Skinner Park

  • 1331 W. Monroe St.   Chicago, Illinois 60607 [View Map]
  • Fieldhouse Hours: , ,
  • Park Hours:
  • Park Supervisor: Kyle Weessies
  • Park Phone: (312) 746-5560

Located in the Near West Community Area, Skinner Park totals 7.32 acres and features a small fieldhouse. The park also shares use of the adjacent Whitney Young High, which allows for access to a gymnasium and an indoor swimming pool. Outside, the park offers a children’s playground, a popular community garden, baseball fields, basketball courts, and an athletic field for football or soccer.

Park-goers enjoy visiting Skinner Park to play seasonal sports and table games at the facility. After school 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, Skinner Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the whole family, such as Family Nights, a fall Pumpkin Patch, workdays and nature lessons in the Community Roots Demonstration Garden, Movies in the Park and other Night Out in the Parks events.

Parking/Directions

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

History

In 1848, as the Illinois and Michigan Canal Trustees prepared sale maps for public land to generate revenue that would be used to build the canal, they set aside a 5 ½ acre parcel on what was then the West Side of Chicago to create a small park.  Originally named Jefferson Park, the City’s Bureau of Public Works soon improved the small square with lawn trees and a small lake as its centerpiece. Theodore Dreiser described the park in his famous novel, Sister Carrie.  In this influential work (which was considered immoral at the time) G.W. Hurstwood, a married man, waited for his mistress Carrie Meeber, while she "... found a rustic bench beneath the green leaves of a lilac bush....  At a little pond near by some cleanly dressed children were sailing white canvas boats.  In the shade of a green pagoda a bebuttoned officer of the law was resting, his arms folded."
 
During Chicago’s earliest history, the neighborhood surrounding Jefferson Park was one of Chicago’s most fashionable areas. After the Great Fire of 1871, however, the residential area began to decline, and the park also slowly deteriorated.  The City transferred the site to the West Park Commission in 1885, and the commission substantially improved the small park a few years later.  By the 1910s, many other west side parks had facilities specifically for children, and in 1915 a group of local residents petitioned for a children's playground, wading pool, natatorium, and outdoor gymnasium.  As this project would have required filling in the park's lake, the commissioners decided not pursue it at that time.
 
In 1934, when the West Park Commission was consolidated into the Chicago Park District, the park became known as the “the first Jefferson Park” because the park district also took possession of another site named Jefferson Park on the city’s Northwest side.  The first Jefferson Park remained unchanged until 1955, when it was renamed in honor of the adjacent Mark Skinner School.  One of Chicago’s earliest school inspectors, Mark Skinner (1836   1887) went on to serve as a U.S. attorney for Illinois, and a State Representative.  Soon after its renaming, the park’s lake was filled to make way for ball fields and a playground, to better serve adjacent what is now known as Skinner West Classical Elementary School.  In the mid 1970s, Whitney Young Magnet High School opened just southwest of the park.
 
Over the years, adjacent streets were greened over, and Skinner Park was expanded to slightly more than 7 acres in size.  Recent improvements include a new playground with a climbable created by Phil Schuster and Jennifer Gotowski and the Chicago Public Art Group.
 
Playground Art

Playground Art (1)

Location Notes: Playground

Descriptors: Outdoor, Playground Art

Skinner Diamond

Skinner Diamond

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Skinner Basketball

Skinner Basketball

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Skinner Fieldhouse

Skinner Fieldhouse

Hours: , ,

Skinner Football/Soccer

Skinner Football/Soccer

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Descriptors: Grass

Skinner Gymnasium at Whitney Young H.S.

Skinner Gymnasium at Whitney Young H.S.

Location Notes: 211 S. Loomis St.

Notes: at Whitney Young High School

Skinner Picnic Grove

Skinner Picnic Grove

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Skinner Playground

Skinner PlaygroundAccessible

Notes: Accessible

Descriptors: Rubberized Surface

Skinner Sandboxes

Skinner Sandboxes

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Skinner Water Feature

Skinner Water Feature

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Events

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 view a program and save it to your wish list.  Registration dates for our park are:

