This vast expanse of land is the largest park in the city of Chicago. It is located in the northern area which is the more upper class neighborhood. With nearly 500 acres, its size is huge and it takes more than one day to see it all. In addition to the gardens, there are numerous sports facilities, a zoo, a golf course, beaches and countless monuments. There are large areas of woodland and two large lakes, with a presence of abundant wildlife. In some places, it is reminiscent of Central Park, but in others it is decidedly rustic.
This playground park area was made for the urban kid! The jungle gyms were made to look like fire trucks and trains and buses. It is where kids get to let their imaginations run wild.
It is right next to the Water Tower place so we made an afternoon of it with the kids. We ate at the cafeteria in the water tower place then went to the park to play. There were a bunch of kids, and even though the weather was cold they still had a blast exploring all the things to do at this park. From what I could gather, it was built by the fire fighters of the fire house next door which is the oldest in the city!
The Riverwalk is a space that runs along the south bank of the Chicago River from Lake Shore Drive to Franklin Street. On it you can find restaurants, bars, museums and various companies offering boat rides on the river. It is a large public space and it is very pleasant to walk through and enjoy the splendid views of the river and the surrounding skyscrapers.
The Gateway Park is an urban garden nestled between the Navy Pier and Lake Point Tower. It was created to alleviate congestion in the area and allow views of the entrance of Navy Pier. Its most striking feature is a black marble fountain with jets controlled by a computer program. The jets of water come suddenly and unpredictably, much loved by children wishing to escape the summer heat. As you can see in the photos, my son would not be outdone and joined the party ...
Within the spectacular Millennium Park, the only thing that I didn't like at all was the Lurie Garden. This is a one-hectare garden which you can walk through on a wooden walkway. It was created with sustainability in mind, and contains a number of plants, shrubs and bulbs all planted because of specific criteria. It looks great on paper, but the minimalistic style was a disappointment. All I could see were a few dry shrubs, like the ones at home! In its defence, I should say that maybe I didn't visit at the best time of year, and also, it's a new development, so the majority of trees haven't grown enough yet. Maybe a future visit will change my mind...
The Wrigley Square is an open space that occupies the northwest quadrant of Millennium Park. It is often used for public events because of its vast size and lack of physical barriers. You'll find a fountain and spacious lawn and, as everywhere else in the park, full wifi connectivity!
When I first moved to Lincoln Park in Chicago, I was ready and willing to explore the entire city. every nook and cranny. Little did I know that one of my most favorite places to be in the entire city was about 100 steps from my front door.
Every American kid growing up has seen the Judy Garland classic The Wizard of Oz. The Lion, Tinman, Scarecrow, Dorothy, and Toto too have grow up as our childhood friends! So, when walking through my neighborhood visiting the park with the beautiful statues of my old friends (created by John Kearney), a smile always shows up on my face. There are doggie play groups in the mornings, tennis courts, a sled hill in the summer, a massive kids park where hundreds of kids go play, baseball diamond, but the best part of Oz park only happens once every summer.
Every summer, you can come the park and bring snacks, drinks (perhaps a hidden bottle of wine), blankets and come watch The Wizard of Oz in the park. Around sunset, a big screen is set up for a viewing of the movie. Visit http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/events/movies/ to see when it is showing again!!
Chicago is lucky to be such a large major city and to still have such an amazing park district system. There are parks and playgrounds all over the city!
If you are visiting Lincoln Park zoo, it would be a nice pit stop to take at Cummings Park. The park goes along with the zoo theme that is present in the area with animal statues and animal footprints in the pavement.