Grant Park / Millennium Park

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Grant Park / Millennium Park Like most outdoor spaces in Chicago, Grant Park is mostly neglected until the summer rolls around and city dwellers once again emerge from their wintry dens, crack open a dusty bottle of Coppertone, and revel in the warmth of... Chicago United States 41.884068 -87.620119
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Grant Park / Millennium Park  - Culture | Outdoor Activity | Park in Chicago.
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Party Earth Review Like most outdoor spaces in Chicago, Grant Park is mostly neglected until the summer rolls around and city dwellers once again emerge from their wintry dens, crack open a dusty bottle of Coppertone, and revel in the warmth... ... read full review

  • Neighborhood:

  • Address:

    Between South Michigan Avenue to Lake Michigan and East Roosevelt Road to East Randolph Street.

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  • Train:

    Green, Orange, Red Lines: Roosevelt
    Red Line: Harrison, Jackson, Monroe
    Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple Express Lines: Adams/Wabash, Madison/Wabash, Randolph/Wabash
    Brown, Orange, Pink, Purple Express Lines: Harold Washington Library-State/Van Buren

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  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Grant Park / Millennium Park Videos

Barack Obama Acceptance Speech November 4 2008 Grant Park, Chicago Illinois PART 1
Barack Obama Acceptance Speech November 4 2008 Grant Park, Chicago Illinois PART 1
Tool Jambi Lollapalooza Grant Park Chicago IL August 8, 2009 Day 2
Roby Lakatos & his Ensemble at Grant Park, Chicago (July 11, 2007)
Election Day Voices in Grant Park
A Chicago skyline drive through Grant Park
Obama Wins The Presidency Countdown in Grant Park 11/04/2008

Party Earth Grant Park / Millennium Park Review

The Scene

Like most outdoor spaces in Chicago, Grant Park is mostly neglected until the summer rolls around and city dwellers once again emerge from their wintry dens, crack open a dusty bottle of Coppertone, and revel in the warmth of...

Like most outdoor spaces in Chicago, Grant Park is mostly neglected until the summer rolls around and city dwellers once again emerge from their wintry dens, crack open a dusty bottle of Coppertone, and revel in the warmth of the sun.

Visitors looking for a cool-down can wade through the reflecting pool at Crown Fountain, which also features fifty-foot video displays on either side, or head to the immense Buckingham Fountain, a frequent meeting point for bike and walking tours.

Although popular museums like the Art Institute of Chicago and dozens of outdoor exhibits offer a dose of culture, those more in the mood for a lazy day of sunbathing or napping under the trees will find lots of cozy corners, while a dozen diamonds provide a place for sporty types to play some barehanded softball, aka “The Chicago Game.”

Millennium Park – added to the north end of Grant Park in 2004 – is home to Cloud Gate (better known as "The Bean"), a bulbous 110-ton stainless steel sculpture that has become a symbol of both the park and the city itself, as well as the nearby Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion, which holds the eleven thousand music lovers who show up for the free festivals and concerts held throughout the week.

Throngs of Chicagoans and tourists of all ages head to the park for a couple of “world’s largest” festivals, including the June Taste of Chicago food festival and the July SummerDance festival, though the younger crowd owns the park in August, when everyone from hipsters to frat boys pack in for three days of Lollapalooza.

Often called “Chicago’s front yard,” Grant Park offers enough sports, art, concerts, and days in the sun to make anyone’s summer a little brighter.

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Tip from Emma:

There is so much to do here, you might get overwhelmed! If so, take five over at Buckingham – locals know that the mist off the massive fountain is a great way to cool off on a hot day.

  • Crowd

    People of all ages, cultures, and professions, along with their dogs.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Various summer festivals include:
    The Chicago Blues Festival (early June).

    Taste of Chicago food festival (last week of June). SummerDance (July through September).

    Lollapalooza (early August).

    Other highlights:
    Ice skating in Millennium Park from mid-November through mid-March.

    Summer concerts at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park (late May through early September).

