The Navy Pier Winter WonderFest Returns to Chicago This December

Baby, it’s cold outside.

The 19th annual Fifth-Third Bank Navy Pier Winder WonderFest is exactly that, a winter wonderland. Even better? It’s entirely indoors, so you can have all the winter fun without freezing your buns off in the ice-cold weather.

The Winder WonderFest in Chicago begins on December 6 and goes until January 12. Families can visit a 170,000 square-foot space with endless attractions that all ages can enjoy. Accompanying over 500 decorated trees with 25,000 twinkling ornaments, an ice skating rink, an indoor Ferris wheel, and live entertainment, there is something for everyone to enjoy at Navy Pier’s annual winter bonanza.

winter wonderfest
Photo Credit: Nick Ulivieri Photograph

Here’s What You Can Expect At The Winter WonderFest

Aerialists
Watch the Sugar Plum aerialists defy gravity at 3 pm, 4 pm, and 5 pm at the navy Pier Winter WonderFest on Saturdays and Sundays.

Alpine Slide
Don’t miss the thrill of this enormous, festive, inflatable slide!

Arctic Express Train Ride
Exploring over 300 feet of the premises, this trackless train ride at the Winter WonderFest in Chicago is family-friendly and includes a commemorative photo.

Arctic Plunge 
A dual lane inflatable slide decorated for winter.

Aquafina® Create-A-Cookie Cottage
This cottage allows children to decorate and eat freshly baked sugar cookies for $3 a piece.

Candy Cane Lighthouse
The lighthouse at the Navy Pier Winter WonderFest lifts children 16 feet in the air and brings them back gently towards the ground.

Cliff Hanger
Cliff Hanger is a hang glider that takes you as high as 40 feet into the air.

Dasher’s Crashers Bumper Cars
This classic attraction lets you bring out your wild side and have some fun!

Centennial Wheel
For every ticket bought, you’ll receive a complimentary ride on Navy Pier’s iconic, outdoor 200-foot tall Ferris Wheel at the Winter WonderFest in Chicago. During the winter, the Wheel features enclosed and temperature-controlled gondolas, so don’t let the cold stop you. It’s easily the best seat in the house to marvel at the Chicago skyline.

Giant Decorated Tree
This 42-foot behemoth is the centerpiece of the Winter WonderFest. It’s adorned with multi-colored ornaments, gift-wrapped presents, and twinkling lights.

Hot Cocoa Cups
Spin around in these large teacups, just don’t get too dizzy!

Ice Palace
Another inflatable slide, because who says just two is enough?

Ice Peaks Climbing Wall
Grab your gym shoes and challenge yourself to an exhilarating climb on a rock wall overlooking the fest.

Jingle Jym Jr.
This special section for smaller children at the Winter WonderFest only allows kids 46 inches or smaller to participate. It includes the Arctic Wonder Obstacle Course, Gumball Bouncer, Santa’s Workshop Bouncer, and Snowball Blitz.

winter wonderfest
Photo Credit: Nick Ulivieri Photography

Kringle Carousel
Your classic Merry-Go-Round, decorated for winter.

Mount Reindeer
Climbable and kid-friendly arena.

Polar Extreme
Race your way through a “frozen tundra” in this double-sided course at the Winter WonderFest in Chicago that ends with a slide.

Slippery Snowflake Slide
Another slide… why not?

Snowman Bouncer
No, this isn’t a large snowman standing beside the door. The Snowman Bouncer is a 38-foot tall bouncy castle.

The Wind Chill
Winter WonderFest’s newest attraction, soaring guests 53 feet high above the indoor, festive playground.

Winter Rules Mini Golf
Sink a hole-in-one at this indoor mini-golf course!

Wintertube
This 15-foot tall snow tubing hill is sure to be a big hit at the Winter WonderFest. Who says you can only tube outdoors?

Winter Wonder Market
The all-new holiday market at the entrance of Winter WonderFest is not to be missed! Get a holiday gift for a loved one on your way out.

Winter Wondertown
Enjoy the theatrical company of Wondertown residents who are more than happy to help you and your family explore the scenery.

Wonder Whirl
Take a quick spin around this family-favorite.

Zero Gravity
This ride spins slowly at first, then increases speed until riders are held to the wall by centripetal force. At top speed, you’ll be lifted into the air!

Xfinity Ice Skating Rink
Bring your own skates or rent a pair to glide around this indoor skating rink.

winter wonderfest
Photo Credit: Nick Ulivieri Photography

Photo Ops at the Winter WonderFest in Chicago

Country Lane
A holiday sleigh, jingle bells ringing… what more could you want for a festive photoshoot?

Holiday Howdy Horse
Get your whole family on this giant rocking horse at the Navy Pier Winter WonderFest for a photo op to remember!

Santa and Mrs. Claus
Get a selfie with Santa and the missus on select days at Winter WonderFest!

