Feel like a Chicago Tourist for FREE with your kids

Written by: Mistie Lucht

This is the perfect time of year to spend the day as a tourist in your own city of Chicago!  Try this advernture with your little ones.

Attraction:  Millennium Park/ Target Tent/ Crown Fountain

Playgrounds: Lakeshore East Playground 

There is no better way to spend a summer day than at Millennium Park.  Here is how a typical day would work with my two girls and me. We would hop on the Brown Line el about 8:30am and get off at the Library Brown Line stop (it is the closest handicap accessible station, with an elevator, and my girls were in the double stroller.)  It is about a 10-minute walk to Millennium Park and we aim to arrive about 9am. The Park is easily accessible via walking from any loop, River North or Streeterville location.

We would splash and play in the Crown Fountain (a.k.a. the “Face” fountain) until 10am.  My family then headed over to the Family Fun Festival Tent, open daily in the summer from 10am-3pm, bursting with kids’ activities, crafts, and musical performances.  A picnic lunch on the Jay Pritzker Pavilion followed, and, if we were lucky, we could listen to an orchestra practicing for an upcoming performance.

Next we walked east to the Daley Bicentennial Park playground.  This playground and park is currently under construction until spring of 2015.  In the meantime, head to a truly hidden gem, the Lakeshore East playground.  Take Randolph east, then head north on N. Field Blvd.  You will walk straight into the green area, with beautiful fountains, green space, trees, and, despite its very close location to the hustle and bustle of Michigan Avenue, a very quiet, lovely playground with water spray features – perfect for summer.  And, with a newer addition of a Mariano’s Fresh Market there, you can fuel up with more snacks and take a bathroom break.

After the kiddos, and probably you, too, are tuckered out from play in the summer sun, head west on Randolph and back to the Clark/ Lake el stop, also handicap accessible if you have a stroller.  Next…naptime for the girls on the ride home.

Millennium Park:  201 E. Randolph St., between Michigan Ave. & Columbus Ave. Chicago, IL 60602; Phone: 312.742.1168, www.Millenniumpark.org.

Explore these playgrounds and hundreds more with the Playground Pointers iPhone/ iPad searchable app database.  With over 700 playgrounds and 3,500 photos (and growing) you can find just the perfect playground for your outdoor play needs and wants! 

Join us at the Strollers First 5K & Festival, on Sept 15 at Lakeshore East Park!

Posted on July 19, 2013 at 2:20 PM