Lonely Planet Writer

See the highs and lows of Navy Pier from a light-up seesaw in Chicago

The lights of Chicago’s Navy Pier just got a bit brighter with the installation of a new interactive, open-air art exhibit that is free to the public.

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Fifteen giant seesaws make up ‘Impulse’, a piece of public art created by a Canadian performing arts group. But it’s more than just a playground: each seesaw lights up and plays music – and the LED lights and sounds change according to the angle of the seesaw. This allows for each seesaw-riding pair to create their own unique blend of illumination and music, in a harmonization of light and sound.

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According to the creators, there are endless variations, assuring that the display “will always be different, depending on whether there are 30 people on the site or three people on a single seesaw.” ‘We invite guests of all ages and backgrounds to come experience the Pier’s ongoing programmatic evolution this spring, starting with this truly unique and artistic spin on a classic playground activity’, says Navy Pier representative Michelle T. Boone. ‘Impulse’ is a natural fit for the city’s most visited attraction, a Chicago landmark that has long focused on family-friendly activities like the Children’s Museum and the Centennial Wheel.


This is the second US stop for ‘Impulse’, which also visited Scottsdale, Arizona. The exhibit will be in Polk Bros Park on Navy Pier until 21 May.

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