Connor Marx, 3, at Trebes Park.
Baby, it's hot outside! Kids everywhere are finding creative ways to stay cool, like brothers Connor and Parker Marx (pictured above) who opted for an impromptu dip in a water fountain on a particularly hot July day. If you're looking for something a little more official, check out one of these area spraygrounds, guaranteed to keep you cool as temperatures soar.
IN THE CITY:
Adams Park (1919 N Seminary Ave, 312-742-7787) Perfect for tots, the Adams Park sprayground offers a small, younger-kid-friendly slide and an assortment of sprinklers for we-and-wild fun. Hours vary, so call ahead. Free.
Austin park (5951 W Lake St, 773-287-7658) Transformed from one of the city's first public lagoons, Austin Park now offers up-to-date facilities including a water slide, sprinklers and wading pools. Free
Meyering Playground Park (7140 S Kind Dr, 312-747-6545) Community members from the Park Manor 'hood can't get enough of the water slide and sprinklers here. Did we mention the 150 gallons of water that pours out of every few seconds? Free.
63rd Street Beach (6300 S Lake Shore Dr, 312-742-5369) Located on the Lake Michigan shore, the beach house's sprayground, with its huge interactive fountain (renovated by the Chicago Park District in 2000) will have kids gawking and frolicking. Meanwhile, parents enjoy breathtaking skyline views from the sun-filled courtyard. Free.
IN THE BURBS:
Hidden Creek AquaPark (1220 Fredrickson Place, Highland Park; 847-433-3170) This water park includes a free-falling drop slide, climbable water playground and chair-filled deck area for parents to catch some rays. $12, 3 and under free.
The Oasis Water Park (172 S Circle Ave, Bloomingdale; 630-539-3905) Hydrophiles rejoice! With three parks in one, you're sure to find something for everyone at this suburban oasis; climbing ropes, drop slides, waterfalls. $9, kids $7; after 6pm 46, kids $4.
Skokie Water Playground (4701 Oakton St, Skokie; 847-674-1500) This aqua haven has something for everyone. Younger kids can frolic in a shadow activity pool with a 500-gallon drop bucket. The sprayground features water guns for aqua-soldiers of all ages. $14, kids ages 3–15 $12.