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12 coolest playgrounds in Chicago

From zip lines to rock walls and splash pads

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There are plenty of things to do with kids in Chicago, and its a great place to travel with family. The city has over 500 parks and that means a lot of places for little ones to jump, slide, and run. Whatever your playground needs may be, there’s something for everyone.

In 2013, the Park District spent three years rebuilding and renovating hundreds of playgrounds across the city. The agency wanted to make sure every kid was within a 10-minute walk of a park or playground.

Even today, new playgrounds continuing to open such as the one under construction in Walsh Park near the 606 Trail which has a towering slide, splash pads, and a nature play area. There are massive playgrounds like the 3-acre Play Garden in Maggie Daley Park with curly slides, bridges, hills, and climbing walls. But also neighborhood parks with all wooden climbing structures, water play tables, swings, and zip lines.

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1. Indian Boundary Park

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2500 W Lunt Ave
Chicago, IL 60645
(773) 764-0338
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The nature play area encourages kids to be curious about natural materials, native plants, and the ecosystem. There’s also an all-wooden playground with swings and a castle-like climbing tower. Explore winding paths through the community gardens and cool off in the water sprays with dancing bear sculptures.

2. Independence Park

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3945 N Springfield Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 478-3538
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Located in the Old Irving Park neighborhood, this newer playground has zipline swings, a rope climbing web, and slides. Nearby there’s park fieldhouse with bathrooms, an indoor swimming pool, a party room, and gym.

3. Gill Park

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825 W Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60613
(312) 742-7802
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Urban architecture firm Site Design transformed this northern Lakeview park with colorful play berms, wavy slides, creative play structures, climbing logs, and an adventure path. The air-conditioned fieldhouse has a swimming pool, gym, and a few clubrooms for rent.

4. Juniper Playlot Park

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3652 N Greenview Ave
Chicago, IL 60613
(312) 742-7826
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The Lakeview playground at this little pocket park near Wrigley Field has a spinning net climber, a mini climbing hill, sensory paths with musical instruments, a nature-themed playhouse, and an interactive water table.

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What do you think of the new Juniper Park?

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5. Oz Park

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2021 N Burling St
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 742-7898
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This Wizard of Oz-themed park features an all wooden playground. At Dorothy’s playlot in Lincoln Park there are wooden climbing play structures, slides, and spring riders. Around the park search with your little ones for statues of characters like the Cowardly Lion and Toto.

6. Lucy Flower Park

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2554 W Moffat St
Chicago, IL 60647
(312) 742-7554
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In Bucktown, the mini playlot park is surrounded by mature trees which makes it great for small children. New features of this playground include soft play surfaces, a sculptural flower water spray, swings, picnic tables, a sandbox, and flower gardens.

7. Garfield Park Conservatory Play Area

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300 N Central Park Ave
Chicago, IL 60624
(312) 746-5100
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There are two play spaces here—the outdoor Play and Grow garden and the Children’s Garden inside the conservatory. Outside kids can make music on a wooden xylophone or walk the tree stump obstacle course. Inside the conservatory, families can walk a meandering path with interactive exhibits and chances to learn about the environment.

8. Union Park

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1501 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 746-5494
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On the Near West Side, Union Park is ones of the largest green spaces in the area. The fieldhouse has bathrooms, a fitness center, locker rooms. Around the park there’s an outdoor pool, baseball fields, and basketball courts. The playground has a set of swings, a few play towers with long slides, and a rocky water area with circular sprays.

Kids play on swings and light blue towers with slides. There is a rocky water spay area for kids to cool off. Park District

9. Maggie Daley Park

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337 E Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 552-3000
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If you’re in search of a new adventure playground, Maggie Daley is has it all. The massive play garden downtown has different themed area that features a custom-built ship, spiral slides, a water spray area with sea animals, a suspension bridge, and a play pyramid. Outside the play area, families can try rock climbing or roller skate around the winding ribbon path.

10. Mary Bartelme Park

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115 S Sangamon St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 746-5494
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In the West Loop, little ones can cool off in the geometric archway which sprays cool mist on a hot day. The playground is just on the other side and comes with climbing nets, stepping stones, tube slides, bridges, and swings.

11. Prairie District Park

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2051 S Prairie Ave
Chicago, IL 60616

Near McCormick Place, this pocket park comes with a rocky, prairie-style water spay area, silver slides, climbing ropes, bright orange and green play houses. There’s also a dog park with long running path and pool.

