The five best sprayparks in Chicago and the suburbs

Thanks to the help of Chicago-area parents, here’s Chicago Parent’s list of can’t-miss water playgrounds in and out of the city:

– Kristy MacKaben

Thanks to the help of Chicago-area parents, here’s Chicago Parent’s list of can’t-miss water playgrounds in and out of the city.

The first time my kids laid eyes on a splashpark orsprayground or splashpad or water playground or whatever you wantto call it, they were amazed. Was it a playground? Was it awaterpark? Whatever it was, they found it completelyirresistible.

It was mid-August, probably one of the hottest days of theyear and we had just moved from Pennsylvania. While Chicago and thesuburbs are overrun with these water playgrounds, we had never seensuch an awesome phenomenon.

We happened upon this simple splashpad in a neighborhoodin Hoffman Estates. Our kids ran and twirled through the mist anddelighted in sitting directly over the spouting fountains. Theyeasily could have spent the entire day frolicking in thissprayground.

After that day, we were on a mission to try out as manyspraygrounds as we could before the summer ended.

This summer, we will continue our mission. Thanks to thehelp of Chicago-area parents, here’s Chicago Parent’s list ofcan’t-miss water playgrounds in and out of the city. (Of coursethere are hundreds more in the city and suburbs, but we couldn’tlist every one. We narrowed our list to the spraygrounds localparents thought deserved a shout-out.)

  • 1919 Seminary Ave., Chicago
  • (312) 742-7787
  • Admission: Free

Lincoln Park families know all about this obscure littlewater haven. The soft surface splashpark is simple, with slides,sprinklers, water spouts and dump buckets. “I love the neighborhoodand we love the park because of its visibility,” saysAlissa Wiedelman of Lincoln Park, mom of two children (ages 4 and3).

Because of the park’s size and simplicity, parents saythis park is geared to younger children.

Adams Water Playground

  • 160 Hazel Ave., Glencoe
  • (847) 835-1185
  • Admission: $10, $7 kids; $6 residents, $4 resident kids

Enjoy a day at the beach on the shore of Lake Michiganwith the spraypark as a bonus.

“It’s kind of a unique play area. You don’t have a lot ofspraygrounds right on the beach,” saysSteve Nagle, director of operations for Glencoe Beach.

Built into the sand and rebuilt last summer, thisspraypark features a tug boat, shower mushroom, sprinkling posts,swings, slides and the popular sunken dinghy.

“It shoots out water and kids love to play withit,” says Nagle.

Glencoe Beach

  • 1419 W. Blackhawk St., Chicago
  • (312) 742-7559
  • Admission: Free

This park with a wading pool works for families with kidsof varying ages. A shallow portion (about 1.5 feet deep) has a tireswing and slides, along with spraypark features. Adjacent to thewading pool is a larger pool with depths of 3 to 5 feet.

Lori Benvenuto of Chicago frequents Pulaski Park with herfour kids (ages 6-12).

“Pulaski Park is the best of both worlds for our family,”says Benvenuto. “It’s clean and parking is easy.”

Pulaski Park

  • 801 Blackhawk Drive, Westmont
  • (630) 969-8080
  • Admission: $5, $3 residents

There’s no staying dry at this splashpark. Kids will loveshooting their friends with the water cannons, running through thespray rings, whale tale or mushroom fountains.

This spraypark is big and elaborate enough for everyone toenjoy from toddlers to tweens.

“It’s designed for kids ages 1 to about 9, but kids olderthan 10 still enjoy it,” says Steve Golembiewski, assistantsuperintendent for recreation for the Westmont ParkDistrict.

Ty Warner Spray Park

  • 4701 Oakton St., Skokie
  • (847) 674-1500
  • Admission: $14; $7.50 resident adults, $6.50 resident kids.

The coolest part of this sprayground is the manmade rock formation with waterfall, which kids can run underneath.

“You can walk right through it. Kids love it,” says aquatics supervisor Dave Putziger.

Water guns and a 500-gallon dump bucket are also sure to entertain for hours.

Skokie Water Playground

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