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

Columbus Baseball Diamonds

Columbus Baseball Diamonds

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Diamond

Columbus Diamond

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Softball Diamonds

Softball Diamonds

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 Center

Location Notes: 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 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

Clubrooms

Clubrooms

Columbus Club Room

Columbus Club Room

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Picnic Grove

Columbus Picnic Grove

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Playground

Columbus PlaygroundAccessible

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

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

Summer Programs

See our offerings in the Summer tab below.  The standard 6-week day camp runs June 29 - August 7. Specialty camp dates vary.  Most other programs start the week of June 15 and run through the week of August 17. Registration is on-going while spots are available.


Fall Programs

Fall programs start the week of September 14 and run through the week of November 30.
View programs online beginning Monday, July 20.  Registration dates for our park are:

  • Online registration begins on Monday, August 3, 2015 at 9:00am.
  • In-person registration begins on Saturday, August 8, 2015.

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
Basketball - Open at Columbus 116022OpenSports - Basketball18 and upMale2015/06/16 23:30From June 16, 2015 to August 19, 2015
Each Tuesday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Each Wednesday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
$15.00
Basketball - Open at Columbus 116023OpenSports - Basketball60 and upMale2015/06/16 17:00From June 16, 2015 to August 20, 2015
Each Tuesday from Noon to 2pm
Each Thursday from Noon to 2pm
$0
Basketball - Open at Columbus 116021OpenSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2015/06/13 17:30From June 13, 2015 to August 15, 2015
Each Saturday from 12:30pm to 2:30pm
$16.00
Basketball - Teen League at Columbus 117869Individual_LeagueSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2015/06/12 22:00From June 12, 2015 to August 15, 2015
Each Friday from 5pm to 9pm
Each Saturday from 5pm to 9pm
$0
Day Camp at Columbus 116184CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/06/29 15:00From June 29, 2015 to August 7, 2015
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
$180.00
Drop-in Camp at Columbus 116265CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/08/10 13:00From August 10, 2015 to August 21, 2015
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
$80.00
Early Bird Camp at Columbus 116273CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/06/29 13:00From June 29, 2015 to August 7, 2015
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
$45.00
Extended Camp at Columbus 116310CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/06/29 21:00From June 29, 2015 to August 7, 2015
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
$45.00
Fitness Boot Camp at Columbus Cancelled116547InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoed2015/06/20 14:30From June 20, 2015 to August 22, 2015
Each Saturday from 9:30am to 10:15am
$10.00
Kickboxing at Columbus Cancelled116642InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoed2015/06/20 17:30From June 20, 2015 to August 22, 2015
Each Saturday from 12:30pm to 1:15pm
$10.00
Learn to Swim at Columbus 116781InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/06/21 16:00From June 21, 2015 to August 23, 2015
Each Sunday from 11am to Noon
$28.00
Learn to Swim at Columbus 116783InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/06/21 17:15From June 21, 2015 to August 23, 2015
Each Sunday from 12:15pm to 1:15pm
$28.00
Learn to Swim at Columbus 116780InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/06/20 16:00From June 20, 2015 to August 22, 2015
Each Saturday from 11am to Noon
$28.00
Learn to Swim at Columbus 116782InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/06/20 17:15From June 20, 2015 to August 22, 2015
Each Saturday from 12:15pm to 1:15pm
$28.00
Line Dance at Columbus 116891InstructionCulture and Arts - Dance60 and upCoed2015/06/08 14:00From June 8, 2015 to August 12, 2015
Each Monday from 9am to Noon
Each Wednesday from 9am to Noon
$0
Open Swim Female at Columbus 117013OpenAquatics - OpenAnyFemale2015/06/12 20:00From June 12, 2015 to August 23, 2015
