Stellar Playgrounds Around the North Shore! | Chicago North Shore Moms

The North Shore is home to over 100 parks and playgrounds! This is our list of a few stellar parks on the North Shore, what to expect and what’s nearby.

Photo courtesy of Glencoe Park District

Woodlawn Park
Woodlawn Ave & Green Bay Rd, Glencoe, IL

Why we love it: We love this park, not only because it’s one of the newer parks on the North Shore but also because of it’s super cool zipline feature. The climbing equipment and slides challenge your daredevils while the swings are great for those who can handle it! This park is easily walkable to nearby Winnetka shops and restaurants. But heads up, no bathrooms!

Gillson Beach
Lake and Michigan Ave, Wilmette 60091

Amenities: This Park has it all.  Not one, but TWO play equipment areas, tennis, trails and a beach!

Why We Love It: Hello, a playground overlooking the water- what’s not to love!  There are plenty of benches and picnic tables, and a walk to neighboring Bahia Temple is a major bonus.

Thornwood Park
2400 Thornwood Avenue, Wilmette, IL

Amenities: This park has it all- and is large enough to accommodate many groups throughout the large grassy area and play set.  Two play structures, sand box, tennis courts, and a seriously large grassy area with sidewalks around the perimeter for bike and scooter riding.

Why we love it:  Centrally located off Green Bay Road, Starbucks is a hop and a skip to grab a coffee to enjoy while your tot plays & the multi age play structures are great for families with age gaps!

West Park in Lake Forest
850 North Summit Avenue (located at Green Bay Rd. & Woodland Rd.)

Amenities: Pavilion, Grills, Playground, Picnic Tables, Restrooms, Ball Field, Basketball Standard.

What we love: This park is located within walking distance to Lake Forest’s Gorton Community Center, the Lake Forest Public Library and the historic downtown Market Square

Jewett Park/Jewett Park Pavilion in Deerfield
836 Jewett Park Drive (best parking location: The parking lots at Hazel Ave. & Springfield Ave.

Amenities: Ball Diamond, Pavilion, Picnic tables, Playground Equipment suitable for all ages, Rentals, Skate Park, Soccer Field, Restrooms.

What we love: This park is located within a short walking/strollering distance to shops, restaurants (Cherry Pit Cafe, Deerfield’s Bakery, Dear Franks and Upper Crust Bagels) and the Deerfield Public Library!

Pee Wee Park in Kenilworth 
525-619 Sterling Rd, Kenilworth, IL 60043

Amenities: This is a small, but good for all ages park with a baseball diamond, play structure and swings as well as a sand play area.

What we love:  Pee Wee Park’s location offers plenty of other park options for variety!  Take a short walk through the tunnel next to the park and avoid crossing busy Green Bay Road while ending at Joseph Sears School with not one, but two playgrounds- or walk across Townley Field to yet another Playground!  Each location offers something for all ages.

Spray ‘N Play in Buffalo Grove
951 McHenry Road

Amenities: Unique park structure with varying levels of slides, picnic tables and restrooms, 2 Ball Diamonds, affordable entry into the Spray ‘N Play (check hours and weather)

What we love: Buffalo Grove’s Spray ‘N Play has a great playground feature and located walking distance to the Buffalo Skate Park (1000 N Buffalo Grove Rd) and the Buffalo Grove Farmer’s Market.

Gallery Park Little Bear Garden Park in Glenview (The Glen)
Located at NE corner of Patriot Blvd. and Chestnut
Glenview, IL 60025, US

Amenities: Gated park with sand box, playground, water spray feature, picnic tables, clean restrooms, large parking lot with ample parking, hide n’ seek “hills” and hedge maze.

What we love: We love that this park has so much surrounding it, and parking!  It has all of the shopping and dining you could ask for located almost across the street in the heart of The Glen Town Center.  It’s best for children ages birth to age 6 and there is no tall equipment. It would be great if this park had a few swings but we’ll take their porch swings instead. Also, it’s a short drive to Kohl Children’s Museum!

