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Best Parks In Chicago

Whether you are looking for a place to relax, to explore, to experience culture or just to ponder, a park is a great place to explore these activities and Chicago has the best around. There are parks all over Chicago and activities and events are hosted year round. Be sure to take advantage of all that the Windy City has to offer and visit the best parks in Chicago.

The Buckingham Fountain seen from the ro
(Photo Credit: JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

Grant Park
337 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 742-3918

Grant Park is a large urban park, approximately 319 acres, located in the Loop area of Chicago. Chicagoans often refer to it as "Chicago's front yard." The park encompasses performance venues, gardens, harbor accommodations and sporting accommodations such as numerous baseball diamonds, miles of paths to walk and bike on and an expansive collection of public art pieces. Its most prominent attractions include Millennium Park, The Art Institute of Chicago, Buckingham Fountain and the Museum Campus.

Millennium Park
201 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 742-1168

Millennium Park offers hundreds of free cultural programs including concerts, exhibitions, tours and family activities. It is an incredible gathering place for residents and visitors located in the heart of the city. One of the highlights of Millennium Park is the Jay Pritzker Pavilion which hosts the yearly Gospel, Celtic, Latin and Country Music festivals and classical concerts by the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, also offered in the summer. The AT&T Plaza is where the The Cloud Gate sculpture is located or better known by Chicagoans as the "bean." The Cloud Gate sculpture is a popular place to take photographs and part of the pleasure in taking photos at this sculpture is the way in which images become distorted when reflected upon "the bean."

WNBA Fit Clinic sponsored by Coca Cola
(Photo by Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images)

Lincoln Park
2045 N. Lincoln Park W.
Chicago IL 60614
(312) 742-7726

The American Planning Association (APA) noted Lincoln Park as one of the 2009 Great Public Spaces in America for its historic landmarks, outstanding amenities, building structures and for the large range of activities available to park users. Most importantly, city leaders and citizens have held a long-standing commitment to protect 1,200 acres of some of Chicago's most valuable lakefront real estate for the public's use and benefit.

Related: 10 of Chicago's Best Parks

Burnham Park
5491 S. Shore Drive
Chicago IL 60615
(312) 747-1615

Burnham Park is located on Chicago's Lakefront, just south of Grant Park, and totals approximately 600 acres. The park features the stunning Promontory Point, a skate park, beautiful beaches, bird sanctuaries and beautiful natural areas. There is also a 30-acre prairie with interconnected strolling paths. This Chicago park is a great place for families and individuals to visit for a day of relaxation or to stroll the grounds and learn about the natural wildlife that resides in the City of Chicago.

Jackson Park
6401 S. Stony Island Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 256-0903

Jackson Park is located in the Woodlawn neighborhood and totals almost 543 acres. The park features a fitness center, three multi-purpose rooms, a gymnasium and there is even a Japanese-style Osaka Garden plus a vegetable and flower garden. Jackson Park also offers three harbors, a beach, multi-purpose fields, basketball/tennis courts, a golf course, a golf driving range and an artificial turf field.

Related: Best Playgrounds In Chicago

Michelle Guilbeau is an elementary teacher living in Chicago, Illinois. She has also experience in school administration and literacy coaching. Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge of education and parenting issues with her readers. Her work can be found on


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