  • Online registration begins on Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 9:00am.
  • In-person registration begins on Saturday, August 12, 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
Badminton at Skinner 205112InstructionSports - BadmintonAt least 8 but less than 13Coed2017/10/10 21:00From October 10, 2017 to November 9, 2017
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Thursday from 4pm to 5pm
$0
Basketball - Open at Skinner 205281OpenSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2017/09/13 23:00From September 13, 2017 to December 1, 2017
Each Wednesday from 6pm to 8pm
Each Friday from 6pm to 8pm
$0
Basketball at Skinner 205370InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 6 but less than 9Coed2017/09/16 17:00From September 16, 2017 to December 2, 2017
Each Saturday from Noon to 2pm
$65.00
Baton & Pom Pom at Skinner 205466InstructionSports - CheerleadingAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/09/11 21:15From September 11, 2017 to November 22, 2017
Each Monday from 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Each Wednesday from 4:15pm to 5:30pm
$44.00
Bitty Basketball at Skinner 205517InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/09/16 14:00From September 16, 2017 to December 2, 2017
Each Saturday from 9am to 9:45am
$65.00
CPD Swim Club at Skinner 205729InstructionAquatics - SpecializedAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2017/09/16 00:45From September 15, 2017 to December 8, 2017
Each Friday from 7:45pm to 9pm
$35.00
CPD Water Polo Club at Skinner 224265InstructionAquatics - SpecializedAt least 6 but less than 15Male2017/09/12 00:00From September 11, 2017 to December 6, 2017
Each Monday from 7pm to 9pm
Each Wednesday from 7pm to 9pm
$82.00
CPD Water Polo Club at Skinner 205733InstructionAquatics - Specialized14 and upCoed2017/09/13 00:00From September 12, 2017 to December 7, 2017
Each Tuesday from 7pm to 9pm
Each Thursday from 7pm to 9pm
$82.00
Double Dutch at Skinner 205889InstructionSports - Double DutchAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/09/15 21:30From September 15, 2017 to December 1, 2017
Each Friday from 4:30pm to 5:30pm
$0
Family Swim at Skinner 205970OpenAquatics - OpenAnyCoed2017/09/16 18:00From September 16, 2017 to December 10, 2017
Each Sunday from Noon to 1pm
Each Saturday from 1pm to 2:45pm
$0
Flag Football at Skinner 206049InstructionSports - FootballAt least 8 but less than 13Coed2017/08/30 21:30From August 30, 2017 to November 15, 2017
Each Wednesday from 4:30pm to 6pm
$0
Homework Time at Skinner 221207InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 5 but less than 13Coed2017/09/11 20:00From September 11, 2017 to December 8, 2017
Each Monday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 3pm to 6pm
$229.00
Indoor Soccer at Skinner 206358InstructionSports - SoccerAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/09/16 15:00From September 16, 2017 to December 2, 2017
Each Saturday from 10am to 10:45am
$65.00
Inner City Flag Football at Skinner 206372InstructionSports - FootballAt least 9 but less than 13Coed2017/08/29 21:00From August 29, 2017 to November 11, 2017
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Saturday from 9am to 2pm
$0
Learn to Swim at Skinner 206679InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/09/17 16:00From September 17, 2017 to December 10, 2017
Each Sunday from 11am to Noon
$30.00
Learn to Swim at Skinner 206673InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/09/15 23:45From September 15, 2017 to December 8, 2017
Each Friday from 6:45pm to 7:45pm
$30.00
Learn to Swim at Skinner 206678InstructionAquatics - Lessons18 and upCoed2017/09/15 23:45From September 15, 2017 to December 8, 2017
Each Friday from 6:45pm to 7:45pm
$30.00
Learn to Swim at Skinner 206676InstructionAquatics - 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
Open Swim at Skinner 206978OpenAquatics - OpenAnyCoed2017/09/12 02:00From September 11, 2017 to December 8, 2017
Each Sunday from 9am to 10am
Each Sunday from 1pm to 2:45pm
Each Monday from 9pm to 9:45pm
Each Tuesday from 9pm to 9:45pm
Each Wednesday from 9pm to 9:45pm
Each Thursday from 9pm to 9:45pm
Each Friday from 9pm to 9:45pm
Each Saturday from 3pm to 4:45pm
$0
Park Kids - Fall at Skinner 207115InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 5 but less than 13Coed2017/09/05 20:00From September 5, 2017 to December 15, 2017
Each Monday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 3pm to 6pm
$229.00
Park Kids - Fall Winter Spring at Skinner 208784Activity_PackageOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 5 but less than 13Coed2017/09/05 20:00From September 5, 2017 to June 15, 2018$687.00
Swim Camp at Skinner 207872CampsCamps - SportsAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2017/12/19 17:00From December 19, 2017 to December 28, 2017
Each Tuesday from 11am to 1pm
Each Wednesday from 11am to 1pm
Each Thursday from 11am to 1pm
$26.00
T-Ball at Skinner 207877InstructionSports - BaseballAt least 3 but less than 5Coed2017/09/14 23:00From September 14, 2017 to November 30, 2017
Each Thursday from 6pm to 6:45pm
$65.00
TEAM Sports at Skinner 207953InstructionAquatics - SpecializedAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2017/09/11 23:45From September 11, 2017 to January 3, 2018
Each Monday from 6:45pm to 8pm
Each Wednesday from 6:45pm to 8pm
Except the following dates:
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
$35.00
Tennis at Skinner 208069InstructionSports - TennisAt least 3 but less than 5Coed2017/09/16 16:00From September 16, 2017 to November 25, 2017
Each Saturday from 11am to 11:45am
$65.00
Tiny Tot Sports at Skinner 223981InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/09/12 23:00From September 12, 2017 to November 21, 2017
Each Tuesday from 6pm to 6:45pm
$65.00
Tiny Tot Swim - Level I at Skinner 224589InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least but less than 3y 1m Coed2017/09/17 15:00From September 17, 2017 to December 10, 2017
Each Sunday from 10am to 11am
$34.00
Tiny Tot Swim - Level I at Skinner 208143InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least but less than 3y 1m Coed2017/09/16 14:00From September 16, 2017 to November 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 9am to 10am
$34.00
Tiny Tot Swim - Level II at Skinner 208214InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/09/16 15:00From September 16, 2017 to November 18, 2017
Each Saturday from 10am to 11am
$34.00
Tiny Tot Swim - Level II at Skinner 208215InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/09/16 16:00From September 16, 2017 to December 9, 2017
Each Saturday from 11am to Noon
$34.00
Tiny Tot Tumbling at Skinner 208262InstructionGymnastics - TumblingAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/09/11 23:00From September 11, 2017 to November 20, 2017
Each Monday from 6pm to 6:45pm
$65.00
Water Polo Camp at Skinner 208511CampsCamps - SportsAt least 7 but less than 15Coed2017/12/19 21:00From December 19, 2017 to December 21, 2017
Each Tuesday from 3pm to 7pm
Each Wednesday from 3pm to 7pm
Each Thursday from 3pm to 7pm
$26.00
Water Polo Camp at Skinner 208512CampsCamps - SportsAt least 7 but less than 15Coed2017/12/26 21:00From December 26, 2017 to December 28, 2017
Each Tuesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 3pm to 6pm
$26.00
Winter Break Camp at Skinner 208581CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/12/26 14:00From December 26, 2017 to January 5, 2018
Each Tuesday from 8am to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 8am to 6pm
Each Thursday from 8am to 6pm
Each Friday from 8am to 6pm
$76.00
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Park Kids - Winter at Skinner 213373InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 5 but less than 13Coed2018/01/08 21:00From January 8, 2018 to March 23, 2018
Each Monday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 3pm to 6pm
$218.00
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Park Kids - Spring at Skinner 219300InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 5 but less than 13Coed2018/04/02 20:00From April 2, 2018 to June 22, 2018
Each Monday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 3pm to 6pm
$218.00

