Winter WonderFest Navy Pier 2013: Celebrate Winter Indoors

Winter WonderFest Navy Pier 2013: Celebrate Winter Indoors
Navy Pier's indoor Ice skating rink is a great way to celebrate "winter."

All the world knows that Chicagoans are not wimps but with the temperature plummeting to 8 degrees today (and winter not even here yet)…it’s heartening to know that one can enjoy the best of the season at Navy Pier’s Winter WonderFest now through January 12 without going outdoors.

Here’s the skinny…

Navy Pier’s 13th annual Winter WonderFest features a ton of festive indoor fun, food, entertainment, rides, skating plus a chance to step outside and enjoy magnificent lake and city views and breathe in the crisp fresh air.

Winter WonderFest is open now though January 12, 2014.  Admission to the Fest is free. However, an Activity Wristband purchase is required to participate in rides and attractions within the event.

Go for a ride….

An indoor Ferris Wheel is the way to go on a cold windy day

An indoor Ferris Wheel is the way to go on a cold windy day

Rides include…

  • The Ice Line Express Zip Line where you can fly through Winter WonderAir as you zoom down a 28-foot tall indoor zip line.
  • Go for a spin inside the oversized teacups on the Hot Cocoa Cups ride.
  • Take The Arctic Plunge in a new dual-lane inflatable slide.
  • Get swept away 40-feet into the air on Cliff Hanger.
  • Go round and round the indoor Ferris wheel.

Skate indoors…

  • The Chicago Blackhawks Indoor Ice Skating Rink is back this year providing fun for all levels of ice skaters  Ice skate rental is included in the price of a Premium Wristband (see bottom of post). Guests are also welcome to bring their own skates and skate for free.

Go for a climb…

  • Climb high in the “sky” on the Snowy Summit Climbing Wall.

Fun and Games…

  • Make a craft from cookies at the Create-A-Cookie Cottage.
  • Or chill out with Too Cool Video Games.

All this plus Winter WonderFest Jr. – a special section expanded this year for kids 46” or smaller.

Daily “Grand Opening” event… 

The grand opening of Winter WonderFest features a hearty welcome from the Winter WonderFest Mayor Burl Evergreen as he chooses one lucky winner to open the doors to Winter WonderFest in the morning to start the day’s magic.

Santa and Mrs. Claus 

Visit with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus inside Winter WonderFest.  For the first time, Santa will be inside Festival Hall at the foot of the Pier’s giant 42-foot tall tree.  Santa will be available for photos and requests December 6 through December 24. A professional photographer is also on-site.  Fridays – Sundays: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. or Mondays – Thursdays: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Premium Wristband: $20 includes all rides and skating in the indoor ice rink.

Regular wristband: $16 includes all rides but not ice skating in the indoor rink.

Around the Pier…

Holiday Hopper Martini

Holiday Hopper Martini

Dining options at Navy Pier run the gamut from a fast food court to fine dining. Favorites include Billy Goat Tavern, Bubba Gump and Harry Caray’s to name a few.

Riva Crab House is offering a 10 percent discount (food only) during Winter WonderFest at lunch and dinner for adults who attend.  There will also be a special kids menu priced at $4.95. Plus for adults, Riva is offering holiday cocktails including a Holiday Hopper Martini for $8. Guests must show wristband to receive discount.

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