Washington Park

  • 5531 S. Martin Luther King Dr.   Chicago, Illinois 60637 [View Map]
  • Fieldhouse Hours: , ,
  • Park Hours: , ,
  • Park Supervisor: Janie M. Collins
  • Park Phone: (773) 256-1248

Located in the Washington Park/Woodlawn neighborhood, Washington Park totals 366.84 acres and features two gymnasiums, a photography lab, dance studio, racquetball court, fitness center,game room, and multi-purpose rooms. Green features of the park include a nature area, a Harvest Garden and an arboretum. Outside, the park offers a lagoon, aquatic center, three playgrounds, basketball/ tennis courts, baseball, football, soccer, cricket, and softball fields. Many of these spaces are available for rental including our gymnasiums, fields, and multi-purpose rooms. Additionally, Washington Park features the renowed Fountain of Time sculpture by Lorado Taft.

Park-goers can participate in the Park Kids after school program, seasonal sports, fitness, Teen Club, Junior Bears Football. On the cultural side, the park offers music and movement and dance. During the summer, youth can participate in the Chicago Park District’s popular six-week day camp.

In addition to programs, Washington Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the entire family, such as Ashaki Black History Month Celebration and other holiday-themed events.

History

Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted & Calvert Vaux, Washington Park is one of Chicago’s most significant historic landscapes. Originally considered the “western division”—a 367-acre portion of the enormous 1055-acre South Park—it was connected to the park’s “eastern division” via a grand boulevard called the Midway Plaisance. In 1881, the South Park Commissioners named the western division in honor of George Wash­ington (1732–1799) first president of the United States. At the same time, they named the eastern division Jackson Park.

 

Olmsted and Vaux completed an ambitious plan for South Park in 1871. The plan included a magnificent South Open Green- an open meadow on which cows and sheep would roam to enhance the pastoral experience and keep the lawn trim. The meadow was not only enjoyed by flocks of Southdown sheep, but also park patrons who gathered for baseball, drills, and other athletics.  Renowned architects Burnham & Root designed two late nineteenth century buildings in the park—the stables and round house and the refectory which originally housed the offices for the South park Commissioners.  In 1910 Burnham’s firm designed a larger administrative headquarters which houses the Du Sable Museum of African American History.

 

In 1922 Lorado Taft (1860–1936), Chicago’s pre-eminent sculptor, created the Fountain of Time on the southeastern edge of Washington Park. Inspired by ”The Paradox of Time,” a poem by Henry Austin Dobson, Taft’s fountain is composed of an ominous cloaked Father-Time figure gazing at a wave-like procession of one hundred human figures across the water.

 

By the mid-1930s, the growing African-American community around Washington Park was in dire need of additional recreational facilities. The park district responded by building two competition-size swimming pools near the refectory. In the early 1990s, the park district rehabilitated the refectory and transformed the swimming area into a major aquatic center. Recent projects include lagoon improvements, the construction of a $700 thousand playground, the creation of an arboretum, and a $2 million restoration of the Fountain of Time.  Lagoon improvements were made in the early 2000s.

Parking/Directions

For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.

Elegant Beauty

Elegant Beauty (1)

Location Notes: Adjacent to entryway of DuSable Museum of African American History

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Fountain of Time

Fountain of Time (1)

Location Notes: West of S. Cottage Grove Avenue on axis with Midway Plaisance

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculptural Fountain

George Washington Monument

George Washington Monument (1)

Location Notes: S. Martin Luther King Drive, north of Washington Park, north of E. 51st Street

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Mosaic

Mosaic (1)

Location Notes: Field house lobby stairwell

Descriptors: Indoor, Mosaic or Ceramic

Peculiar People

Peculiar People (1)

Location Notes: Back wall of gymnasium stage

Descriptors: Indoor, Mural

Playground Art

Playground Art (1)

Location Notes: South of the Aquatic Center and east of S. Martin Luther King Drive

Descriptors: Indoor, Playground Art

Spirit of DuSable Series

Spirit of DuSable Series (1)

Location Notes: North of DuSable Museum of African American History

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Unconditional Love

Unconditional Love (1)

Location Notes: Adjacent to entryway of DuSable Museum of African American History

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Drexel Fountain

Drexel Fountain (1)

Location Notes: Drexel Square, east of Washington Park

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculptural Fountain

Washington Fountains, Monuments, Sculptures

Washington Fountains, Monuments, Sculptures

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Notes: Fountain of Time Sculpture

Washington Baseball

Washington Baseball

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Basketball

Washington Basketball

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Park - Lille's Hot Dogs

Washington Park - Lille's Hot Dogs

Location: 4147 W. 58th St.

