Escape the City and Explore Nature in Chicago
Chicago is world-renowned for its stunning parks, with 1,100 acres of green space and dozens of parks with different features. These green spaces include beaches, trails, bikeways, running paths, gardens, and more. They are perfect places to enjoy the outdoors, enjoy a picnic, and play sports.
Millennium Park is a famous public space that's located in Grant Park. The 24.5 acre park is near the Lake Michigan shoreline and includes a number of famous attractions such as Cloud Gate, Crown Fountain, Lurie Garden and a number of outdoor performance areas.
Loop, Chicago, Illinois, 60601
Grant Park is a large and impressive public space in the city's central business district. This large park is where you'll find the famous Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum Campus. There are a number of gardens, sport fields, and performances venues found in the park as well.
Printer's Row, Chicago, Illinois
Ping Tom Memorial Park
Located in Chicago's Chinatown, this park has a pagoda-style pavilion, bamboo gardens, and a playground. The waterfront park spans 17 acres and there are places nearby where you can rent kayaks. The Field House is a recreational area in the park that has a pool with slides and a fitness center. From here you can enjoy great views of the Chicago skyline. Throughout the year there are a number of events held here including Shakespeare in the Park. Runners and walkers will appreciate the trails through the park as well.
300 West 19th Street, Chinatown, Chicago, Illinois, 60616
Maggie Daley Park
Maggie Daley Park is an impressive park with a 1/4 mile long ice skating/roller skating ribbon. There's also a 40 ft tall climbing wall and a play garden for kids. The playground includes a pirate ship play structure with slides, rope bridges, and climbing areas. There's also a 18 hole mini golf course in the park.
337 E Randolph St, Millennium Park, Chicago, IL, 60601
Burnham Park follows the banks of Lake Michigan for six miles from 14th Street to 56th Street. It spans 600 acres and includes the Burnham Harbor, Soldier Field, and McCormick Place. The Lakefront Trail passes through the park as well. Skateboarders will appreciate Burnham Skate Park, but there are also tennis courts, a fishing pier, and several beaches. For kids, there is a playground.
South Loop, Chicago, IL
Chase Promenade is a tree-lined pedestrian walkway in Millennium Park. It spans 8 acres and hosts regular exhibitions and festivals.
Chase Promenade Central, Loop, Chicago, Illinois
Garfield Park is a popular city park on the West Side of the city in the Garfield Park neighborhood. It has a number of recreational facilities including baseball, boxing, basketball, tennis, and swimming. There's also a playground and trails for running, walking and bike riding. When the weather isn't cooperating, you can head inside to the Garfield Park Conservatory, which has about 120,000 plants from 600 different species in a 1.6 acre indoor space.
300 N. Central Park Ave., Garfield Park, Chicago, IL, 60624
This impressive playground was designed by an urban architecture firm and includes unique play structures, an adventure path, and climbing logs. It's a colorful playground that kids of all ages can enjoy. There's also a fieldhouse nearby with a swimming pool.
825 W Sheridan Rd, Lakeview, Chicago, IL, 60613
Dating back to the mid 1800s, this park was at one time considered to be one of the greatest public parks in the country. Today it has rose gardens, tennis courts, an inland beach, and bike paths.
Humboldt Park, Chicago, IL
This is a fun playground with zipline swings, a rope web for climbing, and slides. There are bathrooms nearby as well as an indoor swimming pool.
3945 N Springfield Ave, Chicago, IL, 60618
Indian Boundary Park
Indian Boundary Playground is a popular playground because of its large wooden play structure and natural setting with native plants. It's a fun play space where kids can run and explore, swing, or climb on the wooden train. There's also a nearby nature center with little cottages where kids can play. There are water sprayers to cool everyone off when the weather gets hot.
