Skinner Park

  • 1331 W. Monroe St.   Chicago, Illinois 60607 [View Map]
  • Fieldhouse Hours: , ,
  • Park Hours:
  • Park Supervisor: John Ball
  • 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 where there is access to a gymnasium and indoor swimming pool. Outside, the park offers a children’s playground, baseball fields, basketball courts, and an athletic field for football or soccer.

Park-goers can play seasonal sports, tennis or 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, Pumpkin Patch, tot’s events and Movies in the Park.

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: Playground Art

Skinner Diamond

Skinner Diamond

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Descriptors: Softball

Skinner Basketball

Skinner Basketball

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Descriptors: Lighted

Skinner Park Community Garden

Skinner Park Community Garden

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe

Notes: Community Garden

Descriptors: Ornamental

Skinner Fieldhouse

Skinner Fieldhouse

Hours: , ,

Skinner Football/Soccer

Skinner Football/Soccer

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Descriptors: Junior

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

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Notes: Accessible

Skinner Sandboxes

Skinner Sandboxes

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Skinner Water Feature

Skinner Water Feature

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

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 Tuesday, August 4, 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
CPD Water Polo Club at Skinner 118299InstructionAquatics - SpecializedAt least 6 but less than 15Coed2015/06/15 23:00From June 15, 2015 to August 20, 2015
Each Monday from 6pm to 10pm
Each Tuesday from 6pm to 10pm
Each Wednesday from 6pm to 10pm
Each Thursday from 6pm to 10pm
$75.00
Day Camp at Skinner 118434CampsCamps - 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
$240.00
Early Bird Camp at Skinner 118548CampsCamps - 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
$82.00
Extended Camp at Skinner 118628CampsCamps - 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
$82.00
Inner City Baseball - Youth at Skinner 119195Individual_LeagueSports - BaseballAt least 9 but less than 13Coed2015/05/25 17:00From May 25, 2015 to August 5, 2015
Each Monday from Noon to 4pm
Each Wednesday from Noon to 4pm
$0
Learn to Swim at Skinner 119645InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/06/22 21:00From June 22, 2015 to August 17, 2015
Each Monday from 4pm to 5pm
$28.00
Learn to Swim at Skinner 119643InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/06/23 20:00From June 23, 2015 to August 18, 2015
Each Tuesday from 3pm to 4pm
$28.00
Learn to Swim at Skinner 119646InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/06/24 22:00From June 24, 2015 to August 19, 2015
Each Wednesday from 5pm to 6pm
$28.00
Learn to Swim at Skinner 119644InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/06/25 20:00From June 25, 2015 to August 20, 2015
Each Thursday from 3pm to 4pm
$28.00
Learn to Swim at Skinner 119647InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/06/25 22:00From June 25, 2015 to August 20, 2015
Each Thursday from 5pm to 6pm
$28.00
Open Swim at Skinner 120495OpenAquatics - OpenAnyCoed2015/06/15 20:00From June 15, 2015 to September 7, 2015
Each Monday from 3pm to 4pm
Each Monday from 5pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 3pm to 4pm
Each Thursday from 4pm to 5pm
$0
POST Family Swim at Skinner 130958OpenAquatics - OpenAnyCoed2015/08/26 21:00From August 26, 2015 to September 4, 2015
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Friday from 3pm to 4pm
$0
POST Youth Swim at Skinner 132213OpenAquatics - OpenAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2015/08/10 17:00From August 10, 2015 to September 7, 2015
Each Monday from Noon to 3pm
Each Tuesday from Noon to 3pm
Each Wednesday from Noon to 3pm
Each Thursday from Noon to 3pm
Each Friday from Noon to 3pm
$0
POST Youth Swim at Skinner 130960OpenAquatics - OpenAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2015/08/24 23:00From August 24, 2015 to September 7, 2015
Each Monday from 6pm to 10pm
Each Monday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Tuesday from 6pm to 10pm
Each Tuesday from 3pm to 4pm
Each Wednesday from 5pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 6pm to 10pm
Each Thursday from 3pm to 4pm
Each Thursday from 6pm to 10pm
Each Thursday from 5pm to 6pm
$0
Sports Camp at Skinner 121093CampsCamps - SportsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/08/10 14:00From August 10, 2015 to August 21, 2015
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
$112.00
Sports Camp at Skinner 121091CampsCamps - SportsAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2015/08/11 14:00From August 11, 2015 to August 20, 2015
Each Tuesday from 9am to Noon
Each Wednesday from 9am to Noon
Each Thursday from 9am to Noon
$71.00
Sports Camp at Skinner 121092CampsCamps - SportsAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2015/08/11 17:30From August 11, 2015 to August 20, 2015
Each Tuesday from 12:30pm to 3:30pm
Each Wednesday from 12:30pm to 3:30pm
Each Thursday from 12:30pm to 3:30pm
$71.00
Teen Camp at Skinner 121212CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 13 but less than 15Coed2015/06/29 13:00From June 29, 2015 to August 7, 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
