Thank you to everyone who contributed their picks for the Best Parks for Toddlers! It’s a great list of options… why not visit them all?! We checked out all of the following playgrounds so we could give you a sneak peek of what you will find there. Have another to add? We would love to hear your picks and explore those to add them to the list!
Berens Park, Elmhurst
The photo above shows the playground right off Armitage with an adjacent sand area. Trees shade parts of the park. There is also a larger playground on the other side of the tennis courts, at the end of the large parking lot near The Hub, which has concessions, a splash pad, and miniature golf. There are fabric canopies over much of the playground equipment to create shade. Both playground areas have plenty of toddler-friendly equipment.
Seven Gables Park, Wheaton
The area to the left in the photo shows the toddler area with smaller slides, bridges, tunnels, and music making opportunities. The soft, rubbery surface also makes it a great choice, not to mention the bright colors. However there is not much shade on the playground itself, but you can take breaks and bring along sun hats.
Brancato Park, Countryside
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. There is shade from a nearby tree and benches to relax on.
Buttonwood Park, Naperville
A neighborhood playground with street parking, this park is peaceful and actually quite large. There are a few different areas that cater to various age groups, but there is smaller equipment for younger kids, a bank of swings with benches nearby, a covered area and shade.
It’s rare to see all age groups fully enjoying the space at the same time, but this one does it successfully. It’s a large and colorful playground with various areas to play music, jump, climb, slide, and balance. The ramps are double wide and accommodating. Please note that this is a school playground and can only be used when school is not in session.
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.
Northside Park, Wheaton
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.
Central Park, Oak Brook
There are three different playground areas at this park, but Central Park West and the playground by the Recreation Center building are the two parks that we would recommend for toddlers. The surface of Central Park West is astroturf that bounces back when you walk on it and the park is smaller with a little pond and waterfall.
Sensory Garden Playground, Lisle
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 and provides equal access to play and recreation to children of all abilities, including those with developmental delays, physical disabilities, sensory processing disorders, and Autism.
Veteran’s Memorial Park, Westmont
This is the park with the iconic blue ship! Your toddler can explore the ship, play in the sand area, swing, and more on the first level. There is also another play area that has equipment for toddlers on one end.
Patriots Park, Downers Grove
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.
Rehm Park, Oak Park
Hand-powered trains circle this park with a variety of playground equipment geared towards toddlers. During the summer (June 19 – August 14) the trains are available on the weekends 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Wednesdays and Fridays 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, and closed Mondays.
Other articles you might be interested in…
Walking Playground Tour in Oak Brook
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Fenced-In Parks for Toddlers
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Splash Pads in the Near Western Suburbs
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Whether you are seeking out parks with sand to please the kiddos and let their imagination run wild, or avoiding sand like the plague, you are going to want to check out this list.