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Q & A with The Little Mermaid’s Ursula

Q & A with The Little Mermaid’s Ursula

July 30, 2015

Navy Pier had a chat with one of our favorite villains, Ursula, from the Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of The Little Mermaid. Played by the talented Rebecca Finnegan, this actress is no stranger to the Chicago acting scene. We spoke with her about the musical, her costume, and her eagerness to play the “bad guy.”  Welcome […]

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Navy Pier had a chat with one of our favorite villains, Ursula, from the Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of The Little Mermaid. Played by the talented Rebecca Finnegan, this actress is no stranger to the Chicago acting scene. We spoke with her about the musical, her costume, and her eagerness to play the “bad guy.” 

Ursula and Ariel

Welcome back to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater! You’ve done a few productions there – what’s been your favorite thus far?

Thank you! It’s great to be back. I’ve loved all the shows I’ve done here but I have say that The Little Mermaid is my favorite so far because I get to be Ursula!

You play Ursula in this season’s production of The Little Mermaid – do you enjoy playing a villainous character?

I LOVE playing the bad guy. Ever since I was a kid I would always root for the villain to win. I loved watching Vincent Price movies—He was my favorite.

What about that costume? What’s the makeup/prep time for this role?

This is the most elaborate costume I’ve ever worn…It is amazing!! Everyone wants to know if it’s heavy with all the tentacles but it’s actually very light. They are hollow and made kind of like a slinky which is why they move like they do. I do my own makeup for the show and it takes about an hour and a half. It’s the longest prep for a show I’ve ever had.

This musical is beloved by kids and adults – why do you think all audiences are enraptured with this performance? 

I remember sitting in the theater when The Little Mermaid  movie came out and watching the opening scene and just being transported and moved and thrilled by it. It took me back to being a child again. It was truly magical. And now kids can come see it in person!!! It’s a beautiful show and a beautiful story.

Do you have a favorite scene or song to perform?

Of course!  “Poor Unfortunate Souls”!! I have wanted to play Ursula soooooo badly ever since I saw the movie.

Given that the theater is located on Navy Pier, do you have a favorite place to hang out before or after a show?

I like the Riva Crabhouse for a quieter dinner spot, and Billy Goat Tavern to sit outside and people watch.

What’s your next project after The Little Mermaid wraps up?

I’m going to bring my mom up to visit with me here in Chicago. That’s the most important project of all.

The Little Mermaid has been well received by critics and audiences alike for its entertaining, interactive, and family-oriented performance. You’d be a poor, unfortunate soul to miss it before it leaves the stage on August 16! 

Landshark Beer Garden Band Spotlight: Too White Crew

Landshark Beer Garden Band Spotlight: Too White Crew

July 22, 2015

When Too White Crew performs at the Landshark Beer Garden, it’s always a blast – and tonight will be no different! See them on stage starting at 7 p.m. (and don’t forget about the Aon Summer Fireworks at 9:30!) As a special treat, we talked to them beforehand to learn more about this “crew” that’s been […]

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When Too White Crew performs at the Landshark Beer Garden, it’s always a blast – and tonight will be no different! See them on stage starting at 7 p.m. (and don’t forget about the Aon Summer Fireworks at 9:30!) As a special treat, we talked to them beforehand to learn more about this “crew” that’s been entertaining beer garden audiences for many years! See what they had to say below: 
 
What do you like most about performing at the Landshark Beer Garden?
 
The crowd! All walks of life roam the pier – all ages, cultures, backgrounds…and EVERYONE is welcome. As they say in Rapper’s Delight: “From the black to the white, the red and the brown, the pur-ple and yel-low!” It attracts locals, tourists from around the world and the shows at the beer garden are also FREE! The diverse crowd reminds us how much people of all types enjoy old school hip hop!
 
What’s your favorite thing to order at the beer garden?
 
Beer. Duh. But after we’re finished of course. :)
 
What summer activity are you most looking forward to doing? 
 
Well we’re answering these questions in July and it’s still not even 70 degrees, so ask us again when summer gets here!
 
How long have you been performing at the beer garden?
 
8 years…and it never disappoints!
 
What’s your favorite song to perform?
 
It’s what we call our Nelly Medley: It goes from Nelly’s Hot in Herre to Country Grammar…then Up in Here by DMX to the Ruff Ryders’ Anthem. It doesn’t get any more hype than that!
 
If you could say one thing to your fans, what would it be? 
 
Thank you! Without you, there’s be no Crew!
Discover the Dinosaurs at Navy Pier

Discover the Dinosaurs at Navy Pier

July 15, 2015

Whether you love history, dinosaurs, or just spending the day with your your family, the Discover the Dinosaurs exhibit won’t disappoint. From July 17 to August 2, Navy Pier will be the home of this hands-on exhibit that will take you back to prehistoric times. Head to Festival Hall between 10:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. […]

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Whether you love history, dinosaurs, or just spending the day with your your family, the Discover the Dinosaurs exhibit won’t disappoint. From July 17 to August 2, Navy Pier will be the home of this hands-on exhibit that will take you back to prehistoric times. Head to Festival Hall between 10:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. to discover the magic of the creatures who lived before us.

The exhibit consists of about eight to ten scenes representing dinosaurs from various periods of time. Take a walk through realistic backdrops alongside rocks, flooring and plant life that will make you feel like you’ve traveled millions of years into the past. These scenes aim to engage visitors with special lighting, sound effects, fog, and most importantly, animatronics.

