Picnics are a terrific way to bond with the kids while soaking up some fresh air and sunshine. Whether you spread a blanket over a grassy area in your neighborhood park or dad fires up the grill under the pavilion at an Illinois State Park, it’s one occasion that everyone in the family will love. Pack that cooler full of goodies and head to these six spots for a picnic around Glenview.

Sleepy Hollow Park

Image via Flickr by donnierayjones Licensed CC BY 2.0

Glenview boasts some of the area’s best outdoor recreational facilities for residents. This upscale northwest suburb touts 27 parks and 853 acres of green spaces that are perfect for a picnic, like Sleepy Hollow Park. The Park District manages this spot on Maplewood Lane, and it features acres of lush grass and mature trees that provide plenty of shade. There’s also a playground for the little ones and a baseball diamond. 

Most local parks have a variety of attractive amenities you can use to work off your lunch, such as skate parks, walking paths, and tennis courts. Unless otherwise noted, these city facilities are open daily from sunrise to sunset. Of course, you can also have a picnic at any of these fantastic Glenview city parks:

  • Tall Tree Park (Sequoia Drive)
  • Swenson Park (Shermer Road)
  • Indian Ridge Park (Indian Ridge Drive)
  • Community West Park (Zenith Drive)
  • Flick Park (Glenview Road)

The Grove

The Grove is a protected site at the famed Kennicott family’s former estate. A father and son duo of visionary horticulturalists, they settled the property in 1836. This 123-acre tract of ecologically diverse landscape sits on the west side of Glenview off Milwaukee Avenue. Attendants open the grounds to the public year-round, from dawn to dusk, so that the family can explore its prairie, forested savanna, and wetlands. 

This national historic landmark offers some great picnicking opportunities. There’s also plenty to do after your meal. At The Grove, you and the kids can visit the attractions like the original 1856 Gothic Revival house, the period schoolhouse, and the Native American longhouse. You can also explore the blacksmith shop, log cabin, animal exhibits, and interpretive center.

Kohl Children’s Museum

Kohl Children’s Museum offers a laboratory full of multi-sensory learning experiences for infants to third graders. Philanthropist Dolores Kohl founded this outstanding, hands-on educational attraction in 1985. There are 15 permanent exhibits, many that represent everyday life, like the Whole Foods Market, Pet Vet, and Baby Nursery.

The museum also touts a 2-acre outdoor space called Habitat Park. It’s a terrific place for a picnic with all sorts of activities. Get in touch with nature and chow down on fried chicken and potato salad at this unique outdoor exhibit. After everyone eats their fill, go exploring! You can check out the interactive sculpture collection and follow StoryWalk’s winding path. Kids will love running through the giant tunnel, finding their way through the grass maze, using water to paint designs on the slate walls, and climbing and playing on the museum’s playground structures.

The Chicago Botanic Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden features millions of plants growing over 385 beautifully landscaped acres. July 1 is National Picnic Day, so get everyone together and celebrate the day at this pick. Located on Lake Cook Road, it’s the ideal place to spread out a feast near the blossoms. From dogwoods and orchid cacti to passion flowers, something is always in bloom here.

The Picnic Glen is a public outdoor area that’s adjacent to parking lot two. It’s also one of the best spots in the park to look for migrant birds. During April and May, you may catch sight of species like sparrows and warblers. If you’ve got a fussy toddler, put them in the stroller, and relax while you wander the 2.6-mile perimeter loop. The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Regenstein Learning Campus also has a fantastic picnic area in its Nature Play Garden.

Historic Wagner Farm

Historic Wagner Farm is a local icon. This 18.6-acre plot is all that remains of the 1850s Wagner farm. It provides residents with a unique opportunity to learn about pioneer life, livestock, and crops. The Farm offers picnic tables in the shade, or staff welcomes you to spread out a blanket on the ground.

The family can see the horses at work, explore interactive exhibits, and attend events for little farmers like Veterinarian for a Day. This hands-on class allows kids of all ages to look through a microscope, examine X-rays, and learn about animal anatomy.

Stop by the Glenview Farmers Market on a Saturday between June and October and grab some goodies for your meal or turn your child’s picnic into a party with a rented pavilion and farm-themed birthday package. Get a taste of local farm life with a picnic on the grounds, then discover all the attractions, like the 1920s farmhouse, barn and livestock sheds, chicken coop, and two-story silo.

Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park

The stunning Illinois Beach State Park is just 45 minutes north of Glenview. It’s the ideal place to host a family barbecue, or parents can enjoy a romantic getaway on the beach with a special meal served on real plates, glasses, and flatware. This prime picnic destination stretches 6.5 miles along the sandy shore of breathtaking Lake Michigan and is the last beach ridge shoreline in Illinois.

Grab your sandwiches and pop and take a quiet walk along some of the area’s most unique and scenic spots filled with dunes, marshes, and oak trees. Many animals call the area home, such as coyotes, deer, owls, frogs, snakes, turtles, deer, and butterflies. This 4,160-acre park also offers ample opportunities for outdoor recreational enthusiasts to go picnicking, swimming, boating, hiking, fishing, camping, and bird watching.

Well, there you go! Crème de la Crème of Glenview just advised you of six great spots for a family picnic. Did you like our picks? Did we miss a favorite destination of yours — one Illinois locals love? If we did, let us know! Drop us a line so we can add your suggestions to our growing list of fun outdoor destinations.