Kemper Center’s 17.5 landscaped acres on the Lake Michigan shoreline are perfectly suited to a variety of recreational and cultural activities. The campus is used by dog walkers, fishermen, bird watchers and naturalists. On any given day you might come across a soccer match or Frisbee game, or bump into a photographer or painter capturing a moment or waiting for just the perfect light. Flower gardens, walkways under the trees and along the shore of Lake Michigan, and the historic presence of the Kemper buildings provide a spacious, natural and tranquil setting for any event or get-together.
The Anderson Arts Center South Lawn is the largest of the outdoor venues at Kemper Center. While being of size to host a large tented event, it also offers tranquil private areas and gardens with a large patio facing the lake. Full catering and bar services are available, as well as outdoor electrical service.
The Arboretum is located between the main Kemper Center buildings and Third Avenue. Following in the tradition of Kemper Hall classes that planted trees in honor of their graduation, Kemper Center developed plans in 1988 for an arboretum containing rare and unusual trees. Over 70 additional trees have been planted since that time. Though most are reliable winter-hearty trees, they are not commonly seen in the Midwest. Some have granite markers that memorialize departed family members and friends.
The Hockey Field was originally used by the Kemper Hall physical education classes for outdoor activites and is located to the south of the Simmons Auditorium, formerly the Gymnasium. It was named for the many field hockey games played there by the students at Kemper Hall. Today, neighborhood pick-up soccer games occur often on the Hockey Field in addition to the organized soccer teams that play on the field on a regular basis.
The Northeast Grounds are located to the north of the Kady B. Faulkner Building and east of Ambrose Hall. The beautiful views of Lake Michigan as well as the proximity to the facilities offered in the Faulkner Building make this area a favorite for large picnics and outdoor weddings.