As the seasons change and temperatures rise, save the family from the heat waves and make a mad dash for the city’s best waterparks and pools. Whether splashing around, diving in or sliding down an outrageous labyrinth of tubes to land in a giant pool full of refreshment, there is no better way to cool off this summer than somewhere sunny and poolside. In Chicago, the best wet and wild amusement is flexible enough to fit any schedule. Stay the entire weekend or just a few hours, but be sure to hit the best places to swim in Chicago.
Raging Waves Water Park
4000 N. Bridge St.
Yorkville, IL 60560
Price: free children 2 and younger/from $13.99 to $28 general admission
Raging Waves Water Park is Illinois’ largest water park, making it a must see for any family. It offers great fun with reasonable prices, and extra special fun if you stay overnight. The park offers great package deals and awesome accommodations as well. Enjoy attractions such as Kangaroo Falls, The Cyclone or Tasmanian Twisters. Located just 45 minutes west of Chicago, it’s a great place to find a quick relief from the heat or take a mini vacation with the family. With free parking, cabana rentals and kid-friendly munchies, including everything from burgers to apple slices, this is a must-see for any Chicago family.
7820 Cherry Vale North Blvd.
Cherry Valley, IL 61016
Price: from $4.99 to $23.99/free children younger than 1
Just an hour’s drive away from the windy city, Magic Waters boasts fun-packed park with a lot to offer. Special features include cabanas and patios, where you and your family can enjoy your own slice of the park with no interruptions. Adults here enjoy a nice relaxing day by the pool while the kids splash away on the Splash Blaster and get to know the park’s mascots Ocho, Tiki Tina and Shelbert. Kids here may join the Tiki Tribe, where special daily activities keep them entertained all day. Check the website to read more about 12-buck bargain days. From the Coconut Cafe to the Island Grill, the fare here promises to satisfy the whole family.
Related: Best Mini Golf Courses in Chicago
Six Flags Great America
One Great America
Gurnee, Illinois 60031
Pricing: $59.99 general admission/$39.99 children shorter than 48 inches/free children 2 and younger
Just 45 minutes west of Chicago, find Six flags Great America, a theme park so large it has the unique address of 1 Great America —talk about hard to miss on a map. Recently Great America added its waterpark Hurricane Harbor. Open from late May to early September, it offers a ton of water splashing fun that compliments the thrills of its high-rising rollercoasters. Admission is a tad bit pricier than the other options but there are always coupons and other deals available online.
Chicago Park District
Hamlin Park Pool
3035 N. Hoyne Ave.
For the family on a budget, or anyone not into the idea of a long drive, visit your local park district to snag that serving of splashing fun. Park districts offer a quick get away for a few hours free of the headaches of life in any of 50 outdoor and 26 indoor pools, all for free. Visit the website for scheduling info and to find a pool near you, or hit tried-and-true Hamlin Park Pool for a guaranteed good time. A great location to lay out as well, come early whether you’re swimming or sunning, this pool fills up fast on hot days.
Related: Best Chicago Area Indoor Waterparks
Jessica Cage is a freelance writer from Chicago. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.