2500 W Lunt Ave, West Ridge, Chicago, IL, 60645
This is a 600 acre park that sits on the edge of Lake Michigan on the South Side of Chicago. It has a variety of facilities including basketball, tennis courts, and playgrounds. The Osaka Garden is also on the grounds, which is a Japanese style garden that's on an island in the park's east lagoon. There are also several beaches and a running track that visitors can take advantage of.
6401 S Stony Island Ave, South Shore, Chicago, IL, 60637
Juniper Playlot Park
This charming playground in Lakeview has sensory paths with musical instruments and a playhouse where kids can enjoy using their imagination. There's also a net structure for little climbers and a small climbing hill.
3652 N Greenview Ave, Lakeview, Chicago, IL, 60613
The Chicago Lakefront Trail is a 18.5-mile long trail that is great for running, walking, biking, and even skateboarding. It runs alone the western shore of Lake Michigan and it's popular with locals, tourists, athletes, and commuters. From the trail you can access the lake at different points and the trail passes by a number of different recreational areas including Lincoln Park, Grant Park, Burnham Park, and Jackson Park.
This neighborhood and park area offers a beautiful setting with nicely landscaped gardens, a quaint lily pond, and lakefront green space that has nice views of the city. The Lakefront Trail, the Lincoln Park Trail, Lincoln Park Zoo, North Avenue Beach, and Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum are all in the area. There is also plenty of shopping in Lincoln Park with many boutique shops spread among the row houses.
These beaches stretch out for eight blocks, making them the longest stretch of beach in Chicago. Located near Loyola University in the East Rogers Park neighborhood, this area has a playground and areas that are perfect for strollers. There are also a number of sports fields nearby including baseball fields, basketball courts, and a kayak launching spot.
1222 W Touhy Ave, East Rogers Park, Chicago, IL, 60626
Lurie Garden is a 2.5 acre garden in Millennium Park. It has a number of plants including perennials, bulbs, shrubs, and trees. It's also notable for being the location of the world's largest green roof.
Loop, Chicago, Illinois
Mary Bartelme Park
Located in the West Loop, this playground offers a nice spot for kids who need a break from exploring the city or parents who need to rest their tired legs. The playground has slides, bridges, swings and more. There are also mist sprayers for hot days.
115 S Sangamon St, West Loop, Chicago, IL, 60607
This wooden playground is designed with a Wizard of Oz theme. It has wooden climbing structures, slides, and small statues of characters from the movie. Young kids enjoy searching for familiar characters while they run and explore.
2021 N Burling St, Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL, 60614
Prairie District Park
This little park has slides, climbing areas, play houses, and water misters. There's also a nice dog park where pets can run free, a running path, and a pool.
2051 S Prairie Ave, Burnham Park, Chicago, IL, 60616
This renovation project has turned an elevated railway track into a 2.7 mile path that weaves through the North Side of the city, passing through Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Wicker Park, and Bucktown. It connects a handful of parks and is the perfect place to enjoy a walk, bike ride, or short run.
Humboldt Park, Chicago, IL
This 13 acre park is located in the Near West Side area. The park has large fields, playgrounds, a swimming pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, and baseball fields. The playgrounds have slides, swings, and plenty of space for kids to run around.
1566 West Washington Boulevard, Near West Side, Chicago, Illinois, 60612
Washington Park has a number of attractions including the DuSable Museum, a bird and butterfly sanctuary, The Fountain of Time, and several lagoons.
5531 S. Martin Luther King Dr., Hyde Park, Chicago, IL, 60637
This 22 acre park offers a number of sports and activities as well as a playground and an impressive Fourth of July fireworks display.
5100 N Leavitt St, Lincoln Square, Chicago, IL, 60625
Wrigley Square, in Millennium Park, is where you'll find the Millennium Monument, which is a circular fountain with large columns. Throughout the park are temporary art installations that change regularly. There are also several places to buy snacks and drinks. Head to one of the picnic tables to enjoy your food while you soak in the setting.
Millennium Park, Chicago, IL
How much does it cost?
Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $6 to $200. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $108. A few of the best options are below.
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