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Navy Pier, Chicago – 12 Fun Things to Do

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Navy Pier, Chicago - 12 Fun Things to Do
By David Bjorgen (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Wondering where to go for a good time in the Windy City? Head on over to the Navy Pier! Jutting out 3,300 feet into Lake Michigan, this pier is jam packed with amusements and attractions, ensuring that there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here are 12 fun things to do at Chicago’s Navy Pier:

1) Visit the Chicago Children’s Museum

The Chicago Children’s Museum is the perfect place for families to play. There are exhibits designed for kids of all ages, from babies to pre-teens, and everyone in between. Adults will get a kick out of watching little ones explore and get hands on with exhibits like Dinosaur Expedition, WaterWays, and many more. The cost of admission is just $14 for anyone over the age of 1.

2) Grab a Drink at the Landshark Beer Garden

Everyone is welcome at the Landshark Beer Garden, a great spot to kick back and enjoy food, drinks, and fun. When the weather’s nice, you can take in the beauty of Lake Michigan as you sip on a lager and snack on pizza, burgers, and Chicago style hot dogs. Open from May through October, the Beer Garden features live entertainment and a laid back atmosphere.

3) See the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows

Check out this stunning display of 150 unique stained glass windows, which became a permanent exhibit at the Navy Pier in 2000. The Richard H. Driehaus gallery features 13 windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Admission to the museum is free.

4) Catch a 3D Movie at the IMAX Theater

Watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster on Chicago’s biggest movie screen. The IMAX Theater plays both 2D and 3D pictures. Exciting documentaries are also regularly featured.

5) Play a Round of Mini Golf

Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition in the form of mini golf? The Links Mini Golf is great fun for all ages, for just $6 per person. Each hole features a different Chicago theme, and the course is situated around the base of the Ferris wheel.

Photo Credit: By Belinda Hankins Miller from U.S.A. (I menace you with my bones) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Chicago Children’s Museum (Photo Credit: By Belinda Hankins Miller from U.S.A. (I menace you with my bones) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

6) Get Lost in Amazing Chicago’s Funhouse Maze

If you’re looking for a wacky good time that the whole family will love, check out this ultimate sensory experience. The Funhouse features tunnels, mazes, and interactive games like the Mirror Maze, Corridor of Confusion, and the Rainbow Tunnel, just to name a few. There’s no set time, so you can take as long as you’d like, and kids under 4 get in for free.

7) Take a Segway Tour

Contrary to popular belief, segways are not just for mall cops! They’re actually an excellent way to adventure around a city. Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours offers visitors a unique guided tour to the city’s best attractions.

8) Shop for Souvenirs

Pick up some special keepsakes at the Navy Pier Signature Store and Ahoy Chicago. From toys to t-shirts to teddy bears, you’re sure to find something cool that you’ll want to bring back home from the Windy City.

9) Take a Bike Ride

Bike and Roll Chicago makes it easy to rent a bike, complete with helmet, map, and lock. Cruise around the city and explore at your own pace, or take a guided tour. It’s a great way to be active and do some sightseeing on a nice day.

10) Have Dinner on a Dining Cruise

Take a scenic dinner cruise on the waters of Lake Michigan by boarding The Spirit of Chicago. Dine from the delicious buffet, enjoy live entertainment, and even do a little dancing, all while admiring the breathtaking Chicago skyline.

Photo Credit: By Alavsi (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: By Alavsi (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

11) Ride the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

Climbing to 150 feet high, the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel treats riders to a magnificent view of the city. The ride has 40 gondolas that seat 6 passengers each, so there is room for everybody. And, priced at under $10, the Ferris Wheel not only the most visible of Navy Pier attractions, it is one of the most affordable as well.

12) See Fireworks explode over Lake Michigan

A perfect ending to an exciting day at the Navy Pier! Catch the fireworks display that happens twice weekly during the summer, after the sun goes down.

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