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Ring in 2018 at Navy Pier With the Liveliest Parties, Boat Cruises, Longest Fireworks Display in the City and Much More!

Dec. 13, 2017

Ring in 2018 at Navy Pier With the Liveliest Parties, Boat Cruises, Longest Fireworks Display in the City and Much More!

Please be aware that the content on this webpage was authored more than 6 months ago, so some information may be outdated or no longer accurate.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 (December 13, 2017) – Navy Pier, Chicago’s mission-driven cultural district, is the place to be this year, offering the only midnight fireworks display in the city. In addition to its signature fireworks show, the iconic lakefront destination will feature Pierwide celebrations and a wide variety of activities to help guests of all ages ring in the New Year in a memorable way!

As one of Chicago’s top family-friendly New Year’s Eve destinations, Navy Pier will begin the celebration early at the 17th Annual Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest. With dozens of activities and attractions and 170,000 square feet of entertainment for all ages, including the new Dasher’s Crashers Bumper Cars, the popular Chicago Blackhawks Ice Skating Rink, 40-foot Cliff Hanger and Artic Express Train, families can enjoy quality time together in anticipation of the New Year. Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Winter WonderFest Box Office on site.

With the purchase of a Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest ticket, guests can continue their celebration on the Pier’s iconic Centennial Wheel for free. Take in the sights and sounds of New Year’s Eve at Navy Pier from high above ground in enclosed and heated gondolas. The year-round attraction offers comfortable rides with unparalleled views of the city and lake. Reservations can be made in advance online for a coveted seat on the Centennial Wheel’s VIP gondola, featuring plush seats, glass bottom, and for those wishing to toast to 2018, champagne can be purchased to accompany the ride.

At the stroke of midnight, guests can gaze out to the lakefront and enjoy the Navy Pier New Year’s Eve Fireworks Show, presented by Miller Lite. Synchronized to music, this signature fireworks show promises a unique and magical experience over a span of 15 minutes, making it the longest fireworks display in the city.

The Pier is also proud to host a variety of exciting parties and celebrations:

Chicago Children’s Museum invites children and families to mark the end of 2017 with a Noon Year’s Eve celebration on Sunday. Guests will be treated to activities that celebrate the New Year in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. Activities include creating festive crowns and noisemakers, the last dance party of 2017, and a countdown to high noon, topped off with a multi-colored confetti finish. The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the festivities begin at 10:30 a.m. Chicago Children’s Museum’s Noon Year’s Eve celebration is included in admission ($14.95 for adults and children; $13.95 for seniors) and membership.

Before the clock strikes 12, head over to Chicago Shakespeare Theater to catch two exciting performances. Red Velvet, a multi-award winning play that transports audiences to the turbulent backstage world of London’s Theatre Royal in the mid 1800s, will be shown at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the Courtyard Theater. A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol, a remixed take on Charles’ Dickens’ classic tale featuring Chicago hip-hop sensation the Q Brothers, will be shown at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Yard, Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s new, innovative performance venue. Tickets to both performances are available at or by calling the box office at (312) 595-5600.

The 6th Annual Chicago Resolution Gala returns to Navy Pier’s Aon Grand Ballroom from 8:15 p.m. to 2 a.m., featuring more than 30 bars, an extraordinary food spread, music from top live DJs – including DJ Metro, the official DJ of the Chicago Bulls – and access to an exclusive private space on the Lakeview Terrace to watch the fireworks show at midnight. Tickets to this highly anticipated event are available for purchase online. *Must be 21 years or older to attend.

The Crystal Gardens New Year’s Eve Party marks its 12th anniversary this year and promises to deliver an unforgettable New Year’s Eve experience in the unique botanical setting of the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier. Guests will be treated to top-shelf drinks, several food stations, more than 20 premium liquor bars, a private lakefront terrace for fireworks viewing, red carpet photo opportunities and more. Complimentary noisemakers and other party favors will also be provided, and multiple popular live DJs will be on hand as guests dance the night away. The celebration runs from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Ticket packages and information for this must-hit party can be found online. *Must be 21 years or older to attend.