As you walk through the exhibition you will be met with up to 40 museum quality dinosaurs. The dinosaurs are anatomically proportioned to mirror real paleontological findings, and visitors are highly encouraged to touch and feel some of them in order to provide a hands-on experience. To make things even better, some of these replicas come to life with sound and movement. With the push of a button, you can control the movement of these animatronic dinosaurs’ bodies. This creates the perfect interactive and fun learning environment that will have kids and adults alike eager to learn more.

In addition to the walk-through exhibit, Discover the Dinosaurs offers other activities to ensure a full day of fun. Some of these include:

Dino Dig

Try out being a paleontologist and dig through sand to reveal dinosaur fossils.

Dinosaur Rides

Hop on the back of one of the animatronic dinosaurs for a ride unlike any other.

Inflatables

Jump and play in one of the many dinosaur-themed inflatables.

Dino Theater

Watch educational and entertaining movies on a screen big enough to make you feel like you’re right there with the dinosaurs.

Dino Coloring

Color a picture of a dinosaur and take it home as a tangible memory from your day.

So, what are you waiting for? Check the website to find more information about the ticketing options and don’t forget to stay up-to-date on upcoming events at Navy Pier!

 

Landshark Beer Garden Band Spotlight: Rachel Timberlake

Landshark Beer Garden Band Spotlight: Rachel Timberlake

July 9, 2015

This weekend, Rachel Timberlake will join us for a performance at the Landshark Beer Garden on Saturday, July 11 at 5:30 p.m. This up-and-coming country rock musician is always a delight at the beer garden. Before she takes the stage this weekend, we sat down to talk about experience at Navy Pier.  What do you […]

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This weekend, Rachel Timberlake will join us for a performance at the Landshark Beer Garden on Saturday, July 11 at 5:30 p.m. This up-and-coming country rock musician is always a delight at the beer garden. Before she takes the stage this weekend, we sat down to talk about experience at Navy Pier. 

What do you like most about performing at the Landshark Beer Garden?

It’s a great atmosphere for all ages and outdoors with a beautiful view.

 

 What’s your favorite thing to order at the beer garden?

I think I’ve had the grilled chicken sandwich and of course fries with it!

 

What summer activity are you most looking forward to doing?

Camping! My husband and I bought a camper a few months back and have been on several trips to the mountains already.

 

How long have you been performing at the beer garden?

This will be my second year.

 

What’s your favorite song to perform?

It would be my own song Whiskey Bent Wings because it is so personal to me and is filled with so much emotion.

 

If you could say one thing to your fans, what would it be?

 Thanks for your support and hope to see you singing and dancing along with us!

Landshark Beer Garden Band Spotlight: MER

Landshark Beer Garden Band Spotlight: MER

July 2, 2015

We sat down with MER to discuss the musical showcase that will be featured all summer long at the Landshark Beer Garden! Featuring local Chicago artists, the showcase is a great place for songwriters to display their talents in a supportive and fun environment. MER talked Landshark food, fans, and favorite songs below:    What do […]

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We sat down with MER to discuss the musical showcase that will be featured all summer long at the Landshark Beer Garden! Featuring local Chicago artists, the showcase is a great place for songwriters to display their talents in a supportive and fun environment. MER talked Landshark food, fans, and favorite songs below: 
 
What do you like most about performing at the Landshark Beer Garden?
 
The production staff is extremely hospitable, the view from the stage is amazing, and everyone in attendance is very receptive to the music!
 
What’s your favorite thing to order at the beer garden?
 
I’m a big fan of the chicken fingers & fries.  Can’t go wrong there!
 
What summer activity are you most looking forward to doing? 
 
Street festivals and live, outdoor music.
 
How long have you been performing at the beer garden?
 
This is our first year hosting MER‘s Music Showcase at the Landshark Beer Garden stage.  Excited to be a part of the programming.
 
What’s your favorite song to perform?
 
Original: Bulletfpoof // Cover: Everlong (Foo Fighters)
 
If you could say one thing to your fans, what would it be? 
 
Thank you for supporting live, original music!  
 
Don’t miss your chance to see MER’s Music Showcase on on Sunday, July 5 at 2 p.m.
 
Additional dates for the showcase include: Sunday, August 2 at 2 p.m.  and Monday, September 7 at 2 p.m.
 
Fourth of July at Navy Pier

Fourth of July at Navy Pier

June 24, 2015

Whether you’re a Chicago local or just visiting for the weekend, the Pier is a great place to celebrate our great nation on the Fourth of July. Whether you’re looking to enjoy Freedom Fest, listen to music at the Landshark Beer Garden, cruise out on the Lake to catch the fireworks show, or simply eat at one […]

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Whether you’re a Chicago local or just visiting for the weekend, the Pier is a great place to celebrate our great nation on the Fourth of July. Whether you’re looking to enjoy Freedom Fest, listen to music at the Landshark Beer Garden, cruise out on the Lake to catch the fireworks show, or simply eat at one of our fine restaurants – your Independence Day will be well spent at Navy Pier! 

The Second Annual Freedom Fest, located at Navy Pier’s rooftop terrace, is the perfect spot for celebrations. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 4th, offering an incredible view of the fireworks. The event will include a spread of delicious BBQ, a full bar, and a live DJ to set the festive mood. All ages are welcome, so bring the whole family and enjoy this awesome experience together. Buy your tickets ahead of time before they sell out—pricing options and ordering information can be found here!

