Dine On The Water With Odyssey Cruises
Odyssey dining cruises are the perfect way to create a memorable moment in Chicago. Choose from a river or lake dining cruise, complete with delicious cuisine, cocktails, and entertainment.
Their glass-enclosed river vessel is particularly stunning. It offers passengers panoramic views of the citys most iconic buildings as you glide along the Chicago River. They also offer a lakefront dinner cruise option that departs from Navy Pier.
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Speed Across Lake Michigan On Seadog Boat Tours
Are you up for a thrill? Race across Lake Michigan on SeaDog Cruises, featuring 30 minutes of high speeds and exhilarating twists and turns. Come prepared to get splashed.
SeaDog also offers lakefront speedboat tours and a river/lake architecture tour, featuring views of Chicagos iconic Buckingham Fountain, Grant Park, Museum Campus, and more.
Boat Tours In Chicago
- Traveler favoritesTours, activities and experiences bookable on Tripadvisor, ranked according to revenue made by Tripadvisor on those bookings, plus the number of page views by Tripadvisor users, and the quantity and quality of reviews
- Free cancellation
- 4 hours to 1 day
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Try Chicago Deep Dish Pizza At Giordanos
You cant visit Chicago without eating deep-dish pizza, and the best deep dish pizza is at Giordanos.
For the absolute best way to end your tour, indulge with the Chicago Classic Stuffed Pizza.
Voted Chicagos Best Pizza by NBC, CBS Chicago, the New York Times, and Chicago Magazine. See hours, directions and menus here.
Attend A Performance At Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Chicago Shakespeare Theater is a non-profit, professional theater company located in the heart of Navy Pier. With rave reviews regarding both production value and its exceptional staff service, Chicago Shakespeare Theater is also praised for its physical grandeur.
CST has an entire series of productions specifically designed with family enrichment and entertainment in mind. The CST Family Series presents a mixture of kid-friendly Shakespeare productions, timeless fables and fairy tales, interactive music concerts, and musical theater.
For these reasons and more, Chicago Shakespeare Theater is consistently rated as one of the best things to do at Navy Pier Chicago with kids.
Click here to discover plays, events, and ticketing information.
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Experience The Amazing Chicagos Funhouse Maze
Have kids? They’re going to love the Funhouse Maze — 4,000 square feet of tunnels, with interactive games and fun mirrors along the way. This self-paced maze offers sense stimulation for a family-friendly good time.
Open daily 10 am-8 pm, free for children 4 and under. Click here to find out more information.
6. Enjoy Garrett Popcorn Get in line for this essential Chicago treat, and watch as they prepare the popcorn fresh in front of your eyes. We recommend the Garretts Mix, caramel and cheese popcorn. Garretts also offers seasonal specials, so ask for a sample! To find out more click here.
About The Chicago River Boat Architecture Tours
Chicago is known around the world for its architectural feats, both inside and outside of the buildings. From the 100-year-old Art Deco, Neo-Classical, and Gothic Towers, to some of the tallest modern-day skyscrapers, Chicago is where old meets futuristic architectural endeavors. It has something for everyone in a way that no other city replicates today.
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Take A Chicago Food Planet Tour
Chicago Food Tours has suspended their Navy Pier Signature Food Tour related to the ongoing effects of the worldwide pandemic. They do, however, still offer several other fun Chicago Food Toursthat we highly recommend.
Our personal favorite thing to do at Navy Pier Chicago is the Chicago Food Planet Navy Pier Signature Food Tour.
Not only did the food tour include a private host, educational commentary, and amazing food, but it allowed us immediate seating and service at the most popular Navy Pier restaurants.
Our Chicago Food Planet host did a phenomenal job maneuvering us through the crowds of Navy Pier to enjoy authentic Chicago delicacies.
A Chicago-style hot dog at AD& B, a Brown Sugar Bakery cupcake, Tiny Tavern cheese curds, Giordanos deep-dish pizza, and Chicago-famous Garretts Popcorn.
Of all of the Chicago Food Tours available, this one is the best for families and kids!
Though this activity may not sound appealing for toddlers, it is a great activity for families with school-aged kids as well as tweens and teens. The tour is fun, fast-paced, and the ambiance is entirely kid-friendly.
The Navy Pier Signature Food Tour is 2 hours in length and costs $50 per adult and $35 for youth 12-years-old and younger.
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Chicago River Architecture Cruise: Skip
A forest of skyscrapers looms high overhead as you hop on a modern cruiser and take the waters of the Chicago River. As you gaze skywards, youll be able to make out some of the most iconic landmarks of the Windy City.
Theres the soaring clock tower of the Wrigley Building, oozing elegant Colonial Revival styles. Theres the gleaming glass outline of the Trump International Hotel. And theres the striking duo that makes up Marina City.
