Looking for the best splash pads and public pools in Chicago? Here is a comprehensive list of some of the best water-based playgrounds and places for families to cool off on Chicago’s hot summer days. The list includes both city and suburban parks and is the most comprehensive list ever generated! Remember that local park districts are parents’ best friend, so as you research family summertime fun start there first.
The best part of these water parks and public pools is that most are free or around $10 per person. However, consider that some of these parks host summer camps, close for routine maintenance or inclement weather, and have special hours of operation. Check each facility’s website before you plan your visit.
Best Splash Pads and Public Pools in Chicago and Suburbs
This guide features some of the best opportunities to cool off around the Chicagoland area. The Chicago Park District manages 49 outdoor pools, 28 indoor pools, and operates 14 Chicago Public School pools that offer community programs.
Be sure to refer to the complete list of all available splash parks and public pools provided by the Chicago Park District.
Adams Playground Park
Hidden in Lincoln Park, Adams Playground Park offers a water playground when the weather heats up. Before you plan a visit, be sure to check when the water playground schedule is open to the public. This is because the park hosts a summer camp during which time the participants have exclusive access to the splash pad.
Address: 1919 N. Seminary Ave., Chicago, IL
Chicago’s Crown Fountain is a great place to cool off in the heart of the city. Since its unveiling in 2014, the Crown Fountain has quickly become a favorite summer hangout. Its creators worried that the project would come across as tacky because at certain times the fountain spouts water which is supposed to resemble spit from the lighted faces.
When it was first revealed, those present immediately ran to play in the fountain’s water assuming that this was what the fountain was intended for. Now every summer, families come to cool off in the “saliva” of local Chicagoans. The water feature runs from May through October.
Address: The Crown Fountain is located at the Corner of Michigan Avenue and Monroe Street in Millennium Park on 201 East Randolph Street, Chicago, IL
Dunbar Park is a community park that offers a free interactive water feature. Here the water sprays have been described to look like flowers straight out of a scene from Alice in Wonderland. There are intermittent geysers and gentle streams of water sure to keep the kids happy on sweltering summer days.
Address: 300 East 31st Street, Chicago, IL
Fellger Playlot Park
This small playlot feels cozy and neighborly, especially with the wooden train and tiny children’s playhouse. It was one of the first parks in Chicago to feature a splash pad with a soft play surface and water sprinklers.
Address: 2000 W. Belmont Ave., Roscoe Village
Located in the Little Italy neighborhood, Fosco Park offers three areas of water-based fun. The primary park features water guns, water-spitting geysers, and a fun water slide. The smaller two sections offer a pole with buckets that playfully dump water and a giggle-inducing sprayer.
Adults can swim laps in Fosco Park’s Olympic-sized pool. This splash pad gets a mention because it is in walking distance of the famous Mario’s Italian Ice stand, which is an iconic summer must-do activity in Chicago.
Address: 1312 South Racine. Chicago, IL
Little Bear Garden Park
Little Bear Garden Park is associated with the Glenview Park District which offers some of the best opportunities for summer family fun. The Glenview Park District offers two outdoor community pools—the Roosevelt Outdoor Aquatic Center and the Flick Outdoor Aquatic Center.
They also offer the indoor Splash Landings Aquatic Center. There are a variety of different passes, memberships, and daily rates for both residents and non-residents for all three pools. (Check websites for details.) However, Little Bear Garden Park is a quiet, hidden gem. The park is geared towards small children, especially toddlers, ages one through five.
Address: The park is at the northeast corner of Patriot Blvd. and Chestnut, Glenview, IL
Lucy Ella Gonzalez Parsons Park
This quiet little water park can be found in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood. It is tucked away in an industrial part of town which often keeps the number of visitors quite low.
Locals know, however, that because the park is off the main tourist route it can be a serene place to play. Children love the rainbow-shaped sprays and the water features are infant-friendly. There are also community tables available so bring a picnic lunch or snacks to enjoy for lunch breaks.
Address: 4712 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, IL
Mary Bartelme Park
Mary Barthelme Park is a special outdoor space in Chicago’s West Loop community. The park’s signature attraction is the fountain plaza, located on the northwest side of the grounds. On hot summer days, five stainless steel gates emit a fine mist of cooling vaporized water. Children often say the experience is like playing in a cloud.
Address: 115 South Sangamon St, Chicago, IL
This splash pad is a favorite due to the cushioned surface of the water playground. It’s large enough not to feel too crowded. To keep things calm it is only for kids 12 and under (supervising adults permitted).
River Park also offers a public pool with depths ranging from 6 feet to 11 feet deep. If you’re planning a visit here, be sure to check online at the calendar for rules and times surrounding open swim and lap swims. Stay the entire day to enjoy canoe rides, the playground, and the walking paths.
