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Nichols Park In addition to tennis courts, a baseball field, and a reflecting pool, this park houses the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, which offers youth basketball leagues, hip-hop dance classes, a youth soccer program, knitting classes, piano lessons, a branch school of Fitzgerald's Martial Arts (see below), and more. 1355 E. 53rd, 312-747-2703. —KW
Promontory Point This later addition to Burnham Park, designed by landscape architect Alfred Caldwell in the mid-30s, features a "rock beach" for swimming and sunning, "council rings" (used as fire pits), and a field house that's popular for weddings. 55th and South Shore Drive, 312-747-6620. —KW
Other Small Parks and Playlots Bixler Playlot Park (5651 S. Kenwood), Butternut Playlot Park (5324 S. Woodlawn), Elm Playlot Park (5215 S. Woodlawn), Madison Park (1200 E. Madison Park), Spruce Playlot Park (5337 S. Blackstone), Stout Park (5446 S. Greenwood), Sycamore Playlot (5109 S. Greenwood), Harold Washington Playlot Park (5200 S. Hyde Park).
AYSO 751 This region of the American Youth Soccer Organization features eight-week fall and spring soccer seasons for ages 4 to 19, as well as winter indoor sessions. 5516 S. Cornell, 773-324-5425, ayso751.org, spring registration $135 (includes uniform, trophy, and photo package). —KW
Fitzgerald's Martial Arts Specializing in Tang Soo Do (empty hand and foot fighting), this martial arts school offers Mon-Sat classes that range from beginner to adult, as well as a summer karate camp for ages 5 to 12, in a 2,200-square-foot training area. The first week of beginner classes is free. 1742 E. 55th, 773-643-5648, fitzgeraldsmartialarts.com, $95 monthly membership. —KW
Seven Ten Lanes This eight-lane bowling alley is within shouting distance of the university and also houses nine pool tables, dart boards, and a number of private party rooms for large groups. 1055 E. 55th, 773-347-2695, sparetimechicago.com, lanes $16-$25 per hour, shoe rental $3, billiards $12-$20 per hour. —KW
XS Tennis Once known as XS Tennis & Golf (before losing the golf), this tennis club hosts 8-, 10-, and 11-week classes for juniors and adults, in addition to leagues and school programs. Nonmembers can participate in Friday-night doubles from 7-10 PM for $25. The pro shop sells and strings racquets. 1301 E. 47th, 773-548-7529, xstennis.com, memberships $150 adult, $275 family, $75 junior, $260 league. —KW