10 Best Playgrounds: The Winners are Incredible!

Outdoor Places to GoParks & Playgrounds

Living in Chicago’s western suburbs, we are lucky to have such amazing playgrounds to explore! Especially in the summertime, I love trying to find the best playgrounds near me. I load my kids into the car, plug a destination into my GPS, and we are off on a guaranteed adventure. 

At Kidlist, we asked our readers to vote on the “best playgrounds near me”, and you delivered! Below, you’ll find the top 10 playgrounds of the western suburbs, as voted on by you. If you’re looking to check out even more awesome outdoor spaces, we have plenty of resources in our Guide to Parks and Playgrounds. Without further ado, let’s check out the winners!

Harvester Park, Burr Ridge

Harvester Park
15W400 Harvester Drive
Burr Ridge, IL 60527

Harvester Park is a fan favorite and has made our top playground list every year! The rubber-surfaced park was recently renovated and has features that appeal to all interests and ages. The newer Route 66 themed section includes a 30-foot Willis Tower skyscraper with two chute slides, in-ground trampolines, climbing boulders, a zip line, Tow Mater car replica, and more. 

The park also features a barn for playing music, a treehouse, a sand area with pulleys, and a splash pad for hot days. There are also swings, bathrooms nearby, and picnic areas to sit or eat. This park truly has it all!

Sensory Garden Playground, Lisle

Sensory Garden Playground
2751 Navistar Drive
Lisle, IL 60532

Lisle’s Sensory Garden Playground is an evolving park that includes sensory-integrated equipment and gardening areas. This inclusive playground has many features that have already been completed, including a playground that’s geared for kids ages 2-5, a fragrance garden, a sound garden, and a central gathering area.

There is an accessible treehouse with an attached boardwalk and slides, as well as a GT Wave climbing structure and a Gravity Rail. To see more pictures and a detailed review of the playground, check out this article. The playground continues to evolve as the Play for All Playground and Garden Foundation receives donations; we can’t wait to see what will be added next!

Northside Park, Wheaton

Northside Park
1300 N. West Street
Wheaton, IL 60187

Northside Park has many fun features within its 69-acre space. The nature-themed playground has a turf surface and includes a toddler playground and a sand area. The main playground has a bridge, climbing webs, slides of different heights, swings, and a teeter-totter. There is a triple slide that sits atop a hill, with footholds to help little ones climb to the top. Kids will also be entertained going across a zipline! 

Northside Park has a large lake and over one mile of walking paths, a covered area for picnics, a log cabin, Girl Scout and Boy Scout cabins, baseball fields, and courts to play tennis, basketball, and petanque. Northside Family Aquatic Center is also within the larger park area. In the winter, you can enjoy the sledding hill, which is near the playground. To see aerial drone footage of the park, check out this video from Wheaton Park District:

Darien Community Park, Darien

Darien Community Park & Possibilities Playground
7100 Clarendon Hills Road
Darien, IL 60561

There are two playgrounds at Darien Community Park! The Possibilities Playground was completed in 2018 and is an ADA-accessible, fully inclusive sensory playground that is fenced-in and has rubber surfacing. The play structure has several slides and an overhead sun shade. There are free-standing play areas to explore, which include a fire truck, weather station, lemonade stand, musical house, ship, and theater. The Possibilities Playground has a sand area and is also a Biba smart playground! It’s located in the Southwest corner of Darien Community Park. 

The other play area at Darien Community Park has two play structures. The first is geared towards older kids and has taller equipment and slides. The smaller structure, for younger kids, has four slides, a few ride-on animals, and a teeter totter. There are also restrooms there. 

Both playground areas offer exciting challenges and opportunities for imaginative play!

Owen’s Playground, Downers Grove

Owen’s Playground at Hillcrest Elementary
1435 Jefferson Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60516

Owen’s Playground was created in 2016 and was built for children of all abilities! The rubber-surfaced park has a playground with double-wide ramps, several slides, swings, a wheelchair-accessible rocker, rock climbing walls, and climbing ropes. There is also a relaxation area, comet spinners, a musical area, and Gaga ball pits. Out of its 111 play events, 87 are at ground-level. Check out our full review of Owen’s Playground here. It is definitely worth visiting this playground! Be aware that because it is located at Hillcrest Elementary School, the playground is not available to the public during school hours.

