Twisting slides, lazy rivers, and kiddie pools are only some of the features of a good water park, which is a summertime must! Chicago has many tucked away in the city, and some great larger ones in the suburbs. And for those who enjoy water parks year-round, there are some fun options for indoor swimming.
Cypress Cove Family Aquatic Park
8301 S. Janes Avenue, Woodridge, IL
Summer hours: Sunday-Saturday 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
Prices start at $8 for residents and $14 for non-residents; kids under 1 are free
One of the most exciting attractions at the Cypress Cove Family Aquatic Park is the spray playground. It has a dumping bucket, body slide, bubblers, and water guns. The zero depth pool is great for big and little kids. On one side it has a kiddie slide, and on the other side, a diving board for the older crew. Cypress Cove, of course, has the water park standard-a 600 foot lazy river! In addition, the water park has three large water slides, a snack shop, and a pool for lap swimming or playing.
Although parents are responsible for the safety of their kids, the park has recently done top water safety training called StarGuard, and in 2013 the staff received the five star award for aquatic safety.
Parking is available, and when the lot is full, there are overflow lots nearby. There are also mandatory 15 minute safety breaks at 1, 3, and 5 p.m.
Skokie Water Playground
4701 Oakton Street, Skokie, IL
Prices for adult Skokie residents is $7.50, $8.50 for guests of residents; $14 for non-residents
Prices for ages 3-15 is $6.50 for residents, $7.50 for guests of residents; $14 for non-residents
Summer hours: Monday-Thursday 12:15 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday noon to 8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Skokie Water Playground is tucked away right outside of Chicago, so it’s not extremely large, but it is a great destination for city dwellers that want to escape for a few hours and get some sun. One of its best attractions is the spray ground and multi-level play area. It also has five slides, lap lanes, and a concession stand. My daughter also enjoys the playground next to the water park and behind the Exploratorium.
There is a lot for free parking, or you can take the Oakton Metra stop that will drop you off steps away from the Skokie Water Playground.
Rainbow Falls Water Park
200 Rev. Morrison Blvd., Elk Grove Village, IL
Prices start at $9 for residents and $15 for non-residents; kids under 2 are free
Typical hours are between 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., but vary depending on season, holiday, and certain times of the day
Rainbow Falls Water Park is a fun place in the summer. They have a vortex pool, four giant water slides, kiddie pool with a tot slide, picnic areas, concession stand, 3-story water house, and a Lily Pad Leap. Rainbow Falls also has a zero-depth pool, and a lazy river that includes lots of splashing!
KeyLime Cove Water Resort
1700 Nations Drive, Gurnee, IL
Water resort free with stay; hotel room’s start at $119/night
For those going to KeyLime Cove Water Resort, it is more like a mini vacation than a day at the park. Admission to the water resort is only offered to guests at the hotel. It’s perfect for long Chicago winters when your kids get cabin fever. KeyLime Cove has a water house with slides coming down from it, a hurricane vortex, kiddie pools, a wave pool, lazy river, and a whirlpool spa area for adults only.
It is a 45 minute trip from Chicago, but there is parking. Six Flags is across the street for those looking for a summer vacation.