Just because you live in the metropolis of Chicago, doesn’t mean you can’t find an oasis to can take your partner, your friends, the kids, or your pets. There are many wonderful parks all over the city, and I am going to fill you in on the three that are the most worth visiting.
1. Lincoln Park
Located in Chicago’s North Side, Lincoln Park has an expansive acreage, stretching seven miles across the lakefront from Ohio Street to near Ardmore. Known for it’s gigantic North Pond and animal sanctuaries, Lincoln Park also houses the Bill Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary, which spans seven acres of natural marsh environment, fenced in with a surrounding viewing platform.
That’s not all! Lincoln Park also boasts the Midwest’s only free zoo, where year-round, anyone can walk in and view the lions, polar bears, penguins, gorillas and reptiles.
They have a large dog park, and near the Farm and the Zoo Lagoon, there are many seating areas and benches, as well as a gigantic pond filled with ducks, fish and other wildlife. Mosey around the park and check out some of their famous statues, including large artist’s renditions of Abraham Lincoln and Alexander Hamilton.
2. Seward Park
Located in the Near North community, this can be added to the list as a great place to take your kids! The playground has lots of obstacles, jungle jims, and monkey bars for your child to play in outside, but there is also more for adults and teens including two gyms with balconies for sports leagues and games, locker rooms, a dance studio, meeting rooms, a boxing ring and room, two softball and soccer fields, and several outdoor basketball courts.
Seward Park offers a vast array of programs at various times throughout the year including baseball, basketball, soccer, boxing, track and field, and even arts & crafts. They have a nice assortment of after-school programs, and in the summer, kids can attend the Park District’s popular six-week day camp.In addition to programs, the park hosts many fun special events throughout the year that are great for the whole family, including Movies in the Park.
3. Grant Park
Just off Michigan Avenue in the Loop, Grant Park is often referred to as “Chicago’s front yard.” It’s most notable for Millenium Park, Buckingham Fountain, and The Art Institute, all significant landmarks where you can learn and have fun at the same time!
Visit Millenium Park’s Crown Fountain, an architectural gem with two 50-foot glass towers that stand at each end of a shallow reflecting pool. Video images are projected from the towers, featuring changing screens that represent a broad social spectrum of random Chicago citizens. Also worth visiting is the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, referred to as the “bean” because of its shape, where you can view your reflection within several vantage points of the Chicago skyline.
Also check out Buckingham Fountain, one of the largest memorial fountain’s in the world! During the warmer months, a major display shoots 150 feet of water into the air every hour on the hour for 20 minutes, lit with a dazzling spectrum of colors.
Grant Park also contains performance venues such as the Jay Pritzker Pavillion, gardens such as the Lurie Garden, a plethora of art work and statues, sporting, and harbor facilities. Here they host public gatherings, weddings, and several large annual events.