If your child is anything like mine, they prefer scaling your home’s furniture to playing with toys most of the time. Thankfully, for the sake of both your child’s safety (and your couch’s longevity), the Chicago area has plenty of climb-friendly playgrounds that will satisfy even the most adventurous explorers.
Why climbers love it: This Garfield Park “fitness playground” features modern equipment, including many metal and rubber climbing structures, pommel horses and a zip line that will thrill energetic littles.
Why parents love it: Grownups can get some steps in on the park’s walking path while kids get their wiggles out.
2540 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago
Why climbers love it: In addition to the usual bridges, ladders and other climbable equipment, the playground features a whimsical “tree” with log steps that kids can play inside. This section of the park is aptly called the “Tree of Life” play area.
Why parents love it: After your little ones get their wiggles out on the playground, families can explore the rest of Harvester’s 37 acres. Tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, miles of walking trails and a fishing dock provide plenty of options for activity.
15W400 Harvester Dr, Burr Ridge, IL 60527
Note: The park’s playground is currently closed, but construction will be completed in the next 2-3 weeks with new climbing features.
Why climbers love it: Kids can unleash their inner Spiderman on the playground’s massive rope web, suspended several feet in the air on top of a trampoline. There’s also a mini climbing wall and climbable rubber structures.
Why parents love it: From the play structures to the large outdoor splash pad, Festival has so much to offer that you’ll never have to worry about hearing the dreaded “I’m bored.”
132 S. Grove Ave., Elgin
Why climbers love it: 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.
Why parents love it: This isn’t your average playground. Situated along the river, the park offers unparalleled city views, perfect for people watching or snapping casual family photos.
630 N Kingsbury St., Chicago
Why climbers love it: Between an impressive climbing wall and a giant, twisted climbing structure, there are opportunities galore for your little monkeys to practice their scaling skills.
Why parents love it: Located near downtown Naperville, the playground has convenient access to public restrooms and coffee shops, in case you need a little playtime pick-me-up.
724 S. West St., Naperville
Why climbers love it: What do kids love more than climbing? If there’s anything that ranks higher on the list, it’s trains. Seneca has metal train play equipment that kids can explore, along with special designated areas for both little ones and bigger kids.
Why parents love it: The location, just shy of Michigan Ave., makes it a perfect place for a quick break when you’re shopping in the Mag Mile area. Bonus points that Seneca also happens to be situated right next to a fire station, another kid crowd-pleaser.
228 E Chicago Ave, Chicago
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