Our 2024 Guide to the Best Splash Pads and Pools on the Northside

and others worth travelling to!

By Debra Flanagan, Publisher July 3, 2024

Splash! The sound you hear as you jump in the pool on a hot summer day. The hot sun dries you off as soon as you come out of the water and you immediately jump back into the refreshing cool waters. If you're looking for pools and water parks to visit this summer, here are our favorite pools and splash pads to visit. 

Local and Free - (Be Sure to Check Their Daily Schedules Online! Open Swims are Limited.) 

Adams Playlot - 1919 N. Seminary Ave
Tucked away in Lincoln Park Community Area, Adams Playground is truly a treasure in the community and welcomes neighbors into the park year-round. This small splash pad is really all you need to cool off. It also has a nice spongy ground. Kids can easily go between the water features and the playground, and the park often hosts evening concerts, movies, and other events.  Extra benefit - bathrooms in the field house! 

Chase Pool - 4701 N. Ashland Ave 
Chase Pool is an outdoor pool located in Chase Park that offers poolside deck chairs to sunbath or relax in on a first come, first served basis. The pool depth is from 3ft to 8ft and there are six lanes for lap swims. Chase pool has ADA stairs and a pool lift for those that require the assistance. The only downside would be lack of shade, but on the plus side, Chase Park is also home to a beautiful track and field to check out while you are there.

Gompers Pool - 4222 W. Foster Ave 
Another gorgeous park pool with plenty of space and depth ranges from 3ft to 9ft. There are six swim lanes and also a pool lift for people who use wheelchairs. Downside - small pool deck, so no lounging. However, check out the many beautiful bike trails in and around Gompers.

Hamlin Park Pool - 3035 N. Hoyne  Ave 
Hamlin Pool goes from 3ft depth to 7ft depth, with a rope divider at 5ft. Kids must pass a fairly rigorous swim test to swim in the deep end. Basically they need to swim free style the width of the pool, and back, without stopping. The lifeguard staff at this pool tends to be pretty strict and gives a level of safety seldom experienced. Hamlin Pool is 50 yards, has plenty of space, and a relatively new pool floor. They also have an abundance of lawn chairs and tables poolside, which is really nice for making a day of it. Though you must leave the pool deck temporarily between swim sessions, you can leave your things at your chair/table until you return.

Portage Pool - 4100 N. Long Ave
If you want an awesome pool right around the corner, visit the Portage Pool in Chicago. It’s an Olympic-size pool that also has an interactive water play area with slide and diving boards. The main pool runs from 3ft to 5ft in depth and has eight lap lanes. There’s also a smaller heated pool next to it. So go jump into those cold waters and then when it becomes too cold, don’t worry, just warm up in the pool next to it! Because it’s part of the park district you can also enjoy a day with the family doing so many things at the park before cooling off at the pool. 

Wrightwood Pool - 2534 N. Greenview Ave
Wrightwood Pool is a small 3ft. depth pool. It often hits capacity, so at peak times you may have to wait on a line. Get there early.

Just Outside the City - Check their Hours and their Pricing and Policies for Non-Residents.

Flick Outdoor Aquatic Center - 3600 Glenview Rd. Glenview, IL
Two body slides, a diving pool with two drop slides, a lap/activity pool, a tot spot, a zero-depth entry pool, a water playground, concessions, and plenty of lawn space to spread out, makes Flick a popular choice.

Mystic Waters - 2025 Miner Street, Des Plaines, IL
One of the largest and most beautiful water parks in Northern Illinois, Mystic Waters is a favorite destination for families throughout the Chicagoland area. Featuring two exciting 37 foot slides – some of the highest in the area, and a variety of fun spaces, Mystic Waters is filled with activities for all ages. After braving the big slides of Otter’s Run, enjoy the daring drop slides and unique cliff dives in Sea Lion Falls. Need to relax? Mystic Waters offers the Crocodile Cove lazy river, with 550 feet of inner tube floating fun, and the expansive Dolphin Bay: a zero depth leisure pool where you can enjoy fountains, jet sprays, and a child-size dolphin slide. For the youngest (and the young at heart), Beluga Beach is just right. It features water-spray stands on a non-slip surface with no free-standing water, making it an enjoyable introduction to water park fun for tots and other non-swimmers. Beluga Beach includes all kinds of splashtacular fun, with multiple water sprays and a very cool jungle gym. The Island Café is a perfect place for lunch, refreshments, and snacks.

