Chicago is a city with many attractions and events. Each year thousands upon thousands of tourists visit our beautiful city to experience all that the Windy City is famous for including some twenty-one miles of lakefront shoreline. Located along Lake Michigan’s picturesque shore, Chicago’s Navy Pier offers visitors a fun, family friendly experience.
Since its opening in 1995, Chicago’s Navy Pier has been offering visitors to the Chicago area as much as 50 acres of fun and excitement. Patrons of the Navy Pier are treated to rides, including a ferris wheel which offers riders a stunning view of Lake Michigan, numerous exhibitions, loads of entertainment, shopping, some delicious dining experiences, and tour boat rides. All of this takes places with Chicago’s stunning Lake Michigan shoreline as a backdrop.
For visitors looking for some family fun, there is Pier Park which is located on the upper deck of the Navy Pier. Pier Park is an exciting amusement park which offers fun for all ages. Pier Park features a number of classic amusement park rides including an old-fashioned wave swinger. The wave swinger tower stands forty feet over a large pond and has forty-eight swings which dangle riders fourteen feet in the air. Pier Park also features a 150-foot high ferris wheel which was built in 1893 for Chicago’s Columbian Exposition. Scheduled to re-open in April, there is also a 1920s style musical carousel featuring 36 hand-painted animals including horses, chariots, and even a frog.
In addition to the wave swinger ferris wheel and carousel, visitors to Pier Park can play mini golf on an 18-hole, Chicago themed golf course which takes them around the base of Pier Park’s ferris wheel. Pier Park patrons are also given the chance to play with the remote controlled boats located in the pond under the Wave Swinger. There is also the 13-foot high Light Tower Ride which gives riders a thrilling ride up and down the outside of a lighthouse.
For ticket prices and park information, visit Pier Park’s website(1).
Navy Pier Museums
The Navy Pier is home to the award-winning Chicago Children’s Museum which offers children under the age of ten three floors of fun and learning. The Chicago Children’s Museum features a dinosaur expedition exhibit where children dig for buried dinosaur bones in an authentic excavation site. For younger children, there is Kids Town, a miniature, kids sized city featuring child-sized buses for transportation, and even a mini grocery store. The Children’s Museum also offers free art workshops for the whole family, the Pritzker Playspace for babies and toddlers, and Play it Safe which features a fire truck and educates children and their families about fire safety in a fun and interactive way.
For information about the Chicago Children’s Museum, visit their website(2).
Chicago’s historic Navy Pier is also home to the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows. Opened in the year 2000, the Smith Museum features 150 stained glass windows with four distinct themes, Victorian, Prairie, Modern, and Contemporary. All of these beautiful stained glass windows are designed by local artists, and most of the windows on display in the museum were originally installed in Chicago homes, commercial buildings, or churches. The stained glass windows in the Smith Museum represent culture and design in Chicago dating all the way back to 1870.
Chicago’s Navy Pier hosts a number of events year round. Coming in April is Disney’s Perry the Platy-Bus from the first of April until the seventh. The weekend of the fifth, the Navy Pier will host the Shamrock Shuffle Health and Fitness Expo(3). Also coming to the Navy Pier in April is the World Sport Chicago Wrestling Festival(4) on the twenty-seventh and many other fun events for the whole family to enjoy.(5)
While visiting Chicago and taking in the excitement at the Navy Pier, guests can enjoy the comfiest of accommodations at the Best Western Chicago Hillside Hotel. With great rates, clean comfortable rooms and a convenient location the Best Western Chicago Hillside Hotel offer the best accommodations for any family vacation to the beautiful city of Chicago. For information on booking a stay with us, please contact us(6).