20 Things to Do in Chicago Hyde Park

The Chicago Hyde Park neighborhood glows with outstanding eateries, shopping, art, architecture, and culture.

It’s no surprise that Chicago Hyde Park, one of Chicago’s more racially diverse neighborhoods, is visited by millions of people each year. People are enticed to this South Side neighborhood due to the fantastic attractions that it’s known for: unique culture, The University of Chicago, one-stop shopping, outstanding restaurants, art, architecture and beautiful scenery. Although, as there’s so many, people often find it difficult to decide which one to go to. Therefore, to make your life easier, we’ve compiled our first list of 20 things to do in Hyde Park….

Court Theatre

[1] Court Theatre is the professional theatre of the University of Chicago, dedicated to innovation, inquiry, intellectual engagement, and community service. Functioning as the University’s Center for Classic Theatre, Court and its artists mount theatrical productions and audience enrichment programs in collaboration with faculty. 5535 S. Ellis Ave., 773-753-4472, website: courttheatre.org

DuSable Museum of African American History

[2] If you want to be inspired, humbled and motivated by the accomplishments of African Americans throughout history, then you should head to the DuSable Museum. There’s a vast array of exhibits and activities that highlight the contributions to art and culture, as well to inform you of their experiences. The museum will provide you with an excellent chance to appreciate, admire and learn from African Americans, so why not give it a visit? 740 E 56th Place, (773) 947-0600, website: dusablemuseum.org/

Experimental Station

[3] They’re working to build an independent cultural infrastructure on the South Side of Chicago. It’s a non-profit incubator of innovative educational and cultural programs, small business enterprises, and community initiatives. Experimental Station currently hosts Blackstone Bicycle Works, the 61st St. Farmers Market, LinkUp Illinois, Invisible Institute, South Side Weekly, City Bureau, Build Coffee, and a wide range of events throughout the year. 6100 S. Blackstone Ave., 773-241-6044, Website: experimentalstation.org,  

Fountain of Time

[4] Discover the Fountain of Time in Chicago. The Fountain of Time, or simply Time is comprised of 100 figures marching under the gaze of Father Time. Sculpture by Lorado Taft, it measures 126 feet 10 inches in length, situated at the western edge of the Midway Plaisance. Inspired by Henry Austin Dobson's poem "Paradox of Time", and with its 100 figures passing before Father Time. This work was created as a monument to the first 100 years of peace between the United States and the United Kingdom. Cottage Grove Avenue and 59th Street, 312-744-3316, website: cityofchicago.org

Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts

[5] The Logan Center for the Arts was designed as a home for the creative life of the University of Chicago campus and the City of Chicago. It’s a partner, resource, and catalyst for developing deeper cultural networks and richer creative projects citywide and beyond. The Logan Center presents concerts, exhibitions, performances, programs, and more from world class, emerging, local, and student artists. Visit the luminous new $114 million arts center, an architectural standout, for its modern music and film series. 915 E. 60th St., 773-702-2787, website: arts.uchicago.edu

Hyde Park Art Center

[6] The Hyde Park Art Center (HPAC) is a visual arts organization and the oldest alternative exhibition space in the city of Chicago. Since 2006, HPAC has been located just north of Hyde Park Boulevard, at 5020 S. Cornell Avenue, (773) 324-5520, website: hydeparkart.org/

Harper Theater

[7] A small, clean and comfortable movie theater that opened in 1913. They screen wide-release films with a digital projection system. 5238 S Harper Avenue, (773) 752-6043, website: harpertheater.com/

The Silver Umbrella

[8] The Silver Umbrella isn’t just one of the best consignment shops in town. It’s one of the best women’s clothing store in town, period. Delightfully uncluttered, yet still filled with treasures. This store is bright and impeccably organized. This place offer on-trend, funky finds and features vintage, new apparel, shoes, accessories, and it's organized with spaced-out, clearly labeled racks. This store is filled with dresses, shoes, jewelry, blazers, designer bags and tops. They offer 20% off on Tuesdays. 5305 S. Hyde Park Blvd, (773) 675-6114, website: thesilverumbrella.com

Promontory Restaurant

[9] Inspired by the fire pit council rings at Promontory Point, this restaurant & bar are designed around a brick hearth. Their menu reflects the simple tradition hearths represent in a modern context. This bi-level facility has an upstairs venue which honors Hyde Park’s musical legacy. With its modern design, crisp acoustics, and exciting music programming, The Promontory is dedicated to celebrating the eras when spacious ballrooms and jumping jazz clubs made Chicago’s South Side the capital of American music. 5311 S Lake Park Avenue, (312) 801-2100, website: promontorychicago.com

Robie House

[10] Located on the campus of the University of Chicago in Hyde Park, the Frederick C. Robie House is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Touring Frank Lloyd Wright’s Chicago masterpiece — now almost fully restored should be on every architecture fan’s bucket list. According to their website, it is closed to the public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 5757 S. Woodlawn Avenue, (312) 994-4000, website: flywright.org

