Just north of the Art Institute and across the street from the Chicago Cultural Center, the wonderful new Millennium Park opened in the summer of 2004 (OK, so it was a few years late for the actual millennium, but so it goes). In keeping with long-ago city planners’ notion of preserving some green space along the lakefront for the public to enjoy, Mayor Richard M. Daley and a cast of thousands transformed a big, ugly pit of concrete and gravel along Michigan Avenue into a beautiful park full of green grass, multihued flowers, stunning sculptures, and—best of all—people of all sizes and colors.
Millennium Park is one of my favourite places to visit when we are in Chicago. It's a great family-friendly escape in the middle of a large city with lovely gardens to stroll, cultural events and festivals, art exhibits and more. And it's free!
The Cloud Gate sculpture (better known as 'The Bean') has to be one of the most popular attractions in the city. You will find people of all ages posing and taking photos of themselves reflected in the stainless steel sculpture. If you would rather not have dozens of strangers in your photos then you should aim to be there as early as possible in the morning. Or go in the dead of winter - there aren't so many people there on a brutally cold January day in Chicago either.
My younger daughter loves Crown Fountain - an art installation with a reflecting pool that kids love to splash in during the summer months. The two towers of the fountain project video images of Chicago residents who, from time to time, purse their lips and "spit" a fountain of water to the delight of the kids enjoying the pool. Be prepared for getting wet!
This award-winning urban park is a must for families visiting Chicago!
We have taken our two oldest children here a few times when we've been in the city. It is a lot of fun, the kids love playing in the fountains! The bean is always a hit, we have many pictures of our family in silly poses with the bean! Love the location and all the areas for kids to run and have fun!
This park is lovely. There's just so much land and space that breaks up the hustle and bustle of the city life.
Free! The best price!
Concerts in the park, walking around and being goofy in front of the cloud gate "bean", enjoying the landscape, bringing a picnic lunch... there's just so much to enjoy! We love summer nights in the park. The place just comes alive.
Don't forget the swim trunks in the summer because there is water to be played in! Music and picnics, and people. The bean is full of fun... let the kids go wild with the camera!
After our family arrived in Chicago, we met up with my husband's uncle, who happens to be a Chicago native and he led us to Wrigley Square in Millennium Park and the kids were in love.
It was a beautiful spring afternoon, with a light breeze and limited crowds, so we had plenty of time to explore all of the really cool art...
The older kids fell in love with Cloud Gate, affectionately called The Bean by Chicagoans
The coolest part about The Bean is that it doesn't matter where you are, the image you see looks really cool and every picture you take looks even cooler :)
From The Bean, we discovered The Crown Fountain and OMGOSH, I think we hung out there for at least an hour watching Will, our toddler, just giggle, and run, and have the time of his life.
Of course, Will wasn't the only one who took his shoes off and allowed his clothes to become saturated. ALL of the kids had a blast and looking around and seeing how much fun they were having made me wonder just how many kids hang out there in the summer FOR FREE...
I sure was glad school was still in session in Chicago, because it meant my kids had no crowds to fight with and plenty of water to splash in.
Millenium park is a great place to be in the summer time as they have a fountain area for kids to splash around. There is also a great restaurant with outdoor seating and a nice park for kids to run around. You can also catch quite a few concerts in the amphitheater nearby. In winter time, the area is converted into an ice rink. They do have skates rentals nearby.
Millennium Park is one of the best things about Chicago. In the center of a hustle and bustle city is a beautiful park, with great art sculptures like "the bean" and water fountains that the kids can run through. If you go on a week where there's a festival or the orchestra is playing, definitely check those added features out. There's a peaceful contemporary garden to walk through and plenty of room for the kids to run around. A nice outdoor eating area, kids can grab a burger and the parents can grab a pint. In the winter there's an ice skating rink. Terrific area to visit and enjoy the outdoors.
One of my favorite places in the whole world! My kids love spending the afternoon at Millenium Park. Summers are particularly fun between the fountains, live music, outdoor food vendors, and beautiful landscaping. There is much to see and explore. You never know what may be happening at the park on any given day!
We love the Bean!! It's really fun to make faces and take silly pictures by it, but that won't keep you occupied for very long, it's true. There are free concerts occasionally at the amphitheatre, and the fountain is a GODSEND on a hot summer day!! You'll see tons of kiddos splashing and keeping cool. It's a good place to spend a little bit of time, but not a TON of time.
Super fun! I had so much fun & so did the people I went with! I cannot wait until I go again! All the activites are so much fun! The gift shops are great & so are the resturants! So much fun to spend your day here! You will have a great time being here!
Besides the huge silver reflecting eyesore ("the bean") this is a great place visit....this site has water, places to sit and eat, events, and other attractions....there is often a rotation of artwork specifically designed for Chicago om display...great place to see and take pics and build memories...
We visited the Spring of 2009 and Fall of 2010. We had a great time both times we went. It has lots of space to wander and was not too crowded, next to the fountain area. The fountain area can be very busy and get crowded. We liked walking through the gardens. My husband is a big fan of architecture and enjoyed checking out the stage designed by Gehry.
There is a big, bean-shaped sculpture here that everyone wants to stand in front of to distort their image and have a skyline of skyscrapers behind them. There really isn't much else to do here that I can remember but if your on your way past it, you might as well stop and check to see what the hype is about.
This is one of our favorite places to visit in Chicago. It's a lovely spot to relax and take in some beautiful green space. The fountain is so fun to splash in for kids and they'll love to see the faces that "spit" out the water into the fountain. The "Bean" is the sculpture where people love to see their reflections. There are nice walking paths. In warm weather, this is a nice break from shopping or the museums.
So often it big cities, it almost seems as if nature doesn't exist. Not the case with Millennium Park. What an awesome place to take a break from shopping the mag mile. You can find your reflection in the bean, play in the fountain or sit under a tree for a bit! Lots of fun!!
This is such a beautiful park with such wonderful trails and scenery. I'll never forget all the beautiful flowers that were planted there! I just can't even begin to express how beautiful this park was. That being said, there was also a homeless man sleeping on the bench. Everywhere you go in big cities with children, you must always be aware!
We went to Milennium park in summer/rainy weather. We went as a big group. Even though weather was crummy, we enjoyed it. There was a target summer fest going on too. Since we had couple kids in our group we took them to the target fest and got nice freebies, kids got free tattos. It was great. We loved the water/fountain. Looked very nice. We got little wet by it and took nice photos.
Not as kid friendly as I would like. My daughter loves running the open water exhibit, but besides that she got bored real fast. The walking paths are nice and so is the other art exhibits, but it doesn't take much time. Stop by and see it, but don't plan on being there for more than an hour.
What a great place to have a picnic, walk around, and enjoy a different perspective of Chicago. The fountain play areas are a great **free** way for kids of all ages to cool off, and the "bean" sculpture is really cool. It's definitely a great way to take a break from the fast pace of the city.
I love that you can just walk around Millennium Park and relax. It has a garden area, concert area, the water area, memorials, and more! It is spaced out and there is a lot of walking but worth it and free! My kids love the water area where they can run and play!
When the weather is hot, we get on the number 56 bus (parking is $26!) and head to the fountains at Millennium park. Adults can just roll up their pants and walk in the inch-deep water, and kids run up and down with glee. Pay attention: the huge faces on the glass block sculptures purse their lips every few minutes and a huge shower comes down.