Without trips to amusement parks, the most exciting thing to happen to most families would be the periodic elections to determine who gets to be Dad that week. Shake things up with this Groupon.
Choose from Three Options
- $16 for two 5-ride individual combo tickets, which allows two people five rides each (a $32 value)
- $32 for four 5-ride individual combo tickets, which allows four people five rides each (a $64 value)
- $48 for six 5-ride individual combo tickets, which allows six people five rides each (a $96 value)
Combo tickets give holders access to the rides and attractions in Pier Park, whose glowing expanse lights up the night from the Pier's upper deck. The 150-foot ferris wheel—the Park's most visible monument—lifts riders high above the lake on a 7-minute circuit. The thrilling Wave Swinger spins patrons around in tilting circles, their seats suspended by chains nearly 40 feet above the deck. Other diversions include a musical carousel that hearkens back to classic carnivals, and an 18-hole miniature golf course.
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 tourist 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. The pier's most striking denizen is its 150-foot-tall ferris wheel, whose glittering lights slowly rotate above the water and frame a beautiful view of the city's skyscrapers for riders. 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.