For those interested in celebrating on water, several boat parties will be available along the Pier, including the Odyssey New Year’s Eve Fireworks Dinner Cruise. Attendees can enjoy a sophisticated celebration on the lakefront with DJ entertainment, dinner, a platinum bar package, a midnight champagne toast and one of the best views of the Navy Pier Fireworks Show presented by Miller Lite. The cruise runs from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Extend the celebration to Sunday, January 1 with the New Year’s Day Champagne Brunch Cruise from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. or the New Year’s Day Prix Fixe Dinner from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Booking information and more details are available online.

Cruise into 2018 with Spirit of Chicago’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks Dinner Cruise, featuring a festive and entertaining evening on the lake with access to a dinner buffet, platinum open bar, champagne toast at midnight, dynamic DJ entertainment and prime firework views. The cruise will run from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. For families looking to celebrate earlier in the day, Spirit of Chicago offers a New Year’s Eve Family Brunch Cruise, which runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The cruise features a special countdown to noon, lunch buffet with holiday favorites, complimentary glass of champagne for adults 21 and over, and endless Chicago skyline views gracing every window for the perfect family-friendly New Year’s Eve experience. Check online for booking information and more details.

For those looking to get the celebration started early, Mystic Blue’s Eve of the Eve Dinner Cruise on Friday, December 30 offers a buffet-style dinner menu, DJ, dancing and festive holiday décor. The cruise will run from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Booking information and special deals are provided online.

In addition to the parties and cruises, select Navy Pier partner establishments will be offering New Year’s Eve specials and activities to complement the Pier’s festivities.

Spend New Year’s Eve in a galaxy far, far away at the Navy Pier IMAX at AMC, which will be showing the highly anticipated movie, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, at various times throughout the day. The IMAX release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Remastering) technology. The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX’s customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are in the movie. The last show time starts at 10:45 p.m. Full list of show times are available online.

For guests looking to wine and dine their way into the New Year, Jimmy Buffet’s MargaritavilleRiva Crab House and Tiny Tavern will have special offerings all night long and prime views of the fireworks show. Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville will ring in the New Year with a DJ, drink specials and extended hours through midnight (there will be a $10 cover charge).  Riva Crab House is accepting reservations for its main dining room and bar on the second level from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., with a two-hour seating limit. Hats, noisemakers and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight are included with dinner. The Riva Café, located on the first level, will be open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., with a $15 cover charge starting at 8 p.m. The night’s festivities will include a cash bar, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, hats, noisemakers, champagne at midnight and a live DJ from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tiny Tavern, Navy Pier’s craft cocktail bar, is offering New Year’s Eve guests a buffet style dinner package in the back dining room from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. The bar area will also be available from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Other Pier dining establishments will also remain open with extended operating hours to accommodate New Year’s Eve guests. For a full listing of on-site dining options, visit the Navy Pier website.

For the safety and comfort of all guests, Navy Pier will once again enforce its standard security measures for large-scale events, including bag inspection, metal detection and youth escort policy throughout the Pier on New Year’s Eve. Backpacks and other large bags are highly discouraged. Per policy, guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by and remain with a parent or legal guardian at all times.

For more information on New Year’s Eve events and activities at Navy Pier, please visit


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.


Visit our new website, The change to .org is small, but impactful. We are excited to move in to our second century as a mission-driven cultural district, welcoming all and inspiring our more than 9 million guests.

 Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is one of the top-attended nonprofit cultural destinations in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and welcoming more than nine 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. In 2017, Navy Pier continues to celebrate its centennial with a series of special events and programming, year-round rides on the Centennial Wheel and ongoing pier-wide redevelopment efforts as part of the Centennial Vision. Navy Pier, as a nonprofit organization, maintains and manages the 50-acre pier that is being redeveloped as a contemporary, environmentally responsible urban space. More information is available at

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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