12. Edwin C. “Bill” Berry Playground

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3100 S Lake Shore Dr
Chicago, IL 60616
(773) 363-2225
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Right between the 31st Street Beach and harbor, the colorful playground features hilly grounds, sculptural trees, and huge play structures with climbing ropes, tubes, and steps. If you need a change of scenery, the lake is right there.

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Color trees

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1. Indian Boundary Park

2500 W Lunt Ave, Chicago, IL 60645

The nature play area encourages kids to be curious about natural materials, native plants, and the ecosystem. There’s also an all-wooden playground with swings and a castle-like climbing tower. Explore winding paths through the community gardens and cool off in the water sprays with dancing bear sculptures.

2500 W Lunt Ave
Chicago, IL 60645

2. Independence Park

3945 N Springfield Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

Located in the Old Irving Park neighborhood, this newer playground has zipline swings, a rope climbing web, and slides. Nearby there’s park fieldhouse with bathrooms, an indoor swimming pool, a party room, and gym.

3945 N Springfield Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

3. Gill Park

825 W Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60613

Urban architecture firm Site Design transformed this northern Lakeview park with colorful play berms, wavy slides, creative play structures, climbing logs, and an adventure path. The air-conditioned fieldhouse has a swimming pool, gym, and a few clubrooms for rent.

825 W Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60613

4. Juniper Playlot Park

3652 N Greenview Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

The Lakeview playground at this little pocket park near Wrigley Field has a spinning net climber, a mini climbing hill, sensory paths with musical instruments, a nature-themed playhouse, and an interactive water table.

3652 N Greenview Ave
Chicago, IL 60613

5. Oz Park

2021 N Burling St, Chicago, IL 60614

This Wizard of Oz-themed park features an all wooden playground. At Dorothy’s playlot in Lincoln Park there are wooden climbing play structures, slides, and spring riders. Around the park search with your little ones for statues of characters like the Cowardly Lion and Toto.

2021 N Burling St
Chicago, IL 60614

6. Lucy Flower Park

2554 W Moffat St, Chicago, IL 60647

In Bucktown, the mini playlot park is surrounded by mature trees which makes it great for small children. New features of this playground include soft play surfaces, a sculptural flower water spray, swings, picnic tables, a sandbox, and flower gardens.

2554 W Moffat St
Chicago, IL 60647

7. Garfield Park Conservatory Play Area

300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60624

There are two play spaces here—the outdoor Play and Grow garden and the Children’s Garden inside the conservatory. Outside kids can make music on a wooden xylophone or walk the tree stump obstacle course. Inside the conservatory, families can walk a meandering path with interactive exhibits and chances to learn about the environment.

300 N Central Park Ave
Chicago, IL 60624

8. Union Park

1501 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60606
Kids play on swings and light blue towers with slides. There is a rocky water spay area for kids to cool off. Park District

On the Near West Side, Union Park is ones of the largest green spaces in the area. The fieldhouse has bathrooms, a fitness center, locker rooms. Around the park there’s an outdoor pool, baseball fields, and basketball courts. The playground has a set of swings, a few play towers with long slides, and a rocky water area with circular sprays.

1501 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60606

9. Maggie Daley Park

337 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601

If you’re in search of a new adventure playground, Maggie Daley is has it all. The massive play garden downtown has different themed area that features a custom-built ship, spiral slides, a water spray area with sea animals, a suspension bridge, and a play pyramid. Outside the play area, families can try rock climbing or roller skate around the winding ribbon path.

337 E Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60601

10. Mary Bartelme Park

115 S Sangamon St, Chicago, IL 60607

In the West Loop, little ones can cool off in the geometric archway which sprays cool mist on a hot day. The playground is just on the other side and comes with climbing nets, stepping stones, tube slides, bridges, and swings.

115 S Sangamon St
Chicago, IL 60607

11. Prairie District Park

2051 S Prairie Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

Near McCormick Place, this pocket park comes with a rocky, prairie-style water spay area, silver slides, climbing ropes, bright orange and green play houses. There’s also a dog park with long running path and pool.

2051 S Prairie Ave
Chicago, IL 60616

12. Edwin C. “Bill” Berry Playground

3100 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60616

Right between the 31st Street Beach and harbor, the colorful playground features hilly grounds, sculptural trees, and huge play structures with climbing ropes, tubes, and steps. If you need a change of scenery, the lake is right there.

3100 S Lake Shore Dr
Chicago, IL 60616