Points of Interest: Chicago Parks & Places

Chicago Cultural Center

General Information
NFT Maps: 5, 6
Address: 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602
Website: www.chicagoculturalcenter.org or @ChiCulturCenter
Hours: Mon–Thurs 9 am–7 pm, Fri 9 am–6 pm, Sat 9 am–6 pm, Sun 10 am–6 pm

The Chicago Cultural Center is the Loop's public arts center. Free--that's right, we said FREE--concerts, theatrical performances, films, lectures, and exhibits are offered daily. Admission to the Cultural Center and its art ga ... (continue... )

Columbia College

General Information
NFT Maps: 8, 9, 11
Address: 600 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
Phone: 312-369-1000
Website: www.colum.edu or @ColumbiaChi
Event Information: www.colum.edu/calendar
Enrollment: 10,142 (2013)
Endowment: $123 million (2013)

Named in honor of the World's Columbian Exposition, Columbia College Chicago first opened in 1890 as a women's speech academy. Over time, it has become one of America's most diverse ... (continue... )

DePaul University

General Information
Lincoln Park Campus: Welcome Center, 2400 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
Phone: 773-325-7000 x5700
Loop Campus: 1 E Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: 312-362-8000
Naperville Campus: 312-476-4500/630-548-9378
Oak Forest Campus: 312-476-3000/708-633-9091
O'Hare Campus: 312-476-3600
Website: www.depaul.edu or @DePaulU
Enrollment: 24,414 (2013)
Endowment: $384 million (2013)

Establis ... (continue... )

Grant Park

Grant Park, where grass meets glass, is Chicago's venerable "front lawn." Spanning the Lake Michigan shoreline from N Randolph Street to S Roosevelt Road and west to Michigan Avenue, it's safe to say there's not a more trafficked park this side of New York City's Central Park. Grant Park is a study in contrasts: on the one side featuring massive summer festivals (such as the annual homage to obesity known as Taste of Chicago) that turn the park into Chicago's dirty doormat; ... (continue... )

Harold Washington Library Center

General Information
NFT Map: 5
Address: 400 S State St, Chicago, IL 60605
Phone: 312-747-4300
Website: www.chipublib.org or @chipublib
Hours: Mon–Thurs 9 am–9 pm, Fri–Sat 9 am–5 pm, Sun 1 pm–5 pm

The massive Harold Washington Library Center is named for Harold Washington (1925–1987), Chicago's first African American mayor, who served from 1983 until he died in office (literally in office--he was in meeting about school issues at the t ... (continue... )

Illinois Institute of Technology

General Information
NFT Map: 13, 14
Main Campus: 3300 S Federal St, Chicago, IL 60616
Phone: 312-567-3000
Website: www.iit.edu or @illinoistech
Enrollment: 7,850 (2013)
Endowment: $194 million (2013)

In the 19th century, when higher education was reserved for society's upper crust, meat magnate Philip Danforth Armour put his money to good use and funded an institution dedicated to students who wished to learn a variety of indus ... (continue... )

Jackson Park

Historic Jackson Park, named for Mary Jackson, original owner of the land and cousin to president Andrew Jackson, borders Lake Michigan, Hyde Park, and Woodlawn, and was, for a long time, an unused tract of fallow land. The 543-acre parcel was eventually transformed into a real city park in the 1870s thanks to Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux of Central Park fame. The Midway Plaisance connects Jackson Park to Washington Park.

Jackson Park experienced its 15 ... (continue... )

Loyola University of Chicago

General Information
Lake Shore Campus: 1032 W Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60626
Phone: 773-274-3000
Water Tower Campus: 820 N Michigan Ave, Chicago 60611
Phone: 312-915-6000
Health Sciences Campus: 2160 S First Ave, Maywood, IL 60153
Phone: 708-216-9000
Website: www.luc.edu or @LoyolaChicago
Enrollment: 15,957 (2014)
Endowment: $463 million (2014)

Loyola University, one of the largest Jesuit universities in the Unit ... (continue... )

McCormick Place

General Information
NFT Map: 11
Mailing Address: 2301 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60616
Phone: 312-791-7000
Website: www.mccormickplace.com or @McCormick_Place
South Building: Exhibit Hall A
North Building: Exhibit Halls B and C; Metra Train Station
Lakeside Center (East Building): Exhibit Halls D and E; 4,267-seat Arie Crown Theater (Level 2)
West Building: Exhibit Hall F; Transportation Center; Parking Lot A

When i ... (continue... )

Millennium Park

Only four years behind schedule (who's counting?) and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget (okay, this we counted), Millennium Park finally launched itself in July 2004 as the cultural epicenter Mayor Daley promised us it would be back in 1997. Even if it did take myriad stopgap funding measures resembling yesteryear Al Capone strong-arm tactics to eternally endow us with the AT&T Plaza, McCormick Tribune Plaza & Ice Rink, and the Chase Promenade, locals and t ... (continue... )

Navy Pier

General Information
NFT Map: 3
Address: 600 E Grand Ave Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312-595-7437
Website: www.navypier.com or @NavyPier
Pier Hours: Summer, 10 am–10 pm Sun–Thur, 10 am–10 pm Fri–Sat; Off-season 10 am–8 pm Sun–Thur, 10 am–10 pm Fri–Sat (winter closes 7 pm Sun). Closing times of restaurants, shops, and attractions vary by season, holiday, and public exhibitions/events.
Skyline Stage: 1,500-seat outdoor performance pavilion in Pier Park, performance ... (continue... )