Seminary Co-op Bookstore

[11] The Seminary Co-op Bookstores, Inc. is a Chicago Hyde Park independent campus bookstore selling textbooks & other literature. The Co-op was started in 1961 when 17 Chicago Theological Seminary students banded together to order course books at wholesale price. They each invested $10. According to the bookstore, they still have archives with all the founding documents in spiral notebooks. The founders ran the shop out of the basement of the Seminary, where the Co-op was housed for over 50 years. In 2012, they moved. 5751 S. Woodlawn Ave., (773) 752-4381, website: semcoop.com

The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art
[12] The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art is an art museum located on the campus of the University of Chicago. The permanent collection has over 15,000 objects. Admission is free and open to the general public. The museum was opened in 1974. 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue, (773) 702-0200, website: smartmuseum.uchicago.edu/

Woodlawn Tap

[13] Neighborhood cash-only watering hole that is a hangout for local and the University of Chicago community. The Woodlawn Tap, better known simply as "Jimmy's" because of the legendary owner who ran it for a half century. Jimmy has since gone on; but, his legacy continues.  Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap is still the place to go in Hyde Park for conversation, cheap-but-good pub grub and free jazz every Sunday night. 1172 E. 55th Street, (773) 643-5516, website:  http://www.josephsittler.org/jimmys/

Museum of Science and Industry

[14] This is the biggest of its kind in the western part of the world, and the 2,000-plus exhibits will keep you occupied for hours. There’s a multitude of interactive features that will both entertain and inform you. So, look forward to experiencing the mirror maze, seeing the displays, exploring an old U-505 German submarine and viewing a coal mine. 5700 S Lake Shore Drive, (773) 684-1414, website: ‎msichicago.org/

Jackson Park

[15] Jackson Park is no ordinary park; there’s 600-acres of greenery, as well as areas to play baseball, play golf, or exercise at the fitness center. An expected adition, The Barack Obama Presidential Center is a planned presidential center of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States. It will be in Jackson Park.  Plus, did you know that this park was the designated site of the World Fair back in 1893? 6401 S. Stony Island Ave, (773) 256-0903, website: chicagoparkdistrict.com/

Rockefeller Memorial Chapel

[16] A spiritual and ceremonial center of the University of Chicago, and a major performing arts producer, offering music, theatre, and visual arts events to citywide audiences. A leading venue for the choral arts, it is a prized event location for major speakers and international artists. It is the home of two world class instruments, the carillon and organ. Resembling a medieval cathedral in appearance and size, it hosts festivals and ceremonies of many world religious traditions, as well as Sunday services where the soaring architecture is matched with the poetry and theatre of grand liturgy of diverse origins, and with the beautiful voices of its choristers. 5850 South Woodlawn Avenue, (773) – 702-2667, website: rockefeller.uchicago.edu/

Doc Films

[17] Doc Films is part of the University of Chicago's 501(c)3 organization, dedicated to providing a low-cost, high-quality venue for artistic, relevant and socially important domestic and international movies. The longest continuously running student film society, Doc hosts a variety of special events, such as conversations with directors, faculty members, critics or other experts as well as sneak previews and student films produced by Fire Escape Films. Their Fall 2018 Season Pass is online for $40, you get to see all 80+ films they're showing this quarter. Ida Noyes Hall, Max Palevsky Cinema, 1212 E. 59th Street, (773) 702-8574, website: docfilms.uchicago.edu/dev/

The Silver Room

[18] The Silver Room is the brainchild of retailer and a social entrepreneur, Eric Williams. For 20-years now, The Silver Room has been the go to venue that functions as an incubator for artists and a venue for arts education, community-based arts projects, exhibitions, performances, and talks. Although the Silver Room is a brick and mortar retail space that sell jewelry, accessories and clothing for socially conscious, fashion forward Chicagoan, the moment you walked in to the space, you will feel the warmth of a village setting or a community hub.  1506 E. 53rd Street, (773) 947-0024, website: thesilverroom.com

Valois Restaurant

[19] Hyde Park landmark Valois Restaurant has celebrated Obama’s Presidency throughout his eight years in office. Responsibly priced, this restaurant is cash only. The diner, a cafeteria of comfort food, has long been a favorite for the community. Wheneer he visits, former President Obama usually orders egg whites, turkey sausage, hash browns, wheat toast, and hot tea, according to a Valois manager. Check out their menu on their website. 1518 E 53rd Street, (773) 667-0647, website: valoisrestaurant.com/

Promontory Point

[20] There’s no denying that Hyde Park offers some of the most mesmerizing views of Chicago's skyline. Now, with Promontory Point, you’ll not only get to witness the specular Lake Michigan, but you’ll also get to see that renowned Chicago skyline. It’s a fantastic opportunity to take a relaxing stroll or ride your bike along the Lakefront Trail. It is within about 2 blocks walk to the 57th Street Beach which usually have lifeguards on duty. 5491 S. Lake Shore Drive, (312) 742-7529, website: chicagoparkdistrict.com

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