Planning Your Visit

Visiting Skydeck

Stepping out onto The Ledge of Skydeck is a quintessential Chicago experience, as much for the incredible views as for the unique experience and educational opportunities. It’s more than just a gorgeous view: Skydeck features educational interactive exhibits, fun activities for families, and a video about the history of Willis Tower called “Reaching for the Sky.” Of course, the opportunity to get a unique photo with a view of four states from atop the second-tallest building in the western hemisphere is also compelling!

The Ledge is the standout attraction of Skydeck: it’s an observation deck with a glass floor that offers a truly unparalleled view of the city. And at 1,353 feet high, The Ledge is the highest observation deck in the United States. But there’s more to Skydeck than glass boxes: the 99th floor of Willis tower is open for private events, including weddings, birthday parties, corporate meetings, and much more. We also host events year-round, including our annual stair climb to the Skydeck, a farmer’s market, and even summer concerts. 


Skydeck Visitor Inside Tips

 

The Best Time for the Best Views

For the most spectacular views, the best time to visit Skydeck Chicago is either just after opening or after 5 pm. If you’re planning on catching the sunset or taking in the twinkling nightscape of Chicago, you should plan on arriving 30-45 minutes before sunset. Visit SunriseSunset to view the Chicago sunset calendar. 

Taking Pictures

When taking a picture toward the windows, be sure to use the “backlight” function of your camera if it’s an option. You should also turn off your flash and polarizer filter to allow your camera to capture the view behind your subject. 

And if you’re worried about missing out on a one-of-a-kind photo, we can take your picture! Any of our Skydeck team members are available to take your photo on request, and we also offer a professional photo team than can take your picture and have it ready for you in a custom folder before you leave. 

Please note that no tripods are allowed, though you are more than welcome to bring your monopod.

Kid Friendliness

Family at Skydeck
Skydeck Chicago is child-friendly, with family bathrooms located on the lower museum level. The building is also equipped with ramps that make it easy to navigate with strollers.

Skydeck also features numerous opportunities to entertain your kids. The Willis Tower Skydeck Kids club features interactive games, quizzes, scavenger hunts, and coloring pages to get your little ones excited for their visit. 

The fun doesn’t stop there: before they even reach the Skydeck they can experience the knee-high attractions created just for them. They can step on interactive digital floor displays that place them on the pitcher’s mound at Wrigley Field and then visually shoot them 103 floors up above the stadium. There’s something around every corner until they reach the Skydeck itself, where they will experience views like no other if they dare to stand out on The Ledge!

Time Limits on The Ledge

For an optimal Ledge experience for all guests, Ledge visit times for parties of 3 or less will be a maximum of 60 seconds per party, and for parties of 4 or more will be a maximum of 90 seconds per party. 


Accessibility: is Skydeck Accessible to the Disabled?

The Skydeck is completely accessible and ADA compliant. Ramps and elevators in the facility make access easy with strollers, scooters, and wheelchairs. The Ledge is also accessible by these means, giving everyone a chance to enjoy the view!

Other accessibility features at Skydeck include:

  • We offer complimentary wheelchairs on a first-come, first-served basis for those who need them.
  • The Skydeck’s “Reaching for the Sky” Theater presentation is subtitled.
  • Licensed guide dogs are permitted at Skydeck.

If you have any other questions about accessibility at Skydeck, please reach out to us at sales@theskydeck.com.


FAQ

How Long is the Wait at the Willis Tower Skydeck?

The Chicago Skydeck wait times vary by time of day and various events, but in general, you should plan to arrive 30-45 minutes before you’d like to visit The Ledge. 

What is the Best Time to Visit Skydeck Chicago?

  • Arriving just before opening is a fantastic way to start the day.
  • Arriving approximately one hour before sunset will often provide views of daytime, twilight, and nighttime, along with some truly dramatic sunsets.
  • Be aware that Skydeck E-Tix holders will be permitted to early entry at 8:30 am on Saturday. Tickets are available online.

How Much Does a Visit to Skydeck Cost?

Admission

  • Adult — Ages 12 and up: $25
  • Youth — 3 to 11: $17
  • Children Under 3: Free!

Fast Pass: $75

  • Save time with an express line to elevators!
  • Fast Pass includes General Admission
  • Children Under 3: Free!

Early Bird: $80

  • Enter before we open to the public to skip all of the lines and crowds and to enjoy an extended Ledge experience.
  • Available on Saturdays and Sundays only
  • Children Under 3: Free!

Day/Night Admission: $45

  • Ticket includes two entries within a 24 hour period for one guest.
  • Children Under 3: Free!

Admission & Trolley Tour: Unlimited Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour

  • Adult — Ages 12 and up: $62
  • Youth – Ages 3 to 11: $29
  • Children Under 3: Free!

Admission and Art Institute of Chicago

  • Adult – Ages 14 and up: $48
  • Youth under 14 are free at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Skyscraper Combo

  • Adult — Ages 12 and up: $75
  • Youth — Ages 3 to 11: $45
  • Includes General Admission to the Skydeck, plus a Deluxe ticket for a hop-on/hop-off tour with Big Bus and one-time entry to the Chicago Architecture Center. 

CityPASS Day/Night Admission + 4 more Chicago Attractions

  • Adult — Ages 12 and up: $108.00 ($214.00)
  • Youth — Ages 3 to 11: $89.00 ($175.00)
  • Purchase online to print at home or for immediate mobile delivery.  Or buy CityPASS from a Skydeck cashier for the same low price.

When Can I Visit Skydeck?

Skydeck Chicago’s hours are: 

March – September

  • Sunday – Friday: 9 am – 10 pm*
  • Saturday: 8:30 am – 12 am.*

October – February:

  • Sunday – Friday: 10 am – 8 pm*
  • Saturday: 10 am – 9 pm.*

*Last entry 30 minutes prior to closing.

Skydeck Chicago is open 365 Days a Year including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.

Can I Personalize My Visit to Skydeck?

Absolutely! The Skydeck team has creatively accommodated a variety of guest requests, including personal messages on our welcome wall, marriage proposals, weddings, private time on The Ledge, and more. Take a look at some other ways we can personalize your visit, and contact us to discuss the details. 

Does Skydeck Offer Storage Lockers?

No, we do not have storage lockers available.

Is Chicago’s Skydeck Worth It?

Stepping out onto The Ledge and seeing the Chicago skyline underneath you and framed by Lake Michigan is a unique experience that you can’t get anywhere else. The experience — the exhilaration and the perspective — is truly priceless.