Columbus Park

  • 500 S. Central Ave.   Chicago, Illinois 60644 [View Map]
  • Fieldhouse Hours: ,
  • Park Hours:
  • Park Supervisor: Jeanette Stovall
  • Phone: (773) 287-7641

It is located in the Austin Community, Columbus Park totals [135.12] acres. The field house features: a fitness center; 2 gymnasiums; 3 kitchens; meeting rooms; senior center and banquet room. Outside, the park offers a nature area, boundless children’s accessible playground with an interactive water feature, bicycle path, jogging path, pavilion and 9-hole golf course. In addition Columbus is a multi-faceted recreation park with an outdoor swimming pool, fishing lagoon, baseball fields, and athletic fields for football and soccer and basketball courts. The beautiful “Refectory” building sits on the park’s grounds and is a popular destination for weddings and special events.

Many of these spaces are available for rental such as parties and athletic tournaments. Patrons are especially fond of renting the beautiful Refectory Building for weddings and other formal parties.

Park-goers can play basketball, football or soccer at the facility. Afterschool programs are offered throughout the school year, and in the summer youth attend the Park District’s popular six-week day camp.

In addition to programs, Columbus Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the whole family, such as Movies in the Park and concerts."

History

Columbus Park is considered the masterpiece of Jens Jensen, now known as dean of Prairie-style landscape architecture. The project, Jensen's only opportunity to create an entirely new large park in Chicago, represents the culmination of years of his conservation efforts and design experimentation.

Appointed as West Park Commission General Superintendent and Chief Landscape Architect in 1905, Jensen re-designed Humboldt, Garfield, and Douglas Parks and began creating small parks such as Eckhart and Dvorak. After losing political support in 1910, he shifted his role to consulting landscape architect. Two years later, the commissioners acquired 144 acres of farmland at the western boundary of Chicago. They named the new park for Christopher Columbus (c. 1451-1506), the famous Italian explorer who "discovered" America while in the service of Spain.

Jensen's vision for Columbus Park was inspired by the unimproved site's natural history and topography. Convinced that it was an ancient beach, Jensen designed a series of berms, like glacial ridges, encircling the flat interior part of the park. In the center area, following the traces of sand dune, he created a "prairie river" flowing from two brooks. Two natural-looking waterfalls, with ledges of stratified stonework, represent the source of the river. Throughout the park, Jensen included native plants.

Jensen also included programming elements emulating nature. Broad prairie-like meadows provide a golf course and ball fields. He designed an outdoor theatre, known as the "player's green," for plays and other performances. In the children's playground area, Jensen included his favorite feature, the council ring, a circular stone bench for storytelling and campfires.

In 1953, the nine acres at the park's southern boundary were destroyed to make way for the Eisenhower Expressway. Despite the loss of some land and other changes to the park at that time, Columbus Park still conveys Jensen's genius

 

Parking/Directions

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

Columbus Baseball Diamonds

Columbus Baseball Diamonds

Location: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Diamond

Columbus Diamond

Location: 500 S. Central Ave.

Softball Diamonds

Softball Diamonds

Columbus Basketball Court

Columbus Basketball Court

Location: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Bird Sanctuary

Columbus Bird Sanctuary

Location: 500 S. Central Ave.

Notes: Columbus Bird Sanctuary

Columbus Fieldhouse

Columbus Fieldhouse

Location: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Fishing Area

Columbus Fishing Area

Location: 500 S. Central

Columbus Fitness Center

Columbus Fitness Center

Location: 500 S. Central Ave.

Notes: M-F 8am-8pm, Sa. & Su. 10am-5pm ADA Accessible Equipment Sign up for a membership

Columbus Gymnasium

Columbus Gymnasium

Location: 500 S. Central Ave.

Notes: 1 Large, 1 Small

Columbus Park

Columbus Park

Location: 500 S. Central Park Ave.

Notes: Columbus Park Lagoon

Clubrooms

Clubrooms

Columbus Club Room

Columbus Club Room

Location: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Picnic Grove

Columbus Picnic Grove

Location: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Playground

Columbus PlaygroundAccessible

Location: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Park Golf Course

Columbus Park Golf Course

Location: 500 S. Central Ave.

Notes: Columbus Park Golf Course

Columbus Tennis Court

Columbus Tennis Court

Location: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Wade Pool

Columbus Wade Pool

Location: 500 S. Central Ave.

Fall Programs

Click on the fall tab below to view our park's offerings.
Programs run the week of September 15 through the week of December 1.

Registration dates for our park are listed below.
Go here to check registration dates for other parks. 

  • Online registration begins on Monday, August 4, 2014 at 9:00am.
  • In-person registration begins on Saturday, August 9, 2014.

