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5 Free Activities at Navy Pier

No matter your budget, you can enjoy the Pier and experience the beautiful city of Chicago! Some activities at Navy Pier are ticketed or require payment, but others are completely free! We’ve listed our favorite free things to do at the Pier so you can watch your wallet and have a great time at Chicago’s lakefront destination.

A couple enjoy an early morning jog along the pier

Stroll the Pier

Navy Pier stretches more than six city blocks and offers incredible views of the Chicago skyline, parks and Lake Michigan. Walk the Pier and green spaces for a free activity. You’ll enjoy the peace that nature can bring – all for free!

A band perform on stage for a crowd of people


There is always something going on at Navy Pier - from cultural programming and seasonal celebrations to special events and festivals. Discover free and fun Chicago events at Navy Pier all year long. Please visit here for an ongoing list of events to attend!

A public art installation at Navy Pier - Ship of Tolerance


Navy Pier is an architectural gem and an engineering marvel, as well as a great place to gather and view public art and exhibitions. The Pier offers rotating free art installations and also has ongoing public art and historical points of interest. Visit our list of public art exhibitions to see all of the art at the Pier.

Fireworks light up the Chicago Skyline


Navy Pier is the destination for spectacular fireworks in Chicago, perfectly synchronized to music on Lake Michigan. Summer fireworks visit the Pier in the warm weather months, and year-round guests can enjoy fireworks on New Year’s Eve in the winter.

A girl and her grandfather gather their rods after fishing in the lake


If you love to fish, visit Navy Pier’s North Dock and fish for free. Enjoy amazing sunrise views as you fish for Chicago’s perch, salmon, bass and trout. Check out our Fishers Guide to Navy Pier for more information on this fun and free activity at the Pier.


We would love to see how you enjoy the Pier for free. Share your posts on social media and post it with #NavyPier for a chance to be featured on our social media channels. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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About Navy Pier

More Than You Imagine

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 2021, Navy Pier continues to evolve into an accessible, year-round centerpiece for Chicago’s diverse arts and cultural treasures.

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