Navy Pier At Night

After our self-designated walking tour of Chicago, I was tired, but feeling grateful for finding some good medicine that helped me enjoy our time that day. (I developed a *horrible* sinus/head cold the morning I left for our vacation.)

We fueled up with a delicious Chicago Classic deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati’s (Oh! A slice of Heaven!) and decided at 7pm – with a wind chill of 25 degrees outside – to grab a cab to Chicago’s famous Navy Pier.

Navy Pier was definitely on our list of places to see, but I didn’t expect we’d go to see it at night. I’m so glad we did, though. The lights, both on the Pier and blinking from the nearby Chicago skyline, were fantastic.

Navy Pier Entrance

Once at the Pier, we were greeted by the 150-tall Ferris Wheel. The tens of thousands of lights on the structure beckoned us, and we knew we had to take a ride! Those were 7 VERY chilly minutes (can you see the icicles hanging from the ticket booth sign below? brrrr.), but it was so worth it!

Ticket Booth Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

Navy Pier Ferris Wheel 2

Navy Pier Ferris Wheel 3

Robb and Stacey on Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

Downtown Chicago at night from Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

(the view of downtown from the Ferris Wheel)

Having not been to Navy Pier before, I didn’t realize that most of the attractions are inside. Restaurants, shops, entertainment. It makes sense, being that it gets so cold during the winter. But my husband and I decided to walk the entire length of the Pier outside. It was much less crowded, and offered the best views (even at night!).

We did venture inside for our walk back, and stumbled upon the Pier’s 10th annual Winter Wonderfest, which took up an enormous exhibit hall and looked like great fun. We just walked through and people-watched, but they had tons of rides, food, live entertainment, and even indoor ice skating.

Winter festival at Navy Pier

By walking inside, we were also treated to the amazing Smith Gallery of Stained Glass – a permanent display of 150 stained glass windows installed along the inside of the lower level at Navy Pier. There were some gorgeous pieces!

Smith Museum of Stained Glass at Navy Pier

I’m sure I’d love to go back and explore Navy Pier during the day some time, but for this first trip, there was something magical about seeing it at night.