If you’d rather celebrate out on the water this 4th of July weekend, there are three great cruises offering lakefront views of the city and front row seats to the Aon Summer Fireworks.

Odyssey 4th Of July Fireworks Dinner Cruise

This upscale dinner cruise includes creative cuisine, a live DJ, dancing, an open bar package, and of course, outstanding views of the city. Boarding begins at 7:30 p.m. and the cruise goes from 8:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. You can find more information about prices on Odyssey’s website, as well as other cruise options for the holiday weekend!

 

Spirit of Chicago 4th of July Fireworks Dinner Cruise

Celebrate the holiday with a cruise including a delicious dinner buffet, a DJ playing great music for dancing, an open bar package and stunning lakefront views. The cruise runs from 8:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. and boarding begins at 7:45 p.m. You can call to buy tickets or book online here, where you can also find more information about the cruise and other cruises offered during the weekend.

 

Mystic Blue 4th of July Fireworks Dinner Cruise

Last but not least, Mystic Blue offers a casual and fun experience including a dinner buffet, live DJ, and up-close views of the Aon Summer Fireworks. This cruise also runs from 8:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m., and boarding begins at 7:45 p.m. There are also cruises on Friday, a lunch cruise on Saturday, and two cruise offered on Sunday. Check out your options and buy tickets here to get your celebrations started!

 

If you’re looking to just enjoy the Aon Summer Fireworks this Independence Day, there are tons of great places to watch from the pier! The show begins at 9:30 p.m. so be sure to get there early to grab a good spot. We are anticipating large crowds, so please familiarize yourself with alternative parking options, CTA transportation, and other helpful information here

 

Can’t make it to the festivities this year? Have no fear! Aon Summer Fireworks shows run all throughout the summer on Wednesday and Saturday nights. And don’t forget to stay up-to-date on all of the upcoming events at Navy Pier!

 

Father’s Day at Navy Pier

Father’s Day at Navy Pier

June 19, 2015

Navy Pier is a great place to spend the day with your dad on Father’s Day! With cruises, free live music at the Landshark Beer Garden, and restaurants galore for every palate, you can treat dear old dad to a relaxing day with the family. Take a cruise Enjoy a fun-filled day or night cruising […]

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Navy Pier is a great place to spend the day with your dad on Father’s Day! With cruises, free live music at the Landshark Beer Garden, and restaurants galore for every palate, you can treat dear old dad to a relaxing day with the family.

Take a cruise

Enjoy a fun-filled day or night cruising on Lake Michigan aboard The Odyssey or The Spirit of Chicago, including fine dining, a live DJ, and the perfect environment for some good ‘ol fashioned bonding time with the old man.  This is for those looking to have a more sophisticated day with their dads, while enjoying excellent cuisine and a beautiful view of the Chicago Skyline.  There are two time options on both vessels: brunch or a steak dinner, and both menus sound equally enticing.  This is a great activity for you and your Dad or the whole family as well!

For more information, call 1-866-305-2469 or book your cruise online.

Have a brew (or two)

For a more casual ambiance, hang out at the LandShark Beer Garden and enjoy live music with The Rockoholics from 2-4:30 p.m., followed by Marvin Maestro Band from 5:30-8 p.m.  And as always, there will be plenty of Landshark and domestic beer, micro-brews, import beer, frozen drinks and cocktails to go around.  Nothing says Father’s Day quite like enjoying the day and relaxing with a cold beverage, all while listening to good music in one of Chicago’s most unique atmospheres.

Get down on some grub

Nothing brings people together quite like food, and after all of these Father’s Day activities you might be in need of something to help relax and refuel. Go ahead and treat your dad to one of our many waterfront restaurants. Whether you’re craving a slice of pizza, some tasty appetizers or a full seafood dinner, there are plenty of ways to end the day on a delicious note.

Want to know more about all the happenings at the Pier? Check out our upcoming events.

Be Their Guests: Pier Preferred Hotels

Be Their Guests: Pier Preferred Hotels

June 17, 2015

Here at Navy Pier, we want to make sure your stay in Chicago is a good one. That’s why we have partnered up with some of the most luxurious hotels in Chicago to make sure your stay is one you never forget. Close to fun Chicago attractions, luxury shopping and delicious food, staying at one […]

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Here at Navy Pier, we want to make sure your stay in Chicago is a good one. That’s why we have partnered up with some of the most luxurious hotels in Chicago to make sure your stay is one you never forget. Close to fun Chicago attractions, luxury shopping and delicious food, staying at one of Navy Pier’s preferred hotels means you get only the best. Learn more about our preferred hotels below. 

Hyatt Regency Chicago

The Hyatt Regency Chicago is located just steps from Navy Pier and situated within the Magnificent Mile, the Hyatt Regency is within walking distance to some of Chicago’s most beloved attractions, including Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain and luxury shopping, dining and theater districts.  Making this the premier downtown hotel location for you and your family. The recently renovated Hyatt Regency offers a modern hotel experience and fine cuisine at your fingertips, including five new restaurant concepts and menus.

As a preferred partner of Navy Pier, enjoy a special discounted rate by calling 1-800-233 and mentioning offer code CCM to book your room today.

Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile

Experience the grand splendor of the Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile originally known as the 1920 Medinah Athletics Club. This lovingly restored Chicago luxury hotel combines a rich history with modern sophistication. The entrance of the famous Chicago landmark opens directly onto the world famous Magnificent Mile. Just steps from museums, upscale shopping, theatres and Navy Pier, the newly renovated Intercontinental hosts over 477 Grand Tower Guest Rooms, a massive Junior Olympic size pool-once used by Tarzan himself- also known as Johnny Weissmuller, and is close to Michael Jordan’s Steak House and ENO Wine Bar. This prestigious downtown hotel is unlike any other you will come by.

As a preferred partner of Navy Pier, receive a special discounted rate by calling 1-312-944-4100 and asking for the Navy Pier rate when you book your stay at InterContinental Chicago.

Loews Chicago Hotel

The fast-paced city life meets sophistication and relaxation at Loews Chicago Hotel.  Prepared to be wowed, whether it is in one of our chic bedrooms with floor-to-ceiling windows framing some of the best views in the city or on our rooftop lounge- we promise the views can’t get better than this. After exploring Chicago, unwind in Loews 24-hour fitness center or enjoy a fabulous day at their relaxing spa. Experience Rural Society Argentine steakhouse or visit ETA for a refreshing one-of-a-kind beverage. And when the weather’s right- there’s no better place to enjoy the view on Loews’ seasonal rooftop bar.

As a preferred partner of Navy Pier, guests can enjoy the Parking Package that includes valet parking for one car daily with unlimited in-and-out privileges until 6 p.m. on departure day. Book online or call 1-877-868-8232 and ask for the Parking Package.

 

Swissotel Chicago

Ever wondered what it was like to be on top of the world?  Find out at the Swissotel and enjoy breathtaking views of Navy Pier, Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. Located right in the heart of the Second City, Swissotel guests can experience authentic European hospitality and plush accommodations. Right outside the lobby is the Magnificent Mile home to world renowned museums and attractions. The Swissotel Chicago features a state of the art Penthouse Fitness center and the new Spa 42. Home to three dining venues for every taste or meal, including the newly updated Geneva Restaurant, lobby lounge Amue, and the outpost of the New York City Original, The Palm.

As a guest of Navy Pier, you receive the best available rate. Book your stay by calling 1-800-637-9477.

W Chicago Lakeshore

The closest hotel to Navy Pier, W Chicago Lakeshore overlooks the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. Enjoy exclusive insider access with our Navy Pier PLAY package for all your travel needs, including complimentary parking ($63 daily value) and two welcome cocktails.  The W Chicago Lakeshore features newly designed guestrooms, amplified Living Room & Bar, spa, indoor pool and very popular restaurant, Current.

As a preferred hotel of Navy Pier, experience the PLAY package. Book your stay today by calling 1-877-822-0000 and ask for the PLAY package.

 

 

#PierPicContest Photo Highlights

#PierPicContest Photo Highlights

June 10, 2015

Summers in Chicago should be celebrated! That’s why we’re holding the “Pierfect Summer Instagram Contest” until August 31, 2015! When you post a picture to Instagram, be sure to include the hashtag “pierpiccontest” so that you can be entered to win! We will give be giving away a Pier Prize Pack each month as well […]

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Summers in Chicago should be celebrated! That’s why we’re holding the “Pierfect Summer Instagram Contest” until August 31, 2015! When you post a picture to Instagram, be sure to include the hashtag “pierpiccontest” so that you can be entered to win! We will give be giving away a Pier Prize Pack each month as well as a Grand Prize at the end of August. 

What are some of our favorites thus far? Take a look below! Yours could be featured next! 

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Critics & Audiences Agree: Sense and Sensibility Delights

Critics & Audiences Agree: Sense and Sensibility Delights

June 4, 2015

We know the critics are giving rave reviews, but what about the audiences of Sense and Sensibility? See what they had to say in the video below – and don’t forget to catch this Chicago Shakespeare Theater production before it leaves on June 14! 

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We know the critics are giving rave reviews, but what about the audiences of Sense and Sensibility? See what they had to say in the video below – and don’t forget to catch this Chicago Shakespeare Theater production before it leaves on June 14! 

Navy Pier On Instagram

Navy Pier On Instagram

May 13, 2015

Are you following us on Instagram at @navypierchicago? We’ve been seeing a lot of Instagram love lately and we’d like to share some of our favorite photos that you’ve taken of us! Keep them coming all summer long!  We’re so excited that the Landshark Beer Garden is opening up this month… So hopefully you’ll take […]

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Are you following us on Instagram at @navypierchicago? We’ve been seeing a lot of Instagram love lately and we’d like to share some of our favorite photos that you’ve taken of us! Keep them coming all summer long! 

We’re so excited that the Landshark Beer Garden is opening up this month…

beergarden

So hopefully you’ll take a seat at the Pier as the weather gets warmer…

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Or maybe even take a boat ride on Lake Michigan…

eastendlake

Or an adventure on the Odyssey…

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Now you’re really getting into the spirit.

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And you’re definitely taking a step in the right direction. 

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The entire Pier is just full of things to do this summer. 

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Are you starting to get into the swing of things?

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When you’re visiting the Pier, don’t forget to tag us @navypierchicago and enjoy summer with us! 

Chat with Artist Pete Nawara: Part Two

Chat with Artist Pete Nawara: Part Two

May 7, 2015

Have more questions about the Pier People mural? Artist Pete Nawara has answers! We love hearing him talk about this wonderful project – make sure you stop by the new food experience and ask him any questions of your own!  Q: What has been the public reaction to the mural? Q: How does it feel […]

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Have more questions about the Pier People mural? Artist Pete Nawara has answers! We love hearing him talk about this wonderful project – make sure you stop by the new food experience and ask him any questions of your own! 

