Getting outside to enjoy the weather and some much-needed away time from your home is the best way to take advantage of a Chicago summer! Especially when you can get the whole family involved. Luckily, Navy Pier is loaded full of fun activities, restaurants, and views that will keep each member of the family happy so you can enjoy a stress-free day in the city.
Whether you’re looking for a day trip away from the house or you’re coming into the city for a longer getaway, you’ll want to plan at least a half day at Navy Pier. Make sure to add these to your summer bucket list before it’s too late!
TOP 10 ACTIVITIES FOR THE FAMILY
Make a Splash
1. Polk Bros Park Fountain
The Polk Bros Park Fountain is open, with new safety guidelines, which leaves lots of room for kids to run and play. On a hot summer day, there’s nothing better than being a kid and running through a giant fountain. Your family can burn off some energy even before you step foot on the Pier.
2. Tall Ship Windy
Tall Ship Windy is Chicago’s very own majestic 148-foot schooner modeled after a traditional Great Lakes trading ship. These 60-75 minute adventures are interactive journeys featuring exciting Great Lakes history and tales of courage on the inland seas.
Kick Back and Relax
3. Water Flicks
Water Flicks is ending soon! The last movie will be on August 24th. Catch the last of our outdoor movie series to make summer complete.
Food Options for Everyone!
4. Pier Eats
Families with picky eaters can feel relaxed knowing that there is definitely an option for everyone. A few family favorites include America’s Dog & Burger, Billy Goat Tavern, Harry Caray’s Tavern, Giordano’s, and Bubba Gump. There are also plenty of opportunities to snack as you walk along the Pier. Find out why everyone can’t stop talking about Rainbow Cone or grab a churro, funnel cake, or crepe from Xurro.
Learn, Dance & Sing
Wiggleworms is happening Fridays through August 21st. Put on by Old Town School of Folk Music at the Lake Stage, this event celebrates music in early childhood. This free program for babies, toddlers and preschoolers features two back-to-back 45-minute performances, separated by a 15-minute break. Come sing, clap and play along!
Shop & Support Local
6. Neighborhood Artisan Market
Navy Pier's Neighborhood Artisan Market is an amazing opportunity to shop local artists and find new favorites and one-of-a-kind collectables for your home. This market has artists from all over Chicago and gives you an opportunity to learn about our various neighborhoods without leaving the Pier. This market is open now through August 30th.
Ready, Set, Go!
7. Seadog Cruises
Seadog cruises are for the thrill seekers! If the idea of learning about Chicago while possibly getting splashed by Lake Michigan sounds fun to you, then make sure to book your ticket today.
8. Live on the Lake!
Live on the Lake is happening through Labor Day. For families that love to watch live music together, this is a can’t miss night. This free, all ages concert is presented as part of Navy Pier's free summer music series in the Miller Lite Beer Garden.
A Fun, Educational Experience
9. Shoreline Sightseeing
Shoreline Sightseeing is a great option for architecture and skyline lovers. If your family would enjoy a relaxing cruise through the famous Chicago River while surrounded by skyscrapers, this is a great way to do it!
Snap and Share your Pier Memories
10. Instagrammable Moments
Take advantage of all the Instagrammable spots around the Pier to make new memories. You’ve probably seen the Wave Wall Staircase and Crystal Gardens on your feed, but did you know that you can get amazing city shots from Offshore Rooftop & Bar, the North Dock promenade, and 7th floor West Parking Garage too?
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for an exciting day out packed full of activities or a relaxing day enjoying the sights and sounds of the city, adding in time at Navy Pier will give you exactly what you were hoping for. Don’t forget that parking at the Pier is a flat rate of $29 so that you can park worry-free and get lost in all there is to offer!