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Chicagoland’s largest indoor lights experience is back at Navy Pier for the holiday season. From November 25 to January 7, you can experience the magic with interactive light displays, a whimsical skating rink, journeys through the Winter Wonderfest Forest, visits with Santa, and more. Plan your visit to Navy Pier’s Festival Hall and make Light Up the Lake your new holiday tradition.


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New to Light Up the Lake

“Stomp Light Activity” – A collection of 100 interactive light discs will create an engaging experience for all ages. Interactive LED floor pads instantly change color at the touch.

“Light Memory Game” – Guests will be able to play with interactive light structures through their smart phones. (Sponsored by Xfinity)

Reflecting Pond – The Frozen Pond is a beautiful area for relaxing and reflecting, with a dedicated spectacular photo-op for guests.

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Roseaux – Walking in fields has never been more fun than with Roseaux, a “particip’active” and playfully interactive art installation. Composed of 12 individual reeds that rise into the sky, Roseaux invites users to activate the base of the reeds by stepping on sensors, rhythmically propelling myriad colors up the stem. Alone or in a group, the fun and exciting race begins to give the reeds a single, solid color. The visual parade punctuated by a vibrant soundscape creates an energizing sensory experience.

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Winter Wonderfest Forest – Guests will wind their way through a maze of more than 100 lighted, 8-ft. birch trees. Each right – or wrong – turn provides opportunities for immersive selfies along the way. 

Magic Wands – With one tap of their magic wand, guests can create their own color stories inside Light Up The Lake. Guests will be able to search for and interact with 30 different magic objects throughout the event. Wands are not included in the ticket price. They are available for purchase inside main entrance for a nominal fee.

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Returning This Year

Light Sculptures – The area’s largest indoor light show, boasting more than 600,000 lights, will feature oversized sculptures with holiday and toy box themes, including a giant Teddy Bear, a deer soaring 25 feet, 60-ft. light tunnel, and a 40-ft. tree. There will even be an oversized rubber duckie!

Ice Skating Rink* – Guests are invited to come early, stay late, and take a spin on the Alpine ice rink. Guests can bring their own skates, but skates will be available at no extra charge, pending availability. Lockers will also be available.

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Santa’s House – Kids and adults can jump on the Holiday Train for a ride in Santa’s House. After they can share their holiday wish with Santa Claus. Guests are encouraged to visit the Jolly Olde Post Office where they can send a letter to Santa.

Centennial Wheel – Each ticket includes a ride on Navy Pier’s iconic 200-ft. Centennial Wheel, offering 360-degree views of the decorated city and frosty Lake Michigan. Guests can ride during their Light Up The Lake visit, weather permitting. The ticket is valid through 2023.

*Please note the skating rink may be closed at various times for scheduled resurfacing.

**Warning: This experience includes bright, flashing lights and/or imagery that may cause discomfort and/or seizures for those with photosensitive epilepsy and other photo sensitivities. Please use your best judgement when participating in Light Up The Lake.**

Light Up The Lake 2022 Schedule


Nov. 25 - Dec. 20

Monday – Thursday 03:00PM – 09:00PM

Friday – Saturday 11:00AM – 10:00PM

Sundays 11:00AM – 07:00PM 

Dec. 21 - Jan. 7 (not including holidays)

Daily 11:00AM – 10:00PM

Holiday Schedule

Christmas Eve – 11:00AM – 05:00PM

Christmas Day – Closed

New Year’s Eve – 11:00AM – 08:00PM

New Year’s Day – 11:00AM – 07:00PM

Associate Board Winter Fundraiser at Light Up The Lake

Join the Navy Pier Associate Board for a Winter Pier-adise event on Thursday, December 8.

Buy Tickets

Light memory game sponsor



Holiday Tree Sponsors

  • JMS
  • Local 399, International Union of Operating Engineers
  • Mid America Carpenters Regional Council
  • Powering Chicago
  • Pyrotecnico Fireworks Inc
  • Republic Services
  • Show Services

Community Partner Sponsors

  • The Chicago Bulls
  • Cole Fire Protection
  • Dion’s Chicago Dream
  • Frey Design Group
  • QSN Consulting

About Navy Pier

Navy Pier is the People’s Pier, Chicago’s lakefront treasure, welcoming all and offering dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs that inspire discovery and wonder.

Since its reopening in 1995, more than 180 million guests have come to enjoy the Pier's 50 acres of unparalleled attractions and experiences. In 2022, Navy Pier continues to evolve into an accessible, year-round centerpiece for Chicago’s diverse arts and cultural treasures.

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