Despite being 20 years old, I am still a huge fan of parks. Maybe I’ve been babysitting too much, but I highly enjoy the springtime atmosphere of places with slides, swings, and seesaws.
In Chicago, there is one park to end all parks — the 20-acre beauty known as Maggie Daley Park. Located right next to Millennium Park, the Art Institute, and Lake Michigan, this park cost an estimated $60 million to build and is complete with rock climbing walls, intense playground equipment, open lawn space, and benches. Additionally, around 1000 new trees were planted in the park to make up for the 900 trees that were displaced.
While some of the park is still under construction, what currently stands is quite impressive. The sprawling park even had suggested ages for parents to find out which layout and equipment would be best for their child. For example, there were multiple swing sets, but the more hands on swing sets had a suggested age of 3-5 while another swing set had a suggested age of 5-12. The same type of signs served as recommendations for slides and other equipment, which is something I’ve never seen before at a park.
Maggie Daley Park is extremely family friendly and I think I even saw a few parents having more fun than their own children. Not going to lie, I went down the slide and it was probably the highlight of my week. But don’t worry, I didn’t push any 5 year olds out of the way. I patiently waited my turn.
When I visited Maggie Daley Park, I was leaving the Art Institute, exiting through the Modern Wing entrance, and could see the park in the distance. I dragged my roommate along to come check it out with me. With the weather a cool but humid 70 degrees, it was a beautiful day to be introduced to the new park.
Even if you no longer classify yourself as a child, you should definitely check out Maggie Daley Park and reminisce on the days when parks were the reason for your existence. And if you’re like me, you might even go down a slide…or two.