Chicago Parks

Chicago has one of the most robust park systems in the country. The Chicago Park District owns more than 8,800 acres of green space in the city, managing more than 600 parks. Together, they boast an array of opportunities for tourists and Chicagoans alike, with many cultural and environmental offerings for youth, adults and seniors. The Park District manages 27 indoor pools, 50 outdoor pools and 26 miles of lakefront beaches.

From the new Maggie Daley Park’s unique experiences for children to pastoral offerings at Humboldt Park from the 1800s, there is no shortage of things to do and see. See “Cloud Gate” at Millennium Park then stroll the Chicago Riverwalk for an array of dining and entertainment options—the opportunities are endless.

Jackson Park

Jackson Park stretches an impressive 550-plus acres in the South Side’s Woodlawn community. Here, you’ll find remnants of the World’s Columbian Exposition as well as modern-day amenities including a gymnasium, fitness center, and driving range.

Chicago Lakefront Trail

From Ardmore Avenue to 71st Street, the Chicago Lakefront Trail offers an 18.5 mile path dedicated to walking, running and cycling. It connects Chicago’s beaches as well as four major parks—Lincoln Park, Grant Park, Burnham Park and Jackson Park—and many attractions along the way.

Garfield Park

In Chicago’s East Garfield Park Community, Garfield Park spans more than 172 acres. It is home to historic structures including the Golden Dome field house and Garfield Park Conservatory. Modern enjoyment includes a gymnasium, boxing center and turf field for Lacrosse.

Northerly Island

Connected to Grant Park to the west by a thin isthmus, Northerly Island offers an array of summer fun and beautiful views year-round. It is home to an expansive beach, play areas and an array of natural habitats. The Huntington Bank Pavilion is a lakefront concert venue offering performances each summer.

Washington Park

Considered the hub for African American culture in Chicago, Washington Park spans 372 acres in the neighborhood of the same name. Today, it is home to several playgrounds, recreational facilities, a pool and sporting courts. There is also a Harvest Garden, nature area and arboretum.

Columbus Park

Spanning more than 140 acres in Chicago’s Austin Community, Columbus Park is considered the masterpiece of Prairie-school landscape architect Jens Jensen. Today, it features hisotric buildings, a fitness center, gymnasiums, meeting rooms, outdoor pool, nine-hole hole course and fishing lagoon.

Milton Lee Olive Park

Located near the Navy Pier, Ohio Street Beach and Addams Park, Milton Lee Olive Park offers some of the best views of the water and city skyline. Honoring Vietnam War hero Milton Lee Olive, II, the park today offers a great place to reflect or go for a walk or bike ride along its many paths.

Jane Addams Memorial Park

Jane Addams Park is named after Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams, who created Hull House—Chicago’s first settlement house. Today, the park offers more than four pastoral acres for walking, jogging or bike rides. The Jane Addams Memorial Natural Area features native prairie plantings.

Polk Bros Park

Polk Bros Park offers a pastoral entrance to Chicago’s popular Navy Pier and the Polk Bros Fountain and Plaza. Here, 13 acres of green space include a stunning fountain and two performance lawns. Visitors can enjoy a show with the lake and Chicago skyline as the background.

Chicago Riverwalk

Stretching 1.25 miles along the Chicago River, the new Riverwalk is a place to play for kids and kids at heart. Little ones find interactive programs and a unique playground. For adults, an array of restaurants offer a place to eat, drink and enjoy live music throughout the summer.

Lake Shore Park

Situated in the Near North community called Streeterville, Lake Shore Park offers just over seven acres of recreation. Residents and visitors alike enjoy tennis courts, a soft-surface running track, playground and field house with a gymnasium and fitness center.

Lakeshore East Park

The highlight of the Lakeshore East planned development in the Chicago Loop, Lakeshore East Park offers 4.6 green acres for walking and playing. The highlight is a dog-friendly area and dog park, where pooches are free to play off leash. There is a playground for humans, as well.

Oz Park

In memoriam of former Lincoln Park resident and Wizard of Oz author Lyman Frank Baum, Oz Park is themed after the popular children’s book. It features Dorothy’s Playlot, an Emerald Garden, and statues of the tinman, cowardly lion and Dorothy throughout the park.

Humboldt Park

Spanning 207 acres on Chicago’s West Side, this pastoral oasis is just as romantic today as when it was built in the late 1800s. Find formal gardens, a fieldhouse, and the historic boathouse. Be sure to visit the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and culture located here.

Maggie Daley Park

Situated across the BP Pedestrian Bridge from Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park is the place to play. It is home to a skating ribbon (ice in the winter, skate in the summer), tennis courts, mini golf course and rock climbing wall. There is also a large playground for kids with an array of immersive structures.

Lincoln Park

Chicago’s largest park, Lincoln Park stretches seven miles along Lake Michigan on the city’s North Side. Named after President Abraham Lincoln, you’ll find several museums, a free zoo, manicured gardens, a theater and a conservatory all on the grounds of this 1,200 acre park.

The 606

Akin to New York City’s highline, The 606 is an elevated greenway in Logan Square. The park meets wellness with artwork and nature to offer a nearly three-mile stretch of greenspace. It connects four neighborhood parks at ground level along the way and features an array of public artwork and an observatory.

Grant Park

Grant Park is home to several other parks within, including Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park. It also features Museum Campus and the famous Buckingham Fountain. Many of the city’s biggest events are held here, including Lollapalooza and the Chicago Marathon finish line.

Millennium Park

Millennium Park is one of the city’s biggest attractions and the world’s largest rooftop garden. Home to famous draws like “Cloud Gate” and the Pritzker Pavilion, many events are held here each year, including the Grant Park Music Festival, Chicago Blues Festival and Summer Music Series.