In celebration of the 1893 World Expo, Chicago established the 543-acre (220-hectare) Jackson Park. Today the popular green space hosts a golf course, the Museum of Science and Industry, scenic nature trails, a Lake Michigan beach, and more. The Chicago Lakefront Trail runs through the park, making it a great biking and jogging destination.
Jackson Park is wildly popular with locals and visitors alike thanks to its top attractions, myriad activities, and lakefront beach. Don your walking shoes and explore different areas of the park on foot, or experience it as part of a Chicago city and river cruise tour. The Museum of Science and Industry and the golf course are paid attractions within the park, but other sights are yours to enjoy for free.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Jackson Park is a must-see for all first-time visitors to Chicago. Children especially enjoy the playgrounds, riding bikes in the park, and other family-friendly activities.
- Bring comfortable walking shoes and, in summer, sun protection.
- Much of the park and its sights are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
Jackson Park is located in Woodlawn, right on Lake Michigan. Take the Metra to the 57th Street or 63rd Street stop; for the museum, you can also take CTA bus number 2 or 6. If driving, use metered street parking or a nearby paid parking lot (including in the museum).
When to Get There
The park is open from 6am to 9pm every day. The warmer months make for larger crowds, as Chicago winters make it difficult to enjoy the outdoor attractions. The museum, which is open 9:30am to 4pm daily (except as noted on their website) year-round, is a warm indoor option during the colder months.
Spend the Day in the Park
Even though it’s surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the city, Jackson Park is an ideal spot to spend a relaxing, tranquil day. Lace up your running shoes or rent a bike and journey along the Chicago Lakefront Trail, which connects Jackson Park to other popular Chicago parks. Alternatively, play a leisurely 18-hole round of golf or an intense pickup basketball game, explore the Garden of the Phoenix, or just chill out on the beach.