The best attractions in Irving Park

Cultural museums, family-friendly athletic facilities and public parks are among Irving Park's best attractions
Bootycandy at Windy City Playhouse
Photograph: Michael Brosilow Bootycandy at Windy City Playhouse
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One of those classic Northwest Chicago neighborhoods, Irving Park boasts an eclectic set of attractions and things to do. With ethnic museums and critically-acclaimed theater, there's no shortage of cultural offerings in Irving Park. The area is also home to some of the most diverse Chicago Parks District offerings in the city—from hockey to ceramics classes—as well as a bounty of farmers markets. Take the Blue Line out to Irving Park Road and explore this old-school Chicago community's top attractions.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete Irving Park neighborhood guide

Things to do in Irving Park

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas
Things to do, Literary events

Independence Park

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Independence Park features a playground, baseball diamonds, tennis courts and water spray amenities for the those hot summer days. It also hosts a Moms, Dads and Tots program, as well as a Tiny Tot tumbling class, popular among the neighborhood's young families. Perhaps most impressive is the park's programming for developmentally disabled children and adults. Additionally, the Independence Park Farmers' Market is held every other Sunday from June to October. 

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas
Museums

Latvian Folk Art Museum

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Located in the hub of Chicago's robust Latvian-American community, the Latvian Folk Art Museum spotlights rich Latvian traditions and culture. The museum boasts a collection of more than 300 works of art, from jewelry and woodworking pieces to folk costumes, weavings and more.

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McFetridge Sports Center
Photograph courtesy of Chicago Park District
Sports and fitness

McFetridge Sports Center

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Housing one of the Chicago Park District's two indoor ice rinks and its only indoor tennis courts, McFetridge Sports Center offers sports experiences for athletes of all ages. The facility regularly hosts competitive and recreational ice skating, hockey and tennis programs, as well as special events.

Things to do, Literary events

Irish American Heritage Center

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The Irish-American heritage center is a nonprofit organization that seeks to preserve Irish tradition and culture in Chicago. It boasts an extensive slate of programming on Irish dance, music, literature and more. With a library, museum, art gallery, classrooms and, of course, an in-house Irish pub, it's an excellent place for Irish-Americans to embrace their cultural history.

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Photograph: Michael Brosilow
Theater

Windy City Playhouse

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Windy City Playhouse is a mid-sized black box theater located in Irving Park, boasting plush seating and a bar. Still relatively new to the Chicago theater world (it opened in 2015), the Playhouse seeks to produce exceptional, yet accesible works. Subscription packages and group rates are available.

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas
Sports and fitness, Baseball & softball

Athletic Field Park

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Your kiddos will love Ahtletic Field Park. With a soft-surface playground and a spray feature, as well as baseball fields and tennis courts, there's something for everyone at this park. Atheltic Field Park's most popular program is its ceramics classes, located in the park's Ceramics Building. It also hosts a popular Summer Dance series, as well as a Halloween party.

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Things to do

Horner Park

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At a whopping 55 acres, Horner Park is one of the largest public parks on the North Side of Chicago. This Chicago Park District facility offers baseball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, gyms and a playground, as well as expansive green space to relax and picnic. The facility offers an array of classes—from woodworking to jazz ensemble—for adults, teens and children alike. Additionally, a weekly farmers market is held in Horner Park 9am–1pm on Saturdays, June through October.

Photograph: Olive Garden/Facebook
Restaurants

Olive Garden

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We can't recommend Olive Garden as one of the best restaurants in Irving Park, but it's certainly a neighborhood attraction. As the only location within city limits, the Irving Park Olive Garden is the only place in Chicago where you can eat infinite breadsticks. (Okay, that might not be true, but you can definitely get them here.) Take in the delicious, suburban strip mall glory that is the Olive Garden without going to the 'burbs.

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