Hours

Park Hours
Day Time slot Comment
Sunday: 6:00 am-11:00 pm
Monday: 6:00 am-11:00 pm
Tuesday: 6:00 am-11:00 pm
Wednesday: 6:00 am-11:00 pm
Thursday: 6:00 am-11:00 pm
Friday: 6:00 am-11:00 pm
Saturday: 6:00 am-11:00 pm
Fieldhouse Hours
Day Time slot Comment
Sunday Closed
Monday 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Tuesday 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Wednesday 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Thursday 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Saturday Closed

Description

Northerly Island Park is a 119.7-acre park situated along the Lake Michigan shoreline on Chicago’s beautiful Museum Campus. 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 and exists as the only island to be completed. The site of the Century of Progress World Fair in 1933, Northerly Island has since been transformed into an urban nature sanctuary, making it the ideal location to investigate the intersection of Chicago’s natural and built environments.

This lakefront Natural Area features prairie and savanna, a 5-acre pond, and strolling paths that offer great views for observing birds and other native wildlife. The path runs along the western side of the peninsula, terminating at the southern end. There are over 150 different varieties of native plants and an emerging savanna with 20,000 trees and shrubs, all of which provide an ecosystem for migratory and local birds.

Northerly Island offers year-round outdoor and environmental programs that are a catalyst for bringing communities together to develop an awareness, appreciation and knowledge of our natural environment. Programs include youth nature programs, guided nature field trips & tours, camping, fishing, paddling and annual seasonal festivals that highlight nature in the city, such as the popular Polar Adventure Days.

Today, Daniel Burnham’s vision is now a reality. With wild prairie grasses taking root, strolling paths, superb fishing spots and rolling hills that frame a spectacular view of the City skyline, we invite you to come out and enjoy the emerging world of Northerly Island.

The Northerly Island’s Visitor Center is open weekdays from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.

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. Burnham's lakefront vision, with lagoons, harbors, beaches, playfields, and a scenic drive, was published in his renowned 1909 Plan of Chicago.  Disputes over property rights and funding constraints hindered development, and his plans for Northerly Island and Burnham Park were never fully realized.  During the 1930s, because of its location, the park was referred to as Northerly Island and that name has continued to the present.

Although the South Park Commission began landfill operations for Northerly Island in 1920, progress was slow until the site was selected for Chicago's second World's Fair in 1928.  With preparations for the Century of Progress underway, Max Adler built the Western Hemisphere's first planetarium as a gift to Chicago.  By 1933, the planetarium sat within a gleaming campus of Art Deco buildings.  In addition to numerous exhibits highlighting the fair's science and technology theme, attractions included the towering "Sky Ride" and the infamous fan dancer Sally Rand.  After the Century of Progress closed in 1934, a committee suggested retaining fair attractions and adding a casino and playgrounds to Northerly Island.  In 1934, the 22 park districts were consolidated and the park became part of the Chicago Park District’s portfolio.  Soon, the newly‑consolidated Chicago Park District began holding festivals such as Carnival of the Lakes on Northerly Island.  To accommodate large crowds, the Park District built a causeway connecting the island with the mainland.

Despite public opposition, a 1935 State bill established a Metropolitan Fair and Exposition Authority with the power to construct an airport and operate a permanent fair on Northerly Island.  When the 1946 Meigs Field Airport lease expired in 1996, Mayor Richard J. Daley decided to transform the airfield into the green space Burnham had envisioned.  After months of wrangling, the city and state reached an agreement for a five‑year lease extension.  After the lease extension expired the site was developed into a beautiful lakefront park.  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.

Map & Facilities

Thaddeus Kosciuszko Monument

1521 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Northerly Island 12th Street Beach Natural Area

1200 S Linn White Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

:

12th Street Beach

1200 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

:
(312) 74-BEACH

Northerly Island Nature Play Space

1559 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

:

Adler Planetarium Sculptural Relief Panels | Artwork

1521 S. Linn White Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Heartwood | Artwork

1521 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

:

America’s Courtyard | Artwork

1521 S. Linn White Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Daphne Garden | Artwork

1521 S. Linn White Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island

1300 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

:
(312) 540-2668

Karel Havlicek Monument

1521 S. Linn White Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Man Enters the Cosmos | Artwork

1521 S. Linn White Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Nicolaus Copernicus Monument

1521 S. Linn White Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Northerly Island Natural Area

1400 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Northerly Island Tent

1521 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Northerly Island Visitor Center

1521 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Northerly Island Visitor Center Lawn

1521 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Signal: Bon Voyage | Artwork

1521 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Spiral Galaxy | Artwork

1521 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

default image
Northerly Island Visitor Center

1521 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Show on Map
Aerial view of 12th Street Beach with visitors and lifeguards
12th Street Beach

1200 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

:
(312) 74-BEACH
Show on Map
default image
Northerly Island Visitor Center Lawn

1521 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Show on Map
Adler Planetarium Sculptural Relief Panels
Adler Planetarium Sculptural Relief Panels | Artwork

1521 S. Linn White Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Show on Map
Signal: Bon Voyage
Signal: Bon Voyage | Artwork

1521 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Show on Map
America’s Courtyard
America’s Courtyard | Artwork

1521 S. Linn White Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Show on Map
Spiral Galaxy
Spiral Galaxy | Artwork

1521 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Show on Map
Daphne Garden
Daphne Garden | Artwork

1521 S. Linn White Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Show on Map
Thaddeus Kosciuszko Monument
Thaddeus Kosciuszko Monument

1521 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Show on Map
default image
Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island

1300 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

:
(312) 540-2668
Show on Map
Northerly Island 12th Street Beach Natural Area
Northerly Island 12th Street Beach Natural Area

1200 S Linn White Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

:
Show on Map
Karel Havlicek Monument
Karel Havlicek Monument

1521 S. Linn White Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Show on Map
default image
Northerly Island Nature Play Space

1559 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

:
Show on Map
Man Enters the Cosmos
Man Enters the Cosmos | Artwork

1521 S. Linn White Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Show on Map
Heartwood Artwork at Northerly Island Park
Heartwood | Artwork

1521 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

:
Show on Map
Nicolaus Copernicus Monument
Nicolaus Copernicus Monument

1521 S. Linn White Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Show on Map
Northerly Island Nature Area
Northerly Island Natural Area

1400 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Show on Map
default image
Northerly Island Tent

1521 S. Linn White Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

Show on Map