Attractions

Top Choice Park in The Loop

Millennium Park

The city's showpiece is a trove of free and arty sights. It includes Pritzker Pavilion, Frank Gehry’s swooping silver band shell, which hosts free concerts nightly in summer (6:30pm; bring a picnic and bottle of win…
Top Choice Park in Lincoln Park & Old Town

Lincoln Park

The neighborhood gets its name from this park, Chicago’s largest. Its 1200 acres stretch for 6 miles, from North Ave north to Diversey Pkwy, where it narrows along the lake and continues until the end of Lake Shore …
Park in South Loop & Near South Side

Northerly Island

This hilly, prairie-grassed park has walking and cycling trails, fishing, bird-watching and an outdoor venue for big-name concerts. It's actually a peninsula, not an island, but the Chicago skyline views are tremend…
Gardens in The Loop

Lurie Garden

If the crowds at the Bean, Crown Fountain and Pritzker Pavilion are too much, seek out Millennium Park's peaceful Lurie Garden, which uses native plants to form a botanical tribute to Illinois’ tall-grass prairie. V…
Park in The Loop

Maggie Daley Park

Families love the park’s fanciful free playgrounds in all their enchanted-forest and pirate-themed glory. There’s also a rock-climbing wall, 18-hole mini-golf course (which becomes an ice-skating ribbon in winter) a…
Gardens in Lincoln Park & Old Town

Lincoln Park Conservatory

Walking through the conservatory’s 3 acres of desert palms, jungle ferns and tropical orchids is like taking a trip around the world in 30 minutes. The glass-bedecked hothouse remains a sultry, 75°F escape even in w…
Park in Logan Square & Humboldt Park

Humboldt Park

This 207-acre park, which lends its name to the surrounding neighborhood, comes out of nowhere and gobsmacks you with Mother Nature. A lagoon brushed by native plants takes up much of the green space, and birdsong f…
Park in Gold Coast

Washington Square

This plain-looking park across from the Newberry Library has quite a history. In the 1920s it was known as ‘Bughouse Square,’ where communists, socialists, anarchists and other -ists congregated and gave soapbox ora…
Gardens in Chicago

Garfield Park Conservatory

Built in 1907, these 4.5 acres under glass are the Park District’s pride and joy. Designer Jens Jensen intended for the palms, ferns and other plants to recreate Chicago’s prehistoric landscape. Today the effect con…
Park in Hyde Park & South Side

Jackson Park

This 543-acre, lagoon-filled green space fringes Hyde Park to the east. Historically, it's where the city held the 1893 World’s Expo, when Chicago introduced the world to wonders such as the Ferris wheel, moving pic…