Best Kids Playgrounds in Chicago

Maggie Daley Park (Photo: f11photo/

Kids are simply tiny humans, really. All they need is a place to run around and voila! — instant happiness. Chicago is home to over 500 parks for them to expend energy — with locations all across the city — so you are never more than minutes from a place to play. Here are six of the best Chicago playgrounds.

  1. Adams Playground Park. This Lincoln Park playground has plenty to banish boredom including a sandbox and plenty of play structures to tackle. In the summer, little ones will love the splash pad with dumping water buckets, spraying pipes and a mini-waterslide. Parents will love that the park is well-shaded, houses a picnic area and field house (read: bathrooms).
  2. Mary Bartelme Park. This park is full of typical and atypical features. It wouldn’t be a park without slides and swings, but its ADA accessibility makes it prime for non-linear play as well. Traveling with dogs? There is plenty of fun for them in the sunken dog park complete with continuously filling, over-sized dog bowl. On a hot day the fountain plaza will cool the kiddos off with a light mist.
  3. Indian Boundary Park. Move over plastic, this playground has structures entirely made of wood. Kids can race across wooden bridges and through rubber tire tunnels with an American Indian decor. The new adjacent nature play center has pint-sized playhouses, wooden balance beams and plenty of opportunity to explore nature.
  4. Maggie Daley Park. For a park with all the bells and whistles, look no further than this new downtown gem. A mega-play ship, a wooden lookout tower, a three-level slide and a mirrored maze just scratch the surface of all there is to do. Not to mention the rock climbing wall and ice skating ribbon making this the perfect park for year round activity.
  5. Park 574. Fitness meets fun at this neon-colored playground that features gymnastics — in the form of pommel horses and rings. The soft, rubbery surface is full of hills, valleys and built-in slides for an extra challenge. Parents will love the adult fitness stations scattered around the park.
  6. Oz Park. This “Wizard of Oz” themed park is a favorite amongst the munchkins who love to run through the expansive “Dorothy’s Playlot”— a wooden castle-like play structure. The field is perfect for a rousing game of tag and the life-sized character statues make for perfect hide-and-go-seek blockades.