Hubbard Woods Park in Winnetaka
9 Green Bay Road (on the SE corner of Gage St. across the street from Graeter’s Ice Cream)

Amenities: Ample benches and picnic tables, Bike Racks, Bocce Ball Courts (balls are available for rent at Green Bay Cycles), Playground and Splash Pad, Clean Restrooms, Shelter

What we love: Hubbard Woods has ample street parking on Green Bay Rd., Gage St. (by the Once Upon a Bagel) and at the Hubbard Woods train station. Some parents will like that there is no sand at this park ;). My kids like the unique playground features like spin pole, balance table and other sensory-rich features & of course, they love to get wet!  This park is in the heart of downtown Winnetka in the Hubbard Woods district with amazing shopping and restaurants within walking distance. Strict time regulations with parking on Gage St.- you will get ticketed, so heads up!

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Sunset Woods Park

1801 Sunset Rd.

Amenities: Large parking lot with ample parking, Restrooms, Multiple playgrounds, Tot lot, Tennis courts, Baseball Diamonds, Skate Park, Picnic Tables, Neighborhood Book Exchange, Sand box located inside tot lot, Swings, Pavilions available for rental, Grills, Walking/biking trails

What we love: This park literally has something for every age from tot to teen!  We appreciate the ample parking and picnic tables. This park is a short walking trail away from downtown highland park’s Renaissance Place that has great shopping, restaurants like Chipotle, Panera, Starbucks, Jamba Juice, Beelow’s and the Renaissance Movie Theatre!

Townley Field & Park in Kenilworth
640 Ivy Court, Kenilworth, IL 60043

Amenities: This little park sits adjacent to parking for the Metra and dead ends at Townley Field, so it’s perfect for bike and scooter rides with very little traffic.  There is a sand area with diggers, a small structure for littles and bigger bars and swings for the big kids.

What we love:  The location makes this a great stop with always open parking to hit 4 different play structures in one trip!  Joseph Sears School is just across the way with 2 play sets, and just through the tunnel on the other side of Townley Field is Pee Wee Park and a baseball field!

Brown Park (a.k.a. Train Park) in Highland Park
655 Burton Ave. (located just south of the Ravinia Metra station)

Amenities: Ample street parking (depending on time of day) with adjacent parking lot that serves the Ravinia Metra station, Gated tot lot, Sand Box, swings for bigs and littles, Two jungle gym structures for different age and abilities, Picnic tables. This facility has no on-site restroom. Patrons must use the Ravinia Train station restroom which is pretty clean. There are no changing table facilities.

What we love: We love that this park is gated. The ample parking is easy and it’s walking distance to downtown Ravinia with access to great shops and restaurants like, Piero’s Pizza (take out only), Ravinia Brewing BWB Shakes, Happy Sushi and many more! This park is also located steps from the Green Bay Trail if you’d like to make a bike trip out of your day! On Wednesdays check out the Ravinia Farmer’s Market (7am-1pm) and on Thursdays visit Ravinia’s Food Truck Thursdays open at 4-8pm! And finally, Brown Park is known as the Train Park because the kids love being able to hear and see all of the trains that pull in and out of Ravinia!

Danny Cunniff Park (a.k.a. the “green park”) in Highland Park
2700 Trail Way, located along the long road to Centennial Ice Arena, just off of route 22.

Amenities: Two gated playgrounds, one tot the other for older children; Picnic tables, basketball courts, tennis courts, soccer fields, disc golf, walking trails, restrooms

What we love: We love that this park has not one but two gated playgrounds which, makes it easier to keep track of your little buddies of different ages; from tot to teen! We also love that this becomes a stop before or after an ice skating or gymnastics class at Centennial Ice Arena. There are ample picnic tables so pack a lunch to stay n’ play. Word to the wise: keep your speeds as posted; it’s a residential neighborhood so there are a lot of kids running around and it’s also a speed trap!

This post was updated May, 2024.

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