Millennium Park is one of the can’t miss Chicago Attractions when visiting the city. A beautiful 24.5 acre park filled with art, gardens, monuments, play grounds, music, and more right in the heart of the city. If you’re looking for free things to do in Chicago with kids, you won’t want to miss this amazing park.
You will find Millennium Park offers a wide range of things to do. In the summer, kids can splash around the Crown Fountain, visit the Bean, and walk through the Lurie Gardens. In the winter months, adults and kids can enjoy some hot chocolate while ice skating at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink. Everyone will love the Millennium Park events, movies and concert series. You also can’t miss strolling over to Maggie Daley Park one of the best playgrounds in Chicago. Wondering what you need to know before spending a fun family day out at Chicago’s Millennium Park? Follow along with me for all the tips you need to know.
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Millennium Park Chicago – 8 Things to Do with Kids
Millennium Park Parking and How to Get There
How to Get There
The first thing you need to know is how to get to Millennium Park. It is located just north of Grant Park and is between Michigan Avenue, East Monroe Drive and East Randolph Street. Several bus lines stop on Michigan Avenue and East Randolph Street.
You can also take the Metra Train from the suburbs and walk over. We did this with my kids and it was a pretty easy walk. The kids had a great time walking by all the tall buildings and taking a train ride. I would suggest taking a stroller for the walk if you have little ones. If the kids get too tired after running around the park, you could always take a cab or bus back to the train station.
Millennium Park Parking
If you plan to drive to the city, I suggest you park in the Millennium Park Parking Garage. Located under Millennium Park, it is the closest parking garage.
Millennium Park Parking Address: 5 South Columbus Drive, Chicago, IL 60601
You can also find parking at the Millennium Lakeside garage (good for Maggie Daley Park), Grant Park North Garage, and Grant Park South Garage. If you buy your spot ahead of time, you can save money too. Click on the link below to get more information about rates, locations, and hours for these parking garage.
Millennium Park Garage – https://www.millenniumgarages.com/
Things to Do at Millennium Park Chicago
You will be able to see two huge fountains as you walk up to Millennium Park. These large glass block towers have images of Chicagoan’s faces on LED screens. Kids will enjoy watching the faces change but what they will love is when the mouth opens and water squirts out. In the summer months between the two towers, there is a shallow pool of water a couple inches deep. Make sure to bring bathing suits or a change of clothes cause the kids will want to splash around.
Cloud Gate / The Bean
The most popular spot to take pictures in Millennium Park is the Cloud Gate, affectionately known by Chicagoans as The Bean. The large silver sculpture reflects all the city buildings and you can view yourself in the mirrors. Kid will enjoy walking around and beneath the bean while finding their image among the crowd.
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This 3.5 acre garden is set in the southern portion of Millennium Park. Stroll through these beautiful gardens and water features all with the backdrop of the city buildings. It is tucked inside of large hedges so it can be easily missed. You can enter this garden from Monroe Street or on a path south of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Don’t miss this quick stroll, it is really beautiful.
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
The Jay Pritzker Pavilion was designed by Frank Gehry and it is pretty amazing to see. It stands 120 feet high with a billowing “headdress” composed of stainless-steel ribbons which frame the stage. Coming out of the stage area are overhead trellises with speakers so that even the lawn seats have great acoustics. The Pavilion is right in the middle of Millennium Park and is Chicago’s premier outdoor concert venue.
Head over to this pavilion for their summer concert series and summer movie night events. Bring a blanket and picnic to enjoy the music and movie nights with kids.
Check out this link to see concert schedules (here)
Located on the North and South ends of Millennium Park you will find artistic displays of modern and contemporary art. Make sure to walk by these and check out the current art displays on your walk from the Crown Fountain to the Bean.
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink
A fun way to enjoy winter time in Millennium Park is to go ice skating. The area is festive and you have a great view of the city while skating around the rink. You are able to rent skates at the park so no need to carry your own down to the park. Stop for some hot chocolate and a snack when you are done at the stand next to the rink. Weather permitting, the rink is open from November through March but check this link before you go to make sure.
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BP Pedestrian Bridge
For a beautiful view of the city take a stroll over the BP Pedestrian Bridge which connects Millennium Park to Maggie Daley Park. The silver snake like bridge was also created by Frank Gehry and is a fun way to walk over with the kids to Maggie Daley Park.
Maggie Daley Park
Maggie Daley Park is an awesome 20-acre park created for kids. Walk over the bridge from Millennium Park to find a fun play land for the kids at Maggie Daley Park. In this area, kids can rock-climb and play a game of miniature golf. At the Skating Ribbon, kids can ice skate in the winter and roller blade or ride scooters in the summer. But hands down, the best part of the park is the Play Garden. With six different play areas for kids to climb, swing, and explore, you will spend endless hours just running around this free park. Learn more about Things to do at this park and tips for exploring it (Here)
If you are looking for a fun day out with the kids, you can’t miss Millennium Park. You family will love all the different areas to explore both in the winter months and summer months. I hope your family has as much fun exploring this park as we did.
Do you have another great tip or questions about visiting Millennium Park? Please let us know in the comments.
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