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
$0
Open Swim Male at Columbus 117021OpenAquatics - OpenAnyMale2015/06/12 21:45From June 12, 2015 to August 23, 2015
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
$0
Play Camp at Columbus 117500CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 4 but less than 6Coed2015/06/29 15:00From June 29, 2015 to August 7, 2015
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
$65.00
Play Camp at Columbus 117501CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 4 but less than 6Coed2015/06/29 18:00From June 29, 2015 to August 7, 2015
Each Monday from 1pm to 3:30pm
Each Tuesday from 1pm to 3:30pm
Each Wednesday from 1pm to 3:30pm
Each Thursday from 1pm to 3:30pm
Each Friday from 1pm to 3:30pm
$65.00
Pool at Columbus 117548OpenSpecial Interest - Fun & Games50 and upCoed2015/06/08 13:00From June 8, 2015 to August 14, 2015
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
$6.00
POST Open Swim Female at Columbus 130785OpenAquatics - OpenAnyFemale2015/08/24 20:00From August 24, 2015 to September 7, 2015
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
$0
POST Open Swim Male at Columbus 131571OpenAquatics - OpenAnyFemale2015/08/24 20:00From August 24, 2015 to September 7, 2015
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
$0
POST Teen Swim Female at Columbus 130789OpenAquatics - OpenAt least 13 but less than 18Female2015/08/24 21:15From August 24, 2015 to September 7, 2015
Each Monday from 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Each Wednesday from 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Each Friday from 4:15pm to 5:30pm
$0
POST Teen Swim Male at Columbus 131570OpenAquatics - OpenAt least 13 but less than 18Female2015/08/24 22:45From August 24, 2015 to September 7, 2015
Each Monday from 5:45pm to 7pm
Each Tuesday from 5:45pm to 7pm
$0
POST Youth Swim at Columbus 130792OpenAquatics - OpenAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2015/08/29 18:30From August 29, 2015 to September 6, 2015
Each Sunday from 1:30pm to 2:45pm
Each Sunday from 12:15pm to 1:15pm
Each Sunday from 11am to Noon
Each Saturday from 1:30pm to 2:45pm
Each Saturday from 12:15pm to 1:15pm
Each Saturday from 11am to Noon
$0
POST Youth Swim at Columbus 131911OpenAquatics - OpenAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2015/08/10 16:00From August 10, 2015 to September 7, 2015
Each Monday from 11am to Noon
Each Monday from 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Each Tuesday from 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Each Tuesday from 11am to Noon
Each Wednesday from 11am to Noon
Each Wednesday from 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Each Thursday from 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Each Thursday from 11am to Noon
Each Friday from 11am to Noon
Each Friday from 1:30pm to 2:30pm
$0
Small Group Personal Training at Columbus Cancelled117590InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoed2015/06/20 16:30From June 20, 2015 to August 22, 2015
Each Saturday from 11:30am to 12:30pm
$26.00
Small Group Personal Training at Columbus Cancelled117589InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoed2015/07/25 16:30From July 25, 2015 to August 22, 2015
Each Saturday from 11:30am to 12:30pm
$26.00
Sports Conditioning at Columbus Cancelled117674InstructionWellness - Fitness16 and upCoed2015/06/20 15:30From June 20, 2015 to August 22, 2015
Each Saturday from 10:30am to 11:15am
$10.00
TEAM Sports at Columbus 117702InstructionAquatics - SpecializedAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2015/06/16 21:15From June 16, 2015 to September 3, 2015
Each Tuesday from 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Each Thursday from 4:15pm to 5:30pm
$28.00
Teen Swim Female at Columbus 117029OpenAquatics - OpenAt least 13 but less than 18Female2015/06/12 21:15From June 12, 2015 to August 21, 2015
Each Monday from 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Each Wednesday from 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Each Friday from 4:15pm to 5:30pm
$0
Teen Swim Male at Columbus 117033OpenAquatics - OpenAt least 13 but less than 18Male2015/06/15 22:45From June 15, 2015 to August 18, 2015
Each Monday from 5:45pm to 7pm
Each Tuesday from 5:45pm to 7pm
$0
Youth Swim at Columbus 117041OpenAquatics - OpenAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/06/13 18:30From June 13, 2015 to August 23, 2015
Each Sunday from 1:30pm to 2:45pm
Each Saturday from 1:30pm to 2:45pm
