What makes a park great for toddlers? Well, of course it depends on your toddler! But in general, look for features like low-to-the-ground play structures, soft surfaces that can cushion a tumble, and plenty of fun places to explore! This list features some of the coolest playgrounds around for the two-and-under set. Of course, with toddlers, sometimes the best park of all is whichever is closest. Check out our list of fenced-in playgrounds and tot lots for even more great play spaces!
Have another to add? We would love to hear your picks and explore those to add them to the list as well. Email Annie at email@example.com and let us know!
Best Playgrounds for Toddlers
Prospect Park, Clarendon Hills
323 Chicago Avenue
Clarendon Hills, IL 60514
Your toddler can enjoy two sections of playground equipment and a bank of swings. There are also two large ponds on the other side of the park with winding paths, along with a metal dinosaur sculpture to enjoy along the way. It tends to get busy right after school gets out (around 3pm), so we recommend this one in the morning or early afternoon for toddlers.
Prospect Elementary School is on the same block as this park, so if you use an app for directions it will send you to the school playground instead, which is only open when school is not in session. Parking for Prospect Park, a newer playground completed in March of 2018, is on Norfolk Avenue between Gilbert and Blodgett Avenues.
Butterfield Park, Elmhurst
385 E Van Buren Street
Elmhurst, IL 60126
Home to the Playground for Everyone, Butterfield Park has a really lovely tot section with a squishy surface and pint-sized equipment.
Ty Warner Park, Westmont
Ty Warner Park
700 Blackhawk Drive
Westmont, IL 60559
Ty Warner Park is a sprawling recreation destination with a summertime paid spray park, paved paths, pavilions, and more. The playground across from the splash pad is ideal for the toddler crowd with a big low-to-the-ground playground and a play train in a sand pit.
Mark your calendars because the grand finale of the 2022 Kidlist Park Playdate Series will be at Ty Warner Park on August 27 from 10-11:30!
Darien Community Park, Darien
Darien Community Park
7100 Clarendon Hills Road
Darien, IL 60561
Although the address for Darien Community Park is listed as Clarendon Hills Road, the parking lot for the toddler-friendly fenced-in playground is off Plainfield Road right across the street from Indian Prairie Library. It makes a great combo trip!
There’s a lot of opportunities for imaginary play with a lemonade stand, the fire truck pictured above, castle, play house, and island and boat-themed playground equipment. Additionally, the playground was designed with accessibility in mind, including wheelchair-friendly soft surface, ramps, a wheelchair-accessible spinner, and more. Click here to read more about this great park.
Sensory Garden Playground, Lisle
Sensory Garden Playground
2751 Navistar Drive
Lisle, IL 60532
This horse stable-themed playground is designed for 2-to-5-year-olds, where they can enjoy sound and fragrance gardens, play equipment, and take a break in the central gathering area. It is tucked in the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s Danada South Area located just northeast of Naperville and Navistar Roads. (Follow the signs past the Science of Spirituality center.)
The playground was designed to provide equal access to play and recreation to children of all abilities, including those with developmental delays, physical disabilities, sensory processing disorders, and autism.
Butterfield Park, Lombard
21W730 Butterfield Road
Lombard, IL 60148
Located behind the Butterfield Park District building, this park is actually two playgrounds: a fenced-in playground for the younger kids, plus a bigger-kid playground without a fence right next to it. The really nice thing is that the fence here closes and latches! There are also plenty of benches for parents to sit and supervise. The fenced-in playground has its own smaller sand pit, as well as ride-on toys.
Diecke Park, Huntley
Deicke Park Discovery Zone Playground
11419 S. Route 47
Huntley, IL 60142
This playground is so cute for toddlers! There’s an entire safety village to explore, plus soft surfaces and imaginative play. It’s a bit of a drive, but lots of fun! Check out Rita’s full review of Deicke Park.
95th Street Community Plaza, Naperville
95th Street Community Plaza
3109 Cedar Glade Drive
Naperville, IL 60564
This book-themed playground is right outside the 95th Street Library and has colorful and bright equipment for kids to explore, slide down, and climb on. There’s also a free, fenced-in splash pad that’s open over the summer. Click here for a full overview of 95th Street Community Plaza.
McCollum Park, Downers Grove
6801 Main Street
Downers Grove, IL 60516
Wow, this park is amazing and has something for everyone! The toddler section is in a separate mulched area, set apart from the other parts of the park by a sidewalk, and is lined with benches. There’s a mini-golf course on site, as well as walking paths, baseball fields, and more.
Patriots Park, Downers Grove
501 55th Place
Downers Grove, IL 60515
This beautiful park is surrounded by a serene pond and walking paths. It has ample shade in the toddler area with equipment shaped like a boat, for plenty of imaginative play.
5 Honorable Mentions
Brancato Park, Countryside
65 W Plainfield Road
Countryside, IL 60525
This park is completely geared towards toddlers with a ride-on dolphin and seahorse, seesaw, multiple small slides, tunnels, and a board to touch and manipulate. If your kiddos tend to gravitate towards equipment they’re not quite ready for, this is a great choice to let them roam more freely.
Northside Park, Wheaton
1300 N West Street
Wheaton, IL 60187
Northside Park is amidst a beautiful setting with Lincoln Marsh Waterway coming through the park and the play equipment for younger children is a huge hit! The toddler area is set apart from the larger equipment and near a covered picnic area if you want to bring a lunch to eat in the shade.
Gilbert Park, Downers Grove
1500 Gilbert Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515
This park with equipment for toddlers is connected to a trail that’s perfect for taking a walk before or after playing.
Maryknoll Park, Glen Ellyn
845 Pershing Avenue
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
Maryknoll Park is a definitely favorite for toddlers! Check out the little tree house play structure, swings, big a sandbox with water features, and a low-to-the-ground disc swing.
Maryknoll Park also has a miniature golf course and a paid splash pad if you’d like to extend your trip!
Crestview Park, Elmhurst
245 Crestview Avenue
Elmhurst, IL 60126
This playground has sand with diggers and a sand table, large playground equipment and small. It also has a fire chief car to ride in and a squirrel bouncer. Parking for Crestview Park is at the corner of Van Auden Street and Crestview Avenue.
Looking for more playgrounds? Check out our Guide to Playgrounds for All Ages and Interests! You also might be interested in Places to Go with a Baby or Toddler: Activities for Kids 0–2.