Everything you need to know about visiting Navy Pier (600 E Grand Ave, Chicago IL 60611)
This tourist hot spot features shops, eateries, an IMAX cinema and a bevy of sightseeing boat tours. Pier Park is home to a 200-foot-high Ferris wheel, a beer garden and public art exhibitions galore. You'll also find the Chicago Children's Museum, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and a rotating roster of live entertainment on the Family Pavilion Stage. Most offerings may not turn locals on, but the seasonal events, indoor activities and great people-watching provide plenty of entertainment, no matter what the weather.
Plenty to eat and drink
You may not think of Navy Pier as an obvious foodie destination, but the tourist mecca boasts some legit eats including Big City Chicken, DMK Burger and Fish Bar, Goddess and the Baker, the Original Rainbow Cone, Snow Dragon Shavery and many more. Guests who are 21 and over are allowed to take their boozy beverages to go while they walk around the Pier, and several restaurants even offer take-out windows with food and drink options.
See a show
Whether you have the kids in tow or are looking to entertain adult visitors, there's entertainment for everyone at Navy Pier. The little ones will get a kick out of the Chicago Children's Museum, which boasts a water playground, DIY spaces and educational exhibits. Chicago Shakespeare Theater offers exceptional renditions of the classics and new works fit for the whole family. To get your fix of live music with an ice-cold brew in hand, look no further than that Miller Lite Beer Garden, which offers a summer music and dance series throughout the warmer months.
Our Chicago editorial team is constantly updating and reviewing the best attractions, activities and venues across the city, so that you're always in the know, with the best of Chicago at your fingertips. Chicago was most recently updated with new tips on June 26, 2017.
|Venue name:||Navy Pier | Chicago, IL|
600 E Grand Ave
|Cross street:||at Streeter Dr|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Thu 10am–8pm; Fri, Sat 10am–10pm; Sun 10am–7pm. See website for extended seasonal hours.|
|Transport:||Bus: 29, 65, 66.|
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Things to do
The Great American Lobster Fest
Navy Pier hosts a Labor Day weekend feast featuring mountains of fresh seafood flown in from the East Coast. At the Great American Lobster Festival, every attendee receives a token that can be exchanged for a 1.25-pound steamed red lobster or a lobster...Festivals Friday August 30 2019 - Sunday September 1 2019
World Music Festival
See musicians from India, Peru, France, South Africa, China and more locations around the globe at the annual World Music Festival, which stages a series of free concerts at venues throughout the city during the month of September. As usual, the festival...Latin and world Friday September 13 2019 - Sunday September 29 2019 Free
The International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art (better known as EXPO Chicago) returns to Navy Pier, hosting more than 100 of the world's prominent contemporary galleries. You’ll see towering installations, sprawling canvases, intriguing sculptures...Fairs Thursday September 19 2019 - Sunday September 22 2019
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Navy Pier has changed so much for the better! The restaurants and attractions have all been updated and are a great time. The summer is a really busy time though and I try to stay away from this tourist attraction that gets VERY crowded.
Forget everything you think you know about Navy Pier. So much is changing at this tourist attraction, from being able to drink beer on the pier to new restaurants opening up. As always, it's one of the top spots for catching a boat tour, too.
Yeah yeah yeah, we all know it's a tourist spot. But it's getting a bigger Ferris wheel and upping its restaurant game (and a dedicated cocktail bar this summer? Yes please.). So spend some time at Navy Pier, maybe catch an IMAX movie before watching the boats.
Navy Pier is a great place to see a variety of architecture, shops and people. There are many things to do from shows, to art exhibits, to great eats.