Get your ass off the couch, it’s summer time.

That means it’s time to migrate away from potato chips and Jerry Springer, and start playing an active role in society. We’re not saying you have to start training for the marathon, we’re just saying that if you’ve watched Jerry Springer anytime in the last month you should probably find a new hobby.


Foster Beach Park is the best view and the best hoop in the city.

The summer always provides a ton of opportunities to head to the beach, have a picnic in the park, or even better yet – throw down on outdoor basketball courts while the weather lets you.

But in order to run the blacktop with all your bro-dawgs, you first have to find a basketball court. And more importantly, find a court that works.

That’s where we come in.

Below we’ve compiled an area-by-area breakdown of the best outdoor basketball courts in the city of Chicago. And from the historic courts on the south side to the scenic backdrops of the lakeshore, there’s no shortage of spots to hit up.

Enjoy the hoops, and don’t forget to stretch.

The Unofficial Atlas Of Chicago Outdoor Basketball Courts

South Side

A. Margaret Hie Ding Lin Park
18th St. and State St.
1 Court | 6am-11pm

No basketball court in the city captures Chicago’s essence more than Ding Lin. It is caged off from the street and located underneath the ‘L’ tracks…no wonder D-Rose and Jordan both had commercials shot there.

B. Jackson Park
6401 S Stony Island Ave.
2 Courts | 6am-11pm

Widely regarded as the best streetball court in the entire city, Jackson Park offers much more than a haven for some of the city’s top hoopers. Jackson Park itself was the location of the 1893 World’s Fair and is mapped by more than 500 acres of trees, grass and three different harbors. It sounds peaceful, but make no mistake – take this terrain lightly and you will get dunked on.

C. Guadalupe Reyes Park
W 19th St. and S Peoria St.
1 Court, 4 Hoops | 6am-11pm

This court is in pristine condition and has a lot to offer. There are four hoops at each side that enable everyone to shoot around without obstruction, and its large size makes it perfect to run five’s once you have numbers (or talent) that permits.

D. Williams (Daniel Hale) Park
2710 S. Dearborn St.
1 Court | 6am-11pm

This court may not be in the best of shape, but it has two ten-foot rims and pavement without potholes. It’ll get the job the done.

E. Dunbar Park
300 E. 31st St.
4 Courts | 6am-11pm

These four courts are a part of a massive athletic complex that undoubtedly draws a crowd. Not to mention, its courts are lighted…game on.

West Side

A. Wicker Park
1425 N. Damen Ave.
2 Courts | 6am-11pm

Both courts are in great shape, but are scaled down a fair bit. Still, it’s a promising spot for 3-on-3 or 4-on-4.

B. Mozart Park
2036 N Avers Ave.
2 Courts | 6am-11pm

Playing anything less than 5-on-5 in a full court game would be biting off more than you can chew. This place has the luxury of lights so you can wait until that steamy sun goes down before you hit the hardwood (figuratively speaking).

C. Eckhart Park
1330 W. Chicago Ave.
1 Court | 6am-11pm

This court is in excellent shape. Although its not as large as some Chicago’s other outdoor courts, it can definitely still hold a game of 5’s, and it’s lighted.

D. Commercial Park
1845 W Rice St.
2 Half-Courts | 6am-11pm

This court has two hoops that are back-to-back so it’s not the place to go if your looking to run the floor. However, it still draws a crowd and is a great place to bring your boy if you two think you’re the next Wesley Snipes-Woody Harrelson duo.

Near North Side

A. Stanton Park
618 W Scott St.
3 Courts | 6am-11pm

Three full sized courts in premier condition, one of which has lights.

B. Seward Park
375 W Elm St.
5 Courts | 6am-11pm

One of the courts is regulation size, and the other three are a bit scaled down with the last one even more scaled down, for the youngsters sake. This is the spot to be if you’re looking to get competitive on the North Side. They play fast and they’re intense.

Call fouls at your own risk.

North Side

A. Ashland & Barry
1643 W Fletcher St.
1 Court | Hours are unknown, no lights.

Although this court could be in better condition, it has two hoops and technically, your basketball will bounce off the pavement. It’s a massive court, so stay away if you’re looking to play full-court and don’t have a full squad.

B. Wrightwood Park
2534 N Greenview Ave.
2 Courts | 6am-11pm

This court (left) is unique in the sense it has four hoops. Two of the hoops make up one of the larger courts the city has to offer. The other two hoops are located at the sidelines of the large court to make up a smaller, more condensed court. This allows those of us who are not marathon runners to still enjoy the game of basketball. 

Oh yah, there’s lights.

C. Clybourn Playlot Park
1755 N. Clybourn Ave.
1 Court | 6am-11pm

One court that appears to be of regulation size, but the park is currently under construction so you best have your hand signals down because no one’s going to hear you calling out shit.

D. Lakewood Park
2850 N Lakewood Ave.
1 Court/6am-11pm

This is another hybrid court (see Wrightwood above). The play lines are not the clearest, but it gets the job done.

E. Inter-American Elementary
850 W Addison St
1 Court | Hours are unknown

This place is located behind a school so unless you want to receive an excess of questionable looks from parents, I would only  attend during the weekends and after school hours. Also, this place is located behind a police station so you have to be covert with your hustlin’ efforts.

F. Broncho Billy Park
4435 N Magnolia Ave
1 Court | 6am-11pm

The court is in good shape but is  scaled down quite a bit. To give you an idea, the top of the key is less than a foot away from half court. Prime time for those with short lung capacity, a.k.a. out of shape.


The sun is always shining on Wrightwood Park.

North, North Side

A. Gross Park
2708 W Lawrence Ave.
2-ish Courts | 6am-11pm

Both courts have four hoops where you have a full sized and half-sized court in one (see Wrightwood and Lakewood Park above).

B. Horner Park
2741 W. Montrose Ave.
2 Courts | 6am-11pm

Two top-notch courts that are identical in size and located in a massive athletic complex. Large crowds to come.

C. Foster Beach Court

Lakefront Trail at Foster (5200 North)
1 Court/Hours are unknown, but no lights

This court is in rough shape. You cannot make out the play lines and a rolled ankle is one cross-over away from happening. If your doing anything more than casually shooting hoops, don’t come here.  However, it makes our list because it’s located no more than 50 yards from the water providing the best scenery the city has to offer.

It delivers on a soothing lake breeze to keep you cool, and what better way to cap a hoop sesh than jumping into Lake Michigan?

D. California Park and McFetridge Sports Center
3843 N California Ave.
2 Courts | 6am-11pm

This place has it all. Two separate courts where one is full-sized for a game of 5’s, with the other is scaled down for smaller crowds.

E. Gompers Park
4222 W. Foster Ave
1 Court | 6am-11pm

Located just west of Pulaski off of Foster, this single-court facility sits right on the Chicago River. With a massive parking lot located right next to the court you’ll be able to bring up a big group of people and run the courts from dawn till dusk.

If you have a favorite court that we forgot to mention, shoot us a line on Twitter.