Spend some time outdoors on the Pier. You can ride the 15-story Ferris wheel. This is a larger rendition of the first Ferris wheel, which Chicago made famous during the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. There is also a swing-ride, the Transporter FX virtual reality simulator, and various stages for musical performances, all designed around spending time outdoors with the family. For the kids, check out the Children’s Museum which offers hundreds of hands-on, stimulating exhibits.
Chicago Navy Pier
Once you have explored the Pier, leave it via one of the many cruises that depart from Navy Pier. There are cruise ships of varying sizes, offering rides around Lake Michigan or on the Chicago River for anything from a short jaunt to a full multi-hour dinner cruise.
Navy Pier’s hours are Monday thru Thursday, 10 am to 8 pm; Friday and Saturday, 10 am to 10 pm; Sunday, 10 am to 7 pm. For more information, check out Navy Pier’s website, or Chicago Traveler’s Navy Pier Overview or Navy Pier Summary.