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Description

Located in the Near West Community Area, Skinner Park totals 7.32 acres and features a small fieldhouse. The park also shares use of the adjacent Whitney Young High, which allows for access to a gymnasium and an indoor swimming pool. Outside, the park offers a children’s playground, a popular community garden, baseball fields, basketball courts, and an athletic field for football or soccer.

Park-goers enjoy visiting Skinner Park to play seasonal sports and table games at the facility. After school 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, Skinner Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the whole family, such as Family Nights, a fall Pumpkin Patch, workdays and nature lessons in the Community Roots Demonstration Garden, Movies in the Park and other Night Out in the Parks events.

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

In 1848, as the Illinois and Michigan Canal Trustees prepared sale maps for public land to generate revenue that would be used to build the canal, they set aside a 5 ½ acre parcel on what was then the West Side of Chicago to create a small park.  Originally named Jefferson Park, the City’s Bureau of Public Works soon improved the small square with lawn trees and a small lake as its centerpiece. Theodore Dreiser described the park in his famous novel, Sister Carrie.  In this influential work (which was considered immoral at the time) G.W. Hurstwood, a married man, waited for his mistress Carrie Meeber, while she "... found a rustic bench beneath the green leaves of a lilac bush....  At a little pond near by some cleanly dressed children were sailing white canvas boats.  In the shade of a green pagoda a bebuttoned officer of the law was resting, his arms folded."
 
During Chicago’s earliest history, the neighborhood surrounding Jefferson Park was one of Chicago’s most fashionable areas. After the Great Fire of 1871, however, the residential area began to decline, and the park also slowly deteriorated.  The City transferred the site to the West Park Commission in 1885, and the commission substantially improved the small park a few years later.  By the 1910s, many other west side parks had facilities specifically for children, and in 1915 a group of local residents petitioned for a children's playground, wading pool, natatorium, and outdoor gymnasium.  As this project would have required filling in the park's lake, the commissioners decided not pursue it at that time.
 
In 1934, when the West Park Commission was consolidated into the Chicago Park District, the park became known as the “the first Jefferson Park” because the park district also took possession of another site named Jefferson Park on the city’s Northwest side.  The first Jefferson Park remained unchanged until 1955, when it was renamed in honor of the adjacent Mark Skinner School.  One of Chicago’s earliest school inspectors, Mark Skinner (1836   1887) went on to serve as a U.S. attorney for Illinois, and a State Representative.  Soon after its renaming, the park’s lake was filled to make way for ball fields and a playground, to better serve adjacent what is now known as Skinner West Classical Elementary School.  In the mid 1970s, Whitney Young Magnet High School opened just southwest of the park.
 
Over the years, adjacent streets were greened over, and Skinner Park was expanded to slightly more than 7 acres in size.  Recent improvements include a new playground with a climbable created by Phil Schuster and Jennifer Gotowski and the Chicago Public Art Group.