Explore the Chicago Suburbs by Visiting These Popular Parks

Jan 4, 2022

Playgrounds are a big part of life in the ‘burbs (even in the winter…). As you’re exploring, don’t forget to swing by these popular spots.

Think Chicagoland parks and playgrounds cool off when the temperature drops? Think again. In the warmer months, they’re go-to splash pads and picnic spots. In the winter they transform into sledding hills — with amazing jungle gyms, slides, and more, of course. As you’re exploring, be sure to stop by and let your kids explore.

#1. Duke Park (Glencoe)

The highly-anticipated Duke Park opened at the end of 2020 and was an immediate hit with locals. If Glencoe is on your list, bring your kids to the new playground to see what all the hype is about. This modern play structure features multiple climbing structures, slides, and swings. One of the biggest draws is the hand-crank train which kids can ride around the playground. During the warmer months, kids can also splash through the park’s water features to cool off (be sure to pack some extra clothes and a towel).

Duke Park is part of a longer city-wide project to update some of the town’s green spaces. A half-mile walking path is being constructed to connect Duke Park with 4 of the town’s other parks. If you settle in Glencoe, just imagine the park crawls you’ll be able to go on with the kids.

#2. Penny Park (Evanston)

Local kids have been running around the wooden playground at Penny Park for more than 25 years. The park was recently updated but the renovations stuck with the original wooden castle design. Now, the playground is also inclusive and handicap-accessible. There are wide pathways, slides, bucket swings, tire swings, and tons of elements that encourage kids to use their imaginations.

#3. Clarkson Park (Northfield)

Clarkson Park is a major community gathering spot. During the summer, the beloved Market & Music event is held here. This popular event features food vendors, a community market, kid’s entertainment, and an outdoor concert.

But there’s even more to this park than the summer events. The newly renovated playground just reopened and is a great place to spend an afternoon with the kids. It features accessible equipment, multiple slides, climbing hills, and splash fountains. Plus, the flooring is made from a unique rubber material that allows water to flow into a rain garden.

#4. South Ridge Park (Hoffman Estates)

Older kids in the family? Bring them to the Ninja Warrior-style playground at South Ridge Park. The colorful obstacle course features rope ladders, monkey bars, and other challenging equipment that’s a favorite with big kids. The park also has a splash park for warm summer days and a pond-side trail that’s perfect for scooters or a walk with your pup.

#5. The Glen (Glen Ellyn)

The Glen is known for its “Challenge Course.” This vibrant obstacle course really puts your agility skills to the test (both big kids and adults are welcome to try it out). But little kids can also get in on the fun at the nearby fenced-in playground. There’s even an amphitheater in the park where community events can be held during the warmer months.

If you’re looking for more outdoor time, visit the 390-acre Hidden Lake Forest Preserve. It’s right next to The Glen and is the ideal place to escape for a nature hike or fishing trip when spring rolls around.

#6. Wolf’s Crossing Community Plaza (Naperville)

Wolf’s Crossing Community Plaza has something for everyone — especially if you are an active family. There’s a traditional playground with a two-story climbing structure, winding slides, monkey bars, swings, and soft, rubberized flooring. During the summer, kids can run around the splash pad area and in the winter there’s an ice skating rink.

Adults and older kids can visit the park’s challenge course for a workout. This really is a tough obstacle course with rope ladders, climbing walls, and fitness equipment. If you’re up for the challenge, it’s a great place to bring your older kids for a family fun outing (just be ready to work up a sweat).

#7. Meineke Park (​​Schaumburg)

Meineke Park has tons of excellent equipment for kids of all ages. There’s a playground (shaded by leafy trees) complete with slides and climbing equipment plus a large field where kids can run around and burn some energy. During the summer, families often bring their kids to the community pool to cool off.

Big kids love using the Ninja Warrior-inspired obstacle course. Time them as they race the 40-yard dash, crawl under equipment, climb walls, and more. There’s so much to do that the kids will want to come back again and again.

Find your perfect park (and so much more…). The first step? Schedule your FREE Suburbs Strategy session!

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