Group Travel Planning Advice, Tools for Planning Group Trips

Summer is Awesomer at Chicago’s Navy Pier

Extending almost a mile out into Lake Michigan, historic Navy Pier is the coolest hot-spot and your awesome all summer destination in Chicago teeming with action-packed, fun-filled entertainment options.

As the Midwest’s #1 tourist and leisure destination, Navy Pier attracts nearly 9 million visitors a year.  Local Chicagoans and visitors from around the world come to Navy Pier to enjoy the beauty and the thrills of a day on Lake Michigan.  From rides to restaurants, exhibitions to entertainment, shopping to dining, cruises and boat tours, Navy Pier has it all in a location unparalleled to any other.

Navy pier

Navy Pier Aerial View

Summer highlights include: spectacular bi-weekly fireworks set to fun soundtracks that bathe the night sky in brilliant color every Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. and Saturday at 10:15 p.m. Capture a bird’s eye view of Chicago’s skyline with a ride on the 15-story Ferris wheel. Listen to live music in the Landshark Beer Garden Wednesdays through Sundays. It’s the perfect place to unwind with food, music and cool lakefront breezes.

Plan your next visit to Navy Pier at www.navypier.com

Cirque Shanghai: Year of the Dragon is All-New

Come see Chicago’s favorite summer circus in the all-new show The Year of the Dragonplaying at Navy Pier’s open air Pepsi™ Skyline Stage through September 3. Filled with high intensity fun, Cirque Shanghai features Chines acrobats tumbling, juggling, and balancing. This year’s production features an incredible line up of awe-inspiring, dare-devil acts, including Imperial Thunder with five motorcyclists riding at break-neck speed within a steel globe, more than ever before in this death-defying feat. Performances run approximately 75 minutes with no intermission and take place rain or shine.  Individual show tickets are $15.50 – $29.50 and are available through Ticketmaster.  Tickets for groups of 10 or more start at $12. Call GroupTix at 773-327-3778 to book.

Larger-Than-Life Sculptures on Display at Navy Pier in 2012 BIGart
Navy Pier Head House

Navy Pier Head House

Art is on display at Navy Pier in a really BIG way! Navy Pier’s BIGart, located in GatewayParkjust outside the main entrance to the Pier, is a free, large-scale art exhibition featuring modern sculptures of various sizes, designs and materials from international artists. This year’s signature piece is the colorful Roy Lichtenstein sculpture Brushstroke Group soaring 30 feet into  the air. Other highlights include a massive “road tattoo” painted into the asphalt of the Pier’s front circle drive and the 30-foot showstopper Monochrome II by Nancy Rubins that is built out of dozens of aluminum canoes and row boats suspended from a steel armature to create a powerful web-like sculpture that looks different from every angle. Don’t miss this world-class public art display in Navy Pier’s Gateway Park.

Tony Award-Winning Chicago Shakespeare Theater Presents Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Be transported to a far away kingdom where a prince and his household, transformed by an enchantment, strive to win the love to clever Belle in this exciting musical adventure. The Academy Award-winning Disney film comes to life on the stage with beloved songs including “Be Our Guest” and “Belle”. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is now showing through August 26th. Visit www.chicagoshakes.com for additional information and to see the full 2012-2013 season.

Chicago Children’s Museum
Chicago Children's Museum

Chicago Children’s Museum

Come play at the Chicago Children’s Museum!  Splash, climb, build and explore – there’s always something new and exciting to discover at this award-winning museum.  Find three vibrant floors of experiences and activities including special exhibits such as Circus Zirkus now open through August 12 where apparel – real clown shoes! – and props help kids to be the star of the show. Extended summer hours means there’s plenty of time for learning and play at the Museum. Tickets for children and adults are $12, seniors are $11 and members and children under one are free. Discounted rates are available for groups, too.  For further details, visit www.chicagochildrensmuseum.org

Navy Pier IMAX Theatre
Navy Pier IMax

Navy Pier IMAX

See summer’s biggest blockbusters on the soaring six story screen at the Navy Pier IMAX Theatre which boasts Chicago’s largest flat movie screen. Playing throughout the remainder of the summer, don’t miss The Dark Knight Rises. The movie features footage filmed with IMAX cameras, creating a one-of-a-kind, unique experience that only the IMAX Theatre can offer. Or, choose from a library of film titles encompassing a variety of topics to plan the perfect outing for your next group. Additional information can be found at www.imax.com/chicago.

Amazing Chicago’s Funhouse Maze and Time Freak Chicago

The Maze:  Squeezing, stomping, spinning… double over laughing… delightfully dizzy, twisting and turning -can you find your way out?  Navigate your way through 4000 square feet of exhilarating sensory experiences. Lose yourself in the Mirror Maze, stumble your way through the Spinning Tunnel, stomp out the Great Chicago Fire and much more! Find out for yourself why over 1 million guests have gotten lost here.

