Places to reach new heights

Sometimes we forget how beautiful the city of Chicago is, and all it takes is a different perspective to remind us how lucky we are. On a clear day, head to these high hot spots with the family to enjoy the sheer beauty of Chicagoland.

Centennial Wheel, Navy Pier

Navy Pier’s brand new ferris wheel is larger and, honestly, less intimidating than its predecessor for those who are afraid of heights. The enclosed and temperature-regulated gondolas make it possible to take in the views during less than ideal conditions (aka winter).

How high? 200 feet–about 50 feet taller than its predecessor.

Hot air balloons

Head to Galena and fly high with Galena On the Sky, one of the largest hot air balloons in the country. You will spend an hour 3,000 to 4,000 feet above the earth, drifting above the rolling landscapes of Jo Daviess county and the historic Galena countryside. You can also take in views of Iowa and Wisconsin.

How high? 3,000 to 4,000 feet high

Interested in a tamer experience? Mark your calendars for Lisle’s Eyes to the Sky Festival. During the summer, this popular festival gives you a chance to go up in a tethered hot air balloon.

How high? 50 to 100 feet high

360 Chicago at John Hancock

Hold on tight as you tilt forward toward the ground with downward facing views of the Mag Mile. Not only does the observation deck provide outstanding views but there is an interactive exhibition that spotlights the city’s history, architecture and neighborhoods. Reward your bravery by grabbing a bite and a drink at the Bar & Cafe while taking in the views.

How high? 1,030 feet high

Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower

Located on the 103rd floor, the Skydeck holds the title for the highest observation deck in the U.S. Don’t miss out on standing on the Skydeck Ledge, a glass floor that extends 4.3 feet out.

How high? The observation deck stands 1,353 feet above ground.

Chicago Helicopter Experience

For an experience like no other, take the family out on a helicopter ride for a bird’s eye view of Chicago. Scope out Chicago’s iconic landmarks such as Navy Pier and Wrigley Field while learning interesting tidbits about our beloved city. Choose from daytime tours, twilight tours, nighttime tours, and on specific days, an amazing fireworks tour.

How high? 1,200 feet high

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