- Type: Amusement Parks
- Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day
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If you're traveling with kids, it's worth carving out a couple hours for the Navy Pier, a modest amusement park located in Near North along Lake Michigan. Finished in 1916, Navy Pier was used as a Navy training center for pilots during World War II -- and now features palm trees, fountains and several carnival rides (including a 15-story Ferris wheel). Navy Pier is also home to the Chicago Children's Museum, an IMAX Theatre and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Hours of operation depend on the season, but Navy Pier generally opens at 10 a.m. and closes between 8 p.m. and midnight; for a more detailed schedule, visit Navy Pier's website. Admission is free, but parking is not: The website quotes upwards of $20 per day, but this is subject to change.