Ellis (Samuel) Park

  • 3520 S. Cottage Grove Ave.   Chicago, Illinois 60653 [View Map]
  • Fieldhouse Hours: , ,
  • Park Hours:
  • Park Supervisor: Monique Scott
  • Park Phone: (773) 285-7099

Located in the Douglas Community, Ellis Park totals 9.86 acres. Outdoor features include tennis courts, athletic fields for football or soccer, and a soft-surface playground.  

In 2015, the Chicago Park District broke ground to build a new fieldhouse at Ellis Park. Opened in the summer of 2016, the Arts and Recreation Center at Ellis Park, located at 3520 S. Cottage Grove Ave., is a $18 million state-of-the-art facility providing 32,000 square feet of facility space that includes a five-lane competitive pool, a gymnasium, a fitness center, multi-purpose arts and community spaces, a rooftop terrace, locker rooms and administrative space. 

The Arts and Recreation Center at Ellis Park will be operated by the Chicago Park District and provide afterschool and summer youth programming, family activities, arts and cultural offerings, health and wellness programming, and community events for residents of all ages. 

Parking/Directions

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

History

One of Chicago’s oldest green spaces, Ellis Park honors Samuel Ellis for whom Ellis Avenue is also named. Having arrived in Chicago from Massachusetts in 1831, Samuel Ellis (1790 - 1856) helped defend Chicago during the 1832 Black Hawk War.

Ellis purchased more than 135 acres of South Side lakefront property. He owned and ran the Ellis Inn, farmed the land, and served as the area’s milkman. In 1855, Ellis subdivided his land holdings between 31st and 39th Streets, from Lake Michigan to South Park Boulevard (now Martin Luther King Drive), and donated a wedge-shaped parcel to the city for use as a public park. 

The area surrounding Ellis Park, known as the Oakland community, had first developed as a fashionable neighborhood, fell into decline at the turn of the twentieth century. At that time, as wealthy residents move out, their homes were divided into apartments and rooming houses. Ellis Park had also been impacted. Its landscape was carved up by adjacent residents who extended sidewalks from their homes and planted trees and shrubs on either side. A decaying bandstand added to the sense of disorder.

In the early 1900s, the Special Park Commission reclaimed Ellis Park from the encroaching property owners. Acclaimed landscape architect Jens Jensen (1860- 1951), then serving as a Special Park Commission member, redesigned the 3-acre park. His 1906 plan included two ornamental fountains and a circular, tree-edged lawn.

Decades later, the surrounding neighborhood changed again, and the federal government erected the Ida B. Wells housing project. To accommodate the area’s larger population, the city’s Bureau of Parks and Recreation (successor to the Special Park Commission) installed two new wading pools which drew more than 14,000 children the first summer.

The City of Chicago transferred Ellis Park to the Chicago Park District in 1959. Several years later, the park district purchased additional land east, west, and north of the original park, more than tripling its size. Improvements to the enlarged park included ball fields, tennis courts, as well as trees, lawns, and walkways.

Over the years, the neighborhood surrounding Ellis Park continued to change. The Chicago Housing Authority demolished the Ida B. Wells and Madden Park Homes. Today, CHA provides a number of scattered site rental apartments in the neighborhood. For years, the community lacked swimming facilities and other amenities.

In 2015, ground was broken in Ellis Park for a state-of-the-art field house providing the community with a greatly needed recreational and cultural facility. The Chicago Park District worked with the City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Housing Authority and its partner The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB) to develop the new center.

Designed by Booth Hansen and Nia Architects, the 32,000-square foot two story building reflects a contemporary aesthetic. Composed of precast concrete, metal framing and glass fiber reinforced concrete wall panels, the building provides an indoor swimming pool; full-sized gymnasium; multi-purpose club rooms for art, education, performance, meetings and exercise; a fitness center with weight and strength training equipment; second-level outdoor patio space with catering kitchen for park and special events and fully equipped and accessible men’s, women’s and family locker rooms. The facility was completed and opened to the public in the summer of 2016.

Ellis Diamond Baseball

Ellis Diamond Baseball

Location Notes: 707 E. 37th St.

Ellis Basketball

Ellis Basketball

Location Notes: 707 E. 37th St.

