Disney might disagree, but I think Millennium Park is the happiest place in the world – or at least in Chicago. It’s a fun, relaxed space, with tree lined paths for strolling, fountains, gardens, a futuristic outdoor concert venue and The Bean. Officially named Cloud Gate, it is affectionately called The Bean for obvious reasons. It’s a selfie-shame-free zone, everyone delighting in watching themselves (and everyone else) reflected in the mirrored surface along with the surrounding Chicago skyline.
Millennium Park is also home to the amazing Lurie Garden, designed in part by renowned landscape designer Piet Oudolf. Built over parking garages and a commuter railroad, it is actually one of the largest green roofs in the world and serves as a living example of sustainability in the urban landscape. It’s also gorgeous, planted with a range of mostly native plants that thrive in this specific environment.
Millennium Park is also the location, among many highlights, of the breathtaking, futuristic Jay Pritzker Pavillion, the Crown Fountain with it’s moving faces (fascinating and a tiny bit creepy), a walking bridge over Randolph Street for great views, and lots of walking paths and spots for relaxation in the midst of the city.
Of course, it helped that the weather was brilliant when I visited, and that spring was in full, glorious bloom, but I look forward to visiting again, maybe in the fall when the prairie grasses in the Lurie Garden are at their height, and to experiencing the various moods of the park. I think it will be a delight anytime.