Why do we love the IMA’s public space across the canal from the museum proper? This ain’t your granny’s sculpture garden. Although some installations can be somber (Park of the Laments, Alfredo Jaar), the majority seem playful, most notably the hoops-inspired Free Basket by Los Carpinteros. The park is art-as-immersion at its best: a viewing pier, benches, swing sets, the visitor’s pavillion and concession stand are all intriguing works in their own right. And Atelier Van Lieshout’s Funky Bones even makes a cameo in John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. Whether you bike in on the canal or walk over from IMA, the property around the IMA’s 35-acre lake has come a long way from the bike paths and gravel access roads northsiders remember from decades past.
4000 Michigan Road, 923-1331, www.imamuseum.org/visit/100acres
2nd: Eagle Creek Park
3rd: Holliday Park
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