Here’s a look at Navy Pier’s range of free summer programs.


Navy Pier began its gradual reopening at the end of April, with some vendors and restaurants on the pier reopening, while the fireworks returned every Saturday night in May. Today, the popular tourist attraction revealed that it hopes to fully reopen public spaces and businesses at Navy Pier before Memorial Day weekend (in accordance with current city restrictions and capacity guidelines). In addition, there is a full schedule of free summer programs and events that will begin at the end of May.

On Friday, May 28, Navy Pier will switch to extended summer hours, with many parts of the attraction remaining open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10:00 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Unfortunately, this also means that Navy Pier parking rates will drop from the current flat rate of $ 29 to graduated hourly rates.

Airshow fans will be happy to hear that the Navy Pier fireworks display will resume its regular Wednesday and Saturday night schedule, with shows at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday and 10:15 p.m. on Saturday through September 4. other free events coming back to Pier this summer:

  • Neighborhood craft markets at South Dock, May 28 to September 5, select weekends from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Wave wall movement dance series at Wave Wall Platform, May 29 to September 4, Saturdays at 3:15 p.m.
  • Wave wall wax DJ sets at Wave Wall Platform, May 29 to September 4, Saturdays 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Live on the lake! Concerts at Navy Pier Beer Garden, May 29 to September 4, Saturdays 2 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. and Sundays 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Pier fitness classes at Polk Bros Park, from June 1 to August 31, Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Skyline sessions concerts at Wave Wall Platform, June 3 to 25, Thursdays and Fridays from 3 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Wiggleworms at Polk Bros Park, June 6 to August 27 at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
  • Pride of the Navy Pier, June 26 from 1 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
  • Water Flicks Film screenings at Polk Bros Park, July 8 to August 30, Mondays and Thursdays at 6.30 p.m.
  • Fresh Fest! at Wave Wall Platform, July 8 and 9
  • Watercolors Jazz concerts at Polk Bros Park, from July 2 to August 27 on Fridays at 6.30 p.m.
  • Rhythmic world dance festival at Polk Bros Park, July 28 at 7 p.m.
  • LatiNxt music festival, August 6 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and August 7 from 1 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
  • Noche Caribena celebration at Polk Bros Park, August 14 at 6:30 p.m.

Talent, artist, and film lineups for the above events are coming soon, but expect to see details in the coming weeks as the full reopening of Navy Pier draws closer. All programs will adhere to public health and safety measures, with events taking place at Polk Bros Park using social distancing circles to maintain distance between parties. Face masks will also be required when attending Navy Pier events, according to a statement – it’s unclear how that might change now that the city is relaxing its mask mandate for fully vaccinated people.

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