Address: 5100 North Francisco Ave, Chicago, IL
31st Street Harbor Sprayground and Public Pool
In 2012, the 31st Street Harbor was constructed to be a modern marina and facility along Lake Michigan. In the summer, part of the park features a playground offering fun water features for children to play in.
Additionally, there is a public pool here where anyone can enter with paid admission. It is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, weather permitting, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Cost: Sprayground is free. Daily admission for the public pool is $5 Monday through Friday and $10 on weekends. Pool passes are available in the harbor office. A season pass cost $150 for an adult
and $100 per child.
Address: 3100 S. Lakeshore Drive, Chicago, IL
Best Splash Pads and Waterparks Chicago Suburbs
Buffalo Grove Spray N’ Play
Buffalo Grove Park District Spray ‘N Play is one of the largest facilities of its kind. It features over 20 water toys, sprays, and fountains. It also has a picnic area. Kids love running through the rainbow-colored water sprays and shooting the water cannons. Its stand-out feature is the multi-level water table where small tots can play with the floating boats.
Cost: Receive discounts by purchasing a family pass. Daily admission costs $3 per adult, $3 per child, seniors (62+) $1, and 12 months and under are free. The twilight special allows you to play for the last two hours of opening for $1 per person.
Address: Mike Rylko Community Park, 951 McHenry Road, Buffalo Grove, IL
Lions Park Pool Clarendon Hills
Lions Park offers one of the nicest public pools and splash pads around Chicagoland. The pool features a zero-depth entry, six lanes for lap swims, and a water slide and plunge pool.
The splash pad offers lots of spray features and structures to encourage water play. Additionally, the facility has picnic areas outside of the pool and a really nice sand play area. If you can’t make it to the beach this summer, the Lions Park Pool is the next best thing.
Cost: The facility offers season passes and daily admission rates for both residents and non-residents. Residents (3-59) $8, non-resident (3-59) $12, all seniors (60+) $. Twilight hours begin after 5 p.m. and offers cheaper rates for residents $6, non-residents $9, and seniors $4 until the pool closes at 8 p.m.
Address: 100 Byrd Ct. Clarendon Hills, IL
Mary Knoll Splash Park and Glen Ellyn Sunset Pool
Located within Maryknoll Park, the Glen Ellyn Park District’s Splash Park features 12 spray pieces including a water tower, rising flag, wet saloon, cactus, team spray, power launch pod, bell trio, water tunnel, aqua dome, water jelly, spray cannons, railroad crossing gate and zero-depth pad.
There are covered picnic tables on-site to enjoy snacks and refreshments. The grounds also feature a mini-golf course, skate park, and a great playground with a zip line.
Cost: $3 per child and $1 per adult including both resident and non-resident
The Glen Ellyn Park District’s Sunset Pool is a summertime haven in Glen Ellyn. The outdoor, zero-depth pool features a sloping, beach-style entry that is perfect for parents with little ones. Younger children will enjoy the playground in the pool area as well as the sand play area. For older children (and adventurous adults), Sunset Pool offers diving boards and waterslides,
Throughout the summer, families can enjoy a variety of special events ranging from Wet & Wacky Wednesdays to a Back to School Bash. In addition, Sunset Pool now offers the convenience of purchasing pool passes online. The recreation building/bath house includes restrooms, showers, and lockers. Snacks are available for purchase at the concession stand.
Cost: Resident and accompanied guest of a resident: Child (3-17 years) $6.25, adult (18-59) $9.25, senior (60+) $4.75, Nonresident prices child (3-17 years) $9.75, adult (18-59) $12.75, senior (60+) $9.50 *Residents must accompany guests to receive the guest admission rate
Address: 845 Pershing Avenue, Glen Ellyn, IL
Oakbrook Splash Island
Oakbrook Splash Island is perfect for families of all ages. There are nice water play facilities for the tiny ones, including a zero-depth entry pool, slides, dumping buckets, jets, and water sprays. For parents, there are sundecks for lounging with reclining lawn chairs. On weekdays, the park is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Cost: Nonresident adults $12, kids $8. Resident adults $10, kids $6
Address: 1480 Forest Gate Road, Oakbrook, IL
Lillian L. Lutz Recreational Center
The pool is huge and the splash pad is definitely a highlight. It looks modern and is appropriate for kids of all ages with lots of different sprinklers and areas for kids to run through and around. The heated pool has two shallow ends (one of which is only two feet deep) and offers a deep end slide, pool basketball, kickboards, and pool toys. Be sure to check their website because this facility hosts summer camps so community swims opens after 3:30 p.m. to the public.
Cost: Family memberships help bring down the cost. Daily rates are $7 per person Monday through Friday and $10 per person on weekends. Under two are free.
