Updated 24 June 2018
Chicago is not a shy city. It shoves Millennium Park right in your face. And why not? The park is a magnificent public space, meant to be used. It’s Boston Common, 350 years later…as then, the best place in the city to gather–but now, with a modern, glitzy appeal and something for everyone.
Give yourself plenty of time to walk around Millennium Park. Be sure and stop at these favorite sites:
- Cloud Gate: World-famous, everyone comes to this shiny sculpture for a photo-op. Chicagoans simply call it “The Bean,” for obvious reasons. It reflects the sky, the city, and the people passing by. There is no bad photograph when it comes to this piece of art.
- Crown Fountain: Open May-October, this might be the best fountain in the world. With faces of real Chicagoans, who intermittently spout water from their mouths, it’s fun to splash through, no matter your age.
- Pritzker Pavilion: No ordinary bandshell, its architect is Frank Gehry. Construction started in 1999 in order to be ready for the 2004 opening of Millennium Park. With the Great Lawn in front, 11,000 people can attend events. It’s the home the the Grant Park Music Festival that began in 1935.
There is so much more! Stroll the Boeing Galleries, with changing outdoor art installations. Dangle your feet in the cool water of the “creek” that runs through Lurie Garden, a piece of prairie in the middle of the Windy City. When winter arrives, ice skate at the McCormick Tribune Plaza.
Millennial Park is part of the larger 319-acre Grant Park, Chicago’s “front yard” situated near Lake Michigan. Critics have applauded the park’s accessibility. It has been described as “one of the most accessible parks–not just in the United States, but possibly the world.”