Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier

The Navy Pier has long been one of the most popular Chicago attractions, drawing more than 8.6 million visitors a year. During the holiday season, Chicago’s favorite “lakefront playground” transforms into a miraculous Winter WonderFest, a holiday-themed festival featuring rides, games, food, and entertainment. The 12th annual Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier will run from November 20, 2012 to January 6, 2013, which allows you ample time to get over to the Pier and see what’s going on. Best of all, the festival is held indoors—so you’ll stay toasty the whole time.

Attractions & Rides

Here’s a sample of just some of the many attractions and rides you’ll see at Winter WonderFest. With special rides for young children and thrill rides for adrenaline junkies, there’s something for everyone.

    • Arctic Ice Skating Rink

      This popular ice skating rink brings winter inside, but leaves the cold at the door. Lined with Christmas trees, banners, and white lights, the rink couldn’t be any more festive. With the purchase of a Premium Wristband, you’ll get a free skate rental—or feel free to bring your own pair.

    • Extreme Ice Trail Ropes Course

      Adventurers, this attraction is for you! Maneuver your way across beams, staircases, and platforms while making your way through a course that stretches 27.5 feet in the air. Remember to dress appropriately—no heels, skirts, or dresses allowed.

  • Ferris Wheel

    From atop Winter WonderFest’s 50-foot-high indoor festival, you’ll see the entire spectacular event from above. This vibrant Ferris wheel is a favorite of children and adults alike.

  • Zero Gravity

    Zero Gravity is an all new ride at Winter WonderFest this year, and it puts the “thrill” in “thrill ride.” Brave riders will be held to the wall by the force of gravity as the ride spins faster and faster, finally lifting riders into the air at a 45-degree angle as it continues to spin.


Other popular attractions include the Cliff Hanger, Kringle Carousel, the Snowy Summit Climbing Wall, Lighthouse, the Reindeer Express Train Ride, and several slides and obstacle courses.


Music, dancing, and more bring the party to life at the Winter WonderStage, located inside Winter WonderFest. Exciting and varied entertainment will be featured throughout each day of the festival.

    • On Mondays, DJs take the stage to spin the hottest hits and get you up on your feet.
    • Friday and Saturday evenings, live bands will have the spotlight, performing the best of pop, rock, soul, and more from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM.
    • The rest of the time, the stage will be graced by Chicago’s finest dancers, jugglers, magicians, musicians, and puppeteers.

Admission & Hours

Hours of Operation:
November 30th – December 15th
Sunday through Thursday: 10 AM – 5 PM
Friday and Saturday: 10 AM – 10 PM

December 16th – January 6th
Sunday through Thursday: 10 AM – 8 PM
Friday and Saturday: 10 AM – 10 PM

Special Holiday Hours apply.*

Admission to Winter WonderFest is free. You’ll need to purchase an Activity Wristband to participate in the rides and attractions. These can be purchased on-line or in person at the box office. Make sure you get a Premium Wristband if you want to take advantage of the indoor ice rink!

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