Time Freak: Time Freak is a thrilling race against time! Time Freak challenges players to compete against the clock while pushing buttons as they light up. The more buttons you push, the higher your score is. Time Freak is great for all ages. See if YOU have what it takes to be a TIME FREAK! www.amazingchicago.com

Relax On The Water for a Unique Experience Aboard A Dining Or Sightseeing Cruise from Navy Pier
Seadog – High-Speed Thrill Rides

Prepare for the ultimate speedboat adventure offering fun and excitement for all ages! Seadog offers exhilarating 30-minute Lakefront Speedboat Rides and amusing 75-minute River Architectural Tours. Or try a truly wet and wild experience with the Seadog EXTREME.  Cruises run April – October, weather permitting. For more information about these exciting Seadog excursions, please call (888) 636-7737 or visit www.seadogcruises.com/chicago/.

Shoreline Sightseeing – Over 70 Years On Chicago’s Waterways

Offering 30-minute Skyline Lake Tours from the west end of Navy Pier, Shoreline Sightseeing boats are the perfect way for the entire family to experience the majesty of Chicago’s lakefront. Shoreline also offers one-hour Architecture Cruises departing from Ogden Slip at Navy Pier. Shoreline’s fast, fun Water Taxis travel two routes from their dock at the southwest corner of Navy Pier: on the Lake to the Museum Campus or on the River to the Michigan Avenue Bridge and on to Willis Tower.  For more information call (312) 222-9328 or visit www.shorelinesightseeing.com.

Tall Ship Windy – Traditional Sailing Ship

Set sail aboard Windy, Chicago’s and Navy Pier’s very own Tall Ship! This majestic 148-foot schooner is modeled after a traditional Great Lakes trading ship and boasts all the character and charm of the Golden Age of Sail.  Tall Ship Windy offers 60-75 minute sailing adventures, all departing from Navy Pier. Popular programs include Architecture Cruises, Real Pirates of the Inland Seas, Spirit Ships & Haunted Harbors, plus concert sails, fireworks cruises and more. Field trips, group discounts, and private charters available, April through October. For more information about sailing on Tall Ship Windy, call (312) 451-2700 or visit www.tallshipwindy.com.

Dining Cruises on Odyssey, Mystic Blue and Sprit of Chicago

The luxurious Odyssey, the fun and festive Sprit of Chicago and the contemporary Mystic Blue all offer dining, entertainment and spectacular views for brunch, lunch or dinner cruises for groups of all sizes. Each vessel offers special holiday cruises, Full Moon Cruises and Fireworks Cruises.  For more information, visit http://www.entertainmentcruises.com/city/Chicago/metro

Fine Dining at Navy Pier

Delight yourself in the many diverse, specialty dining options at Navy Pier. From casual family-oriented choices to more intimate dining, space for a large group or trendy food court varieties, you’re sure to find the perfect menu to please your palate. Sit-down restaurants include Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Capi’s Italian Kitchen, the all-new City Porch, Harry Caray’s Tavern, Margaritaville Bar & Grill, and RIVA Crab House.

City Porch – All New!

Dine at the city’s and Navy Pier’s newest contemporary “pop-up” restaurant, which opened earlier in the summer to rave reviews.  City Porch is located at the quieter East End of Navy Pier and is the perfect spot to unwind, with clusters of casual Adirondack chairs overlooking Navy Pier’s Dock Street.  Signature dishes include pommes frites tossed in truffle oil and fresh Parmesan, mini lamb and feta sliders and much more. Also,  celebrity chefs including some whom have appeared on the popular Top Chef series will design guest chef cuisines. Up to eight unique items will be on the celebrity menu every month. Now open through September. Visit www.cityporchchicago.com for more details.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Navy Pier

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Navy Pier

This family friendly restaurant is famous for delicious seafood, friendly service and a casually fun atmosphere.  Sit at an outdoor picnic table and enjoy peel and eat shrimp, seafood hush pups or traditional fish and chips.  You might even spot the Forrest Gump impersonator! Visit www.bubbagump.com for information.

 

 

Capi’s Italian Kitchen

Capi’s Italian Kitchen brings the taste of true Italian to the world of casual dining. Enjoy fresh salads, create your own wood-stone pizza, or choose from one of their delicious entrees including pasta, seafood and panini sandwiches. Enjoy a glass of wine or an espresso at a bistro table on their expansive patio located at the front of Navy Pier.  For more information, visit www.eatatcapis.com.

Harry Caray’s Tavern

Located near the main entrance to Navy Pier, Harry Caray’s Tavern houses one of Chicago’s best sports museums filled with significant-to-Chicago memorabilia.  The extensive menu includes sandwiches, wraps, pastas, salads and homemade pizza. The outdoor seating area and outdoor bar provide the perfect place to lounge and relax with friends and family.  Visit www.harrycaraystravern.com for menus.

Margaritaville Bar & Grill
Margaritaville Bar & Grill - Navy Pier

Margaritaville Bar & Grill – Navy Pier

Parrotheads welcome! Inspired by the travel and songs of Jimmy Buffett, Margaritaville Bar & Grill offers a casual and laid back atmosphere in an intimate space as well as an outdoor Tiki Bar. The menu features classic American and island-inspired cuisine including the signature “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and, of course, frozen concoctions. Visit www.margaritaville.com

RIVA Crab House

Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michiga nfrom a table at Riva Restaurant.  This fine dining establishment features premium seafood, prime steaks and daily specials as well as extensive wine selections.  Visit www.rivanavypier.com for menus.

Contact Information

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