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Hyde Park & Kenwood Issue: Parks & Rec

Promontory Point, Jackson Park, and more

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Burnham Park Conceptualized by architect Daniel Burnham in the mid-1890s and home to the Century of Progress World's Fair in 1933-'34, this six-mile-long lakefront park connects Grant Park to Jackson Park, encompassing McCormick Place, the Museum Campus, and Northerly Island. Accessible by the lakefront bike path, the stretch within Hyde Park includes Promontory Point (see separate entry), plus baseball fields, tennis courts, and several playgrounds.  425 E. McFetridge, 773-256-0949. —Kevin Warwick

Bessie Coleman Park Formerly known as Willow Park, it was renamed to commemorate the nation's first female African-American pilot. It offers soft-surface playground areas, a spray pool, and curving planted areas.  5445 S. Drexel. —KW

Cornell Park This vest-pocket park developed in 1973 includes grassy play fields, a sledding hill, and a small soft-surface playground.  5473 S. Cornell. —KW

Houston Playground Park Named for Reverend Jessie "Ma" Houston, this well-shaded four-acre park features volleyball and basketball courts as well as a soft-surface playground.  5001 S. Cottage Grove. —KW

Jackson Park The site of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, this massive 600-acre park extends from the lake into the Hyde Park, Woodlawn, and South Shore community areas. Hyde Park's chunk features the Museum of Science and Industry, the 59th Street Harbor, the Wooded Island nature sanctuary and Osaka Garden, and a number of tennis courts. The park hosts cricket matches and a croquet club, as well as summer all-ages lawn bowling leagues for $50 a person (call 708-366-8228 for more info on lawn bowling).  6401 S. Stony Island, 773-256-0903. —KW

Kennicott Park Established in 1990 when the former Judd Elementary School site was turned over to the Park District, this park offers a fitness center and a wide range of programs, including basketball leagues, Pilates classes, and drum and piano lessons.  4434 S. Lake Park, 312-747-7138. —KW

Kenwood Community Park Jointly run by the Park District and the Chicago Board of Education since 1961, this park features four baseball fields, horseshoe and tennis courts, a small recreation building, and a spray pool.  1330 E. 50th, 312-747-6286. —KW

Midway Plaisance Park Initially envisioned as a canal connecting lagoon systems in Jackson and Washington parks, this narrow mile-long park was an auxiliary site for the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, housing foreign villages and amusements including the world's first Ferris wheel. The west end features the Allison Davis Garden and Loredo Taft's Fountain of Time, a 126-foot-long 1922 monument that's recently undergone a series of expensive restorations. The park also includes biking and jogging paths, soccer fields, and a skating rink (between Ellis and Woodlawn avenues, on the former site of the Ferris wheel).  Between 59th and 60th from Cottage Grove to Stony Island, 312-745-2470. —KW

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