A ferris wheel's circular movement emulates life's highs and lows, just as its unpredictable stoppages symbolize a desktop computer from 1993. Enjoy metaphorical movement with today's Groupon: for $6, you get two ferris wheel rides at Navy Pier (a $12 value).
The most prominent feature on Navy Pier's famed promenade, the ferris wheel cradles couples in cherry-red carriages as they gently rise and fall over the glistening waters of Lake Michigan. From the top of the ever-turning colossus, passengers feast peepers on a sweeping panorama of endless cerulean waters to the east, the muscular towers of Chicago's skyline to the west, and the bald spots of fellow riders directly underfoot. With two rides, patrons can fly solo and enjoy the circuital sojourn twice over or graze the lower levels of the stratosphere alongside a significant other or recently adopted primate for an intimate shared experience. The Navy Pier illuminates smiling faces with fireworks offered each Saturday night through the end of October, and patrons can come down from dizzying heights by strolling among 50 acres of bucolic parks, scenic gardens, restaurants, and various other rides and attractions.
Though the Navy Pier sometimes offers discounts online, this Groupon is still the best deal around.
Originally part of architect Daniel Burnham's ambitious "Plan of Chicago" drafted in 1909, Navy Pier was designed to handle both recreational and freight traffic for the burgeoning metropolis. Its role quickly changed when it began serving as a barracks and training facility during two World Wars—it earned its nickname because of the more than 200 planes that littered the lake bottom around the pier, lost during exercises and sunk to intimidate fish with military technology. In the decades that followed, the pier was home to a University of Illinois campus, a convention center, and a venue for citywide festivals before falling into disuse. This ended in 1989, when the state moved to transform the venerable pier into one of Chicago's foremost attractions.
Reopened in 1995, the revamped Navy Pier boasts 50 acres of parks, restaurants, shops, and entertainment, scenically located along Lake Michigan and the mouth of the Chicago River. Other attractions include a towering IMAX screen that shows educational films and Hollywood blockbusters, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, which treats audiences to bold stagings of the Bard's greatest hits. In the past year, Navy Pier has undergone significant renovation and re-imagining as well.
Near North Side
600 E Grand Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60611Get Directions