Area water parks and pools have just the ticket for summer fun in the sun
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media May 29, 2014 12:34PM
Guest enjoy the Hidden Creek Water Park in Highland Park. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Now that the the temperatures are finally climbing, a dip in the pool or a tumble down a water slide has never sounded so refreshing.
Whether you just want to lay by the pool with the latest romance novel, or if you’re a hard-core water slide fan, there are plenty of places to make your summer escape.
Even the local city pool isn’t your pappy’s pool. Nowadays it isn’t enough to have a diving board. Most pools are outfitted with zero-depth entry areas, tube slides and drop slides, plus spray parks for the little ones.
Otter Cove Aquatic Park in St. Charles, for example, boasts a lazy river and a sprayground with water cannons and dumping buckets.
Over at Raging Waves Water Park in Yorkville, you’ll find 17 slides, a lazy river, wave pool, giant sand box and pedal tractor track.
New this year is a high-dive act called Sinbad and the Search for the Golden Pineapple. The 25-minute show, free with admission, takes places three times daily from June 14 to Aug. 24. It features Sinbad and his band of comedic pirates on the search for elusive treasure performing dives from 3, 5 and 10 meter platforms. The show concludes with a dive from 80 feet in the air.
Fox Valley Park District offers not one but two water park oases for residents and visitors: Phillips Park Aquatic Center and Splash Country Water Park. They each offer unique amenities, including sand volleyball courts.
Orland Park’s Centennial Water Park has two body speed slides, a 328-foot tube slide, a 200-foot flume slide and a platform cliff jump.
And if you live in the city, don’t fear. The Chicago Park District operates outdoor pools and water playgrounds around the city, and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County offers three aquatic facilities in Chicago, Lyons and Calumet City.
Check websites for a complete list of features and amenities; plus weather policies, height requirements, regulations on flotation devices, life jackets, swim masks, swim diapers, coolers and outside food and drinks.
With that, here’s a list of some area water parks. Don’t forget your sunscreen.
Adler Pool: To Sept. 2. 1500 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville; libertyville.com. $3-$12.
Barefoot Bay: To Sept. 1. 1461 N. Midlothian Road, Mundelein; mundeleinparks.org. $3-$13.
Centennial Park Aquatic Center: To Sept. 1. 15600 West Ave., Orland Park; orland-park.il.us. $4-$14.
Chicago Park District: Outdoor pools are open now through Labor Day. Visit chicagoparkdistrict.com/facilities/swimming-pools/#.U4T3NJRdV3c.
Esper A. Petersen Foundation Family Aquatic Center: To Sept. 1. 250 Library Lane, Grayslake; villageofgrayslake.com. $3-$12.
Family Aquatic Center: To Sept. 1. 635 Aspen Dr., Vernon Hills; vhparkdistrict.org. $4-$6.
Forest Preserve District of Cook Country: To Sept. 1; fpdcc.com/recreation/aquatic-centers. $4-$6.
Frankfort Square Park District Splash Park: To Sept. 1. 7540 W. Braemar Lane, Frankfort; fspd.org. $1-$5.
Hibernia Park Splash Pad: To Sept. 1. Eagle Circle and Blarney Road, New Lenox; newlenoxparks.org. $1-$3.
Hidden Creek AquaPark: To Sept. 1. 1220 Fredrickson Place, Highland Park; hiddencreekaquapark.org. $4-$13.
Hurricane Harbor: To Sept. 1. Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Pkwy., Gurnee; sixflags.com. $49.99-$69.99.
Otter Cove Aquatic Park: To Sept. 1. 3615 Campton Hills Road, St. Charles; Ottercove.org. $5-$13.
Raging Waves Waterpark: To Sept. 1. 4000 N. Bridge St. (Illinois 47), Yorkville; Ragingwaves.com. $13.99-$29.99.
Rice Pool and Water Park: To Sept. 1. 1777 S. Blanchard St., Wheaton; wheatonparkdistrict.com. $5-$13.
Sea Lion Aquatic Park: To Sept. 1.1825 Short St., Lisle; lisleparkdistrict.org. $4-$13.
OPENING MAY 31
Phillips Park Aquatic Center: May 31-Sept. 1. 828 Montgomery Road, Aurora; foxvalleyparkdistrict.org. $5-$7.
Splash Country Water Park: May 31-Aug. 10. 195 S. Barnes Road, Aurora; foxvalleyparkdistrict.org. $5-$7.
White Water Canyon Water Park: May 31-Sept. 1. 8221 W. 171st St., Tinley Park; tinleyparkdistrict.org. $4-$13.
Centennial Family Aquatic Center: Opens June 7. 93rd Street and Nashville Avenue, Oak Lawn; olparks.com. $1-$10.