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Today's side deal gives you a premium wristband that lets you ride on flying ice dragons and access all the rides and attractions at Bank of America's Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier for $9, a $19 value. Redeem your Groupon between Friday, December 4, and Friday, December 11, to hit the ice and celebrate the season. Treat your little brother or niece to a night of rides and Santa visits, or take your rosy-cheeked chauffeur for a late-night ice skate amidst the 750,000 twinkling lights. Browse hundreds of trees and absorb the cheer of the properly decked indoor hall of 25,000 ornaments.
Your wristband entitles you to take part in all of Winter WonderFest's attractions, including indoor sledding on the two-story Snowflake Hill, ice-skating, a 50-foot-high indoor Ferris wheel, a 40-foot-high wind glider ride, a musical carousel, and more. Adventurers can take on the ice ropes course, where they'll have to maneuver across beams, staircases, and platforms. Plus, you can enjoy live entertainment, such as jugglers, comedians, magicians, and dancers. Be there on Friday, December 4, to see Santa's arrival by boat to open the festivities and stay to see the fireworks display at 7 p.m.
- it has always been my favorite place to hang out as a child. I love the attractions and the food. – datdime, Citysearch
- This is a great place to bring the kids! – coughiebean, Citysearch
- The childish, festive atmosphere at Navy Pier is to DIE for...don't forget to ride the Ferris Wheel. – NeuroMuse, Citysearch
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.