Address: 1195 Half Day Road, Highland Park, IL
Festival Park Elgin Park District
Both a neighborhood park and an entertainment venue, Festival Park provides a beautiful riverside setting with a unique playground and splash pad. In fact, this year the playground just had a massive renovation and all the equipment is state of the art. Swimsuits must be worn at the splash park. The water feature operates from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Elgin also has two outdoor family aquatic centers for your enjoyment.
Lords Park Family Aquatic Center is located at 325 Hiawatha Drive, on the east side. The Lords Park facility includes a huge 238,000-gallon recreation pool, double flume slide, sand volleyball court, three water play features, a bathhouse, competition lap pool, children’s play area, and a concession building. Costs: Resident youth $4, adult $6, seniors $5; non-resident youth $6, adult $8, and seniors $6.
Wing Park Family Aquatic Center is located at 1030 Wing Street, on the west side of Elgin. The facility features water slides, a lap pool, children’s play area, and sand volleyball courts. Cost: Resident youth $5, adult $7, seniors $5 and resident lap swim $3. Non-resident youth $7, adult $9, seniors $7, and lap swim $3.50.
Cost: Pool prices stated above; the splash pad is free.
Address: Splash pad located at 132 S Grove Ave, Elgin, IL
Skokie Water Playground
The Skokie Park District offers two outdoor aquatic facilities—a 14,000 square foot main pool with beach entry and a huge Water Playground. There are five slides, fountains, and the featured big red bucket that drenches kids with 300 gallons of water that comes splashing down in one dump.
The park offers a concession stand with snacks and beverages. Lap lanes are available for adult swims during specified times. Check the schedule for this park because availability often changes.
Cost: Resident adult (16+) $8, resident child (3-15) $7, all non-resident $14, resident lap swim $4, non-resident lap swim $7
Address: 4701 Oakton Street, Skokie, IL
The Hub at Berens Park, Elmhurst
Hosted by the Elmhurst Park District, The Hub features a 6,000-square-foot spray ground with nine exciting water features and two Big Squirt filling stations. Additionally, they have a public pool that is accessible to both residents and nonresidents. Check out their website for pool memberships and daily pool pass rates.
Cost: $3.50 per person for residents and $5 per person for nonresidents
Address: 493 N Oaklawn Ave, Elmhurst, IL
The Living Coast at Brookfield Zoo
A visit to the Brookfield Zoo is always great fun. However, sometimes summertime heat makes children a little cranky. Many visitors may not be aware that there is a fun spray park in front of The Living Coast exhibit.
If you’re headed to the zoo and it’s a hot day, consider bringing a change of clothes or a bathing suit to take advantage of some cooling fun in between animal spotting.
Cost: The splash pad is included in the price of general admission. Adults: $21.95 ($20.95 online), Seniors 65 and over: $15.95 ($14.95 online) and Children 3 to 11: $15.95 ($14.95 online) + parking.
Address: 8400 W. 31st Street, Brookfield, IL
Ty Warner Park Spray Park, Westmont
Ty Warner Park has one of the best family spray parks in the Chicagoland area. Located in Westmont, the park is named after the creator of the Beanie Babies toy empire. The family-friendly spray pad features mushroom cap waterfalls, water cannons, spraying anchors, and dumping buckets.
The park has many other amenities to make it worth the trip—playgrounds, tennis courts, walking paths, and duck ponds. There are picnic tables and concession stands that sell snacks like ice cream, pizza, and corn dogs. The splash park is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Cost: Adults are free to enter. Children must pay a small entrance fee. The price is $3 for resident children and $5 for nonresident children. Cash and credit cards are accepted.
