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.

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 Saturday, December 9, 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
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 228350CampsCamps - SportsAt least 11 but less than 18Coed2018/01/02 20:00From January 2, 2018 to January 4, 2018
Each Tuesday from 2pm to 4pm
Each Wednesday from 2pm to 4pm
Each Thursday from 2pm to 4pm
$25.00
Swim Camp at Skinner 207872CampsCamps - SportsAt least 6 but less than 11Coed2017/12/26 20:00From December 26, 2017 to December 28, 2017
Each Tuesday from 2pm to 4pm
Each Wednesday from 2pm to 4pm
Each Thursday from 2pm to 4pm
$25.00
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
Water Polo Camp at Skinner 208511CampsCamps - SportsAt least 8 but less than 15Coed2017/12/26 18:00From December 26, 2017 to December 28, 2017
Each Tuesday from Noon to 2pm
Each Wednesday from Noon to 2pm
Each Thursday from Noon to 2pm
$25.00
Water Polo Camp at Skinner 208512CampsCamps - SportsAt least 8 but less than 15Coed2018/01/02 18:00From January 2, 2018 to January 4, 2018
Each Tuesday from Noon to 2pm
Each Wednesday from Noon to 2pm
Each Thursday from Noon to 2pm
$25.00
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
Basketball - Open at Skinner 211699OpenSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2018/01/11 00:00From January 10, 2018 to March 17, 2018
Each Wednesday from 6pm to 7:30pm
Each Saturday from 2pm to 3:30pm
$0
Basketball at Skinner 211811InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 8 but less than 13Coed2018/01/09 22:00From January 9, 2018 to February 13, 2018
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 5pm
$0
Basketball at Skinner 211810InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 8 but less than 12Coed2018/01/10 22:30From January 10, 2018 to March 14, 2018
Each Wednesday from 4:30pm to 6pm
$0
Basketball at Skinner 211809InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 6 but less than 10Coed2018/01/13 18:00From January 13, 2018 to March 17, 2018
Each Saturday from Noon to 2pm
$66.00
Basketball League at Skinner 211738Individual_LeagueSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 17Coed2018/01/13 00:00From January 12, 2018 to March 16, 2018
Each Friday from 6pm to 8pm
$0
Baton & Pom Pom at Skinner 211897InstructionSports - CheerleadingAt least 6 but less than 12Coed2018/01/10 22:15From January 10, 2018 to March 16, 2018
Each Wednesday from 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Each Friday from 4:15pm to 5:30pm
$45.00
Bitty Basketball at Skinner 211961InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2018/01/13 15:00From January 13, 2018 to March 17, 2018
Each Saturday from 9am to 9:45am
$66.00
CPD Swim Club at Skinner 226934InstructionAquatics - SpecializedAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2018/01/13 01:45From January 12, 2018 to March 16, 2018
Each Friday from 7:45pm to 9pm
$35.00
CPD Water Polo Club at Skinner 212190InstructionAquatics - SpecializedAt least 8 but less than 14Coed2018/01/11 01:00From January 10, 2018 to March 14, 2018
Each Monday from 7pm to 9pm
Each Wednesday from 7pm to 9pm
$82.00
CPD Water Polo Club at Skinner 227737InstructionAquatics - Specialized13 and upMale2018/01/12 01:00From January 11, 2018 to March 13, 2018
Each Tuesday from 7pm to 9pm
Each Thursday from 7pm to 9pm
$82.00
Family Swim at Skinner 227017OpenAquatics - OpenAnyCoed2018/01/13 19:00From January 13, 2018 to March 18, 2018
Each Sunday from Noon to 1pm
Each Saturday from 1pm to 2:45pm
$0
Homework Time at Skinner 226469InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2018/01/08 21:00From January 8, 2018 to March 16, 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
$229.00
Indoor Soccer at Skinner 212686InstructionSports - SoccerAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2018/01/13 16:00From January 13, 2018 to March 17, 2018
Each Saturday from 10am to 10:45am
$66.00
Inner City Basketball at Skinner 212726Individual_LeagueSports - BasketballAt least 9 but less than 13Coed2018/01/09 23:00From January 9, 2018 to March 27, 2018
