Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the 80-acre Midway Plaisance was laid out during the construction of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition to link Jackson and Washington Parks, hence the name "Midway." During the exposition, the Midway was home to the world's first Ferris wheel, and this is how the term "midway" has become associated with carnivals and fairs. The park now is basically just a broad boulevard with a grassy median that sets off the majestic buildings of the University of Chicago campus.
Ice skating is offered in winter. A nearby warming house features lockers, restrooms and a snack bar.