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Light Up The Lake at Navy Pier

Nov. 1, 2023 | The reimagined event includes new free activities, winter fireworks series, live music, light displays, and décor both outdoors and indoors throughout the Pier

Light Up The Lake at Navy Pier

CHICAGO— Navy Pier is thrilled to announce a reimagined, “Light Up the Lake 2023,” an enchanting winter celebration that promises to illuminate the Chicago lakefront from Nov. 24 to Dec. 31. This dazzling program includes free and ticketed activities and invites visitors of all ages to immerse themselves in the holiday spirit through a spectacular array of activities, lights, and seasonal delights, including the nationally acclaimed Navy Pier fireworks.

Program Highlights:

  • Winter Wonderland Lights: Navy Pier will be adorned with outdoor light displays visible from DuSable Lakeshore Drive, transforming the lakefront into a magical winter wonderland.
  • Ice Skating Rink: Experience the joy of outdoor ice skating at a picturesque lakeside rink that offers fun for skaters of all levels. Guests may bring their own skates and skate for Free or rent skates starting at $15 per person.
  • Cozy Outdoor Firepits: Warm up by the firepits while enjoying the beautiful views and the company of friends and family. Purchase a s’mores kit to make your own sweet treat.
  • Weekly Fireworks: Every Saturday, guests can marvel at breathtaking fireworks displays at 9pm, creating illuminated memories. These fireworks have been voted the best in the nation by USA Today.
  • Hands-on Craft Workshops with Somos Arte: Embark on a Free enchanting holiday experience with a series of creative thematic workshops that allow guests to immerse themselves in the spirit of the season. Create a handmade ornament to take with or add your creation to the snow globe murals on display throughout the Pier.
  • Lolita’s Bodega Artisan Markets: Discover and shop for unique gifts while supporting local artisans at the holiday artisan markets.
  • Live Local Performances: Enjoy Free live musical performances every Friday to Sunday featuring local talent and festive entertainment.
  • Future Frost: Stroll an art gallery featuring the city’s diverse and eclectic artistic talents. Local artists, creating in a variety of mediums, will have their work available for purchase.
  • Axe Throwing: Experience the thrill of axe throwing on Fridays and Saturdays from 12 pm to 9 pm, and on Sundays from 12 pm to 8 pm (closing at 5 pm on December 24th). Prices start at $5 plus taxes and fees.
  • Free Gift Wrapping: Get your gifts wrapped for free during specific hours on select weekends.

For a complete schedule and more information, please visit


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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