Columbus Park

  • 500 S. Central Ave.   Chicago, Illinois 60644 [View Map]
  • Fieldhouse Hours: ,
  • Park Hours:
  • Park Supervisor: Jeanette Stovall
  • Park Phone: (773) 287-7641
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Located in the Austin Community, Columbus Park totals 135.12 acres. The park's field house features a fitness center, two gymnasiums, three kitchens, meeting rooms, a senior center and a banquet room.

Outside, the park offers a nature area, a boundless children’s accessible playground with an interactive water feature, a bicycle path, a jogging path, a pavilion and a 9-hole golf course. Columbus is also 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 northern end of park’s grounds and is a popular destination for weddings and special events.

Many of these spaces are available for rental for parties, athletic tournaments and other events. Patrons are especially fond of renting the photogenic 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, concerts, plays and other Night Out in the Parks events. 

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 Ships

Columbus Ships (1)

Location Notes: Refectory Great Hall

Descriptors: Indoor, Mural

Softball Diamonds

Softball Diamonds

Columbus Baseball Diamonds

Columbus Baseball Diamonds

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Descriptors: Artificial Turf

Columbus Diamond

Columbus Diamond

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Basketball Court

Columbus Basketball Court

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Bird Sanctuary

Columbus Bird Sanctuary

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Notes: Columbus Bird Sanctuary

Columbus Fieldhouse

Columbus Fieldhouse

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Hours: ,

Columbus Fishing Area

Columbus Fishing Area

Location Notes: 500 S. Central

Columbus Fitness Center

Columbus Fitness CenterAccessible

Hours: ,

Notes:

Sign up for a membership: Month, 3 Month, Year

Descriptors: ADA Accessible Equipment

Columbus Gymnasium

Columbus Gymnasium

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Notes: 1 Large, 1 Small

Columbus Park

Columbus Park

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Park Ave.

Notes: Columbus Park Lagoon

Columbus Club Room

Columbus Club Room

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Clubrooms

Clubrooms

Columbus Picnic Grove

Columbus Picnic Grove

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Playground - E

Columbus Playground - EAccessible

Location: 350 S. Central Ave.

Descriptors: Rubberized Surface

Columbus Playground - N

Columbus Playground - NAccessible

Location: 5793 W. Adams Blvd.

Descriptors: Engineered Wood Fiber Surface

Columbus Park Golf Course

Columbus Park Golf Course

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Notes: Columbus Park Golf Course

Columbus Park Pool

Columbus Park PoolAccessible (1)

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Hours:

