Great playgrounds for Crawlers (and new walkers)

Written by: Mistie Lucht

Great chicago playgrounds for crawlers and walkers ie babies and infants

Whether it is your first child, or 5th, and when your crawler wants (and needs!) to play in a safe, outdoor space, these playgrounds are great options to check out to let your newly mobile kiddo(s) explore and play.  All have a soft rubber surface (forget mulch chips at this age as they only end up in their mouths!) and safe, fun and unique options to keep all ages entertained.

As this well deserved summer finally gets into full swing, try to check out a few, or save these playgrounds as an option for when the winter thaw arrives and spring fever hits!

1.    Coliseum Playground

Where?  1466 S. Wabash Ave. (On Wabash between S. 14th and S. 15th streets.)

Why go to crawl?  Because that is ALL you can do here!  No swings, no larger, high equipment, just lots and lots of fun crawl structures, such as houses, cars and trains.  Bonus points for the el rumbling overhead and a dog friendly area within the park.

2.    Wisconsin Playground

Where? 800 W. Wisconsin St. (Wisconsin and Halsted, between Armitage and North)

Why go to crawl?  Completely fenced in and very shady are just two of the many reasons this playground is excellent for crawling.  A soft rubber surface, with inclines and rolling mounds, offer “hill” challenges for your newly mobile babes.  Three baby swings at one end offer additional fun, and local families leave toys their older kids have outgrown that are perfect for crawlers and walkers to use, with new toys coming and going each month.

3.    “Boat” Playground

Where?  3300 N. Lake Shore Drive (Along Lake Front Path north of Belmont between Aldine and Roscoe.)

Why go to crawl?  This playground along the lakefront path brings the lake IN with rolling wave mounds and small scale boats just begging to be crawled on and played in!  Add in a few baby swings, and it’s a great destination via bike.  And bonus points here as well for boat watching and more dog watching with a nearby dog park along Belmont Harbor.

4.    Walsh Playground

Where? 1722 N. Ashland Ave. (On Ashland north of Wabansia)

Why go to crawl?  Sunny and lots of space, as well as a Dinosaur and Airplane toddler structures offer lots of ‘little one’ fun!  Add in many baby swings, and crawlers will have lots to do whether on the playground, in the grassy field, or watching the doggies run along the adjacent dog area.

5.    Brands Playground

Where? 3259 N. Elston Ave. (Elston and Henderson, just a few blocks north of Belmont)

Why go to crawl?  Fenced in, a soft rubber surface and the perfect small toddler climbing structure that your crawler can easily and safely navigate, make this playground a great destination!  Check out the adjacent fieldhouse for classes (and bathrooms!)

6.    Palmer Playground

Where?  3100 W. Palmer Square (Playground is located in the middle of Palmer Square between N. Kedzie and N. Humboldt.)

Why go to crawl?  This “playground” is not a traditional playground, but rather a discovery of different play areas that will delight your crawler with different sensory activities.  Each nook, set on soft rubber surface, contains natural stone, a small slide, rolling mounds or “seats” that your crawler can enjoy.

7.    Commercial Playground

Where?  1845 W. Rice St. (Rice St. between Wood and Wolcott, just north of Chicago)

Why go to crawl?  The large serpents’ head poking up from the soft rubber surface is reason enough to delight, but the ample climbing structures and water spray area offer great options for crawlers.  A fieldhouse with bathrooms and classes are more great incentives.

8.    Portage Playground

Where?  4100 N. Long Ave. (The playground is located near the intersection of N. Central Ave and Irving Park)

Why go to crawl?  Even I had a blast here, playing on the canoes and rolling soft rubber surface “waves.”  Ample climbing structures, 7 baby swings and 2 bucket swings offer hours of playtime, and you’ll want to visit again and again.  And, on hot days, head over to the zero depth entry pool and water sprayers to cool off!

Playground Pointers, the factual, searchable iPhone App database, is your "must-have" playground app as you explore the city this summer.  Visit or find us in the App Store.  It's where families go for outdoor play.

Posted on June 03, 2014 at 2:45 PM