Navy Pier Winter WonderFest Opening Night

Don’t miss your opportunity to get in on the Navy Pier Winter WonderFest magic a little early this year at Cheer at the Pier on December 5 from 5 – 9 pm. Enjoy an open bar, appetizers, and access to all of the rides and activities you’ll see this season without waiting in long lines. Tickets are available online; adults are $75 and children are $20, but they also have bundled tickets for groups!

Age Requirements

Attendees ages 18 and under must be accompanied to the festival by a parent or legal guardian in order to enter.

Transportation

Free trolleys at Navy Pier for holiday events are available for use! To check out the route map and schedule, click here. If you’re driving, there are two on-site parking garages, West Garage and East Garage located at 600 East Grand Avenue. There is a flat rate parking fee seven days a week. Find more detailed information and current rates online.

Photo Credit: Nick Ulivieri Photography

Purchase Tickets

Tickets for the Winter WonderFest in Chicago can be purchased online on Navy Pier’s website or at the box office on-site. General admission ranges per day from $20-28 for adults, children over 42 inches, and anyone under the age of 65, if purchased online. Junior admission is $10-14 for visitors at 36 inches and under 42 inches when purchased online. Senior admission is $10-14 for guests aged 65 or older. Infant admission (children under 36 inches) is free. Group bundles are also available. 

Hours and Dates

Navy Pier’s Winter WonderFest takes place from December 6 to January 12 and is open at 10 am daily with varying closing times. Winter WonderFest will be closed on Christmas Day, December 25, with limited hours on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

On Thursday, January 9, Navy Pier is hosting sensory-friendly hours from 4 – 8 pm, complete with discounted tickets, low lighting, reduced sound, quiet zones, and more to accommodate the special needs community.

 

At UrbanMatter, U Matter. And we think this matters.

Tell us what you think matters in your neighborhood and what we should write about next in the comments below!

Featured Image Credit: Nick Ulivieri Photography

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32 Comments

  • Marthaandjim@hughes.net'
    Martha M.
    Posted Nov 17, 2017 12:38 am 0Likes

    Hello Courtney,
    Is their any smoking area’s?
    How much to rent Ice Skating skates ?
    Are there any Vendors, for shopping?
    Kind of reminds me of Wisconsin Dell’s.
    Thanks Martha

    • Courtney Rios
      Posted Nov 17, 2017 10:33 am 0Likes

      Hi Martha,

      Yes, Navy Pier allows smoking at the North Dock.
      There is no additional fee for renting skates, access to the rink is included with admission to the event.
      There are no retail vendors within the Winter Wonderfest event, however there are a variety of shops located throughout the Pier itself.

      Hope this helps! Happy Holidays!

      Thanks,
      Courtney

  • Marthaandjim@hughes.net'
    Martha M.
    Posted Nov 17, 2017 12:21 am 0Likes

    Hello Courtney
    I will be traveling to Chicago soon to see the CTCA. And then I my way back home
    Coming to Navy’s pier. Will there be tickets available at the box office at the time we get in for $27.00 dollars?
    And is there a long, wait in a line to buy tickets?
    Thanks

  • harrisnitosha@Yahoo.com'
    Nitosha Harris
    Posted Dec 17, 2016 9:31 pm 0Likes

    Can I still purchase the all access pass for $85? It is 2 adults and 2 children so will the pass cover that? Looking to bring my family this coming Monday

    • Courtney Rios
      Posted Dec 19, 2016 10:21 am 0Likes

      Hi Nitosha,

      Please note that Navy Pier has changed their prices over the past couple weeks. You can either purchase the Family 6-Tix Bundle, currently on sale for $99. This includes two mini passes and four activity passes. Since it’s only four of you, though, your best bet and cheapest option would probably be to just get two mini passes ($10 each, access to select rides for children 36″ and under) and two activity passes ($23 each, access to all rides and activities for adults and children 36″ and up).

      Hope this helps!

  • Inthachackolivia@yahoo.com'
    Olivia Inthachack
    Posted Dec 3, 2016 5:57 pm 0Likes

    Just to confirm the $24 package includes admission as well as ALL activities?

    • Courtney Rios
      Posted Dec 5, 2016 9:56 am 0Likes

      Hi Olivia,

      The activity pass (currently on sale for $23 on Navy Pier’s website) grants admission to the festival and access to all rides and activities, as long as the guest is an adult or child 36″ and up.

      Thanks!

  • hharmon77@yahoo.com'
    Heather Harmon
    Posted Dec 1, 2016 3:33 pm 0Likes

    I currently purchased the 6 pack and realized 1 need another adult pass instead of the mini…is there anyway of paying the difference or what is my next step on what to do.

    • Courtney Rios
      Posted Dec 2, 2016 10:08 am 0Likes

      Hi Heather,

      Unfortunately, we are unsure of Navy Pier’s ticket exchange policies for this particular event. We recommend calling Guest Services at 312-595-5155 to see if they can better assist you!

      Thanks!

