Navy Pier has just announced that they will be closing “for the season” on September 8 with reopening planned for a TBA date in spring of 2021.
Not unlike Chicago beaches, when they say closed they mean closed.
What Does This Mean?
There will be NO public access to Navy Pier including the south sidewalk that runs from the beginning of the pier to the East end–a great spot for waking and viewing the boats and lake.
My first thought was, does that mean there will be no lake cruises, dinners, tours or events on the Lake Michigan?
I reached out to a spokesperson for Navy Pier and here’s what she said:
“The boat partners at Navy Pier will not be running after September 8 at the Pier for public tours. Boat partners who have another location on the Chicago River will be operating those locations. I would reach out to the individual boat operators for full details.”
I have contacted boat operators and will report back when I hear more.
Q.Will I still have access to Polk Bros Park? A. Yes, guests will have limited access to Polk Bros Park. Access to the North and South Docks will be prohibited. At this time, no events are scheduled for the park.
Q.Can I walk or jog along the dock(s)? A. No, access to the North and South Docks will be prohibited during the temporary closure.
Q. How does the closure impact the hotel opening? A. Construction of the Shore Hotel which broke ground in July of 2018 is still ongoing. Once construction is completed, Navy Pier will work with the developer to announce an opening date of the property.
Q. Are there any partners leaving the Pier because of COVID? If so, who? A. Any changes to businesses and partners operating at Navy Pier will be announced prior to the Pier’s reopening in the spring of 2021.
Q. What will happen with Winter WonderFest? A. As a result of the temporary closure, Winter WonderFest will be canceled in 2020.
Q. Will other cultural institutions (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, WBEZ, and Chicago Children’s Museum) at the Pier be open during the temporary closure? A. WBEZ will be open during normal business hours. Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and the Chicago Children’s Museum have been closed to the public since mid-March and will remain closed until further notice.
Q. Will employees of Chicago Shakespeare, WBEZ, Chicago Children’s Museum, etc. be allowed access to their offices at the Pier during the closure? A. Navy Pier will finalize details in the coming weeks and provide partners with appropriate information to access their respective office spaces during the Pier’s closure.
“While this was a very difficult decision for the organization, it was a necessary one to proactively ensure the long-term success of one of Chicago’s most treasured and important civic institutions and the communities it serves,” said Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner. “This decision will also help preserve the future of the many on-site businesses, which continue to face hardships of their own as a result of the pandemic. The temporary closure will allow the Pier and its partners to reduce its operational expenses and support efforts to limit COVID-19 cases as we move into the fall and winter seasons.”
Open through Labor Day
Offshore rooftop. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer
Navy Pier will continue to remain open to the public through Labor Day, welcoming guests to experience the Pier’s free arts and cultural programs, restaurants, retail shops, tour boats and dining cruises, and more, with multiple layers of safety precautions in place. Click here to view Navy Pier’s COVID-19 safety plans and measures, developed and implemented with guidance from the State, City and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Subscribe to Show Me Chicago by email
If you would like to keep in touch with what’s happening in Chicago, like us on Facebook or subscribe to Show Me Chicago by email. To subscribe, type your email address in the box below and click the “create subscription” button. Our list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.