Columbus Park

  • 500 S. Central Ave.   Chicago, Illinois 60644 [View Map]
  • Fieldhouse Hours: ,
  • Park Hours:
  • Park Supervisor: Jeanette Stovall
  • Park 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 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 Tennis Court

Columbus Tennis Court

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Wade Pool

Columbus Wade Pool

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Events

Spring Programs

See our offerings in the Spring tab below.  Spring programs start the week of March 28 and run through the week of May 30.  Click on the program name links below to register now.  Registration is on-going while spots are available.

 

Summer Programs

The standard 6-week day camp runs July 5 - August 12. Specialty camp dates vary.  Most other programs start the week of June 20 and run through the week of August 22.  Click on the program name links below to view a program and save it to your wish list.  Registration dates for our park are:

  • Online registration begins on Monday, April 4, 2016 at 9:00am.
  • In-person registration begins on Saturday, April 9, 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
Adult Swim at Columbus 155882OpenAquatics - Open18 and upCoed2016/06/25 18:30From June 25, 2016 to August 28, 2016
Each Sunday from 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Each Saturday from 1:30pm to 2:30pm
$0
Baseball - Cubs Care Rookie at Columbus 159080InstructionSports - BaseballAt least 9 but less than 13Coed2016/07/06 18:30From July 6, 2016 to August 24, 2016
Each Wednesday from 1:30pm to 3pm
$0
Basketball - Open at Columbus 154429OpenSports - Basketball60 and upMale2016/06/21 17:00From June 21, 2016 to August 25, 2016
Each Tuesday from Noon to 2pm
Each Thursday from Noon to 2pm
$0
Basketball - Teen League at Columbus 154453Individual_LeagueSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2016/06/17 22:00From June 17, 2016 to August 20, 2016
Each Friday from 5pm to 9pm
Each Saturday from 5pm to 9pm
$0
Basketball at Columbus 159521InstructionSports - Basketball18 and upCoed2016/06/22 17:30From June 22, 2016 to August 24, 2016
Each Wednesday from 12:30pm to 2:30pm
$0
Basketball Tournament at Columbus 154428TournamentSports - Basketball18 and upCoed2016/06/21 23:30From June 21, 2016 to August 23, 2016
Each Tuesday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Each Thursday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
$105.00
Day Camp at Columbus 154606CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/07/05 15:00From July 5, 2016 to August 12, 2016
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
$190.00
Drop-in Camp at Columbus 154691CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/08/15 13:00From August 15, 2016 to August 26, 2016
Each Monday from 8am to 5pm
Each Tuesday from 8am to 5pm
Each Wednesday from 8am to 5pm
Each Thursday from 8am to 5pm
Each Friday from 8am to 5pm
$82.00
Early Bird Camp at Columbus 154701CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/07/05 13:00From July 5, 2016 to August 12, 2016
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
$46.00
Extended Camp at Columbus 154738CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/07/05 21:00From July 5, 2016 to August 12, 2016
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
$46.00
Family Swim at Columbus 155735OpenAquatics - OpenAnyCoed2016/06/20 23:15From June 20, 2016 to August 28, 2016
Each Sunday from 5:15pm to 6:15pm
Each Monday from 6:15pm to 7:15pm
Each Wednesday from 6:15pm to 7:15pm
Each Friday from 6:15pm to 7:15pm
Each Saturday from 5:15pm to 6:15pm
$0
Lap Swim at Columbus 154991OpenAquatics - Open18 and upCoed2016/06/21 21:45From June 21, 2016 to August 27, 2016
Each Tuesday from 4:45pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 4:45pm to 6pm
Each Saturday from 12:15pm to 1:15pm
$40.00
Learn to Swim at Columbus 154990InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/06/26 16:00From June 26, 2016 to August 28, 2016
Each Sunday from 11am to Noon
$30.00
Learn to Swim at Columbus 154992InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/06/26 17:15From June 26, 2016 to August 28, 2016
Each Sunday from 12:15pm to 1:15pm
$30.00