$0
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Basketball - Open at Columbus 122476OpenSports - Basketball18 and upMale2015/09/14 23:30From September 14, 2015 to December 2, 2015
Each Monday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Each Wednesday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
$31.00
Basketball - Open at Columbus 122477OpenSports - Basketball60 and upMale2015/09/15 17:30From September 15, 2015 to December 3, 2015
Each Tuesday from 12:30pm to 2pm
Each Thursday from 12:30pm to 2pm
$16.00
Basketball at Columbus 122526InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/09/15 23:15From September 15, 2015 to November 26, 2015
Each Tuesday from 6:15pm to 7:30pm
Each Thursday from 6:15pm to 7:30pm
$6.00
Baton & Pom Pom at Columbus 122672InstructionSports - CheerleadingAt least 6 but less than 8Female2015/09/17 23:15From September 17, 2015 to December 4, 2015
Each Thursday from 6:15pm to 7:15pm
Each Friday from 6:15pm to 7:15pm
$11.00
Bitty Basketball at Columbus 122679InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 6 but less than 10Coed2015/09/19 15:00From September 19, 2015 to November 28, 2015
Each Saturday from 10am to Noon
$6.00
Dance - Hip Hop at Columbus 122812InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 9 but less than 12Coed2015/09/14 23:15From September 14, 2015 to December 2, 2015
Each Monday from 6:15pm to 7:30pm
Each Tuesday from 6:15pm to 7:30pm
Each Wednesday from 6:15pm to 7:30pm
$11.00
Karate at Columbus 123312InstructionSpecial Interest - Self-DefenseAt least 6 but less than 12Coed2015/09/14 23:30From September 14, 2015 to November 25, 2015
Each Monday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Each Wednesday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
$11.00
Line Dance at Columbus 123547InstructionCulture and Arts - Dance60 and upCoed2015/09/14 14:00From September 14, 2015 to November 25, 2015
Each Monday from 9am to 11:30am
Each Wednesday from 9am to 11:30am
$0
Low Impact Aerobics at Columbus 123561InstructionWellness - Aerobics18 and upFemale2015/09/15 00:00From September 14, 2015 to December 2, 2015
Each Monday from 7pm to 8:15pm
Each Wednesday from 7pm to 8:15pm
$11.00
Park Kids - Fall Session at Columbus 123858InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/09/01 19:00From September 1, 2015 to December 4, 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
$51.00
Park Kids - Fall Winter Spring at Columbus 123878Activity_PackageOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/09/01 19:00From September 1, 2015 to June 10, 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
$153.00
Pool at Columbus 123995OpenSpecial Interest - Fun & Games60 and upCoed2015/09/14 13:00From September 14, 2015 to November 27, 2015
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
$0
Pool at Columbus 123996OpenSpecial Interest - Fun & GamesAt least 18 but less than 22Coed2015/09/16 23:00From September 16, 2015 to November 27, 2015
Each Wednesday from 6pm to 8pm
Each Thursday from 6pm to 8pm
Each Friday from 6pm to 8pm
$6.00
Seasonal Sports at Columbus 124117InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 6 but less than 12Coed2015/09/14 23:30From September 14, 2015 to November 9, 2015
Each Monday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
$0
Seasonal Sports at Columbus 124116InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2015/09/15 23:30From September 15, 2015 to December 1, 2015
Each Tuesday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
$0
Senior Citizens Club at Columbus 124207OpenSpecial Interest - Clubs60 and upCoed2015/09/14 14:00From September 14, 2015 to November 27, 2015
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 124496OpenSpecial Interest - ClubsAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2015/09/14 23:30From September 14, 2015 to December 4, 2015
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
Volleyball at Columbus Cancelled124763InstructionSports - Volleyball18 and upCoed2015/09/18 23:30From September 18, 2015 to December 4, 2015
Each Friday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
$6.00
Windy City Hoops-Basketball at Columbus 124814Individual_LeagueSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2015/08/28 22:00From August 28, 2015 to December 26, 2015
Each Friday from 5pm to 10pm
Each Saturday from 5pm to 10pm
$0

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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."

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.