The Hyde Park Insider’s Guide: 15 Great Things to Do

This South Side neighborhood sparkles with art, architecture, and culture.

(Clockwise from top left) Seminary Co-op Bookstore, The Fair Trader, Robie House, La Petite Folie, Oriental Institute, and Smart Museum of Art   Photos: (Robie House) Chicago Tribune; (all others) Travis Roozée

Court Theatre
[1] On U. of C.’s campus, the acclaimed director Charles Newell delivers reliably excellent takes on mostly classic plays. 5535 S. Ellis Ave., 773-753-4472, courttheatre.org

Experimental Station
[2] The scrappy cultural center supports a vegan deli and an organic farmers’ market on Saturdays. 6100 S. Blackstone Ave., 773-241-6044, experimentalstation.org

Small Hyde Park map

Click the image to view the full map.

The Fair Trader
[3] Here you’ll find handmade gifts—Ghanian baskets, Indian jewelry—from 35 countries. 1623 E. 55th St., 773-966-5269, thefairtraderchicago.com

Fountain of Time
[4] Marvel at the massive sculpture at the Midway Plaisance: 100 figures marching under the gaze of Father Time. Cottage Grove Avenue and 59th Street, 312-744-3316, cityofchicago.org

Kilwins
[5] The owners of the beloved Old Town confectioner opened an outpost here last year. 5226 S. Harper Ave., 773-675-6731, kilwins.com

La Petite Folie
[6] Mary Mastricola, a grad of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, brings a loving touch to seasonal classics at this French bistro. 1504 E. 55th St., 773-493-1394, lapetitefolie.com

Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
[7] Visit the gleaming new $114 million arts center, an architectural standout, for its modern music and film series. 915 E. 60th St., 773-702-2787, arts.uchicago.edu

Ribs ’n’ Bibs

Ribs ’n’ Bibs

Oriental Institute
[8] Explore the city’s best collection of antiquities from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Turkey and more. 1155 E. 58th St., 773-702-9514, oi.uchicago.edu

Osaka Garden
[9] Find Zen-like refuge between the waterfalls and the traditional torii gate. 6401 S. Stony Island Ave., 773-256-0903, chicagoparkdistrict.com

Promontory Point
[10] Bring a picnic to this gorgeous park, which has the best skyline view in the city (and lakefront fire pits!). 5491 S. Lake Shore Dr., 312-742-7529, chicagoparkdistrict.com

Ribs ’n’ Bibs
[11] This BBQ counter has been an institution since 1966, with the time-tested sauce to prove it. 5300 S. Dorchester Ave., 773-493-0400

Robie House
[12] Touring Frank Lloyd Wright’s Chicago masterpiece—now almost fully restored—should be on every architecture fan’s bucket list. 5757 S. Woodlawn Ave., 312-994-4000, gowright.org

Seminary Co-op Bookstore
[13] Eggheads, rejoice! This independent bookstore ditched its labyrinthine stacks and moved to posher digs last fall. 5751 S. Woodlawn Ave., 773-752-4381, semcoop.com

Smart Museum of Art
[14] After beholding this wide-ranging 12,000-work collection, take a well-earned rest in the landscaped sculpture garden. 5550 S. Greenwood Ave., 773-702-0200, uchicago.edu

Woodlawn Tap
[15] Rich with history (Second City was dreamed up here), “Jimmy’s” is a tavern lover’s must. 1172 E. 55th St., 773-643-5516
 

ON THE HORIZON

Soon you’ll no longer be able to knock Hyde Park for a lack of dining options. This summer, Billy Sunday owner Matthias Merges opens a European bistro (1301 E. 53rd St.). . . . .After that, he expands his yakitori-inspired Yusho (1466 E. 53rd St.). . . . .Later this year, the Longman & Eagle team open Promontory (1539 E. 53rd St.)

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