Mud-Free Playgrounds in Chicago’s Near Western Suburbs


You know how the weather can be… rainy one minute and sunny the next! We still like to go to the park after it rains and you’ll find me bringing a rag towel to dry off slides so my kids can play without getting soaked. But that doesn’t solve the problem of wet, muddy mulch! Luckily on days like that we have a huge variety of mud-free playgrounds to choose from.

Our definition of a mud-free playground is one with a rubbery surface instead of mulch, so although sometimes it will be damp, it probably isn’t muddy. And yes, I’m definitely of the opinion that it’s okay for kids to get dirty, but it’s great to have options… Let’s face it, we have plenty of laundry to do as it is!

A huge thank you to the awesome readers on the Kidlist Facebook Page for adding to this list and to the park districts for supporting the site and supplying me with information and photographs.

The following playgrounds are grouped alphabetically by town.


harvester park playground

Harvester Park • 15W400 Harvester Drive • Burr Ridge, IL

This park is partially mud-free since about half is mulched and half has a rubbery surface. A small splash pad along with a treehouse, playground equipment and creative sand area in the front of the park are perfect for younger children. After crossing the bridge (or walking under it) you will find equipment for older children to play, along with a zip line. There are also close bathrooms and covered picnic area to sit while your little ones play.


berens park playground

Berens Park • 493 N Oaklawn Avenue • Elmhurst, IL

There are two sections to this large park. The first has a playground, splash pad and you can get snacks at The Hub concession building. There is also a miniature golf course and sledding hill close by. On the other side of the tennis courts is another playground with more equipment and a sand area.


photo compliments of Elmhurst Park District

photo compliments of Elmhurst Park District

East End Park • 463 Schiller Avenue • Elmhurst

Newly renovated fall 2016, this park is next to the East End Pool. Some of the photographs on the Elmhurst Park District even show kids having a blast while the nearby sidewalk is wet. So clearly a great option after it rains!

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wilder park playground 2

Wilder Park • 175 S Prospect Avenue • Elmhurst, IL

Besides having a great playground, Wilder Park is centrally located next to the Wilder Park Conservatory, Elmhurst Public Library, Elmhurst Art Museum, Lizzadro Museum and the Wilder Mansion.



York Commons Park • 665 S York Street • Elmhurst

This park is adjacent to Norman P. Smalley Pool and moved next to the baseball fields so you can keep an eye on your smaller children while you watch the game as well. It has nice shade and a variety of equipment.


maryknoll park playground

Maryknoll Park • 845 Pershing Avenue • Glen Ellyn, IL

Maryknoll Park has a playground, sand area, huge rock to climb, zip line on as well as two rope structures to explore. It also has a miniature golf course and splash pad. Please note that a couple areas of this park have wood chips.



Denning Park • 4903 S. Gilbert • La Grange

This park is located across the street from Lyons Township High School South Campus and next to fields commonly used for soccer games and archery practice. It seems to have a good amount of equipment so you can watch your kids from the benches or shelter and they will have tons of fun.



Gordon Park • Ogden & Tilden • La Grange

This newer park has a rubbery surface with many swings, slides and opportunities to climb. You can also check out the fenced in splash pad during the summer months.


Arbor Trails Park • Northwood Avenue and Arbor Trails Drive • Lisle

This playground has rubber mulch and is located in the new Arbor Trails subdivision off of Maple Ave. & Benedictine Parkway in Lisle.



DuPage Sensory Playground • 2751 Navistar Drive • Lisle

This playground opened in Spring 2015. From the parking lot, you walk along a short path and across a bridge to get to this playground for children 2-5. They are planning on expanding the park in the future as more funds become available to include a playground for children 5-12 and sculptures are being installed this summer!

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Sunset Knoll Park • 820 S Finley Road • Lombard

There are two playgrounds surrounding the Sunset Knoll Recreation Center. The first as you enter the parking lot is mulched, but if you park and walk around the building, you will find this great mud-free playground. And look at that rock climbing structure!


photo compliments of Naperville Park District

photo compliments of Naperville Park District

Buttonwood Park • 803 Buttonwood Circle • Naperville


photo compliments of Naperville Park District

photo compliments of Naperville Park District

Centennial Park • 500 West Jackson Avenue • Naperville

Situated next to Centennial Beach, this park has a rubbery surface that you can enjoy after it rains.


photo compliments of Naperville Park District

photo compliments of Naperville Park District

Country Lakes Park • 1835 North Aurora Road • Naperville

This playground has ADA accessible swings and a covered picnic shelter, not to mention a cool rock climbing structure.


