The South Loop community is home to Cottontail Park, a 2-acre swath of green space carved out of Chicago's downtown. Views of skyscrapers mingle with the greenery of the park. Leashed dogs are welcome here, and the park boasts a tempting huge grassy field where they might romp and run. But be aware that the park is not fenced and local police enforce the leash law with fervor, so keep your pup on a lead throughout.
The name of Cottontail Park derives from the abundance of Eastern Cottontail rabbits that live there. Accustomed to people, they often venture out in search of picnic leftovers, and are chased back to their bushy shelters by the children and pups.
Nicely landscaped, and planted with trees, lush grass, shrubs and flowers, this is an idyllic respite from the city's traffic. The park has many planters filled with flowers and grasses in the summertime, adding to its picturesque setting, and benches are scattered here and there for resting, reading a book or having a snack with Fido by your side. Rabbit and butterfly-watching are common pastimes. Be sure to keep the pup leashed to avoid harm to the fluffy park denizens.
A paved walking path stretches from one entrance to another, with benches and lamp posts lining the route. A large shelter with seating sits in the center with a surrounding plaza, and is host to church BBQs, reunions and other gatherings. The aforementioned grassy field is pawrfect for frisbee-tossing or a pick-up softball game. A water fountain near the playground provides refreshment while the kiddos play among the stone sculptures of cute animals and the stone playhouse.
Open year-round, Cottontail is the setting for special events, such as a community Christmas tree left on the plaza and decorated by park-goers, and the Easter Egg Hunt. Movies in the Park are summertime fare, and your pooch is welcome to join you on a blanket or beside your lawn chair.
If you are looking for a furbulous place to relax or walk with your furry bestie, Cottontail Park is the spot!