Families in and around South Barrington have so many awesome parks to explore. From parks and playgrounds to nature preserves, our area has plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun.

Not sure where to look when you’re planning a family day outdoors? Crème de la Crème of South Barrington put together this list to get you started. Check out these amazing parks close to home for some family time enjoying the great outdoors.

South Barrington Park District’s Parks

A boy meditates at a park in South Barrington, Illinois

man in blue t-shirt and brown pants sitting on brown wooden seat” used with permission via Unsplash by little_klein

You’ll find a few different parks right here in South Barrington, so you can easily plan a fun outdoor adventure for the whole family without traveling far. The South Barrington Park District offers a few parks, including:

  • Community Park: This park features playgrounds, baseball/soccer fields, and courts for volleyball and tennis.
  • Marvin Dunteman Park: This park provides more great outdoor space to enjoy.

Stillman Nature Center

A private, non-profit center for environmental education, Stillman Nature Center offers an outdoor space ready to take any family park day to the next level. The nature center spans 80 acres and includes woods, a lake, and prairie features. The best part? It’s located right here in South Barrington, making it easier than ever to plan an outing to spend a day in nature.

The variety of habitats Stillman Nature Center provides translate to food, cover, and nesting for a range of wild animals. A number of birds of prey that can’t be released into the wild also call Stillman Nature Center home. The Nature Center is open on Sundays and Mondays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is open during the week for scheduled groups. You can also join in various activities throughout the year, such as Sunday morning bird walks available for anyone ages 10 and up and Sunday solar observing sessions perfect for the whole family.

Paul Douglas Preserve

You don’t have to travel far to find even more great places to spend time outdoors. Just head over to neighboring Hoffman Estates for a visit to Paul Douglas Preserve, a beautiful oasis in nature that boasts a range of recreational activities. From bike and jogging paths to picnic areas to some of the best bird watching you can find in the area, you’ll find plenty of reasons to come back to explore more of this preserve every chance you get.

When it comes to birding opportunities, the 1,800-acre area has you covered. You can also take a peaceful walk or go for a bicycle ride on the trail. The preserve includes open grasslands, restored wetlands, and a heron rookery, so you’ll have an opportunity to spot a variety of nesting species.

Look for pied-billed grebes, ruddy ducks, and yellow-headed blackbirds in the wetland area along Poplar Creek, or try to catch sight of Eastern meadowlarks, Henslow’s and savannah sparrows, and bobolinks nesting in the grasslands. You might see some red-eyed vireos or black-throated green warblers singing in the trees, and there are some rough-legged hawks and northern harriers around as well.

The heron rookery includes nesting platforms along the marsh, and you can often see great blue herons and beavers active in the area. All in all, if the kiddos love looking for birds and animals while you’re out and about, you can’t go wrong with a few hours here.

Joseph L. Fabbrini Park

If you’re searching for a park chock full of fun activities, look no further than Joseph L. Fabbrini Park. This park is also close to South Barrington in Hoffman Estates, and the 43-acre site has something for everyone.

Whether you’re interested in tennis and pickleball courts, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, or a play apparatus, there’s something to love at Joseph L. Fabbrini Park. And that’s just the start. The park also boasts basketball courts, a sand volleyball court, and a retention lake ideal for fishing and boating when the weather is warm and ice skating in the winter. Go for a walk on the trail, or get the kids active by playing their favorite sports. No matter how you want to spend your day outdoors, you’ll find a great setting at Joseph L. Fabbrini Park.

Plum Grove Reservoir Park

Make the short trip to Palatine for another amazing park to explore. That’s where you’ll find Plum Grove Reservoir Park, a 44-acre park featuring tons of fun for your family day outdoors.

With opportunities for bicycling, jogging, or walking and access to Palatine Trail as well as a fishing pier and playground, you’ll never run out of things to do here. You can even take the family pet to the dog park! Or, pack a picnic lunch or make use of the grill, then settle in at one of the picnic tables for a relaxed meal at this local park.

Hamilton Reservoir and Gbur Sports Fields

You’ll find the Hamilton Reservoir and Gbur Sports Fields in Palatine as well, so you’ll have another great option to check out when you’re in the mood for playing baseball or softball close to home. The park also features pickleball courts, playgrounds, soccer fields, and a sled hill.

You’ll also want to add this popular spot in Palatine to your list for a laid-back setting for a family walk, or just some rest and relaxation. Open space and picnic tables mean you can easily make an experience that works for your family’s needs.

Birchwood Park Recreation Center

Yet another great park in nearby Palatine, Birchwood Park Recreation Center features a range of fun amenities. In addition to the Birchwood Recreation Center, you’ll have access to Palatine Trail, baseball/softball and soccer/football fields, and a basketball court to enjoy.

Prefer tennis? This park has tennis courts, too. Need a break from the playgrounds? Plenty of benches and picnic tables make finding a quiet moment a breeze. You’ll also find the ideal opportunities for a walk or bike ride here.There you have it! Crème de la Crème of South Barrington just gave you seven great parks to check out close to home. Did we miss your family’s go-to park? If we did, drop us a line so we can add your favorite outdoor space.