Ellis Park Fitness Center

Ellis Park Fitness Center

Location: 3520 S. Cottage Grove.

Hours: , ,

Ellis Football/Soccer Field

Ellis Football/Soccer Field

Location Notes: 707 E. 37th St.

Descriptors: Grass

Ellis Playground

Ellis PlaygroundAccessible

Descriptors: Rubberized Surface

Ellis Tennis Court

Ellis Tennis Court

Location Notes: 707 E. 37th St.

Fall Programs

Most fall programs start the week of September 11 and run through the week of December 4.  Click on the program name links below to register now.  Registration is on-going while spots are available. 


Winter Programs

Most winter programs start the week of January 8, 2018  and run through the week of March 12, 2018.  View programs online & create your wish list beginning Monday, November 20.  Registration dates for our park are:

  • Online registration begins on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 9:00am.
  • In-person registration begins on Monday, December 11, 2017.

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
Adaptive Swimming at Ellis 221037InstructionAquatics - LessonsAnyCoed2017/09/14 23:30From September 14, 2017 to December 7, 2017
Each Thursday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
$0
Aquatic Exercise (Special Rec) at Ellis 224262InstructionAquatics - Fitness18 and upCoed2017/09/11 18:00From September 11, 2017 to December 4, 2017
Each Monday from 1pm to 2pm
$10.00
Aquatic Exercise II - Low Impact at Ellis 221889InstructionAquatics - Fitness60 and upCoed2017/09/11 16:00From September 11, 2017 to December 4, 2017
Each Monday from 11am to Noon
$0
Aquatic Exercise II - Low Impact at Ellis 225043InstructionAquatics - Fitness18 and upCoed2017/09/13 23:00From September 13, 2017 to December 6, 2017
Each Wednesday from 6pm to 7pm
$30.00
Aquatic Exercise II - Low Impact at Ellis Cancelled221885InstructionAquatics - Fitness60 and upCoed2017/09/13 23:00From September 13, 2017 to December 6, 2017
Each Wednesday from 6pm to 7pm
Basketball League at Ellis 222061Team_LeagueSports - Basketball30 and upCoed2017/09/12 23:30From September 12, 2017 to December 7, 2017
Each Tuesday from 6:30pm to 8pm
Each Thursday from 6:30pm to 8pm
$100.00
Basketball Skills at Ellis 205488InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/09/11 23:00From September 11, 2017 to December 4, 2017
Each Monday from 6pm to 7pm
$11.00
Basketball Skills at Ellis 222058InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2017/09/15 23:30From September 15, 2017 to December 8, 2017
Each Friday from 6:30pm to 8pm
$0
Basketball Skills at Ellis 222057InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/09/16 17:00From September 16, 2017 to December 9, 2017
Each Saturday from Noon to 2pm
$11.00
Bingo at Ellis Cancelled222060OpenSpecial Interest - Fun & Games60 and upCoed2017/09/15 16:00From September 15, 2017 to December 1, 2017
Friday from 11am to Noon on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weeks of each month
$0
Bingo at Ellis Cancelled222060OpenSpecial Interest - Fun & Games60 and upCoed2017/09/15 16:00From September 15, 2017 to December 1, 2017
Friday from 11am to Noon on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weeks of each month
$0
Bingo at Ellis Cancelled222060OpenSpecial Interest - Fun & Games60 and upCoed2017/09/15 16:00From September 15, 2017 to December 1, 2017
Friday from 11am to Noon on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weeks of each month
$0
Bingo at Ellis Cancelled222060OpenSpecial Interest - Fun & Games60 and upCoed2017/09/15 16:00From September 15, 2017 to December 1, 2017
Friday from 11am to Noon on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weeks of each month
$0
Chair Exercise at Ellis 205627InstructionWellness - Fitness60 and upCoed2017/09/14 15:00From September 14, 2017 to December 7, 2017
Each Thursday from 10am to 11am
$0
Circuit Training at Ellis 222062InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoed2017/09/12 18:00From September 12, 2017 to December 7, 2017
Each Tuesday from 1pm to 2pm
Each Thursday from 1pm to 2pm
$11.00
Conditioning at Ellis 205704InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoed2017/09/11 19:00From September 11, 2017 to December 8, 2017
Each Monday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Tuesday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Wednesday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Thursday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Friday from 2pm to 3pm