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Concession stands in the park and museums.

    Full service restaurants include:
    The Park Grill (11 North Michigan Avenue).

    Terzo Piano (159 East Monroe Street).

    The Garden Restaurant (159 East Monroe Street).

    Dozens of restaurants, from fast food to five-star, line nearby Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue.

  • Prices

    Cultural events, including Taste of Chicago and SummerDance, are free. Lollapalooza tickets and entry to special park events vary. Museums $12–$18. Bike rentals $10–$35.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Anything goes: comfortable walking gear for daytime strolls and museum visits, slightly trendier evening attire for Millennium Park concerts.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Any day during one of the major festivals; daytime for picnics, museum visits, and casual strolls; and nighttime for Millennium Park concerts.

  • Close By

    Just across the Chicago River is Navy Pier (600 East Grand Avenue), which offers diverse entertainment including an IMAX Theater, a Ferris wheel, and more than fifty acres of parks, promenades, gardens, shops, restaurants, and attractions.

Grant Park / Millennium Park User Reviews

Average rating:
Chicago's Magic!
Rossi M. Aug 28, 2013
Millenium Park is a park one can't go too often to! It is such a gift for our great city.:) The Pritzker pavilion has hosted some of the most amazing concerts I've seen, right under the dark starry sky, completely free, completely magical. When I go to a concert at Millenium park i usually have to remind myself to breathe because I am overcome by such gratitude for the experience. And then there is the Crown fountain! A source of joy and inspiration for a creative person like me! There are not a lot of things funner than photographing kids playing in the water during summer. As a fine art photographer, I've created some of my best images there. I cherish everything about Millenium park, and now that I am writing, this, I will head there shortly! See you there!
Cinematic Chicago Spot
Billy K. Apr 30, 2013
My Take: There really isn’t a better way to see Chicago than by heading to Millennium Park/Grant Park in the spring, summer, or fall. It’s absolutely a beautiful park that rivals Central Park – if not in history, certainly in aesthetics and cleanliness. The Scene: A nice microcosm of Chicago’s population. You never know who you’ll bump into at Millennium Park/Grant Park, as the park plays host to everyone from local celebrities to your next door neighbor. You might even run into a Chicago Bear, Cub, or Bull. Millennium Park/Grant Park feels cinematic in a way, and you might feel like you’re in a movie every time you visit this picturesque park. Cocktails & Cuisine: Well, to say Millennium Park/Grant Park is not a restaurant would be accurate, however, the Chicago hub does play home to various food vendors. In my personal experience, the food stands at Millennium Park/Grant Park were too expensive, charging $15 for burgers that would be $10 at restaurants within walking distance. Prices: As I mentioned above, because this is somewhat of a tourist trap, all the vendors will charge you a few more bucks than restaurants and gift shops within walking distance do. However, it doesn’t cost anything to walk around the park and people watch, which you absolutely have to do. What to Wear: If it is summer in Chicago, wear your best pair of shorts, comfy flip-flops, and a white t-shirt because it’ll undoubtedly be hot and humid. You might even want to run in those face water fall thingys if it’s really hot. Dress accordingly for fall and winter too. Fall is a great time to walk around the park, but keep in mind it really cools off as the day goes along. Insider Info/When to go: Head to Millennium Park/Grant Park during the Pritzker Pavilion free summertime concerts. They’re jam-packed, but if you get there early enough, it’s really a blast. You feel the undeniable energy and charm of the city.
The Best City Spot
Nikki S. Apr 5, 2013
