Top 8 Summer Dos and Don'ts at Millennium Park

If you're going to visit Millennium Park, whether it's for a concert, a picnic, or a stroll, there are a few dos and don'ts to keep in mind to make your experience fun and hassle-free.

Photo: Lurie Garden Facebook

1. Do take a tour

Learn more about the park and Chicago with a Millennium Park Greeter Tour. From May 26 through October 8 these free tours depart from the Chicago Cultural Center every day at 11:30am and 1pm. There are also free tours through Lurie Garden. These take place on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays at 11am. They begin in early May and run through September 17. Meet at the south end of the boardwalk in Lurie Garden.

2. Do eat

New in 2017, food trucks will be parked in the park for most concerts and films. They'll be on the east side of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and they've got a variety, including The Cajun Connoisseur, Cheesie's, and Harold's Chicken Shack. Whether there's a concert or not the Great Lawn's always open for picnicing, unless there's a ticketed event like Chicago Gourmet. You can also have a seat at Running Table, a 100 foot long picnic table on the Chase Promenade just east of Cloud Gate.

3. Do have a drink

Cheers! Millennium Park is one of the only Chicago Park District parks that allows alcohol. You can bring your own for concerts at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, or you can get beer or wine at the Goose Island Beer Garden. At times there are ticketed events from outside vendors and they'll have their own rules, so check in advance. You can also get a cocktail at Park Grill's massive patio.

Photo: McDonald's Cycle Center

4. Do ride a bike

McDonald's Cycle Center is located right on the grounds of Millennium Park. It's equipped with showers, lockers, and bike parking. Visitors can rent a bike or sign up for a tour. There are also several Divvy Bike stations near Millennium Park. For the uninitiated, this is Chicago's extensive bike sharing program.

Want to take a bike tour? Check out all of these options (affiliate link)

5. Don’t ride a bike

While you can rent a bike, you can't actually ride it through the grounds. You also can't skate, rollerblade, or ride a skateboard. Basically, if it has wheels it's not allowed. Unless it's a wheelchair, of course. Speaking of wheelchairs, if you need one you can get a loan at the Millennium Park Welcome Center.

6. Don’t bring tents, flags or poles

The Great Lawn has an extensive underground irrigation system, so you're not allowed to stick anything into the ground. You also can't bring grills, open flame candles, or balloons.

7. Don’t bring pets

Despite being a park, pets are not allowed, so leave you furry friend at home. Service animals are the exception.

8. Do have fun!

Millennium Park is a jewel in Chicago's crown, and we don't just mean the Fountain. There's always something to do, and the most important one is to have fun!

For even more information on this great resource, check out The Local Tourist's Guide to Millennium Park.

Don't want to deal with parking near Millennium Park? Take a taxi (Download CURB and save $10 w/ code LOCAL10) or a ride-share service. If you're new to ride-sharing service use one of our codes and you'll get a credit with Uber and Lyft


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Theresa  Goodrich is the founder and publisher of The Local Tourist and author of "Two Lane Gems," an uplifting and slightly humorous tale of her 6,479.5-mile cross-country road trip. It's .

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