$12.00
Dance - Hip Hop at Ellis 205789InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/09/11 22:00From September 11, 2017 to December 6, 2017
Each Monday from 5pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 5pm to 6pm
$22.00
Fencing Partnership at Ellis 224351PartnershipGroupSports - FencingAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/09/11 22:00From September 11, 2017 to December 5, 2017
Each Monday from 5pm to 7pm
Each Tuesday from 5pm to 7pm
$0
Fun and Games at Ellis 224451InstructionSpecial Interest - Fun & GamesAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/09/13 22:00From September 13, 2017 to December 6, 2017
Each Wednesday from 5pm to 6pm
$0
Fun with Food at Ellis 224450InstructionSpecial Interest - Educational/Self-HelpAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/09/13 22:00From September 13, 2017 to December 6, 2017
Each Wednesday from 5pm to 6pm
Hip Hop Aerobics at Ellis 205790InstructionWellness - Aerobics18 and upCoed2017/09/11 23:00From September 11, 2017 to December 6, 2017
Each Monday from 6pm to 7pm
Each Wednesday from 6pm to 7pm
$12.00
Hip Hop Aerobics at Ellis 222059InstructionWellness - Aerobics60 and upCoed2017/09/12 16:30From September 12, 2017 to December 5, 2017
Each Tuesday from 11:30am to 12:30pm
$0
Lap Swim at Ellis 206500OpenAquatics - Open18 and upCoed2017/09/11 14:00From September 11, 2017 to January 5, 2018
Each Monday from 9am to 10am
Each Friday from 9am to 10am
Each Saturday from 4pm to 4:45pm
$40.00
Learn to Swim (Special Rec) at Ellis 221039InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 4 but less than 13Coed2017/09/16 14:00From September 16, 2017 to December 9, 2017
Each Saturday from 9am to 10am
$0
Learn to Swim at Ellis 206543InstructionAquatics - Lessons60 and upCoed2017/09/11 17:00From September 11, 2017 to December 4, 2017
Each Monday from Noon to 1pm
$0
Learn to Swim at Ellis 206545InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/09/12 21:00From September 12, 2017 to December 5, 2017
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 5pm
$30.00
Learn to Swim at Ellis 221923InstructionAquatics - Lessons18 and upCoed2017/09/12 23:00From September 12, 2017 to December 5, 2017
Each Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm
$30.00
Learn to Swim at Ellis 206546InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/09/13 21:00From September 13, 2017 to December 6, 2017
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 5pm
$30.00
Learn to Swim at Ellis 206547InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/09/14 21:00From September 14, 2017 to December 7, 2017
Each Thursday from 4pm to 5pm
$30.00
Learn to Swim at Ellis 206550InstructionAquatics - Lessons60 and upCoed2017/09/15 17:00From September 15, 2017 to December 8, 2017
Each Friday from Noon to 1pm
$0
Learn to Swim at Ellis 206544InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/09/16 17:00From September 16, 2017 to December 9, 2017
Each Saturday from Noon to 1pm
$30.00
Learn to Swim at Ellis 221924InstructionAquatics - Lessons18 and upCoed2017/09/16 18:00From September 16, 2017 to December 9, 2017
Each Saturday from 1pm to 2pm
$30.00
Low Impact Aerobics at Ellis 206748InstructionWellness - Aerobics60 and upCoed2017/09/14 16:30From September 14, 2017 to December 7, 2017
Each Thursday from 11:30am to 12:30pm
$0
Nutrition at Ellis 222065InstructionWellness - Nutrition60 and upCoed2017/09/11 16:30From September 11, 2017 to December 10, 2017
Each Monday from 11:30am to 12:30pm
Open Swim at Ellis 224444OpenAquatics - Open18 and upCoed2017/09/11 18:00From September 11, 2017 to December 9, 2017
Each Monday from 2pm to 4pm
Each Tuesday from 1pm to 3pm
Each Wednesday from 1pm to 2pm
Each Thursday from 1pm to 3pm
Each Friday from 2pm to 4pm
Each Friday from 6pm to 7pm
Each Saturday from 2pm to 4pm
$0
Park Kids - Fall at Ellis 207078InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 14Coed2017/09/11 20:00From September 11, 2017 to December 8, 2017
Each Monday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 1pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 3pm to 6pm
$65.00
Park Kids - Fall Winter Spring at Ellis 208775Activity_PackageOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 14Coed2017/09/11 20:00From September 11, 2017 to June 8, 2018$195.00
Park Voyagers at Ellis 224413InstructionSpecial Interest - Educational/Self-HelpAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/09/11 21:00From September 11, 2017 to December 8, 2017
