Local parks are great places for kids of all ages to explore. Pack up the diaper bag, load the stroller in the car, and grab some snacks, because there are plenty of kid-friendly outdoor adventures waiting. Imagine the fun you can have creating lasting memories at these six awesome parks in Lincoln Park, Illinois.
Image via Flickr by aaronHwarren
Oz Park is a northside public play area in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Located at 2021 N. Burling St., this Wizard of Oz-themed play place features statues of Dorothy and her companions, Toto, Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion.
It’s a clean and family-friendly park spread across 14 acres. There’s an excellent path for a walk with the kiddos and benches scattered throughout the area for parents to relax and the little ones to rest their weary legs.
There are also tennis and basketball courts, plus the community offers a variety of year-round organized activities for children, including day camp, soccer, and t-ball. Dorothy’s Playlot is filled with plenty of equipment for climbing and swinging, or you can enjoy a leisurely afternoon picnicking among the beautiful flowers in the Emerald Garden.
A dedicated group of volunteers did an incredible job of creating a tranquil space in Oz Park. Even when the park is full of bustling activity, the Emerald Gardens remain a respite from the hubbub. The Scarecrow sculpture faithfully guards this 17-bed perennial garden that’s home to English roses, butterfly bush, lavender, lilies, and ornamental grasses.
Lincoln (Abraham) Park
Image via Flickr by Ken Lund
Located at 500-5700 N. Lake Shore Drive, Lincoln Park is a 1,208-acre outdoor paradise situated along Lake Michigan. This expansive, outdoor urban refuge features a zoo, conservatory, theater, and numerous playing fields. There’s a rowing canal, archery range, and five playgrounds in addition to the Chicago History Museum, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and the Lincoln Park Cultural Center.
Wander through the park and discover several statues, including the Fountain Girl, General Grant, and Abraham Lincoln. Stop by the Clarendon Fieldhouse. It offers guests a fitness center, a gym, baseball and softball fields, a dog-friendly zone, and an interactive water-play area.
Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool
Image via Flickr by US Department of State
This historical park is a serene section of the neighborhood that features a lily pool and boasts lush landscaping and a strikingly beautiful pavilion. Located at 125 W. Fullerton Parkway, architect designer Alfred Caldwell helped develop the park in 1936. It’s an important local example of Prairie School architecture that’s intended to be a visual antidote to the harmful effects of mass production.
Step through the Fullerton gate and enter a garden of unmatched beauty filled with bird song. It’s an incredibly peaceful hidden gem where you can relax and focus on nature. It touts charming miniature waterfalls, streams, and a tranquil stone-paved walking path that encircle the lily pool. There are shady places to sit, a pavilion, and diverse native plantings. Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool is also a romantic place for mom and dad to reconnect.
If your family is looking for an urban park with a garden, playground, open grass area, baseball field, volleyball and tennis courts, and a seasonal spray pad, head to Jonquil Park. Located in the heart of Lincoln Park at 1001 W. Wrightwood Ave., this small, 3-acre oasis is the ideal gathering place for community residents.
The kiddos will enjoy the soft-surface playground featuring all the traditional playthings, like swings, slides, activity panels, and climbing elements. Cool off after a heated game of tag in the spray area, then try your hand in the game table area. Make sure to take a peek at Jonquil Park’s bronze sculpture, created by internationally-known artist Richard Hunt in 1988.
Keep the children busy on those sunny days after school at Wrightwood Park. It’s a small, 4-acre neighborhood park that’s clean and well maintained. Located at 2534 N. Greenview Ave., it has everything you could ask for, including baseball, football, and soccer fields, a four-hoop basketball court, a sand volleyball court, a gravel running track, a soft-surface playground with a sandbox, and a water feature. There’s also a public pool that offers aquatics lessons for all ages.
The park’s community center offers loads of recreational opportunities for preschoolers and older kids, such as Moms Pops and Tots Interaction, Tiny Tot Tumbling, flag football, t-ball, dodgeball, floor hockey, kids fitness classes, soccer, and arts and crafts. Parents can also join in on the fun with one of the park’s softball leagues.
Image via Flickr by cultivar413
Grandmother’s Garden is a perennial plot tended by loving volunteers. It sits near the corner of Stockton Drive and Webster Ave. It’s a beautiful example of an Old English Garden with a vast number of blooming varieties. It has flourished since the 1890s and is particularly charming in late spring.
Carl Stormback, Lincoln Park’s head gardener at the time, was thought to have created the billowing beds of these spectacular naturalistic flower beds. Mr. Stormback thoughtfully placed it opposite the formal French-style garden that surrounds the conservatory across the street. Residents say that you couldn’t find a better example of the two contrasting styles anywhere in the city.
Grandmother’s Garden is definitely worth a visit. It’s a spectacular spot for a picnic, or just take a minute out of your busy day to stop and smell the roses. Don’t miss this often overlooked gem after a visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo.
There you have it! This list of awesome parks in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago, Illinois, was brought to you by Crème de la Crème of Lincoln Park. We all know that getting outside is a terrific way to have some good, old-fashioned family fun at any time of year. Is there a local park that you love that we didn’t mention? Let us know. We’ll add it to our list and share it with others in our community.