Just because you have a McDonald’s doesn’t make you a McMall, and just because Boston had a super-sized waterfront amusement-for-pay complex first doesn’t make Navy Pier any less impressive. Is it a monstrosity? You bet. Yet there’s the Chicago Children’s Museum, an Imax theatre, Shakespeare, tons of food, a brilliant view of the skyline and the lake, and only seven or eight million visitors underfoot at any given time, um, any given year. So have some cotton candy, stick your tongue out at the bratty privileged children from five to fifty and just chill, dude.
600 East Grand at Lake Michigan (312)595-PIER
Best of Chicago 2002