Navy Pier, Centennial Wheel

Attractions, Towers and viewpoints Streeterville
3 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
Navy Pier, Centennial Wheel
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

Navy Pier’s Ferris wheel got a major upgrade for the pier’s 100th anniversary in 2016. The new wheel is nearly 200 feet tall and features enclosed, climate-controlled gondolas so it can operate year-round.

Posted:

Venue name: Navy Pier, Centennial Wheel
Contact:
Address: 800 E Grand Ave
Chicago
60611
Cross street: at Lake Shore Dr
Transport: Bus: 2, 29, 65, 66, 124.
Price: $15–$50
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Average User Rating

3 / 5

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tastemaker

It's as touristy and overpriced as you might expect. Being a native Chicagoan, I guess it never even occurred to me to consider riding the ferris wheel at Navy Pier. Recently, my toddlers had become obsessed with pointing it out every time we drove down LSD so I thought it would be a hoot to go on it. Not sure what I expected, but it was a slight let-down. We waited in line for 20 minutes to buy tickets and then another 15 minutes waiting in line to get on the ride. The gondolas seat up to eight people so they will most definitely try to fit eight people in there; which can be lovely if you happen to be seated with fun people for the 7 minute ride. In my experience, my husband, two toddlers and myself had clearly crashed a romantic date. That was a bit awkward. Of course, the views were incredible, but it wasn't long enough and because it's a fancy, climate controlled enclosed gondola, it doesn't feel like you're even on a ferris wheel. It was nice, maybe for $5 per person, I'd do it again but for $15 per person, my family of four will probably skip the $60 7 minute excursion in the future. Although, it is cool that from now until they are probably 12 years old, instead of saying look at the ferris wheel every time we drive by it, my kids might say, remember when we went on the ferris wheel. I suppose that's worth every penny.