CHICAGO – Navy Pier will kick off summer this Memorial Day weekend when its widely anticipated free summer fireworks light up the sky at 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 28. This weekend also marks the official opening of the Navy Pier Beer Garden and new Jake’s on the Lake outdoor restaurant, the second location of Chicago’s beloved Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap, Pixar Putt, a new pop-up miniature golf course based on Pixar movies and characters at Polk Bros. Park, and See Chicago Dance, the opening performance of the 10th annual Chicago Dance Month.
“Watching fireworks at Navy Pier tops Chicago’s summer must-do list, but our season opener shows you don’t have to wait until night for the fun to begin,” said Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner. “Whether it’s for date night or a family outing, guests can make a day of it at Navy Pier with hot wings, hotter jazz, and a cool round of mini golf with the hottest characters in animation. There’s always so much going on at Navy Pier that every visit can be an entirely new and different experience.”
Fireworks at Navy Pier return at 9 p.m. every Wednesday and 10 p.m. every Saturday, through Labor Day. Navy Pier’s signature displays are synchronized to dramatic and popular music, and unique soundtracks for special occasions. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to find a great viewing spot along the Pier.
One of the best vantage points for viewing the fireworks is the Navy Pier Beer Garden, the city’s go-to destination for free, outdoor music all summer long, under the banner Live on the Lake. Opening night performances include John Kimler & Friends, Mike & Joe, and New Orleans funk and jazz artist Shamar Allen. Live on the Lake continues Sunday, May 29, with Fareed Haque, DJ Papa G, and Kofi & the New Roots, and on Monday, May 30, with Libido Funk Circus and Vintage Vinyl.
The Beer Garden is the local home of farm-to-foam beers from Tangled Roots Brewery, which creates a full range of light lagers and ales to dark, experimental brews made with hops grown on their farm right here in Illinois.
Visitors can also enjoy a mouthwatering experience at Ciccio (pronounced Chee-cho) officially opening from 11:00 a.m to.8:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 26. Owner Mario Ferraro is a second-generation Chicagoland restaurateur. His new venture combines traditional Italian cuisine with Chicagoland favorites, like Ciccio’s star menu item, the “Italian Beef” Sandwich. Ciccio’s boasts a 100 percent scratch kitchen giving guests quality in every bite.
New this year, Jake’s on the Lake brings one of Chicago’s favorite restaurants to Navy Pier, becoming the only outpost for Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap. Jake Melnick’s is celebrating its 20th year in business this July, as the city’s hottest destination for hot wings. Jake’s on the Lake features those famous wings—once named best in the country by NBC’s Today show—that draw local foodies and international visitors. Guests can test their taste buds (and their courage) with heat ranging from Spicy Buffalo wings to Firecracker Wings to XXX Wings—packed with habanero, ghost pepper and scorpion pepper. To view the full menu, click here.
Pixar Putt, open May 28 through Aug. 20, lays out a course of 18 fun and interactive holes of mini golf at Polk Bros Park, each based on characters from such beloved Pixar classics as “Toy Story,” “The Incredibles,” “Monsters Inc.,” “Finding Nemo,” “Coco,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Wall-E,” and “Inside Out.”
Pixar Putt, co-presented by Rockefeller Productions and TEG Life Like Touring, will be open from noon to 10 p.m. Mondays-Fridays (with last entry at 8:30 p.m.) and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (last entry 8:30 p.m.). Pixar Putt is also available to Private Groups and Corporate Groups. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.pixarputt.com/chicago.
See Chicago Dance kicks off the 10th annual Chicago Dance Month with a free two-hour performance that samples styles from ballet to fire acts with six different Chicago companies sharing the Lake Stage in Polk Bros Park. The schedule features Nawja Dance Corps, 3 p.m.; Chicago Tap Theater, 3:20 p.m.; Raks Inferno, 3:45 p.m.; Movement Revolution Dance Crew, 3:55 p.m.; Visceral Dance Chicago, 4:05 p.m.; and Last Dance, 4:20 p.m. Live dance performances will return to Navy Pier at 3 p.m. every Saturday throughout summer at the Wave Wall.
Wave Wall Wax, a series featuring Chicago’s most recognized DJs spinning house and dance music, also begins May 28, with Steve “Miggedy” Maestro at 5 to 7 p.m. The series continues at 5 p.m. every Saturday through Sept. 3 at the Wave Wall Platform.
All events subject to change or cancellation.
To view the full Navy Pier events calendar, click here.
CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE NAVY PIER PRESS KIT, INCLUDING B-ROLL, PHOTOS AND LOGO.
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.