Millennium Park is at N. Michigan Ave. and E. Randolph St.; a welcome center is at 201 E. Randolph St. in the Northwest Exelon Pavilion. Adjacent to Grant Park and Chicago's lakefront, this 25-acre park features sculptures, gardens, a tree-lined promenade, a theater and an outdoor music pavilion. The park's focal point is “Cloud Gate” a free-form sculpture made of mirrorlike stainless steel. Visitors can see their reflections as they pass through the arched space beneath this 33-foot high, 110-ton artwork designed by British artist, Anish Kapoor.
When the weather is warm, parents take their children to splash around in The Crown Fountain, which has two 50-foot-high, glass-brick video towers showing a rotating display of diverse faces contributed by a thousand Chicagoans. Streams of water periodically shoot from the towers, making it look like the images are spitting into a shallow basin.
Another park highlight is the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion with its distinctive band shell framed by huge folded ribbons of stainless steel. An impressive trellis made of interlaced steel pipes supports the pavilion's state-of-the-art sound system, allowing 11,000 concertgoers to enjoy outdoor music performances. The Millennium Monument, a replica of a 1917 neoclassical peristyle that once stood at this location, dominates the park's Wrigley Square.
An ice rink at McCormick Tribune Plaza accommodates skaters in winter. The 1,500-seat Harris Theater for Music and Dance hosts productions by several performing arts organizations. Free 1-hour guided tours of the park depart from the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph St., in summer. Guided and self-guiding tours of Lurie Garden also are available seasonally.
Guided tours are available. Picnicking is permitted. Food is available.
Hours: Grounds daily 6 a.m.-11 p.m. Welcome center daily 9-7, June 1-Labor Day; 10-4, other holidays; 10-4, rest of year. Guided tours are given daily at 11:30 and 1, Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day. Allow 2 hours, 30 minutes minimum.