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millennium park concert on the lawn
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Chicago park guide: Things to do in the Chicago Park District

Discover the best Chicago parks, including attractions and things to do in Grant Park, Millennium Park and Lincoln Park

Written by
Kris Vire
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The 8,000-plus acres that comprise Chicago parks are welcome oases of calm in the midst of the concrete jungle. The Chicago Park District manages 600 parks, beaches and other facilities, and each has its own character. Grant Park is imbued with Chicago history, from the 1968 Democratic National Convention riots to Barack Obama's 2008 election-night rally. Millennium Park is fiercely contemporary, with the interactive sculpture Crown Fountain and the Frank Gehry-designed Pritzker Pavilion, which plays host to classical performances as well as rock and pop concerts. Lincoln Park, meanwhile, is a recreational wonderland; the city's largest park is home to top attractions such as the Lincoln Park Zoo, Lincoln Park Conservatory and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Humboldt Park is inextricable from the Puerto Rican residents who reside in the surrounding neighborhood. From ice skating in the winter to Movies in the Parks in the summer, you'll find there are as many things to do in Chicago's parks as there are acres of green space.

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