Best Sprinkler Parks and Splash Pads in Chicago
When warm weather comes, smart Chicago parents make sure they've always got a sprinkler "go bag" packed and ready in the trunk, stroller, or tote: towel, sunscreen, water shoes, swim diaper (if you've got a really little mermaid), and spare clothes. Because with so many awesome splash pads in Chicago, it pays to be prepared.
We've rounded up our favorite spots with interactive sprinklers, sprayers, cannons, and gushers so everybody can get good and soaked. If you need more places to get wet in Chicago, be sure to check out our list of the very best beaches for families and our favorite indoor pools, too.
Most suburban facilities are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day; if a water playground has a different opening date, we've noted it below.
Spraygrounds Near Chicago: North Side
Adams Park Water Playground photo courtesy of the Chicago Park District
Adams Park Water Playground — Lincoln Park
The splash pad at Adams Park features sprinklers and sprayers for kids of all ages and heights, including a real gusher of a funnel that gets kids good and soaked. When kids tire of the spray, dry off on the nearby playground (or in the field house), and stick around for concerts and movie nights for families. Adams Park Water Playground is open Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Portage Park Water Playground — Portage Park
Portage Park is home to a huge public pool as well as a smaller heated pool for those slightly chillier summer days Chicagoans know so well. But the most fun under the sun is at the interactive water play area with slides, sprinklers, and spray. Portage Park Water Playgournd is open Memorial Day through Labor Day.
River Park Water Playground – Lincoln Square
A squishy, soft-surfaced splash pad with spray towers, sprinklers, and water jets, this water playground is also located right next to a public pool in shady, pretty River Park. The River Park Water Playground is open Memorial Day through Labor Day.
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Cool off this summer with a splash pad in Chicago. Photo courtesy of the Chicago Park District
Water Playgrounds and Splash Pads in Chicago: West and South Side
Mary Bartelme Park — West Loop
Probably one of the most Instagrammed new features in Chicago, the Fountain Plaza at this compact urban oasis is the place to be on a hot day. Angular archway sculptures spray a fine mist for dashing through at top speed (or lingering under for maximum cooldown). Dry off at the innovative multi-level playground next door. The water is turned on at Mary Bartelme Park from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Austin Park Water Playground — Austin
The giant, blue, multilevel water playground here is new as of 2016, with slides, tunnels, sprinklers, sprayers, gushers...the works. There's not much shade, but there are restrooms, and the area is fenced in with a soft, squishy surface for hours of safe play. The Austin Park Water Playground is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
31st Street Harbor Playground Splash Pad — Oakland
The colorful lakeshore park houses a sweet, natural-pool-inspired splash pad within sight of its awesome, retro-space-age playground. Grownups can watch from sun-warmed rocks while little kids play in the gentle geysers and fountains. The 31st Street Harbor Playground Splash Pad is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Dunbar Park Splash Pad — Douglas
A circular spray park located right near the shady, recently-renovated playground has gentle in-ground sprinklers plus overhead fountains and sprayers for getting wet. Kids love dashing back and forth between the sprayers and the climbing structures, so bring sturdy water shoes. The Dunbar Park Splash Pad is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Fosco Park Water Playground — University Village
The popular community center here is probably best known for its indoor pool, but the outdoor splash park is a true multi-level water playground, with splashers, soakers, and a slide. This water playground is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
The Hub Spray Ground at Berens Park is great for toddlers. Photo courtesy of the Elmhurst Park District
West Suburban Spraygrounds and Splash Pads Near Chicago
The Hub Spray Ground at Berens Park — Elmhurst
Admission: $8 (residents $6); children under 3 are free
Part of a bustling community park that also features mini-golf and batting cages, the generously sized, fenced playground has two soft-surfaced splash pads and a good amount of shade. When you want to dry off, head to the park right next door. Concessions are also available. The Hub Spray Ground is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Ty Warner Spray Park — Westmont
Admission: $5 children ($3 residents); adults are free
A recently replaced soft rubberized surface makes this beloved Dr. Seussian splash pad even more fun. Cannons, misters, dumping buckets, and a giant blue whale tail with sprinklers are among the wet-getters on offer. There's a sweet train-themed sand play area and some fun, twisty water slides too. The Ty Warner Spray Park is open from Memorial Day through late August.
Play in the pool with friends at Splash Island. Photo courtesy of the Oak Brook Park District
Splash Island — Oak Brook
Admission: $10 for Oak Brook residents; $12 for non-resident
Sunburn-conscious parents will appreciate the shaded water play and seating areas at Splash Island, which has slides, buckets, jets, and sprinklers aplenty, plus a cute aquatic-animal-themed splash pad just for younger kids. Splash Island is open from Memorial Day through late August.
Maryknoll Park Splash Park — Glen Ellyn
Admission: $3 children ages 1-14; adults $1
There's a bit of a Wild West theme to the wet-and-wild water play here with a water tower, cactus sprinkler, a saloon sign that doubles as a sprinkler, and a railroad gate. Just outside Maryknoll Park Splash Park is an adventure playground with a zip line and climbing boulders. The splash park is open from Memorial Day through late August.
