Tower Skydeck Chicago. Should You Visit In The Winter?

SKydeck in winter

The description for Tower Skydeck Chicago reads “The 103rd floor of the former Sears Tower with clear observation boxes & views extending to four states“… that is if you visit it on a clear day and not in the middle of winter! So, what can you expect to see from the Skydeck if you visit in winter?

Where Is The Tower Skydeck in Chicago?

The Skydeck is in the Willis Building, right in the centre of downtown Chicago. It’s on the 103rd floor, 1,353 feet high.


SKydeck in winter
Skydeck facts

Which Ticket Do You Need To Visit The Tower Skydeck Chicago?

The first four of these tickets can be bought at the Skydeck or online via their website.

Buy The CityPass

  • See Chicago’s 5 best attractions for one low price. CityPASS includes a Day/Night ticket to Skydeck Chicago including The Ledge; plus Premier entry to the Field Museum All-Access, Shedd Aquarium Total Experience Pass, Adler Planetarium OR Art Institute of Chicago, 360 CHICAGO OR Museum of Science and Industry. Adults – 12 and up – $108.00, Youth – Ages 3 to 11 0 $89.00. Purchase CityPASS online.

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SKydeck in winter
Skydeck in winter poor visibility

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Is SkyDeck Better Than The 360 Chicago?

  • The Skydeck sits on the 103rd floor, whereas 360 Chicago sits on the 100th floor.
  • The Willis Tower is located on Wacker Avenue, basically at the heart of downtown Chicago, with buildings and busy Chicago streets all around it.  The 360 Chicago is located on Michigan Avenue, right next to Lake Michigan and thus you have water on two sides of the building with Chicago on the other’s.
  • 360 degrees is cheaper by roughly $4
  • Skydeck is open 365 days a year and open from 9am to 10pm. Whereas 360 Chicago is open 365 days until 11pm.
  • The Skydeck is the more popular attraction and therefore can have longer wait times.
  • In summer the Skydeck has great views to all four sides of the building over downtown Chicago, the river, navy pier and Lake Michigan. On a clear day 360 Chicago sits on Lake Michigan & you can see across the lake to other states, also seeing Navy Pier & downtown Chicago. You cannot see the river but you can see Skydeck on the skyline.
  • 360 Chicago has more planes of glass which you can get closer to and of course there is TILT however Skydeck has the ledge.

Check out 360 Chicago here and see whether you think it’s better than the Skydeck. You can also use the Chicago Explorer Pass which is valid for 30 days to see 360 Chicago, alongside twenty-four other attractions.


SKydeck in winter
Visiting the Skydeck in poor visibility weather

“Just to let you know there’s Zero Visibility up there today”

What can you expect from visiting in winter & springs months? We visited in April, which is technically spring, and we saw nothing. Absolutely nothing! We were aware when buying the tickets that the cloud coverage was thick and low but we still opted to go up.

Why? We only had a few days in Chicago and that was our last day to visit the Willis Tower.  So we saw nothing but still had a fun time. There are loads of facts and pretty pictures of what it’s supposed to look like to keep kids entertained with. Plus it’s warm up there and Chicago in April was REALLY cold.


SKydeck in winter
Zero visibility ticket


SKydeck in winter
Fun facts as you go up

Other Things To Do In Chicago

What’s The Ledge Like?

I’m sure that when the view is spectacular the view is a lot clearer and more scary looking down on the 103 floors below you but when you’re surrounded by cloud, it’s just funny lying on a glass ledge. If the wind is strong you can actually see the clouds whisking past


SKydeck in winter
What the view is supposed to look like from the Skydeck


SKydeck in winter
What the view actually looked like in April

See what other activities you could get up to in Chicago

Should You Still Go?

Despite seeing nothing, we still had fun, there were virtually no queues, it took us just a few minutes to get onto the ledge, we learned some facts about the heights of other buildings and then went for pizza. So, should you go? Sure, why not. You might get fortunate, the cloud might pass or even better, the cloud might sit below you, and you get some great photos of the building spires.

Plus did I mention it’s really warm in there? If you go to Chicago in winter/spring, wrap up warm! It’s freezing cold.


SKydeck in winter
The actual view from the Skydeck in winter

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Tower Skydeck Chicago & Visiting in Winter.

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