Hyde Park apartments for kids?
April 29, 2005 1:18 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know of Hyde Park (Chicago) apartment buildings with children's playrooms or an otherwise kid-friendly environment?

My brother was just admitted to the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He'll be moving his wife and infant son to Hyde Park this fall. I went to the University of Chicago myself, and can just imagine his wife and son cooped up all winter.

Google and the University of Chicago website have each completely failed me in terms of finding buildings with nice children's playrooms, and all of the online Chicago real-estate resources are for northside living.
posted by MattD to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There's a building at 51st and Dorchester that has a playground and a kids playroom. It's owned by the University and rented exclusively to grad students and their families. I think it may be called the Fairfax, but I'm not certain. Call the University and ask about housing. They should be able to expound on various options, or at least send a pamphlet.
posted by bonheur at 1:45 PM on April 29, 2005

Also, Hyde Park has several nice playgrounds with lots of kids (Bixler playlot at 57th and Dorchester, Kenwood playground at 49th and Kenwood, Nichols Park around 54th and Kimbark. . .) so even if they end up living in a normal apartment building, there are always options.

In the wintertime, the Museum of Science and Industry can be a life-saver. Buy the pass that includes free parking so you can park in the heated ramp and walk right in to the museum without being exposed to the cold. The Idea Factory exhibit in the basement has a whole play area exclusively for non-walking infants.

Additionally, many local parents take their kids to local Music Together classes, baby swimming lessons at the JCC, tot-lot at the JCC (indoor playspace with a small membership fee), baby spanish classes, etc. I wouldn't worry too much about them not having enough to do. There are lots of families with young kids in Hyde Park, and lots of activities that cater to them.
posted by bonheur at 1:52 PM on April 29, 2005

Matt -- what about Regents Park? It has a gigantic indoor pool / gym area. I'm pretty sure they have kiddie swim time.

Near Museum of S&I, also.
posted by Mid at 2:27 PM on April 29, 2005

I am an admit to the GSB for the fall - though leaning towards not going at the moment.

Just thought you should let your brother know that he should sign up for the yahoo group for admits (if he hasn't already). A bunch of people on the list have banded together to get special incentives on some of the more popular buildings in hyde park and downtown. He may be too late for most of them though. There are also tons of more general posts on the list focusing on the various housing options.

Also the school sent me a packet with the U of C owned housing stuff after I sent in my deposit.
posted by JPD at 3:35 PM on April 29, 2005

I recently moved to Chicago for a graduate school program at Northwestern and went to the Apartment People for help. This is a great service, they've got hundreds of apartments, and people who will take you out and show you around. The best part is...the service is free. I found my apartment in literally one day and was very happy there for a year (until I had to leave Chicago). If you tell them the type of apartment you need, I'm sure they'll be able to help you!! FYI, I worked with them from out of state (I was in Buffalo when I first contacted them) and went out to Chicago for the weekend to apartment hunt.
posted by ebeeb at 9:21 PM on April 29, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for these responses, everyone. The Regent's Park website suggests that it has everything except a playroom ... we always called it the "biosphere" when I lived in Hyde Park.

51st & Blackstone sounds like a great suggestion. I'm surprised that the grad student housing section of the U of C website didn't make the playroom explicit. I lived on 51st & Kenwood for two years (in a University-owned building for grad students without kids) and found it to be an okay location generally.
posted by MattD at 7:26 AM on April 30, 2005

Granted, it's been about two years since I was in the 51st and Dorchester building, but at that time there was an indoor kids playroom in addition to the outdoor playlot. My friends who lived there paid a yearly fee (maybe $60?) to have access to the indoor play area and all of the toys.
posted by bonheur at 6:37 PM on April 30, 2005

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