Things To Do In Hyde Park Chicago - (2022)

Winter In Chicago Faqs

HYDE PARK, CHICAGO // South Side Neighborhood Travel Guide & Tour (Things to Do in Chicago 4K Vlog)

You probably have some questions about Chicago in the winter. Namely, am I going to freeze to death? or wait, what do you mean the Windy City isnt called that because of the wind?

Well, I cant answer all of your questions but I can answer a few of the things youll need to know before planning your trip to the Arctic Chicago in the winter.

Explore The University Of Chicago Campus

TripSavvy / Cory Giguere

Art galleries, museums, chapels: The University of Chicago campus has it all. The campus stretches across the Hyde Park and Woodlawn neighborhoods and is split into north and south sections by the Midway Plaisance, a park created for the 1893 Worlds Expo. There are several museums on campus and the gothic architecture makes for a picturesque walk.

Robie House Frank Lloyd Wright

Take a tour of the Hyde Park-home that revolutionized American architecture. Where once there were only formal, European-inspired living spaces there were suddenly open floor plans and endless panes of windows that let the outside in. Visionary designer Frank Lloyd Wright took inspiration from the Midwestern plains and evolving, laidback lifestyles of his fellow Chicagoans.

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Where To Eat Drink And Hang Out

My favorite place to dine in Hyde Park is the Promontory. Korean inspired kale short ribs, lobster mac-n-cheese and mushroom stroganoff is your mouth watering? If you want healthy, you can have any number of items grilled on the open hearth. Promontory is great if you want a snack, a drink or have a full-on meal. Plus theres a patio and music or cool productions happening in the upstairs theater that I mentioned previously.

A10 is also a favorite with Italian and French fare. All the pastas are delicious and houses one of my favorite perches to sit and have a drink. The windows wrap completely around the corner of the building, and its an excellent spot for people watching at the lively intersection of 53rd and Harper.

Oldie but goodie Valois is known as a favorite of President Barack Obama. In fact, you can order exactly what he does for breakfast when hes in town as his favorite meal is displayed proudly on a sign. The cafeteria-style eatery has been around since 1921 and a favorite for politicians and locals alike. Im a fan of the broiled white fish, and you cant ever go wrong with breakfast.

South Side mini-chain Uncle Joes Jerk Chicken has a location in Hyde Park. Im really fond of the cooked cabbage, besides the jerk chicken and fish. Its definitely a no frills location but everything is already wrapped to go!

Cedars of Lebanons has all the Lebanese flavors you need for an affordable price.

Convenient Location And Accessibility

Things To Do In Hyde Park Chicago - (1)

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One of the things you would love after moving to Hyde Park Chicago is its location. Its one of the most desirable neighborhoods on the South Side in Chicago and is located just 7 miles from downtown. It means that the area is just 15-minute drive from downtown Chicago.

Hyde Park is located on the shores of Lake Michigan on the South Side. It contributes to the areas popularity among tourists. The local residents can walk to the beautiful beaches within minutes.

A lot of public transport options are available connecting Hyde Park with the rest of the city by bus and train.

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Founding And Early Years

In 1853, Paul Cornell, a real estate speculator and cousin of Cornell University founder Ezra Cornell, purchased 300 acres of land between 51st and 55th streets along the shore of Lake Michigan, with the idea of attracting other Chicago businessmen and their families to the area. The land was located seven miles south of Downtown Chicago in a rural area that enjoyed weather tempered by the lake cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. It was conveniently located near the Illinois Central Railroad, which had been constructed two years earlier. Cornell successfully negotiated land in exchange for a railroad station at 53rd Street. Hyde Park quickly became a suburban retreat for affluent Chicagoans who wanted to escape the noise and congestion of the rapidly growing city.

In 1857, the Hyde Park House, an upscale hotel, was built on the shore of Lake Michigan near the 53rd Street railroad station. For two decades, the Hyde Park House served as a focal point of Hyde Park social life. During this period, it was visited or lived in by many prominent guests, including , who lived there with her children for two and a half months in the summer of 1865 . The Hyde Park House burned down in an 1879 fire. The Sisson Hotel was built on the site in 1918 and was eventually converted into a condominium building ” rel=”nofollow”> Hampton House).