Hours: ,

Phone: (312)434-4727

Descriptors: Food & Beverage

Washington Cricket Slab

Washington Cricket Slab

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Fieldhouse

Washington Fieldhouse

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Hours: , ,

Washington Fishing Area

Washington Fishing Area

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Fitness Center

Washington Fitness CenterAccessible

Hours: ,

Notes:

M-F, 8-8:45pm;

Sign up for a membership: Month, 3 Month, Year, Teen (Limited Hrs)

Descriptors: ADA Accessible Equipment

Washington Football/Soccer

Washington Football/Soccer

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Descriptors: Grass

DuSable Museum Flower Garden

DuSable Museum Flower Garden

Location Notes: 740 65th Pl.

Notes: DuSable Museum Flower Gardens

Washington Gymnasium

Washington Gymnasium

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Lagoon

Washington Lagoon

Location Notes: 5531 S. Martin Luther King Dr.

Notes: Washington Park Lagoon

Washington Clubroom

Washington Clubroom

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Auditorium

Washington Auditorium

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Playground - E

Washington Playground - EAccessible

Location: 5450 S. Cottage Grove Ave.

Descriptors: Engineered Wood Fiber Surface

Washington Playground - NW

Washington Playground - NWAccessible

Location: 5250 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

Notes: Chicago Plays! Renovation, Spring 2016

Descriptors: Engineered Wood Fiber Surface

Washington Playground - S

Washington Playground - SAccessible

Location: 550 E. 60th St.

Descriptors: Engineered Wood Fiber Surface

Washington Playground - SW

Washington Playground - SWAccessible

Location: 5650 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

Descriptors: Rubberized Surface

Washington Rackquetball Court

Washington Rackquetball Court

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr. Chicago IL 60615

Washington Park Pool

Washington Park PoolAccessible (1)

Hours:

Phone: (773)288-0619

Descriptors: Outdoor, Water Slide, ADA Lift

Washington Tennis Court

Washington Tennis Court

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr. Chicago IL 60615

Washington Spray Pool

Washington Spray Pool

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr. Chicago IL 60615

Events

Summer Programs

See our offerings in the Summer tab below.  The standard 6-week day camp runs June 26 through August 4.  Specialty camp dates vary.  Most other summer programs start the week of June 19 and run through the week of August 21.  Click on the program name links below to view a program and register now.  Registration is on-going while spots are available.

 

Fall Programs

Most fall programs start the week of September 11 and run through the week of December 4.  Click on the program name links below to view a program and save it to your wish list.  Registration dates for our park are:

  • Online registration begins on Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 9:00am.
  • In-person registration begins on Saturday, August 12, 2017.

Click on the program name links below for program descriptions, availability information and to register online now (if available).

Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Junior Bear Football - Pee Wee at Washington 223942InstructionSports - FootballAt least 8 but less than 11Coed2017/07/12 21:00From July 12, 2017 to November 4, 2017
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Saturday from 11am to Noon
$0
Junior Bear Football - Varsity at Washington 223943InstructionSports - FootballAt least 11 but less than 14Coed2017/07/12 21:00From July 12, 2017 to October 28, 2017
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Saturday from 11am to Noon
$0
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Arts & Crafts (Special Recreation) at Washington Cancelled205050InstructionCulture and Arts - Decorative Arts8 and upCoed2017/09/14 22:30From September 14, 2017 to November 9, 2017
Each Thursday from 5:30pm to 6pm
$6.00
Ballet - Beginner at Washington 205140InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/09/16 19:00From September 16, 2017 to November 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 2pm to 2:30pm
$28.00
Ballet - Intermediate at Washington 205147InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 4 but less than 7Coed2017/09/16 14:30From September 16, 2017 to November 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 9:30am to 10am
$28.00
Ballet - Intermediate at Washington 205148InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 4 but less than 7Coed2017/09/16 15:30From September 16, 2017 to November 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 10:30am to 11am
$28.00
Ballet - Intermediate at Washington 205149InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 7 but less than 12Coed2017/09/16 17:00From September 16, 2017 to November 18, 2017
Each Saturday from Noon to 12:45pm
$39.00
Basketball - Open at Washington 205308OpenSports - Basketball30 and upCoed2017/09/14 23:30From September 14, 2017 to November 16, 2017
Each Thursday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
$23.00
Basketball Skills at Washington 205457InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 16Female2017/09/11 21:30From September 11, 2017 to November 13, 2017
Each Monday from 4:30pm to 5:30pm
$0
Basketball Skills at Washington 205456InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 11 but less than 13Female2017/09/11 21:30From September 11, 2017 to November 13, 2017
Each Monday from 4:30pm to 5:30pm
$0
Boot Camp at Washington 205532InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoed2017/09/12 23:30From September 12, 2017 to November 16, 2017
Each Tuesday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Each Thursday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
$39.00
Bowling (Special Recreation) at Washington 225013InstructionSports - Bowling7 and upCoed2017/09/16 17:30From September 16, 2017 to December 9, 2017
Each Saturday from 12:30pm to 2:30pm
$0
Cheerleading - Recreational at Washington 205668InstructionSports - CheerleadingAt least 5 but less than 14Coed2017/09/20 21:00From September 20, 2017 to November 17, 2017
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 4pm to 6pm
$0
Conditioning at Washington 205725InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoed2017/09/11 14:30From September 11, 2017 to November 17, 2017
Each Monday from 9:30am to 10:30am
Each Tuesday from 9:30am to 10:30am
Each Wednesday from 9:30am to 10:30am
Each Thursday from 9:30am to 10:30am
Each Friday from 9:30am to 10:30am
$39.00
Daily Living Skills (Special Rec) at Washington Cancelled205769InstructionSpecial Interest - Educational/Self-Help8 and upCoed2017/09/16 15:00From September 16, 2017 to November 11, 2017
Each Saturday from 10am to Noon
$6.00
Dance - African at Washington 205775InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 5 but less than 11Coed2017/10/03 22:00From October 3, 2017 to November 14, 2017
Each Tuesday from 5pm to 5:50pm
$11.00
Dance - Hip Hop at Washington 205798InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 4 but less than 9Coed2017/09/16 16:30From September 16, 2017 to November 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 11:30am to Noon
$28.00
Dance - Hip Hop at Washington 205797InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/09/16 20:00From September 16, 2017 to November 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 3pm to 3:30pm
$28.00
Dance - Tap at Washington 205831InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 4 but less than 7Coed2017/09/16 15:00From September 16, 2017 to November 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 10am to 10:30am
$28.00
Dance - Tap at Washington 205832InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 4 but less than 7Coed2017/09/16 16:00From September 16, 2017 to November 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 11am to 11:30am
$28.00
Dance - Tap at Washington 205833InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 7 but less than 12Coed2017/09/16 17:45From September 16, 2017 to November 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 12:45pm to 1:30pm
$39.00
Dance - Tap at Washington 205830InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/09/16 19:30From September 16, 2017 to November 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 2:30pm to 3pm
$28.00
Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Basketball at Washington 205843InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 18 but less than 51Male2017/09/16 14:00From September 16, 2017 to November 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 9am to 11:30am
$13.00
Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Basketball at Washington 205844InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 18 but less than 51Male2017/09/16 16:30From September 16, 2017 to November 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 11:30am to 2pm
$13.00
Fitness (Special Recreation) at Washington 205988InstructionWellness - Fitness7 and upCoed2017/09/14 22:00From September 14, 2017 to December 7, 2017
