Outrigger Hotels and Resorts

Published on Saturday, October 9, 2021

Navy Pier gets festive with 'Light Up the Lake'

Chicago's Navy Pier will brighten the winter season with Light Up the Lake, an indoor, temperature-controlled experience.

It features large-scale light-sculpture displays, comprising more than 600,000 twinkling lights; a regulation-size Alpine ice rink, authentic holiday beer garden, kiddie train rides, Santa's Village and gift market as well as other family-friendly events.

Offering something for everyone, Light Up the Lake will run from November 26 through January 2, 2022, in Festival Hall at Navy Pier. Special themed events, including date nights, are also planned.

Every ticket comes with a free ride on the Centennial Wheel, and visitors are invited to experience all the free amenities and attractions—indoors and out—at Navy Pier, which will be decked out for the season.

Transforming more than 100,000 square feet of Navy Pier's expansive Festival Hall, Light Up the Lake will also offer sit-down dining with holiday-themed eats, signature cocktails, and seasonal brews. Grab-and-go meals and snacks will be available throughout the event space.

Light Up the Lake will be open from 3-9 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays through Dec. 19.

Then it opens from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily from December 20 through January 2. The holiday event will close at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve and 8 p.m. on New Year's Eve. It will be closed on Christmas Day.

The area's largest indoor light show, boasting more than 600,000 lights, will feature oversized sculptures with holiday and toy box themes, including a giant Teddy Bear, a deer soaring 25-foot, high, 60-foot light tunnel and 40-foot tree. There will even be an oversized rubber duckie, who will greet skaters near the ice rink.

Guests are invited to come early, stay late and take a spin on the 165-foot Alpine ice rink. Guests can bring their own skates, but skates will be available at no extra charge, pending availability. Lockers also will be available.

Kids can jump on the Holiday Train and explore Santa's Village. The European-style holiday market will offer seasonal wares, novelties, treats and unique holiday gifts.

The Holiday Beer Garden offers old-world Bavarian charm with seasonal craft beers, winter cocktails and delicious giant soft pretzels.

Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is the top nonprofit tourism destination in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and typically welcoming nearly nine million annual guests. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more.

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