Address: 801 Blackhawk Drive, Westmont, IL
More of the Best Splash Pads, Public Pools, and Spray Parks
Are you looking for even more summertime fun? The list of splash pads and public pools continues:
Chicago’s Western Suburbs Free Parks
- Phillips Park Splash Pad, 1000 Ray Moses Drive, Aurora, IL
- Eola Community Center Park, 555 South Eola Road, Aurora, IL
- Leiseberg Park Spray Playground, 325 East Devon Avenue, Bartlett, IL
- Blue Heron Park Spray Playground, 350 Blue Heron Way, Bartlett, IL
- Pyrce Park Spray Pool, 16th & Wesley, Berwyn, IL
- Hett Park Spray Pool, 19th & Cutler, Berwyn, IL
- Ehlert Park, Congress Park & Elm Avenues, Brookfield, IL
- Harvester Park, 15 West 400 Harvester Drive, Burr Ridge, IL
- Soehrman Park, Intersection of Willow Springs Road and Hillsdale Road, Countryside, IL
- Hawks Hollow Nature Playground, 4038 Kaneville Road, Geneva
- Moore Park Sprayground, 877 Geneva Drive, Geneva, IL
- Gordon Park, Ogden Ave and Tilden, LaGrange, IL
- Dragonfly Landing, PrairieWalk Pond, Main Street & Odgen Ave, Lisle, IL
- Sunset Knoll, 820 S Finley Road, Lombard, IL
- Water Spray Park, 201 West St. Charles Road, Lombard, IL
- Prairie Point Splash Playground, 4120 Plainfield Road, Plainfield, IL
- Turner Park, Splash Pad, 81 East Devon Ave, Roselle, IL
- Sunny Hill Splash Pad, 1480 West Irving Park Road, Streamwood, IL
- McCaslin Park Splash Pad Water Playground, 27W650 North Ave, West Chicago, IL
- Wynwood Fields Spray Park, 0S060 Wynwood Road, Winfield, IL
- Hobson Corner Park, 2910 Hobson Road, Woodridge, IL
- Anderson Park, 824 N. Hayes, Oak Park, IL
- Field Park, 935 Woodbine Ave, Oak Park, IL
- Fox Park, 624 S Oak Park, IL
- Longfellow Park, 610 S. Ridgeland Ave, Oak Park, IL
Chicago’s Western Suburbs Fee-Based Parks
- Maryknoll Splash Park, 845 Pershing Ave., Glen Ellyn, IL
- Oak Brook Park District Splash Island, 1450 Forest Gate Road, Oak Brook, IL
- Stevenson Park Spray Pad, 3101 Washington Blvd., Bellwood, IL
- Bensenville Water Park and Splash Pad, 1100 W Wood Street, Bensenville, IL
- The Oasis Water Park, 172 S. Circle Ave., Bloomingdale, IL
- Pelican Harbor Aquatic Park, 200 S. Lindsey Ln., Bolingbrook, IL
- Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W. 31st Street, Brookfield, IL
- The Hub at Berens Park, 493 Oaklawn Ave., Elmhurst, IL
- Splash Harbor, 8997 Lyons Street, Hodgkins, IL
- Sea Lion Aquatic Park 1825 Short Street, Lisle, IL
- Paradise Bay Water Park, 437 East St. Charles Road, Lombard, IL
- Cermak Family Aquatic Center, 7600 W. Ogden Ave, Lyons, IL
- Rita (Fredenhagen) and John Harvard Early Learning Playscape, 523 South Webster St. Naperville, IL
- Turtle Splash Water Park, 129 W. National Street, West Chicago, IL
- Otter Cove Splash Park, 3615 Campton Hills Road, St. Charles, IL
- Ty Warner Spray Park, 700 Blackhawk Drive, Westmont, IL
- Splash Country Water Park, 195 Barnes Rd., Aurora, IL
- Vaughan Aquatic Center, 2121 W. Indian Trail, Aurora, IL
- Phillips Park Family Aquatic Center, 828 Montgomery Rd., Aurora, IL
- Lion’s Club Pool, 1041 Ridge Road, Homewood, IL
- Cyprus Cove Family Aquatic Park, 8301 South Janes Ave., Woodridge, IL
- Mill Creek Pool and Sprayground, 39W125 Mill Creek Drive, Geneva
- Sunset Pool and Sprayground, 710 Western Ave., Geneva
Chicago’s Northern Suburbs Splash Parks
- Itasca Waterpark, 100 N. Catalpa, Itasca, IL
- Hidden Creek Aqua Park, Highland Park, IL
- Deerspring Park, Deerfield, IL
Chicago’s Southwest Suburbs Splash Parks
- Sprayfari Aquatic Park, 11930 Kostner Ave., Alsip, IL
- Brent Hassert Park, 19623 Renwick Road, Crest Hill, IL
- Fort Frankfort Commissioners Park, 22108 S. 80th Ave., Frankfort, IL
- Splash Harbor, 8997 Lyons Street, Lyons, IL
- Millennium Park, 18600 Harwood Ave., Homewood, IL
- Willow Walk Park, Bruce Road and Cagwin Drive, Lockport, IL
- Yunker Farm Splash Pad., 10824 W. La Porte Road., Mokena, IL
- Hibernia Park., Eagle Circle and Blarney Road., New Lenox, IL
- Walker Country Estates Park, 299 Lenox Street, New Lenox, IL 60451
- Memorial Park, 102nd and Major Ave., Oak Lawn, IL
- Centennial Aquatic Center, 9300 Nashville Ave., Oak Lawn, IL
- Village Green Park Splash Pad and Ottawa Street Pool, 24121 West Chicago Street., Plainfield, IL
- Volunteer Park, 1100 Murphy Drive., Romeoville, IL
- Boucher Prairie Park, 1649 Richfield Trail, Romeoville, IL
- Heritage Falls Water Park, 101 Troxel, Romeoville, IL
Have you come across a great splash park or community pool that should be on this list? Feel free to share your find in the comments section below. We’ll add it to the article.