Learn to Swim at Columbus 154989InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/06/25 16:00From June 25, 2016 to August 27, 2016
Each Saturday from 11am to Noon
$30.00
Line Dance at Columbus 155085InstructionCulture and Arts - Dance60 and upCoed2016/06/13 14:00From June 13, 2016 to August 17, 2016
Each Monday from 9am to Noon
Each Wednesday from 9am to Noon
Except the following dates:
Monday, July 4, 2016
$0
Open Swim Female at Columbus 155142OpenAquatics - OpenAnyFemale2016/06/20 17:15From June 20, 2016 to August 26, 2016
Each Monday from 12:15pm to 1:30pm
Each Tuesday from 12:15pm to 1:30pm
Each Wednesday from 12:15pm to 1:30pm
Each Thursday from 12:15pm to 1:30pm
Each Friday from 12:15pm to 1:30pm
$0
Open Swim Male at Columbus 155732OpenAquatics - Open6 and upMale2016/06/25 19:45From June 25, 2016 to August 28, 2016
Each Sunday from 2:45pm to 3:45pm
Each Saturday from 2:45pm to 3:45pm
$0
Open Swim Male at Columbus 155146OpenAquatics - OpenAnyMale2016/06/20 20:00From June 20, 2016 to August 26, 2016
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
$0
Parent and Tot Swim at Columbus 159329OpenAquatics - OpenLess than 6Coed2016/06/20 16:00From June 20, 2016 to August 26, 2016
Each Monday from 4:45pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 11am to Noon
Each Friday from 4:45pm to 6pm
$0
Play Camp at Columbus 155213CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 4 but less than 6Coed2016/07/05 15:00From July 4, 2016 to August 12, 2016
Each Monday from 10am to 12:30pm
Each Tuesday from 10am to 12:30pm
Each Wednesday from 10am to 12:30pm
Each Thursday from 10am to 12:30pm
Each Friday from 10am to 12:30pm
$66.00
Play Camp at Columbus 155214CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 4 but less than 6Coed2016/07/05 18:00From July 5, 2016 to August 12, 2016
Each Monday from 1pm to 4pm
Each Tuesday from 1pm to 4pm
Each Wednesday from 1pm to 4pm
Each Thursday from 1pm to 4pm
Each Friday from 1pm to 4pm
$66.00
Pool at Columbus 155258OpenSpecial Interest - Fun & Games21 and upCoed2016/06/20 13:00From June 20, 2016 to August 27, 2016
Each Monday from 8am to 1pm
Each Tuesday from 8am to 1pm
Each Wednesday from 8am to 1pm
Each Thursday from 8am to 1pm
Each Friday from 8am to 1pm
Each Saturday from 8am to 1pm
Except the following dates:
Monday, July 4, 2016
$7.00
Seasonal Sports at Columbus 159522InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/06/20 23:30From June 20, 2016 to August 22, 2016
Each Monday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
$0
Seasonal Sports at Columbus 159523InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2016/06/21 23:30From June 20, 2016 to August 23, 2016
Each Tuesday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
$0
Senior Citizens Club at Columbus 155523OpenSpecial Interest - Clubs60 and upCoed2016/07/06 16:00From July 6, 2016 to August 26, 2016
Each Monday from 11am to 12:30pm
Each Tuesday from 11am to 12:30pm
Each Wednesday from 11am to 12:30pm
Each Thursday from 11am to 12:30pm
Each Friday from 11am to 12:30pm
$0
Show Choir at Columbus 159525InstructionCulture and Arts - Music60 and upCoed2016/06/13 16:00From June 13, 2016 to August 17, 2016
Each Monday from 11am to 1pm
Each Wednesday from 11am to 1pm
$0
TEAM Sports at Columbus 155661InstructionAquatics - SpecializedAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2016/06/23 23:15From June 23, 2016 to August 25, 2016
Each Thursday from 6:15pm to 7:15pm
$28.00
Teen Camp at Columbus 159079CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 13 but less than 15Coed2016/07/05 15:00From July 5, 2016 to August 12, 2016
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
$184.00
Teen Swim at Columbus 159328OpenAquatics - OpenAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2016/06/21 18:45From June 21, 2016 to August 28, 2016
Each Sunday from 6:30pm to 7:15pm
Each Tuesday from 6:15pm to 7:15pm
Each Thursday from 1:45pm to 3pm
Each Saturday from 6:30pm to 7:15pm
$0
Windy City Hoops-Basketball at Columbus 159524Individual_LeagueSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2016/06/10 23:30From June 10, 2016 to August 20, 2016
Each Friday from 6:30pm to 9pm
Each Saturday from 6:30pm to 9pm
$0

Photos & Videos

Reviews

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."

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.