  • Fatrabbit20@yahoo.com'
    Tyesha cade
    Posted Nov 30, 2016 6:57 pm 0Likes

    Is there food there?… If so what is available?

    • Courtney Rios
      Posted Dec 1, 2016 12:06 pm 0Likes

      Hi Tyesha,

      Currently, information on availability of concessions at the festival is not given by Navy Pier, and may be made available at a later date. We recommend calling Guest Services at 312-595-5155 to see if they can better assist you! Separately, there are plenty of great dining options located within Navy Pier itself. Feel free to check out our Navy Pier location page for more info on their amenities.

      Thanks!

  • tracyhouart@gmail.com'
    Tracy
    Posted Nov 19, 2016 1:24 pm 0Likes

    Has anyone got any reply’s back on their questions? Because I have the same questions but I don’t see any answers lol so if anybody could help me out that would be great. Thank you 🙂

    • Courtney Rios
      Posted Nov 21, 2016 10:23 am 0Likes

      Hi Tracy,

      Please see the responses to previous questions, and please let us know if you have any further questions we can answer for you!

      Thanks!

  • poohhayward@yahoo.com'
    Deanna hayward
    Posted Nov 19, 2016 12:29 am 0Likes

    Does it cost to just go in and walk around

    • Courtney Rios
      Posted Nov 21, 2016 10:22 am 0Likes

      Hi Deanna,

      Yes, all attendees must have a paid ticket to enter Winter WonderFest. Admission is included in all ticket offers.

      Thanks!

  • Selindamartinez@yahoo.com'
    Selinda
    Posted Nov 15, 2016 7:56 pm 0Likes

    What’s the time for the early bird special to get the $80 for six and what’s included? Not included?

    • Courtney Rios
      Posted Nov 21, 2016 10:20 am 0Likes

      Hi Selinda,

      The early-bird six ticket family pack comes with four activity passes (includes admission and access to all rides and activities) and two mini passes (includes admission and access to small child rides and activities). It will help you save instead of purchasing those tickets individually. Prices have recently risen to $85. This offer is only on-sale for a limited time, and today is the final day of the offer. To purchase, visit this web page and click on ‘Tickets.’ https://navypier.com/winter-wonderfest/

      Hope this helps!

  • Rbgina.84@gmail.com'
    Rosa
    Posted Nov 14, 2016 6:17 pm 0Likes

    How do you order the 6 passes for $80 and what is not included?

    • Courtney Rios
      Posted Nov 21, 2016 10:18 am 0Likes

      Hi Rosa,

      The early-bird six ticket family pack comes with four activity passes (includes admission and access to all rides and activities) and two mini passes (includes admission and access to small child rides and activities). It will help you save instead of purchasing those tickets individually. Prices have recently risen to $85. To purchase, visit this web page and click on ‘Tickets.’ https://navypier.com/winter-wonderfest/

      Hope this helps!

  • Bvossavi@yahoo.com'
    V.rance
    Posted Nov 14, 2016 3:02 pm 0Likes

    Do fifth third members get any extra discounts?

    • Courtney Rios
      Posted Nov 21, 2016 10:14 am 0Likes

      Hello,

      We are unsure if Fifth Third members receive any discounts for this event. We recommend reaching out to either Navy Pier’s customer service line or your local Fifth Third branch! Hope this helps!

  • Boots44@aol.com'
    Linda
    Posted Nov 14, 2016 10:15 am 0Likes

    I would like to bring my grandkids weekend of Thanksgivng. will you be open?

  • catina_merrick@yahoo.com'
    Catina Merrick
    Posted Dec 6, 2015 5:01 pm 0Likes

    For the $24 is the cookie decorating, pics with santa, and any other pics or food or drinks included.

  • hplushvanhorn@yahoo.com'
    heather
    Posted Dec 1, 2015 6:34 pm 0Likes

    what are the hours and does 24.00 include everything what does the other price include

  • lwgrady@bellsouth.net'
    Laurie
    Posted Dec 1, 2015 4:12 pm 0Likes

    What are the hours?

  • Klavenga@comcast.net'
    Tam Klavenga
    Posted Dec 1, 2015 2:58 pm 0Likes

    Same question as above: what all is included in the all access pass?

  • xvolleyn@yahoo.com'
    Debra Newland
    Posted Dec 1, 2015 1:59 pm 0Likes

    After the 24.00 , is everything free when you get in? What do you have to pay extra for??

  • xvolleyn@yahoo.com'
    Debra Newland
    Posted Dec 1, 2015 1:57 pm 0Likes

    After you pay The 24.00, what’s all included after you get in? Is EVERYTHING INCLUDED… Or do you have to pay extra for anything? And if we do what is not included in the pay

  • machel033@gmail.com'
    Marie
    Posted Dec 1, 2015 8:54 am 0Likes

    If you get all access for $24 do u have to pay for the hot cocoa and picture with Santa on top of that $24?I live in Indiana but want to bring my kids.

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