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Winter at Navy Pier - Winter Wheel

Jan. 17, 2023 | Midwest’s Top Nonprofit Tourism Destination Announces Q1 Programming

Immersive Experiences, Cultural Celebrations, and Family Festivities on Deck for Winter 2023 at Navy Pier

Please be aware that the content on this webpage was authored more than 6 months ago, so some information may be outdated or no longer accurate. Please visit our event calendar for information on current events.

CHICAGO – Navy Pier today announced its winter programming, featuring a diverse lineup of arts, entertainment, and family events. We will have holographic experiences, larger-than-life art installations, cultural celebrations for free. January through March offers a compelling array of climate-controlled diversions for Chicagoans and out-of-town visitors.

“The People’s Pier is a must-visit destination all year-round. There is no shortage of fun to be had exploring our six city-block-long Pier, the indoor and outdoor spaces and the amenities, attractions, restaurants, and unique shopping experiences that bring it to life,” said Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner. “We are proud to provide the community with dozens of new experiences in 2023.”

Thanks to ongoing philanthropic support of Navy Pier’s nonprofit mission, many Pier-produced events are open free to the public. Winter 2023 highlights include:

Verse Immersive (through Feb. 6) – A state-of-the-art augmented reality theatrical experience taking guests on immersive journeys through breathtaking holographic landscapes and encounters with mythical creatures in 30- to 60-minute, multi-act narratives. For additional information and tickets, click here.

International Puppet Festival (Jan. 21) – Free event welcoming three nationally acclaimed puppeteers to share their artistry in performances at Noon and 2 p.m. in the Culture Corner at Navy Pier’s Food Experience.

Family Days with Chicago Children’s Museum (starts Jan. 26) – Free, fun-filled programming, activities, and workshops for children ages 1 through 10, stationed throughout the Pier on the last Thursdays of the month, January through May.

Wise Children’s Wuthering Heights at Chicago Shakespeare Theater (opens Jan. 27) – A wildly imaginative and exhilarating musical adaptation of Emily Brontë’s classic novel, running through Feb. 19, as part of Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s WorldStage Series. For additional information and tickets, click here.

Global Connections: Lunar New Year (Jan. 28); International Carnivale (Feb. 25); Holi (March 4) Three-part series of cultural and ethnic celebrations from around the world, presented by ComEd. Free programming will take place in the Aon Grand Ballroom from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Solstice (opens March 4) – A monumental interactive art installation inspired by solar and planetary movements that invites visitors to take control of the environment around them. Solstice will be on display on Navy Pier’s South Dock and open free to the public through April 16.

All artists, dates, and prices are subject to change. Programming schedules are updated regularly at


Navy Pier Press Kit:  Click here to access Navy Pier’s press kit, including b-roll, photos, media parking map and logo.


Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is the top nonprofit tourism destination in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and typically welcoming nearly 9 million annual guests. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more. The Pier celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016 with the unveiling of the iconic Centennial Wheel, Polk Bros Park, Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion and Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion. In 2021, Navy Pier continued to usher in its second century with ongoing Pier-wide redevelopment efforts—including Sable, a 223-room Hilton hotel, new restaurants and partnerships, and thrilling additions to Pier Park. The Pier is also proud to continue providing free, year-round arts and cultural programming designed to inspire, educate, and connect communities across the city and globe. Click here to donate to Navy Pier, a mission-driven 501(c)(3) organization, in support of the organization’s post-pandemic revival and free public programming. For more information, visit



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