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.
Went here for the first time Chicago had 80+ degrees on an April month and I guess everyone had the same idea of going because it was just crazy full and busy. If you have more than one child, please keep a good eye on them. I did lose my 7 yr old for 10 minutes till we finally found each other. It is beautiful and the scenes of the lake and tall buildings can be awestrucking. But it's the other people's attitudes that can ruin your day. There was no place to sit and there were people everywhere as if I was in a concert. This was at 4pm. Maybe come early morning or late evening to enjoy it best unless you don't mind the crowds. I'm glad we came but not sure if we will go again. I will just go to our neighborhood playgrounds
This place is a absolutely stunning place for every visitor and Chicagoans alike!!! There is a little for everyone! Family oriented, kid-friendly, romantic friendly, animal friendly, nature friendly; There is a little bit for everyone!!!! While many people with children find themselves at the park, there are a few quiet spots on the Randolf street side, across from Mariano's. I love to read and I go there because it is almost always quiet, aside from festivals and other activities. Everyone is pretty friendly and respect your space. The view there is absolutely stunning! My favorite of a million favorites in Chicago; The view! For those of you who have children, I suggest doing what I do when I tag along my nephews nieces with me. ( After losing one for 8 minutes at Navy Pier's Winter Wonderland). I tag all of them. I get these name tags and wrist bands and in permanent marker, I write a note something to the effect of " If I am lost or in case if emergency call my guardian." I place two numbers, my own and another in case of emergency. I do not put the names of the kids however, for the wrong person can use that against them. Before any trip in public outings, I also have a pep talk from the smallest to the biggest. We go through the rules for fun, learning, and respect for others. The main one being "if I can not see you and you can see me that's a problem. I also express to them, if they ever get lost, seek out a police officer or security guard, or a mommy and daddy whose together. If they must ask help from a daddy, ask help from a daddy who has children. And I tell them if a stranger calls them for no reason, scream, holler,... I also may place a tag inside their pants pockets in case they lose one. The bracelets are good because the stay on. Those are my suggestions, though for the most part, the park is safe. Also, if you get hungry, instead of buying food that costs and arm and a leg, get a healthy abs delicious meal at a sensible price from Mariano's. And if you are a penny pincher, the best deal is right off Michigan and Randolf ( Metra Train Station), if you go downstairs. There is burger king, a subway, a pizza restaurant, a taco restaurant, a healthy shake place, and even a nice lounge for those of you who wants to take drink. It is a lovely place to be at all times.
Love this park. I wish there were parks like this when I was a kid! My only complaint.... Being that this park is downtown and in Chicago, it is always packed with children, and when I say packed, I mean packed! It is very easy to lose your child if you take your eyes off of them for just a minute. My daughter climbed up the slide, and next thing you know I couldn't find her. Scariest 5 minutes of my life!! A security guard and two nice ladies brought her back to us, thank God! I recommend if you visits, have two adults with the kids at all times, if you have multiple kids!
This is one of the most stunning urban parks anywhere. The children's play areas are loosely organized by age yet all of the areas have the most fantastic universal access design. What is universal access? Almost every feature can be accessed by kids of all abilities and wheelchairs. Instead of putting in easy access features off to the side as an afterthought, this park allows a child in a wheelchair or crutches to move around and play right next to your hyperactive 10 years old climber.
Srirajasekhar Bobby Koritala
Love the Ribbon in Maggie Daley Park. What a gem! Skate it in winter for a one of a kind experience - bring your own skates since the rental lines can get kinda long. The climbing wall, the kids playground - everything is top notch. Fun for the whole family. Thank you to Mayor Daley and Maggie Daley for this wonderful legacy.