The Best Parks in Chicago, Illinois

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This list featuring some of our favorite parks in the city is presented by the LBK child sexual abuse lawyers in Chicago, IL.

When Chicago was incorporated in 1837, it chose the motto Urbs in Horto, a Latin phrase which means “City in a Garden”. Today, the Chicago Park District consists of more than 570 parks with over 8,000 acres of municipal parkland. Up next, we discuss some of our top picks to visit in the Cook County city.

Buckingham Fountain

Dedicated in 1927, Buckingham Fountain is one of the largest fountains in the world. Built in a rococo wedding cake style and inspired by the Latona Fountain at the Palace of Versailles, it is meant to represent Lake Michigan.

Located at 301 East Columbus Drive and 500 South Congress Parkway in Grant Park and runs from 8AM to 11:00PM daily, typically from early May through mid-October, depending on weather.

While in operation, the Fountain produces a major water display for 20 minutes every hour. During the major display, a center jet shoots water to a height of up to 150 feet into the air. Major displays begin daily at 9AM and continue thereafter, every hour on the hour. Beginning at dusk, a spectacular light and music display accompanies the major display, beginning every hour on the hour for 20 minutes. Each evening, the final major display begins at 10:35PM.

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Ping Tom Memorial Park

Located on the south bank of the Chicago River, the park is divided into three sections by a Santa Fe rail track and 18th Street. It was designed by Ernest C. Wong of Site Design Group and features a pagoda-style pavilion, bamboo gardens, and a playground. The park is named in honor of prominent Chinatown businessman and civic leader Ping Tom; a bronze bust of Tom is installed near the park’s pavilion.

The park’s fieldhouse, named in honor of the late Advisory Council President Leonard Louie, was completed in October 2013 and offers many facilities including a gym, indoor pool and multiple meeting rooms, among others. Moreover, it features a second story outdoor patio with skyline views, a green rooftop, and a full service kitchen.

Patrons enjoy visiting Ping Tom for fitness classes, indoor swimming and seasonal sports. The park is a popular destination for special events and many of its spaces are available for rental. Park goers also come to Ping Tom Park to enjoy Night Out in the Parks special events such as concerts and dance performances on the lawn.

Millennium Park

Millenium Park is a public park located in the Loop community area of Chicago, more specifically at 201 E Randolph St, and is the largest public space in Grant Park. It came to be in 2004 and, even with its young age, is now one of the top free attractions in the entire city.

Planning of the park began in October 1997, while construction began in October 1998. It was finally inaugurated in a ceremony on July 16, four years behind schedule. The three-day opening celebrations were attended by about 300,000 people and included an inaugural concert by the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus.

In the present day, the park has received awards for its accessibility and green design. Admission to Millennium park is completely free, as is the access to its landmarks which include:

  • The Jay Pritzker Pavilion
  • The Cloud Gate
  • The Crown Fountain, and
  • The Lurie Garden, among various other attractions.

Millenium Park possesses a state-of-the-art collection of architecture, landscape design and art that provide the backdrop for hundreds of free cultural programs including concerts, exhibitions, tours, and family activities.

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