Navy Pier Is Getting a Massive Ball Pit Ocean for 2 Weeks

Lake Michigan won’t be the only body of water near Chicago that you can jump right into this year. Well… in a sense. Navy Pier’s newest interactive installation is thematically entitled The Beach and features an enormous ball pit ocean, an extending pier, and plenty of lawn chairs, umbrellas, and floaties to fully complete the aesthetic.

navy Pier
Photo Credit: EXPO Chicago Facebook

It’s time to escape our bitter lake effect and channel your inner beach bod by taking a dive into a sea of translucent, plastic balls. This rotating art exhibit by New York-based design studio Snarkitecture will make its way to the Aon Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier from January 19 – February 3, 2019. So far, The Beach has appeared as a temporary installation in Washington, D.C., Tampa, Sydney, Paris, and Bangkok.


The ball pit consists of over 1.1 million recycled, antimicrobial orbs that make a swim through The Beach totally sanitary. This 18,000-square-foot stretch of space is free to the public, thanks to a grant by Chicago Free For All Fund, and remains in partnership with EXPO Chicago.