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
Open Swim at Columbus 87115OpenAquatics - OpenAnyFemaleFrom June 13, 2014 to September 1, 2014
Each Sunday from 3pm to 4:30pm
Each Monday from 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Each Tuesday from 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Each Wednesday from 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Each Thursday from 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Each Friday from 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Each Saturday from 3pm to 4:30pm
Free
Open Swim at Columbus 87116OpenAquatics - OpenAnyMaleFrom June 13, 2014 to September 1, 2014
Each Sunday from 4:45pm to 6:15pm
Each Monday from 3pm to 4pm
Each Tuesday from 3pm to 4pm
Each Wednesday from 3pm to 4pm
Each Thursday from 3pm to 4pm
Each Friday from 3pm to 4pm
Each Saturday from 4:45pm to 6:15pm
Free
Open Swim at Columbus 87118OpenAquatics - OpenAt least 13 but less than 17MaleFrom June 13, 2014 to September 1, 2014
Each Monday from 5:45pm to 7pm
Each Tuesday from 5:45pm to 7pm
Free
Open Swim at Columbus 87117OpenAquatics - OpenAt least 13 but less than 17FemaleFrom June 13, 2014 to September 1, 2014
Each Monday from 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Each Wednesday from 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Each Friday from 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Free
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Basketball - Open at Columbus 89565OpenSports - Basketball18 and upMaleFrom September 15, 2014 to December 3, 2014
Each Monday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Each Wednesday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
$30.00
Basketball - Open at Columbus 91101OpenSports - Basketball62 and upMaleFrom September 16, 2014 to December 4, 2014
Each Tuesday from 12:30pm to 2pm
Each Thursday from 12:30pm to 2pm
$15.00
Basketball at Columbus 89566InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 6 but less than 13CoedFrom September 17, 2014 to November 27, 2014
Each Wednesday from 6:15pm to 7:30pm
Each Thursday from 6:15pm to 7:30pm
$5.00
Baton & Pom Pom at Columbus 89704InstructionSports - BatonAt least 6 but less than 8FemaleFrom September 17, 2014 to December 4, 2014
Each Wednesday from 6:15pm to 7:15pm
Each Thursday from 6:15pm to 7:15pm
$10.00
Bitty Basketball at Columbus 89709InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 6 but less than 10CoedFrom September 20, 2014 to November 29, 2014
Each Saturday from 10am to Noon
$5.00
Dance - Hip Hop at Columbus 89844InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 9 but less than 12CoedFrom September 15, 2014 to November 25, 2014
Each Monday from 6:15pm to 7:30pm
Each Tuesday from 6:15pm to 7:30pm
$10.00
Fitness Boot Camp at Columbus 89962InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoedFrom September 20, 2014 to December 6, 2014
Each Saturday from 9:30am to 10:15am
$9.00
Karate at Columbus 90318InstructionSpecial Interest - Self-DefenseAt least 6 but less than 12CoedFrom September 15, 2014 to November 26, 2014
Each Monday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Each Wednesday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
$10.00
Kickboxing at Columbus 90334InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoedFrom September 20, 2014 to December 6, 2014
Each Saturday from 12:30pm to 1:15pm
$9.00
Line Dance at Columbus 90524InstructionCulture and Arts - Dance60 and upCoedFrom September 15, 2014 to November 26, 2014
Each Monday from 9am to 11:30am
Each Wednesday from 9am to 11:30am
Free
Low Impact Aerobics at Columbus 90533InstructionWellness - Aerobics18 and upFemaleFrom September 15, 2014 to December 3, 2014
Each Monday from 6:45pm to 7:45pm
Each Wednesday from 6:45pm to 7:45pm
$10.00
Mighty Fit Family at Columbus 90552InstructionWellness - FitnessAt least 6 but less than 13CoedFrom September 20, 2014 to December 6, 2014
Each Saturday from 11:30am to 12:15pm
$8.00
Park Kids - Fall Session at Columbus 90806InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 13CoedFrom September 2, 2014 to December 5, 2014
Each Monday from 2pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 2pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 2pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 2pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 2pm to 6pm
$50.00
Park Kids - Fall Winter Spring at Columbus 90826Activity_PackageOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 13CoedFrom September 2, 2014 to June 12, 2015
Each Monday from 2pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 2pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 2pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 2pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 2pm to 6pm
$150.00
Pool at Columbus 90923OpenSpecial Interest - Fun & Games60 and upCoedFrom September 15, 2014 to November 28, 2014
Each Monday from 8am to Noon
Each Tuesday from 8am to Noon
Each Wednesday from 8am to Noon
Each Thursday from 8am to Noon
Each Friday from 8am to Noon
Free
Pool at Columbus 90924OpenSpecial Interest - Fun & GamesAt least 18 but less than 22CoedFrom September 17, 2014 to November 28, 2014
Each Wednesday from 6pm to 8pm
Each Thursday from 6pm to 8pm
Each Friday from 6pm to 8pm
$5.00
Seasonal Sports at Columbus 91028InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 6 but less than 12CoedFrom September 15, 2014 to November 10, 2014
Each Monday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Free
Seasonal Sports at Columbus 91027InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 13 but less than 18CoedFrom September 16, 2014 to December 2, 2014
Each Tuesday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Free
Senior Citizens Club at Columbus 91105OpenSpecial Interest - Clubs60 and upCoedFrom September 15, 2014 to November 28, 2014
Each Monday from 9am to 3pm
Each Tuesday from 9am to 3pm
Each Wednesday from 9am to 3pm
Each Thursday from 9am to 3pm
Each Friday from 9am to 3pm
Free
Sports Conditioning at Columbus 91313InstructionWellness - FitnessAt least 13 but less than 19CoedFrom September 20, 2014 to December 6, 2014
Each Saturday from 10:30am to 11:15am
$8.00
Teen Club at Columbus 91421OpenSpecial Interest - ClubsAt least 13 but less than 18CoedFrom September 15, 2014 to December 5, 2014
Each Monday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Each Tuesday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Each Wednesday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Each Thursday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Each Friday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Free
Volleyball at Columbus 110391InstructionSports - Volleyball18 and upCoedFrom September 19, 2014 to December 5, 2014
Each Friday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
$5.00
Windy City Hoops Basketball at Columbus 91734Individual_LeagueSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 18CoedFrom August 29, 2014 to December 27, 2014
Each Friday from 5pm to 10pm
Each Saturday from 5pm to 10pm
Free
Windy City Hoops Basketball at Columbus 91734Individual_LeagueSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 18CoedFrom August 29, 2014 to December 27, 2014
Each Friday from 5pm to 10pm
Each Saturday from 5pm to 10pm
Free

