Soar to nearly 200 feet in a climate-controlled gondola on the Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier where riders can marvel at the stunning Chicago skyline.

Take in a play at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Stroll through Polk Bros Park, a 13-acre green space serving as Navy Pier’s gateway. Enjoy the park’s huge fountain with programmable jets mimicking movements of waves, schools of fish, flocks of birds and other fascinating scenes.

Savor a Chicago deep-dish pizza at Giordano’s. Then head to the Original Rainbow Cone sweet shop for an almost century-old Chicago classic of a sugar cone piled high with five flavors of sliced ice cream.

“Navy Pier is Chicago’s front porch, where the legendary skyline meets beautiful Lake Michigan for the best views of the city,” said Nick Pullia, Navy Pier senior advisor. “Groups can make a day or week of it, with everything they need right on the pier — dinner cruises, architecture tours, fast-food and sit-down dining or private catering, amusement park rides and the new Sable Hotel.”

The pier is home to 71 tenant businesses.

“With nearly a mile of amenities, including the spectacular and historic Aon Grand Ballroom, Navy Pier can host groups of almost any size from intimate parties to immense conventions,” Pullia said. “Discounts are available for groups of 20 or more, and the Navy Pier team can help put together a unique itinerary tailored to your group.”

Navy Pier
Navy Pier
Credit: Navy Pier

Stretching into Lake Michigan, the lakefront treasure known as “The People’s Pier” offers 50 acres of attractions and experiences, plus history galore. Originally opened in 1916 as a ship- ping and recreation facility known as Municipal Pier, the facility was officially renamed Navy Pier in 1927 as a tribute to the Navy personnel who were housed at the pier during World War I.

Since its reopening in 1995, the pier has welcomed visitors from around the world.

“Guests are impressed by how much Navy Pier has evolved over the past several years,” Pullia said. “Navy Pier has a year-round schedule of free arts and entertainment programming, including concerts in the park.”

A top draw for groups is a lake cruise, Pullia said, including the must-see Chicago Architecture Tour featuring more than 50 skyscrapers, moveable bridges and historic sites.

Main image and credit: Navy Pier

Article by Jackie Sheckler Finch