Just back from a return visit to Chicago, one of our discoveries was the new Maggie Daley Park, a big hit with families.
Located on the lakefront downtown, just east of Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park has a Play Garden, Climbing Wall, mini-golf, ice skating in winter, lots of grass to run around, and picnic tables.
The Play Garden is divided into different spaces for younger kids (ages 2 -5), and bigger kids (ages 5 -12). The Sea is a themed area with blue and red ship to explore, dolphin and turtle to climb all over, and water play area for little kids; older kids will want to climb up the red and white lighthouse, and slide down, then go to the Watering Hole to play under a whale tail that spouts water!
Along with the usual swings, in The Harbor toddlers can gently rock back and forth in wooden boats, and kids love climbing into Nested Swings (holds two) to fly into the sky.
Slide Crater is not just silver slides into a blue-green abyss (playground soft geofoam), the large wooden tower and suspension bridge are fun for everyone in the family (parents too).
In the Enchanted Forest, explore a mini-maze of quaking aspen trees with mirrors in the center, a fabulous sensation in skyscraper downtown Chicago.
At the Climbing Wall, kids can put on a helmet, climb their way to the top, then smoothly slide back down on a rope. It’s fun just to watch boys and girls making their way to the top of the wall.
Skating Ribbon – In winter, late November to March, go ice skating on the “ice ribbon” around the Climbing Wall. Ice skates for rental, and cups of hot chocolate.
Tip: The Park is open until 11pm, with big bright lights.