to take you to new heights and offer you one of the best experiences in Chicago.
*Pro-tip: For the ultimate Centennial Wheel experience, try buying tickets to the VIP gondola. The VIP gondola is a luxury, 4-passenger cart with a glass bottom! Tickets are available on-site at the box office in Pier Park.
LOOP is a FREE public art installation in Polk Bros Park at Navy Pier. It is similar to a zoetrope, one of the early ancestors of modern-day film. Guests can get inside this life-size zoetrope and activate it by rowing. Beautiful sounds and story-telling images come to life!
*Pro-tip: For the full experience, we recommend coming at night. The art installation lights up in various colors, which means awesome selfies and family photos!
Participate in the Festival of Colors, a classic Indian tradition, without having to travel far! Holi is a FREE public program, part of Global Connections, presented by ComEd. On March 23, 2019, come to the Pier for a colorful celebration, including live entertainment in the Aon Grand Ballroom and color throwing at the Miller Lite Beer Garden.
*Pro-tip: Bring clothes you’re okay with getting colored.
Navy Pier is the perfect place in Chicago to get dinner and drinks. With more than 20 dining establishments, there’s something for everyone. For a sit-down, up-scale ambiance, we recommend dining at Tiny Tavern. Tiny Tavern is the only crafted-cocktail destination at the Pier.
*Pro-tip: When dining at Tiny Tavern, make sure you get their famous Fried Cheese Curds (as pictured)!
The 2019 Chicago Flower and Garden Show is a spring-must! The annual show at Navy Pier celebrates the beginning of spring, with more than a dozen magical gardens to experience, live gardening and cooking demos, potting parties, children’s activities and more!
*Pro-tip: Make sure you take advantage of potting parties! You get to learn my a master instructor and take your plant home!
Chicago Shakespeare Theater is a leading international theater company and the recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award. This season, you’ll find must-see shows like Short Shakespeare!: Macbeth, An Inspector Calls, and Two Pints!
*Pro-tip: Make sure you catch a show at The Yard, Chicago Shakespeare’s newest, state-of-the-art theater.
Navy Pier is one of the best places in the city to support local businesses. Inside the Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion, you’ll find a variety of local shops, such as The Neighborhood Urban Gift Shop, 77 Chicago Flavors, Fashion Bazaar, and Nakamol Chicago. Many of these businesses are also female-owned!
*Pro-tip: You can get the most unique, Chicago-centric gifts at the Pier! We recommend visiting The Neighborhood Urban Gift Shop, which stocks items from local artists throughout the city.
You can go on an exclusive Navy Pier Food Tour with Chicago Food Planet. On this two-hour experience, your expert tour guide (aka Food Ambassador) will give you a look into Navy Pier’s surprising history and impact on Chicago, showcase the best food at Navy Pier and help you enjoy Chicago’s extraordinary skyline views.
*Pro-tip: Come on an empty stomach! This signature food tour is sure to fill you up!
Navy Pier is Chicago’s go-to destination to experience FREE, world-class public art. Come during spring break to experience art installations like This Land is Your Land by Iván Navarro, a set of water towers in Polk Bros Bark that invites guests to stand beneath them and gaze above. You can also feast your eyes and take artsy pics at any one of Chakaia Booker’s Four Sculptures.
*Pro-tip: Experience Iván Navarro’s installation at night for the best neon lighting views.
One of the best places in the city that lets you escape into a tropical paradise is Crystal Gardens. Crystal Gardens is a beautiful indoor, one‐acre, botanical garden. This space holds over 80 live palm trees, lush foliage, hanging twinkle lights and dancing leapfrog fountains.
*Pro-tip: This is one of the best selfie-spots on the Pier! The natural light that comes in from this six‐story glass atrium makes for a beautiful photo-op.