Nichols Park

  • 1355 E. 53rd St.   Chicago, Illinois 60615 [View Map]
  • Fieldhouse Hours: , , ,
  • Park Hours: , , ,
  • Park Supervisor: Ayanna Peters
  • Park Phone: (312) 747-2703

Located at 1355 E. 53rd St. in the Hyde Park community, Nichols Park totals 10.39 acres and features a gymnasium and a multi-purpose room. Green features of the park include a community flower garden, community vegetable gardens, and Wildflower Meadow. Outside, the park offers two playgrounds, a baseball diamond, walking path, and a sandbox. Many of these spaces are available for rental including our gymnasium and multi-purpose room.

Park-goers can participate in the Park Kids after school program, seasonal sports, preschool activities, bitty basketball, tiny tot dance, and low impact aerobics. During the summer, youth can participate in the Park District’s popular six-week day camp. Specialty camps are offered in the summer as well, and include Sports Camp.

In addition to programs, Nichols Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the entire family including our Pumpkin Patch, Winterfest and May Fest.

History

In 1963, the Chicago Park district acquired more than six acres of land in the deteriorating Hyde Park neighborhood from the city's Department of Urban Renewal. The park district soon improved the site with a reflecting pool, tennis courts, walkways, and asphalt-surfaced play areas for tots and older children. In 1970, Italian-American artist Cosmo Campoli created a fanciful bronze sculpture called "Bird of Peace" which enlivens the park's central lawn. Though the park district expanded the park a bit during the following decade, several acres of cleared land immediately to the south remained undeveloped for years. In the mid-1980s, the Hyde Park Development Corporation recommended that the vacant property be used for stores and upscale townhouses. Many neighborhood residents instead favored expanding Nichols Park. After lobbying for the project for several years, the community convinced the City Council to approve the expansion. The park district's 1991 acquisition of the property brought Nichols Park to more than ten acres, and the new park land soon had a formal garden, a fountain, and a grassy courtyard. The park honors artist and urban planner John Fountain Nichols (1912-1980), a life-long resident of Hyde Park. A student of the Art Institute of Chicago, Nichols participated in the Federal Artists' Project during the Great Depression. (One of his many murals can be found at the north side Lane Technical High School.) After returning to his studies and earning a BFA during World War II, he taught art in south side public schools, later becoming an architectural draftsman. During the 1950s and 1960s, Nichols worked for the Department of Urban Renewal, developing plans to rehabilitate his Hyde Park neighborhood. After his retirement in the 1970s, Nichols continued to participate in arts-related events at Murray School, which sits adjacent to the park.

Parking/Directions

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

Bird of Peace

Bird of Peace (1)

Location Notes: South of E. 53rd Street; field house

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Heron

Heron (1)

Location Notes: Center + NW @ tennis court

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture, Temporary

North Fountain

North Fountain (1)

Location Notes: Formal Garden near field house

Descriptors: Outdoor, Fountain

Ol’ Blue

Ol’ Blue (1)

Location Notes: SE of tennis court

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture, Temporary

South Fountain

South Fountain (1)

Location Notes: East of S. Kimbark Avenue and north of E. 55th Street

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculptural Fountain

Wolf

Wolf (1)

Location Notes: Center + NW @ tennis court

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture, Temporary

Nichols Park Community Garden

Nichols Park Community Garden

Location Notes: 1300 E. 55th St.

Notes: Community Garden

Nichols Fieldhouse

Nichols Fieldhouse

Hours: , , ,

Nichols Gymnasium

Nichols Gymnasium

Location Notes: 1355 E. 53rd st

Nichols Clubrooms

Nichols Clubrooms

Location Notes: 1355 E. 53rd st

Nichols Playground - E

Nichols Playground - EAccessible

Location: 5414 S. Kenwood Ave.

Descriptors: Engineered Wood Fiber Surface

Nichols Playground - W

Nichols Playground - WAccessible

Location: 5483 S. Kimbark Ave.