Q: What has been the public reaction to the mural?

Q: How does it feel to be a part of the reimagination of Navy Pier?

Q: What is the best part about painting at Navy Pier?

Pier People Chat with Artist Pete Nawara

Pier People Chat with Artist Pete Nawara

April 29, 2015

If you haven’t yet had a chance to speak with Pete Nawara, the artist responsible for the beautiful, hand-painted Pier People mural in the new food experience, we highly suggest you stop and chat with him! Pete and his team are at the Pier most days projecting or painting to complete this inspiring project. We took […]

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If you haven’t yet had a chance to speak with Pete Nawara, the artist responsible for the beautiful, hand-painted Pier People mural in the new food experience, we highly suggest you stop and chat with him! Pete and his team are at the Pier most days projecting or painting to complete this inspiring project. We took a moment to sit down with him – he answers our most pressing questions below. 

Q: What does the Pier People mural mean to you? 

Q: What has been your favorite figure to paint thus far?

Q: How is painting at the Pier different from your other projects? 

Look out for more commentary from Pete – and don’t forget to visit the mural progress! 

 

Every Day is Earth Day at Navy Pier

Every Day is Earth Day at Navy Pier

April 22, 2015

Today being Earth Day, we couldn’t think of a better day to highlight the sustainability efforts that have been underway for the reimagination of Navy Pier. This re-development project, designed by James Corner’s Field Operations, intends to make Navy Pier a greener, more contemporary space where tourists and locals alike can enjoy. With sweeping areas […]

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Today being Earth Day, we couldn’t think of a better day to highlight the sustainability efforts that have been underway for the reimagination of Navy Pier. This re-development project, designed by James Corner’s Field Operations, intends to make Navy Pier a greener, more contemporary space where tourists and locals alike can enjoy. With sweeping areas for recreational and community purposes, coupled with our ongoing ecological efforts, Navy Pier is well on its way to a miraculous makeover for its 100th anniversary in 2016.

The urban landscape on which Navy Pier calls home is an important part of our identity. However, elements of Lake Michigan and the environment are at the forefront of the reimagination so that Navy Pier can serve as a green oasis within our beautiful city. From additional foliage planted throughout the Pier to the installation of an advanced storm water management system, we are dedicated to being a greener, more sustainable city gem. We are particularly proud of the storm water system, as all rain runoff is designed to filter through an underground reservoir to be re-used for irrigation. Other greener decisions include using recycled concrete, locally-sourced landscaping, and reclaimed wood for seating areas.

All of these elements and more will factor into the Pier’s certification into the Sustainable SITES Initiative. This initiative has similarities and many of the same parameters to the well-known Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program. Whereas the LEED program focuses on green buildings, SITES is specific to plans that do not include buildings or interior spaces. In addition, Navy Pier has implemented a 30-year Sustainable Master Plan to ensure that sustainability efforts stay top-of-pier, if you will. This plan focuses on decreasing the Pier’s use of water, improving waste management, increasing energy conservation, and reestablishing lake habitats.

It is the hope that the reimagination of Navy Pier will inspire more community programs and a social experience that will be available year-round to visitors. We continue to strive to make Navy Pier a source of delight for all those you visit. If you’ve visited the Pier recently, you’ve probably seen some of these projects in the works! Stay tuned on our website for more updates and announcements as we continue to celebrate Earth Day every day at Navy Pier! 

Sense and Sensibility: A Q & A with the Cast

Sense and Sensibility: A Q & A with the Cast

April 15, 2015

Navy Pier sat down with the leading women of Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s new performance, Sense and Sensibility. Opening April 18, 2015, this Jane Austen classic has a new added twist: a special musical composition written by Tony Award®-nominated composer Paul Gordon created especially for the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Needless to say, we were excited to speak with […]

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Navy Pier sat down with the leading women of Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s new performance, Sense and Sensibility. Opening April 18, 2015, this Jane Austen classic has a new added twist: a special musical composition written by Tony Award®-nominated composer Paul Gordon created especially for the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Needless to say, we were excited to speak with the actors playing the starring sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, two ladies that are new to the CST stage, Sharon Rietkirk and Megan McGinnis, respectively.  Read on to learn more about their experiences with CST, how their offstage friendship helps their onstage performances, and their favorite things to do at the Pier!

This is your first performance with the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. How has this been different from other theaters/casts you’ve performed with in the past?

SR: One of the most wonderful thing about working at Chicago Shakespeare Theater is that every single person I have come in contact with—from the marvelous wig and costume department, to company management, to the marketing department, to the stage crew—everyone has been welcoming, generous, and incredibly talented. I get the impression that everyone loves to work here, and that generates fantastic positive energy throughout the building.

MM: Chicago Shakespeare is such a supportive environment! Everyone who works at the theatre has been so kind and incredible to us. We are in such good hands with this creative team and this cast—it feels very comforting. I’ve never worked on such an extreme thrust stage before, so that has been an education! It’s pretty freeing though, so I’m excited to experience it with a live audience. It really allows you to feel the energy of everyone in the theatre.

What trait of your character do you believe is most important to capture on stage?

