You Chose the 10 Best Local Toddler Parks, and We’re In Love with These Tot-Friendly Picks

Parks & Playgrounds

As a toddler mom, trips to the park require some pre-planning on my part. The park may be too far for nap time, may not have the right equipment, or have equipment that’s too high for little ones (or their caregivers) to handle.

Toddler parks can be a lot of things, but the main characteristics we look for include low-to-the-ground play structures, soft surfaces that can cushion a tumble, and plenty of fun places to explore for little hands! Our readers voted and chose some of the coolest playgrounds for toddlers.

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. Email Annie at and let us know!

1. Sensory Garden Playground in Lisle

Sensory Garden Playground
2751 Navistar Drive
Lisle, IL 60532

Back on our list from last year, here is a well-thought-out playground designed to provide equal access to play. True to its name, Sensory Garden Playground has equipment for inclusive play. It’s specifically designed to accommodate kids with developmental delays, physical disabilities, sensory processing disorders, and autism.

Sensory Garden Playground is located 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.)

2. Ty Warner Park in Westmont

Ty Warner Park
700 Blackhawk Drive
Westmont, IL 60559

Ty Warner Park has a playground across from the splash pad that is ideal for toddlers with a big low-to-the-ground playground and a play train in a sand pit. We love that there is plenty of shade for those super sunny days.

Westmont Park District replaced the pour-in-place rubber surfacing in the tot playground this past fall, so it’s all new! Plus, they will be adding a new ADA accessible mini trampoline where the tot berm currently sits near the sand play area this year.

There is also a splash pad perfect for hot days, picnic shelters with grills, a walking path, and a sled hill. You’ll find bathrooms and a concession stand (with limited hours) here, too.

3. Darien Community Park in 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!

As another favorite from last year’s list, the ambiance of this park brings out the kid in everyone! Housed at the park is a lemonade stand, a fire truck, castle, play house, and island and boat-themed playground equipment.

The design of the park was well thought out as it was designed with accessibility in mind, including wheelchair-friendly soft surface, ramps, a wheelchair-accessible spinner, and more. Click here to read more about Darien Community Park.

4. Plunkett Park in Elmhurst

Plunkett Park
186 West Ave.
Elmhurst, IL 60126

This woodland-themed park is located beyond the Courts Plus parking lot in Elmhurst. There is plenty of shade to not only keep yourself cool, but to keep the slides and equipment cool as well. This park makes for the perfect play-date gatherings with many opportunities to play together on their Global Motion net climber, adult-child Expression Swing, and teeter-totter.

The soft artificial turf is great for toddlers to move, groove, and take a tumble in stride. There is a concession stand near the fields that is opened based on league scheduling.

5. Washington Park in Downers Grove

Washington Park
835 Prairie
Downers Grove, IL 60515

This fenced in playground is located on the corner of Washington and Prairie, near downtown. Make an afternoon trip on the train, or grab lunch and stroll over to this wonderful park to climb, run and slide. A fun favorite aspect of this park is their giant fountain. If you are a toddler parent, you know these are gold!

Downers Grove Library, which also made a top 10 list this year, is a short distance from this park, too.

6. Willow Pond Park in Willowbrook

Willow Pond Park
Plainfield Road and Adams St.
Willowbrook, IL 60527

This action-packed park is filled with activities for those energetic toddlers. Much like in the name, there is a pond and walking path (which includes more parks) around the playground that makes for the best nature walk on your visit. There are multiple combing structures that can be pretty sunny so pack that sunscreen! There are plenty of shaded grassy areas, as well as seating for a nice snack break.

This park also offers a splash pad (button activated) and bathrooms! Read more about why Willow Pond Park is great for toddlers.

7. Kelly Park in Wheaton

Kelly Park
1100 S Main St
Wheaton, IL 60189

Another toddler favorite is Kelly Park. This park comes equipped with two large, thick climbing structures for those little large motor skills to practice on. They sit on soft artificial turf, which is always a bonus for those toddler caregivers! In addition to the playground, there is plenty of room for children to run around and get those wiggles out.

8. Ide’s Grove West Park in Woodridge

Ide’s Grove West Park
1825 Compton Road
Woodridge, IL 60517

Ide’s Grove West is not only great for toddlers, but the whole family. The tot-friendly playground is filled with slides, musical pipes, drums and a few toddler swings. Do not feel like walking over to the elementary playground? No problem, you can take the slide hill to reach it! Ides Grove West Park is truly a gem. If you need a break from the playground, take a small stroll and watch birds, ducks and maybe even some fish in the pond located near.

9. Phillips Park in Aurora

Phillips Park
1000 Ray Moses Dr.
Aurora, IL 60505

There is a reason why this park is the “Crown Jewel” of Aurora parks. This 325 acre park is home to Phillips Park Zoo, golf course, dog park, skate park, Sunken Gardens, Sand Volleyball and Family Aquatic Center. The playground is located in the middle of Mastodon Lake, so you’ll walk across a bridge to get there, giving great scenic and nature views while you play.

One of my favorite parts of this park is the large animal structures located around the playground. I mean, who doesn’t want the opportunity to slide down a mastodon tongue? Kids can also dig up “fossils” in the sand pit, which adds an extra layer of excitement to sand play.

10. Northside Park in Wheaton

Northside Park
1300 N West St.
Wheaton, IL 60187

Take a little stroll around the pond and end up at the cutest little park for toddlers (and bigs!). The smaller tot-sized park has ladders, a climbing wall, and stairs for whatever level your toddler is at. Race down the double slide together and land on that cushy artificial turf. A big picnic pavilion makes for a great spot to eat lunch or a snack. If you and your toddler are feeling adventurous, climb up the hill to take one of three slides down.

Northside Park makes for a great stopping point after a trip to Cosley Zoo!

Our big guide to all of the coolest playgrounds in Chicago’s western suburbs has so many more local destinations to explore. Check it out!

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