Phone: (773)287-7641

Descriptors: Outdoor, ADA Lift

Columbus Tennis Court

Columbus Tennis Court

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Wade Pool

Columbus Wade Pool

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

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 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 Columbus 163576InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 5 but less than 13Coed2016/09/13 19:00From September 13, 2016 to December 23, 2016
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
$52.00
Park Kids - Fall Winter Spring at Columbus 163595Activity_PackageOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 5 but less than 13Coed2016/09/13 19:00From September 13, 2016 to June 23, 2017$156.00
Winter Break Camp at Columbus 189387CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/12/27 16:00From December 27, 2016 to January 6, 2017
Each Tuesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Wednesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Thursday from 10am to 4pm
Each Friday from 10am to 4pm
$10.00
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Basketball - Open at Columbus 169433OpenSports - Basketball60 and upCoed2017/01/10 18:30From January 10, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Tuesday from 12:30pm to 2:30pm
Each Thursday from 12:30pm to 2:30pm
$0
Basketball Skills at Columbus 189455InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 11 but less than 15Male2017/01/10 00:30From January 9, 2017 to March 18, 2017
Each Monday from 6:30pm to 8pm
Each Saturday from 12:30pm to 2:30pm
$0
Basketball Skills at Columbus 189461InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 8 but less than 11Coed2017/01/12 00:30From January 9, 2017 to March 18, 2017
Each Wednesday from 6:30pm to 8pm
$0
Basketball Tournament at Columbus 169618TournamentSports - Basketball18 and upCoed2017/01/11 01:00From January 10, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Tuesday from 7pm to 8:30pm
Each Thursday from 7pm to 8:30pm
$0
Baton & Pom Pom at Columbus 169777InstructionSports - CheerleadingAt least 9 but less than 13Coed2017/01/10 00:15From January 9, 2017 to March 14, 2017
Each Monday from 6:15pm to 7:30pm
Each Tuesday from 6:15pm to 7:30pm
$13.00
Baton & Pom Pom at Columbus 169621InstructionSports - CheerleadingAt least 6 but less than 8Female2017/01/12 00:15From January 11, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Wednesday from 6:15pm to 7:30pm
Each Thursday from 6:15pm to 7:30pm
$13.00
Bitty Basketball at Columbus 189456InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 5 but less than 9Coed2017/01/14 19:00From January 14, 2017 to March 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 1pm to 2pm
$6.00
Chorus at Columbus 189462InstructionCulture and Arts - Music60 and upCoed2017/01/11 18:00From January 11, 2017 to March 15, 2017
Each Wednesday from Noon to 1pm
$0
Dance - African Partnership at Columbus 189458PartnershipGroupCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 13 but less than 19Coed2017/01/09 23:00From January 9, 2017 to March 18, 2017
Each Monday from 5pm to 7pm
Each Wednesday from 5pm to 7pm
Each Saturday from Noon to 2pm
$0
Dance - African Partnership at Columbus 189457PartnershipGroupCulture and Arts - Dance18 and upCoed2017/01/11 00:30From January 10, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Tuesday from 6:30pm to 8pm
Each Thursday from 6:30pm to 8pm
$12.00
Dance - Hip Hop at Columbus 169778InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2017/01/11 00:45From January 10, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Tuesday from 6:45pm to 8:30pm
Each Thursday from 6:45pm to 8:30pm
$8.00
Dance - Jazz at Columbus 189463InstructionCulture and Arts - Dance18 and upCoed2017/01/10 19:00From January 10, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Tuesday from 1pm to 2:30pm
Each Thursday from 1pm to 2:30pm
$0
Dance - Latin - Salsa at Columbus 189464InstructionCulture and Arts - Dance18 and upCoed2017/01/09 19:00From January 9, 2017 to March 15, 2017
Each Monday from 1pm to 2:30pm
Each Wednesday from 1pm to 2:30pm
$0
Dance - Steppers at Columbus 189465InstructionCulture and Arts - Dance21 and upCoed2017/01/15 19:00From January 15, 2017 to March 19, 2017
Each Sunday from 1pm to 3pm
$0
Floor Hockey at Columbus 189459InstructionSports - Floor HockeyAt 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
$0
Line Dance at Columbus 170457InstructionCulture and Arts - Dance60 and upCoed2017/01/09 14:30From January 9, 2017 to March 15, 2017
Each Monday from 8:30am to 11:30am
Each Wednesday from 8:30am to 11:30am
$0
Low Impact Aerobics at Columbus 170474InstructionWellness - Aerobics18 and upCoed2017/01/10 01:00From January 9, 2017 to March 15, 2017
Each Monday from 7pm to 8pm
Each Wednesday from 7pm to 8pm
$13.00
Park Kids - Winter at Columbus 170670InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 5 but less than 13Coed2017/01/09 20:00From January 9, 2017 to March 24, 2017
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
$52.00
Pool at Columbus 170785OpenSpecial Interest - Fun & Games60 and upCoed2017/01/09 14:00From January 9, 2017 to March 17, 2017
Each Monday from 8am to 2pm
Each Tuesday from 8am to 2pm
Each Wednesday from 8am to 2pm
Each Thursday from 8am to 2pm
Each Friday from 8am to 2pm
$0
Pool at Columbus 189460OpenSpecial Interest - Fun & Games18 and upCoed2017/01/12 00:00From January 11, 2017 to March 17, 2017
Each Wednesday from 6pm to 8pm
Each Thursday from 6pm to 8pm
Each Friday from 6pm to 8pm
$8.00
Seasonal Sports at Columbus 170866InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/01/10 00:30From January 9, 2017 to March 15, 2017
Each Monday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Each Wednesday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
$0
Seasonal Sports at Columbus 170865InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 13 but less than 17Coed2017/01/13 00:30From January 12, 2017 to March 16, 2017
Each Tuesday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Each Thursday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
$0
Senior Citizens Club at Columbus 170949OpenSpecial Interest - Clubs60 and upCoed2017/01/09 15:00From January 9, 2017 to March 17, 2017
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
$0
Teen Club at Columbus 171274OpenSpecial Interest - ClubsAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2017/01/10 00:30From January 9, 2017 to March 17, 2017
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
$0
Walking Club at Columbus 171563OpenWellness - Walking60 and upCoed2017/01/10 13:30From January 10, 2017 to March 17, 2017
Each Tuesday from 7:30am to 8:30am
Each Thursday from 7:30am to 8:30am
Each Friday from 7:30am to 8:30am
$0
Windy City Hoops-Basketball at Columbus 171576Individual_LeagueSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 19Coed2017/01/14 00:00From January 13, 2017 to March 18, 2017
Each Friday from 6pm to 9pm
Each Saturday from 6pm to 9pm
$0

Photos & Videos

Reviews

Description

Located in the Austin Community, Columbus Park totals 135.12 acres. The park's field house features a fitness center, two gymnasiums, three kitchens, meeting rooms, a senior center and a banquet room.

Outside, the park offers a nature area, a boundless children’s accessible playground with an interactive water feature, a bicycle path, a jogging path, a pavilion and a 9-hole golf course. Columbus is also 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 northern end of park’s grounds and is a popular destination for weddings and special events.

Many of these spaces are available for rental for parties, athletic tournaments and other events. Patrons are especially fond of renting the photogenic 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, concerts, plays and other Night Out in the Parks events. 

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.