Your jaunt is rendered extra relaxing on account of a barcoded ticket. Thats delivered online and lets you skip the box office queues.
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Chicago 3d Fireworks Cruise On Lake Michigan
Crash, bang, wallop! Whats that sound? Its only the weekly fireworks show erupting over the Navy Pier.
Yep, giving Disney World a run for their money, this ones all about catching The Loop in full light, as pyrotechnic bursts and magenta blooms light up the skyline of this iconic American metropolis.
Youll be able to view the lot from the comfort of a modern cruiser out on the waters of Lake Michigan. Whats more, youll get complimentary 3D glasses to add to the drama of it all. Talk about something fun for the whole family to enjoy!
Spirit Of Chicago Sunset Dinner Cruise With Buffet
Nothing says romance like dinner on the water. But you can take that one step further, by making that water Lake Michigan, and the backdrop the twinkling lights of the legendary city of Chicago.
Cue this three-hour cruise past the landmarks of Navy Pier and Soldier Field. As you go, youll dine on a sumptuous buffet of all-you-can-eat American favorites.
Then the music starts, with a private DJ spinning tunes as you watch the lights and stars come on over the Midwestern skies. Talk about a night to remember
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The Best Seats In The City
You dont want to miss the Chicago skyline at night, and its even better with an up-close view of the Navy Pier fireworks! Join us for an unforgettable night-time cruise on Wednesday and Saturday evenings in the summer. You have the choice to start your night off with all the sights of our Architecture River or Skyline Lake tours and end the evening with the best seats in the city for the fireworks display, right from one of our boats.
Entertain The Family With Wendella Boats
For three generations, Wendella has been cruising the Chicago water waters. With its variety of tour options, cruise times and lengths, and a heated, enclosed cabin, Wendella is a great choice for families looking for flexibility. They offer a variety of cruise options, including lake & river architecture, sunset cruises, and more.
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We Turn Tours Into Lasting Memories
Took a 10:30am architectural tour on a Sunday. Becky was our docent and OUTSTANDING!! Knowledgeable and entertaining. Also used their water taxi to get from Shedd Aquarium to Michigan with a stop at Navy Pier. Perfect way to rest after walking miles.
The architecture tour did not disappoint. Ive been to Chicago a few times, but this tour offered a new perspective. A great way to kick off a trip to Chicago and Antonio was amazing!
Great tour full of great information on architecture and the history of Chicago. Clean boat and restrooms. Entertaining guide and nice bartender! Highly recommend!
Jim and the whole crew were absolutely amazing! The tour was informational and entertaining. Chicago is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and tour up and down the river proves that. We love Shoreline and hope to take many more tours with them.
My girlfriend and I were in town from Houston, Texas for Lollapalooza, but had been told by some locals that this was the tour to see. We picked the nighttime/firework tour, and we were not disappointed. BECKY was an amazing guide. Not only did she give us the historical details of the buildings, but she was amazing at keeping the tour lively and fun. Stoked about this and would highly recommend to anyone visiting Chicago!
Now in its 83rd season, Shoreline Sightseeing operates Chicago’s largest and most diverse fleet of cruise boats and water taxis with 11 major tour vessels and 7 water taxis.
Chicago Classic Lake Tour: 40
Skip the ticket booth and get down to sightseeing, all by choosing this straight-to-board package. It offers a chance to get out onto the sloshing surface of Lake Michigan.
Thats where arguably the most dramatic broadside panoramas of this great American city unfold.
See if you can spy out the babbling Buckingham Fountain of Grant Park, or the bulbous dome of the Adler Planetarium, not to mention one skyscraper after another, as you travel.
Theres a bar on board for those hard-earned tipples and refreshments, along with a running commentary that delves into the rich history of the Midwest.
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Chicagos First Lady Downtown
112 E. Wacker DriveThis boat company provides the vessels for Chicago Architecture Centers architecture tours, but also offers a few interesting boat trips of its own. Board the Lady Grebe, a 48-foot vintage yacht, for a 90-minute tour with your group of 6 or less, or set sail on a 45-minute sunrise yoga cruise on Saturdays or Sundays.
Top Bus Tours That Stop At Navy Pier
Most bus tours will have a stop at Navy Pier. Below are tours that we think are great.
There are so many bus tours in Chicago, see our post The Best Chicago Bus Tours to find out which tours are out there.
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Night Boat Tours And Firework Cruise Discounts
Like most metropolitan cities, Chicago looks entirely different after dark.
Several cruise companies offer services at night, allowing you to get a good look at the lights from the city while youre drifting down the river.
Some of these opportunities are only offered during the summer months, but they often include fireworks.
There are currently 3 different discounts available for the following Chicago night boat tours:
If youre looking for the best opportunity to save money on a night boat tour or cruise, discount sites will likely provide your best chance at a good deal.
