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. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.History

History
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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.

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2.Attractions and Tours

Attractions and Tours
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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.

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3.More Attractions and Tours

More Attractions and Tours
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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.

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4.Tours and Concessions

Tours and Concessions
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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

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Best Things to Do in Chicago, Illinois: Grant Park



More Ideas: The Knickerbocker on the Lake

Resting on the shores of Lake Michigan, The Knickerbocker on the Lake is a boutique hotel that as been beautifully restored to reflect its Classic Revival style. Located in the vibrant Yankee Hill neighborhood in downtown Milwaukee opposite the Lake Michigan waterfront and Veteran's Park, this charming hotel offers distinctive accommodations, two fine dining restaurants, an exclusive spa and salon, function and events facilities, and a 24-hour fitness center.

Designed by architects Rossman & Wierdsma, The Knickerbocker on the Lake is built in the Classical Revival style and still retains much of its original charm with a grand foyer featuring original terrazzo floors, high vaulted ceilings, and exquisite crystal chandeliers. The upscale hotel boasts 160 elegant suites across eight floors, which feature varying forms of interior decor from French Country to Victorian.

Just steps away from the bustling waterfront of Lake Michigan, the beautiful hotel is conveniently located within walking distance of some of Milwaukee's top attractions, such as the Henry Maier Festival grounds, which host an impressive line-up of weekend festivals throughout the summer, including the nation's top festival, Summerfest. Explore the home field of the Brewers and Bucks, take a traditional Milwaukee Brewery tour, stroll along Bradford Beach or visit the Harley-Davidson Museum.

The Knickerbocker on the Lake features uniquely designed and individually decorated guest rooms and suites that combine Old World charm with modern amenities to provide unique accommodation. Each room enjoys standard amenities, including comfortable contemporary furnishings, flat screen televisions, fully equipped kitchens or kitchenettes with stoves, refrigerators, microwaves, and coffee makers, telephones with voicemail services, and complimentary high-speed wireless Internet.

Standard Rooms are spacious and bright with queen or king-size beds in clean linens, flat screen televisions, and en-suite bathrooms with showers/baths, plush towels, and deluxe bath products. Fully equipped kitchenettes feature cooking tops, stoves, fridges, microwaves, and coffee makers with complimentary coffee and tea, and complimentary high-speed Internet is available throughout.

Junior Suites are spacious non-smoking suites with a full kitchen and dining room for easy meals. Suites feature queen-size beds with clean linens, flat screen televisions, and en-suite bathrooms with showers/baths, plush towels, and deluxe bath products. Fully equipped kitchenettes feature cooking tops, stoves, fridges, microwaves, and coffee makers with complimentary coffee and tea, and complimentary high-speed Internet is available throughout.

One Bedroom Suites offer more space with separate sleeping and living areas. Suites feature queen-size beds with clean linens, flat screen televisions, and en-suite bathrooms with showers/baths, plush towels, and deluxe bath products. Fully equipped kitchenettes feature cooking tops, stoves, fridges, microwaves, and coffee makers with complimentary coffee and tea, and complimentary high-speed Internet is available throughout. One Bedroom Suites are also offered as One Bedroom Lakeview Suites, which boast all the same amenities as the standard One Bedroom Suites with the addition of stunning views over Lake Michigan.

Two Bedroom Suites are ideal for small families or groups of friends traveling together. These suites feature two bedrooms with queen-size beds in clean linens, and two en-suite bathrooms with showers/baths, plush towels, and deluxe bath products. Fully equipped kitchenettes feature cooking tops, stoves, fridges, microwaves, and coffee makers with complimentary coffee and tea, and complimentary high-speed Internet is available throughout.

The Knickerbocker on the Lake features a variety of top-notch amenities and leisure activities for guests to enjoy from an exclusive spa and salon to a 24-hour fitness center and casual onsite restaurant. Limited parking is available for hotel guests, as well as a guest laundry service, custom tailoring services, and fax/copy services.

