Hyde Park

With the University of Chicago at its center and The Museum of Science and Industry nearby, the neighborhood of Hyde Park makes for a great day of exploring. But this vibrant South Side community boasts more than just a beautiful campus and one of the largest science museums in the world. If you're interested in discovering Hyde Park, here are five more fun, family-friendly stops - including a bookstore, an Indiana Jones-style museum and a stunning beach.

Oriental Institute (1155 E. 58th St.)

Oriental Institute

Unleash your inner Indiana Jones and meet a mummy, encounter giant stone lions from Babylon and dig into the sands of Ur at the Oriental Institute Museum, located on the campus of the University of Chicago. The Oriental Institute focuses on the Ancient Near East, including Egypt, Persia and the Fertile Crescent, and engages kids with outstanding programming, activity cards related to the items on display, and interactive exhibits. 

Smart Museum of Art (5550 S. Greenwood Ave.)

Browse the galleries, which feature modern, Asian, and contemporary art. This world class museum, located on the University of Chicago campus, offers family programming. The first Saturday of every month the museum hosts a totally free family day with hands-on activities and tours that promise to engage your creative spirit.  

Promotory Point (East end of 55th St., near Lake Michigan)

Promontory Point is a man-made peninsula that reaches into Lake Michigan, offering unbeatable views of Chicago. Accessible via the Lakefront Trail - by foot or by bike - this point is the perfect spot for a picnic. Bring your swimsuit so you can jump in the water!

57th Street Books (1301 E. 57th St.)

Browse books the old-fashioned way at 57th Street Books (est. 1983), Hyde Park's neighborhood bookstore. Famous for its science fiction and mystery book sections, you'll also find a great selection of kid's books as well as cards, calendars, newspapers, and magazines. Pop in on Wednesdays at 10:30am for story hour. 

Medici on 57th (1327 E. 57th St.)


You'll find it all at this coffee house/bakery/restaurant/deli: Medici on 57th is the perfect pit stop for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a quick snack. Reasonable prices and an extensive lunch and dinner menu make it family friendly and budget conscious.  

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