Family Neighborhood Guide: Pullman

Get to know Chicago's Pullman Historic District with these places to eat, play, explore and shop.

The south side Pullman Historic District was once an industrial community. Built as a community for employees of Pullman Palace Car Company, this unique area has been landmarked and preserved to tell the story of how it came to be. Thankfully, this leaves all of us with an area rich in history to explore. Today it is still a home of innovation and creation, with plenty to do to enrich your family’s mind and fill your bellies. To get the full history and experience of the Pullman district, consider booking a tour through the Historic Pullman Foundation.

Here are a few highlights to get started on your own.

Eat

One Eleven Food Hall

The perfect unique dining experience for families. With three restaurants to choose from, everyone can choose their own culinary adventure. The food hall, open Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., is a project to help local restaurants break into the industry through a shared space and community support.

Cal-Harbor Restaurant & Lounge

A local establishment that gives comfort small diner vibes, this restaurant is family-owned and specializes in breakfast and brunch.

Play

Big Marsh Park

Just outside of the Pullman neighborhood is Big Marsh, one of many beautiful nature areas in Chicago. The free 297-acred park, open dusk to dawn, has plenty of hiking and nature to explore all year around. However, what it is most known for is the bike park with great off-road biking trails for the entire family to try. The asphalt paths are 12 feet wide, making it great for littles to learn to ride without training wheels.

Palmer Park

Palmer Park is just outside of Pullman and offers so much for families to explore. A day at the park can include some fun on the playground or in the summer, a splash in the pool. The basketball court and baseball field are ready for games or just enjoy sitting under the trees and relaxing.

Pullman Community Center

This massive sports complex doesn’t just offer sports classes. It holds events, pop-up shops and classes to help the entire family to thrive.

Explore

Pullman National Monument

As Chicago’s only National Monument, exploring the history of this area is literally a walk in the park. All of the attractions and historical buildings are within walking distance and surrounded by beautiful open areas. Take a self-guided tour, attend an event or just play it by ear. If you are looking for a little extra fun (and education) for the kids, join the Junior Ranger Program, as part of the National Parks. This usually includes a book with activities and fun facts. Once they complete the book, they will receive a badge to celebrate.

Executive Row

A unique aspect of The Pullman district is the homes built specifically for the workers and executives. Take a walk down the street and enjoy the architecture that was groundbreaking for its time. A perfect stroll to take in some sun on a nice day as well as beautiful history.

The National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum

Explore the history of the neighborhood and African Americans’ place in the labor and industrial story of the United States. The museum is a fascinating experience learning about how the history of the African American railroad employee has been preserved and retold.

Hotel Florence

Visiting the Pullman district would not be complete without a trip back to the luxury of this historic hotel, built in 1881. Take a tour as part of the larger Pullman district tours, or walk by and admire it if you are taking a stroll through the neighborhood.

Shop

Pullman Arts

This artist hub is a perfect place to support local artists and find unique pieces of art. It regularly hosts family-friendly events and Makers Markets in the Block House Gallery. Watch for upcoming events at blockhousegallery.square.site.

Pullman Exhibit Hall Shop

For the history and culture enthusiast, the gift shop at the Pullman Exhibit Hall offers a unique collection of Pullman-focused art pieces and gifts. There is so much to see and learn.


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