A state-of-the-art fitness center features cardio machines, treadmills, stationary bikes and a free weights section while the exclusive Knick Salon & Spa offers a range of massages, body treatments, and salon services in a tranquil and soothing environment. The Knickerbocker on the Lake also offers modern meeting facilities and events packages for corporate getaways and other special functions.

The Knickerbocker on the Lake features a variety of top-notch amenities and leisure activities for guests to enjoy from an exclusive spa and salon to a 24-hour fitness center and casual onsite restaurant. Limited parking is available for hotel guests, as well as a guest laundry service, custom tailoring services, and fax/copy services.

A state-of-the-art fitness center features cardio machines, treadmills, stationary bikes and a free weights section while the exclusive Knick Salon & Spa offers a range of massages, body treatments, and salon services in a tranquil and soothing environment. The Knickerbocker on the Lake also offers modern meeting facilities and events packages for corporate getaways and other special functions.

Situated in the lobby of the hotel, the Knick Salon & Spa presents guests with the opportunity to enjoy a range of pampering spa and salon treatments without the hassle of leaving the hotel.

A team of talented massage therapists, aestheticians and stylists are on hand to cater for need, from signature massages and body treatments to hair styling and makeup, skin and body care, manicures and pedicures.

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Resting on the western shores of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is nicknamed the 'Brew City' due to its rich brewing history and role in the beer industry. It has also been called the 'Cream City' because of its distinctive cream-colored brick that can be found in buildings around the city. The city spans for 22,300 square miles along the edge of Lake Michigan and features a vibrant waterfront and RiverWalk, which winds for almost three miles along the Milwaukee River into downtown Milwaukee.

Best known for its famous breweries, Milwaukee is home to a variety of things to see and do for everyone from fun at the waterfront for the kids to excellent museums and art galleries, theater, sporting events and annual festivals.

Milwaukee's rich beer heritage and culture have made the city famous with visitors from all over coming to taste some of the world's best beer. From legendary German brewers Miller, Pabst, Schlitz, and Blatz, and to contemporary craft brew masters and their burgeoning microbreweries, Milwaukee is the place to go for a great beer, food, and vibes. Soak up the sophisticated beer scene at MillerCoors, enjoy a variety of brewery tours, explore historical attractions, or simply kick back at one of the many cozy corner taverns or buzzing brewpubs and enjoy the ambiance.

Heralded as the "City of Festivals," Milwaukee hosts an array of cultural, ethnic, musical and arts celebrations and festivals throughout the summer at the Henry W. Maier Festival Park. Nearly every weekend offers an event to enjoy, from arts and culture to cuisine, entertainment, and history. The world's largest music festival, Summer fest is the city's claim to fame and takes the lakefront and the Henry W. Maier Festival Park by storm. Thousands of people flock to the city to enjoy the best regional and national bands, national headliner acts, comedy shows, daily demonstrations and activities and children's games for 11 days every June.

Milwaukee has an array of fantastic museums to explore for every age and taste. Located in downtown Milwaukee, the Harley-Davidson Museum will appeal to anyone who loves classic motorbikes, showcasing classic American culture and a touch of rebellion with its excellent range of interactive exhibits. The only Harley-Davidson museum in the world, the museum is home to more than 450 motorcycles, memorabilia, and artifacts, including the oldest known Harley-Davidson motorcycle: Serial Number One.

The Milwaukee Public Museum features 150,000 square feet of exhibit space that display more than 4.5 million specimens from around the world, including one of the largest dinosaur skulls in the world and a live butterfly exhibit. Discovery World brings science and technology to life through fun and is a must if you are traveling with kids. Located in a spectacular 120,000-foot museum complex on Milwaukee's lakefront, Discovery World features a variety of outstanding interactive displays such as a racecar simulator, 3-D journeys into different virtual environments, the world's tallest ship, and a walk-through aquarium tunnel.

