If you love visiting fun outdoor areas of the Windy City, then you’ll definitely appreciate all the parks the city has to offer.
Despite Chicago being known for its urban skyscrapers, the city also offers plenty of amazing green spaces. This is especially great for those who enjoy outdoor activities, or for families raising kids in the city.
In fact, the Chicago Park District owns more than 8,800-acres of green space and has more than 600 parks around the city. These parks offer not just physical activities, but also arts & crafts, cultural, and environmental programs for everyone.
The best parks in Chicago
The best neighborhood in Chicago for a family would be one where children are able to get out and explore, play sports, and be active. Luckily, there are plenty of beautiful parks in Chicago along with their unique perks to check out, so your little ones will never get bored.
Here are some of the city’s best parks and the best homes for sale in Chicago near these green spaces.
1. Grant Park
337 E. Randolph St. Chicago, IL 60601
Neighborhood: The Loop
Grant Park is a 319-acre public park located within Chicago’s central business district in The Loop and is home to some of Chicago’s most iconic landmarks. This includes Museum Campus, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium.
The park was named after U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant and was also the site of many historic civic events such as President Barack Obama’s victory speech in 2008 and an outdoor mass by Pope John Paul II in 1979.
Listings near Grant Park:
- 420 East Waterside Drive, #1710 ($690,000) – 2 beds, 3 baths, 1,365 sqft
- 130 North Garland Court, #1507 ($1,395,000) – 3 beds, 3 baths, 2,737 sqft
2. Lincoln Park
500-5700 N. Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60614
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park is a 1,208-acre park that sits along lake Michigan on the North Side of Chicago and stretches for seven miles. It is Chicago’s largest public park and as named after U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.
It started off as a small public cemetery but was later converted into parkland in the 1850s. The park’s recreational facilities include baseball/softball fields, basketball courts, beach volleyball courts, a golf course, skate park, and much more.
Listings near Lincoln Park:
- 444 West Fullerton Parkway, #1006 ($215,000) – 1 bed, 1 bath, 900 sqft
- 416 West Deming Place, #2W ($985,000) – 3 beds, 2 baths, 1,705 sqft
3. Jackson Park
6401 S. Stony Island Ave. Chicago, IL 60637
Jackson Park is a 500-acre park in the Woodlawn community. The park was first developed in 1893 as the host site of the World’s Columbian Exposition and was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.
Today the park is home to a gymnasium, three multi-purpose rooms, a fitness center, golf course, beach, and playing fields. Japanese gardens are also found in Jackson Park called The Garden of the Phoenix with a garden, pavilion, koi pond, and stone pathways.
Listings near Jackson Park:
- 6104 South Dorchester Avenue, #3S ($125,000) – 2 beds, 2 baths
- 6209 South Dorchester Avenue, #3 ($165,000) – 2 beds, 2 baths
4. Douglas Park
1401 S. Sacramento Dr. Chicago, IL 60623
Neighborhood: North Lawndale & Pilsen
Douglas Park is a 161-acre historic regional park that offers both recreational and cultural opportunities to visitors. The park was created by designer William Le Baron Jenney and opened in 1879. Since then, the park has continuously developed and expanded on.
Currently, there is a picturesque lake at the center, a Flower Hall, and the historic Fieldhouse features two gyms, computer lab, fitness center, grand ballroom, and more. Outdoor facilities include tennis courts, outdoor pool, basketball courts, soccer field, playgrounds, and more.
Douglas Park also hosts seasonal and cultural programs that include dance, art, and performing arts and theater.
Listings near Douglas Park:
- 3129 West 15 Street ($150,000) – studio
- 1807 South California Avenue, #1 ($224,900) – 2 beds, 2 baths, 1,250 sqft
5. Garfield Park
100 N. Central Park Ave. Chicago, IL 60624
Neighborhood: East Garfield Park
Garfield Park is a 184-acre urban park and is the oldest of the three original Chicago West Side parks. The park is home to Garfield Park Conservatory, the largest pant conservatories in the U.S. Garfield Park also features the historic Golden Dome Fieldhouse that has a dance studio, fitness center, and more.