Each Tuesday from 5pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 6pm to 7pm
$6.00
Fun and Games (Special Recreation) at Washington 206139InstructionSpecial Interest - Fun & Games7 and upCoed2017/09/12 20:30From September 12, 2017 to December 8, 2017
Each Tuesday from 3:30pm to 5pm
Each Wednesday from 3:30pm to 5pm
Each Thursday from 3:30pm to 5pm
Each Friday from 3:30pm to 5pm
$6.00
Gym Games (Special Recreation) at Washington 206238InstructionSpecial Interest - Fun & Games8 and upCoed2017/09/14 22:00From September 14, 2017 to December 7, 2017
Each Thursday from 5pm to 6pm
$6.00
Learn to Swim (Special Rec) at Washington 206522InstructionAquatics - Lessons7 and upCoed2017/09/12 22:30From September 12, 2017 to December 5, 2017
Each Tuesday from 5:30pm to 7:30pm
$6.00
Low Impact Aerobics at Washington 206756InstructionWellness - Aerobics18 and upCoed2017/09/12 00:15From September 11, 2017 to November 13, 2017
Each Monday from 7:15pm to 8:15pm
$15.00
Low Impact Aerobics at Washington 206757InstructionWellness - Aerobics18 and upCoed2017/09/14 00:15From September 13, 2017 to November 15, 2017
Each Wednesday from 7:15pm to 8:15pm
$15.00
Music and Movement (Special Rec) at Washington 206913InstructionCulture and Arts - Dance7 and upCoed2017/09/13 22:00From September 13, 2017 to December 6, 2017
Each Wednesday from 5pm to 6pm
$6.00
Park Kids - Fall at Washington 207122InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/08/21 18:45From August 21, 2017 to December 1, 2017
Each Monday from 1:45pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 1:45pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 1:45pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 1:45pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 1:45pm to 6pm
$65.00
Park Kids - Fall, Winter, Spring at Washington 208794Activity_PackageOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/08/21 18:45From August 21, 2017 to June 8, 2018$195.00
Seasonal Sports at Washington 207481InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/09/11 20:30From September 11, 2017 to November 17, 2017
Each Monday from 3:30pm to 5pm
Each Tuesday from 3:30pm to 5pm
Each Wednesday from 3:30pm to 5pm
Each Thursday from 3:30pm to 5pm
Each Friday from 3:30pm to 5pm
$0
Seasonal Sports at Washington 207480InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2017/09/11 22:00From September 11, 2017 to November 17, 2017
Each Monday from 5pm to 6:30pm
Each Tuesday from 5pm to 6:30pm
Each Wednesday from 5pm to 6:30pm
Each Thursday from 5pm to 6:30pm
Each Friday from 5pm to 6:30pm
$0
Social Club (Special Recreation) at Washington 207753InstructionSpecial Interest - Clubs7 and upCoed2017/09/15 22:00From September 15, 2017 to December 8, 2017
Each Friday from 5pm to 6pm
$6.00
Special Olympics Seasonal Sports at Washington 207789InstructionSports - Seasonal Sports8 and upCoed2017/09/13 23:00From September 13, 2017 to December 6, 2017
Each Wednesday from 6pm to 7pm
Each Friday from 6pm to 7pm
$6.00
Table Tennis at Washington 207894InstructionSports - Table Tennis18 and upCoed2017/09/11 17:00From September 11, 2017 to November 19, 2017
Each Sunday from Noon to 4pm
Each Monday from Noon to 2:30pm
Each Wednesday from Noon to 2:30pm
Each Friday from Noon to 2:30pm
$23.00
Teen Fit Box at Washington 208019InstructionWellness - FitnessAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2017/09/11 21:00From September 11, 2017 to November 13, 2017
Each Monday from 4pm to 4:45pm
$0
Walking Club (Special Recreation) at Washington 225012InstructionWellness - Walking7 and upCoed2017/09/12 19:30From September 12, 2017 to December 8, 2017
Each Tuesday from 2:30pm to 3:30pm
Each Wednesday from 2:30pm to 3:30pm
Each Thursday from 2:30pm to 3:30pm
Each Friday from 2:30pm to 3:30pm
$0
Winter Break Camp at Washington 208588CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/12/19 15:00From December 19, 2017 to December 22, 2017
Each Tuesday from 9am to 5pm
Each Wednesday from 9am to 5pm
Each Thursday from 9am to 5pm
Each Friday from 9am to 5pm
$32.00
Winter Break Camp at Washington 208589CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/12/26 15:00From December 26, 2017 to December 29, 2017
Each Tuesday from 9am to 5pm
Each Wednesday from 9am to 5pm
Each Thursday from 9am to 5pm
Each Friday from 9am to 5pm
$32.00
Yoga at Washington 208695InstructionWellness - Yoga18 and upCoed2017/09/11 22:00From September 11, 2017 to November 13, 2017
Each Monday from 5pm to 6pm
$15.00
Yoga at Washington 208696InstructionWellness - Yoga18 and upCoed2017/09/13 22:00From September 13, 2017 to November 15, 2017
Each Wednesday from 5pm to 6pm
$15.00
Yoga/Pilates at Washington 208713InstructionWellness - Yoga18 and upCoed2017/09/11 23:00From September 11, 2017 to November 13, 2017
Each Monday from 6pm to 7pm
$15.00
Yoga/Pilates at Washington 208714InstructionWellness - Yoga18 and upCoed2017/09/13 23:00From September 13, 2017 to November 15, 2017
Each Wednesday from 6pm to 7pm
$15.00
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Park Kids - Winter at Washington 213380InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2018/01/08 19:45From January 8, 2018 to March 23, 2018
Each Monday from 1:45pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 1:45pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 1:45pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 1:45pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 1:45pm to 6pm
$65.00
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Park Kids - Spring at Washington 219307InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2018/04/02 18:45From April 2, 2018 to June 15, 2018
Each Monday from 1:45pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 1:45pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 1:45pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 1:45pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 1:45pm to 6pm
$65.00

