The five best sprayparks in Chicago and the suburbs

 
 

Thanks to the help of Chicago-area parents, here's Chicago Parent's list of can't-miss water playgrounds in and out of the city:

- Kristy MacKaben

 

The first time my kids laid eyes on a splashpark or sprayground or splashpad or water playground or whatever you want to call it, they were amazed. Was it a playground? Was it a waterpark? Whatever it was, they found it completely irresistible.

It was mid-August, probably one of the hottest days of the year and we had just moved from Pennsylvania. While Chicago and the suburbs are overrun with these water playgrounds, we had never seen such an awesome phenomenon.

We happened upon this simple splashpad in a neighborhood in Hoffman Estates. Our kids ran and twirled through the mist and delighted in sitting directly over the spouting fountains. They easily could have spent the entire day frolicking in this sprayground.

After that day, we were on a mission to try out as many spraygrounds as we could before the summer ended.

This summer, we will continue our mission. Thanks to the help of Chicago-area parents, here's Chicago Parent's list of can't-miss water playgrounds in and out of the city. (Of course there are hundreds more in the city and suburbs, but we couldn't list every one. We narrowed our list to the spraygrounds local parents thought deserved a shout-out.)

 
 

Adams Water Playground

  • 1919 Seminary Ave., Chicago
  • (312) 742-7787
  • Admission: Free

Lincoln Park families know all about this obscure little water haven. The soft surface splashpark is simple, with slides, sprinklers, water spouts and dump buckets. "I love the neighborhood and we love the park because of its visibility," says Alissa Wiedelman of Lincoln Park, mom of two children (ages 4 and 3).

Because of the park's size and simplicity, parents say this park is geared to younger children.

 
 

Glencoe Beach

  • 160 Hazel Ave., Glencoe
  • (847) 835-1185
  • Admission: $10, $7 kids; $6 residents, $4 resident kids

Enjoy a day at the beach on the shore of Lake Michigan with the spraypark as a bonus.

"It's kind of a unique play area. You don't have a lot of spraygrounds right on the beach," says Steve Nagle, director of operations for Glencoe Beach.

Built into the sand and rebuilt last summer, this spraypark features a tug boat, shower mushroom, sprinkling posts, swings, slides and the popular sunken dinghy.

"It shoots out water and kids love to play with it," says Nagle.

 
 

Pulaski Park

  • 1419 W. Blackhawk St., Chicago
  • (312) 742-7559
  • Admission: Free

This park with a wading pool works for families with kids of varying ages. A shallow portion (about 1.5 feet deep) has a tire swing and slides, along with spraypark features. Adjacent to the wading pool is a larger pool with depths of 3 to 5 feet.

Lori Benvenuto of Chicago frequents Pulaski Park with her four kids (ages 6-12).

"Pulaski Park is the best of both worlds for our family," says Benvenuto. "It's clean and parking is easy."

 
 

Ty Warner Spray Park

  • 801 Blackhawk Drive, Westmont
  • (630) 969-8080
  • Admission: $5, $3 residents

There's no staying dry at this splashpark. Kids will love shooting their friends with the water cannons, running through the spray rings, whale tale or mushroom fountains.

This spraypark is big and elaborate enough for everyone to enjoy from toddlers to tweens.

"It's designed for kids ages 1 to about 9, but kids older than 10 still enjoy it," says Steve Golembiewski, assistant superintendent for recreation for the Westmont Park District.

 
 

Skokie Water Playground

  • 4715 Oakton St., Skokie
  • (847) 674-1500
  • Admission: $14, $12 kids; $7.50 resident adults, $6.50 resident kids.

The coolest part of this sprayground is the manmade rock formation with waterfall, which kids can run underneath.

"You can walk right through it. Kids love it," says aquatics supervisor Dave Putziger.

Water guns and a 500-gallon dump bucket are also sure to entertain for hours.

 
 
 







 
 
 
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