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

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 Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at 9:00am.
  • In-person registration begins on Monday, December 12, 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
Park Kids - Fall at Nichols 167303InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/09/06 20:15From September 6, 2016 to December 23, 2016
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
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
Art & ABCs at Nichols 171893InstructionEarly Childhood - RecreationAt least 2 but less than 6Coed2017/01/10 15:00From January 10, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Tuesday from 9am to 10am
Each Thursday from 9am to 10am
$43.00
Basketball - Open at Nichols 188571OpenSports - Basketball21 and upCoed2017/01/11 00:45From January 10, 2017 to March 14, 2017
Each Tuesday from 6:45pm to 8:15pm
$5.00
Basketball - Open at Nichols 187584OpenSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2017/01/13 00:45From January 12, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Thursday from 6:45pm to 8:15pm
$0
Bitty Basketball at Nichols 172355InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 4 but less than 7Coed2017/01/10 00:30From January 9, 2017 to March 13, 2017
Each Monday from 6:30pm to 7:15pm
$28.00
Bitty Basketball at Nichols 172354InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 6 but less than 9Coed2017/01/12 00:30From January 11, 2017 to March 15, 2017
Each Wednesday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
$28.00
Bitty Basketball at Nichols 172353InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 9 but less than 13Coed2017/01/14 00:30From January 13, 2017 to March 17, 2017
Each Friday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
$28.00
Bridge Club at Nichols 188572OpenSpecial Interest - Clubs60 and upCoed2017/01/09 18:00From January 9, 2017 to March 15, 2017
Each Monday from Noon to 2:30pm
Each Wednesday from Noon to 2:30pm
$0
Chair Exercise at Nichols 172516InstructionWellness - Fitness60 and upCoed2017/01/11 16:00From January 11, 2017 to March 15, 2017
Each Wednesday from 10am to 11am
$8.00
Chair Exercise at Nichols 172515InstructionWellness - Fitness60 and upCoed2017/01/13 15:00From January 13, 2017 to March 17, 2017
Each Friday from 9am to 10am
$8.00
Fun and Games at Nichols 172955InstructionSpecial Interest - Fun & GamesAt least 2 but less than 6Coed2017/01/10 16:00From January 10, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Tuesday from 10am to 10:45am
Each Thursday from 10am to 10:45am
$18.00
Park Kids - Winter at Nichols 174021InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/01/09 21:15From January 9, 2017 to March 24, 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 175114InstructionGymnastics - TumblingAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/01/13 16:30From January 13, 2017 to March 17, 2017
Each Friday from 10:30am to 11:15am
$18.00

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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.