Photos & Videos

Reviews

Description

Located in the Washington Park/Woodlawn neighborhood, Washington Park totals 366.84 acres and features two gymnasiums, a photography lab, dance studio, racquetball court, fitness center,game room, and multi-purpose rooms. Green features of the park include a nature area, a Harvest Garden and an arboretum. Outside, the park offers a lagoon, aquatic center, three playgrounds, basketball/ tennis courts, baseball, football, soccer, cricket, and softball fields. Many of these spaces are available for rental including our gymnasiums, fields, and multi-purpose rooms. Additionally, Washington Park features the renowed Fountain of Time sculpture by Lorado Taft.

Park-goers can participate in the Park Kids after school program, seasonal sports, fitness, Teen Club, Junior Bears Football. On the cultural side, the park offers music and movement and dance. During the summer, youth can participate in the Chicago Park District’s popular six-week day camp.

In addition to programs, Washington Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the entire family, such as Ashaki Black History Month Celebration and other holiday-themed events.

Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted & Calvert Vaux, Washington Park is one of Chicago’s most significant historic landscapes. Originally considered the “western division”—a 367-acre portion of the enormous 1055-acre South Park—it was connected to the park’s “eastern division” via a grand boulevard called the Midway Plaisance. In 1881, the South Park Commissioners named the western division in honor of George Wash­ington (1732–1799) first president of the United States. At the same time, they named the eastern division Jackson Park.

 

Olmsted and Vaux completed an ambitious plan for South Park in 1871. The plan included a magnificent South Open Green- an open meadow on which cows and sheep would roam to enhance the pastoral experience and keep the lawn trim. The meadow was not only enjoyed by flocks of Southdown sheep, but also park patrons who gathered for baseball, drills, and other athletics.  Renowned architects Burnham & Root designed two late nineteenth century buildings in the park—the stables and round house and the refectory which originally housed the offices for the South park Commissioners.  In 1910 Burnham’s firm designed a larger administrative headquarters which houses the Du Sable Museum of African American History.

 

In 1922 Lorado Taft (1860–1936), Chicago’s pre-eminent sculptor, created the Fountain of Time on the southeastern edge of Washington Park. Inspired by ”The Paradox of Time,” a poem by Henry Austin Dobson, Taft’s fountain is composed of an ominous cloaked Father-Time figure gazing at a wave-like procession of one hundred human figures across the water.

 

By the mid-1930s, the growing African-American community around Washington Park was in dire need of additional recreational facilities. The park district responded by building two competition-size swimming pools near the refectory. In the early 1990s, the park district rehabilitated the refectory and transformed the swimming area into a major aquatic center. Recent projects include lagoon improvements, the construction of a $700 thousand playground, the creation of an arboretum, and a $2 million restoration of the Fountain of Time.  Lagoon improvements were made in the early 2000s.

For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.