10 Best Playgrounds of 2024: Chicagoland’s Most Amazing Parks You Have to See to Believe

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, find a destination, 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!

1. Harvester Park in 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!

2. Bison’s Bluff Nature Playground in 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. During summer, they schedule one-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.

3. Wolf’s Crossing Community Park in 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.

4. 95th Street Community Plaza in Naperville

95th Street Community Plaza Splash Pad in Naperville

95th Street Community Plaza
3109 Cedar Glade Drive
Naperville, IL 60564

A whimsical storybook theme, gated splash pad, and shared parking lot with the 95th Street branch of the Naperville Public Library make this playground a local destination. The soft, rubbery play surface and low-to-the-ground climbing structures are great for tots, while older kids will enjoy twisty climbers and taller slides.

While the playground itself isn’t very shady, there are some shades in the splash pad area, as well as a pavilion. The splash pad and library are great for cooling off on a hot day, too!

Check out more photos from the 95th Street Community Plaza’s grand opening.

5. Spring Rock Park in 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, kids are always entertained watching the BNSF trains as they zoom past.

6. Burning Bush Trails Park in Mount Prospect

Orb-shaped play structures atop tall towers, connected by a bridge and with a spiral tube slide leading down from one.

Burning Bush Trails Park
1313 N Burning Bush Lane
Mount Prospect, IL 60056

This is a fun new addition to our Top 10 list! Cool orb-shaped play structures connected by a bridge make this playground stand out from any other playground in Chicagoland.

You’ll also find a soft play surface with a big variety of play structures, including small and large playgrounds, a seated spinner, a twisty net climber, and nearby bathrooms.

7. Gregory B. Bott Community Park in Plainfield

Climbing equipment and other obstacles on a ninja park with artificial turf.

Gregory B. Bott Community Park
24550 West Renwick Road
Plainfield, IL 60544

This colorful playground is located the site of Plainfield’s Prairie Activity & Recreation Center. In addition to the big playground atop mud-free artificial turf, a ninja-style obstacle course gives older kids a chance to try out stunts and stretch their legs. There’s also lanes for racing or timed sprints.

8. Walker Park in Burr Ridge

Spongy, rubber-like surface beneath ninja park obstacles.

Walker Park
7425 S. Wolf Road
Burr Ridge, IL 60527

A cool new castle playground is giving Walker Park a leg up into our Top 10 list this year! This fun destination also features tons of different play structures, a sand play area, a large shaded picnic pavilion, a music-making station, a soft spongy play surface, and onsite bathrooms.

To cap it all off, a ninja-style obstacle course makes Walker Park great for older kids, too. They can try out cool stunts and feats of agility on the obstacles, which are big enough to make races with the grown-ups possible.

9. South Ridge Park in Hoffman Estates

Ninja-style challenge course equipment above artificial turf, with water in the distance.
The splash pad at South Ridge Park in Hoffman Estates

South Ridge Park
1450 Freeman Road
Hoffman Estates, IL 6019

South Ridge Park is a recreation destination in Hoffman Estates. Here, you’ll find big and small playgrounds, as well as a zipline. The splash pad has tons of spray features, including a dump bucket. A huge ninja course lets older kids race through obstacles to try and get a personal best. Nearby sports courts include a sand volleyball pit.

Kids also like to take trips around the park’s large pond, which is ringed by a paved path that makes easy gliding for strollers and scooters alike.

10. Heritage Park in 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. For more details, Check out Annie’s recent review of Heritage Park!

Bonus: Maggie Daley Park Play Garden in Chicago

Maggie Daley Park Play Garden
337 E Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60601

We’re considering this an “unofficial” addition to the list since our Top Ten spots cover the suburbs. But our readers called out the Play Garden at Maggie Daley Park in downtown Chicago, and it’s definitely one of our favorite spots, too!

An area with mirrors amidst shady trees at Maggie Daley Park's Play Garden in Chicago.

This huge three-acre space is divided into play spaces. For example, The Enchanted Forest invites kids to explore nature spaces and run down winding paths, while the Sea features a giant play ship, rolling blue play surface that mimics waves, and a giant lighthouse slide.

Some spaces are geared towards little kids, including the smaller of two splash pad spaces with gentle fountains. Meanwhile, two soaring towers connected by a suspension bridge in The Slide Crater area make for an awe-inspiring moment for older kiddos (and great photos against the Chicago skyline).

We love to pair a visit to the Play Garden with a trip to nearby Millennium Park, especially to see the “Spitting Faces,” as my kids (okay, and I) call Crown Fountain.

Haven’t been? It’s a totally doable afternoon trip from the suburbs. I recommend packing changes of clothes and/or sandals for the splash pads, as well as extra water, sunscreen, and snacks. Be prepared to walk, as the play garden is at the southeast corner of the park itself.

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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7 Comments. Leave new

  • Great information on parks. Beautiful photographs!

  • Thanks for this! Patriots Park in Downers Grove? Possibly our fav because of the pond, frog findings and the woods right near the two playgrounds.

  • Thank you so much for the 10 best parks & playgrounds list. So great to have when grandchildren come to visit!

  • Awesome info! Thank you!

  • How can we see the previous year list? I was book marking it but now I can’t find the park I was looking at.

    • Here’s the list from 2023:

      • Harvester Park, Burr Ridge
      • Sensory Garden Playground, Lisle
      • Northside Park, Wheaton
      • Darien Community Park
      • Owen’s Playground, Downers Grove
      • Bison’s Bluff, Schaumburg
      • Heritage Park, Homer Glen
      • Commissioner’s Park, Streamwood
      • Spring Rock Park, Western Springs
      • Wolf’s Crossing Community Park, Naperville

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