Navy Pier, Chicago’s largest tourist attraction, will begin a phased reopening starting April 30, with outdoor seating, outdoor parks and docks opening first.
The parking garage, Polk Bros. Park, Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion, the North and South Docks, Tour Boats, Navy Pier East End Plaza, the new Sable hotel and select free programs will begin the reopening. Some restaurants will also open to limited seating, per state and local guidelines.
The reopening nearly mirrors that of last summer, when Chicago’s top tourist attraction reopened in stages. The Pier then closed Sept. 8, 2020, ahead of a fall spike in COVID-19 cases.
“Following Navy Pier’s longest closure in recent history, we are anxious to reopen our spaces and safely welcome guests back to the Pier,” says Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner in a release. “We recognize the critical role Navy Pier, as a key economic driver and cultural anchor for the city and state, plays in leading our community out of the devastation from the pandemic. With mass vaccination rollouts now underway, we are eager to help guests safely reconnect to Chicago and its most treasured experiences, and remain committed to helping revive the city and region.”
What to expect when visiting
As part of the celebration of the reopening, guests can see a special 10-minute fireworks display at 9 p.m. every Saturday in May until Memorial Day weekend. In its release, Navy Pier says that the first presentation will honor health care professionals and frontline workers.
Guests over the age of 2 will be required to wear masks, and masks are available for purchase at the pier. Social Distancing Ambassadors will walk the pier to remind guests to remain six feet away from patrons not in their party and monitor gathering sizes.
Centennial Wheel guests will ride only with their own party and gondolas will be wiped down after each ride. The wheel will also shut down for 15 minutes every two hours for a full wheel cleaning. The Pepsi Wave Swinger and Carousel will also reopen in the first phase.
The Chicago Children’s Museum and Chicago Shakespeare Theater will remain closed during the first phase of the reopening plan.
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This story originally published June 4, 2020. It has been updated with the most recent information.