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Upcoming Events

Fun and Free Things to do in Chicago at Navy Pier

Looking for fun and free things to do in Chicago? There’s always something going on at Navy Pier! From cultural programming and seasonal celebrations to special events, festivals, fireworks and more, discover fun and free Chicago events at Navy Pier all year long.

See also: free events & public programs

Navy Pier, Chicago’s mission-driven cultural district, proudly offers free events and public programming year-round. See a full listing of Navy Pier’s ongoing free events and public programs

Upcoming Events

Daily Big Bus Chicago Tours

Learn more about Big Bus Chicago sightseeing tours, departing daily from Navy Pier.

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Learn more about Big Bus Chicago sightseeing tours, departing daily from Navy Pier.

Daily Cruises

Year-Round

Daily Cruises

Enjoy lake and river cruises departing from Navy Pier’s South Dock and Polk Bros. Park

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Please visit the following pages for daily cruises, special events, and fireworks cruises:

Seadog Cruises Shoreline Sightseeing Odyssey Spirit of Chicago Mystic Blue Tall Ship Windy

Chicago Children’s Museum: Very Eric Carle

Step into the pages of Eric Carle’s colorful picture books!

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Very Eric Carle is a play-and-learn exhibit featuring activities inspired by five of Eric Carle’s classic books: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Quiet Cricket, The Very Lonely Firefly, The Very Clumsy Click Beetle and The Very Busy Spider. In this exhibit, you can:

– Become the Very Hungry Caterpillar as you follow his path
– Weave a web with the Very Busy Spider
– Find your light with the Very Lonely Firefly
– Make the Very Clumsy Click Beetle flip and jump
– Compose a night symphony with the Very Quiet Cricket
– Enjoy a gallery of prints from Eric Carle’s Very Series as well as works in progress

Learn More

IMAX® Presents: Justice League

November 16, 2017 - November 22, 2017

IMAX® Presents: Justice League

AMC® Navy Pier IMAX® Theatre

Based on the DC comics superhero team.

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Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.

For tickets to see Justice League in IMAX®, click HERE.

Sequence Ch!cago: Housegiving

Free Public Program

November 22, 2017

Sequence Ch!cago: Housegiving

7:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Aon Grand Ballroom

Free and open to the public! A nod to Chicago’s diverse art and music scene, Sequence Ch!cago celebrates local artists, musicians and cultural organizations by showcasing their works through this unique and exciting new performance series!

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Over the course of 10 dates between September 30 and December 20, Sequence Ch!cago spotlights talented performers from different Chicago neighborhoods who have inspired and influenced the local arts community through their creative works. Sequence Ch!cago is free and open to the public. The music program is supported by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.

Details on November 22: Housegiving: A People’s Pier House Party | 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. | Aon Grand Ballroom MUSIC: Steve “Miggedy” Maestro, Gene Hunt, Julius “The Mad Thinker”, Queens of House’s (Solkat and Dee Jay Alicia)

In partnership with the Chicago House Legacy Project Band

Odyssey Thanksgiving Day Cruises

Afternoon lunch and dinner cruises available!

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Try something different this November and retreat to the water for a Thanksgiving meal with a view. Odyssey makes it easy for families and friends to spend time together connecting with scenic views of the city without frantically preparing for guests.

Book Your Cruise Online.

Sequence Ch!cago: Chicago Culture Market

Free Public Program

Free and open to the public! A nod to Chicago’s diverse art and music scene, Sequence Ch!cago celebrates local artists, musicians and cultural organizations by showcasing their works through this unique and exciting new performance series!

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Over the course of 10 dates between September 30 and December 20, Sequence Ch!cago spotlights talented performers from different Chicago neighborhoods who have inspired and influenced the local arts community through their creative works. Sequence Ch!cago is free and open to the public. The music program is supported by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.

Details on November 25: Chicago Culture Market | 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. | Food Experience (Between Lalo’s and Brown Sugar Bakery)

MUSIC: SVB Quartet (classical string quartet); Trio Mokili (African); Sam Trump (Soul) MARKET: Bodega 18; Sam Kirk- Provoke Culture; AV Bead Designs; The Silver Room

Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest

December 1, 2017 - January 7, 2018

Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest

Festival Hall

Experience the city’s biggest and best indoor winter playground and join the millions of families who have made it a part of their annual holiday tradition!

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Packed with family fun, Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier is a beloved annual Chicago winter event, featuring 170,000 square feet of carnival rides, giant slides, holiday-themed activities, and Indoor Ice Skating Rink, and more. Experience the city’s biggest and best indoor winter playground and join the millions of families who have made it a part of their annual holiday tradition! 

