**** If Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier were a play and my grandkids were writing a review, they would have given it FOUR STARS-Highly Recommended! Year after year, this annual event gets stronger as they find new ways to bring winter excitement to our families no matter the weather. They have changed the name to the” PNC Bank Winter Wonderfest”, as PNC has become the lead sponsor, but the fun inside this 170,000 square foot winter wonderland is even more so than the years before.
Adam and the girls (Sarah and Rebecca) were busy making sugar cookies and icing them as they do every year. Of course they eat them before they even get home. The Chicago Blackhawks Indoor Ice Skating Rink along with ice skate rentals is included with the wrist band , as always and what a delight to watch the families enjoying their skate together. By the way, we are not skaters, but still enjoy the watching.
The new features of the Wintertube and snowtubing are very cool- the kids went twice on this one and the Toboggan Tunnel Sled Ride is another very neat feature as the sleds on rollers allow some sledding competition between siblings or even with other guests. There are lots of slides ( inflated) and of course the 50′ high Ferris Wheel, and other rides and attractions that will wow and enthrall you. For the younger family members, the Reindeer Express Train Ride, Jingle Jym Jr. and Kringle Carousel. Don’t forget Holiday Howdy Horse and the large 42′ Christmas tree that allows for a wonderful photo opportunity. Speaking of which, there is a snow globe where you get inside and can take your own photo or purchase one taken by a professional photographer, just in time for the Holidays.
With school being out for the break, navy Pier is the perfect place to bring your family as well as those who are visiting from out of town. Make a day of it and have a ball! PNC Winter Wonderfest will continue this year until January 12th which is longer than in the past and their hours are:
Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays until 10 p.m.
Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
CLOSED on CHRISTMAS DAY
December 31st and January 1st 10 am-10 p.m.
New Year’s Eve is special at Navy Pier as it is Fireworks night! And what a display!
the one change this year- ALL attendees MUST have a ticket, BUT they do have a General Admission ticket at $5 so the non riders can come in and watch the little ones have the experiences they will remember.
Activity tickets are $25 ( with reductions and specials on DEAL DAYS. They can be purchased at one of the three ticket houses at Navy Pier in the Festival Hall area.
Reduced parking in the garage as well. East and West garages are $14 Monday-Thursday and $19 Fridays-Sunday. ( New Year’s Eve as well)
Navy Peir is the perfect place for WINTER (by the way, it ain’t so bad in the Summer either)!