We’ve all been faced with the dilemma: How can we leave our house to go anywhere knowing that at any minute we will hear the dreaded statement of “I need to go to the bathroom!” when potty training our kids? Here are some playgrounds around Chicago with adjacent fieldhouses—with bathrooms! Just make sure you visit during weekdays when the fieldhouses will be open and bathroom facilities will be available.
[Related: Potty Training for All Abilities (members-only video)]
Location: 4921 N. Marine Dr., in the Uptown neighborhood
The Bathroom Scoop: The fieldhouse is adjacent to the playground and just a short dash in to use the bathroom when needed!
The Playground Details: Margate is a large, bright, busy playground with lots to offer all ages. There are great toddler climbing structures including a truck, a pretend pond area with a "dock" and stone water creatures on which kids can sit, with various other toddler climbing structures. There are higher, more challenging climbing structure options for the older set.
Location: 1425 N. Damen Ave., in the Wicker Park neighborhood
The Bathroom Scoop: There is a large fieldhouse in this park, with a direct entrance from the playground. Phew!
The Playground Details: Wicker is a busy playground along busy road, with the el rumbling by, but adjacency to a large park with mature trees creates a feeling of a more quiet location. Pack a lunch and make a day of this playground! Enjoy shaded play, water play, field play and watch the dogs romp and play across the field.
Location: 2200 N. Oakley Ave., in the Logan Square/Bucktown neighborhood
The Bathroom Scoop: A large fieldhouse is a short walk away, so don’t wait until the very last moment to make the bathroom dash!
The Playground Details: Spend time in the large pool or small kids wading pool. When the pools shut down for swim break, change and use the restrooms in the field house, then play at the playground while drying off; a sure way to get the kids tired on a summer day! There are two separate structures: the traditional structure is easy for toddlers to navigate with smaller slides and less height. The more modern, challenging climbing structure will keep older kids entertained.
Location: 1845 W. Rice St., in the West Town/Wicker Park neighborhood
The Bathroom Scoop: A small fieldhouse adjacent to the playground makes a quick run to the potty easy!
The Playground Details: Commercial is a fun, lively playground with many options for all ages. There is a water sprayer, ample climbing structures for all and a small picnic area. Check out the large "serpent" rising out of the playground for children to climb on.
[Related: How to make potty training your toddler fun. Yes, fun.]
Location: 3259 N. Elston Ave., in the Avondale neighborhood
The Bathroom Scoop: A large fieldhouse sits right next to the playground
The Playground Details: A bustling playground located on a busy street with adjacent field house, Brands is a newer playground great for spending the day. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the large adjacent field for some quality outdoor time.
Athletic Field Playground
Location: 3546 W. Addison St., in the Irving Park neighborhood
The Bathroom Scoop: You can splash here, then run to the bathroom in the fieldhouse!
The Playground Details: Athletic has many climbing structures with a large water sprayer area that has covered benches nearby, perfect for snacks, sunblock application or taking a break from the hot summer sun. There are sunny and shaded grassy fields and flower areas surrounding playground.
Location: 5100 N. Ridgeway Ave., in the Albany Park neighborhood
The Bathroom Scoop: This is probably the longest walk to the fieldhouse of the playgrounds in this list, so be ready to hustle to get to the bathroom in time!
The Playground Details: This is a peaceful, beautiful playground set within larger park. There are plentiful of paths for bike and scooter riding. Spend the day "hiking," enjoying the river and playing.
[Related: Potty training regression: What it is and what to do about it]
Location: 3505 N. Southport Ave., in the Lakeview neighborhood
The Bathroom Scoop: Adjacent bustling fieldhouse right next to playground
The Playground Details: Sheil is a small, modern playground with a baseball theme, complete with a huge baseball "scoreboard" chalkboard on the brick wall to the north. This playground is in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the Southport Corridor. Make a day of shopping, eating and playing, all without leaving Southport.
Location: 1919 N. Seminary Ave., in the Lincoln Park neighborhood
The Bathroom Scoop: A small fieldhouse is located within the playground grounds, barely a moment’s walk from the sandbox!
The Playground Details: A staple in this neighborhood, Adams playground offers everything under sun and shade: multiple play structures, a water sprayground, a large sandbox and picnic areas.