The Hyde Park Herald, the neighborhood’s community newspaper, was established in 1882 and continues to be published weekly.

Get Lost At Powells Books:

The old but well-stacked bookshop of Powells at Hyde Park Chicago is related to Oregons Powells Bookshop chain of stores. It has been in business since the 1970s. It is best known for collections of books on numerous subjects ranging from antique scrolls to modern-day general knowledge topics. The staff is highly skilled in providing you with the right book, or you can spend the afternoon browsing books on your own. Click on Powells Books Chicago for more information.

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Explore Chicagos Downtown Called The Loop

Named for the Els circular pattern around the citys commercial and business district, the Loop is an area of the city thats heavily trafficked by visitors and professionals and avoided by many locals. Still, it holds important cultural and historical context and is worth spending time in. Here are a few things you should do when youre in the area:


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Jazz Festival In Sep:

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Chicagos oldest jazz festival just concluded on 2nd September 2019. The 10-day festival is a part of the culture festivals held annually, ending with the grand bash at the Millennium Park ofHyde Park Chicago. Expect to see free concerts in the Hyde Park neighborhood with a diverse collection of artists from the new modern music artists to the traditional jazz spinning through some fusion music.

Admission is free to the Lakefront Jazz music festival which is an all-ages multi-cultural, multi-style music fest.

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Total Costs Are Much Lower

Universities and colleges can earn high profit margins on e-courses because a vast majority of the classroom sessions are taped and can be viewed at any time. In short, schools spend much less on e-students than on those who live and matriculate on campus. In general, expect to pay about half the cost of a traditional diploma when you are a remote learner.

The Museum Of Science And Industry

You cant miss the palatial, 14-acre museum overlooking the serene Columbian basin. Home to attractions such as original costumes from Pirates of the Caribbean and the famous high-speed Zephyr train, The Museum of Science and Industry is revered for its innovative hands-on exhibits. Bring the family along on a virtual ocean odyssey or tour a full-size replica of a coal mine.

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Try Cuisine From Every Corner Of The World

Chicagos heavy manufacturing industry and jobs have attracted immigrants since its founding, which also meant an introduction to new foods.

You can find everything from Polish home cooking to Lithuanian bars, and many immigrant groups have their own enclaves, like the South Asian Devon Street in Rogers Park or the Vietnamese Argyle Street in Uptown.

Here are a couple of Chicago food experiences that will warm you up on a chilly day:

The Spots You Should Be Eating At When Youre In The Neighborhood

Things To Do In Hyde Park Chicago - (2)

Hyde Park is famous for being home to two things: the University of Chicago and President Obamas house. Its not known as a place with a happening restaurant scene – unless you count Subways and pizza delivery places. And since Barack and Michelle arent inviting you over for dinner, you should have other options on hand when you find yourself in the neighborhood. Here are the spots we like best.

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Go To A Christmas Market

One of the best things to do in Chicago in the winter is to soak up Holiday cheer at its two European-inspired Christmas markets! Grab a fresh pretzel or a bratwurst and a mug of Glühwein and stroll underneath the sparkling Christmas lights in the center of Chicago as cheerful Christmas music and the scent of roast nuts wafts through the air.

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The Christkindlmarkts are some of the best, most authentic, and only legit Christmas Markets in the USA so even if you cant make it to Germany this year, you can get pretty darn close.

There are two Christmas Markets in Chicago in the winter, each open from around mid-November:

  • Christkindlmarkt in Daley Plaza: The largest Christmas Market in Chicago is the Christkindlmarkt. The market is a long-standing German-inspired local holiday favorite in downtowns Daley Plaza. Grab a glass of the mulled wine and stroll under twinkling lights down aisles of vendors selling handcrafted goods and irresistible foods like sausages, raclette and cookies! The market closes on Christmas Eve.
  • Christkindlmarkt in Wrigley Square: During the holidays, Wrigley Square turns into Winterland at Gallagher Way, including a charming Christkindlmarket, Santas Workshop, wreath-making classes, holiday movies, ice bumper cars, and ice skating! Stroll through the candy cane-striped wooden huts with a mug of hot spiced wine and shop for local delicacies and hand-crafted ornaments. The market closes on New Years Eeve.

