Illuminarium "Wild: A Safari Experience" rendering
Chicago winters are bitter cold, and locals often escape the season with a trip to more tropical locales—but what if you could journey to the African plains without a passport, or even go to space?
Illuminarium Experiences invites all Chicagoans to take part in a technologically-fueled adventure through the five senses. The company brings together experts in cinematic immersion, theatrical design and venue operations to craft fully-immersive attractions, the first of which opened in Atlanta in early July.
Chicago has been named the latest city to land an Illuminarium location, set to transform 32,000-square-feet of the former Crystal Gardens venue on Navy Pier. More than $30 million is planned for the redevelopment of the area, and construction is expected to begin in mid-2022 with a grand opening aimed for a year later.
Illuminarium Chicago exterior rendering
What can locals and tourists look forward to? Illuminarium bills itself as a VR experience without the glasses, using a combination of sights, sounds, smells and interactive spaces to give attendees a totally transportive experience.
Wild: A Safari Experience will mark Illuminarium Chicago’s debut, featuring content shot by Illuminarium partners RadicalMedia of animals in their natural habitats of South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania. Spacewalk is set to follow, giving customers the simulated experience of a walk on the surface of our moon and Mars, as well as a front-row seat to the unfiltered starry skies of our solar system.
Illuminarium, Wild: A Safari Experience
“Navy Pier juts out 3,300 feet into the water, and our Centennial Wheel rises 200 feet into the sky, but Illuminarium breaks all boundaries by taking us places most of us would never see—transporting us across oceans--and under them—and sending us soaring beyond the reach of astronauts,” Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner is quoted in a press release.
“We’re so thrilled to transform an underused location on the Pier into this year-round opportunity for people to explore the touch and feel, sights, smells, tastes, and sounds of distant worlds. The theater of the mind has never had such a boost as that provided by the immersive Illuminarium, where a journey that begins as a field trip could end as a career in the sciences.”
The Bar at Illuminarium
The Chicago location will also boast The Bar at Illuminarium, a nightlife and hospitality concept where guests can enjoy a food menu and cocktails amid ever-changing, state-of-the-art projections of Tokyo streets and fantasy environments.
Additional Illuminarium locations are set to open in Miami and Las Vegas, with plans to expand to a dozen or so other major markets in the next five years.
Learn more about the forthcoming Chicago Illuminarium at Navy Pier online.