University of Chicago

General Information
NFT Map: 19
Mailing Address: Edward H. Levi Hall, 5801 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637
Phone: 773-702-1234
Website: www.uchicago.edu or @UChicago
Enrollment: 15,000 (2014)
Endowment: $6.7 billion (2013)

Located amid the pleasant tree-lined streets of Hyde Park just seven miles south of downtown Chicago, the University of Chicago is a world-renowned research institution with a winning tradition in Nobel prizes ... (continue... )

Brookfield Zoo

General Information
Address: 31st St & First Ave, Brookfield, IL 60513
Phone: 708-688-8000
Website: www.brookfieldzoo.org or @brookfield_zoo
Hours: Open daily from 10 am-5 pm (6 pm weekends)
Admission: $16.95 adults, $11.95 children 3-11, seniors over 65, free for children two and under

While Lincoln Park Zoo is free, Brookfield offers a far more comprehensive wild animal experience with a strong emphasis on conservation educat ... (continue... )

Chicago Botanic Garden

General Information
Address: 1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe, IL 60022
Phone: 847-835-5440
Website: www.chicagobotanic.org or @chicagobotanic
Hours: Open 365 days, hours vary seasonally based on daylight
Admission: Free

Occupying 385 acres, the serene and lovely Chicago Botanic Garden has been the backdrop for many a chi-chi wedding since they opened the gates in 1972. The Botanic Garden is comprised of 26 gardens and four natural area. ... (continue... )

Ravinia Festival

Ravinia Festival
Address: 200 Ravinia Park Rd, Highland Park, IL 60035
Phone: 847-266-5100
Website: www.ravinia.org or @RaviniaFestival

The Ravinia Festival, the nation's oldest outdoor concert venue, has been hosting classical music concerts since 1904. The summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ravinia's crowded summer schedule also features pop, rock and jazz, as well as top names from opera and world music.

The Pavil ... (continue... )

Garfield Park

Since 1908 the historic West Side has been home to an equally historic botanical gem--Garfield Park Conservatory. The mid 1990s saw major restoration efforts, along with the creation of The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance, an organization that has raised money for various programs involving the Conservatory. The rest of the vast 185-acre park boasts fishing lagoons, a swimming pool, an ice rink, baseball diamonds, and basketball and tennis courts. Garfield Park's landmar ... (continue... )

Historic Pullman

General Information
Historic Pullman Foundation: www.pullmanil.org
Historic Pullman Visitor Center: 11141 S Cottage Grove Ave, 773-785-8901
Hours: Tues–Sun, 11 am–3 pm
Admission: $5 adults, $4 students under 18, $4 seniors

Although railroad magnate George Pullman's Utopian community went belly-up, the Town of Pullman he founded 14 miles south of the Loop survives as a National Landmark Historic District. Built between 1880 and 1885, Pull ... (continue... )

Lincoln Park

The largest of Chicago's 500-plus parks, Lincoln Park stretches 1,208 acres along the lakefront from the breeder cruising scene at the North Avenue Beach to the gay cruising scene at Hollywood Beach. The park boasts one of the world's longest bike trails, but thanks to an ever-increasing abundance of stroller pushers, leashless dogs, and earbud-wearing wheely-doodlers, the path proves treacherous for cyclists and pedestrians alike. Nonetheless, sporty types and summertime da ... (continue... )

Museum Campus

Museum Campus is the ultimate destination for educational field trips. South of Grant Park at the intersection of Roosevelt Road and Lake Shore Drive, Museum Campus's 57 acres of uninterrupted lakefront parkland connect three world-renowned Chicago institutions: The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum. You've got Mayor Daley to thank for all of this beautiful space; it was the bossman himself who championed the rerouting of Lake Shore D ... (continue... )

Six Flags Great America

General Information
Address: 1 Great America Pkwy, Gurnee, IL 60031
Phone: 847-249-4636
Website: www.sixflags.com/greatamerica or @SFGreat_America
Hours: Open May through October, 10:30 am until the evening (as late as 10 pm in middle of summer), but check calendar on website for specific hours and dates.
Entry: Full price tickets are $66.99 for adults and $46.99 for kids under 54"; online discounts available.

Metropolitan Chicago's ... (continue... )

Northwestern University

General Information
Evanston Campus: 633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208
Phone: 847-491-3741
Chicago Campus: Abbott Hall, 710 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312-503-8649
Website: www.northwestern.edu or @NorthwesternU
Enrollment: 21,000 (2014)
Endowment: $7.9 billion (2013)

Northwestern University, along with the University of Chicago, likes to think of itself as part of the "Ivy League of the Midwest." While this ... (continue... )

University of Illinois at Chicago

General Information
NFT Map: 26
Address: 1200 W Harrison St, Chicago, IL 60680
Phone: 312-996-7000
Website: www.uic.edu or @UICnews
Enrollment: 28,000 (2014)
Endowment: $675 million (2013)

With over 27,000 students, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is the largest university in the city. Located on the Near West Side, UIC is ethnically diverse and urban to the core. It is a leading public research university and home to ... (continue... )