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4000 free centennial wheel 1

Oct. 19, 2022 | More than 50 local nonprofits will receive free Centennial Wheel tickets

Navy Pier Announces Recipients of Community Rides Program and Gives More Than 4,000 Free Centennial Wheel Rides to Local Organizations

Please be aware that the content on this webpage was authored more than 6 months ago, so some information may be outdated or no longer accurate.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 is providing 4,495 tickets to 53 different nonprofits and school programs through the relaunch of Community Rides. The program offers these vital community organizations the opportunity to apply for up to 100 free tickets to ride the Centennial Wheel as well as a transportation stipend. It is an initiative designed to provide underserved communities with access to visit and experience the Pier.

Creating a program that supports our communities and directly removes barriers such as ticket fees and transportation costs is vital to the Pier’s mission. Navy Pier is relaunching the program following a 2-year hiatus and for the first time offering two application cycles per year (spring and fall) and expanding eligibility to include school groups and school programs in addition to 501c3 applicants.

As the People’s Pier, Navy Pier strives to establish and nurture meaningful partnerships with schools, embrace other nonprofits, offer unique opportunities to all of guests and create new experiences to underserved communities.

Fall 2022 Community Rides Recipients include: After School Matters, Alexander Leigh Center for Autism (ALCA), Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, The Chicago Public Library Foundation, Urban Alliance, A Safe Haven Foundation, ACERO Schools – Major Hector P Garcia M.D High School, Braven, Inc., Face the Future Foundation, Saint Leonard& Ministries, Step Up,  Totally Positive Productions, Youth Guidance, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago, Hephzibah Children& Association, St. Nicholas of Tolentine School, World Chicago, C24/7: Father& Arms Ministries, Chicago Scholars, Esperanza Community Services, Illinois Institute of Technology, iMentor Chicago, Kids Above All, L.E.A.R.N Charter School Romano-Butler Campus, Peace Village, Chicago Scholars, Tutoring Chicago, Chicago Youth Centers , New Moms, Inc., Chicago Jesuit Academy, St. Procopius Dual Language School, Cornerstone Community Outreach, Northwest Side Housing Center, SheWill Legacy NFP, Bronzeville Classical School, House of the Good Shepherd, Talented Tenth Social Services, Inc., Operation Support Our Troops-America, Portfolio Resident Services,  Old Town School of Folk Music, The Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, Project OneTen, Healthy Lombard,  Jane Addams Resource Corporation, La Casa Norte, Find Your Anchor, Jerome Burke Foundation, Easterseals, Better Sister and Brother Growth Network, Indo American, and America Field Service.

Organizations interested in applying can learn more here . The next application cycle will open in early 2023.

Tickets for the Centennial Wheel are valued at $18.00 for an adult and $15.00 for children ages 3 -11. Guests interested in purchasing a ride can click link for additional details.

Navy Pier’s Centennial Wheel is an iconic part of the Chicago skyline and a treasured piece of Chicago cultural history. Soaring to heights of nearly 200 feet, the Wheel offers visitors unparalleled, 360-degree views of Chicago and Lake Michigan. No matter the season, the enclosed gondolas provide a comfortable experience and miraculous city views. For more information, visit .

Note: All dates are subject to change. Centennial Wheel operations are weather permitting.

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 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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