The 2013 swim season has ended. Please continue to enjoy Chicago's lakefront parkland until the beaches open for swimming again on May 23, 2014.
Located in the Eastside community, Calumet Park and Beach totals 198.98 acres and features many recreational facilities and special amenities.
Calumet Beach offers beach-goers a chance to escape the heat by enjoying the cool waters of Lake Michigan during the summer months. In addition to traditional park programs, Calumet Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the entire family, including holiday-themed events.
The park also offers a boat launch, an artificial-turf soccer field, picnic groves and playground, as well as fields for softball and football. Many of these spaces are available for rental.
Pay & display parking lot
The following public bus & train routes serve this beach:
Beach house and restrooms
- Life guard first aid station
There is a playground near the tennis courts, just west of the northern end of Calumet Beach.
Food and beverage
11 AM - 8 PM
11 AM - 8 PM
11 AM - 8 PM
4 PM - 9 PM
Please follow the rules while you’re at the beach:
- Swim only when lifeguards are on duty.
- Follow lifeguards’ instructions.
- Only Coast Guard approved flotation devices are permitted.
- No smoking.
- No alcohol.
- No dogs on the beach.
- Do not feed birds or wildlife.
- Dispose of trash and recycling in appropriate containers.
- Grill in designated areas only and dispose of coals in red barrels.
- Keep accessible beach walks clear. No bicycling, skateboarding or rollerblading is permitted in these areas.
- Access to the Lake Michigan Water Trail for sports such as kayaking, canoeing and other non-motorized board or paddle sports is allowed at Calumet Beach. For more information, go to the rules page and download information on Lake Michigan water trails.
- Kiteboarding is not permitted at Calumet Beach; kiteboarding is ONLY permitted at Montrose Beach.
Envisioned in 1903 as part of the South Park Commission’s revolutionary neighborhood park system, Calumet Park developed slowly, and was not completed until the 1930s. The commission conceived the innovative parks to provide social services and outdoor spaces to overcrowded immigrant neighborhoods.
The park's name pays tribute to the Calumet region, which encompasses numerous South Side community areas and comprises the basin of the Calumet River. The name Calumet comes from the Norman-French word for pipe, “chamulet.” Early French esplorers who traded with local Native Americans used the term in reference to their “peace pipes.”
Landscape architects the Olmsted Brothers created plans for 14 new parks. However, four were delayed, including Calumet Park. The commissioners acquired 40 acres to develop Calumet Park in 1904, but then decided to delay construction. The area's population had begun a period of rapid growth as European and Mexican immigrants settled in nearby South Chicago to work in the steel mills and railyards. Recognizing this population trend as well as the site's unique Lake Michigan frontage, the commissioners decided that Calumet Park should be much larger than they had originally planned.
Initial temporary improvements allowed people to use the beach and some new playfields. Meanwhile, the commissioners began slowly enlarging the park through additional property acquisition and landfill. The park slowly evolved to nearly 200 acres in size. The South Park Commission constructed a monumental, classically designed field house in 1924. After the South Park Commission was consolidated into the Chicago Park District in 1934, additional improvements were made, including substantial work on the park's infrastructure and landscape.
Calumet Beach has an accessible beach walk, restrooms and parking.