Major discount sites tend to feature all the latest fireworks and holiday cruises.
Depending on whether or not they have additional coupon codes, you could end up saving even more than you would with group rates.
If you cant find what youre looking for, consider checking these discount sites to find a service that fits your needs.
Enjoy impressive views of Chicagos skyline from Lake Michigan, with an uninterrupted view of the weekly fireworks display.
Tour-goers love to watch the reflection of the lights on the water, as well as the buildings!
Reviewers say to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the tours start time, and this is well worth the money!
Cultural Attractions And Museums
Chicago Childrens Museum: Kids dig for bones on a dinosaur expedition, scale a three-story schooner, and even make a splash in a water playground. Chicago Childrens Museum is three floors of unadulterated fun for kids aged 10 and under. Dont miss the Chicago Childrens Museum store while youre there for fun, educational, and imagination-expanding toys and games.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater: This Tony Award-winning theatre hosts more than 650 performances a year, with a year-round season that presents plays, musicals, world premieres, and visiting touring companies. The theatre is particularly celebrated for The Yard, an engineering marvel in stage design, consisting of nine moveable towers that can be reconfigured to accomplish the vision of each production.
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Architecture Cruise In Spanish On The Chicago River From Michigan Ave
- Sail down and admire works of Bertrand Goldberg, Jeanne Gang and Mies van der Rohe
- Snap amazing photos of the picturesque skyline at Wolf Point
This picturesque cruise is led by a professional guide who shares exciting details and the historical significance of the buildings that line the Chicago River. Boarding at the dock on Michigan Avenue, youll sail down all three branches of the Chicago Riverthe main branch, north branch and south branch.
While on the main branch, youll marvel at the works of Bertrand Goldberg and Jeanne Gang. Youll then reach the north branch and witness the vast contrast in how architecture on the Chicago River has changed over time. Enjoy amazing photo opportunities at Wolf Point, and then sail down the south branch where youll see Chicagos iconic Willis Tower. Youll even hear the dramatic story of how Chicago rose from the ashes of the Great Fire of 1871.
- Professional narration of tour highlights in Spanish
Seadog Cruises Architecture River And Lake Tour
On the Seadog Chicago Architecture Boat Tour, passengers will board a sleek open-air speedboat and spend 75 minutes cruising around the Chicago Locks and then right up the Chicago River for sweeping views of the citys impressive skyline. On the Chicago River boat tour, youll also cruise past iconic locations like Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain. Theres live, guided narration with bits and bobs about Chicagos history and stories about notable architecture, like the Willis Tower and Lyric Opera, so guests are sure to come away with plenty of historical and architectural information about the storied Windy City. And for some extra fun: this cruise is BYOB!
To book: $45 seadogcruises.com
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Chicago Fireboat Tours Downtown
111 N. Lakeshore DriveClimb aboard a piece of Chicago history, the Fred A. Busse Fireboat, which assisted the city of Chicago in fire emergencies from 1937 to 1980. The boat offers lake and river historical cruises, along with fun sunset boat rides. The boat is operating at 25% capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions for the 2020 season.
Lake Michigan Sightseeing Boat Tour
At just 40 minutes long and with prices starting at $26, this Lake Michigan sightseeing jaunt is a simple and affordable way to see another side of the Windy City.
Itll take you out onto the waters of the Great Lakes, so you can survey the town from a distance.
There, the silhouettes of mighty skyscrapers serrate the skyline, while the twirling carousels of Navy Pier combine with Grant Parks prestigious monuments.
There really is loads to take in, so be sure to bring along your own lunch and grab a tipple at the on-board bar.
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Chicago River Boat Architecture Tours
Welcome to Chicago River Boat Architecture Tours! Were proud to present you with an in-depth, expert architectural-based river boat tour that delves into one of the most remarkable American cities today. Known for unique, daring, and historical architectural pursuits, its hard to cover all of the design and building treasures that make up the Windy City today. If youre ready to learning more about the designs, people, and innovations behind these creations, throw on your captains hat and get ready to cruise along the Chicago River and see what architects from around the world travel to see in Chicago.
Visit The Amazing Chicago Funhouse Maze
A less talked about thing to do at Navy Pier Chicago is to visit the Amazing Chicago Funhouse Maze.
Plan to get lost, feel dizzy, play games, and be surprised throughout this 4,000 sq ft. interactive play area.
The endless mirrors and flashing lights may be scary for little ones, however. Likewise, the experience can be too intense for those with sensory sensitivities as it does contain strobe lighting and lasers.
Amazing Chicago Funhouse Maze is located halfway down the pier past Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
The maze is self-paced and takes approximately 15-25 minutes to complete.
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