Fodor's Expert Review Navy Pier
No matter the season, Navy Pier is a fun place to spend a few hours, especially with kids in tow. Constructed in 1916 as a commercial-shipping pier and part of Daniel Burnham's Master Plan of Chicago, it stretches half a mile into Lake Michigan. Redesigned and reopened in 1995, it's a major tourist draw. Outside, there's a landscaped area with gardens, a fountain, a carousel, a 15-story Ferris wheel, and a beer garden. Inside you'll find the Crystal Gardens, a six-story glass atrium that serves as an indoor event venue and botanical park; the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows; the Chicago Children's Museum; an IMAX theater; the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre; and a bevy of souvenir shops, restaurants, and bars.