Maggie Daley Park
Â In 2012, the Chicago Park District began transforming the northeastern part of Grant Park into Maggie Daley Park. For many decades, an expansive surface parking lot occupied this site with a portion of the Illinois Central's sunken rail yard extending along the northwestern edge. In the mid-1970s, the Chicago Park District replaced the old park lot with the Richard J. Daley Bicentennial Plaza, a complex that provided a new 3700-car underground garage with major recreational facilities. Dedicated to Chicago's former Mayor Richard J. Daley (1902 - 1976), the facility included a new fieldhouse for indoor recreational programming as well as several outdoor amenities such as tennis courts, an ice skating rink, picnic areas, and Grant Park's first playground.
In 2009, the City of Chicago and the Park District began plans to renovate the underground parking garage and fieldhouse and enliven the outdoor elements in this area. Over the next several years, thousands of citizens participated in community workshops and meetings to help determine the programming for this prominent lakeshore site which lies just east of Millennium Park. The Park District hired Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, an internationally renowned landscape architecture firm to design the new park space. Serving as a counterpoint to the symmetry and formality of Grant Park, the design incorporates curvilinear forms, dramatic topography, and many whimsical elements.
The Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners renamed the site in honor of Maggie C. Daley (1943 - 2011) Chicago's longtime first lady, who was deeply committed to improving the lives of children and making the city culturally rich for all of its citizens. Maggie Daley was the co-founder of Gallery 37, a cultural arts program for teens in the summer. This led to the creation of After School Matters, a non-profit organization that offers Chicago teens innovative activities in the arts, communication, science, sports and technology. It is now the nation's largest out-of-school program of its kind for teenagers.
A dynamic force behind many of Chicago's non-profit organizations, large and small, Mrs. Daley was a tireless advocate for her city. Today, she is remembered for her grace, perseverance, zest for life, and commitment to a better Chicago.
What a terrific place to take kids. We brought our boys there a few times while in town. It's in way better condition than you expect. I'm just used to run down stuff in Toledo, so I didn't expect much. The slides and climbing towers are really awesome to see. The splash pad was perfect for the hot weather. Also, all the parents and people there are very polite, and all seem to enjoy each other's conversations as much as the kids love playing. That's just what must be part of the friendly attitude of Chicago.
This was my first time going here and we had a blast!! Many different parks and a couple of splash pads. Each park has an age rating so it makes it easy to navigate. I have a 2 year old and this was an awesome time for her. Would recommend to any family! Plus great views of the skyline!!
My oldest daughter was a little old for this (she is 11) but admitted it was a truly awesome park. She even went on the slides. My 7 year old had a blast! I wish I had brought the swimsuits because there were some cute water features that I missed reading about. It definitely had a Wow factor.
This place is amazing. The playground is the best I have ever seen. There is something for everyone; small slides and tiny climbing hills for toddlers, water play, baby swings, "nest swings" which are perfect if you have 2 or 3 kids, forts with tall slides for older kids. A really large climb wall and roller skate area. Make sure to park in the Millennium Park Garage Lakeside. Or street park on or near Randolph St.
I was recently in the Chicago area and happened to stop by Maggie Daley Park. It's a spectacular place in Chicago and a good place to relax and take a break from the busy streets of the city. It's mainly good for little kids (aged from infants to 6) because a lot of the playground setup and equipment is meant for them, but if you have older kids it's not too bad either because there's still the large playground and the Enchanted Forest areas that they will still enjoy. If you are there by yourself, enjoy a nice popsicle and a shady bench to cool off and chill (if the heat's still bothering you, I'm sure the water in the Enchanted Forest will cool you down).