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Jun. 4, 2020

Navy Pier Announces Phased Reopening Plan Following 12-week Covid-19 Closure

Please be aware that the content on this webpage was authored more than 6 months ago, so some information may be outdated or no longer accurate.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, Chicago’s iconic destination, introduces its phased approach to cautiously reopening and resuming operations, with state and city guidelines for health and safety at the forefront of each phase. As part of Phase 1, which begins Wednesday, June 10, the following will be open and available to the public: Navy Pier parking garages (free access), Polk Bros Park, Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion, North and South Dock, Pier Park (rides remain closed), East End Plaza, outdoor restaurant spaces, tour boats and select free programs. Hours of operation will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and may vary per establishment. Navy Pier has been closed since Monday, March 16 due to COVID-19.

“Following Navy Pier’s longest closure in recent history, we, along with the rest of Chicago, are anxious to reopen our spaces and safely welcome guests back to the Pier over the next few months as we work collectively to restore our local economy,” said Marilynn Gardner, Navy Pier President and CEO. “We recognize that our new reality is now accompanied by new standards, and as the People’s Pier, we are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure the health, safety and comfort of all who visit the Pier. Our goal is to provide guests with a safe space to reconnect with Chicago through our free public programs, on-site local dining, retail and attractions, and our beloved vistas and vast greenspace. We believe we have outlined a framework that will allow us to serve as a resource for the community while protecting our guests’ well-being.”

Navy Pier’s framework, which aligns with Phases 3, 4 and 5 of the State of Illinois’ “Restore Illinois” plan and City of Chicago’s “Protecting Chicago” outline, as well as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, prioritizes stringent cleaning measures and safety practices to support the health and wellness of those at the Pier. Measures include, but are not limited to:

  • Multiple layers of stringent cleaning and disinfecting: Navy Pier is utilizing electrostatic anti-microbial spray treatments and sanitizing high-touch surfaces, common areas and Pier-wide attractions after each use with a disinfectant that is of the same quality found in healthcare facilities. In addition, more than 75 hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed and made available for guest use.
  • Preparing and equipping employees with appropriate resources: Face masks or coverings will be required for employees while in public spaces. Temperature screenings will be conducted prior to each shift. Cleaning and disinfecting supplies will be provided to staff. Guest-facing employees will be required to wear face masks and gloves at all times. Employees have been equipped with guidance on individual health and safety measures and will receive ongoing training as new information becomes available from the CDC and health leaders at the state and local level.
  • New physical distancing practices: Navy Pier has designated Social Distancing Ambassadors, who will be circulating the Pier to cordially remind guests to practice physical distancing. Signs marking appropriate amount of space are placed throughout the Pier for guidance. The volume of people at Navy Pier’s public programs, events and within indoor and outdoor spaces at a given time will be limited to a number that is proportional and conducive to physical distancing for that space. Gathering of large groups of 10 or more people are strictly prohibited. Guests in violation of this practice will be subject to removal from the premises.
  • New Pier Park measures: Upon the reopening of Pier Park rides (to come at a later date), digital ticketing kiosk screens will be sanitized frequently; Centennial Wheel riders will only be placed in gondolas with those within their party; high-touch surfaces will be wiped down after each ride; and the Wheel will shut down for 15 minutes every two hours for a full-sanitary wipe down. All Pier Park rides and attractions will operate at reduced capacity and be cleaned after each use.
  • New parking garage measures: Parking personnel have been trained on physical distancing practices, proper handwashing, glove usage, disinfection protocol and other best practices for infection control. Navy Pier offers the following self-parking, touchless payment options:
    • Apple Pay and Tap features at pay stations and in-lane equipment
    • Online parking reservations through Navy Pier Website, ParkWhiz and SpotHero
  • Standard CDC and Chicago Public Health guidelines: Guests must bring and wear a face mask at all times while visiting Navy Pier and try to maintain six feet of distance between individuals who are not from the same household. Guests should also wash hands regularly and/or utilize the hand sanitizers provided throughout the Pier. Those who are sick, have COVID-19 symptoms or diagnosis, or have been exposed to someone with symptoms or diagnosis within the last 14 days should stay home or visit their healthcare provider.

The cleaning and safety measures outlined above will apply indefinitely throughout each phase until further notice. Given the fluidity and nature of the situation, Navy Pier is prepared to modify procedures as necessary.

Please note, all interior spaces, including flagship cultural anchors, such as Chicago Children’s Museum and Chicago Shakespeare Theater, will remain closed during the Pier’s initial reopening phase. All fireworks and large-scale events are also canceled through Phase 1. The subsequent phases will consist of paced-out reopenings of additional spaces, businesses and attractions, such as Pier Park rides, Miller Lite Beer GardenFifth Third Bank Family Pavilion, indoor dining and retail establishments. The final phase will look to fully restore the Pier’s operations with events returning to the Aon Grand Ballroom, Festival Hall and Crystal Gardens, the opening of the new hotel (The Sable at Navy Pier), and other remaining businesses. Additional details and decisions related to upcoming phases will be made with guidance and input from the State and City.

A top civic space and nonprofit institution in Chicago, Navy Pier is home to nearly 70 independent businesses, several pop-up neighborhood markets, countless annual events and hundreds of local artists who regularly showcase their works at the Pier, enriching the lives of Chicago residents and visitors, alike. Collectively, the on-site restaurants, retailers, attractions and nonprofit partners employ more than 3,000 people annually and contribute to the Pier’s reputation as one of the largest first employers for youth in the city. As such, Navy Pier recognizes its responsibility to the greater Chicagoland community and is committed to restoring the vitality of the Pier, its partners and the local economy as the city works to recover from the pandemic and its harrowing impact. The three-part framework will allow the Pier to set that plan in motion, while continuing to prioritize public health and safety.

Click here to view Navy Pier’s full and detailed reopening plan. For more information, visit


PHOTOS: Navy Pier | Credit: Navy Pier

About Navy Pier

Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is the top nonprofit tourism destination in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and welcoming nearly 9 million guests annually. 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 recently celebrated its 100th anniversary with the unveiling of the iconic Centennial WheelPolk Bros ParkFifth Third Bank Family Pavilion and Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion. In 2020, Navy Pier continues to usher in its second century with ongoing Pier-wide redevelopment efforts – including a 220-room Hilton hotel with a year-round rooftop bar, Offshore (now open), and more – in addition to 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 free public programs. For more information, visit

Navy Pier Mission Statement

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.

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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