If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit the Windy City of Chicago just yet, you’re missing out on more than you could ever imagine.
With more than 2.5 million residents spanning nearly 235 square miles of crisscrossing streets and cloud-grazing skyscrapers, there is absolutely no shortage of bustling blocks, stunning lakeside views, local businesses, and beautiful parks Chicago can provide.
Of course, all of this is relatively unsurprising since the Windy City boasts some of the world’s most famous foods, infamous historical figures, and well-recognized landmarks, like:
- The Chicago River (most notably dyed green during St. Patty’s Day)
- Lake Michigan and Lake Shore Drive
- Willis Tower (FKA Sears Tower)
- Navy Pier
- Cloudgate AKA “The Bean”
- Chicago-style hot dogs
- Deep-dish pizza
- Al Capone
- And Michelle Obama!
Aside from all of the amazing things listed above, Chicago can also serve as an urban playground for parents and young professionals alike, with plenty of parks and gorgeous green space to soak in any season. Although there are at least 570 individual parks within the Chicago park district, we picked eight of our favorites for you to check out:
#1 – Grant Park
Of course, you can’t visit Chicago without making a stop at Grant Park, which is nestled right within the downtown Loop neighborhoods, directly along the shores of Lake Michigan, and adjacent to the next two parks on our list (Millennium and Maggie Daley).
While this park offers several playing fields and a perfect skyline view, the focal point is the Versailles-inspired Buckingham Fountain. This iconic Art Deco installation is surrounded by gorgeous gardens, and you can catch a glimpse of 20-minute water shows during the day and nighttime light shows between May and mid-October.
Stroll the rose garden or lakefront trail at sunset for a romantic date with your spouse, or bring the whole family to one of the many events in Grant Park, which can be found along with other events in the Chicago Park District here.
#2 – Millennium Park
Now, it’s important to note that Grant Park essentially encompasses both Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park since they’re all in the same general space, but they are each technically separate.
Millennium Park is Chicago’s most-visited park, probably because this is where you can find Anish Kapoor’s iconic sculpture, Cloudgate, more lovingly referred to as “The Bean” by both locals and tourists alike.
Just steps away, you’ll also find a few other famous spots, such as:
- Wrigley Square
- Crown Fountain
- Lurie Gardens
- Millennium Park Ice Rink
- The Art Institute of Chicago
- The Great Lawn
- Jay Pritzker Pavilion (home of the Grant Park Music Festival)
#3 – Maggie Daley Park
While you’re in the Millennium and Grant Park areas, you can also visit Maggie Daley Park, which offers tennis and basketball courts, ever-busy playgrounds, and a modern “play garden,” perfect for keeping the kids busy during summer break.
When winter rolls in, you’ll want to check out the famous ice skating ribbon that wraps around an impressive outdoor rock climbing facility— but maybe save that finger-cramping activity for a season that’s a little less frigid. (Yes, you should fear that lake effect 🥶.)
#4 – Lincoln Park (and Lincoln Park Zoo)
Another can’t-miss hotspot in the Chicago park district is Lincoln Park. As Chicago’s largest park, you’ll find plenty of things to do across the nearly 1,200 acres. Honestly, there are so many activities and attractions across Lincoln Park, that we should probably just list them for you.
Within Lincoln Park, you’ll find:
- The Lincoln Park Zoo
- Lincoln Park Conservatory
- The Chicago History Museum
- Lily pools and a nature sanctuary
- Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
- Playing fields and an archery range
- Margate Field House
- Multiple beaches and playgrounds
- Abe Lincoln and General Grant statues
- Clarendon Park
- The Lincoln Park Cultural Center
- And more!
#5 – Burnham Park
Covering almost 600 acres of waterfront property, Burnham Park is also a popular hangout come summer. This park is home to several notable Chicago attractions, such as McCormick Place performance center, Soldier Field (home of the Chicago Bears), a skate park, fishing pier, playgrounds, and a 100-acre nature preserve called the Burnham Wildlife Corridor.
Northerly Island is another part of the park, which houses playgrounds, beaches, a nature park, and other tourist hotspots, including:
- Huntington Bank Pavilion
- Daphne Garden
- The Doane Observatory
- Skyline Walk
#6 – Garfield Park
If gardens are more your thing, give Garfield Park a try, which is known primarily for the Garfield Park Conservatory and several other seasonal outdoor gardens spanning over 180 acres of green space.
You’ll also find playgrounds and sporting facilities, plus the Field House, Garfield Park Lagoon, and the Garfield Park Natural Area within this urban park, which is sectioned off by city blocks and bustles with vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
#7 – Jackson Park
When you’re looking for a little relaxation and zen, Jackson Park is the place to go. Accessible only by footbridge, this park offers a beautiful Japanese garden called Osaka Garden, which features a tea house, rock gardens, a pagoda-style pavilion, and winding walking paths.
There are also multiple playgrounds, a golf course (disc and regular), playing courts, a running track, and beaches at this park, making it perfect for adults and kids alike.
#8 – Ping Tom Memorial Park
The last location on our list is the perfect place to go when you want a picnic lunch with a stunning skyline view. Nestled in Chicago’s Chinatown along the south branch of the Chicago River, the converted rail yard offers boat and kayak rentals, a large, shady pavilion, and tons of events, like movie nights and Shakespeare in the Park. Plus, if you’re looking for the perfect background for your next Instagram post, Ping Tom Memorial Park truly can’t be beat.
We’ll Work While You Play 👷🏼♂️🛠
If you live in the Chicago area and need a break from the banging and buzzing of power tools while you’re getting your roof replaced by the reliable team of professionals at Anchor Point, give any of these great parks a try. Between beautiful conservatory gardens, iconic fountains and sculptures, and a never-ending stream of fun activities and events for the whole family, there’s no shortage of things to do here in Chicago.
Or, if you’re in the market for a new roof and still need to find someone to get the job done right, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’ll take good care of your home and provide top-notch roofing services while you explore the many parks Chicago has to offer.
Contact us now to get your quote!