This summer I embarked on a mission to uncover all the family-friendly hot spots in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. A couple weeks ago I discovered a few things for families to do in the Dundee area.
When I heard that Elk Grove Village was recently recognized as a “playful city” in the U.S., I knew it was about time for us to explore the town. Here are a few things to do as a family.
Ahoy mateys! A hidden treasure awaits in Elk Grove Village at this pirate-themed amusement park. Geared towards those ages 1 to 9, kids can sail the seven seas on the pirate ship, slide down the Pirate Plunge, or fly high on the new boat ride, Soarin’ Schooner. Daily stage shows at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday-Thursday are a great way to take a break from the rides. Special events are held every Friday during the summer, and get this – unlike most theme parks, adults are free!
Elk in Elk Grove Village? You better believe it! As part of the Forest Preserves of Cook County, there is an enclosed elk pasture right by the busy intersection of Higgins and Arlington Heights Road. If you’re lucky, you might spot elk right by the fence at the parking lot. But if you don’t spot them right away; don’t lose hope. Take a walk on the trail that wraps around the elk enclosure and keep your eyes peeled. Make a day out of it and enjoy more than eight miles of bicycle and running trails or go fishing at the lake.
To escape from the heat or rain, a few hours at Jumps n’ Jiggles will likely lift anyone’s spirit. And, at just $4 per child, the indoor playground makes for a great budget-friendly way to have fun. Kids can get lost in the play structure with its maze of tunnels or zip down the spiral slide. When the kids have had enough fun in the play area, head to the full-size carousel and hop on one of the 18 hand-painted horses or swan chariot. Carousel rides are unlimited and included in admission.
Tip: They have limited hours Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Not only can you learn about the history of Elk Grove Village and the surrounding area at the Elk Grove Historical Museum, but you can also view a farmhouse from 1856, a family barn complete with nineteenth-century farm equipment and tools, and a schoolhouse. Imagine life as it was in the early twentieth century as you sneak a peek at the outbuildings used for animals and other structures for daily life.
If you happen to be in the area and need a break, the Elk Grove Library is just down the street. Not only will imaginations run wild with two play castles, a Lego table, kid’s kitchen and puppet area, but they always offer fun programs and storytimes.
Head to Fountain Square Park where kids can spend the better half of the day cooling off at the simple splash pad (for free.) They won’t be able to resist playing on the pretty cool playground with multiple slides, a zipline and monkey bars for different levels.. Care for a game of bags or bocce ball? They have you covered; just bring the equipment. Don’t miss out on the sensory garden as well.
Tip: There is a sand pit so have the kids play there first then enjoy the splash pad afterwards.
Steamy day? Cool off at Rainbow Splash Waterpark where you’ll find giant water slides, a three-story water fun house, a lazy river and more. Parents of tots will appreciate the gated Coqui Frog Pond, while thrill seekers can take a plunge down a vortex slide.
Tip: Get there early. Lines to get in do get longer later in the day.