Descriptors: Engineered Wood Fiber Surface

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 Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 9:00am.
  • In-person registration begins on Monday, May 1, 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
Park Kids - Fall Winter Spring at Nichols 167387Activity_PackageOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/09/06 20:15From September 6, 2016 to June 16, 2017$936.00
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Arts & Crafts Workshop - Family at Nichols 178411InstructionCulture and Arts - Decorative ArtsAt least 2 but less than 6Coed2017/04/04 14:00From April 4, 2017 to June 8, 2017
Each Tuesday from 9am to 10am
Each Thursday from 9am to 10am
$44.00
Basketball - Open at Nichols 193015OpenSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2017/04/04 23:45From April 4, 2017 to June 8, 2017
Each Tuesday from 6:45pm to 8:15pm
Each Thursday from 6:45pm to 8:15pm
$0
Bitty Basketball at Nichols 178786InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 4 but less than 7Coed2017/04/03 23:30From April 3, 2017 to May 29, 2017
Each Monday from 6:30pm to 7:15pm
$29.00
Bitty Basketball at Nichols 178784InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 6 but less than 9Coed2017/04/05 23:30From April 5, 2017 to June 7, 2017
Each Wednesday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
$29.00
Bitty Basketball at Nichols 178785InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 9 but less than 12Coed2017/04/07 23:30From April 7, 2017 to June 9, 2017
Each Friday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
$29.00
Chair Exercise at Nichols 178923InstructionWellness - Fitness60 and upCoed2017/04/05 15:00From April 5, 2017 to June 7, 2017
Each Wednesday from 10am to 11am
$9.00
Chair Exercise at Nichols 178922InstructionWellness - Fitness60 and upCoed2017/04/07 14:00From April 7, 2017 to June 9, 2017
Each Friday from 9am to 10am
$9.00
Fun and Games at Nichols 179327InstructionSpecial Interest - Fun & GamesAt least 2 but less than 6Coed2017/04/04 15:00From April 4, 2017 to June 8, 2017
Each Tuesday from 10am to 10:45am
Each Thursday from 10am to 10:45am
$19.00
Park Kids - Spring at Nichols 180387InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/04/03 20:15From April 3, 2017 to June 27, 2017
Each Monday from 3:15pm to 6:30pm
Each Tuesday from 3:15pm to 6:30pm
Each Wednesday from 3:15pm to 6:30pm
Each Thursday from 3:15pm to 6:30pm
Each Friday from 3:15pm to 6:30pm
$312.00
Tiny Tot Tumbling at Nichols 181735InstructionGymnastics - TumblingAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/04/07 15:30From April 7, 2017 to June 9, 2017
Each Friday from 10:30am to 11:15am
$29.00
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Day Camp at Nichols 195661CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/06/26 15:00From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 10am to 4pm
Each Tuesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Wednesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Thursday from 10am to 4pm
Each Friday from 10am to 4pm
$337.00
Early Bird Camp at Nichols 195777CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/06/26 13:00From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 8am to 10am
Each Tuesday from 8am to 10am
Each Wednesday from 8am to 10am
Each Thursday from 8am to 10am
Each Friday from 8am to 10am
$109.00
Extended Camp at Nichols 195860CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/06/26 21:00From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 4pm to 6pm
$109.00

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Description

Located at 1355 E. 53rd St. in the Hyde Park community, Nichols Park totals 10.39 acres and features a gymnasium and a multi-purpose room. Green features of the park include a community flower garden, community vegetable gardens, and Wildflower Meadow. Outside, the park offers two playgrounds, a baseball diamond, walking path, and a sandbox. Many of these spaces are available for rental including our gymnasium and multi-purpose room.

Park-goers can participate in the Park Kids after school program, seasonal sports, preschool activities, bitty basketball, tiny tot dance, and low impact aerobics. During the summer, youth can participate in the Park District’s popular six-week day camp. Specialty camps are offered in the summer as well, and include Sports Camp.

In addition to programs, Nichols Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the entire family including our Pumpkin Patch, Winterfest and May Fest.

In 1963, the Chicago Park district acquired more than six acres of land in the deteriorating Hyde Park neighborhood from the city's Department of Urban Renewal. The park district soon improved the site with a reflecting pool, tennis courts, walkways, and asphalt-surfaced play areas for tots and older children. In 1970, Italian-American artist Cosmo Campoli created a fanciful bronze sculpture called "Bird of Peace" which enlivens the park's central lawn. Though the park district expanded the park a bit during the following decade, several acres of cleared land immediately to the south remained undeveloped for years. In the mid-1980s, the Hyde Park Development Corporation recommended that the vacant property be used for stores and upscale townhouses. Many neighborhood residents instead favored expanding Nichols Park. After lobbying for the project for several years, the community convinced the City Council to approve the expansion. The park district's 1991 acquisition of the property brought Nichols Park to more than ten acres, and the new park land soon had a formal garden, a fountain, and a grassy courtyard. The park honors artist and urban planner John Fountain Nichols (1912-1980), a life-long resident of Hyde Park. A student of the Art Institute of Chicago, Nichols participated in the Federal Artists' Project during the Great Depression. (One of his many murals can be found at the north side Lane Technical High School.) After returning to his studies and earning a BFA during World War II, he taught art in south side public schools, later becoming an architectural draftsman. During the 1950s and 1960s, Nichols worked for the Department of Urban Renewal, developing plans to rehabilitate his Hyde Park neighborhood. After his retirement in the 1970s, Nichols continued to participate in arts-related events at Murray School, which sits adjacent to the park.

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