Outdoor facilities of the park include a swimming pool, baseball fields, a fishing lagoon, floral gardens, artificial turf, and playgrounds. The park also offers dance, music, and art classes as well as after school programs. It is also home to events such as Movies in the Park, Halloween Haunted Houses, concerts, and more.
Listings near Garfield Park:
- 3173 West Monroe Street, #3 ($179,900) – 3 beds, 2 baths
- 14 South Albany Avenue ($229,900) – 4 beds, 2 baths, 820 sqft
6. Maggie Daley Park
337 E Randolph St Chicago, IL 60601
Neighborhood: The Loop
Maggie Daley Park is a 20-acre public park located in The Loop community and was named after the city’s former first lady who passed away from cancer in 2011.
It is an interactive park that features children’s play areas, rock climbing, a Skating Ribbon, mini golf, tennis court, field house, picnic areas, and a formal garden. The Maggie Daley field house hosts Chicago Park District programming such as their Summer Day Camp.
Listings near Maggie Daley Park:
- 360 East Randolph Street, #1102 ($525,000) – 1 bed, 2 baths, 1,000 sqft
- 340 East Randolph Street, #404 ($700,000) – 2 beds, 2.5 baths, 1,687 sqft
7. Washington Park
5531 S. Martin Luther King Dr. Chicago, IL 60615
Neighborhood: Washington Park
Washington Park is a 372-acre park named after President George Washington and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. It is located in the Washington Park neighborhood, but borders the Hyde Park neighborhood on its eastern side.
The park is home to the DuSable Museum of African American History, a Harvest Garden, Fountain of Time sculpture, and an arboretum. Washington Park has two gyms, a photography lab, dance studio, racquetball court, game room, and more.
Outdoor facilities include a lagoon, aquatic center, three playgrounds, basketball & tennis courts, and sport fields.
Listings near Washington Park:
- 825 East 53 Street, #2 ($165,000) – 2 beds, 1 bath, 1,200 sqft
- 5423 South Indiana Avenue ($550,000) – 7 beds
7. Union Park
1501 W. Randolph St. Chicago, IL 60607
Neighborhood: Near West Side
Union Park is a 13.46-acres park created in 1853 and became well known between the 1920s and 50s for cultural and social events. Today, the park features a field house with a theater room with stage, and a building with a gym, fitness center, and locker rooms.
Outside facilities include tennis courts, swimming pool, playgrounds, an athletic field, and more. Union Park offers a community partnership with “Girls in the Game” a mentoring program and also hosts various events such as movie screenings and the Pitchfork Music Festival.
Listings near Union Park:
- 6 South Laflin Street, #610 ($389,900) – 2 beds, 2 baths
- 1420 West Fulton Street ($1,825,000) – 6 beds
8. Welles Park
2333 W. Sunnyside Ave. Chicago, IL 60625
Neighborhood: Lincoln Square
Welles Park is a 15.84-acre park located in the heart of Lincoln Square. It is a gathering place for musicians and sports & fitness enthusiasts. The park was created in 1910 and named after Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy from 1861 to 1869.
Welles Park features an indoor pool, fitness center, ADA accessible/soft surface playground, an European-styled gazebo used for outdoor performances, and various athletic fields. The park also provides activities for children such as tumbling, arts & crafts, and sports.
They also have therapeutic recreation programs for adults and children who are developmentally disabled.
Listings near Welles Park:
- 4452 North Western Avenue ($799,000) – 6 beds
- 4548 North Oakley Avenue ($1,349,000) – 5 beds, 4 baths
With all these unique parks to choose from in Chicago, which one best fits your family and lifestyle needs?
Chicago has various green spaces conveniently located throughout the city so you’ll never get bored. Localize can help you find your next home just a short stroll away from your favorite park and outdoor space.