A Toast to 2020 – Start the Year at Navy Pier

Happy 2020, Photo: Jamie Street, Unsplash.com

Ring in the New Year at Navy Pier with Pier-wide celebrations, boat cruises, longest fireworks display in the city and more

Navy Pier, the Midwest’s top-visited destination, is the place to be this New Year’s Eve. Say goodbye to 2019 and hello to 2020 at Chicago’s favorite New Year’s Eve headquarters with various New Year’s Eve bashes, cruises and the longest fireworks display in the city, Navy Pier New Year’s Eve Fireworks Show Presented by Miller Lite

Navy Pier, New Year’s Eve

To kick start the holiday on Tuesday, December 31, guests are encouraged to visit the 19th Annual Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest. Offering dozens of rides, attractions, entertainment and holiday décor across 170,000 square feet, Navy Pier’s Festival Hall provides fun for all ages and opportunities for families to spend time together before the New Year. Returning favorites include the Xfinity Ice Skating Rink, Dasher’s Crashers Bumper Cars and Arctic Express Train, as well as this year’s brand-new attraction, The Wind Chill. Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest will be open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office.


With the purchase of a Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest ticket, guests will also receive a complimentary pass to ride the iconic, 200-foot-tall Centennial WheelReflect on 2019 on this treasured attraction, which features enclosed and temperature-controlled gondolas, offering guests comfortable, enjoyable rides and unparalleled views year round. Reservations can also be made in advance online for a sought-after seat on the Centennial Wheel’s VIP gondola, featuring plush seats, trademark glass bottom and celebratory champagne for purchase.


When the clock strikes midnight, guests can take in the spectacular Navy Pier New Year’s Eve Fireworks Show Presented by Miller Lite. Paired with music, this signature fireworks display promises an unforgettable viewing experience over more than 15 minutes, positioning it as the longest fireworks display in Chicago. 

Navy Pier is proud to host a variety of other activities and celebrations across the Pier:

Navy Pier, New Year’s Eve

Celebrations
Chicago Children’s Museum invites families and their children to celebrate early during their Noon Year’s Eve bash from 10:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. The event will feature a variety of family-friendly festivities, including festive crown-making, the last dance party of 2019 and a multi-colored confetti finale. The event is free with museum admission ($19 for adults and children) and membership. 

The 8th Annual Chicago Resolution Gala returns to Navy Pier’s iconic Aon Grand Ballroom from 8:30 p.m. – 2 a.m., featuring a delicious food spread, more than 30 bars, music from Chicago’s top DJs, a New Year’s Eve countdown, fireworks and more. Ring in 2020 in this stunning space, with a dome-style ceiling and panoramic window display of the city skyline and Lake Michigan. Tickets are available for purchase online*Must be 21 years or older to attend. 

The Crystal Gardens New Year’s Eve Party is back at Navy Pier for its 14th anniversary to provide an unforgettable experience in the unique botanical gardens setting of The Crystal Gardens. Highlights include premium top shelf beverages, Phil Stefani Signature Restaurants food station package, more than 20 premium liquor bars, midnight champagne toast, private terrace for fireworks viewing, red carpet step and repeat photo opportunity, complimentary noisemakers, hats and party favors, live DJ NYE countdown, coat check and more. The event will run from 9 p.m. – 1:30 a.m. Ticket packages and information can be found online*Must be 21 years or older to attend.

New this year, Offshore, the world’s largest rooftop confirmed by Guinness World Records, is ushering 2020 in with style, with stunning 360 views of the city and lake from its glass-enclosed, climate-controlled space. Offshore’s New Year’s Eve Celebration kicks off at 9 p.m. and will offer incredible views of Navy Pier’s fireworks, along with premium bar and chef stations. Each ticket grants guests access to a five hour open bar, hors d’oeuvres, chef stations, live music and fireworks. Tickets to Offshore’s inaugural New Year’s Eve event are available for purchase online*Must be 21 years or older to attend. Cocktail attire required; black tie recommended.

Navy Pier, New Year’s Eve

Cruises
Celebrate on water with Entertainment Cruises and aboard one of their festive New Year’s Eve fleet options. New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruises will be hosted on Odyssey Lake MichiganSpirit of Chicago and Mystic Blue, including platinum open bar and complimentary champagne toast, as well as a plated or buffet-style dinner. The cruises will board at 8:30 p.m. and cruise from 9:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. 

Earlier in the day, Spirit of Chicago offers a New Year’s Eve Lunch Cruisefeaturing a buffet-style lunch, complimentary coffee, hot and iced tea, and fully stocked cash bar, along with DJ entertainment and dancing. This daytime excursion will board at 11 a.m. and cruise from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. 

To bounce back after a festive New Year’s Eve, don’t miss the New Year’s Day Champagne Brunchon Odyssey Lake Michigan and welcome 2020 in style. Indulge in a delicious three-course brunch menu, complimentary glass of champagne or mimosa during boarding and upscale DJ entertainment and dancing from 12:15 p.m. (boarding time) to 3 p.m. (cruising). *Must be 21 years or older to attend.

Dining
Plan a delicious dinner at one of Navy Pier’s on-site dining options. For a full listing, please visit the Navy Pier website

For the safety and comfort of all guests, Navy Pier will once again enforce its standard security measures for large-scale events, including security checkpoints, bag inspection, metal detection and youth escort policy throughout the Pier on New Year’s Eve. Backpacks and other large bags are highly discouraged. Per policy, guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by and remain with a parent or legal guardian at all times. Please visit here for Navy Pier’s New Year’s Eve Guest Advisory, Policies and Guidelines. For more information on Navy Pier’s New Year’s Eve celebration and other Pier-wide happenings, please visit Navy Pier.

Navy Pier, New Year’s Eve

About Navy Pier

Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is the top non-for-profit tourism destination in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and welcoming nearly 9 million guests annually. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more. The Pier recently celebrated its 100th anniversary with the unveiling of the iconic Centennial WheelPolk Bros ParkFifth Third Bank Family Pavilion and Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion. In 2019, Navy Pier continues to usher in its second century with ongoing pier-wide redevelopment efforts – including a 220-room Hilton hotel with rooftop bar Offshore (now open), a marina and more – in addition to free, year-round arts and cultural programming designed to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and globe. Click here to donate to Navy Pier, a 501(c)(3) organization, in support of free public programs. For more information, visit Navy Pier.

Navy Pier Mission Statement

Navy Pier is the People’s Pier, Chicago’s lakefront treasure, welcoming all and offering dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs that inspire discovery and wonder.

Credit: Nick Ulivieri Photography unless otherwise noted

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