Learn more at navypier.org/winter-wonderfest.

Red Velvet

December 1, 2017 - January 21, 2018

Red Velvet

Chicago Shakespeare Theater

CST’s Courtyard Theater

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CST’s Courtyard Theater
By Lolita Chakrabarti
Directed by Gary Griffin

The director of last fall’s “must-see” King Charles III helms a fascinating glimpse into theater history, called “fiery and funny” by Time Out New York. In 1833 at the Theatre Royal in Covent Garden, Edmund Kean, the greatest actor of his age, collapses on stage while performing the lead in Othello. He is replaced by a young, black actor, Ira Aldridge—a first for the role on London’s West End. As a bill in Parliament promoting the abolition of slavery sends shock waves through the streets, how will London react to his performance? This multi-award-winning play garnered Lolita Chakrabarti the Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising New Playwright.

Click here to learn more.

Santa Hustle Chicago 5K After Party

Join us at Navy Pier for the Santa Hustle 5K and Kids Rudolph Run After Party!

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Experience the magic of the Santa Hustle Chicago 5K and Rudolph Run on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at Soldier Field. The 2017 swag is bound to make your jingle tingle even brighter with a Santa Hat, Santa Beard, Santa Shirt, Finisher Medal, Cookies, Candy and Candy Cane Socks!

After the race, buses will shuttle runners to Navy Pier for a rocking after party offering dining, discounts, fun and more!

Register

Sequence Ch!cago: Cielito Lindo

Free Public Program

December 2, 2017

Sequence Ch!cago: Cielito Lindo

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Food Experience (West End)

Free and open to the public! A nod to Chicago’s diverse art and music scene, Sequence Ch!cago celebrates local artists, musicians and cultural organizations by showcasing their works through this unique and exciting new performance series!

Read More

Over the course of 10 dates between September 30 and December 20, Sequence Ch!cago spotlights talented performers from different Chicago neighborhoods who have inspired and influenced the local arts community through their creative works. Sequence Ch!cago is free and open to the public. The music program is supported by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.

Details on December 2:
5 p.m.-7.p.m. |The southwest corner of the Food Experience, across from Ben and Jerry’s
MUSIC: Cielito Lindo

Sequence Ch!cago: Wicker Park Choral Singers

Free Public Program

Free and open to the public! A nod to Chicago’s diverse art and music scene, Sequence Ch!cago celebrates local artists, musicians and cultural organizations by showcasing their works through this unique and exciting new performance series!

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Over the course of 10 dates between September 30 and December 20, Sequence Ch!cago spotlights talented performers from different Chicago neighborhoods who have inspired and influenced the local arts community through their creative works. Sequence Ch!cago is free and open to the public. The music program is supported by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.

Details on December 9:
5 p.m.-7.p.m. |The southwest corner of the Food Experience, across from Ben and Jerry’s
MUSIC: Wicker Park Choral Singers

IMAX® Presents Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The Last Jedi is the second film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy.

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Having taken her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Rey continues her epic journey with Finn, Poe, and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the saga.

For tickets to see The Last Jedi in IMAX, click HERE.

Sequence Ch!cago: Chicago Gay Men’s Choir

Free Public Program

Free and open to the public! A nod to Chicago’s diverse art and music scene, Sequence Ch!cago celebrates local artists, musicians and cultural organizations by showcasing their works through this unique and exciting new performance series!

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Over the course of 10 dates between September 30 and December 20, Sequence Ch!cago spotlights talented performers from different Chicago neighborhoods who have inspired and influenced the local arts community through their creative works. Sequence Ch!cago is free and open to the public. The music program is supported by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.

Details on December 16:
5 p.m.-7.p.m. |The southwest corner of the Food Experience, across from Ben and Jerry’s
MUSIC: Chicago Gay Men’s Choir

Sequence Ch!cago: A Blues Christmas

Free Public Program

December 20, 2017

Sequence Ch!cago: A Blues Christmas

7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Aon Grand Ballroom

Free and open to the public! A nod to Chicago’s diverse art and music scene, Sequence Ch!cago celebrates local artists, musicians and cultural organizations by showcasing their works through this unique and exciting new performance series!

Read More

Over the course of 10 dates between September 30 and December 20, Sequence Ch!cago spotlights talented performers from different Chicago neighborhoods who have inspired and influenced the local arts community through their creative works. Sequence Ch!cago is free and open to the public. The music program is supported by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.

Details on December 20:
A Blues Christmas | 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | Aon Grand Ballroom
MUSIC: Alligator Records Collaboration: Toronzo Cannon, Lil’ Ed, Lynne Jordan; Matthew Skoller

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