Summer Fun in Chicago Parks

It’s the middle of summer and with the warm weather and school vacations, it’s peak season for outdoor activities. This time of the year, kids in Chicago take advantage of the city’s more than 500 parks, over 90 of which are featured in the Chicago Public Library’s Chicago Park District Records Photographs collection.

What better way to keep cool during the summer heat than at the pool? Chicago’s parks boast more than 70 pools across the city, just three of which are pictured below. As these photos suggest, pools have been an integral part of outdoor summertime activities in Chicago at least since the turn of the twentieth century.

On cooler days or when kids would prefer to stay dry, there are the Chicago Park District’s more than 300 playgrounds around the city. Beyond the slides, swings, merry-go-rounds, and more unusual features, the playground has long been a central place for after-school and summertime activities.

For more summer fun, search for related items from all IDHH collections. Or maybe visit your local park!

Chicago Park District Collection

The Chicago Public Library has provided a collection comprised of 10,000 images capturing the history of the Chicago Park District.  One of the largest contributions to the DPLA by an IDHH institution, the Chicago Park District Photographs digital collection is but a fraction of the Chicago Public Library’s Park District photographs. The digitized items represent 93 parks across the city. See all of the Chicago Park District items in the DPLA here.

Sepia tone photo of lake amidst trees in a park
Washington Park, lagoon, 1935. Chicago Park District Records: Photographs, Box 104, Folder 5, Special Collections, Chicago Public Library. Permission to display provided by Chicago Public Library Special Collections
Four young women pose on a running track poised to start a sprint
Douglas Park, track and field, 1952. Chicago Park District Records: Photographs, Box 17, Folder 5, Special Collections, Chicago Public Library. Permission to display provided by Chicago Public Library Special Collections