One of my favorite things to do with my son is to visit lots of local (and even some not-so-local) parks. It’s the best way for him to burn off some pent-up energy…and it doesn’t cost me a dime. I’ve been trying to keep my spending in check so we’ve been visiting a lot more free venues and activities for kids. Just because you don’t have a lot of money to spend doesn’t mean your kids need to stay cooped up in the house, ya know?
We have visited so many parks in the far northwest and west suburbs and I won’t review them all here, just the ones that we think are extra, extra cool…like Deicke Park in Huntley, Illinois. It’s one of our favorites, and has a fantastic toddler area, Discovery Zone, for smaller kids. The entire perimeter of the Discovery Zone area is secured by a black iron fence with only two entrances – so you can rest easier knowing your kids can’t just run right out of the park. Not to say they shouldn’t be supervised, just a perk of not having to watch them like a hawk either. A restroom is located just outside of the Discovery Zone area. Definitely not one to miss if you’re in the area.
Here are some of the things you can expect to find in the Discovery Zone. The first thing my son was drawn to was the GIANT red fire truck to climb on with a couple of slides. There’s even a panel on the truck that lists 5 rules of fire safety!
Deicke Park has a really large sand area too – one that even has a water element (shown in the photo above). Fun times for the kids, but I’d bring extra shoes and a change of clothes because things can get very messy in this area.
The music area at Deicke Park is pretty impressive. If you stomp on the musical notes (inside the red stars) you’ll hear music! Bring your own chalk if you want to write on the large chalk walk located just on the other side of the music section.
Playing on the percussion instruments is really fun too.
A favorite at this park amongst lots of kids is the railroad crossing sign. When kids push the red button, the bells start to ring just like the real railroad crossing signs (loudly, I might add).
The schoolhouse area is perfect for little climbers. The bus actually rocks, there are tunnels to climb through, small rock walls to conquer, and lots of slides.
My son’s favorite? The one he calls the “cylinder” slide!
The basketball area in the Discovery Zone is really cool. The park has a full-sized court too, but the one here has baskets in varying heights, and cool backboards to “help” the kids score a basket. Bring your own balls to make sure your kids can play in this area – my toddler loved it!
The last time we visited Deicke Park, my son and I decided to take a little walk to see what else this great park had to offer. One of our favorite finds was the long metal slide. Kids climb up the steps and take a long, fast ride down the slide. Some kids were even using their jackets as a sack to get down even faster!
The Discovery Zone isn’t the only playground here either. There’s another area for slightly older kids with lots of taller slides.
The climbing wall at the other playground area was pretty cool too – and longer than any at any other park we’ve been to.
The other playground also has a smaller are if you have younger kids in tow.
Some of the other amenities at Deicke Park include jogging paths, a baseball diamond, sand volleyball courts, basketball courts, four picnic shelters, and an over-sized pond. Deicke Park is part of the Huntley Park District, and is located at 11419 South Route 47 in Huntley, IL.
So tell me? Wouldn’t your kids love to play at Deicke Park?