Each Monday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 2pm to 4pm
Each Friday from 4pm to 6pm
$0
Pickleball at Ellis 207207InstructionSports - Pickleball60 and upCoed2017/09/12 16:00From September 12, 2017 to December 8, 2017
Each Tuesday from 11am to Noon
Each Thursday from 11am to Noon
Each Friday from 11am to Noon
$0
Senior Swim at Ellis 207584OpenAquatics - Open60 and upCoed2017/09/12 16:00From September 12, 2017 to December 8, 2017
Each Tuesday from 11am to Noon
Each Thursday from 11am to Noon
Each Friday from 1pm to 2pm
$0
Sports Conditioning at Ellis Cancelled207979InstructionWellness - FitnessAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2017/09/11 22:00From September 11, 2017 to December 4, 2017
Each Monday from 5pm to 6pm
$0
Super Saturdays (Special Rec) at Ellis 221040InstructionSpecial Interest - Fun & GamesAt least 4 but less than 13Coed2017/09/16 15:00From September 16, 2017 to December 9, 2017
Each Saturday from 10am to 11:30am
$0
TEAM Sports at Ellis 207934InstructionAquatics - SpecializedAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2017/09/12 22:00From September 12, 2017 to January 5, 2018
Each Monday from 5pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 5pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 5pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 5pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 5pm to 6pm
$35.00
TEAM Sports at Ellis 204838InstructionAquatics - Specialized60 and upCoed2017/09/12 14:00From September 12, 2017 to December 7, 2017
Each Tuesday from 9am to 10am
Each Thursday from 9am to 10am
$0
Teen Fit Box at Ellis 207811InstructionWellness - FitnessAt least 13 but less than 17Coed2017/09/11 22:00From September 11, 2017 to December 4, 2017
Each Monday from 5pm to 6pm
$0
Tiny Tot Swim - Level I at Ellis 224445InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least but less than 3y 1m Coed2017/09/20 15:00From September 20, 2017 to December 6, 2017
Each Wednesday from 10am to 11am
$34.00
Tiny Tot Swim - Level I at Ellis 208112InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least but less than 3y 1m Coed2017/09/16 16:00From September 16, 2017 to December 9, 2017
Each Saturday from 11am to Noon
$34.00
Tiny Tot Swim - Level II at Ellis 224356InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/09/13 20:00From September 13, 2017 to December 6, 2017
Each Wednesday from 3pm to 4pm
$34.00
Tiny Tot Swim - Level II at Ellis 224442InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/09/14 20:00From September 14, 2017 to December 7, 2017
Each Thursday from 3pm to 4pm
$34.00
Tiny Tot Swim - Level II at Ellis 224443InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/09/16 15:00From September 16, 2017 to December 9, 2017
Each Saturday from 10am to 11am
$34.00
Walking Club at Ellis 222066OpenWellness - Walking60 and upCoed2017/09/11 18:00From September 11, 2017 to December 6, 2017
Each Monday from 1pm to 2pm
Each Wednesday from 11:30am to 12:30pm
Winter Break Camp at Ellis 208553CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/12/19 15:00From December 19, 2017 to December 29, 2017
Each Monday from 9am to 5pm
Each Tuesday from 9am to 5pm
Each Wednesday from 9am to 5pm
Each Thursday from 9am to 5pm
Each Friday from 9am to 5pm
$47.00
Yoga at Ellis 208645InstructionWellness - Yoga60 and upCoed2017/09/11 15:00From September 11, 2017 to December 4, 2017
Each Monday from 10am to 11am
$0
Yoga at Ellis 222055InstructionWellness - Yoga60 and upCoed2017/09/12 15:00From September 12, 2017 to December 5, 2017
Each Tuesday from 10am to 11am
$0
Yoga at Ellis 205687InstructionWellness - Yoga60 and upCoed2017/09/13 15:00From September 13, 2017 to December 6, 2017
Each Wednesday from 10am to 11am
$0
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Park Kids - Winter at Ellis 213336InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 14Coed2018/01/08 21:00From January 8, 2018 to March 23, 2018
Each Monday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 1pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 3pm to 6pm
$65.00
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Park Kids - Spring at Ellis 219263InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 14Coed2018/04/02 20:00From April 2, 2018 to June 15, 2018
Each Monday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 1pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 3pm to 6pm
$62.00

