Guide to Exploring Navy Pier With Your Dog

It’s hard to call Navy Pier a hidden gem since it’s really *right* there, but it may not be the first place you think of for a day with your dog. After all, the giant ferris wheel isn’t the best place for your scaredy pup, and while your dog is your baby, he’s not allowed in the Chicago Children’s Museum. However, there are so many other things for him to do, so read on for more on exploring Navy Pier with your dog! 

Before you go: Don’t forget that dogs are required to be on leash here. Navy Pier is definitely a Chicago hot spot, so make sure to check their event calendar to see what’s going on (especially if you want to avoid fireworks shows or extremely large crowds). 

Dog-Friendly Navy Pier Restaurants

Rumbling tummies quickly derail perfect plans. Make sure you either pack a snack for pup, or check out some of these dog-friendly restaurants at Navy Pier.

Harry Caray’s Tavern

Harry Caray knew all about having a ball, and your pup will too at Harry Caray’s dog-friendly outdoor patio. This spot is right next to the entrance of the pier and has fun entertainment like live music three times a week and tailgates for the big game. 

If your pup is a Very Important Pupper, treat her like the VIP she is and take advantage of the Harry Caray valet deal that’s both convenient and a good price for parking in the area.

Garibay Tamales

Get your steps in while walking down the pier with some portable food from Garibay Tamales. This food stand with a walk-up window serves up tamales, elotes, fruit cups, and more.


It’s not spaghetti but we’re pretty sure your dog would still be down to Lady and the Tramp a churro if you ask nicely. Pick up some of these delicious treats and other desserts like funnel cakes and crepes from this low-key, takeout window on the pier.

Dog-Friendly Navy Pier Activities

Navy Pier is filled with so many things to do, you can truly spend all day here. Here are some of the dog-friendly activities at Navy Pier your dog will be saying “pup yes!” to.

Walk the Pier

Maybe this goes without saying, but the pier itself is the big draw of the park. Take a stroll along the South Dock and enjoy the views of Lake Michigan and the cruise ships, plus all the people watching your dog could ask for. If you make it down to the East End Plaza, enjoy even better views of the waterfront, and snag a pic on the metal couch with the Bob Newhart statue. 

Water Flicks

Movies at home and cuddling on the couch? Two paws up. Movies outdoors and cuddling at Navy Pier? FOUR PAWS UP. For 8 weeks in the summer, Navy Pier plays family-friendly films at the Lake Stage in Polk Bros Park. 

Water Colors

Your dog saw the movie Soul, and she’s dabbling in jazz. Nurture her love of the music by taking her to the dog-friendly weekly jazz concerts at the Lake Stage in Polk Bros Park during the summer. While jazz encourages improv, make sure she knows that barking is unfortunately not an instrument the band is currently looking for.

SeaDog Cruises

While pup may like looking at the lake, we think he’d love actually getting to be out on it. SeaDog Cruises leave from Navy Pier. Whether your dog loves Chicago history, architecture, or just feeling the wind in his ears, there’s a dog-friendly cruise for everyone. Make sure you call ahead to verify that pets are allowed on your specific cruise!

Navy Pier Photo Opps

You’re here for some bonding time with your pupper, but pupper is here for the ‘gram. Don’t forget to check out these sweet Navy Pier photo opps that’ll be the perfect spot to capture these memories.

Centennial Wheel

There’s a reason it’s one of the most photographed spots in Chicago. The Centennial Wheel is an icon in the Chicago skyline, and the perfect spot to announce to your followers that you took your dog to Navy Pier. While dogs aren’t allowed on the wheel itself, it’s easy to snap a shot of your pup with the wheel as a backdrop.

Wave Wall

You don’t need to go to a sporting event to do the wave! The Wave Wall is a performance platform at Navy Pier that shows there’s more than enough room in Chicago for funky structures other than The Bean. Besides being a cool spot for a photo, Navy Pier also hosts Wave Wall Wax here, an outdoor showcase of Chicago’s DJ culture.

USS Chicago Anchor

The USS Chicago Anchor weighs 8 tons, and was salvaged from the USS Chicago warship from World War II. Here at Sidewalk Dog, we’re all about learning and history, so you’re welcome for that fun fact. Nowadays, this anchor can be found at the very end of the pier; snap a pic to commemorate the gorgeous stroll and views of Lake Michigan.

What’s your favorite spot to visit when exploring Navy Pier with your dog? Woof at us in the comments and tag us with #SidewalkDog on your adventure! 

Featured photo: @goldenboyrocket 

Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram, and join our Dog-Friendly Chicago Facebook Group.

More reads you’ll ruv:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The internet’s most dog-friendly website. Sidewalk Dog is your go-to resource for all things dog. Trusted by more than 250,000 dog people around the world.

Join the Pack