Attractions in Hyde Park
Located in Jackson Park, one of Chicago's oldest parks, 57th Street Beach is easily accessible via a pedestrian underpass near the Museum of Science and Industry. A popular destination for sunbathers and parents with kids in tow, the lakefront swath of sand features concessions, restrooms and a life guard first aid station.
For 60 years in heady Hyde Park, on the University of Chicago’s campus, the Court has stood its ground, mounting classics from Sophocles to Stoppard. It’s a healthy diet, though in the last few years, groovy deconstructions of vintage musicals and heightened interest in African-American writers have thickened the mix.
Named for Chicago's first African-American mayor, Harold Washington Playlot Park offers a playground, tennis courts, chess tables and a motorboat pond to residents of Hyde Park.
Designed by famous landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, Jackson Park became the chosen site for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. Today, the 600-acre park offers golf, baseball, a fitness center, basketball, a playground, tennis courts and paths for walking, jogging or biking.
During the World Columbian Exposition of 1893, Midway Plaisance Park was filled with amusement park rides and attractions. Today, the park serves as a connector between Jackson and Washington Parks, featuring paths for biking, walking and jogging. It's also the home of the ornate "Fountain of Time" statue, which features Father Time standing over a reflecting pool.
If you’re into exhibits loaded with interactive bells and whistles, this expansive Hyde Park locale is your ticket. The museum’s focus is broad, with permanent displays that include the popular mirror maze in the "Numbers in Nature" exhibit, the whiz-bang "Science Storms," plus the old faves: a restored U-505 German submarine, a simulated coal mine and a vintage diesel-electric train.
With two playgrounds, a baseball diamond and a sandbox, Nichols Park is a popular destination for playdates and after-school programs. The grounds feature community flower and vegetable gardens in addition to a sprawling wildflower meadow.
There's a good chance that you know at least one person who has considered getting hitched on Promontory Point, a man-made peninsula on the shore of Lake Michigan. Accessible via the Lakefront Trail, the park boasts amazing views of the Chicago skyline and a field house that could be mistaken for a small castle.
As far as this gallery of the University of Chicago’s campus is concerned, the avantest of the avant-garde is the only one that matters. As for the name, well, the university wants to broaden the definition of renaissance. (Think less Michelangelo, more the Next Michelangelo, in other words.) The white walls and high ceiling create a hyper-resonant environment. Many European avant-garde stars get their only Chicago exposure here, and the shows are free.