MM: My favorite thing about Marianne is how freely she expresses her emotions. I’ve often been told I wear my heart on my sleeve, so I certainly identify with Marianne’s desire to emote! But it’s such a wonderful thing, to be unfettered by society’s rules. The time period may instill in Marianne the ideas of “sense” —that she should remain the perfect lady and not show her emotions—but instead, she ignores those rules and embodies “sensibility.”

SR: I think Elinor is such a wonderful, interesting woman—she feels deeply and loves fiercely, but does not wear her heart on her sleeve. She is practical, but still passionate; I think the tension between the two is what makes her so fascinating (and relatable!).

For Sense and Sensibility, the chemistry of the Dashwood sisters is important. How did you work with your castmate to ensure a successful onstage relationship?

MM: I don’t have to work at all to ensure a successful relationship on stage with Sharon! How lucky am I—we are already good friends! We played sisters a year ago in another new musical, and became immediate friends. I was SO sad to leave her then, as she lives in San Francisco, so to be reunited again is just so fun. I’m grateful for the friend time with her, and grateful that it’s so easy to be on stage with her. I admire and respect her talent so much. Oh, and she is a dynamite cook and often makes us meals. Like I said, LUCKY!

SR: Megan and I have played sisters before, which is a great advantage for us. We have a friendship upon which to base our stage sisterhood. The love between us on stage is effortless. We trust each other, respect each other, and understand the other’s process. I am so grateful for Megan; she is such an incredible actor, scene partner, and friend.

How does the script of S&S differ from Jane Austen’s novel? What does the musical aspect bring that a regular play performance does not?

SR: The beauty of a musical adaptation of Sense & Sensibility is that through song, each character gets to express their inner thoughts and reveal the most secret parts of their hearts to the audience. While singing alone on stage, Elinor can admit feelings and hopes that she would never express in conversation with others. The way we communicate in song is very similar to a Shakespearean soliloquy, come to think of it. A perfect match for Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

MM: Our script is pretty faithful to the novel. Yes, there are some differences, but I was surprised how little I missed them when I read our script. I’m a huge fan of the novel, and Paul Gordon has captured these characters so well. It’s incredible. And to hear them SING—it’s the best way to show emotion. I was always told that a song begins when text can no longer support the emotion. And there is so much emotion in this story. Setting it to music seems appropriate.

If the audience captures one thing from your performance, what do you want it to be?

MM: The Dashwood sisters take such a journey in this story. I just want the audience to be able to hop on for the ride. I think they will enjoy it!

Do you have any special [rituals] idiosyncrasies or superstitions you follow before a performance? 

SR: My pre-show ritual is to do a bit of yoga. It loosens my muscles, relaxes my spirit, and tunes me into my breathing (which is so important for singing!); my body and voice is then warmed up and ready to hit the stage.

MM: I always warm up my voice. It was instilled in me early by my voice teacher. It’s kept my voice healthy all these years!

You’ve probably gotten to know Navy Pier very well — what’s your favorite thing to do here when you’re not rehearsing? 

SR: Megan and I have a habit of heading downstairs on our lunch break to share a cup of Intelligentsia coffee at Häagen-Dazs and a walk outside along the pier before heading back to work. You can’t beat the view which makes it a perfect mid-day pick-me-up.

MM: I love incredible views of Lake Michigan and the beautiful city of Chicago!

Around the World in Eight Weeks

Around the World in Eight Weeks

April 8, 2015

Neighborhoods of the World presented by ComEd is an entertaining yet educating series of events held each year at Navy Pier. For eight weeks each Sunday, a new group encompasses the Crystal Gardens with food, dance, and knowledge about its culture. This year was particularly special because artists Pete Nawara and Michael Pasier attended each […]

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Neighborhoods of the World presented by ComEd is an entertaining yet educating series of events held each year at Navy Pier. For eight weeks each Sunday, a new group encompasses the Crystal Gardens with food, dance, and knowledge about its culture. This year was particularly special because artists Pete Nawara and Michael Pasier attended each week to get inspiration for the hand-painted mural, Pier People – their progress can be found in the New Food Experience. If you didn’t get a chance to attend Neighborhoods of the World each Sunday, we thought we’d provide a taste of each celebrated culture with a photo recap. Enjoy!

February 8, 2015: Celebrating Italy NOTW Italy GKP2015-3

NOTW Italy GKP2015-4

February 15, 2015: Celebrating India

NOTW India GKP2015-2

NOTW India GKP2015-7

February 22, 2015: Celebrating Africa

NOTW Africa GKP2015-2

NOTW Africa GKP2015-3

March 1, 2015: Celebrating China

NOTW '14 China 2 16  GKP-12

NOTW '14 China 2 16  GKP-18

March 8, 2015: Celebrating Lithuania

NOTW Lithuania GKP2015-4

NOTW Lithuania GKP2015-10

March 22, 2015: Celebrating The Philippines

NOTW Phillipines GKP2015-5

NOTW Phillipines GKP2015-8

March 22, 2015: Celebrating Greece

NOTW Greek GKP2015-2

NOTW Greek GKP2015-4

March 29, 2015: Celebrating Mexico

NOTW Mexico GKP2015-4

NOTW Mexico GKP2015-6

Peer into the Pier People Mural

Peer into the Pier People Mural

April 2, 2015

The reimagination of Navy Pier has inspired many changes – both indoors and out. If you’ve taken a stroll through the new food experience, you have probably seen two artists – Pete Nawara and Michael Pasier – hard at work painting what is known as the Pier People mural, a celebration of the diversity represented by […]

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The reimagination of Navy Pier has inspired many changes – both indoors and out. If you’ve taken a stroll through the new food experience, you have probably seen two artists – Pete Nawara and Michael Pasier – hard at work painting what is known as the Pier People mural, a celebration of the diversity represented by the millions of locals and tourists that walk the Pier each year. Having partnered on previous projects, Nawara and Pasier felt up to the task of creating such a powerful and interpersonal piece of art.

