Millennium Park in Chicago

With 25 million visitors annually Chicago's Millennium Park is one of the city's must-see destinations.

Described as an urban icon of beauty and culture, Millennium Park, located in the heart of bustling downtown Chicago.

Also it is easily accessible to all area hotels, various restaurants, and cafes with several transportation hubs nearby.

Meanwhile surrounded by concert pavilions, art museums, and famous sculptures like the 'Bean,' no city tour is complete without a walk through this famous park.

Every season visitors flock to the windy city's iconic Millennium Park for:

  • picnics near the Crown Fountain
  • free concerts
  • selfies with the Cloud Gate sculpture
  • Chicago skyline

The public park, located in the Loop community area, is also a prominent Chicago Civic Center intended to celebrate the third millennium.

Meanwhile, operated by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Millennium Park is the number one tourist attraction in the Midwestern United States.

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The park, surrounded by Michigan Avenue, Randolph Street, Columbus Drive, and East Monroe Drive, features a variety of public art exhibits. Also, visitors can experience the art, architecture, and cultural marvel that Chicago embodies.

Pro Tip: Do take a tour! Millennium Park Greeter Tours begin in May and run through October. Also, these free tours depart from the Cultural Center daily at 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. In addition, there are free tours through Lurie Garden. Check the website for details.

See the helpful tips below to get the most out of your visit to this unique, legendary park.

ground view of people walking past cloud gate bean in Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois, USA

phot credit: Cloud Gate via Facebook

Millennium Park Campus Highlights

Cloud Gate

This famous shimmering archway is a can’t miss destination. Indian-born British artist Sir Anish Kapoor sculpted this fantastic piece which is the centerpiece of Millennium Park.

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During a visit to Millennium Park, guests stroll around the monumental structure. In addition, they can check out their reflection on the mirror-like surface.

Photo Alert: Take a selfie with the Bean! In addition to being an amazing structure, the Bean (AKA "Cloud Gate") is one of the most recognized shots on Instagram.

Ariel view of Ribbon Rink in Daley Park Chicago, Illinois, USA

photo credit: Maggie Daley Park via Facebook

Maggie Daley Park

During a visit to Maggie Daley Park, kids can rock climb upon the two 40-foot climbing walls in Chicago’s first and only rock-climbing park. While here, thrill-seekers can rollerblade in the summer and ice-skate in the winter in this kid-friendly area of Millennium Park.

Plaza Park Grill

Tourists and locals alike flock to the Park Grill, one of Chicago’s largest outdoor dining venues. In addition, the grill features modern American cooking year-round. Meanwhile, enjoy the views of the Bean and live music gigs at Pritzker Pavilion.

Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Centrally located in Millennium Park’s loop community area on the south side of Randolph Street, this music pavilion is one of Chicago's most popular destinations.

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The bandshell hosts the park’s annual:

  • Summer Music and Film Series
  • World Music Festivals
  • Chicago Jazz Philharmonic
  • Broadway in Chicago
  • Lyric Opera
  • Grant Park Music Festival

Fun Fact: Millennium Park is one of the few Chicago park districts that allow alcohol. In addition, visitors can BYOB for most concerts at the Pritzker Pavilion or grab a craft beer or glass of wine at the Goose Island Beer Garden.

View head on of the Millennium Monument at Wrigley Square in Chicago, Illinois, USAWrigley Square

Wrigley Square, located in the northwest corner of Millennium Park, features the Millennium Monument. The monument is a semicircular Romanesh-style columned structure. In addition, it is set amongst a large grassy lawn and a public fountain.

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The square hosts cultural affair events, art exhibits, and live musical performances.

Pro Tip: Wrigley Square is the perfect outdoor oasis for catching up on your emails and current events since it offers free WiFi technology.

Millennium Park Harris Theater Rooftop Terrace

One of the most celebrated venues in Chicago, the Rooftop Terrace hosts indoor and outdoor events from April through October with amazing views of the Chicago skyline and Millennium Park.

Wide shot over looking Lurie Garden filled with lots of green plants and the city behind it at Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois, USA

photo credit: Lurie Garden via Facebook

Lurie Garden

This 3.5-acre urban sanctuary is considered Chicago’s ‘secret garden.’ In addition, it is long hailed as a place where weary city dwellers can experience a respite and renewal from the daily grind.

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The garden pays tribute to Chicago’s transformation from flat marshlands to an urban city.

Notable highlights include a radically lit 15-foot-high shoulder hedge and a charming hardwood footbridge over a shallow pond.

Photo Alert: Snap a shot in Lurie Garden, amongst over 222 gorgeous perennials and prairie plants. Meanwhile stroll through the garden’s secluded pathways and serene backdrops.

Harris Theater for Music and Dance

This performance arts center seats 1,500 guests and features local companies. It also includes the Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and the Chicago Opera Theater.

Close up photo of a black statue with other statues behind it as park of the Boeing Galleries in Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois, USA

photo credit: Millennium Park via Facebook

Special Exhibitions at the Boeing Galleries

If you’re seeking a little bit of superb art mixed with Chicago culture, Millennium Park is rich with both. From numerous photography series to sculptures to architectural designs, the park also showcases renowned local artists and their finest works.

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Past exhibits include Chicago-based artist, Christine Tarkowski. In addition to focusing on sculpture, she also works in printed matter, photography, and song.

The scope of her production includes architectural structures, cast models, textile yardage, and printed ephemera.

Pro Tip: Don’t rent a bike! Bike and skateboards, virtually anything with wheels, are prohibited in the park. In addition, pets are also not allowed near the Bean!

ArtsSpace Program

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events launched the ArtsSpace Program. In addition, it provides organizations opportunities to showcase work that enriches Chicago’s culture.

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Millennium Park works with DCASE to offer space for the program by hosting art and special events like its Summer Film Series on the state-of-the-art, 40-foot LED screen.

Special Event Planning

The park’s unique setting is available for corporate events, wedding ceremonies, fundraising galas, forums, and other endeavors.

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Guests are encouraged to enjoy the entire park and all it offers. In addition, check the website for rental prices and catering options.

Exterior view of the Chicago Cultural Center on a sunny day in Chicago, Illinois, USA

photo credit: Chicago Cultural Center via Facebook

Chicago Cultural Center

This center, though across the street from Millennium Park, is still considered a part of the park’s campus. While being an architectural feat, it's also packed with calendar events of free things to do.

Bonus Tip

Don’t miss the renowned Art Institute of Chicago! In addition to being one of the country's oldest art museums, it's also one of the largest.

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The Art Institute features a permanent collection of some of the world’s most famous artworks, paintings, and sculptures, spanning thousands of centuries.

It also includes Pablo Picasso’s The Guitarist and Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks.

The museum also showcases Gustave Caillebotte’s ‘Rainy Day’ and ‘A Sunday on La Grande Jatte-1844’ by Georges Seurat.

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Also, don’t miss the Modern Wing of the Institute, designed by Renzo Piano. This space includes a state-of-the-art education center with:

  • classrooms
  • studios
  • a children’s bookstore
  • museum shop

At the same time, the top floor houses a restaurant, Terzo Piano, with outdoor seating options and a view of Millennium Park and the city’s incredible Michigan Avenue.

close up of Erin smiling on a sunny day

Written By Erin

Erin Poche` is a Utah-based writer and editor for Tripster and contributing writer for BeyondType1. She also writes and edits for an indie publisher of fanta ...

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