If you’re looking to take a break from your daily city routine, one of my favorite ways to relax is by hanging out at some of Chicago’s gorgeous green spaces. With 1800 acres of greenery and 600 parks in Chicago, you can quickly go from being surrounded by buildings to being surrounded by foliage. Here are some of my favorite thriving green spaces that you should definitely check out across Chicago, Illinois:
Beautiful Parks Worth Checking Out in Chicago
First on the list and located on the west side of Chicago is Humboldt Park. Humboldt Park became a part of Chicago in 1869 and about 124 years later I was born in the same neighborhood. Named after a German, Alexander von Humboldt, originally this area had a large number of German, Scandinavian and Italian immigrants. It wasn’t until the 1970s when culture shifted and Puerto Ricans started moving into the area; by the 1980s they were the biggest group. That’s when the Humboldt Park that we know today was created.
Humboldt Park is popular for its Puerto Rican culture. You will hear it as you walk through the park, you will smell it as you pass delicious restaurants and you will know it when you see the big Puerto Rican flags arching over Division Street. It really is a full package and I always recommend you go.
As for seasonal activities, there’s so much to do within the Humboldt Park area. Some popular events include the Puerto Rican fest that happens every June, the Colombian fest in July, the Sangria festival in August and so much more. I filmed a bit of Humboldt Park in my Free Things to do in Chicago video and recorded a bit of the park before I went to the Marvel Exhibit in this vlog.
Second on the list and located on the north side of Chicago near Lincoln park is Oz Park. If you didn’t know the author and creator of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz actually was a resident of Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood since 1891 and Oz Park was named after him in 1976. He wrote over 60 books and he was specially made popular after the movie The Wizard of Oz was released.
Today you can visit Oz Park and photograph yourself with the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, Dorothy, and Toto. You can also admire the Emerald Garden and check out Dorothy’s Play Lot which is in memory of a local school teacher.
📍: 2021 N Burling St, Chicago, IL 60614
Riverbank Neighbors Park
Located on the north side of Chicago near Horner Park is Riverbank Neighbors Park. What started as an idea and became a beautiful trail and park, Riverbank Neighbors Park has come a long way. Initially being an accumulation of trash that found its way from floating down the Chicago River, the land in the area wasn’t as beautiful as it is today.
Today Riverbank Neighbors Park is a beautiful trail lined with Illinois Native plants. The locals in the area cleaned up the trash and created designated trails lined with beautiful plants so that it’s now a refreshing space for people to walk through. Nestled behind several homes, I can’t believe that this place is Chicago, Illinois. I always recommend taking some time to walk the trail and reflect on the positive changes that you could make within your community.
Another favorite park of mine in Chicago is Lincoln Park. There’s Northside Park is a favorite of mine because of all of the green everywhere. Lincoln Parks residential area, park area, and businesses all have more than a hint of green and not only is it beautiful, but it feels significantly cooler on a summer day.
Picture of flowers near Lincoln Park.
Not only is Lincoln park gorgeous, but there’s so much to do in the area that you can spend hours filling your Lincoln park itinerary with different activities. Some of the popular attractions are the Lincoln Park Conservatory, the Lincoln Park zoo and North Avenue beach. My favorite attractions are the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, the Bridge Over South Pond, and Chicago History Museum. I share a little bit of Lincoln Park in my Free Things to do in Chicago, Illinois vlog.
Located in the Loop is the most popular park on this list, Maggie Daley Park. Named after a previous First Lady, Maggie Daley spent her time promoting programs for the Children of Chicago. With over 20 acres, Maggie Daley Park has a ton of green space and activities.
This park is extremely family-friendly and with activities for kids of all ages, you’ll be sure to have enough fun for everyone. Some popular attractions are the climbing wall, mini golf, and the Play Garden; during the wintertime, you can go ice-skating here too.
While the parks listed above are just a few of my favorites, Chicago has a ton of gorgeous parks. I would love to hear which of the city green spaces you enjoy hanging out up so I could possibly check come out as well.
If you’re looking for more things to do in Chicago, I suggest checking out my other blogs about this city: I share free admission activities for you to fill your itinerary with and tips for traveling to Chicago. Fill your Chicago trip itinerary with these fun and budget-friendly events so that you can experience the city more with a smaller budget. I’ll see you there!