Merrimac Park

  • 6343 W. Irving Park Rd.   Chicago, Illinois 60634 [View Map]
  • Fieldhouse Hours: , ,
  • Park Hours:
  • Park Supervisor: Donna Segreti
  • Park Phone: (773) 685-3382

Located near the intersection of Irving Park Road and Narragansett Avenue in the Dunning community, Merrimac Park sits on approximately 9 acres and features a fieldhouse with a gymnasium, 5 clubrooms, and a kitchen. Outdoors, the park offers 2 small walking trails, 3 softball fields, playground, and spray pool.

The park staff offers a wide range of sports and fitness programming for community residents of all levels and age groups. We invite you to check out our woodshop, where youth, adults and seniors enjoy learning to use scroll and band saws to create a variety of wood projects.

Merrimac Park is noted for its annual Breakfast with the Easter Bunny and Downhill Derby, featuring small race cars crafted by youth under the supervision of the park’s woodshop instructor.The park is also the site of one of the local social clubs for seniors.

History

Soon after World War II, the Chicago Park District began a major initiative to create new parks for the first time in many years. In 1948, a citizens' advisory committee for new parks recommended a number of potential sites. Among them was a 9-acre picnic and dance ground in the rapidly growing Dunning neighborhood. Known as Kolze's Electric Grove, the site dated to the 1890s, when hotel owner Henry Kolze decided to create an attraction for riders of newly-reaching streetcar lines. Purchasing wooded land near his inn, Kolze strung large gas lamps, offered a nightly orchestra, and beer at a nickel a glass. In 1950, the park district condemned Kolze's Electric Grove, and demolished the site's dance shelter, concession stands, raffle tables, and cafeteria. Retaining many of the older trees, the park district transformed the site into parkland between 1951 and 1956, installing an athletic field, a children's playground, and tennis and basketball courts. At that time, the original clapboard dining hall and tavern structure was converted for use as a fieldhouse. In 1969, the park district replaced the structure with a modern brick fieldhouse. In the early 1950s, when the park district naming committee began its proposal for this site, there was a controversy about whether the Kolze's Grove name should be retained. Although some favored the continuation of the name, an informal park district survey revealed that the old hotel and picnic grove had gained an "unsavory reputation" over the years. Merrimac Park was selected as a preferable alternative. Derived from the Native American word for sturgeon, the name Merrimac had become closely associated with this neighborhood. The park was located just west of Merrimac Avenue and the Merrimac Gardens subdivision, and the local community organization was known as the Merrimac Gardens Association.

Parking/Directions

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

Veteran's Memorial

Veteran's Memorial (1)

Location Notes: Corner of W. Irving Park Rd. and N. Narragansett Ave.

Descriptors: Outdoor, Object

Merrimac Diamond

Merrimac Diamond

Location Notes: 6343 W. Irving Park Rd.

Merrimac Fieldhouse

Merrimac Fieldhouse

Location Notes: 6343 W. Irving Park Rd.

Hours: , ,

Merrimac Gymnasium

Merrimac Gymnasium

Location Notes: 6343 W. Irving Park Rd.

Merrimac Clubroom

Merrimac Clubroom

Location Notes: 6343 W. Irving Park Rd.

Merrimac Playground

Merrimac PlaygroundAccessible

Notes: Renovated Summer 2013, Chicago Plays! Renovation Program

Descriptors: Rubberized Surface

Merrimac Spray Pool

Merrimac Spray Pool

Location Notes: 6343 W. Irving Park Rd.

Merrimac Woodshop

Merrimac Woodshop

Location Notes: 6343 W. Irving Park Rd.

Events

Spring Programs

Most spring programs start the week of  April 3 and run through the week of June 5.  Click on the program name links below to view a program and register now.  Registration is on-going while spots are available.
 

Summer Programs

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.  View programs online & create your wishlist beginning  Monday, April 10.  Registration dates for our park are:

