Ping Tom Memorial Park, located in the Chinatown neighborhood along the South Branch of the Chicago river at 18th Street, is one of Chicago’s best locations for engagement photos.
With its impressive architectural features and vibrant colors the urban park provides a beautiful photogenic setting. The red bridges and boathouse contrast with the natural colors of the native grasses. The St. Charles Air Line Bridge adds an extra element that pairs perfectly with the impressive skyline view.
The park has Chinese-influenced gardens that include ginkgo trees and bamboo and serves as the Chinatown stop for the Chicago Water Taxi.
The wooden Pagoda-style pavilion is a striking entrance to the 17.4 acre park named in honor of neighborhood’s most notable civic leader and lifelong resident of the Chinatown - Ping Tom. Work began in 1998 to create an open space and recreational area for a neighborhood that lost its only green spaces to construction of the Dan Expressway.
The boathouse which opened in 2013 provides restrooms that are a great place for an outfit change between locations.
Permit: Not Required
WHY WE LOVE IT
The mounded hill at the north end of the park makes a great to isolate a couple into the skyline. The floral, blue-and-white mural under the 18th street bridge is a nice bonus that models Ming-dynasty porcelain designs. Overall, the amount of different kinds of pictures we can make in this park make it a favorite.
It’s also never as busy as parks on the North Side so we don’t spend quite as much time waiting on others to move or get out of our backgrounds!