Bison’s Bluff Nature Playground, Schaumburg

Bison’s Bluff Nature Playground
1111 E Schaumburg Road
Schaumburg, IL 60194

Bison’s Bluff is a huge, incredible playground that encourages kids to creatively play and build confidence as they interact with natural elements. A creek and waterfall add a water play element, while the big fort-themed play structure and giant bison to climb on are always a hit! There is also a sand area, a picnic pavilion, walking paths with nature play areas, and bathrooms. The nearby nature center is a lot of fun for kids, too.

The playground does get very crowded, and for the summer of 2023 is having 1-hour play sessions. Admission is $2 or $3 for kids, depending on residency; advance reservations through their website are recommended. Check out our review of Bison’s Bluff for more details.

Heritage Park, Homer Glen

Heritage Park
14240 W. 151st Street
Homer Glen, IL 60491

Heritage Park, completed in 2020, is full of fun activities for everyone! It sits on 103 acres of land, so there is plenty of space for entertaining features. The “Active Core” of the park encompasses its playground, ninja park, and sports area. The playground has a few structures; there are slides, wide ramps, a sun shade, monkey bars, swings, activity stations, climbing rungs, and a separate toddler playground. There is also a nature playground and a musical instrument area. 

The large ninja park course provides an exciting way to test your acrobatic skills. Other features of Heritage Park include a sensory garden, a gazebo with picnic tables, paved walking paths, a disc golf course, and courts for pickle ball, tennis, and sand volleyball. In the winter, there is a sledding hill. Heritage Park also has bathrooms and water fountains. Annie recently wrote a review of the impressive park!

Commissioner’s Park, Streamwood

Commissioner’s Park
81 Linda Lane
Streamwood, IL 60107

Commissioner’s Park is an ADA-accessible park that was renovated in 2020 (it used to be called Aquarius Park) and offers plenty of fun activities. The playground has 3 different structures, which incorporate several slides, many areas to climb, spinners, swings, and a toddler playground. 

The turf Challenge Course is awesome! There is a path that takes you through the ninja-style obstacles, which include multi-level steps, rope climbers, an agility ladder, and other hurdles to test your strength and endurance. The park area also has walking paths, a gazebo, restrooms, a football field, and courts for baseball, tennis, and futsal. There’s so much to explore!

Spring Rock Park, Western Springs

Spring Rock Park
4400 Central Avenue
Western Springs, IL 60558

Spring Rock Park includes two zip lines, rock structures to climb, a pyramid with webbing, slides, and swings. There is also a toddler park, a climbing tower, and a sand pit. There’s a unique treehouse deck to hang out on, and in the summer, there is a free splash pad to help kids cool off! The park sits on a 41-acre lot and has paved paths throughout it, in addition to flower gardens, horseshoe pits, fields for soccer, football, and baseball, and courts for tennis, sand volleyball, and basketball.

There is also a secondary playground area that’s closer to the baseball fields. The park has bathrooms, water fountains, and picnic tables. The main playground is across the street from the train tracks; as an added bonus, my kids are always entertained watching the BNSF trains as they zoom past.

Wolf’s Crossing Community Park, Naperville

Wolf’s Crossing Community Park
3252 Wolf’s Crossing Road
Naperville, IL 60564

Wolf’s Crossing opened in 2021 and boasts features that entice kids of all ages! With a zipline, arching climbing structure, multiple slides of all heights, a poured rubber surface, free splash pad, and tot park, Wolf’s Crossing makes it easy for all ages to play at the same park. There is an outdoor fitness challenge course for the ninjas in your life, as well as multi-use trails, and courts to play pickle ball, tennis, and basketball. Click here for a full overview of Wolf’s Crossing Community Park.

Looking for more fun playgrounds?

We have so many fantastic parks for you to explore! Here’s our guide to all types of playgrounds, including new playgrounds, fenced-in playgrounds for toddlers, inclusive playgrounds, ninja parks, and more.

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