Navy Pier is a 3,300-foot long pier on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan. Though it’s definitely a bit of a tourist trap with overpriced shops and restaurants, it’s a fun place to visit, particularly for families with kids.
The ferris wheel is a must as it offers amazing views of the city, day or night. Or take a boat ride on the Spirit of Chicago. There are a variety of boat tours and many of them offer dining cruises with dancing; a great way to experience Lake Michigan. The Shakespeare theatre is a good way to beat the heat in the afternoon and there is live music and dancing at the Landshark Beer Garden every night during the summer. Summer also features fireworks every Wednesday and Saturday evening.
The popular Strictly Sail boat show and Chicago Flower and Garden Show are held at the Pier every year. Or catch the Cirque Shanghai through September. There are also a number of museums including a Children’s Museum and the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows, many of which were salvaged from Chicago mansions.