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.

Fall Programs

Most fall programs start the week of September 19 and run through the week of November 21. Click on the program name links below to view a program and register now.  Registration is on-going while spots are available.
 

Winter Programs

Most winter programs start the week of January 9 and run through the week of March 13, 2017.  View programs online & create your wish list beginning Monday, November 21.  Registration dates for our park are:

  • Online registration begins on Monday, December 5, 2016 at 9:00am.
  • In-person registration begins on Saturday, December 10, 2016.

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
Basketball - Open at Merrimac 184360OpenSports - BasketballAt least 9 but less than 13Coed2016/10/22 14:30From October 22, 2016 to December 3, 2016
Each Saturday from 9:30am to 11:30am
$10.00
Basketball - Open at Merrimac 162261OpenSports - Basketball18 and upCoed2016/09/24 19:30From September 24, 2016 to December 3, 2016
Each Saturday from 2:30pm to 4:30pm
$22.00
Conditioning at Merrimac 184358InstructionWellness - Fitness60 and upCoed2016/09/12 14:30From September 12, 2016 to December 7, 2016
Each Monday from 9:30am to 10am
Each Wednesday from 9:30am to 10am
$0
Senior Citizens Club at Merrimac 164004OpenSpecial Interest - Clubs60 and upCoed2016/09/19 14:00From September 19, 2016 to December 21, 2016
Each Monday from 9am to 1pm
Each Wednesday from 9am to 1pm
$0
Wrestling at Merrimac 164706InstructionSports - WrestlingAt least 6 but less than 11Coed2016/09/20 20:30From September 20, 2016 to December 8, 2016
Each Tuesday from 3:30pm to 4:15pm
Each Thursday from 3:30pm to 4:15pm
$22.00
Wrestling at Merrimac 164705InstructionSports - WrestlingAt least 7 but less than 15Coed2016/09/22 23:30From September 22, 2016 to March 25, 2017
Each Wednesday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Each Thursday from 7pm to 8:30pm
Each Saturday from 12:30pm to 2:30pm
$51.00
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Basketball at Merrimac 169510InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 7 but less than 8Coed2017/01/11 22:15From January 11, 2017 to March 17, 2017
Each Wednesday from 4:15pm to 5pm
Each Friday from 4:15pm to 5pm
$23.00
Basketball at Merrimac 169511InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 9 but less than 13Coed2017/01/11 23:00From January 11, 2017 to March 15, 2017
Each Wednesday from 5pm to 5:45pm
$23.00
Basketball at Merrimac 169448InstructionSports - Basketball18 and upCoed2017/01/14 20:30From January 14, 2017 to March 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 2:30pm to 4:30pm
$23.00
Basketball League Partnership at Merrimac 169596PartnershipGroupSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 15Coed2017/01/14 00:30From January 13, 2017 to March 17, 2017
Each Friday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
$26.00
Basketball League Partnership at Merrimac 169597PartnershipGroupSports - BasketballAt least 7 but less than 13Coed2017/01/14 15:30From January 14, 2017 to March 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 9:30am to 12:30pm
$26.00
Basketball Officiating at Merrimac 187004InstructionSports - OfficiatingAt least 13 but less than 17Coed2017/01/13 23:30From January 13, 2017 to March 17, 2017
Each Friday from 5:30pm to 6pm
$0
Bitty Basketball at Merrimac 169638InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 5 but less than 6Coed2017/01/11 21:30From January 11, 2017 to March 17, 2017
Each Wednesday from 3:30pm to 4:15pm
Each Friday from 3:30pm to 4:15pm
$23.00
Conditioning at Merrimac 169749InstructionWellness - Fitness60 and upCoed2017/01/09 15:30From January 9, 2017 to March 15, 2017
Each Monday from 9:30am to 10am
Each Wednesday from 9:30am to 10am
$0
Conditioning at Merrimac 169750InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoed2017/01/11 00:00From January 10, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm
Each Thursday from 6pm to 7pm
$28.00
Floor Hockey League at Merrimac 169986Team_LeagueSports - Floor Hockey18 and upMale2017/01/15 18:00From January 15, 2017 to April 2, 2017
Each Sunday from Noon to 3pm
$260.00
Fun and Games at Merrimac 170018InstructionSpecial Interest - Fun & GamesAt least 4 but less than 6Coed2017/01/09 17:15From January 9, 2017 to March 13, 2017
Each Monday from 11:15am to Noon
$23.00
Fun and Games at Merrimac 187003InstructionSpecial Interest - Fun & GamesAt least 3 but less than 4Coed2017/01/12 17:30From January 12, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Thursday from 11:30am to Noon
$21.00
Kiddie College at Merrimac 170306InstructionEarly Childhood - RecreationAt least 4 but less than 6Coed2017/01/09 18:00From January 9, 2017 to March 17, 2017