The Anderson Park water park in Oak Park, photo courtesy of pdop.org
Andersen Park — Oak Park
In this park, named for children's author Hans Christian Andersen, kids can enjoy a bell-shaped spray feature, directional jets, and ground geysers. The spray park and a playground were added in 2006. This park stays open through the end of September.
Bensenville Water Park Splash Pad — Bensenville
Admission: $10 per person
This 2,527-square-foot splash pad was completed in 2013 and is known for being clean. The Bensenville Water Park Splash Pad is open from Memorial Day through late August.
Get soaked at Adventure Island's interactive water playground. Photo courtesy of the Bloomingdale Park District
Adventure Island Sprayground at the Oasis — Bloomingdale
Admission: $5 for Bloomingdale residents, $8 for non-residents
Kids can enjoy the water guns, slides, pipe falls, spinning tray, and theme elements at Adventure Island. The pool, water slides, and lazy river are also included in the admission price. Adventure Island Sprayground at the Oasis is open from Memorial Day through late August.
95th Street Community Plaza Splash Pad — Naperville
This recently completed splash pad and adjacent playground are right next to the 95th Street Library. The storybook-themed equipment ranges in height and is appropriate for children of many different age groups. No more than 50 people will be allowed on the spray ground at any given time. The water is turned on here from Memorial Day through late August.
Harvard Early Learning Playscape at Naper Settlement — Naperville
Admission: Free with Naper Settlement admission
This historically themed water playground has a water cannon, ground misters, and water trough for a break from the old-timey learning at Naper Settlement. Kids can also play on the Conestoga wagon or learn in the sensory garden nearby. This park is open early in the year (April 1) and stays open through October 31, for any warm last fall days.
Step into the mouth of the giant pink frog at Forest Park Aquatic Center. Photo courtesy of the Park District of Forest Park
Forest Park Aquatic Center — Forest Park
Admission: $5.50 per resident; $8.50 per non-resident; children under 3 are free; cash only
A huge zero-depth 367,000-gallon pool at this water park holds an interactive water playground, with four water slides and a sprayground. There's also a nearby lap pool with a diving board, plus a sand play area for kids. Lockers and a concession stand are available, too. The Forest Park Aquatic Center is open from Memorial Day through late August.
Paradise Bay Water Park — Lombard
Admission: $8.00 per resident child; $11 for resident adults; $14 per non-resisent child; $16 per non-resident adult; children under 2 are free
For a full day of water play, this water park offers a zero-entry pool with jets, sprayers, and even a whirlpool, plus multiple waterslides for every level of bravery, and a separate water playground for little ones. Lockers, changing rooms, and a snack bar are all on-site. Paradise Bay Water Park is open from Memorial Day through Memorial Day.
Sea Lion Aquatic Park — Lisle
Admission: $11 for non-residents, $7 for residents
This giant destination waterpark has separate water play zones for both little ones and bigger kids, plus four giant water slides, a vortex pool, a large ADA accessible pool, and a lily pad feature. Changing rooms, lockers, and a full-service snack bar make it easy to stay the day. The aquatic park is open from May 28th-August 14th.
Stand beneath the big red bucket and get drenched! Photo courtesy of the Skokie Park District
North Suburban Water Playgrounds and Splash Pads Near Chicago
Skokie Water Playground — Skokie
Admission: $8 for Skokie residents; $10 for Evanston residents; $15 for non-residents
With a huge zero-entry pool, three big water slides, and a multi-level water playground with sprayers, water guns, tubs, slides, and a giant splash bucket, plus an accessible "sprayground" with a rock-like waterfall and sprinklers galore, there's no excuse not to get soaked here. You'll also find a concession stand, changing rooms with showers, and lockers, but not a whole lot of shade. The water playground is open from June 6th through August 14th.
Spray 'N Play at Mike Rylko Community Park — Buffalo Grove
Admission: $4 for children and adults; $2 for seniors; $2 for twilight hour (5:30pm-7pm)
Reserve a 90-minute playtime at this northwest suburban water play area. Spray N' Play features 20 water features and a picnic area. The spray ground is entirely fenced in so parents can relax while kids play. The park is open from Memorial Day through late August.
Rosemount Park splash pad photo by Mike O. via Yelp
Lange Park — Rosemont
Admission: Free for Rosemont residents, $5 for Des Plaines residents, $15 for non-residents
Rosemont residents, as well as other families in the O'Hare area, can enjoy this sprayground with a variety of water jet features. Guests must obtain a wristband at the Lange Park building and show ID to receive resident rates. Lange Park is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Fountain Square Park — Elk Grove Village
This simple sprayground features ground jets that shoot at varying intervals to surprise kids in the park. The park also includes a playground and nature trail so kids can beat the heat and enjoy a few forms of entertainment. Fountain Square Park is open from Memorial Day through August 14th.
The Best South Suburban Splash Pad
Oak Lawn Memorial Park — Oak Lawn
This rocket-themed water play area features a variety of spray toys along with a playground. The park also offers opportunities for hiking, biking, and fishing.
This article was updated in May 2022