Grant Park is Chicago’s front yard with 319 acres where some of Chicago’s most beloved landmarks are located such as Millennium Park, Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum, and Adler Planetarium. There are also ball parks, gardens, and the iconic Buckingham Fountain to explore. Grant Park is also known for being the home of music and food festivals, civic events, and where President Obama gave his 2008 victory speech.
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Grant Park was conceptualized in 1835 to protect the area from commercial lakefront development. First named Lake Park in 1847, the site suffered erosion damage and became a dumping ground after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. The park became Ulysses S. Grant Park in 1901 after being transferred to the South Park Commission with plans to turn the areas into a cultural center with museums. Construction finally began in 1911 and in 1934 the South Park Commission became part of the Chicago Park District.
There are many cultural, historic, and civic attractions that are a part of Grant Park. Each attraction has its own website where visitors can find more detailed information such as admission fees, hours and detailed exhibit information.
Millennium Park- This public park was renovated form 1998-2004 and features some of Chicago’s best attractions such as Lurie Gardens, the Crown Fountain, and Cloud Gate. The area is a showcase of artistic features and architectural designs.
Maggie Daley Park- The lakefront recreation center features an ice skating rink, field house, rock climbing, and a large outdoor playground.
Maggie Daley Park Field House- Day camps are held in this facility, indoor and outdoor parks district programming, and other special events. There is also event space rentals available at the Field House.
The Skating Ribbon- Found at Maggie Daley Park in downtown Chicago, this skating rink features the Chicago Skyline as the backdrop and provides an Alpine experience for skaters.
Buckingham Fountain- One of the largest fountains in the world and the iconic centerpiece of Grant Park, the Buckingham Fountain was dedicated in 1927 and operates during the summer and early fall months.
Congress Plaza- This area on the West end of Grant Park features gardens, fountains, art, and statues.
Petrillo Music Shell- The Music Shell is home to concerts and music festivals such as the Chicago Jazz festival and Lollapalooza. The facility takes up an entire city block with an amphitheater and paved public seating.
Museum Campus- 57 acres of Grant Park is dedicated to the Museum Campus where The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium are located. These are three of the most popular attractions in Chicago.
Art Institute of Chicago- Noted as one of the best art museums in the world, The Art Institute was built in 1893 and features a large collection of American Art and Impressionism paintings.
Hutchinson Field- An open field location, Hutchinson Fields is home to 12 baseball diamonds and fields for large events.
Chicago Lakefront Trail- The 18-mile path along the Lake Michigan Coast is perfect for runners, bikers, and walkers. The path runs through Lincoln Park, Jackson Park, and Burnham Park as well.
Marinas and Harbors- From Grant Park, visitors can access two public leisure boat marinas. Grant Park is also home to the Chicago Yacht Club and a harbor store, and DuSable Harbor where more boat docks are located.
Skate Park- This 1.86-acre space in southwest Grant Park was recently turned into a recreational space for scooters, rollerblades, skateboards, and BMX. There is also event space located in the Skate Park and art exhibitions.
Tours and Concessions
Grant Park offers many different places to eat and shop through concessionaires that are managed through the Chicago Park District. These also include tours and other recreational Opportunities in Grant Park.
Tours- There are a few tour companies in Grant Park that offer bus and trolley tours such as Big Bus Tours, and Double Decker co.
Dining- There are many dining options located inside the various attractions in Grant Park, however there are also many concessionaires that are managed by the park district where visitors can get hotdogs, Italian ice, ice cream and other snacks. There are also restaurants such as Stefani’s and Completely Nuts located on the museum campus.
Events- Grant park is home to many events throughout the year including music festivals such as Lollapalooza, Make Music Chicago, and concerts. The park also hosts outdoor movie screenings, softball and baseball tournaments, The Taste of Chicago food festival and many private events such as weddings, corporate functions and day camps.
541 N. Fairbanks ct. Chicago Illinois, 60611, Phone: 312-742-7529