Seadog Cruises and Navy Pier: Expect the unexpected

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WENDY CITY MOM ·
the parenting column ·

Chicago's historic Navy Pier, a 3,300-foot long pier on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, attracts more than 8.6 million visitors per year. Tourists and locals mix together to: ride on the white-spoked Ferris wheel, tour the Chicago Children's Museum, shop, dine, see a flick at the 440-seat IMAX theatre, grab a drink in the beer garden, see a live show or take a cruise.

Fun facts about Navy Pier
- Navy Pier first opened in 1916, at a cost of 4.5 million dollars, as a Chicago landmark.
- For nearly two decades (70's and 80's) the pier was mostly unused and considered underutilized.
- During the second World War, Navy Pier served as a naval training facility.
- Visitors can see an impressive display of stained glass windows at the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows-the first stained glass window museum in America.

An excursion that everyone in the family will enjoy is an entertainment cruise. One of the best tour boat operators departing from Navy Pier is Seadog Cruises. "Seadog started at Chicago's Navy Pier with families in mind," said Seadog vice president and general manager, Dan Russell. "Departing throughout the day, Seadog is a must do for any family visiting Chicago's Navy Pier and beautiful lakefront!"

Seadog cruise options
- The breathtaking 30-minute Lakefront Speedboat Tour provides stellar views of Chicago's skyline coupled with a fast ride along the shoreline. The tour director will fill your head with information and tidbits about Chicago's landmarks and architecture-Willis Tower, Buckingham Fountain and Grant Park, among others.
- The 75-minute River and Lake Architectural Tour is perfect for families that are looking for a more in depth cruise. Passengers will get to journey through the locks and cruise the Chicago river, where many of Chicago's most famous and impressive buildings (NBC Tower, Tribune Tower, Wrigley Building, Marina City, Willis Tower, plus many more) and bridges can be seen. This cruise includes an expert docent who shares his knowledge on Chicago's architectural history. After the river cruise, the boat will take you along the lakefront to view more of Chicago's favorite buildings and landmarks.
- For the really adventurous, the Extreme Thrill Ride is sure to impress with its jet-propelled jaunt on open water at 45mph. Passengers will want to hang on tight when the boat takes180-360 degree spins while rock music blasts through the speakers.
- Maybe a late night getaway is what you're looking for, in which case the Lakefront Fireworks Cruise will scratch the itch. Two evenings per week, this incredible escapade provides panoramic views in an open aired vessel, idyllic for viewing fireworks.

"Blending exhilarating speeds, breathtaking views of Chicago's award-winning skyline, and funny and interesting facts about our city's famous architecture, Seadog provides many options for Chicago family adventures," said Russell. "Offering everything from a 30-minute speedboat ride to our Extreme Thrill Ride for adrenaline lovers or an extended combination Lake & River Architectural Tour and even Firework Speedboat Cruises from Memorial Day to Labor Day, we have something for everyone."

For more information or to book a cruise, visit www.seadogcruises.com or www.navypier.com.