The Willis Tower is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the 8th tallest building in the world. So how would you feel about standing out on a glass ledge on its 103rd floor?
Our crazy family couldn’t wait!
Skydeck Chicago has been open for over 40 years and attracts roughly 1.7 million visitors each year. To access the Skydeck in Willis Tower, visitors must purchase tickets. The tickets are available for purchase in person, but I highly recommend buying them online in advance to avoid the long lines.
Once tickets have been purchased you begin your journey to the top. The elevator ride to the 103rd floor takes exactly 60 seconds. There is a television inside the elevator with cool graphics that illustrate your ride and facts about how high up you are riding.
As the elevator doors open, you are immediately able to see that you are exactly 1,353 feet up in the air!
As you tower over the city of Chicago, the views are absolutely breathtaking in every direction!
From this vantage point, you are able to see for 50 miles in all directions. This includes views of 4 states!
Foot traffic flows around the Skydeck in a counter-clockwise circle starting at the elevator. People are constantly moving so you will only have to be patient for a few minutes before gaining a front row view. Also, most people stop just outside of the elevator; however, stepping over just a few feet will free up the congestion.
As you make your way to the final side of the Willis Tower, you will see 4 glass ledges. All of the ledges are suspended over Wacker Drive and the Chicago River. I highly recommend bypassing the first few ledges and opting for the last one.
There is a professional photographer in the Ledge to the far left. After posing for the professional picture (the picture at the top of this post- totally worth paying for!), the photographer was happy to snap a few pictures on my camera.
He even suggested to my kids that they lay down and enjoy their few minutes out on the ledge!
The glass is extremely durable (obviously!) However, I did observe MANY children and adults who were not nearly as comfortable as my crazy family. If you have your heart set on some amazing pictures, you may want to scale back your expectations if you have any cautious family members.
Another advantage of going to the ledge with the professional photographer is that he was more than willing to talk people through their fears. He was patient and allowed the individuals time to “warm up” to the experience.
Skydeck Chicago allows you to spend as much time as you want walking around and taking pictures. Once you are ready to descend, you take the same elevator back to the ground floor of the Willis Tower.
We loved our time on The Skydeck– and specifically on The Ledge. This is a must-do experience in Chicago!
*The Skydeck Chicago hosted our family*
Share This Post