While I live pretty far north to begin with, I would still make the drive to Indian Boundary Park from downtown and beyond. Seriously, take advantage of this warmish fall weather, pack a picnic, grab the kids and head to N. Rockwell and W. Lunt Ave for a mini city escape! I have heard the word "magical" to describe this park and I couldn't agree more.
Upon arrival we walked past a row of heavily occupied tennis courts. We followed the side-walked trail towards the playground and stumbled upon a fenced in area full of animals! What!? How did I not know this place even existed!? We saw some chickens and a few goats and this made both of my children very happy. There were even more cages, but either the animal was inside it's house, sleeping or didn't exist. Either way, this pleasant surprise set the precedent for the rest of the day.
The playground is a wooden one with tons of tunnels, bridges, nooks and crannies and secret hiding spots. It is completely maze-like with little castles, a wood constructed train and tons of tires to climb on and under. It the center you will find a little sandbox that appeared to be well kept and clean (for a sandbox). If this isn't enough, you have the option of sixteen swings to choose from. My only gripe here is that the big kid swings are low riders, you really have to keep those legs up when nearing the ground. And then the baby swings are set incredibly high. Little strange.
My only concern with the playground is that it is incredibly hard to keep track of your children if you have more than one. So many hidden areas make it easy for a kid to disappear, which can be more than a little nerve racking. While we were there a mom lost track of her young toddler and he ended up falling about three feet to the ground. Scary stuff.
Surrounding the park is the mini zoo, a large water sprinkler, tons of grass and trees, a lagoon full of ducks and a really cute field house. The field house is closed on Sundays (the day we visited) and the bathrooms on the outside of the house were locked as well. I do know that the field house has a stage and that there are often free performances and concerts that are put on. I wish I could describe it, but hope to check out the inside in a future visit (which there will be!).
We spent our time exploring the playground, saying hi to the goats and walking around the lagoon to check out the bird and butterfly sanctuary. We loved all of the ducks, monarch butterflies and pretty flowers.
Love: a unique playground, tons to climb, plenty of swings (one tire), trees, grass, lagoon, mini zoo, sandbox, bathrooms, drinking fountains.
Hate: while I love the wooden playground, I hate the nails and splinters that come with, wood chips (even though they really make sense), low riding swings, hard to keep track of kids.
Special feature: splash area, lagoon, mini zoo
-Elizabeth Faber is a stay-at-home mom, part-time substitute teacher and the author of the blog, Urban Green Space. She enjoys getting out into the greener parts of Chicago and does so weekly by visiting a new park within the city with her husband, two kids and occasionally the dog. Urban Green Space was created to share descriptions and completely biased reviews of Chicago’s great (and sometimes not so great) parks.