Northerly Island Park

  • 1521 S. Linn White Dr.   Chicago, Illinois 60605 [View Map]
  • Fieldhouse Hours:
  • Park Hours:
  • Park Supervisor: Teishetta Daniel
  • Park Phone: (312) 745-2910 (Fieldhouse)
  • Park Phone: (312) 540-2668 (FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island Box Office)

Northerly Island is a 91- acre peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan at the heart of the Museum Campus. It is located just south of the Adler Planetarium and east of Soldier Field. The majority of this space is dedicated to nature! The nature area at Northerly Island features beautiful strolling paths, casual play areas and a spectacular view of the Chicago skyline. It is also home to some of the best fishing in Chicago.

During the winter and early spring (November - April), the Northerly Island fieldhouse is open on Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 am to 4 pm. The rest of the year, the fieldhouse is open daily, from 9am to 5pm. When the fieldhouse is open, staff is available to answer questions about the island and provide information on a discovery tour.

The FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island is located at the northern end of the island.  The 2013 season brought a variety of improvements and expansions to this popular lakefront facility, including an upgraded stage, expanded state-of-the-art sound and lights, new seating and more grassy space throughout the venue. The newly redeveloped lawn now allows for flexible capacity up to 30,000 patrons while still offering sweeping panoramic views of Chicago’s lakefront.  Since its opening night featuring Earth, Wind and Fire in 2007, FirstMerit Bank Pavilion has brought a wealth of talent to the beautiful park-like setting of Northerly Island.  Check out the current schedule and purchase tickets now

History

Chicago's famous architect and planner Daniel H. Burnham imagined Northerly Island as one of the northernmost points in a series of manmade islands stretching between Grant and Jackson Parks. His vision for this park included lagoons, harbors, beaches, recreation areas, a scenic drive and grand stretches of green space that would provide breathtaking views of the lake and City skyline. Northerly Island and Burnham Park were selected as the site of Chicago's second World's Fair entitled A Century of Progress, 1933-34, and by the early 1930s, Northerly Island had been increased to its present size. In 1938, the Chicago Park District removed the bridge leading to Northerly Island and built a causeway connecting the island to Burnham Park. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Northerly Island featured paths and walkways, scattered trees and grass, a parking lot and the 12th Street Beach. In 1947, a small airport known as Meigs Field opened under the Exposition Authority Act. Operations at Meigs expanded with the building of an air control tower in 1952. The 50-year lease granted by the park district for Meigs Field expired on September 30, 1996. The City, Park District, and numerous civic organizations agreed that the airport should revert to parkland. Today, Daniel Burnham’s vision is now a reality. With wild prairie grasses taking root, beautiful strolling paths, casual play areas, and a spectacular view of the City skyline, we invite you to come out and enjoy the emerging world of Northerly Island.

Parking/Directions

Metered parking is available in the lot on site.  Get rates and additional information.

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

America’s Courtyard

America’s Courtyard (1)

Location Notes: Southeast of Adler Planetarium

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Daphne Garden

Daphne Garden (1)

Location Notes: East of S. Linn White Drive and north of the Northerly Island Visitor’s Center

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Karel Havlicek Monument

Karel Havlicek Monument (1)

Location Notes: In the median of E. Solidarity Drive, east of S. Linn White Drive

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Man Enters the Cosmos

Man Enters the Cosmos (1)

Location Notes: Northwest of Adler Planetarium

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Nicolaus Copernicus Monument

Nicolaus Copernicus Monument (1)

Location Notes: Solidarity Drive in front of the Adler Planetarium

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Signal: Bon Voyage

Signal: Bon Voyage (1)

Location Notes: Judd Goldman Sailing Center- 1362 S. Linn White Drive

Descriptors: Outdoor, Mural

Spiral Galaxy

Spiral Galaxy (1)

Location Notes: South of Adler Planetarium

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Thaddeus Kosciusko Monument

Thaddeus Kosciusko Monument (1)

Location Notes: In the median of E. Solidarity Drive southeast of Shedd Aquarium

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Northerly Island

Northerly Island

Location Notes: 1400 S. Linn White Drive

Northerly Island Visitor Center

Northerly Island Visitor Center

Hours:

Descriptors: Has Air Conditioning, Metered lot parking

Northerly Island Tent

Northerly Island Tent

Notes: Has heat. Ideal for weddings and large events.

