Bennett Day School News

Chicago Summer Series: Uncover the History of Hyde Park

Hyde Park is filled with abundant historical attractions and breathtaking architecture where one can certainly spend a whole day exploring. The area is home to some of the world’s best museums, famous homes, up-and-coming restaurants, and one of the most notable universities. Here are a few spots to check out with your kids this summer!

DuSable Museum of African-American History

Founded in 1961 and named after Jean Baptiste Point DuSable (widely-regarded as the “founder of Chicago”), the DuSable Museum is dedicated to the historical, cultural, and artistic achievements made by African-Americans. The museum currently houses over 15,000 artifacts that highlight African-American history and culture, and hosts multiple events year round.

Activity: Take advantage of the many events hosted throughout the summer at the museum! Check out the rhythmic sounds of jazz performance from local Chicago musicians.



Valois Restaurant

The nearly century-old diner is a favorite among Hyde Park natives, including one of its most notable residents, Barack Obama. Since 1921, Valois has been serving classic cafeteria-style grub such as steak & eggs (Obama’s favorite), prime rib and other breakfast staples.

Activity: This is a great opportunity to connect math concepts to everyday life by having your student help add up the bill and determine the tip amount.



Robie House

The Robie House was built and designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1910 for business tycoon Frederick Robie. It is an iconic architectural masterpiece and is often credited as the leading example of a Prairie-style house. Its flat roof, long horizontal planes, art glass windows, and natural materials mimic the Midwestern landscape. This can't-miss site is one of the world’s most well-known architectural creations.

Activity: Take note or sketch the design that Frank Lloyd Wright used to capture the essence of the Midwestern plains. Which architectural details most resemble our environment?



Osaka Garden

Also known as the Garden of the Phoenix, this gorgeous, Japanese-inspired garden features a waterfall, quaint foot bridges, peaceful lagoons, lush ferns, and miniature trees. Its roots began at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition when the Japanese government gifted a beautiful building to Chicago. In 1934, the garden was completed thanks to significant contributions from both Chicago and Japan. This is truly a hidden gem within the hustle and bustle of the city, and the admission is always free!

Activity: This environment of zen is a wonderful opportunity to practice mindfulness. Listen for the bubbling of the waterfall in this quiet pocket of the city. 



57th Street Books

This one-of-a-kind customer-owned co-operative bookstore was established in 1983 in partnership with Hyde Park's Seminary Co-op Bookstores. This internationally-revered collection "reflects the literary and scholarly interests of its membership, many of them affiliated currently or previously with its neighbor and landlord, the University of Chicago." 57th Street houses an array of titles and includes a world-class kids' section. This location's offerings and unique architectural features are not to be missed!

Activity: Attend a story time reading or talk with a renowned children's or young adult author.


(Image via 57th Street Books Twitter)

Next time you find yourself in Hyde Park, make sure to check out these attractions while the warm weather lasts. Hungry for more? Check out exciting locations that await exploration in Pilsen!