  • Online registration begins on Monday, April 24, 2017 at 9:00am.
  • In-person registration begins on Saturday, April 29, 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
16" Softball League at Merrimac 177764Team_LeagueSports - Softball18 and upMale2017/05/09 23:00From May 9, 2017 to August 15, 2017
Each Tuesday from 6pm to 9pm
$263.00
16" Softball League at Merrimac 177765Team_LeagueSports - Softball18 and upMale2017/05/11 23:00From May 11, 2017 to August 17, 2017
Each Thursday from 6pm to 9pm
$263.00
16" Softball League at Merrimac 177766Team_LeagueSports - Softball18 and upMale2017/05/12 23:00From May 12, 2017 to August 18, 2017
Each Friday from 6pm to 9pm
$263.00
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Basketball - Teen League at Merrimac 193917Team_LeagueSports - BasketballAt least 14 but less than 17Coed2017/06/06 22:30From June 6, 2017 to July 25, 2017
Each Tuesday from 5:30pm to 8:45pm
$54.00
Day Camp at Merrimac 194099CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/06/26 14:30From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 9:30am to 3:30pm
Each Tuesday from 9:30am to 3:30pm
Each Wednesday from 9:30am to 3:30pm
Each Thursday from 9:30am to 3:30pm
Each Friday from 9:30am to 3:30pm
$375.00
Nature Camp at Merrimac 201503CampsCamps - Special InterestAt least 4 but less than 6Coed2017/06/26 18:30From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Each Tuesday from 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Each Thursday from 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Each Friday from 1:30pm to 3:30pm
$25.00
Play Camp at Merrimac 194663CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 4 but less than 6Coed2017/06/26 15:00From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 10am to 1pm
Each Tuesday from 10am to 1pm
Each Wednesday from 10am to 1pm
Each Thursday from 10am to 1pm
Each Friday from 10am to 1pm
$182.00
Senior Citizens Club at Merrimac 194721OpenSpecial Interest - Clubs60 and upCoed2017/06/21 14:00From June 21, 2017 to August 23, 2017
Each Wednesday from 9am to 1pm
Except the following dates:
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Plus the following dates:
Wednesday, August 9, 2017 from 9am to 1pm
$0
Senior Citizens Club at Merrimac 194721OpenSpecial Interest - Clubs60 and upCoed2017/06/21 14:00From June 21, 2017 to August 23, 2017
Each Wednesday from 9am to 1pm
Except the following dates:
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Plus the following dates:
Wednesday, August 9, 2017 from 9am to 1pm
$0
Tumbling Camp at Merrimac 194963CampsCamps - SportsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/08/07 15:00From August 7, 2017 to August 11, 2017
Each Monday from 10am to Noon
Each Tuesday from 10am to Noon
Each Wednesday from 10am to Noon
Each Thursday from 10am to Noon
Each Friday from 10am to Noon
$28.00
Wrestling Camp at Merrimac 200016CampsCamps - SportsAt least 7 but less than 13Coed2017/08/07 18:00From August 7, 2017 to August 11, 2017
Each Monday from 1pm to 3pm
Each Tuesday from 1pm to 3pm
Each Wednesday from 1pm to 3pm
Each Thursday from 1pm to 3pm
Each Friday from 1pm to 3pm
$28.00

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Description

Located near the intersection of Irving Park Road and Narragansett Avenue in the Dunning community, Merrimac Park sits on approximately 9 acres and features a fieldhouse with a gymnasium, 5 clubrooms, and a kitchen. Outdoors, the park offers 2 small walking trails, 3 softball fields, playground, and spray pool.

The park staff offers a wide range of sports and fitness programming for community residents of all levels and age groups. We invite you to check out our woodshop, where youth, adults and seniors enjoy learning to use scroll and band saws to create a variety of wood projects.

Merrimac Park is noted for its annual Breakfast with the Easter Bunny and Downhill Derby, featuring small race cars crafted by youth under the supervision of the park’s woodshop instructor.The park is also the site of one of the local social clubs for seniors.

Soon after World War II, the Chicago Park District began a major initiative to create new parks for the first time in many years. In 1948, a citizens' advisory committee for new parks recommended a number of potential sites. Among them was a 9-acre picnic and dance ground in the rapidly growing Dunning neighborhood. Known as Kolze's Electric Grove, the site dated to the 1890s, when hotel owner Henry Kolze decided to create an attraction for riders of newly-reaching streetcar lines. Purchasing wooded land near his inn, Kolze strung large gas lamps, offered a nightly orchestra, and beer at a nickel a glass. In 1950, the park district condemned Kolze's Electric Grove, and demolished the site's dance shelter, concession stands, raffle tables, and cafeteria. Retaining many of the older trees, the park district transformed the site into parkland between 1951 and 1956, installing an athletic field, a children's playground, and tennis and basketball courts. At that time, the original clapboard dining hall and tavern structure was converted for use as a fieldhouse. In 1969, the park district replaced the structure with a modern brick fieldhouse. In the early 1950s, when the park district naming committee began its proposal for this site, there was a controversy about whether the Kolze's Grove name should be retained. Although some favored the continuation of the name, an informal park district survey revealed that the old hotel and picnic grove had gained an "unsavory reputation" over the years. Merrimac Park was selected as a preferable alternative. Derived from the Native American word for sturgeon, the name Merrimac had become closely associated with this neighborhood. The park was located just west of Merrimac Avenue and the Merrimac Gardens subdivision, and the local community organization was known as the Merrimac Gardens Association.

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