Attractions Beaches And Green Spaces

The biggest attractions in Hyde Park are undoubtedly University of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry. The museum was part of the White City which once was an architectural wonder until it was dismantled. Tourists are often blown away by its awe-inspiring architecture. The Museum of Science and Industry is he Western Hemisphere’s largest science museum.

Another feature that you will love about Hyde Park is the green spaces. There are many big and small parks in the area including Nichols, Elm, Bixler and Florence Stout. Since it is located adjacent to Washington Park to the west and Jackson Park to the east, the greenery dots all the adjoining streets. Walking through Midway Plaisance one of the biggest parks of Chicago connecting Washington Park and Jackson Park through Hyde Park feels like a treat.

If you want to spend quality time with your friends and family on a beach, just head to 57th Street and Promontory Point. These are two of the most famous beaches in Chicago. They are not overcrowded like most other beaches the water is clean and there is enough parking space. Both the beaches are in close proximity to Hyde Park. The Seminary Coop Bookstores, Jackson Bark, Doc Films, The Point, Botany Pond are some of the other places where you would love to hang out

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Exploring Hyde Park In Chicago

Hyde Park, south of the Loop, is the birthplace of atomic fission, home to the University of Chicago and the popular Museum of Science and Industry, and definitely worth a trip. It’s gotten an added boost of publicity ever since a certain former resident, Barack Obama, came to national prominence. The Obamas are such fans of the area that they’ve kept their house here. Allow at least half a day to explore the University of Chicago campus and surrounding neighborhood . If you want to explore a museum or two as well, plan on a full day.

Some Hyde Park History

When Hyde Park was settled in 1850, it became Chicago’s first suburb. A hundred years later, in the 1950s, it added another first to its impressive résumé, one that the current neighborhood is not particularly proud of: an urban-renewal plan. At the time, a certain amount of old commercial and housing stock — just the kind of buildings that would be prized today — was demolished rather than rehabilitated and replaced by projects and small shopping malls that actually make some corners of Hyde Park look more like a post-World War II suburb than an urban neighborhood.

Did You Know? — The world’s first Ferris wheel was built on Hyde Park’s midway during the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. It was eventually dynamited and sold for scrap metal.

Getting There

For CTA bus and Metra train information, call tel. 312/836-7000, or visit or

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Hyde Park Bites

Sip Cocktails At A Swanky Baror Dive Bar

The Grid: Exploring Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood

Chicagoans seem to love in equal parts their glitzy nights out and their hole-in-the-wall neighborhood pubs. To get a true sense of Chicago you should drink at both.

Plus, youre gonna be cold. So as soon as the sun goes down head to one of these bars to get a nice, warming-from-the-inside drink:

  • Cindys: This rooftop bar at the top of the Loops historic Chicago Athletic Association Hotel has towering views of Lake Michigan and Millenium Parks Cloud Gate. The best part? You can stay snug and warm and enjoy the views from inside their floor-to-ceiling glass walls.
  • Bordel: This West Town bar is famous for its punch served in tea sets and eclectic selection of entertainment harkening Pariss belle epoque. Expect fire dancers, burlesque, and even live Flamenco guitar.
  • Rainbo Club: This dimly lit dive bar just south of Wicker Park boasts virtually unchanged 1940s decor, with red leather stools, booths, and a horseshoe-shaped bar. Take a photo in the cash-only photo booth and order a Chicago handshake for a truly authentic experiencean Old Style Beer with a shot of our notoriously harsh, bitter liquor malört. If you havent tried the deep dish yet, youll want to the day after drinking that.


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Cozy Things To Do In Chicago In The Winter

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Sparkling Christmas lights. Real German Christmas markets. Deep dish pizza and deep snow. Chicago might not be known for its, shall we say, balmy winters, but there are many intrepid locals and visitors who embrace the blistering cold winds and snow-covered sidewalks!

