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Winter in Chicago – Events at Navy Pier!

January 23, 2012

While this winter has been a mild one… knock on wood… we know that the lack of direct sunlight and diminished time outside is still a bummer for many Chicagoans!

However, Navy Pier has lots to see and do during the winter months, and January is no exception! There’s Strictly Sail Chicago and Snow Days Chicago, all happening this week at Navy Pier!

So, whether you’re an animal lover who wants a chance to get up close and personal, but not too personal, with a live White Bengal Tiger, or if you are strictly into sailing and have no room for anything else on your deck, or if you are into building castles at the beach, but realize there’s no way you’re going near the Lake until May and would rather watch someone else construct massive sculptures out of snow – then we’ve got something for you at Navy Pier this January!


Strictly Sail Chicago
January 26 – 29
Thursday & Friday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 7 p .m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Festival Hall

Ahoy, Sailors! Welcome to Strictly Sail Chicago – the Midwest’s only and the nation’s largest indoor all-sail boat show, celebrating 17 years at Navy Pier. This four day sailing extravaganza features the latest and greatest the sailing industry has to offer, including the latest boat designs, newest sailing gear, accessories and more from the over 250 exhibiting companies from around the globe. This year’s activities include a full schedule of seminars from the most renowned sailors in the world, live music, great prize giveaways and special events for every attendee. Visit for more information.


Snow Days Chicago 2012 at Navy Pier
January 27 & 28: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
January 29: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Awards ceremony held Saturday, January 28 at 6 p.m.
Gateway Park
Free admission

It’s that time of year again, when snow sculptors from around the world converge on Navy Pier’s Gateway Park vying to melt the competition. The 4th Annual Snow Days Chicago makes its way to Navy Pier January 27 – 29! And with new attractions to this year’s event including interactive games for kids made out of ice and Penguins from the Shedd Aquarium – Snow Days Chicago 2012 is sure to be the biggest one yet!

This year, 15 professional snow sculpting teams from the U.S. and around the world including Russia, Austria, Czech Republic and Spain will put their best snow sculpting skills on full display. Competing teams will create arctic works of art from 10 ft. blocks of man-made snow. Also, witness dog sled races from Green Valley Dog Drivers and be amazed as young snowboarders defy gravity during a snowboarding competition and exhibition.

The event hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. All sketches of the future sculpture designs can be viewed now on the Navy Pier website.

In addition, 12 high school snow sculpting teams will showcase their artistic talents and create snow sculptures that will be on display throughout Snow Days Chicago. The participating schools will include: Bronzeville Scholastic, CHI Arts, Gage Park High School, Gallery 37, Julian High School, Lake View High School, Lane Tech, Lincoln Park High School, Mather High School and Northside College Prep.

Also, for the first time ever to join Snow Days Chicago will be Penguins from the Shedd Aquarium! On January 28and 29 from noon to 2 p.m. visitors can see the penguins at Family Pavilion Stage inside the main entrance of Navy Pier.

Other new additions to this year’s Show Days Chicago include interactive activities for kids such as Ice Bowling, Basketball, Hockey, Football and Snow Painting.

Snow Days Chicago visitors will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite professional sculpture Saturday, January 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., selecting the People’s Choice Award.

A panel of celebrity judges who are experts in arts and culture will vote on first, second and third place winners amongst the professional teams.   Returning will be media judges, Dave Hoekstra of the Chicago Sun-Times and LeeAnn Trotter of NBC 5 Chicago.  Joining them this year will be Chicago Blackhawks legend Denis Savard and Lynn Osmond, President and CEO of the Chicago Architecture Foundation


The winning team will receive $1,500, second place $1000 and third place $500. Winning teams will be named at an awards ceremony held Saturday at 6 p.m.


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