When you think of Chicago, parks may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, the Windy City has much to offer in the way of parks and recreation. The Chicago Park District has something for everyone. Within the park system, there are natural areas, beaches, gardens, works of art, and playgrounds, to name a few. Let’s take a look at a few of the parks Chicago has to offer.
For those who enjoy a refreshing bike ride, Chicago’s Lakefront Trail offers 18 miles of fun, complete with scenic views and beaches. The trail is divided into two separate lanes, one for cyclists and one for pedestrians, so if you prefer to walk or jog, there’s room for that as well.
Encompassing several of Chicago’s smaller parks and attractions, Grant Park is considered Chicago’s “front yard.” Spanning 319 acres along the lakefront, it includes the Museum Campus, Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, and Maggie Daley Park. Grant Park is home to multiple festivals throughout the year, including Lollapalooza and Taste of Chicago.
In 2017 Millennium Park, situated within Grant Park, earned the honor of being one of the most popular attractions in the midwest. The park plays host to a wide array of cultural events such as an annual Summer Music Series and the Chicago Blues Festival held at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. The park also includes Anish Kapoor’s “Cloud Gate,” affectionately nicknamed “The Bean,” the Lurie Garden, and Jaume Plensa’s “Crown Fountain” video sculpture.
Maggie Daley Park also offers numerous activities for the whole family. There’s a climbing wall, a mini-golf course, a Play Garden, and a one-of-a-kind Skating Ribbon. The Play Garden offers plenty of opportunities for children of all ages to explore and learn, and the Skating Ribbon is a uniquely designed ice skating rink.
Another one of Chicago’s famous parks is Lincoln Park. The list of attractions in Lincoln Park is quite extensive and includes:
- Lincoln Park Zoo
- Chicago History Museum
- Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
- Lincoln Park Archery Range
- Lincoln Park Conservatory
- Theater on the Lake
- Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool
- North Pond Nature Sanctuary
- Lincoln Park Cultural Center
Not to mention, a rowing canal and boathouse, two beaches, multiple playing fields, and five separate playgrounds.