Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderland is a magical experience for all ages in the heart of Chicago. Starting from November 24th to December 31st, the pier transforms into a winter wonderland with festive displays, outdoor ice skating, cozy firepits, local artisan markets, axe throwing and more. It is the largest indoor and outdoor holiday experience in Chicago, featuring over 500 trees and 25,000 ornaments.
The Winter Wonderland at Navy Pier is the perfect family-friendly activity to get into the holiday spirit. The outdoor ice skating rink, located on the picturesque lakeside, is a favorite among visitors of all ages. The rink offers fun for skaters of all levels and is surrounded by winter wonderland lights that transform the lakefront into a magical winter wonderland. Visitors can also enjoy a ride on the iconic Centennial Wheel, which offers stunning views of Chicago’s skyline and Lake Michigan.
With so many activities and attractions, Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderland is a must-visit destination during the winter season in Chicago. Whether you’re looking for a romantic date night or a fun-filled family outing, the Winter Wonderland has something for everyone. So, bundle up and head to Navy Pier for a magical winter experience.
Main Attractions at Navy Pier
Navy Pier is a premier destination for visitors to Chicago, and its winter wonderland is no exception. From outdoor lights to indoor activities, there’s something for everyone at Navy Pier during the winter months. Here are some of the main attractions at Navy Pier:
The Centennial Wheel is a 200-foot Ferris wheel that offers breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. It’s a must-see attraction for visitors to Navy Pier, and it’s open year-round. During the winter months, the Centennial Wheel is lit up with festive lights that add to the holiday spirit.
Ice Skating Rink
The ice skating rink at Navy Pier is a popular attraction during the winter months. It’s a picturesque lakeside rink that offers fun for skaters of all levels. Skating at Navy Pier is a great way to enjoy the outdoors during the winter months, and it’s a perfect activity for families and couples alike.
Winter WonderFest is Chicago’s biggest and brightest winter festival, and it’s all indoors. It transforms Navy Pier into a snowy wonderland with more than 170,000 square feet packed with entertainment for all ages. From ice skating to indoor amusement park rides, Winter WonderFest has something for everyone.
Light Up the Lake
Navy Pier’s Light Up the Lake is the largest indoor and outdoor holiday experience in Chicago. The lakefront is transformed into a magical winter wonderland with outdoor light displays visible from DuSable Lakeshore Drive. Visitors can also enjoy live musical performances, s’mores, and other festive activities.
Overall, Navy Pier’s winter wonderland is a must-see destination for visitors to Chicago during the winter months. With its indoor and outdoor attractions, visitors can enjoy the holiday spirit no matter the weather.
Events and Programming
Navy Pier is a bustling hub of activity all year round, but during the winter season, it transforms into a magical winter wonderland. Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of events and programming, including cultural programming, live music and entertainment, and holiday celebrations.
Navy Pier is proud to offer a diverse range of cultural programming throughout the year. During the winter season, visitors can enjoy performances by local musicians, dancers, and theater groups. From classical music to hip-hop and everything in between, there’s something for everyone at Navy Pier.
Live Music and Entertainment
In addition to cultural programming, Navy Pier also hosts a variety of live music and entertainment events throughout the winter season. Visitors can enjoy everything from rock concerts to jazz performances, as well as comedy shows and magic acts.
Of course, no winter wonderland would be complete without holiday celebrations, and Navy Pier is no exception. Visitors can experience the magic of the holiday season with events like the Winter WonderFest, which features ice skating, a giant Ferris wheel, and more. Other holiday events include visits with Santa Claus, holiday-themed performances, and fireworks displays.
Overall, Navy Pier is the perfect destination for anyone looking to get into the holiday spirit. With a wide variety of events and programming, there’s always something new and exciting to discover at this merry main street.
Dining and Shopping
Restaurants and Bars
Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderland offers a wide variety of dining options to choose from. Visitors can enjoy delicious food and drinks while taking in the beautiful views of the lakefront. One popular option is the Dining Cruise Boats, which offer a unique dining experience on Lake Michigan. Guests can choose from a variety of cruises, including lunch, brunch, and dinner cruises.
For those who prefer to stay on land, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. Harry Caray’s is a popular spot that offers classic American cuisine, including steak and burgers. Visitors can also enjoy cocktails and a great view of the lakefront at the Sugar Cookie Holiday Beer Garden.
Retail and Artisan Market
In addition to dining options, Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderland also features a retail and artisan market. Visitors can browse through a variety of shops and find unique gifts for their loved ones. The Artisan Market is a great place to find handmade gifts, including jewelry, pottery, and artwork.
Retail shops offer a variety of items, including clothing, accessories, and souvenirs. Visitors can find everything from winter hats and gloves to Navy Pier t-shirts and mugs. Whether you’re looking for a souvenir to remember your trip or a gift for someone special, Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderland has something for everyone.
Plan Your Visit
Navy Pier is a must-visit destination during the winter season in Chicago. The pier transforms into a winter wonderland, offering a variety of activities and events for visitors of all ages. Here are some tips to help you plan your visit:
Tickets and Admission
Admission to Navy Pier is free. However, some attractions and events require tickets. It is recommended to purchase tickets in advance to avoid long lines and ensure availability. Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office located on the pier.
Accommodation and Stay
If you’re planning to stay overnight, there are several options available near Navy Pier. The Sable hotel is located just steps away from the pier and offers luxury accommodations. The Hilton hotel is also nearby and offers stunning views of Lake Michigan. Both hotels offer special packages that include admission to Navy Pier attractions.
Parking can be a challenge in downtown Chicago, but Navy Pier offers several parking options for visitors. There are two parking garages located on the pier, as well as a surface lot. Rates vary depending on the time of day and season, so it’s recommended to check the website for current rates.
Things to Do
There are plenty of things to do at Navy Pier during the winter season. The Winter WonderFest is a popular event that features ice skating, rides, and holiday-themed activities. The pier also offers a variety of dining options, including restaurants and food stands.
Places to Stay
As mentioned earlier, there are several hotels located near Navy Pier. In addition to the Sable and Hilton, there are several other options available, including the Sheraton Grand and the Hyatt Regency.
As previously mentioned, admission to Navy Pier is free. However, some attractions and events require tickets. It’s recommended to purchase tickets in advance to avoid long lines and ensure availability.
Overall, Navy Pier is a great destination for visitors looking for a fun and festive winter experience in Chicago. With a variety of activities and events, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.