12th Street Beach
A path runs south from the Adler Planetarium to 12th St Beach, where there are good views of the lake and the fishermen who are likely...
The Park District operates a free, 33ft sledding hill on the southeast side of Soldier Field in winter; bring your own gear. A...
Da Bears, Chicago's NFL team, tackle at Soldier Field from September through January. Tickets are hard to come by, and are available...
Pavilion at Northerly Island
Northerly Island's grassy environs and skyline backdrop make a splendid place to see a touring band like Jimmy Buffet or Phish. The...
Northerly Island information
Lonely Planet review
Northerly Island was once the busy commuter airport known as Meigs Field. Now it's a prairie-grassed park with walking trails, fishing, bird-watching and an outdoor concert venue.
The shift from runway to willowy grasses has its root in a controversial incident that reads a little like a municipal spy thriller, complete with midnight operatives and surprise bulldozings. To sum it up: Mayor Richard M Daley wanted the land for a park; businesses wanted to keep it for their private planes. A standoff ensued. Then, one dark night in March 2003, Daley fired up the heavy machinery and razed the airfield while the city slept. His reasoning? Terrorists could attack Chicago with tiny planes launched from Meigs; the airfield was a security liability. Why it couldn't be jackhammered during daylight hours was never answered. But by 2005 the controversy had died down, and Chicagoans were out in force, happily exploring this beautiful piece of lakefront that had been off-limits for a half-century.