Looking for a spontaneous activity on a summer day? Spraygrounds — or playgrounds with a water area — are sprinkled all over the city and suburbs. Here are some of our favorite spraygrounds to cool off on a hot summer day.
Note: As cities and villages slowly reopen their parks to guests, some spraygrounds may be off limits. Always check with your local park deparment before you go.
Where: 1919 N. Seminary Ave., Chicago
Tucked away on Seminary Ave. on a quiet, tree-lined Lincoln Park street, this sprayground is a child’s paradise, featuring pipes “springing leaks,” wheels to control water misters, and of course, a short enclosed side that’s perfect for the toddler set. Some playgrounds and spray features are closed while city parks slowly reopen in Phase 4. Check this list from Chicago Parks Department before heading out to see if the sprayground near you is open.
Where: 951 McHenry Road, Buffalo Grove
Cost: $3 per children and adults; kids 12 months and under are free
Featuring more than 20 water toys, sprays and fountains, the Buffalo Grove Spray ‘N Play is one of the largest facilities of its kind. Little ones will love launching water cannons and running beneath — and through — rainbow arches. Due to capacity restrictions during Phase 4, purchase your tickets in advance to ensure your family has a space at the park.
Where: 201 E. Randolph St., Chicago
While not technically a sprayground, we would be remiss if we didn’t add to this list the most popular water area in all of Chicagoland that comes alive in the summer: the Crown Fountain in Millennium Park. A tradition in the city, kids love to splash around this open area, consisting of two 50-foot glass towers that use projection to give the illusion of water spouting from people’s mouths. When Crown Fountain reopened in June, it was without water. Check Millennium Park’s operating hours and requirements before you go.
Where: 733 N. Prospect Ave., Park Ridge
Cost: $7, $4 residents for 90-minute time slot
Kids will go nuts for this pirate-themed sprayground, complete with a pirate ship to explore, squirting crabs, and barrels and dripping fish overhead! Register in advance for a time slot, with registration only available in two-week increments. Due to capacity limitations, 40 guests are allowed at the sprayground during each session.
Where: 4100 N. Long Ave., Chicago
Set right in the middle of a zero-depth pool, the Portage Park Water Playground is surrounded by water sprayers. Kiddos can take a wet ride on a tire swing, and manipulate wheels to control water sprayers from every direction. Some playgrounds and spray features are closed while city parks slowly reopen in Phase 4. Check this list from Chicago Parks Department before heading out to see if the sprayground near you is open.
Where: 4701 Oakton St., Skokie
Cost: $15, $7 residents
This giant multi-level play area houses dozens of jet sprays, a twisty open slide and a 500-gallon drop bucket that soaks everyone when it gets too full! The Water Playground will be open from July 15-Aug. 15. It is highly recommended to purchase passes before you go to select your time slot.
Where: 1450 Forest Gate Road, Oak Brook
Cost: $12, $10 residents, Free members
Kiddos who visit Splash Island in Oak Brook will feel like they hit the sprayground jackpot. With a zero-depth entry pool, giant wide slides perfect for water races, dumping buckets and jets, Splash Island offers every bit of water fun a child could possibly want. The 90-minute open swim sessions run every two hours and are limited to 25 people each.
Where: 55 E. Richmond Street, Westmont
Cost: $5 children, $3 resident children (adults are free with paid child admission)
This Westmont sprayground is loaded with interactive features for kids of all ages, including mushroom cap waterfalls, dumping buckets and a giant misting whale’s tail. There is a limit of 50 guests at any one time at the park, and if there are guests waiting to enter, two-hour time limits will be enforced.
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This story originally published July 9, 2019 and has been updated with the most recent information.