Descriptors: Has Air Conditioning

FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island

FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island

Location Notes: 1300 S. Linn White Dr.

Notes: FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island. For concert info. & tickets visit LiveNation.com or call FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at (312) 540-2668. Closed during Bears’ Home Games.

Northerly Island Visitor Center Lawn

Northerly Island Visitor Center Lawn

Notes: Can be rented with the tent for weddings & large events.

Northerly Island Nature Area

Northerly Island Nature Area

Hours: ,

Notes: 1 mile loop path, no dogs

News

Events

Winter Programs

Most winter  programs start the week of January 9, 2017 and run through the week of March 31. Click on the program name links below to view a program and register now.  Registration is on-going while spots are available.
 

Spring Programs

Most spring programs start the week of April 3 and run through the week of June 5.  View programs online & create your wish list beginning Monday, February 13.  Registration dates for our park are:

  • Online registration begins on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 9:00am.
  • In-person registration begins on Monday, March 6, 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
Day Sailing Checklist at Northerly Island 172714InstructionAquatics - Sailing12 and upCoed2017/02/25 16:30February 25, 2017
Saturday from 10:30am to Noon
$0
Sailing - Racing Tactics at Northerly Island 174222InstructionAquatics - Sailing12 and upCoed2017/03/18 15:30March 18, 2017
Saturday from 10:30am to Noon
$0
Sailing Basic VHF Radio Usage at Northerly Island 174223InstructionAquatics - Sailing12 and upCoed2017/04/15 15:30April 15, 2017
Saturday from 10:30am to Noon
$0
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Spring Break Camp at Northerly Island 181174CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/04/10 14:30From April 10, 2017 to April 14, 2017
Each Monday from 9:30am to 3pm
Each Tuesday from 9:30am to 3pm
Each Wednesday from 9:30am to 3pm
Each Thursday from 9:30am to 3pm
Each Friday from 9:30am to 3pm
$109.00

Photos & Videos

Reviews

Description

Northerly Island is a 91- acre peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan at the heart of the Museum Campus. It is located just south of the Adler Planetarium and east of Soldier Field. The majority of this space is dedicated to nature! The nature area at Northerly Island features beautiful strolling paths, casual play areas and a spectacular view of the Chicago skyline. It is also home to some of the best fishing in Chicago.

During the winter and early spring (November - April), the Northerly Island fieldhouse is open on Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 am to 4 pm. The rest of the year, the fieldhouse is open daily, from 9am to 5pm. When the fieldhouse is open, staff is available to answer questions about the island and provide information on a discovery tour.

The FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island is located at the northern end of the island.  The 2013 season brought a variety of improvements and expansions to this popular lakefront facility, including an upgraded stage, expanded state-of-the-art sound and lights, new seating and more grassy space throughout the venue. The newly redeveloped lawn now allows for flexible capacity up to 30,000 patrons while still offering sweeping panoramic views of Chicago’s lakefront.  Since its opening night featuring Earth, Wind and Fire in 2007, FirstMerit Bank Pavilion has brought a wealth of talent to the beautiful park-like setting of Northerly Island.  Check out the current schedule and purchase tickets now

Chicago's famous architect and planner Daniel H. Burnham imagined Northerly Island as one of the northernmost points in a series of manmade islands stretching between Grant and Jackson Parks. His vision for this park included lagoons, harbors, beaches, recreation areas, a scenic drive and grand stretches of green space that would provide breathtaking views of the lake and City skyline. Northerly Island and Burnham Park were selected as the site of Chicago's second World's Fair entitled A Century of Progress, 1933-34, and by the early 1930s, Northerly Island had been increased to its present size. In 1938, the Chicago Park District removed the bridge leading to Northerly Island and built a causeway connecting the island to Burnham Park. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Northerly Island featured paths and walkways, scattered trees and grass, a parking lot and the 12th Street Beach. In 1947, a small airport known as Meigs Field opened under the Exposition Authority Act. Operations at Meigs expanded with the building of an air control tower in 1952. The 50-year lease granted by the park district for Meigs Field expired on September 30, 1996. The City, Park District, and numerous civic organizations agreed that the airport should revert to parkland. Today, Daniel Burnham’s vision is now a reality. With wild prairie grasses taking root, beautiful strolling paths, casual play areas, and a spectacular view of the City skyline, we invite you to come out and enjoy the emerging world of Northerly Island.

Metered parking is available in the lot on site.  Get rates and additional information.

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