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Music in Millennium Park

Groups that plan a multinight stay in Chicago during the warm summer months can enjoy some of the city’s best ambiance, as well as some free entertainment, during a concert series that takes place in Millennium Park downtown.

“Grant Park Orchestra plays all summer long in Millennium Park for free,” said Joleen Harlan. “They have free shows there once or twice a week.”

The orchestra’s performances are an outgrowth of the Grant Park Music Festival, an outdoor concert series that was held in the city’s Grant Park until attendance outgrew the space available there and moved to Millennium Park. Today, the concerts take place in the park’s beautiful Pritzker Pavilion, a space designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. Groups of 10 or more can reserve seating in the covered pavilion or show up at their leisure for relaxed seating on the lawn around the stage.

“The lawn seats are perfect for picnics, so groups can bring a boxed meal and come have a great music experience,” Harlan said. “It’s a great value for tour operators because you’re getting the music free. And everybody likes to get up and walk around to take group pictures in front of ‘the bean’ sculpture in the park.”

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.