$275.00
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Art & ABCs at Skinner 125127InstructionEarly Childhood - RecreationAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2015/09/18 16:30From September 18, 2015 to December 4, 2015
Each Friday from 11:30am to 12:15pm
$26.00
Badminton at Skinner 125205InstructionSports - BadmintonAt least 8 but less than 13Coed2015/10/13 21:00From October 13, 2015 to November 12, 2015
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Thursday from 4pm to 5pm
$0
Basketball - Open at Skinner 125368OpenSports - Basketball21 and upCoed2015/09/24 00:00From September 23, 2015 to December 2, 2015
Each Wednesday from 7pm to 9pm
$26.00
Basketball - Open at Skinner 125390OpenSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2015/09/18 23:00From September 18, 2015 to December 4, 2015
Each Friday from 6pm to 8pm
Except the following dates:
Friday, October 30, 2015
$0
Basketball at Skinner 125455InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 6 but less than 9Coed2015/09/19 17:00From September 19, 2015 to December 5, 2015
Each Saturday from Noon to 2pm
$61.00
Baton & Pom Pom at Skinner 125504InstructionSports - CheerleadingAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/09/16 21:15From September 16, 2015 to November 25, 2015
Each Wednesday from 4:15pm to 5:30pm
$41.00
Bitty Basketball at Skinner 125552InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2015/09/19 14:00From September 19, 2015 to December 5, 2015
Each Saturday from 9am to 9:45am
$61.00
Cheerleading - Recreational at Skinner 125707InstructionSports - CheerleadingAt least 6 but less than 9Coed2015/09/21 21:15From September 21, 2015 to November 30, 2015
Each Monday from 4:15pm to 5:30pm
$41.00
Cross Country at Skinner 125789InstructionSports - Track & FieldAt least 8 but less than 13Coed2015/09/08 21:00From September 8, 2015 to October 8, 2015
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Thursday from 4pm to 5pm
$0
Double Dutch at Skinner 126930InstructionSports - Double DutchAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/09/18 21:30From September 18, 2015 to December 4, 2015
Each Friday from 4:30pm to 5:30pm
$0
Flag Football at Skinner 126060InstructionSports - FootballAt least 8 but less than 13Coed2015/09/01 21:00From September 1, 2015 to October 22, 2015
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Thursday from 4pm to 5pm
$0
Flag Football at Skinner 126059InstructionSports - FootballAt least 8 but less than 13Coed2015/09/02 21:00From September 2, 2015 to November 18, 2015
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 5:30pm
$0
Floor Hockey at Skinner 126114InstructionSports - Floor HockeyAt least 8 but less than 13Coed2015/09/15 22:00From September 15, 2015 to October 15, 2015
Each Tuesday from 5pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 5pm to 6pm
$0
Indoor Soccer at Skinner 126548InstructionSports - SoccerAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2015/09/19 15:00From September 19, 2015 to December 5, 2015
Each Saturday from 10am to 10:45am
$61.00
Inner City Flag Football at Skinner 126580InstructionSports - FootballAt least 9 but less than 13Coed2015/09/01 21:00From September 1, 2015 to November 14, 2015
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Saturday from 9am to 2pm
$0
Park Kids - Fall Session at Skinner 127370InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 5 but less than 13Coed2015/09/08 20:00From September 8, 2015 to December 18, 2015
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
$214.00
Park Kids - Fall, Winter, Spring at Skinner 127452Activity_PackageOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 5 but less than 13Coed2015/09/08 20:00From September 8, 2015 to June 17, 2016
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
$642.00
T-Ball at Skinner 128107InstructionSports - BaseballAt least 3 but less than 5Coed2015/09/17 23:00From September 17, 2015 to December 3, 2015
Each Thursday from 6pm to 6:45pm
$61.00
Tennis at Skinner 128282InstructionSports - TennisAt least 3 but less than 5Coed2015/09/19 16:00From September 19, 2015 to November 28, 2015
Each Saturday from 11am to 11:45am
$61.00
Tiny Tot Tumbling at Skinner 128596InstructionGymnastics - TumblingAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2015/09/14 23:00From September 14, 2015 to November 23, 2015
Each Monday from 6pm to 6:45pm
$61.00
Winter Break Camp at Skinner 128870CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/12/21 14:00From December 21, 2015 to December 30, 2015
Each Monday from 8am to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 8am to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 8am to 6pm
$71.00
Yoga at Skinner 128979InstructionWellness - Yoga18 and upCoed2015/09/15 00:00From September 14, 2015 to November 30, 2015
Each Monday from 7pm to 7:45pm
$26.00

Documents

There are no documents available.

Photos & Videos

Reviews

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 where there is access to a gymnasium and indoor swimming pool. Outside, the park offers a children’s playground, baseball fields, basketball courts, and an athletic field for football or soccer.

Park-goers can play seasonal sports, tennis or 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, Pumpkin Patch, tot’s events and Movies in the Park.

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.