New Playground! Owen’s Playground in Downers Grove

Owen’s Playground behind Hillcrest Elementary School in Downers Grove opened last Wednesday, August 17. Erin, a Kidlist reader, emailed me this morning with photographs of her daughter playing there and it looked so cool that we had to check it out. The playground is so big that I had a hard time framing it all in one photograph!


The ramps are all double wide, so even friends in wheelchairs and without can travel around the park together.

Double wide ramps so all can access the equipment.

This playground has such a variety of equipment! It’s rare to see all age groups fully enjoying the space at the same time, but this one does it successfully. The playground in large enough that I did not feel worried about the younger kids feeling intimidated by the older ones. They each had their own areas!


A musical area is a big hit, with a piano, drums, and other ways to make sounds.

Children and adults of all ages can enjoy making music at the playground.

This toddler area with things to spin, touch and explore provides some shade. There are also trees around the perimeter that give respite from the sun.

This hut is great for toddlers.

There are many slides, wide ramps, different types of swings, climbing ropes, rock climbing walls, two gaga ball pits shown below, and so much more!

There are also two gaga ball pits with a recycled rubber surface.
Erin's daughter balancing on the new playground equipment.
Erin’s daughter balancing on the new playground equipment.

The story behind Owen’s Playground

Owen Chaidez, a 10 year old boy, and his mom Peg started dream build play experience after raising money and making this playground for children of all ages a reality. They took into consideration what the kids, educators, and special education therapists wanted and needed for this playground behind their school and their story is inspiring! Click here to read more about their background and process.

owens playground sign

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

This playground is behind Hillcrest Elementary School, but was built for everyone to enjoy.

Please note that the school said it is preferred that the community not use the playground during school hours because various grades have recess throughout the day, but their school day ends at 2:55pm

Know of another playground that we should feature? Email me at annie@mykidlist!

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 and her 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.

2 Comments on "New Playground! Owen’s Playground in Downers Grove"

  1. Is it ok to play there during school hours?

    • I talked to the school and they said it is preferred that other families do not use the park during school hours since different grades are out there for recess throughout the day. Their school day is over at 2:55pm.

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