Five Spots for Swimming and Splashing in Chicago

Caitlin Murray Giles - Chicago
July 5, 2011

Sometimes a kid just needs a place to kick back and cool off on a hot day. Luckily, Chicago is full of good spots for water play. Love the beach? Is the pool more your thing? Or maybe you'd just prefer to incorporate some water into your next park outing. Don't worry, we've got you covered with plenty of fun options for water fun in Chicago this summer -- and they are all free!

Foster Avenue Beach

This lovely lakefront spot is definitely the most family-friendly beach in Chicago. The parking lot is nearby, which is important when you are lugging a gigantic bag of sand toys with you. The facilities are reasonably clean. The beach features a stroller ramp that goes right to the water's edge so getting your gang to the perfect spot by the shore is a breeze. Most importantly, the weekday crowd consists mostly of  young families so your kids will find some buddies to help construct their sand castle in no time.

Adams Playground Park Water Park

A popular Lincoln Park watering hole, Adams Playground Water Park is the place to be on hot summer days. Kids can cool off while enjoying one of the many water features -- think buckets, spray nozzles, and a water slide. All while mom stays (mostly) dry on the sidelines. Note that the hours can be irregular and this space can get crowed so be sure to double check the schedule listed on the website before you plan a visit.

Holstein Park Pool

This Chicago Park District facility isn't fancy, but it gets the job done. You can choose from a large pool for older kids or a shallow baby pool for toddlers and babies. Plus, the adjacent park has great equipment (including a water spray area) for a post-swim picnic.

63rd Street Beach

Looking for a change from your regular beach routine? Check out the 63rd Street Beach. This out-of-the-way spot is one of Chicago's best kept secrets. Located on the Southside of the city, 63rd Street Beach offers a spectacular view of the city skyline. Adults will love the beautifully restored beach house and kids will go crazy for the water playground. Nearby parking and the lack of crowds make this a perfect pick for families looking for a day of fun in the sun.

Wrightwood Park Pool

If you are looking for a good spot for your beginner swimmers to get their feet wet, check out the Wrightwood Park Pool. This Chicago Park District pool is only 3 feet deep and it is on the small side -- perfect for swimmers age 3-6. Note that there is a wait once the pool reaches capacity so plan to arrive a few minutes before opening time to secure your spot. This pool is surrounded by a fantastic playground so the kids can burn off some energy after their swim. And the ice cream truck is never far away!

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