As the weather warms up, families want to spend more time outdoors. The Chicago area has plenty of playgrounds but if you’re looking for something a little more than a just a swing and slide, these parks provide plenty of cool features to get your kids excited.
Ready to embark on your next playground adventure? Add these unique spots to your park-hopping playground list.
Maggie Daley Park
- Address: 337 E. Randolph St., Chicago
This ultimate playground, located in the heart of downtown Chicago, offers an urban oasis of fun. The popular destination offers something for everyone. A variety of play structures can be found here with different themes.
Pretend to sail the seas on the metal play ship complete with ladders and nets, traverse the suspension bridge, cool off at the animal-theme spray area, swing away on the unique swings, pretend to be Alice in Wonderland at the whimsical Enchanted Forest and so much more. Have more time? Scale up the rock-climbing wall, go mini-golfing or skate on the ribbon.
Park No. 574
- Address: 2540 W. Jackson Boulevard, Chicago
Located in the West Side, this park is for climbers. The wire zip line, huge hillside slides, and pommel horses are popular park favorites. Kids aren’t the only ones that can get their exercise on. With fitness stations and a walking path, adults can get in on the fun too.
Seneca Playlot Park
- Address: 220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago
This Downtown Chicago park recently went through renovations to provide playground fun for kids of all ages. Kids will love the big slide! The location, just off the Mag Mile, makes it a perfect place for a quick break when you’re shopping.
Ward (A. Montgomery) Park
- Address: 630 N. Kingsbury St., Chicago
This River North playground’s “Green Mountain” rubber climbing structure is a favorite among city kids. Non-climbers can have a blast, too, on the swings, slides or hanging at the splash pad on warm days. Situated along the river, the park offers unparalleled city views, perfect for people watching or snapping casual family photos.
- Address: 800 N. Sheridan Road, Waukegan
This multi-level playground built right into a hillside gets cool points. Add in a double-decker spider web and a super long tunnel slide (one of the longest in the Chicago suburbs) and you now have a playground adventurous park-goers will love. Little kids will adore The Forest Meadow, a much safer space (read: everything low to the ground). On a steamy day, everyone will appreciate the free splash pad.
Challenge Course at Meineke Park
- Address: 220 E. Weathersfield Way, Schaumburg
If your kid wants to be the next ninja warrior, then the “Ninja Course” at Meineke Park is meant for them. The course features obstacles like U-turn ramps, ropes and traverse walls that will help mold your future American ninja warriors. When they need a break, head to the two playgrounds with zip lines and those fun “mommy and me” swings.
- Address: 11419 S. Rt. 47, Huntley
Add this Huntley playground to your “must visit” parks list for little ones. Kids will delight in this colorful playground village complete with a variety of school-themed play structures they adore: little houses, school buses, a train (there’s even a working railroad crossing signal!) and a fire truck.
Basketball fans should bring their own ball to shoot hoops on the basketball rims of varying heights. Parents, everything you could want in a park is here. Enjoy a completely gated playground with a rubber ground, imaginative play options and picnic tables for a snack break.
Sunset Woods Park
- Address: 1801 Sunset Road, Highland Park
Future paleontologists in tow? They’ll have a roaring good time at the archaeological dig with a T-rex. Other things to do include a two-story treehouse and rocket ship play structure. Expect to see a modern and renovated playground in the near future.
- Address: 15600 West Avenue, Orland Park
The popular south suburban favorite park offers something for everyone. Take a stroll on the walking paths, master your tricks at the skatepark, bring your pup to the dog park or skate around on the ice rink during the winter months. Don’t forget to bring the fishing poles. Kids can choose from two fun playgrounds on artificial turf or one of that is fenced (perfect for your little runners!).
Leigh Creek South Park
- Address: 1900 Heather Glen Drive, New Lenox
Located behind the Lincoln Way Special Recreation Association building, this inclusive playground is sure to be a winner. Highlights include the wheelchair-accessible merry-go-round and the seated zipline. In addition to the fun playground structure, making music and playing on the multiple basketball hoops with different heights add to the excitement.
- Address: 15W400 Harvester Drive, Burr Ridge
Located on over 37 acres, there is plenty of fun to be had at Harvester Park. Choose from walking trails, basketball and volleyball courts. The highlight though for kids is no doubt the “Tree of Life” play area with a huge climbable tree. Find zip lines, climbing opportunities and a music area. Bring a change of clothes — the kids will want to play at the splash pad and sand area.
95th Street Community Plaza
- Address: 3109 Cedar Glade Drive, Naperville
Located next to the library, this new Naperville playground gets major points for its adorable storybook theme. As you walk up the steps made of books or climb through the whale or apple, both kids and adults are reminded of their favorite stories. Climbers will love the wavy climbing web. During the warmer months, bring your swimsuits to cool off at the fenced splash pad.
Sensory Garden Playground
- Address: 2751 Navistar Drive, Lisle
This thoughtfully-designed playground offers plenty of options for individuals of varying abilities. Follow the walking path to find different areas. Explore the horse-themed playground or the fully-accessible treehouse, listen to the music at the Sound Garden, stop and smell the flowers at the Fragrance Garden, or get your art fix as you view the sculptures. Stay tuned for more phases to be completed.
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