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Urban planning goes back to nature in this park that is actually the upper floor of an underground car garage. In fact, the park crams a mini-nature preserve, a flower garden, 12 lighted tennis courts, a skating rink (that doubles as a rollerblading rink in the summer), an indoor recreation center and 12 chess tables within its borders. The plaza is across the street from Grant Park and is just another example of the many "garden spots" in the "City that Works."
Millennium Park is one of the newest additions to Chicago's many wide-open urban spaces, and is host to a range of indoor/outdoor activities for the entire family. You can listen to top musical events at the outdoor pavilion, or glide across the bustling ice skating rink come winter. For a bit of the park's history, be sure to take a peek at the Peristyle, a replica of the curving row of paired Greek columns that were on the corner of Grant Park near Michigan and Randolph from 1917 to 1953. While in the park one cannot afford to miss the Cloud Gate Sculpture, a three-storied structure built with 110 tons (99790 kilograms) of steel. It is called The Bean by the residents.
This little patch of green sits pretty like a jewel amidst the high-rises that surround it. Named after the area, Lake Shore East Park/No. 546, spans just 6 acres (2.43 hectares), but makes up for its size, with beautiful landscaping and natural features. There's a water element running throughout the park, with fountains in prominent places that light up in the evenings. The ornamental gardens showcase a beautiful variety of flowering plants. There's an expansive playground for kids as well as a thoughtfully-designed dog park.
Lurie Garden has become a trademark of the city of Chicago. This beautiful park is home to hundreds of species of flowers and plants such as tulips, wild white indigo, calamint, and many more in addition to herb gardens. Another feature of the garden is its shoulder hedges, which pays tribute to Chicago's nickname- 'City of Big Shoulders.' This wilderness in the middle of the city also affords stunning views of the Lake Michigan nearby and is popular for its walking trails, picnic areas and interactive sessions among visitors.
Don't go by the look of this place, though the huge yellow tent may give you the feeling of entering a circus. The yellow tent built on the Butler Field in Grant Park, is actually an outdoor facility with state of the art amenities. The large tent serves as a theater, exhibition center or something or the other throughout the year. Cultural events and festivals are also held here, one such being 'The Outdoor Film Festival'.
If you're looking for a place in Chicago to get away from it all, then come to a place where you can walk down pebble paved walkways, play tennis or just relax under the luscious trees. This is Grant Park. Named after General Ulysses S. Grant, the park belongs to the citizens of the city. It spreads out over 319-acres and has a dozen tennis courts and 16 softball fields! It is also the venue for many local summer events and concerts. So sit by the beautiful Buckingham Fountain, it's a great way to cool off in summer and has a fabulous view of the city and lake.
Jutting into Lake Michigan and situated alongside Navy Pier, Milton Lee Olive Park might be a nice place to stroll with a date after a night at the pier's nightclubs. The only drawback is a water filtration plant concealed on the shore. President Lyndon B. Johnson dedicated the park to Private First Class Milton Lee Olive III in June 1966 for heroism in the Vietnam War. To the west is a modest-sized public beach.
This family entertainment complex on Lake Michigan offers all-day fun with more than 50 acres (20 hectares) of parks and gardens, first-rate shopping, restaurants and exciting attractions. Ride the 15-story Ferris wheel, watch world-class performers at the Skyline Stage and tour three floors of interactive fun at the Chicago Children's Museum. For some culture amongst the commercialism, check out the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. During the summer, free entertainment is available on Dock Street. During the winter, rent skates and take a spin on the open-air ice rink.