Navy Pier, the iconic lakefront attraction, aims to fully reopen by Memorial Day weekend and bring back its free arts and cultural programs with public health safety measures in place.
“As our community continues to make progress in recovery from the pandemic, we are thrilled to continue welcoming guests back to the lakefront safely,” Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner said in a statement.
Navy Pier’s summer programs are scheduled to kick off Friday, May 28 with the outdoor Neighborhood Artisan Markets followed by the return of four weekly series, including summer fireworks, on Saturday, May 29.
Safety measures will be in place for all programs, according to officials, who said social distancing circles will be outlined in the Polk Bros Park Performance Lawns for events held there.
Navy Pier will adhere to the city’s health and safety guidelines as it continues to reopen, according to officials. Last week, the city and state entered the bridge phase of reopening, which allows museums, amusement parks, stadiums and zoos to operate at 60% their normal capacity.
Bars and restaurants can now stay open for normal hours and reopen standing areas at 25% capacity, according to the guidelines.
Navy Pier began reopening outdoor spaces and select attractions on April 30 after closing for eight months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Starting Thursday, Navy Pier’s indoor spaces will be open to the public as the tourist destination moves into its second phase of reopening.
That plan applies to Navy Pier parking garages, Fifth Third Family Pavilion, Polk Bros Park, Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion, the North and South docks, East End Plaza and Pier Park, including all rides and attractions.
Tour boats, cruises, the new Sable hotel and select retail shops and restaurants have reopened, with more businesses opening over the coming week, according to officials.
Face masks must be worn at all times at Navy Pier, and guests must keep a distance of 6 feet from people who aren’t part of their group. To encourage social distancing, Navy Pier has installed signs and will have designated ambassadors to canvass the grounds and remind guests to practice physical distancing.
Groups of more than 10 people are strictly prohibited, according to officials, who say those in violation will be subject to removal from Navy Pier.
Navy Pier has also implemented a pilot program to monitor guest volume and traffic across the pier and alert staff members when a particular space is reaching its capacity. Staff members would then make adjustments to ensure social distancing practices and other safety protocols are maintained, according to officials.
More than 90 hand sanitizer stations have been set up throughout Navy Pier, which is using an electrostatic anti-microbial spray treatment on all rides and sanitizing high-touch, common surface areas and attractions after each use with a disinfectant that’s on par with those used in health care facilities.
Navy Pier hours of operation are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Starting Friday, May 28, hours of operation will be 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday. Hours may vary per establishment, according to officials.