Knoch Knolls Nature Center

photo compliments of Naperville Park District

Knoch Knolls Nature Center • 320 Knoch Knolls Road • Naperville


photo compliments of Naperville Park District

photo compliments of Naperville Park District

Knoch Park • 724 S. West Street • Naperville

This park is partially mud-free because there are both mulched and surfaced areas.


photo compliments of Naperville Park District

photo compliments of Naperville Park District

Meadow Glens • 1303 Moorhead Avenue • Naperville

This park is partially mud-free because there are both mulched and surfaced areas.


photo compliments of Naperville Park District

photo compliments of Naperville Park District

Nike Sports Complex • 288 West Diehl Road • Naperville


Fox Park • 624 S Oak Park Avenue • Oak Park

This park has both a sand area and splash pad.


Longfellow Park • 610 S Ridgeland Avenue • Oak Park

This newer park also has a splash pad.



Mayfair Park • 10835 Wakefield Street • Westchester

This park is across the street from Forest the Fox’s Playbox indoor playground and has a large play structure for older kids, along with a section for smaller children. There are also diggers in a sand pit shown on the left.


ty warner park sand area

Ty Warner Park • 700 Blackhawk Drive • Westmont, IL

Ty Warner Park is very popular because of the splash pad and huge sand area combination. A sheltered area in the middle keeps you cool in the shade. There are also beautiful paths to walk along and a concession stand. This park is partially mud-free as there are mulched areas closest to the parking lot and surfaced areas as you walk back by the sand and splash pad.

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veterans memorial park playground 3

Veterans Memorial Park • 55 E Richmond Street • Westmont, IL

Veterans Memorial Park is a very creative play space with two levels. There is a large ship to play in, sand area, swings and other equipment on the first level and another playground, set of swings and zip line on the upper level. You will find something for every age group.



Seven Gables Park • 1750 S Naperville Road • Wheaton

What a colorful park! After a rainy day, this one will be sure to raise your spirits. I checked out this park on a gloomy day (as you can see from the photograph) and was pleasantly surprised!


photo compliments of Woodridge Park District

photo compliments of Woodridge Park District

Forest Glen Park • 2908 Forest Glen Parkway • Woodridge

This accessible playground has a shelter, raised sensory garden and water feature. And look at the bright poured surface… so fun!


photo compliments of Wheaton Park District

Kelly Park • 1100 Main Street • Wheaton


Toohey Park • 1900 Orchard Road • Wheaton


Wheaton Community Center • 1777 S. Blanchard Road • Wheaton


W.W. Stevens Park • 525 Western Avenue • Wheaton


Triangle Park • 1100 Crescent Street • Wheaton


Atten Park • 1720 S. Wiesbrook Road • Wheaton


Sunny Side Park • 1120 Coolidge Avenue • Wheaton


Briar Knoll Park • 500 Tennyson Drive • Wheaton


Northside Park • 1300 N. West Street • Wheaton

Northside Park is amidst a beautiful setting with Lincoln Marsh Waterway coming through the park. You can walk over the bridge, go fishing or sit out and enjoy the wildlife. The play equipment for younger children was a huge hit when we were there. The playground is large and includes a zip line and fun tire swing. There is also a huge sledding hill that is fun to roll down on a warm day.


Briar Patch Park • 1700/1750 Briarcliffe Blvd. • Wheaton


CL Herrick Park • Armbrust Dr. & Herrick Dr. • Wheaton


Rathe Park • 616 Delles Road • Wheaton


While we’re talking playgrounds, I think you’ll also really love checking out the reader voted 10 Best Parks and Playgrounds in the Near Western Suburbs!

About the Author

Annie Tandy
Annie loves making great memories with her kids and started Kidlist in 2011 so she can help others do the same! Besides finding fun and exciting things to do, Annie, her husband, and their kids enjoy caring for their chickens and hanging out with them in the backyard. Click here to read about Annie's chickens and see pictures! She also finds joy in gardening, home improvement projects, knitting, soap making, and painting along with being active in her community, church, and as a board member of the Western Springs Business Association. Click here to follow Annie on Instagram.

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