Chicago’s loop, lakefront, and near North side as we know provide myriad fun family activities that won’t put a sting on your pocketbook. My location high up over Chicago Avenue provides access to everything from the trendiest eateries and watering holes on the one hand, to great-for-the kids Navy Pier, and the Crown fountain.
The Crown Fountain is a personal favorite of mine, on all but the coldest of winter days. Approaching the colossal towers of the Crown Fountain, we first encounter some of the other wonders of Millennium Park. The 21st Century Pritzker Bandshell, with rolling steal polished metal, before a myriad outdoor seats, and a vast grass plain for those who prefer to lounge and listen, will surly catch one’s eye and ear. On any given day, Chicago residents are apt to hear live and spellbinding music from the Pritzker Bandshell. From there the Cloud Gate sculptor, nicknamed for its bean-like appearance, “The Bean”, reflects the sky, the city’s dazzling buildings, and the bypasser himself.
But the unexpected prize is the Crown Fountain. This shallow reflection pool is a gathering point for Chicagoans, and their children. At either end of the pool stand 50 foot high glass towers, on which are emblazoned the visages of ordinary faces; forthcoming, a collage of these colossal faces. These visages appear at first motionless, but the patient watcher will soon notice a blink and a smile. The children playing below are oblivious to all but sun and water, and await the gleeful moment when the face on the tower parts knowing lips, to produce an outpouring of cool water to wash over the babies below. Then a new face appears, and the suspense begins anew.
From the Crown Fountain, a short trolley ride, free of charge, open air, will whisk us to Navy Pier, where the children can enjoy the rides, or enjoy food and companionship at the conservatory of plants and flowers, which overlooks many, many rare and unusual stores and boutiques. The Pier spans a quarter mile of turns and twists. Plan if you will on several days to see it all.
While visiting Navy Pier, don’t miss the IMAX Theater, which features a towering six story high viewing screen. Viewing in the IMAX Theater is the experience of a life time; one can scarcely take in the entirety of the enormous screen at any one time. Add to that the very incredible IMAX 3D experience, far beyond “State of the Art”, and you experience a unique departure from the ways of the world.
If I reveal more upon the trendy eateries moving toward Ashland, on Chicago Avenue, I betray a trust. These you may find and enjoy for yourselves.