And for those glorious blue-sky days, these playgrounds let you bask in the sunshine just steps away from the beach.
This gem in Edgewater is right on the sand. While kids pretend they’re sailing the high seas on the brightly hued pirate ship, parents can take in the gorgeous skyline view. 6205 N Sheridan Rd.
Burnham Skate Park
A peaceful-ish respite from the crowds on the north side of the lakefront, this 20,000-square-foot concrete Bronzeville spot gives skateboarders a chance to tear it up on ramps, straightaways and rails right by 31st Street Beach. Bonus: There’s also a shiny new jungle gym area in between the skate park and sandy shoreline. 3400 S Lake Shore Dr.
This tot lot is at the back of the small beachfront here, and includes slides, swings and platforms for climbing. The coolest part? A “whale” that sprays water on shrieking small fries looking to cool off. Sheridan Rd and Michigan St, Wilmette.
Forest Park Beach
A small playground where the beach meets the sidewalk and nearby park benches at the rear of the beach mean you don’t have to get sand between your toes while the kids play. But they might drag you over to the nearby echo chamber to hear their squeals bounce back. Lake Rd and E Deerpath Rd, Lake Forest.
63rd Street Beach House
Tucked inside the Pavilion courtyard of this beautiful open-air beach house on Chicago’s South Side is an area peppered with upward-spraying fountains that kids can splash and dash through. (A few steps west of the building you’ll find the usual suspects like monkey bars and swings.) 6300 S Lake Shore Dr.