Outdoor adventurers and sports fans will love this city, which has so much to offer in the way of recreational activities, professional sporting event, and exciting adventures. Milwaukee's prime lakefront location presents a wealth of land and water-based outdoor activities, ranging from beach volleyball, swimming, and sailing to windsurfing, jet skiing and freshwater surfing at Bradford Beach. The six-mile Lakefront Trail is ideal for walking, jogging, running or hiking, and features a paved, three-mile loop with a 20-station exercise course. Kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards can be rented to use on Lake Michigan, and there are a variety of cycling tracks and trails throughout the city, which offer a fun and healthy way of exploring the region. Golf lovers can enjoy a game on one of the 16 county parks golf courses in and around the city, including Arnold Palmer-designed 18-hole, Par 72 championship course known as The Bog.

Catch a game at Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers and the nation's only ballpark with a natural grass playing field and retractable roof. Soak up some spectacular views with a climb to the top of the 74-foot tower of the historic North Point Lighthouse in Lake Park or from the 60-foot observation tower at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center.

1028 East Juneau Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202, Phone: 414-276-8500

Back to: Things to Do in Milwaukee and Weekend Getaways from Chicago.

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More Ideas: Morton Arboretum

In the year 1922, when the Morton Arboretum was established, the vision for the grounds was that of a “great outdoor museum” of trees. The Morton Arboretum today features living collections of a variety of plants that serve as inspiration for visitors to protect, learn more about, appreciate, and plant trees. The trees of the world are championed by the Arboretum through conservation, science, collections of plants, outreach, and education.

The grounds of the Morton Arboretum span approximately 1,700 acres and contain over 222,000 plants that represent almost 4,300 taxa from throughout the world. One of the main missions is the collection and display of various trees for both enjoyment and research on its ground, as well as to conduct scientific research on tree improvement and tree health. The Morton Arboretum also provides educational programs for both children and adults, and offers several activities related to nature throughout the years for visitors or all ages, as well as a variety of interests.

Visitors to the Morton Arboretum will also find a Visitor Center on the grounds, as well as The Arboretum Store, Sterling Morton Library, Ginkgo Restaurant and Cafe, and the Plant Clinic. There is also the Children’s Garden that spans across four acres, a Maze Garden one acre in size, a sixteen-mile trail network, and nine miles of roads throughout the Morton Arboretum. The nine-mile network of paved roads wind their way through the Arboretum, offering drivers, runners, and bicyclists beautiful views of the grand landscape of the grounds. The sixteen miles of trails provide an opportunity for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter, as well as hiking throughout the year.

Curiosity grows and imagination lives, and children flourish at the Morton Arboretum within the Children’s Garden. Kids can splash in secret streams, slide down giant roots of trees, and climb on massive acorns all day long if they wish. The garden designed specifically for children allows kids a chance to play, learn, and explore among the many trees and the world of nature. Featured within the Children’s Garden of the Morton Arboretum are two garden areas: the Adventure Woods and the Backyard Discovery Gardens. These two main areas are connected via the Central Plaza. The three areas of the Children’s Garden combined consists of ten different themed gardens. Each of these themed gardens contain interactive and engaging activities that kids will find enjoyable.

Visitors can explore the beautiful 1,700 acres of the Morton Arboretum as well by joining a guided tour on board the Acorn Express. This one-hour tram ride winds its way through the prairie, wetlands, and woodlands of the Arboretum while guests listen to a narrated tour of the grounds. It’s recommended that visitors reserve their spot on one of these tours in advance since they often sell out ahead of time, particularly for the weekends.

Many visitors choose to hike through the Morton Arboretum since it provides a chance to experience the beautiful nature of the Arboretum’s grounds up close. Trails for walking or hiking are maintained for the purpose of letting guests have a more tranquil experience among the Arboretum’s trees.

4100 Illinois Route 33, Lisle, IL, Phone: 630-968-0074

More Things to Do in Illinois

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