Crystal Lake is a Chicago Parent Top Town

The City of Crystal Lake inspires all with captivating cultural activities, local shopping and dining. Families can come for a day or stay for a lifetime because Crystal Lake has something for everyone.

The Clear Choice is Crystal Lake

When it comes to quality of life and standard of living, Crystal Lake, Illinois is the clear leader. Thirty-five miles out from O’Hare Airport, this charming city is home to nearly 40,000 people. With excellent schools, lakes and outdoor recreation spaces, and ample shopping and dining experiences, Crystal Lake is the perfect place to call your own. Here, you’ll never run out of unique experiences!

Crystal Lake’s location makes it a great place for families to live. Not only is the City of Crystal Lake close to O’Hare International Airport, but it’s also close to downtown Chicago, which is easily accessible from two Metra train stations in town. This means families have easy access to all of Chicago’s world-class amenities, like museums, Navy Pier and, of course, the beautiful beaches of Lake Michigan.

Crystal Lake boasts top-rated schools from elementary to college level. Elementary School District 47 and Community High School District 155 are two of the best public school systems in the region. Crystal Lake is also home to two colleges, McHenry County College and Columbia College-Crystal Lake.

Outdoor Adventure

Crystal Lake has ample opportunities to experience fun, indoors and outdoors. For those seeking an outdoor family adventure, look no further than Three Oaks Recreation Area, which has hiking trails that are open year-round to walk, hike, run and bike. Planning a big group? Rent a beautiful picnic pavilion.

Three Oaks Recreation Area also offers summer beach fun, a splash pad, fishing, even scuba diving! Families can even rent boats and paddleboards. Or, spend time at the namesake Crystal Lake and enjoy its picturesque beauty.

A major attraction at Three Oaks Recreation Area is the Quarry Cable Wakeboard Park. Located on the North Lake, The Quarry Cable Park is a 32-acre cable wake park complete with jumps and other features. This family-friendly cable park offers summer classes and private lessons. For families and anyone looking to stay on land, sand volleyball courts and the Lakeside Bar and Grill await. During warm weather, the patio is open with live music every Friday and Saturday night.

Shopping and Dining

In historic downtown Crystal Lake, locally owned, one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants and entertainment venues attract community members and visitors, making downtown the heart of Crystal Lake.

Local owner of Wear Did U Get That, Stephanie Ormsby, couldn’t imagine a better place to grow her business and raise her family. “I own a business here in Crystal Lake, but I’ve lived here for 35 years and raised my family here. Between the schools and the different activities that are going on year-round, it’s a wonderful place for everyone,” she says. “Not only is it a great place to have a business, but it’s a great place to live.”

The cultural scene is also thriving in Crystal Lake. Raue Center For The Arts welcomes music, live theater and more to the downtown venue. The Dole Mansion and Lakeside Arts Park bring live music, art and festivals to the lakefront.

Beyond the successful small businesses in downtown, the City of Crystal Lake is also expanding on the national business front with recent plans to bring in fast-growing brands such as Guzman y Gomez, Crumbl Cookies, Summer Moon Coffee, Orange Theory and more in the next year.

Read more about  City of Crystal Lake: Love Where You Visit, Love Where You Live! Visit

Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Since 1984, the Chicago Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for Chicagoland families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.


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