Did you know that more than 8% of the city land in Chicago is devoted to green spaces and public parks? In addition, this makes it one of the US cities that has the highest percentage of public parklands. Whether you are a city dweller or a suburbanite, you will likely find an incredible park or playground to climb on, slide down, and explore only minutes away, which is excellent.
The best thing is that the city has hundreds of playgrounds and public parks that are highly accessible to people of all ages and incomes. The city has also been colloquially known as the “city in a garden” since the 1830s. Chicago is home to many nationally renowned and famous park spaces designed by some of the most famous landscape designers and architects.
We rounded up some of our favorite parks and playgrounds across the city below.
Note that Haas Park is a nice and lovely park in Chicago’s famous Logan Square neighborhood. The park is named in honor of respectable public servant Joseph Haas. Mr. Haas served as an eminent state senator. Haas Park boasts a recently renovated ADA-accessible kid’s playground, highlighting a clever and creative water play feature during the summer months. The park was developed around 1928 and was formally transferred to the care of the Chicago Park District in 1959.
Did you know that an amazing 10,244-square-foot fieldhouse at Haas Park has also received LEED certification because of its several environmental sustainability features? It offers a brilliant half-size gymnasium, which is available for volleyball and basketball play as well as a state-of-the-art fitness center that you will like.
Indian Boundary Park
The giant and sturdy wooden play structure at Indian Boundary Park makes it stand out among the usual metal-and-plastic playgrounds that most of us know. Although children kids love running and climbing the wooden corridors, note that it can feel a little overwhelming if you are a parent to several toddlers on busy days. So, be prepared when you come here!
The park’s amazing splash pad comes in very handy, especially during warm weather. You can also sign up your whole family for craft workshops and performing arts lessons available at the park’s on-site cultural center. And on steamy days, several sprayers are located close to the playground.
Also, if your kids are looking to explore a little more, you can visit the park’s fantastic nature center, where they can play in many painted cottages that were once used as swan huts.
Lincoln Park stretches across 1,208 acres and includes many free attractions, such as the heralded Lincoln Park Zoo and the amazing plant-filled Lincoln Park Conservatory. You will also enjoy recreational adventures at the engaging archery range as well as the paddleboat-dotted rowing lagoon. Lincoln Park started off as a small public cemetery; however, in the 1850s, it was converted into parkland.
Some of the park’s recreational facilities include softball and baseball fields, beach volleyball courts, basketball courts, a golf course, and a skate park, among others. Also, note that the Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course is great as it offers eighteen holes for teeing off.
Adams Playground Park
Adams Playground is another lovely playground. It is a soft surface playground and is ADA-accessible as well. While the park is small, it certainly has all the bells and whistles that your kids will enjoy. Some of the features include a small and attractive field house that hosts seasonal indoor activities for families, such as summer camps, as well as weekly parent-kid groups for toddlers.
The park also has a shaded and cool picnic area, a kid-sized basketball court, and a completely shaded sand area that has shovels and dump trucks.
The amazing lakefront Burnham Park features about 600 acres of untamed as well as planned space. You can reconnect with nature in the beautiful Burnham Wildlife Corridor as it is home to a butterfly and bird sanctuary. Did you know that Prairie-style architect Alfred Caldwell designed the grounds?
You will also get an expansive view of the city without the kind of chaos of many skyline viewing spots that are closer to downtown.
Also, keep in mind that the adjacent 91-acre Northerly Island offers amazing opportunities for bird watching, hiking, and fishing.
Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park is a gorgeous three-acre gem filled with several flowers and centered on a lovely fountain, offering shaded pathways as well as comfy benches to enjoy a respite from the fast-paced and hectic city life.
Did you know that the creation of this park dates back to 1842? Because of the changes in the downtown area, the initial park was razed and then rebuilt in the early 1900s. Another restoration in the late 1990s brought the park back to a version that is more reminiscent of its earlier iterations.