Chicago Family Vacation Part 1 – A day at the Navy Pier

Chicago Family Vacation Part 1 – A day at the Navy Pier

Some people said I was crazy to take a 2 year old on vacation by myself. And while some people would have been right, it was also SO worth it. We took a solo family vacation to Chicago and it was amazing! Our flight landed at 8:30 a.m. and by noon that same day we were out exploring the city. We spent a majority of the day at the Navy Pier!

Navy Pier is a great spot to spend quite a few hours at and there is so much to do for kids. We started with the Centennial Wheel.

chicago navy pier centennial wheel

I purchased the FastPass ahead of time and kind of wish I hadn’t. We arrived at the pier so early on a Thursday during the school year that there was no line at all. I couldn’t return the FastPass or downgrade so I was just out about $25. I’d wait until you arrive to determine if you need to upgrade or not.

chicago navy pier centennial wheel

The entire ride lasts about 15 minutes and you get to go around the loop a few times without stopping. It offers an amazing view of the city, the lake and the pier. Zaylen kept saying, “Look at the big castles, Mommy!” He has never really seen so many skyscrapers, so it was so special to have a bird’s eye view from The Centennial Wheel. It was a gorgeous day for it too.

chicago navy pier centennial wheel

We also rode the merry go round, ate ice cream, watched the boats and walked to the end of the pier. Everyone loved our matching outfits and one couple stopped us to insist on taking a photo of the two of us together. It was so sweet. She even snapped a few gems too!

Chicago Family Vacation Navy Pier

See! Total pro and now we have this adorable photo of the two of us to last a lifetime. Zay’s entire outfit is from H&M, shoes are Nike Roshes from Foot Locker. My plaid shirt and black shirt are also from H&M, pants and sandals from Target. 

chicago navy pier

Another great thing about the Navy Pier is its entire indoor food and entertainment strip. It’s like a giant mall of delicious food and fun things to do. On Thursdays from 5-8 p.m. the Chicago Children’s Museum is free to the entire public. I strongly encourage you to go during this time frame if you’re interested in checking it out, because I quite honestly don’t think it’s worth $14 per person. It’s a pretty awesome and interactive playground, but when I think “science museum,” I think something else entirely. Save yourself the funds and go on a free day like we did!

The Navy Pier in Chicago was a fantastic way to start our family vacation; we enjoyed every minute of our time there and I bet you will too!

Have you been to the Navy Pier with your kids? What was your favorite thing to do? Did we miss something that you loved? Tell us about it in the comments below and stay tuned for more of our family vacation to Chicago!

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