Each Tuesday from 5pm to 6:30pm
$0
Learn to Swim at Skinner 212982InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2018/01/14 17:00From January 14, 2018 to March 18, 2018
Each Sunday from 11am to Noon
$30.00
Learn to Swim at Skinner 212983InstructionAquatics - Lessons18 and upCoed2018/01/13 00:45From January 12, 2018 to March 16, 2018
Each Friday from 6:45pm to 7:45pm
$30.00
Learn to Swim at Skinner 212980InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2018/01/13 00:45From January 12, 2018 to March 16, 2018
Each Friday from 6:45pm to 7:45pm
$30.00
Learn to Swim at Skinner 212981InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2018/02/03 18:00From February 3, 2018 to March 17, 2018
Each Saturday from Noon to 1pm
Except the following dates:
Saturday, March 3, 2018
$30.00
Open Swim at Skinner 213266OpenAquatics - OpenAnyCoed2018/01/09 03:00From January 8, 2018 to March 18, 2018
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 - 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
$229.00
Soccer at Skinner 213877InstructionSports - SoccerAt least 8 but less than 13Coed2018/02/20 22:15From February 20, 2018 to March 15, 2018
Each Tuesday from 4:15pm to 5pm
Each Thursday from 4:15pm to 5pm
$0
T-Ball at Skinner 214016InstructionSports - BaseballAt least 3 but less than 5Coed2018/01/12 00:00From January 11, 2018 to March 15, 2018
Each Thursday from 6pm to 6:45pm
$66.00
TEAM Sports at Skinner 214101InstructionAquatics - SpecializedAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2018/01/09 00:45From January 8, 2018 to March 28, 2018
Each Monday from 6:45pm to 8pm
Each Wednesday from 6:45pm to 8pm
From January 13, 2018 to March 31, 2018
Each Saturday from 9am to 10am
$35.00
TEAM Sports at Skinner 214101InstructionAquatics - SpecializedAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2018/01/09 00:45From January 8, 2018 to March 28, 2018
Each Monday from 6:45pm to 8pm
Each Wednesday from 6:45pm to 8pm
From January 13, 2018 to March 31, 2018
Each Saturday from 9am to 10am
$35.00
Tennis at Skinner 214209InstructionSports - TennisAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2018/01/13 17:00From January 13, 2018 to March 17, 2018
Each Saturday from 11am to 11:45am
$66.00
Tiny Tot Sports at Skinner 226470InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2018/01/10 00:00From January 9, 2018 to March 13, 2018
Each Tuesday from 6pm to 6:45pm
$66.00
Tiny Tot Swim - Level I at Skinner 227016InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least but less than 3y 1m Coed2018/01/14 15:00From January 14, 2018 to March 18, 2018
Each Sunday from 9am to 10am
$34.00
Tiny Tot Swim - Level I at Skinner 214278InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least but less than 3y 1m Coed2018/02/03 15:00From February 3, 2018 to March 17, 2018
Each Saturday from 9am to 10am
Except the following dates:
Saturday, March 3, 2018
$34.00
Tiny Tot Swim - Level II at Skinner 214342InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2018/02/03 16:00From February 3, 2018 to March 17, 2018
Each Saturday from 10am to 11am
Except the following dates:
Saturday, March 3, 2018
$34.00
Tiny Tot Swim - Level II at Skinner 227015InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2018/02/03 17:00From February 3, 2018 to March 17, 2018
Each Saturday from 11am to Noon
Except the following dates:
Saturday, March 3, 2018
$34.00
Tiny Tot Tumbling at Skinner 214390InstructionGymnastics - TumblingAt least 3 but less than 5Coed2018/01/11 00:00From January 10, 2018 to March 14, 2018
Each Wednesday from 6pm to 6:45pm
$66.00
Volleyball at Skinner 214504InstructionSports - VolleyballAt least 8 but less than 13Coed2018/01/09 23:00From January 9, 2018 to February 15, 2018
Each Tuesday from 5pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 5pm to 6pm
$0
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
$229.00

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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.