It started out as a simple concept. For artist Nawara, the mural was always about using the Pier’s events and the people that attend as “subject-sourcing” for this creative endeavor. There was no better place to source the culturally-diverse guests of the Pier than at Neighborhoods of the World, so Nawara set up shop each Sunday to take pictures of anyone willing to participate.

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After taking thousands of pictures of potential subjects, the photographs are taken through an intense process of breaking down, editing, and processing until they are ready to be projected onto the Pier walls. Once projected, the subjects are traced and then painted with acrylic paint. Pasier explained, “Think paint by numbers…but without the numbers.” It sounds simple, but deciding who to feature on the wall and then depicting these individuals’ personalities is a huge undertaking – one that the artists have been eager to accomplish.

image6The time it takes to complete each figure depends on the complexity and detail of the subject and his or her outfit, especially since Nawara and Pasier have never painted the traditional costumes that some Neighborhoods of the World participants wear to represent their cultures. Capturing the personality and intricacies of each subject and what he or she represents has been incredibly important to the artists and to the Pier People concept as a whole. 

You’ll see the artists most days tracing, painting, and speaking with Pier visitors – they love to answer questions and get feedback from passersby. “It’s really important to let people in on the process,” stated Nawara. In fact, Pasier even noted that “the process has really become its own attraction.” The artists especially enjoy when children take a liking to the mural, because they hope to inspire a new generation of artists.

It isn’t just the visitors who enjoy stopping by and observing the progress, but the Navy Pier employees have taken a strong interest as well. If you have taken a walk past their work, it is no surprise as to why everyone has become enraptured by the project. Each figure tells its own story, but also adds to the celebration of cultures and diversity as a whole. We encourage you to keep tabs on the progress and look out for details about the finished project!

Pinot Days Chicago: Good to the Last Drop

Pinot Days Chicago: Good to the Last Drop

March 26, 2015

Pinot Days Chicago is a marvel for both novice and seasoned wine drinkers. Like a fine bottle of wine, the tasting affair has been perfected over the years. Whether you meander to a newcomer like the Benziger Family Winery booth, eager to share its biodynamic practices, or head over to an old favorite like the […]

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Pinot Days Chicago is a marvel for both novice and seasoned wine drinkers. Like a fine bottle of wine, the tasting affair has been perfected over the years. Whether you meander to a newcomer like the Benziger Family Winery booth, eager to share its biodynamic practices, or head over to an old favorite like the Trombetta Family Wines booth, you won’t be disappointed by the enthusiasm and gusto with which a winery representative will pour you a sip of pinot noir.

As Navy Pier’s Lakeview Terrace populated with Pinot Days go-ers last Saturday, the quiet excitement of unscrewing wine bottles filled the room.  Ask wine connoisseurs the best way to taste test wine, and you’ll undoubtedly get many answers. The most common is to compare several options side by side in order to create a nice range of palate. However, Dena Drews from Amalie Robert Estate hit a note with us when she quoted David Lett: “it should be approached like a beautiful woman – with respect, some knowledge, and great hopes.” Ironically, that was the mood of the crowd as well – some wine tasters were knowledgeable already, some were just hopeful to learn more, but all treated the experience with the utmost respect.

The regions and soil can have great significance on the tastes of each pinot noir. For example, Kendric Vineyards grows its grapes in Marin County, a location with a long growing season that can produce robust flavors of fruit or spice. Other grapes are grown in the Petaluma Gap, where a cooler climate produces full-bodied wines with a balanced taste. While the majority of the Pinot Days vineyards are located in the California area, there were a few from other regions, like Cornerstone Cellars Oregon. No matter what the location though, one thing was certain: all the wines were most definitely made from grapes. (A little wine humor for you.) For those of you looking to take your tasting skills out into the real world, we learned that most pinot noir wines can be paired with a serving of duck, pork, or salmon for a mouthwatering combination. The specialists at Sojourn Cellars even suggest serving up mushroom pizza with their bottles!

Even though choosing a favorite pinot noir would be like choosing a favorite child to most winemakers, we were pleasantly surprised that most would recommend another winery to try next on the stroll through Lakeview Terrace. But, we think Dena Drews from Amalie Robert Estate said it best, “my favorite wine is the one in my glass!” It was impossible to choose a favorite, because each winery brought a different story and flavor to the table. One thing’s for certain – we are most definitely fans of the vino!

If you attended Pinot Days Chicago over the weekend, we’d love for you to share your experience in the comments. If you missed it, keep an eye out for next year’s event – and check out the other events coming up at Navy Pier!

