Independence Grove

Looking for the best playground for families?  Then head out to Independence Grove in Libertyville for a day of fun, from hiking to picnicking and even swimming!  Luckily for Lake County residents, Independence Grove is FREE resource for families, but for others there is a simple $10 parking fee—well worth the fun that lies within the grove.

Independence Grove - The Perfect Family Playground

Located on Buckley Road in Libertyville, Independence Grove is over 1,151 acres of nature filled family fun.  There are different hiking paths, pike paths, boat launches, swimming areas, fishing spots, play grounds, volleyball courts…the list goes on and on.

Independence Grove Beach -

Our favorite part of Independence Grove to take advantage of are the play grounds.  Why do I love it so much?  Because it is the perfect mix of being well spaced out and contained all at once.  It is fenced in on all sides so your little one can’t run off (the entrance is an arrangement of gates tricky enough to stop a wildly running toddler in his/her tracks) so if you bring more than one child to play, you don’t have to worry.

Independence Grove Children's Grove -

There are two main sections of the playground, one huge area for younger kiddos and a vast area for the older set.  The two are connected and there are some universally appropriate pieces of equipment for kids, but I found that kids naturally stick to what area is most appealing to them.

Independence Grove Little Playground

For the younger set, there are tons of ramps, swings, and slides at their level situated along the beautiful lake.  It is the perfect scenic view and I found my little guys stopping and just starting out at the water, pointing out the ducks swimming and the people fishing.  And since there are rubber wood chips throughout the playground, you don’t have to worry about a fast slide or any spills.  Just remember to empty out your shoes before you leave!

Independence Grove Bridge -

The real star of the playground is the “big kids” park.  There are so many fun things to engage the older set, encouraging them to ditch the screens and work up a sweat.  The rock wall was so fun and interactive (even my almost four year old managed to do it with Daddy’s help).

Independence Grove Rock Wall -

The only tricky part is that once you are at the top, you have to go down a very steep slide.  Since this spooked my little guy, I simply lifted him over the fence so that he could walk over to the bridge that overlooks the entire Children’s Grove playground.

Independence Grove Playground Slide -

My inquisitive little guys loved that there were so many nooks and crannies within the bridge to stop and look out into the area, perfect for playing “I Spy” and “Peekaboo.”

Independence Grove Baby Swings -

We are looking forward to spending our summer at Independence Grove and taking advantage of their beach.  It is so fun to pack a lunch and spend the day splashing around and building sand castles at a very clean beach with tons of amenities, including a grill to order food (ice cream and snow cone carts, too!) and well as clean bathrooms.

Independence Grove Lake -

The Summer Concert series runs through June 16 to August 4th, with musical entertainment every Tuesday night at 7:30.  These events are family friendly and the perfect way to enjoy summer nights.


There is always something fun going on at Independence Grove, and their educational programs include kid-focused events.  They typically include a nature based story, craft, and outdoor exploration starting with preschool aged children, ranging from $7 to $10 per child/parent pair. Be sure to check out all of the offerings on their website.

Looking for other nature-based fun? Simply search “parks” or “outdoor fun”.

Happy Exploring!
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  1. Christy Hoover says

    I want to go! I want to go! This looks like a great place to bike and just talk a walk. My kids would love this!! Now I am going to seek out and see if I can find one close by!

  2. Aprill says

    That is a very nice playground! We have a few in the area like Friendship park in Ridgeland, Ms that is equally as gorgeous and well maintained. Thank you for showing off this beautiful park!

  3. Jacqui says

    First, I love the new look of your blog!

    This park looks so unbelievably fun!! My jaw dropped at the pictures! That rock climbing wall! That slide! That BRIDGE! I may just have to move my family out there strictly for the hours of fun we’d have at Childrens Grove!

  4. Tammilee Tips says

    This looks like a fun playground! I know here a lot of our parks do a free lunch for any kid during the summers! The summer concerts sound like fun to attend in the park as well!

  5. Jennifer Stewart says

    This is such a great and comprehensive review of the park. I have never traveled to Lake County but would love to take my kids there. They offer so many different things to do! Your pictures were excellent!

  6. Kristen says

    I love discovering new playgrounds with my kids! New and different ones are so much fun! Looks like you guys had a great day!

  7. rochkirstin says

    This is the perfect vacation spot for kids while they are having their summer break from school. I love that there’s a lot of activities that can be enjoyed by the entire family just in one location. Interactive places will make the children learn more things that they can’t learn from school.

  8. Danielle K says

    This looks like so much fun! I have a 3.5 year old and I know he would never want to leave that place. I love that there is so much to do right there and I’m pretty sure if I lived near there that’s where I’d be taking my son regularly. We have a lot of playgrounds near us, but nothing nearly as awesome as that.

  9. Krystal says

    I love anything near the water. That rock climbing area would be fun to try. I think my family would really love this one, especially my toddler! He is all about hanging out outside and enjoying the sunshine! Wish I had something comparable in my area!

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