Things to Do: Parks & Recreation

Hyde Park’s myriad opportunities for recreation begin at the lakefront. Promontory Point juts out into the lake, providing spectacular views of downtown and a fine spot for a picnic. The Point connects with the Park District’s Lakefront Path, allowing Hyde Parkers to bike, walk, or jog for miles along the shore with no worries about traffic. At Jackson Park, you can watch sailboats in the harbor, play golf and tennis, swim at the sandy 57th Street beach, watch birds on the Wooded Island, or imagine yourself miles away from the city in the Osaka Japanese Garden.

Stretching from Jackson Park to Washington Park, Midway Plaisance, a legacy of the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, provides a welcome swath of green all along the southern end of the neighborhood. Its gardens, summer movies and concerts, and winter ice skating rink make it a favored recreational choice all year round. Numerous other smaller parks and playgrounds dot Hyde Park, giving young and old alike plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreation.

Looking for indoor recreation? The Hyde Park Neighborhood Club is a good place to start. It offers activities to all, from toddlers through seniors, including an after-school program and classes ranging from Brazilian martial arts to knitting. The Hyde Park Jewish Community Center runs a popular summer day camp as well as classes and sports leagues for children and adults. For bowling, head to Seven Ten Lanes on 55th Street.

If you’d rather be a spectator than a participant, you can cheer on the men and women of the University of Chicago Maroons or catch a fast-paced game of youth soccer.

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