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Description

Located in the Douglas Community, Ellis Park totals 9.86 acres. Outdoor features include tennis courts, athletic fields for football or soccer, and a soft-surface playground.  

In 2015, the Chicago Park District broke ground to build a new fieldhouse at Ellis Park. Opened in the summer of 2016, the Arts and Recreation Center at Ellis Park, located at 3520 S. Cottage Grove Ave., is a $18 million state-of-the-art facility providing 32,000 square feet of facility space that includes a five-lane competitive pool, a gymnasium, a fitness center, multi-purpose arts and community spaces, a rooftop terrace, locker rooms and administrative space. 

The Arts and Recreation Center at Ellis Park will be operated by the Chicago Park District and provide afterschool and summer youth programming, family activities, arts and cultural offerings, health and wellness programming, and community events for residents of all ages. 

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

One of Chicago’s oldest green spaces, Ellis Park honors Samuel Ellis for whom Ellis Avenue is also named. Having arrived in Chicago from Massachusetts in 1831, Samuel Ellis (1790 - 1856) helped defend Chicago during the 1832 Black Hawk War.

Ellis purchased more than 135 acres of South Side lakefront property. He owned and ran the Ellis Inn, farmed the land, and served as the area’s milkman. In 1855, Ellis subdivided his land holdings between 31st and 39th Streets, from Lake Michigan to South Park Boulevard (now Martin Luther King Drive), and donated a wedge-shaped parcel to the city for use as a public park. 

The area surrounding Ellis Park, known as the Oakland community, had first developed as a fashionable neighborhood, fell into decline at the turn of the twentieth century. At that time, as wealthy residents move out, their homes were divided into apartments and rooming houses. Ellis Park had also been impacted. Its landscape was carved up by adjacent residents who extended sidewalks from their homes and planted trees and shrubs on either side. A decaying bandstand added to the sense of disorder.

In the early 1900s, the Special Park Commission reclaimed Ellis Park from the encroaching property owners. Acclaimed landscape architect Jens Jensen (1860- 1951), then serving as a Special Park Commission member, redesigned the 3-acre park. His 1906 plan included two ornamental fountains and a circular, tree-edged lawn.

Decades later, the surrounding neighborhood changed again, and the federal government erected the Ida B. Wells housing project. To accommodate the area’s larger population, the city’s Bureau of Parks and Recreation (successor to the Special Park Commission) installed two new wading pools which drew more than 14,000 children the first summer.

The City of Chicago transferred Ellis Park to the Chicago Park District in 1959. Several years later, the park district purchased additional land east, west, and north of the original park, more than tripling its size. Improvements to the enlarged park included ball fields, tennis courts, as well as trees, lawns, and walkways.

Over the years, the neighborhood surrounding Ellis Park continued to change. The Chicago Housing Authority demolished the Ida B. Wells and Madden Park Homes. Today, CHA provides a number of scattered site rental apartments in the neighborhood. For years, the community lacked swimming facilities and other amenities.

In 2015, ground was broken in Ellis Park for a state-of-the-art field house providing the community with a greatly needed recreational and cultural facility. The Chicago Park District worked with the City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Housing Authority and its partner The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB) to develop the new center.

Designed by Booth Hansen and Nia Architects, the 32,000-square foot two story building reflects a contemporary aesthetic. Composed of precast concrete, metal framing and glass fiber reinforced concrete wall panels, the building provides an indoor swimming pool; full-sized gymnasium; multi-purpose club rooms for art, education, performance, meetings and exercise; a fitness center with weight and strength training equipment; second-level outdoor patio space with catering kitchen for park and special events and fully equipped and accessible men’s, women’s and family locker rooms. The facility was completed and opened to the public in the summer of 2016.