Best Family Friendly Waterparks in Chicagoland

Nothing screams summer like taking a dip in the pool.  But as most parents know, it isn’t so simple.  Lugging around bags filled with towels, sunscreen, toys, etc., working around nap times, keeping track of your little fishies when there are tons of other families around…it can be super stressful.  So my boys and I did thorough research and came up with the three BEST family friendly pools in Chicagoland.


Rainbow Falls—Elk Grove Village

This vast water park is a favorite for schools, camps, and families.  Why?  Because of the 11 different attractions that cater to kids of all ages and abilities.  Our personal favorites include Sunfish Bay, Iguana Island, and the Calypso Twist.  Feel free to pack a picnic and enjoy some family time in one of two eating areas, or take advantage of selections from Roccovino’s menu at the Hideaway Café.  Be prepared to stay the whole day since there is so much to explore…and get there early in order to snag a prime spot!

Admission: Children two years and under are always free, Nonresident admission is $15 on weekdays and $16 on weekends, with a $10 fee for twilight swimming.

Safety: Great

Facilities: Excellent

Food: Great

Seating: Average

For more info: Rainbow Falls website

Mystic Waters—Des Plaines

This fun filled water park is one of the most popular in the area because of its wide array of activities and for having the tallest slides in the area (37 feet tall—yikes!).  We are huge fans of the toddler and small child areas, creatively named the Dolphin Bay and Beluga Beach areas.  And who doesn’t love the Crocodile Cove lazy river?  You are welcome to bring in small and medium sized coolers, just know that they will be checked for glass, alcohol, and anything else that can be harmful at the pool.  So feel free to head over to the picnic area or enjoy the Island Café’ during your stay.  And just like at other water parks, earlier is always better to find a good spot for your family (in the shade—the sun can be brutal!).

Admission:  Children two years and under are free, Nonresident admission is $12.

Safety: Great

Facilities: Great

Food: Great

Seating: Average

For more info: Mystic Waters website

Flick Outdoor Aquatic Center—Glenview

This vast waterpark will please kids and adults alike, and is well run by fantastic life guards who allow kids to be kids all while keeping them safe.  They have a zero depth entry pool, every type of splash and play activity you can imagine, as well as slides, diving boards, and an adult only area—genius!  The only downside is that they do not allow ANY outside food or drinks.  This is a HUGE bummer since getting any cooked meal (especially from the grill) can take over an hour on busy weekends.  My recommendation is to eat before you come, and stick with the simple pizza, nachos, and pretzels from the concession stand so you don’t have to wait in the massive line.

Admission: Children two years and under are free, Nonresident admission is $12.

Safety: Excellent

Facilities: Excellent

Food: Poor

Seating: Excellent

For more information: Flick Outdoor Aquatic Center website

And if you are looking to try out Illinois’ largest waterpark, check out my review of Raging Waves Waterpark.

Are you looking for a great family friendly beach instead?  Check out our favorites.

Prefer a splash pad?  Here are a TON of free ones.

Happy Summer!
Don’t miss a post…follow me on Blog Lovin’.


  1. Angelic Sinova says

    I live in Chicago and have been Mystic Waters! I remember when I was a kid we would always go to Wisconsin Dells for waterparks but know that I’m older I definitely prefer to just hit the beach! Chicago has so many great beaches <3

  2. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

    My kids love going to the water park. It is such a fun family adventure in the summer.

  3. Alison says

    These all sound like fun and very affordable! We don’t have any water parks where I live – the closest is about a 2 hour drive – so these sound like they would be a ton of fun and a great way to beat the heat this summer!

  4. Dogvills says

    My kids enjoy going to the water park here in our area. We’ve never been to Chicago. We’ll not miss these water parks if we have the chance to visit Chicago.

  5. CourtneyLynne says

    Omg water parks are seriously the best!!! Fun for both babies, kids & adults! Can’t go wrong!

  6. Nikki | THE TRAVELING GINGER | says

    Wow, this will be super helpful to Mom’s in the area. I’ve never been to Chicago, but as a travel blogger it’s high on my list!

  7. Yona Williams says

    This was a cool post where I learned a lot. I don’t normally think of Chicago as a place that has waterparks like this. I like how you break down all of the essential points for each park.

  8. Fariha N. says

    We haven’t been to Chicago in many years, but I know my kids would love any waterpark we took them to. These sound like great places to go with the family.

    • amandasimkin says

      The perfect way to spend a summer day in Chicago is a water park…it is a great way to escape the humidity!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.