SPRING 2018 – Spring has finally arrived. Despite April being abnormally cold, we’re holding out hope that May will play out differently. We don’t know about you but after a long, fairly gray winter, we’re certainly ready to add some color to our lives. Take Chicago’s motto, Urbs in Horto or “City in a Garden,” which was adopted on May 4, 1837, to heart and spend time outside.
Chicago has a sprawling park system that stretches from the Far North Side to the South Side and West Side. You can hit most areas of the city and see spring blooming and coming to life with plenty of flowers popping up to share their beautiful colors and leaves sprouting on top of trees and filling in the space above our heads once depleted by fall and winter. Yes, you can visit the Garfield Park Conservatory and Lincoln Park Conservatory in the colder months to escape to a tropical paradise on the North and West Sides, but now you can start visiting parks everywhere. And let’s not forget all the community gardens and private landscaping emerging at buildings and homes all over the city. Today, Chicago has more than 500 parks comprising more than 7,000 acres of land. Where will you go?
Lincoln Park: One of the most famous parks, Lincoln Park, which sits just off Lake Michigan starting in the Gold Coast and stretching all the way to the Far North Side, is the city’s largest at over 1,200 acres. With Lincoln Park Zoo, the Caldwell Lily Pool, numerous ponds, paths, gardens, museums, statues and other attractions, Lincoln Park draws in more than 20 million visitors annually.
Grant Park: Often referred to as Chicago’s front yard, Grant Park sits just steps from the Chicago Athletic Association hotel and offers a year-round playground with Buckingham Fountain, baseball fields, access to Burnham Harbor, the Museum Campus, Maggie Daley Park and Millennium Park. It’s also the home for many music festivals including Lollapalooza.
Humboldt Park: The crown jewel of the West Side, Humboldt Park boasts more than 200 acres and is the scene of many summertime family picnics, the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, the renovated Field House, fishing in the lagoon and more.
Jackson Park: With 500 acres, Jackson Park, the one-time home of the 1893 World’s Fair, sits adjacent to the Museum of Science and Industry and the University of Chicago. Here, you can stroll many bird trails through native prairie grasses, visit the Garden of the Phoenix, Wooded Island, koi ponds and more — and it’s the future home of the Barack Obama Presidential Library.