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Description

It is located in the Austin Community, Columbus Park totals [135.12] acres. The field house features: a fitness center; 2 gymnasiums; 3 kitchens; meeting rooms; senior center and banquet room. Outside, the park offers a nature area, boundless children’s accessible playground with an interactive water feature, bicycle path, jogging path, pavilion and 9-hole golf course. In addition Columbus is a multi-faceted recreation park with an outdoor swimming pool, fishing lagoon, baseball fields, and athletic fields for football and soccer and basketball courts. The beautiful “Refectory” building sits on the park’s grounds and is a popular destination for weddings and special events.

Many of these spaces are available for rental such as parties and athletic tournaments. Patrons are especially fond of renting the beautiful Refectory Building for weddings and other formal parties.

Park-goers can play basketball, football or soccer at the facility. Afterschool programs are offered throughout the school year, and in the summer youth attend the Park District’s popular six-week day camp.

In addition to programs, Columbus Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the whole family, such as Movies in the Park and concerts."

 

FACILITIES

FACILITY TYPE ADDRESS DESCRIPTOR QTY NOTES
Baseball Field 500 S. Central Ave. 0
Baseball Field 500 S. Central Ave. 5
Baseball Field 0
Basketball Court - Outdoor 500 S. Central Ave. 3
Birding Area 500 S. Central Ave. 1 Columbus Bird Sanctuary
Fieldhouse 500 S. Central Ave. 0
Fishing Areas 500 S. Central 2
Fitness Centers 500 S. Central Ave. 1 M-F 8am-8pm, Sa. & Su. 10am-5pm ADA Accessible Equipment Sign up for a membership
Gymnasiums 500 S. Central Ave. 2 1 Large, 1 Small
Lagoons and Ponds 500 S. Central Park Ave. 1 Columbus Park Lagoon
Meeting/Event Space 0
Meeting/Event Space 500 S. Central Ave. 9
Picnic Groves 500 S. Central Ave. 8
Playgrounds 500 S. Central Ave. 0
Prairies & Grasslands 500 S. Central Ave. 1 Columbus Park Golf Course
Swimming Pools 500 S. Central Ave. 0
Tennis Courts 500 S. Central Ave. 6
Water Playgrounds 500 S. Central Ave. 1

Columbus Park is considered the masterpiece of Jens Jensen, now known as dean of Prairie-style landscape architecture. The project, Jensen's only opportunity to create an entirely new large park in Chicago, represents the culmination of years of his conservation efforts and design experimentation.

Appointed as West Park Commission General Superintendent and Chief Landscape Architect in 1905, Jensen re-designed Humboldt, Garfield, and Douglas Parks and began creating small parks such as Eckhart and Dvorak. After losing political support in 1910, he shifted his role to consulting landscape architect. Two years later, the commissioners acquired 144 acres of farmland at the western boundary of Chicago. They named the new park for Christopher Columbus (c. 1451-1506), the famous Italian explorer who "discovered" America while in the service of Spain.

Jensen's vision for Columbus Park was inspired by the unimproved site's natural history and topography. Convinced that it was an ancient beach, Jensen designed a series of berms, like glacial ridges, encircling the flat interior part of the park. In the center area, following the traces of sand dune, he created a "prairie river" flowing from two brooks. Two natural-looking waterfalls, with ledges of stratified stonework, represent the source of the river. Throughout the park, Jensen included native plants.

Jensen also included programming elements emulating nature. Broad prairie-like meadows provide a golf course and ball fields. He designed an outdoor theatre, known as the "player's green," for plays and other performances. In the children's playground area, Jensen included his favorite feature, the council ring, a circular stone bench for storytelling and campfires.

In 1953, the nine acres at the park's southern boundary were destroyed to make way for the Eisenhower Expressway. Despite the loss of some land and other changes to the park at that time, Columbus Park still conveys Jensen's genius

 

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