With the weather thawing out even a little bit, I’m so excited to be out and about again! These outdoor places to go with kids help alleviate my kids’ cabin fever like nothing else. We all know Chicagoland weather can be . . . temperamental . . . so we’ve got ideas for snowy days and those glorious afternoons when spring seems to have come early, too.
Map of Outdoor Destinations to Visit with Kids
Click on the icons above for a short description and link to our coverage, or check out the key below!
Forest Preserve, Park District, and Other Nature Areas
- Waterfall Glen in Darien
- Elwood Children’s Garden in Elwood
- Peck Farm Park and Hawks Hollow Nature Playground in Geneva
- Fabyan Forest Preserve in Geneva
- Mallard Lake in Hanover Park
- The Morton Arboretum and Children’s Garden in Lisle
- St. James Farm in Warrenville
- Abbey Farms in Aurora
- Heap’s Giant Pumpkin Farm in Minooka
- The Children’s Farm at The Center in Palos Park
- Sonny Acres Farm in West Chicago
We’re looking forward to getting back on the playground as soon as the snow melts! If you want to mix it up from your neighborhood playground, these extra-special parks are worth checking out:
- Mastodon Island Park in Aurora
- Harvester Park in Burr Ridge
- Darien Community Playground in Darien
- Lester Community Park at Lester Elementary School in Downers Grove
- McCullom Park in Downers Grove
- Owen’s Playground at Hillcrest Elementary School in Downers Grove
- Sensory Garden Playground in Lisle
- 95th Street Community Plaza Playground and Splash Pad in Naperville
- Meineke Park Playground and Challenge Course in Schaumburg
- Summerlakes Park American Ninja Warrior Park in Warrenville
- Northside Park in Wheaton
- Ty Warner Park in Westmont
Art and History Outdoors
- Schaumburg Sculpture Park in Schaumburg is open.
- Naper Settlement in Naperville is open for self-guided walking tours, with winter rates valid through March 31. Reserve tickets online; kids under 4, Naperville residents, and members are free, but should still reserve tickets.
- Cantigny Park in Wheaton is open; see their website for parking fees and hours.
- Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield is reopening on March 1!
- Big Run Wolf Ranch in Lockport is open for small-group reservations.
- Cosley Zoo in Wheaton is open; timed advanced tickets are required.
- Phillips Park Zoo in Aurora remains closed.
- Go Ape Zipline & Adventure Park
- The Forge: Lemont Quarries
Snow Tubing and Tobbaganing
- Villa Olivia
- Mount Hoy at Blackwell Forest Preserve
- Snow Park at Alpine Hills
- Wilmot Mountain Snow Tubing
- Sunburst Winter Sports Park
- The Rock Snowpark
- Pokagon State Park
- Click here for an overview of all of the locations above with pricing, hours, and more
Looking for more inspiration? We update our page of outdoor things to do with kids all the time!