Get your 2020 Navy Pier visit in before September 8


Partial view of Navy Pier*

If you have any interest in visiting Navy Pier this year, do it before Tuesday, September 8. The last day of activity before a temporary close down will be Labor Day, Sept. 7. The anticipated re-opening is in spring 2021. 

“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. 

Public access to the Pier’s outdoor spaces, including Polk Bros Park and North and South Docks, will also be limited or prohibited during the closure. Chicago Children’s Museum and Chicago Shakespeare Theater, will remain closed until further notice. However, WBEZ, public radio, will be open during normal business hours. 

All private events, consumer shows, trade shows and banquets have been canceled in the Pier’s East End event facilities due to capacity restrictions. 

Though the Pier reopened early June after being closed down on Mar. 16, many of the revenue sources such as the Centennial Wheel were not able to reopen. In addition, Navy Pier extended rent relief to all of its on-site tenant partners. 

All Pier-wide operations, including that of Navy Pier’s more than 70 small local businesses, have experienced significantly low attendance throughout the pandemic.  

The loss of multiple income sources has been devastating to the organization’s budget, says a Pier spokesperson. They project $20 million deficit in 2020. Navy Pier’s short-term closure will help limit further losses for the organization, as well as the businesses that are housed at the Pier. 

Historic Closings
This will be only the fourth time that Navy Pier has temporarily closed since its big re-opening in 1995.

The first closure was for two days in 2016 for the installation of the Centennial Wheel. 

The second was two days in 2019 during the Polar Vortex and the third was this year. From March 16 to June 10, 2020, the closure was due to State and City COVID-19 orders.

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