Grant Park is Chicago's meeting spot. During the summer you'll find tourists and life-long Chicagoans soaking up the summer sun and enjoying a reprieve from the burdens of city living. The park plays host to a series of festivals throughout the season, drawing mass crowds to one of the premiere destinations in Chicago. Not only that, but some of the most iconic landmarks of the city reside within its borders: Buckingham Fountain- a monumental structure reminiscent of something found in an Italian piazza is an ideal photo opportunity and its water show is not to be missed. Further North you'll find the famed Art Institute and Crown Fountain-two monolithic screens showing a montage of faces as it sprays water down to the viewers. It's a great way for kids and adults to cool off from the heat. The park is also home to the illustrious "Cloud Gate" (aka The Bean) which has become the modern signature of the city. The sculpture, which has been on display for nearly a decade, is comprised of 168 highly polished stainless steel plates smoothly reflecting the city and its visitors. It is a favorite of tourists and natives alike, and a photo-op in front of the piece is a must-do on every list. Even in the winter, Grant Park is still a destination stop for it's outdoor ice skating rink and tantalizing views of a snow-capped city. Overall, no matter the reason for stopping by, the park brings community and art together in a wondrous haven inside the city.
Millennium Park: Not Your Average Stroll in the Park
Pas R. Mar 19, 2013
Chicago’s Millennium Park, located on the infamous street known as Michigan Avenue, is the ultimate downtown attraction for both tourists and locals alike. From the reflective nature of the stainless steel Cloud Gate sculpture known locally as the Bean, to Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa’s pair of high glass block-tower Crown Fountains that project digital facial images of the typical Chicagoan inhabitant, Millennium Park offers a variety of attractions and activities for everyone of all ages. Perhaps you are a connoisseur of blues or jazz music? If so, you’re in luck, as Frank Gehry’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion, an outdoor amphitheater surrounded by the Lurie Garden’s lush greenery, hold its annual jam-packed Grant Park Music Festival in the summer, free of charge. Winter temperatures got you down? McCormick Tribune’s Ice Rink is open for public skating. If you’re an arts buff, the underground Harris Theater for Music and Dance have shows playing indoors as well.
Millenium Park
Esmeralda M. Jan 24, 2013
I you are in the Chicago, you should definitely find time to visit the Millinnium Park. This park is located in downtown Chicago and has a beautiful view of most downtown Chicago. Whether you live in Chicago or are a tourist, you will find the Millinnium Park a place where people can social or spend time with their friends. Located by the Illinois Art Institute, this park has a performance center in the heart of the park. There is also a beautiful monument know as the "Big Bean". This location is very convient since there are department store and four star restaurants in walking distance. A visit to the Millinnium Park will be well worth anyone's time.
A Must See
Bryan A. Jan 3, 2013
If your in chicago you cannot miss millennium park, the landmark location is great to enjoy on a warm summers day with friends and family. The location is kept clean and you'll feel comfortable and will admire the architecture of the location.
A quality park in a major metropolitan area
Craig B. Dec 9, 2012
I've caught a couple festivals here, most notably the Chicago Blues Festival, and this massive park really lends itself to the sprawl that such festivals require. But that doesn't mean that it can't just be a nice place to hang out. There are some nice gardens to wander, you can toss a pigskin or frisbee in the open areas, and Pritzker Pavilion has surprisingly great acoustics for summer concerts. I'd say avoid the Bean, but it seems to be tradition now for everyone to visit it at least once to take pictures of themselves in the reflective surface. At the very least, though, please keep the PDA to a minimum when you're shooting?
If you're in Chicago, don't miss it.
Christina W. Dec 8, 2012
So being totally candid, this isn't like "the coolest spot" in Chicago by any means. But if you are a visitor to this fine city, you should definitely check out Millenium/Grant Park. Grant Park is the place where all of the big events and cool things happen. (Obama's 2008 acceptance speech, for one. But on a more regular basis, Taste of Chicago and big music festivals and such.) Millenium Park, on the other hand (and to be fair, I don't quite understand the distinction) is where the ice skating rink is in the wintertime, and the Pritzker Pavilion hosts free outdoor concerts in the summer, and then there's the Bean! The artist who created it hates this nickname, but "The Bean" is one of the coolest outdoor sculptures I've ever seen. It's like a complicated mirror and is perfect for taking "hipster/avant-garde" photos of Chicago that you can later show your friends. If you're the touristy type, that's probably enough for you. But if not, The Art Institute is on the grounds of the park and is certainly worth checking out, along with some really swanky bars and restaurants across the street along Michigan Avenue.
