15 Inclusive Playgrounds That Bring Play to Everyone with Extra-Cool Adaptive Features

Parks & Playgrounds

What better place to ignite big imaginations and develop essential lifelong skills than a playground? Swing to the moon, steer the pirate ship, and create stories and games with new friends all within an hour or so.

In the western suburbs of Chicago, we are fortunate to have a host of amazing options of inclusive and adaptive playgrounds where everyone of all abilities can play together with a sense of freedom, safety, and independence.

The Playground for Everyone at Butterfield Park, Elmhurst

Butterfield Park in Elmhurst showing the inclusive playground components, including ground level play and accessible sway fun

The Playground for Everyone at Butterfield Park
385 E. Van Buren Street
Elmhurst, IL 60126

With double-wide ramps, accessible sway fun, ground level play, swings with molded ADA seats and spread out equipment to create quieter spaces, this playground was created with developmental disabilities and mobility challenges in mind.

Sensory Garden Playground, Lisle

Sensory Garden Playground
2751 Navistar Drive
Lisle, IL 60532

Designed to provide a space to play with no limits, children of all ages and abilities will enjoy the many options of sensory inspired activities. After you have your fun on the playground, check out the newest addition of the gravity rail swing and the accessible treehouse. If your child has an interest in horses, this is the place to go! Statues and special features of the park are themed with the horse lover in mind. The website includes visual supports, which you can find online or in an app, to help aid communication throughout your visit.

The Sandlot Universal Playground, Oak Brook

The Sandlot Universal Playground
1301 Forest Gate Road
Oak Brook, IL 60523

The Sandlot Universal Playground is located near the Tennis Center at Oak Brook Park District. It is fully fenced and located in a shady area of the park. Some of the noted features are double wide ramps, slanted climbing spaces, a disc swing, and an ADA accessible zipline seat. Click here to read our full overview of The Sandlot.

Hope D. Wall School Playground, Aurora

Hope D. Wall School Playground
449 W New Indian Trail Court
Aurora, IL 60506

Designed with accessibility in mind, this completely fenced playground has double wide ramps, a wheelchair-accessible merry-go-round, wheelchair-accessible swings, communication boards, disc swings, and a musical space for everyone to play and enjoy. Please note, it is only open after school hours and weekends. Click here to read more about Hope D. Wall School Playground.

Discovery Park, Lisle

Discovery Playground
Lisle Community Park
1825 Short Street
Lisle, IL 60532

Here you’ll find a music area, two zip lines (one with a bucket seat), wipe ramps, disc swing, a wheelchair accessible spinner, an expression baby swing, roller slide and much more. 

Lester Community Park, Downers Grove

Lester Community Playground
Lester Elementary School
236 Indianapolis Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60516

This playground is recommended for ages five to twelve. It has ramp access to larger structures, artificial turf, communication boards for those who use AAC (augmentative and alternative communication), wide ramp access, slides and ADA swings. Please note, the playground is only open to the public after school hours.

Owen’s Playground at Hillcrest School, Downers Grove

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

Since it is located at Hillcrest School, Owen’s Playground only open to the public outside of school hours. It was one of the first inclusive playgrounds in the western suburbs. It is a large playground and has a variety of unique and accessible equipment for all ages to feel comfortable playing together. Click here for the full overview of Owen’s Playground.

Darien Community Park, Darien

Darien Community Park
7100 Clarendon Hills Road
Darien, IL 60561

Please note the parking lot and entrance to this playground are located off Plainfield Road across the street from Indian Prairie Library; there is another playground nearby that is less accessible. This fenced in playground features a poured surface for wheelchair mobility and lots of of eye-level opportunities for play. There is a musical house, lemonade stand, a sand pit, and many spaces for imaginative play. Click here to read more about Darien Community Park.

Bott Community Park, Plainfield

Bott Community Park
24550 W. Renwick Road
Plainfield, IL 60544

This inclusive playground has many different swings and double wide ramps. They have a big-kid play structure featuring four-foot wide ramps, a preschool playhouse with talk tubes, climbing nets, and artificial turf. The Bugle has more details on accessibility features in a 2019 article on the playground renovation.

Deicke Park Discovery Zone, Huntley

Deicke Park Discovery Zone
11419 S. Route 47
Huntley, IL 60142

Think big when you think of Deicke Park! With so many options for play, the extra time it takes to get there will be totally worth it. Bright colors, sand pits for digging, vehicle-themed areas with slides and interactive panels, basketball hoops galore (mounted at numerous heights for accessibility), and swings for adults make this playground not only accessible, but sensory inclusive. Read Rita’s full review.

SEBA Park, South Elgin

151 S Water Street
South Elgin, IL 60177

Named after the South Elgin Business Association, this playground has a disc swing, seated rocker, and wide ramps. It includes slides and an easy-to-access entryway. The SEBA Park playground is located along the river and was designed by Shane’s Inspiration, whose mission is to create inclusive playgrounds and programs that unite children of all abilities.

Free To Be Me Inclusive Playground, Barlett

Free To Be Me Inclusive Playground
102 N Eastern Avenue
Bartlett, IL 60103

This inclusive and brightly colored playground inspires play for all. There are a number of slides, climbing areas, swings, and poured-in sports surface for accessibility. More enhancements are to come, such as ADA accessible restrooms. 

Pottawatomie Park, St. Charles

A huge thank you to our friend Melissa who took these beautiful pictures of Pottawatomie Park

Pottawatomie Park
8 North Avenue
St. Charles, IL 60174

This playground is part of a large park. It includes slides, swings, areas to climb, and playground turf. They also have concessions, fishing, a picnic shelter, and more. A communication board was just added to this all-inclusive park in summer 2021. Let us know when you spot the Sheldon “Shelly” Eggwards statue there!

Newton Park, Glen Ellyn

Newton Park
707 Fairview Avenue
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

This new has a mud-free turf surface and was designed with inclusivity in mind; read more about the design process here. It has multiple active and passive play structures for older and younger kids alike, as well as musical instruments and multiple types of swings. A sensory garden is coming soon as of May 2023.

Breiter Palm Park, Bensenville

Breiter Palm Park
342 S Church Road
Bensenville, IL 60106

Completed in 2022, this new playground has a pour-in-place rubber surface, musical components, gliders, a spinner and dome for all abilities. They also built a new picnic shelter for some shade as well as a paved path and fitness equipment.

Franzen “Play for All” Community Park, Itasca

Franzen Park
730 Catalpa Avenue
Itasca, IL 60143

Originally built in 1991, Franzen was the 1st handicapped-accessible playground built in DuPage County. The park was most recently renovated in 2007.

Want to explore more playgrounds?

Head to our Ultimate Guide to Playgrounds in the Western Suburbs. It has suggestions for every age group and type of park you are looking for!

Do you know of another inclusive playground that offers accessible surfacing so everyone can move around the space easily, multi-sensory features, the ability enjoy the playground independently and safely, and more? We would love to hear about it! Comment below or email me at annie@mykidlist.com.

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