Affectionately named Chicago's "front yard," Grant Park is the primary destination for outdoor activities in the neighborhood. Stretching a total of 319 acres, the park hosts many annual events and festivals for the city of Chicago. Other notable parks include Northerly Island and Burnham Park, with the latter bordering Soldier Field stadium.
Locals and visitors alike visit these parks for their scenic views of Lake Michigan and wide open spaces. Grant Park provides the greatest number of options when it comes to outdoor sports, with plenty of baseball fields, tennis courts and walking trails. Many people visit Northerly Island for its open-air amphitheater called Charter One Pavilion, which hosts large performances and concerts during summer months.
All of South Loop's parks cost nothing to enter, and most services besides food and beverage purchases are also free. Burnham Park holds sway as the most dog-friendly
park of the area, with a multitude of bike paths, walking paths and open fields for frisbee or fetch. Grant Park also represents a prime location for dogs due to its large size and freedom of space. All parks remain kid-friendly, but Burnham Park may top the others due to its man-made sledding hill.
South Loop buzzes with activity throughout the year but especially in summertime. Grant Park welcomes numerous festivals throughout these warmer months, including Taste of Chicago, The Grant Park Music Festival, Lollapalooza and the Chicago Marathon. Every year, these events attract thousands of visitors to the neighborhood.
At the northeast corner of Grant Park lies Daley Bicentennial Plaza, which contains some of the best exercise
equipment and facilities in the area. Daley Bicentennial Plaza offers a full fitness center with everything you might need for your workout.