Sail into Spring

Sail into Spring

March 17, 2015

Spring is officially upon us come Friday, and as the weather becomes warmer, the Chicagoans slowly emerge from their winter slumbers. If you’re ready to take on the city once again, we have upcoming cruise events that you should keep your eye on! From holiday cruises for your Easter celebrations or Sunday brunch cruises for […]

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Spring is officially upon us come Friday, and as the weather becomes warmer, the Chicagoans slowly emerge from their winter slumbers. If you’re ready to take on the city once again, we have upcoming cruise events that you should keep your eye on! From holiday cruises for your Easter celebrations or Sunday brunch cruises for a leisurely end to the weekend, Odyssey and Spirit Cruise Lines are ready to help you sail into spring.

Spirit of Chicago Flower and Garden Show Cruises

Lunch Cruises: March 14, 17, 18, 20, 21

Brunch Cruises: March 15, 22

The Chicago Flower and Garden Show only comes around once a year, so you’ll want to experience as much as possible! Go aboard the Spirit of Chicago where the flower power continues! The cruises even include a professional floral arrangement demonstration.

Odyssey Full Moon Dinner Cruise

Saturday, April 4

Dining under the stars and moon is so much more romantic! That’s why Odyssey’s Full Moon Dinner Cruise is the perfect date night option. After eating an amazing meal prepared fresh onboard, see the Chicago skyline in all its glory as illuminated by the brilliant moon.

Mystic Blue Full Moon Dinner Cruise

Saturday, April 4

Dine deliciously aboard the Mystic Blue Full Moon Dinner Cruise! Romance is the theme as your dinner will be lit by the magnificence of the full moon. Are you celebrating a birthday or anniversary? We know how to make the occasion extra special.

Spirit of Chicago Easter Brunch Cruise

Sunday, April 5

With the Spirit of Chicago’s Easter Brunch Cruise, feel free to put all your eggs in one basket! Come celebrate the holiday aboard for brunch, DJ entertainment, and of course, a visit from the Easter Bunny! Hop to it, and get tickets!

Spirit of Chicago Eat, Drink, & B. Mary Brunch Cruises

Sundays, Starting April 5

The Spirit of Chicago brings you a new cruise experience to try for Sunday Brunch! What’s brunch without Bloody Marys? Don’t worry, the Spirit has you covered. In addition to a great buffet-style brunch, the ship also sports a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. More olives, please!

Odyssey Easter Brunch Cruise

Sunday, April 5

Hop aboard the Odyssey on Easter Sunday, because you know the Easter Bunny will be! The special visitor plus a buffet-style brunch will equal a stress-free Easter outing for you and the family!

See the Sights with Shoreline

See the Sights with Shoreline

March 10, 2015

Locals and visitors alike can see and learn about Chicago’s landmarks aboard Shoreline Sightseeing.  This family-owned company invites you to get out on the water with a variety of tours that will boost your knowledge of the city through informative and humorous docents. In Chicago, everyone’s Irish on St. Patty’s Day! Get your tickets today […]

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Locals and visitors alike can see and learn about Chicago’s landmarks aboard Shoreline Sightseeing.  This family-owned company invites you to get out on the water with a variety of tours that will boost your knowledge of the city through informative and humorous docents.

In Chicago, everyone’s Irish on St. Patty’s Day! Get your tickets today and see the sights on Shoreline’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Cruise, complete with up-close views of the dyed green Chicago River and a festive Irish buffet on Saturday, March 14.

As the weather starts to warm, choose from Shoreline’s architecture tours, lake tours, fireworks cruises and water taxis for more front seat vistas of Chicago,  awesome snaps and Instagrams (#nofilterneeded)!Spring is just around the corner, and we know you will want to be the first in line to enjoy the best time of year in Chicago!

Check out all of your options on Shoreline Sightseeing right here:

Shoreline Sightseeing St. Patrick’s Day Lunch Cruises

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The cruises are scheduled at 10-11:30 a.m. and 2-3:30 p.m.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Shoreline’s ninth annual St. Patrick’s Day Lunch Cruise. Cruise the green-for-a-day Chicago River while enjoying a cash bar featuring a selection of Irish beverages. Treat your taste buds to a delicious Irish buffet. Two convenient departure times let you cruise before or after the big parade.

Purchase your tickets today!

Shoreline Architecture River Tours

For specific schedule details visit the Shoreline Sightseeing schedule page.

A 75-minute Architecture River Tour featuring over 40 Chicago landmarks like Tribune Tower, Marina City, and more! Sip on a drink from the cash bar and take in Chicago’s famous architecture.

Ready for the tour? Buy tickets today!

Shoreline Classic Lake Tours

For specific schedule details visit the Shoreline Sightseeing schedule page.

Cruise the Lake Michigan waters on the Shoreline Classic Lake Tours. The 40-minute tour includes attractions like the Shedd Aquarium and Buckingham Fountain. A recorded narration will talk you through Chicago’s interesting architecture and history.

Grab your tickets to the Shoreline Classic Lake Tours today!

 

Shoreline Fireworks Tours

For specific schedule details visit the Shoreline Sightseeing schedule page.

Love fireworks? Navy Pier’s summer season of fireworks is every Wednesday and Saturday from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends. Shoreline lets you watch the fireworks on the water with two different cruise options:

Architecture Fireworks Tour

Lake Fireworks Tour

Get your tickets to the Shoreline Fireworks Tours today!

Shoreline Water Taxis

For specific schedule details visit the Shoreline Sightseeing schedule page.

Shoreline Water Taxis gives you a quick way to travel from one destination to the next. Best of all, you can capture sights of the city’s top scenes while doing so!

Buy a Water Taxi Pass here.

See you out on the water on Shoreline Sightseeing!

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