Oz Park, located at 2021 N. Burling Street, at the corner of Lincoln and Webster in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, is the perfect place for the residents of the area to spend the day. Named after author, Lyman Frank Baum of the insanely popular children’s book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” this park boasts acres of fun. It’s open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., and offers an array of activities for you and your family. I have been coming to the park for years, and wanted to let my neighbors know what a great place it is to kick back and spend quality time with your family, if you haven’t already. From gardens to playgrounds, there’s something for everyone to enjoy year-round.
My favorite time to visit Oz Park is from late spring to late fall. This 13.32 acre park has a .61 mile walking trail, and a beautiful flower garden that is changed seasonally, appropriately named the “Emerald Garden.” There’s a playground for the little ones called “Dorothy”s Playlot.” Statues of Dorothy and Toto, the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion are proudly displayed throughout the park. The statues all have a plaque saying they were donated by “Wonderful Wizards, Good Witch Glinda, and Emerald City Citizens” underneath each one. This really brings the park to life, and makes you feel like you are truly in Oz. Pets are welcome, and there’s plenty of room for them to run and play. There’s also an athletic field with basketball courts, an asphalt volleyball court, and tennis courts. Between 1994 and 1997, over $1,500,000 in renovations began on the park to make it what it is today. Our youth sports programs enjoy day camps, golf, soccer, and t-ball here as well. There are also many seasonal events held here from time to time, like Movies in the Park, a Chalk Festival, and Pumpkin Patch in fall. These events can be found by calling the Chicago Park District at (312) 747-2001.
When my family and I spend the day at Oz Park, we begin with having a picnic. We throw a blanket on the grass, and enjoy a wonderful meal. Then, we take advantage of all the outdoor activities found here. We have been known to walk the dog on the trails, or ride our bikes. We play on the playground, and oftentimes, bring a wiffle ball and bat, and spend hours playing a game of baseball. The kids like to bring their friends as well.
Another great activity at Oz Park is to have a child’s birthday party here. There’s no mess, and children are free to run around and be kids. I provide lunch for the kids, we play a few outdoor games, like water balloon toss, and pass the potato, and then the kids have fun on the playground. There are garbage cans located throughout, so clean up is a breeze.
If you haven’t found this hidden treasure in Lincoln Park already, make sure you bring your family to Oz Park, and have a wonderful time. There is so much to see and do.