For folks who are visiting the Windy City for a short weekend or an entire week of vacation, the Chicago Explorer pass provides the flexibility of choosing a few specific attractions from a list of more than 25 options. Whether you want to take in the most popular attractions or find something a bit less prominent, for adults or for families with children, the multi-attraction Chicago Explorer Pass offers several options to save money on ticket prices, as well as saving time on waiting in line.
Explorer Pass Benefits
Choose 3, 4, or 5 attractions, activities or tours for a flat rate and use your pass any time in the 30 days after the first time it is used.
Select attractions allow guests to skip the line by showing the Chicago Explorer Pass at the entrance. This can save time, especially on busy summer days when lines can sometimes last up to 2 or 3 hours!
The Explorer Pass allows guests to take their time with seeing attractions, rather than having to pile them all into just a few days. And you don’t need to decide ahead of time which attractions you want to visit—so you can make choices based on how you feel or what the weather is like.
A comprehensive pocket guidebook is included in the price, helping tourists to easily plan and navigate their trip.
Additional discounts on dining, entertainment and shopping adventures can add to the amount of money you save. Expect discounts at places such as Macy’s at Water Tower Place, Bloomingdale’s, Haagen Dazs Café, Segway Tours, Blue Man Group and so much more.
Attractions to Choose From
Although subject to change per season, the attractions that are valid with the Chicago Explorer Pass typically include:
- 360 Chicago
- Shoreline Architecture River Cruise
- Hop-on-Hop-off Bus: 1-day Classic Tour
- Adler Planetarium
- Navy Pier 4-Ride Pass (Ferris Wheel, Adventure Golf, Light House, Carousel or Wave Swinger Ride)
- Art Institute of Chicago
- Shoreline Classic Lake Tour
- Field Museum
- Museum of Science and Industry
- LEGOLAND Discovery Center
- Bike and Roll: 4 Hour Bike Rental
- And ManyMore Choices. Full list to the right
Is the Chicago Explorer Pass Worth It?
One great perk of the Chicago Explorer Pass is that users have a full 30-day period in which the pass is valid. This means that you can save money on the full-price of tickets, download a convenient app that makes everything easier, and even save time avoiding waiting for certain attractions. Determining if the Explorer Pass will be a money-saver for you really depends on which experiences you want to participate in.
Start by choosing 3, 4, or 5 attractions that you most want to visit. Then add up the original tickets costs to see if you the amount of money you’ll spend is more than the cost of the pass. If you find that you’re choosing several of the less expensive attractions (especially any that cost $20 or less) and you’re only taking a 3-choice pass, then you may not save a significant amount of money. However, you can still jump the lines on certain exhibits, as well as getting discounts on shopping and more.
There are lots of options for tourist passes in Chicago. Look at a Chicago CityPASS if you want to see only the top attractions and museums. Check out a Go Chicago Card if but you really want see everything and plan on visiting 2 or more attractions in a day. If you are not sure which pass is best for you, check out our comparison page.
Sample Five Choice Itinerary
Most people find that they can save up to 40% off of standard ticket prices, especially if they are participating in some of the more expensive attractions. For instance, consider this 5-attraction scenario where each ticket costs $40 on average:
- Bike and Roll 4 Hour Rental
- Navy Pier 4-Ride Pass
- Hop-on Hop-off Big Bus Tour
- The Art Institute of Chicago
- Grand Tour with Gray Line Bus Tours
The total for these items at full price would be around $200, but a 5-Choice Explorer pass would save you approximately $80—a significant amount of cash that you can enjoy spending on some iconic Chicago Pizza instead!
You can easily buy your Chicago Explorer Pass online and then have it delivered directly to your mobile phone for convenience. You can also choose to print your pass and guidebook at home before you leave on your trip.
The Explorer Pass comes with a 30-day risk-free guarantee that allows the return of any non-activated passes for a full refund (within 30 days of purchase).
Planning Your Visit
The Chicago Explorer Pass is a great way to see Chicago when you know you just want to visit a few places without trying to fill up an entire vacation itinerary. The pass can be used during any time that the exhibits are open. Choose to have a relaxed adventure in the city with a boat cruise or a leisurely day spent viewing world-famous works at the Art Institute. Or, choose a more active itinerary by renting a bicycle and taking advantage of some of the fun activities at Navy Pier. The choice for what kind of a Chicago adventure you want with Explorer Pass is absolutely yours!