The Glen in Lombard/Glen Ellyn

Outdoor Places to GoParks & Playgrounds

Butterfield Park District created a beautiful new space called The Glen on the corner of Butterfield Road and Route 53 and it opens this Friday! Highlights include a challenge course, music area, amphitheater with a bubbling stream running through, pavilion, winding paths, and more. It’s all part of Glenbriar Park, which is also where the Park District building is.

Larry Reiner, the Directory of Capital Development and Former Executive Director of Butterfield Park District gave me a tour this week and it was a pleasure to spend time there and meet the driving force behind this project.

The Glen was almost a decade in the making and a true testament to how a community can band together to fight for green spaces. There were plans to build a large gas station, convenience store, and car wash on an already gas-station-heavy intersection, so in 2013 meetings began, petitions were signed, and and alternative plan was created. How amazing that we can now enjoy this space after all that time, money, and determination!

Features of The Glen

The Glen has a wonderful variety of elements, so let’s take a tour! From the parking lot you will first encounter the new bags games. You are welcome to bring your own bean bags or bags are included when you reserve the shelter next to it.

There are new restroom facilities that are wheelchair accessible and have changing tables in both.

The new pavilion is wonderful with a stone fireplace, plenty of tables, beautiful landscaping growing in, and a view of the seating area and waterfall.

They plan to hold classes in the covered pavilion, as well as offer it as a music and theater venue.

As you walk up the paved path, you’ll see a hill to the right. It would be a perfect sledding hill for little ones!

Older kids are going to love this challenge course! There are elements I’ve never seen before, and many are accessible for people of all ages and abilities.

As you curve around, you’ll see an amphitheater to sit and relax next to a bubbling waterfall with an aerated pond at the bottom. Unfortunately the waterfall wasn’t running yet when I was there, but my kids can’t wait to go back so I’ll update the photo when we do!

There’s a really great music area. The xylophone even has a music book so you can learn and play different songs! You’ll also notice chess tables at a few locations and you can bring your own pieces to enjoy a game or two.

Throughout the park, you’ll find signs with great information about different aspects of nature. There’s one about native bees and how you can help, life cycles of a Monarch butterfly, and the sign by the music area shows the leaves of each type of tree in the park so you can do a scavenger hunt.

The Glen
22W030 Butterfield Road
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Glenbriar Park

Since The Glen is a section of Glenbriar Park, we thought it would be nice to give everyone the full picture of what else you can do when you are there. The six tennis courts and two pickleball courts were completely redone in conjunction with The Glen.

The next phase of the project includes new lighting for the courts and is expected to be done by 2022, depending on when the funding is released.

Two playground areas can be found behind the Butterfield Park District building. The one pictured below is for kids 5+ years old and includes a sandbox in the shade. There is also a fenced in playground for toddlers, which has been featured in the 15 Best Parks for Toddlers and Fenced-In Parks and Tot Lots.

Butterfield Park District Aquatic Center has two pools that offer day passes.

Butterfield Park District is small, but mighty! We are so grateful to have them in our community.

If you head out to The Glen, be sure to tag us in your photos: @kidlist #sharekidlist. We love sharing your adventures!

Want to explore more new and renovated parks and playgrounds? Check out our continually updated list of New Playgrounds to get the latest info!

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