Each Monday from Noon to 1:30pm
Each Wednesday from Noon to 1:30pm
Each Friday from Noon to 1:30pm
$126.00
Mighty Fit Kids at Merrimac 170490InstructionWellness - FitnessAt least 3 but less than 4Coed2017/01/10 17:30From January 10, 2017 to March 14, 2017
Each Tuesday from 11:30am to Noon
$23.00
Mighty Fit Kids at Merrimac 170491InstructionWellness - FitnessAt least 4 but less than 6Coed2017/01/13 17:15From January 13, 2017 to March 17, 2017
Each Friday from 11:15am to Noon
$23.00
Mighty Munchkins at Merrimac 170504InstructionWellness - FitnessAt least 4 but less than 6Coed2017/01/11 19:30From January 11, 2017 to March 17, 2017
Each Wednesday from 1:30pm to 2pm
Each Friday from 1:30pm to 2pm
$23.00
Play School at Merrimac 170764InstructionEarly Childhood - RecreationAt least 2 but less than 3Coed2017/01/09 16:15From January 9, 2017 to March 15, 2017
Each Monday from 10:15am to 11am
Each Wednesday from 10:15am to 11am
$28.00
Play School at Merrimac 170766InstructionEarly Childhood - RecreationAt least 2 but less than 3Coed2017/01/10 16:15From January 10, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Tuesday from 10:15am to 11am
Each Thursday from 10:15am to 11am
$28.00
Play School at Merrimac 170765InstructionEarly Childhood - RecreationAt least 3 but less than 4Coed2017/01/10 18:00From January 10, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Tuesday from Noon to 1:30pm
Each Thursday from Noon to 1:30pm
$33.00
Recreational Tumbling at Merrimac 170821InstructionGymnastics - TumblingAt least 4 but less than 6Coed2017/01/11 17:15From January 11, 2017 to March 15, 2017
Each Wednesday from 11:15am to Noon
$23.00
Recreational Tumbling at Merrimac 170823InstructionGymnastics - TumblingAt least 5 but less than 7Coed2017/01/11 21:30From January 11, 2017 to March 15, 2017
Each Wednesday from 3:30pm to 4:15pm
$23.00
Recreational Tumbling at Merrimac 170822InstructionGymnastics - TumblingAt least 8 but less than 12Coed2017/01/11 22:15From January 11, 2017 to March 15, 2017
Each Wednesday from 4:15pm to 5pm
$23.00
Senior Citizens Club at Merrimac 170966OpenSpecial Interest - Clubs60 and upCoed2017/01/09 15:00From January 9, 2017 to March 15, 2017
Each Monday from 9am to 1pm
Each Wednesday from 9am to 1pm
$0
Team Tumbling at Merrimac 171268InstructionGymnastics - CompetitiveAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/01/09 21:30From January 9, 2017 to March 17, 2017
Each Monday from 3:30pm to 5pm
Each Friday from 3:30pm to 5pm
$28.00
Teen Club at Merrimac 171283OpenSpecial Interest - ClubsAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2017/01/11 01:00From January 10, 2017 to March 14, 2017
Each Tuesday from 7pm to 8:30pm
$0
Tennis at Merrimac 188545InstructionSports - TennisAt least 7 but less than 11Coed2017/01/11 23:00From January 11, 2017 to February 8, 2017
Each Wednesday from 5pm to 6pm
$0
Tiny Tot Sports at Merrimac 171316InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 4 but less than 6Coed2017/01/10 19:30From January 10, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Tuesday from 1:30pm to 2:15pm
Each Thursday from 1:30pm to 2:15pm
$23.00
Volleyball at Merrimac 171541InstructionSports - VolleyballAt least 9 but less than 13Coed2017/01/10 22:30From January 10, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Tuesday from 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Each Thursday from 4:30pm to 5:30pm
$23.00
Woodcraft at Merrimac 171583InstructionCulture and Arts - Woodworking60 and upCoed2017/01/10 20:00From January 10, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Tuesday from 2pm to 4pm
Each Thursday from 2pm to 4pm
$0
Woodcraft at Merrimac 171586InstructionCulture and Arts - Woodworking18 and upCoed2017/01/11 00:30From January 10, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Tuesday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Each Thursday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
$33.00
Woodcraft at Merrimac 171584InstructionCulture and Arts - WoodworkingAt least 7 but less than 10Coed2017/01/10 22:15From January 10, 2017 to March 14, 2017
Each Tuesday from 4:15pm to 6pm
$45.00
Woodcraft at Merrimac 171585InstructionCulture and Arts - WoodworkingAt least 9 but less than 12Coed2017/01/12 22:15From January 12, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Thursday from 4:15pm to 6pm
$45.00
Wrestling at Merrimac 171602InstructionSports - WrestlingAt least 6 but less than 9Coed2017/01/10 21:30From January 10, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Tuesday from 3:30pm to 4:15pm
Each Thursday from 3:30pm to 4:15pm
$23.00

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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.