Winter in Chicago is the best time traipse through shimmering holiday lights with a mug of hot mulled wine, glide around one of the citys many outdoor ice rinks, or cozy up in a museum cafe. Besides, everyone knows hot chocolate tastes better while walking down snow-covered streets!

We tapped a local to create this guide to all the best things to do in Chicago in the winter. Take it away, Allison!

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Is Hyde Park Chicago worth visiting? ›

It is worth every moment spent at the Hyde Park Chicago neighborhood, which is bubbling over and bursting with restaurants, coffee shops, and bookstores. The all-new 53rd Street corridor is a must-visit for some entertainment, shopping fun or dining options.

What is Hyde Park famous for Chicago? ›

It was the site of the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, home to former President Barack Obama, an incubator for Nobel Prize winners — basically, history is made in Hyde Park.

Is Hyde Park Chicago a black neighborhood? ›

Hyde Park is a very racially diverse neighborhood. Its population is 47.6% White, 26.8% African American, 12.1% Asian American, 8.5% Hispanic, and 5.0% of other races or of more than one race.

What is there to do in Hyde Park Chicago in the winter? ›

Is Hyde Park Chicago walkable? ›

Hyde Park is the 29th most walkable neighborhood in Chicago with a Walk Score of 87. Find apartments in Chicago's most walkable neighborhoods: East Ukrainian Village, Wicker Park and Near North Side.

Is Hyde Park Chicago middle class? ›

South Side neighborhoods such as Armour Square, Back of the Yards, Bridgeport, and Pullman host more blue collar and middle-class residents, while Hyde Park, the Jackson Park Highlands District, Kenwood, Beverly, Mount Greenwood, and west Morgan Park range from middle class to more affluent residents.

Why is Chicago so segregated? ›

Because the need for housing was so vast – but the available land was limited by an unwillingness to expand the area where Black people could live – soaring public-housing projects again reshaped the city.

What kind of neighborhood is Hyde Park Chicago? ›

Hyde Park is a neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois with a population of 25,998. Hyde Park is in Cook County and is one of the best places to live in Illinois. Living in Hyde Park offers residents a dense urban feel and most residents rent their homes. In Hyde Park there are a lot of restaurants, coffee shops, and parks.

Is Chicago Safe? ›

Chicago is generally safe for travel. Even though Chicago is known for its relatively high average crime rate, this crime is mostly concentrated in certain neighborhoods. Typically, the south and west sides of the city are the most dangerous.

How do people dress in Chicago in the winter? ›

Outer layers or jackets are a must when the temperature is below 5 degrees celsius and there is wind, snow, or rain. Invest in a waterproof jacket to protect you from the weather. You can wear a good jacket over your stylish dress or over your comfortable hoodie.

Is it worth visiting Chicago in the winter? ›

Winter is one of the most magical times of the year in Chicago, when snow gives the city an added sparkle. Embrace the season and set off on a wintery adventure, from ice skating in the shadow of The Bean to sledding and snowshoeing within view of the snowy lakefront.

Is Hyde Park a good area in Chicago? ›

Hyde Park is a neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois with a population of 25,998. Hyde Park is in Cook County and is one of the best places to live in Illinois. Living in Hyde Park offers residents a dense urban feel and most residents rent their homes. In Hyde Park there are a lot of restaurants, coffee shops, and parks.

Is Hyde Park Chicago walkable? ›

Hyde Park is the 29th most walkable neighborhood in Chicago with a Walk Score of 87. Find apartments in Chicago's most walkable neighborhoods: East Ukrainian Village, Wicker Park and Near North Side.

What is Hyde Park like? ›

This eclectic quality gives the southside neighborhood a small-town feel in the middle of a big, dynamic city. Hyde Park is home to Barack Obama's Chicago home, gorgeous green space, and access to the sandy lakefront, plentiful cultural offerings, and a lively mix of community-focused locals.

Where can I walk around Hyde Park? ›

Enjoy this 4.2-mile loop trail near Westminster, London. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 1 h 28 min to complete. This is a very popular area for mountain biking, road biking, and trail running, so you'll likely encounter other people while exploring.


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