Rainbow Falls - 200 Rev Morrison Blvd. Elk Grove Village, IL
Rainbows are not only in the sky. You can visit your own personal rainbow by going to the Rainbow Falls Waterpark and you will find gold!  The Rainbow Falls Waterpark is filled with pools, water slides, food and drinks, parties, and much more! They have a whirlpool called the Barracuda Bowl, that the kids just like trying to fight the current in, two body slides, two tube slides, a tot pool, a zero-depth leisure pool, a diving pool with a diving board and a drop slide, a lazy river, a water playscape, a lily pad leap, and the thrilling Pelican Plunge, otherwise known as "the toilet bowl", (though unlike other "toilet bowl" slides this is a body slide and not a raft.) There is also plenty of picnic area to sit down with your family, and a playground!  Check out their many special events!

Skokie Water Playground - 4701 Oakton St. Skokie, IL
Visit the Skokie Water Playground with one body slide and one tube slide, a zero-depth entry, heated, 14,000 sq ft pool that goes up to 6ft, a spray ground, a water playscape with small slides, large dumping bucket, and more!  Then, go to the concession stand and enjoy a cold treat. The Skokie Water Park is a great place to spend a day in the water with your family and it even offers swim lessons!  You can also buy season pool passes or just pay a low cost admission price depending on where you live. It also has reduced pricing for evening hours.

Whealan Pool Aquatic Center - 6200 W. Devon Ave
Whealan Pool offers zero-depth entry, large body slides, small children’s slides, play features, a multi-lane lap area, a water playground, lounge areas, and a concession stand. Great for the littles.

Wilmette Centennial Pool - 2300 Old Glenview Rd. Wilmette, IL
Swim the day away at the Wilmette Centennial Pool. They offer a zero-depth entry activity pool with two body slides, a wading pool, a very nicely heated main pool, and a diving well, with a diving board and two drop slides. The Wilmette Centennial pool offers swim classes, diving classes, birthday parties, and more!  You can buy season passes to the pool and go there everyday or spend a whole day there every once in a while. 

Worth the Drive

Raging Waves - Yorkville, IL
Sitting on 58 spacious acres just 45 minutes southwest of Chicago, Raging Waves is the perfect place for a day trip, weekend getaway, birthday party, youth group outing, scout gathering, family reunion, and more. Raging Waves features several family-friendly attractions, including 32 water slides, a huge wave pool, three kiddie pool areas, relaxing lazy river, 43 private cabanas and more.

Santa Springs - East Dundee, IL
Santa Springs is the newest addition to Santa's Village Amusement Park. Children will enjoy dozens of water toys with 2 giant tipping buckets and 9 water slides, including a 50-foot long, four lane kiddie racer slide at Lighthouse Harbor (a zero-depth entry to a 10,000 square foot, 8-inch deep wading pool with a two-story interactive water play structure.)  Santa Springs also has two large body slides, and plenty of surrounding lawn chairs so parents can sit back and relax.  One ticket gets you into both the amusement park and the water park. Santa Springs will not open on days where the temperature is below 72 degrees!

Take advantage of our discount offer:

Santa's Village Amusement & Water Park 
Valid Any Day of the 2024 Regular Operating Season!

View deal on CertifiKID

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor - Gurnee, IL
For the ultimate water park experience visit Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. The world's tallest water coaster, Tsunami Surge has joined the many attractions at Hurricane Harbor including the wave pool, over 25 water slides, three distinct children's play areas, and a surfing simulation experience.

So go out there, make like a dolphin, and enjoy the many water activities in Chicagoland.

Any other pools or splash pads we should know about? Let us know!