I think it is a sign of my age when I can’t adapt to things like Pluto not being a planet, and the Sears Tower being re-named the Willis Tower. Just kidding, I’m not even 30. But really, I’ve always known the second tallest building in America as the Sears Tower, and it was suddenly re-named in my second year of college in Chicago. Don’t worry, any Chicagoan worth their salt will still be able to respond to you when you ask where the Sears Tower is.
Between 4 years of college and 2 years of business school in Chicago, it is surprising that I haven’t been to Willis Tower until now. The Skydeck is 1353ft, versus the 1000ft 360 Chicago (formerly the John Hancock Observatory), and is by the river rather than the lake.
Willis Tower Skydeck (February 2017)
Tickets: http://theskydeck.com/ ($23 for basic, $49 for fast pass)
Hours: Summer hours 9am – 10pm
Address: 233 South Wacker Drive (entrance to the Skydeck on Jackson Blvd)
I don’t care much for lines, and don’t really enjoy paying $49 for a fast pass. However, Willis Tower likes to maximize their use of the space for various events! My entry was a $40 yoga class that included 30 minute access to Skydeck (103rd floor) before the class, a 1 hour class offered by Yoga Six, then brunch & mimosas.
On a beautiful day out – the view is amazing! When they say the early bird gets the worm, it really does. The Skydeck’s own website recommends that visitors arrive right after the deck opens or closer to sunset. For photographers, the best time to take photos is either the blue or golden hours.
Nothing was open at that hour and there isn’t staff available, but we were free to roam around the floor.
The yoga class itself was pretty standard – a basic vinyasa class. It was followed with mimosas and very healthy paleo food (I did not really enjoy the food -_-). There were a few wellness vendors around after the class, as well as a raffle for Yoga Six classes!
Special events are definitely a worthwhile way to visit the Willis Tower. It is pretty easy to find events on Facebook, simply search Willis Tower events! Yoga Six seems to have Saturday morning yoga classes there pretty frequently, or some other yoga studios.