Great in the summer
Jackie D. Dec 4, 2012
Millenium park is THE place to be in the summer. Everyone seems to pour in on beautiful sunny days and there's so much to do here! There's an incredible outdoor amphitheater where the Chicago symphony/phil plays, and guess what...the shows are FREE. That's right, free. Beautiful music under the stars anyone? How's that for a perfect date? The park also houses the Art Institute, which houses one of the largest art collections in the US and is a very well renowned museum. I recommend spending half a day, at least, there so that you can see everything that you want to see. The biggest event that takes place in the park is Lollapalooza, an annual music festival that literally brings in 100,000 people from all over the world. It's amazing to experience such a gigantic music festival in the middle of this gorgeous city!
Eleni S. Dec 2, 2012
I LOVE Millenium park!!!! It is such a fun place to visit. It is beautiful and my favorite time to visit is during fall, because the trees are beautifully colored and the weather is nice. There are several festivals that go on throughout the year, and it is located in the heart of the city. I love walking through the park with my friends and family. It is so relaxing and I cant wait to go back! I've seen brides taking pictures in the park, that's how pretty it is. It is nice walking around the park and then going to dinner or hot chocolate after! I definitely recommend going to Millenium park because it is is literally amazing!!! LOVE!
One of the best parks in the world
Brehan F. Oct 6, 2012
This area is amazing. So much positive energy, so many kids (and adults!) playing in the fountains....if you are having a bad day, make sure you head over to Grant Park because I guarantee it will perk your mood up. At least in the summer. The winter in Grant Park on the otherhand, is pretty rough. But come here when there are leaves on the trees, and chances are a festival will have either just happened, or be on the horizon. There is a TON going on here. It's a great place to people-watch, get a little silly in the fountains, or walk past the nearby apartments and daydream about one day being able to have that view. I've been to parks all over the world, this one is truly my favorite. Granted I'm biased - Chicago Rocks - but all of that aside, Grant Park is awesome. Come here - you'll really enjoy it.
A Night for the Millenium
Ritesh P. Oct 1, 2012
Imagine a perfect stretch of mile complete with fountains, flowers, playing fields, trees providing ample shade, an enormous lake, with the backdrop of the beautiful Chicago Skyline. That is what Grant Park/Millenium Parks are. To add to an even more beautiful surrounding, there are various sculptures and pieces of arts carefully integrated into these two parks. It's easy to see why many of the best Chicago events are taken place here from marathons to city wide concerts and food festivals. This vast expanse of greenery offers a relief from skyscrapers that block the sky from the beautiful blue sky above. The park offers a wide range of amusement from The Cloud that reflects everything to the countless expressions of the Face Towers, which may sometimes spit out water. A better location for these parks is impossible. This haven is a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike. It is a must see for anyone in Chicago, whether they're a long time resident or a once in a lifetime visitor.
So many options
Nick T. Aug 23, 2012
In the summer, both of these parks are hot spots for both tourists and Chicagoans, with Millenium Park being the more touristy park, save for Grant Park during Lolla. In the summer both parks have great concerts, often free and open to the public, with a major highlight being the Monday evening concert series in Millenium Park that features various artists and acts every monday night throughout the summer. The Bean and Face Fountains in Millenium Park are worth the visit and pictures you will inevitably take in front of them. During the winter, Millenium Park opens a skating rink that is perpetually packed. Despite the crowd, skating in the under the lights of the skyline is one of the coolest scenes I've ever experienced. This beauty of the scene is reflected in the fact that marriage proposals are a weekly occurrence here. It is also very easy to rent skate at the rink and the level of skaters ranges drastically so there is no fear of being the only one wiping out on the ice. There is a parking garage at millenium park, but I would recommend taking the El or a taxi or walking if possible because navigating the parking scene around there is guaranteed to add a little stress to your life.
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