Navy Pier: Getting Better with Time

Read next


Vintage handbags, cheddar, fine wine and Navy Pier . . . all things that get better with time. Navy Pier celebrated the big 1-0-0 in 2016 and with that brought exciting changes that just keep being built upon. Read on to learn more about the iconic Ferris Wheel and activities that make this the top leisure destination in the Midwest.

Navy Pier Ferris Wheelphoto: Navy Pier

Go for a spin. At 196 feet tall and 50 feet larger than the former Ferris Wheel, the Centennial Wheel is the best way to get an overview of the excitement at Navy Pier and take in the Chicago skyline. Believe it or not, the original Ferris Wheel at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago was actually larger than the Centennial Wheel, but now you’re riding in style thanks to the cushioned seats, video screens and doors that automatically open and close on each of the 42 gondolas.  If you have a family of daredevils, splurge for a private ride for up to four on the glass bottom gondola.


Grab a bite. Having your kids by your side won’t leave you yearning for a better dining experience at Navy Pier because the kid friendly communal area includes views of the water, WiFi access, and lots of food options.  Bubba Gump, DMK Burger and Fish Bar, Harry Caray’s are just a few places serving up sit-down lunch and dinner options. Satisfy your sweet tooth after dinner by stopping into the Original Rainbow Cone at the Pier’s South Dock when its warm and Brown Sugar Bakery all year ’round.

Enjoy being green.  As you wander down the Pier, you can rest assured knowing that the updates brought to the Navy Pier have occurred with the environment in mind.  From the behind the scenes infrastructure to the recently planted trees and benches made from reclaimed wood, the greener Navy Pier allows you to enjoy natural elements in an urban environment.

Navy Pier Fireworks 2photo: Navy Pier

Don’t forget the old favorites.  The Chicago Children’s Museum, Crystal Gardens, Amazing Chicago’s Funhouse Maze, IMAX theatre and boat rides are some of the classic Navy Pier destinations that are not to be missed.  No need to worry because these attractions are still around the updated Navy Pier, as is the fireworks display that occurs ever Wednesday and Saturday evening Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends.

Navy Pier
600 E. Grand Ave.
Navy Pier
Online at:

—Lisa Snart

Welcome to our Tinybeans family!
Be sure to check your email for new activities, recipes and parenting hacks – and to see if you’ve won!







Spring Giveaway: Enter to Win a $500 Gift Card!

Enter your email and zip code below for a chance to win a Mastercard Gift Card. We’ll pick one winner per month through August 31, 2022 – 5 lucky winners in all!

I agree to the official rules and I agree to receive email communications from Tinybeans. By providing your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service