Nestled in the heart of Museum Campus South, Hyde Park is home to some of the best South side arts and cultural institutions, as well as many ethnic restaurants, family parks, bookstores, coffee shops, and more. While COVID-19 has required new and creative modes of engagement, you can still learn about all that the neighborhood has to offer below.
Points of Interest
- Harper Court. 5235 South Harper Court. A 53rd Street hub for dining, shopping, entertainment, and community events, as well as one of the premiere office and residential spaces in Hyde Park.
- Midway Plaisance Park. Between 59th and 60th Streets. Midway Plaisance is a magnificent linear stretch of parkland between Jackson and Washington parks.
- The Osaka Garden. 5700 South Lake Shore Drive. Located in Jackson Park, this garden features traditional Japanese elements such as an arching moon bridge, peaceful lagoons, colorful flowers, and lush plants and trees.
- Frederick C. Robie House. 5757 South Woodlawn Avenue. Completed in 1910, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House is a National Historic Landmark and considered one of the preeminent examples of the Prairie style of architecture.
Arts and Culture/Entertainment
- Court Theatre. 5535 South Ellis Avenue. This acclaimed professional theater features classical plays and musical theater productions.
- Harper Theater. 5238 South Harper Avenue. This restored historic movie theater screens first-run films and includes a café that features a variety of food and beverages from Chicago-based bakeries, restaurants, and coffee shops.
- The Promontory. 5311 South Lake Park Avenue South. This popular chef-driven restaurant and bar includes a second floor entertainment venue offering a variety of musical, comedy, dance, and spoken word events.
- The Revival Improv Comedy Theater. 1160 East 55th Street. Improvisational comedy was invented in Hyde Park in 1955 by the Compass Players. Inspired by their legacy, The Revival returns improvisation to its birthplace.
Museums and Galleries
- Connect Gallery. 1520 East Harper Court. Known Art gallery exhibiting the work of thought-provoking local, national, and international artists.
- DuSable Museum of African American History. 740 East 56th Place. Located across the street from the Hospitals, this popular museum is devoted to preserving and interpreting the historical achievements and experiences of African Americans.
- Hyde Park Art Center. 5020 South Cornell Avenue. Hyde Park Art Center showcases work by Chicago-area artists and offers hands-on classes for artists of all ages.
- Museum of Science and Industry. 5700 South Lake Shore Drive. At this landmark museum, you can walk through a large-scale replica of the human heart, watch baby chicks hatch from their eggs, tour a coal mine, and view a breathtaking IMAX film.
- Oriental Institute. 1155 East 58th Street. This unique museum presents a large collection of rare artifacts from the ancient Middle East (10,000 BC – AD 650).
- Smart Museum of Art. 5550 South Greenwood Avenue. The University of Chicago’s fine arts museum that features a collection of 15,000 objects spanning from modern masterpieces to millenia-old Chinese artworks.
- 4th on 53rd Parade: In this annual Fourth of July celebration, a parade of citizens and community groups winds through Hyde Park and ends up in Nichols Park, where family activities are held.
- 57th Street Art Fair: Every June, 500+ exhibitors show their handiwork during the Midwest’s oldest outdoor juried art fair.
- Brews, Brats, & Brass: In mid-September, the Hyde Park Bank parking lot comes alive with a modern-style Oktoberfest.
- Children’s Book Fair: Each September, books come to life for children and their families through storytelling, singing, bookmaking, and make-believe.
- Chicago Half Marathon: Every September more than 17,000 runners take part in this 13.1-mile run, which starts and finishes in Jackson Park.
- First Thursday: On the first Thursday of May-November, 40+ businesses on 53rd, 55th, 57th, and the surrounding streets feature special offers, discounts, samples, and more.
- George Franklin Summer Concert Series: Sunday afternoon concerts at 53rdStreet’s Nichols Park during July, August, and September.
- Harper Court Summer Music Series: Harper Court hosts summer evening concerts from 6-9 p.m. with a variety of musical performers.
- Hyde Park Brew Fest: On the first weekend in June, Harper Court features beer and cider from over 50 breweries, along with local food, music, and vendors.
- Hyde Park Farmers Market: On Thursdays from June-October, Harper Court hosts the Downtown Hyde Park Farmers Market, with live music and vendors offering fresh produce, baked goods, jams, eggs, cheese, and more.
- Hyde Park Jazz Festival: In late September, 20,000 music lovers come to hear more than 30 jazz acts in 13 venues around campus and Hyde Park.
- Interfaith Community Thanksgiving Service: This community partnership is geared towards children and sponsored by the Hyde Park/Kenwood Interfaith Council and Rockefeller Memorial Chapel.
- Jazz in the Courtyard: This free jazz event takes place on the first Friday of June-September at the Hyde Park Shopping Center from 12-2 p.m.
- Sound Stage Silver Room Block Party: This popular mid-July Saturday event has become a long-standing tradition, with arts, culture, and music in a family-friendly atmosphere.
Hyde Park Commerce
Hyde Park is filled with international cuisines and a wide variety of walkable shops. If you want to stroll and look around, stores and restaurants tend to be on the 57th, 55th, 53rd, and 51st/Hyde Park Blvd streets, between the perpendicular streets of Kenwood Avenue and Lakepark Avenue.
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