Often hidden in plain sight, most of Chicago’s skateboard parks are easily accessible by public transportation and conveniently located within Chicago Park District spaces (which also means they’re free to access).
So if you have an aspiring Tony Hawk at home, here are seven of the most popular skate parks (both outdoor and indoor) in the Chicago area that you need to check out.
1. Grant Park
Photo courtesy of Megy Karydes
With Chicago’s skyline as the background, skaters of all ages and abilities hit the rails throughout one of the city’s newest and busiest skate parks located in the heart of downtown.
The Grant Park Skate Park opened in late 2014 near bustling Roosevelt and Michigan Avenue. Those who like a lot of transitions might be disappointed since this plaza-like skate park doesn’t have many but its convenient location and free skating clinics offered throughout the summer make it popular nonetheless.
Since it’s located downtown, expect to pay premium parking prices if you need to drive in. But you’ll get great people watching and plenty of food options, both budget-friendly and beyond, nearby.
2. Logan Square
Logan Square is what most people might think of when they think about what a true skate park should be – gritty, fun, slightly hidden and with art installations made of recycled tailpipes and hubcaps. You read that part right – along the perimeter of this skate park is an art installation that gives it a really cool and urban vibe.
The 1.6-acre skate park is nestled right below the Kennedy Expressway so it’s easy to miss. But if you know it’s there, you’ll find it easily since it’s rarely ever without a skateboarder or two.
Skaters can expect to skate a bowl corner with a spine, smaller quarters with hips as well as a funbox with small flat and down rails. You’ll see novice skaters and more seasoned ones who are always willing to help with tricks. Most skaters come on their own wheels but for those who need to drive, limited free and non-zoned neighborhood parking isn’t terribly difficult to score.
3. Little Village Park
This small neighborhood skateboard park is popular among street skaters since it features rails, ledges, boxes, a quarter pipe and a stair set.
It’s located in the Little Village neighborhood, just west of Burnham Park on 31st Street.
4. Burnham Park
The Burnham Park skate park, located along Lake Shore Drive and 31st Street, is a fenced-in public skate park with bowls, ramps and railings. For those learning to skate, it’s an ideal park since it’s not as busy or crowded as some other skate parks throughout the city.
For better or for worse, the cement here is a bit rough so those who like their concrete super smooth might find this park a bit of a challenge. Paid street parking is about a block away.
5. Wilson Park
Photo courtesy of Megy Karydes
On the far north side and just west of Montrose Beach sits Wilson Park’s skate park, where skaters can ride ramps, steps, obstacles, bowls and pools in the generous space.
Since it’s located near the beach, the space has a great open feel. The large parking lot next door (with meters) makes it very convenient for those who drive since it also serves beach-goers.
6. House of Vans
House of Vans in the West Loop originally got rave reviews by skaters who’ve been hoping for an indoor skate park in the city. When it first opened, it hosted evening skateboarding hours every other week. Then it dwindled to once a month and now it seems more sporadic and unpredictable.
These days, the venue seems to have transitioned more to a club and gallery space, hosting music talent or gallery openings, but it deserves an honorable mention since the ubiquitous name of skateboarding still hosts skateboarding events on rare occasions. The best way to keep up-to-date on its events and fees is through its website.
7. Asylum Skate Park
About an hour north of Chicago is Asylum Skate Park, an indoor skate park that’s been serving skateboarding enthusiasts since 1988. The 10,000-square-foot space features a ton of skateboarding options, from half and quarter pipes, ledges, steps and bowls. It’s a nice break from the outdoor parks and to try new tricks.
It also features a shop with skating supplies. Several young skaters come here to get a feel for skateboarding, but seasoned riders enjoy it just the same. Wednesdays feature “Old Man Skate Jam” for those 26 years of age or older.
Park fees range from $7 to $14 depending on membership, and active duty military, paramedics, police and firefighters enjoy a discounted rate.