River Park: A free natural habitat along Chicago's river

River Park: A free natural habitat along Chicago's river

At the beginning of the summer I introduced a series, Breaking Down Chicago Parks One by One. My daughter and I are visiting a different park in the city of Chicago each week and sharing the good, bad and parking situation of each playground. The past weeks we explored Welles Park, Adam's PlaygroundHolstein ParkBerger ParkIndian Boundary Park and Ward A. Montgomery Park.  This week we drove north west to River Park.

This large park tucked behind Swedish Memorial Hospital and the Galter Center runs alongside the Chicago River and covers block and blocks of lush land.  River Park offers a rich wildlife habitat, excellent fishing and a canoe launch. It also boasts a swimming pool and an interactive water playground in the summer months.

The artificial turf soccer field and running track, as well as the new soft-surface playground, draw visitors from around the city. The park also features seven tennis courts and two baseball fields. Numerous children head to River Park for its strong Park Kids after-school program. Several programs for all ages are held in the park’s large auditorium.

The spacious grounds offer a perfect landscape for a picnic and I'm hoping to have the opportunity to go back with my bike to explore the trails along the river.

The Good: This large shady park offers something for everyone from the pool to dog park.

The Bad: Remember to check pool and sprinkler park hours.

The Parking: Surprisingly parking was difficult on Francisco, but I found a spot on Argyle, which is a block South of Foster.

River Park

5100 N. Francisco Ave. Chicago IL 60611

I am in a little bit of denial that next week is the last week of the summer.  Our last park visit will be to Revere Park. 

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    Beth Prystowsky

    Trying to raise children with a sense of calm in a chaotic world.

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