Outdoor ice skating and a shiny new Ferris wheel aren’t the only fresh attractions coming to Chicago’s Navy Pier this summer in celebration of the popular tourist destination’s 100th Anniversary. According to the Chicago Tribune, a climbing wall that was previously part of the pier’s seasonal indoor Winter WonderFest is expected to move to an outdoor location near the Centennial Wheel at the end of this month.
Smaller and considerably less technical than the 40-foot example at nearby Maggie Daley Park, the pier’s wall will top-out at 24 feet can accommodate up to three climbers at a time. It features an automatic belay safety system which eliminates the need for a dedicated roping partner to catch climbers if they slip. A three-minute ascent will reportedly cost $8 and hopeful climbers must weigh between 40 and 250 pounds.
Even more dramatic changes are headed to Navy Pier in the not too distant future. Work on a major expansion of Chicago’s Shakespeare Theatre is already underway while additional plans call for a welcome pavilion at Polk Bros Park and a new 240-key hotel to be constructed at the pier’s eastern end.