The best outdoor aquatic centers for extreme water fun


Mystic Waters


If you’ve become a regular at the park district pool, it’s time to make the trek to the burbs, where you’ll find awesome aquatic centers for the whole family to enjoy. Make a full day of fun out of it: from climbing walls and plunge slides to zero depth pools, here are some of our favorite aquatic centers.


Barefoot Bay


Where: 1461 N. Midlothian Road, Mundelein


Cost: $13 adults, $11 children, kids ages 2 and younger are free


A great alternative to the larger, overcrowded waterparks, Barefoot Bay has four bodies of water that feature a 740-foot lazy river, a zero-depth pool, tube slides, body flumes, a diving well, a fenced tot swim area and everyone’s favorite – an AquaClimb water wall – a real workout!


Centennial Park Aquatic Center


Where: 15600 West Ave., Orland Park


Cost: $20


This 360,000 square-foot water park is a child’s paradise. The kids will have a blast riding five slides and floating through a lazy river around bends and under waterfalls. Enjoy some fun out of the water with sand volleyball courts just outside of the pools.


Cypress Grove Family Aquatic Park in Woodridge


Where: 8301 S. Janes Ave., Woodridge


Cost: $15.50; 11 months and younger are free


With eight acres of water attractions, Cypress Grove was designed with active families in mind. The youngest swimmers can enter a zero-depth pool or splash around in a state-of-the-art sprayground with geysers, water tables, a tot flume slide and an oversized dumping bucket. For the older set, there’s eight water slides, a 600-foot lazy river and large diving well.


Family Aquatic Center


Where: 333 W. Dundee Road, Wheeling


Cost: $13 adults, $11.50 children, kids ages 2 and younger are free


Plunge down slides galore (drop slides, tube slides, body slides) at this outdoor water park with a zero-depth entry main pool. Younger kids love the water playground, splash pool, toddler slide, and sand play area. Daredevils will especially enjoy the Paradise Falls area with two huge drop slides you have to see to believe.

Family Aquatic Center


Mystic Waters


Where: 2025 Miner St., Des Plaines


Cost: $14 adults, $12 children, kids ages 2 and younger are free


A child’s paradise, Mystic Waters has water attractions for all ages. The youngest swimmers will enjoy a large, zero-depth pool and splash pad, while thrill seekers can zoom down two 37-foot water slides. Mystic Waters also features a 550-foot lazy river that’s perfect for the whole family.


Park Forest Aqua Center


Where: 30 N. Orchard, Park Forest


Cost: $12


The Park Forest Aqua Center boasts three pools — a shallow pool for kids, an adults-only pool (parents rejoice) and an activity pool featuring a 160-foot water slide, two drop slides and a 15-foot high aquatic climbing wall. The venue is also known for hosting themed family fun nights, such as Hawaiian, glow swim and carnival night. Check their website for the schedule of events.


Pelican Harbor


Where: 200 Lindsey Lane, Bolingbrook


Cost: $16


Experience the thrill of four different water speed slides (two enclosed and two open); relax in the Lazy River or challenge yourself in the diving well with a 1-meter diving board. Featuring a zero-depth pool and interactive sprayground that’s perfect for younger children, Pelican Harbor caters to kids (and adults) of all ages.


Sea Lion Aquatic Park in Lisle


Where: 1825 Short Street, Lisle


Cost: $13


With so many water attractions, it’s easy to spend the whole day at Sea Lion Aquatic Park. The award-winning water park has a large open swim area, two 50-foot body flume slides, two drop slides, a sprayground and more. The vortex pool — a favorite for adults — creates water resistance that’s ideal for water aerobics.


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