Chicago is an excellent destination to be outdoors. In fact, there are plenty of things to do in the city for those who are seeking the outdoors. So, if you are wondering about what things to do in Chicago that can be done outdoors, then this is for you. Here are some ideas for what you can do outdoors in this amazing metropolis.
Millennium Park is located in the northwestern section of Grant Park just east of Chicago’s Loop area. This gorgeous park has a few features within it that you will want to check out. The first is the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. This is a bandshell designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. This bandshell is noted for its curving plates of stainless steel that are above the lush ellipse-shaped lawn.
The lawn at the bandshell is available for you to sit on and have picnics, enjoy the music, or just to soak in the outdoor atmosphere. In addition, there are free music performances taking place on the bandshell’s stage. The second feature you should check out is Cloud Gate. This is an iconic sculpture that is shaped like a giant bean.
It serves as a giant mirror that reflects the surrounding area including the skyline of Chicago’s Loop area. This sculpture was designed by famed British artist Sir Anish Kapoor. Because of its shape, Cloud Gate is given the nickname of The Bean. If you are looking to get wet, you will want to check out the Crown Fountain. It is basically an interactive work of public art and video sculpture.
The Crown Fountain takes the form of a pair of transparent glass brick towers housed on opposing sides of the black granite reflecting pool. Each of these two towers are 50 feet tall. They are used to show the faces of random Chicago residents in the form of LED videos. There is a process in which the water is spit out of the mouths of those who are shown on the screens.
That will get you wet if you stand in the way when the water gets spit out. Another feature you should check out at Millennium Park is the Lurie Garden. It is a beautiful public garden that is home to a combination of perennials, bulbs, grasses, shrubs, and trees. Lurie Garden is divided into two plates. The first of the two is the dark plate.
The dark plate symbolizes Chicago’s history with its shade-friendly plants. A combination of trees provide the shade canopy for these plants. The dark plate has a muted set of colors.
The other plate is the light plate. This plate symbolizes Chicago’s future with its sun-friendly perennials. There are no shade canopy from trees. That way the perennials will thrive in light and heat. The light plate has a bright set of colors. These two plates are divided by a diagonal seam boardwalk.
Buckingham Fountain is located in the central eastern section of Grant Park. The beautiful fountain is very large. In fact, it is one of the largest fountains in the world. The fountain is shaped like a rococo wedding cake. From April to October, the fountain produces regular water shows. During the winter, the fountain is decorated with festive lights.
During the evening, the fountain shows off its stunning colors with the color-light shows. These also happen between April and October. During that period, a major water show will happen for about 20 minutes every hour with a center jet shooting water as high as 150 feet. The fountain itself is surrounded by permeable pavers as well as seasonal plantings and gardens.
Have you imagined being in a place where you are at a river that is surrounded by soaring skyscrapers? You will want to head to the Chicago Riverwalk in order to turn your imagination into reality. The riverwalk is located on the south bank of the Chicago River. It goes from Lake Street all the way to Lake Shore Drive for a total of about 1.25 miles.
In addition to soaking in the views of skyscrapers that line up both sides of the Chicago River, you can also go under Chicago’s famous moveable bridges that crosses the river. You can observe the boats, canoes, and kayaks as they navigate the Chicago River.
During your time at the riverwalk, you will witness a variety of birds wandering and flying around. These include mallards, ring-billed and herring gulls, rock pigeons, American robins, European starlings, and Peregrin falcons.
The riverwalk houses coves, cafes, wineries and bars, public art, monuments, and museums. The riverwalk also has beautiful landscaping. The Chicago River is referred to as Chicago’s Second Waterfront.
The 606 is located in the northwestern Chicago neighborhoods of Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square, and Humboldt Park. This scenic park used to be an elevated railway for the movement of cargo. The park is linear, elevated, and has a trail running through it. So, this is a unique park that you should check out in Chicago.
As this park is elevated, you will be able to seamlessly cross multiple streets without having to watch out for traffic. You will also be able to take in breathtaking views of the surrounding areas from the elevated park. There are scenic lookouts, an observatory, and public art installations on the elevated park. The elevated park will also connect seamlessly to multiple street-level parks. The elevated park is about 2.7 miles long.
These are just some ideas for what things to do in Chicago. But, these are great ways to take in the outdoors while in Chicago.
If you are looking for a hotel to stay overnight at in Chicago, I have your back. Here are the two hotels that I would suggest you to book your stay at.
LondonHouse Chicago, Curio Collection by Hilton
This hotel is located on East Wacker Drive on the south bank of the Chicago River. It is housed in a 22-story tower designed in the Beaux Arts architectural style. The tower that houses the hotel once housed the headquarters for London Guarantee & Accident. The tower was built in 1923, but recently underwent renovations for this hotel. This hotel has both a classic and contemporary feel to it.
There is an onsite restaurant called Land & Lake Kitchen. There is a rooftop bar onsite that is about three stories. It is called Tri Level Rooftop Bar and it allows for breathtaking views of the surrounding skyline. There is a fitness center available for your workouts. There is also a sauna at the hotel that you can use.
Some of the rooms and suites at the hotel offer breathtaking views of the Chicago River and the numerous moveable bridges that dots the river. There is WiFi, Nespresso coffee makers, and mini refrigerators. The average rate for a standard room range from $123 to $416. You can go here to explore your booking options and/or check out some photos.
Hyatt Regency Chicago
This hotel is located on East Wacker Drive on the south bank of the Chicago River. This is currently Chicago’s largest hotel, having the most rooms at 2,032 rooms. This hotel houses five restaurants and bars. They are Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi, American Craft Kitchen & Bar, The Living Room, BIG Bar, and Market Chicago. There is also a fitness center available at the hotel 24 hours per day.
All of the hotel’s rooms and suites offers a few types of stunning views. It can be views of the Chicago River, Lake Michigan, or general city skylines, depending on which room or suite you get. All of the rooms and suites will have WiFi and coffee makers. The suites will also have separate living and dining areas. You can request a mini refrigerator for a one time fee of $25.
The average rate for a standard room range from $158 to $439. You can go here to book your stay and/or view some photos.
What are your thoughts? Are you planning on doing anything outdoorsy when you are in Chicago? Feel free to leave a comment below.