Built during World War I, this 3,000-foot-long pier was a Navy training center for pilots during World War II. The military aura is long gone, replaced with a combination of 70 full-size palm trees, dancing fountains, and other flora in a glass-enclosed atrium; a carousel and kiddie carnival rides; and a 15-story Ferris wheel, a replica of the original that made its debut at Chicago's 1893 World's Fair. If we do make it all the way to the end of the pier, we'll be rewarded with great views of the city.
The Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows may sound dull, but a decorative-art family won't miss 150 stained-glass windows in illuminated display cases. Occupying an 800-foot-long expanse on the ground floor of Navy Pier, the free museum features works by Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, John LaFarge, and Louis Comfort Tiffany.