Navy Pier


happyly approved

touristy peninsula in central Chicago

It’s possible that you’ve heard Navy Pier cited as a ‘tourist trap’ – trust me, I lived in Chicago for 5 years several years ago and I rarely visited for that reason.  However, I recently visited Chicago as a tourist after moving away 7 years ago.  I was with my 5 year old daughter and we spent a good chunk of our Saturday at Navy Pier and it was fantastic!  If you get a nice day (we were there for a weekend in August), the beautiful scenery really can’t be beat.  Here’s what we did:

Walking (free!): Navy Pier juts out into Lake Michigan almost in the middle of Chicago, and if you make the walk out (3,300-foot-long pier), you can look back and see wonderful views of the city horizon.

Ice cream: There are several great (touristy) places to stop and get a bite to eat, but we chose one of the ice cream carts amidst all the action.

Children’s Museum: The museum is at the front of Navy Pier and has a lot of great exhibits – fire station, fossil digging, water tables were some of our favorites – and they are currently renovating to build an enhanced climbing interaction.

Splash pad / fountain: Just in front of the Children’s Museum, there is a fantastic fountain.  The ‘pad’ is actually concrete which is different than other splash pads I have seen, but it didn’t stop my daughter from drenching herself for a while.

Ferris wheel: We splurged and went on the Ferris wheel in the center of the Pier.  The views were worth the extra money and the ride lasted about 15 minutes.

Other activities of note: Merry-go-round and Swing-go-round located just in front of the Ferris wheel (both require tickets).  We noticed a Kids’ Maze (we didn’t try it).  “Wizard of Oz” (kid friendly version) was playing at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.


Good for All Ages

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