Lazy days at the pool are a summer must. Even better? Raging days at splash pads. Some we’ve uncovered are neighborhood gems while others are all-out amusement park-style destinations. Either way, you and your tot will be happy to cool off without taking a dunk or forking over much — most are free or $5 tops. Click through for the hottest picks.

Buffalo Grove Spray ‘N Play

Enjoy a Wisconsin Dells-like day without crossing the border. Kids get drenched running through rainbow-colored archways, shooting water cannons and traipsing through geysers. Those scared of getting splashed will love the sprawling, multi-level water table with boats. The ground is concrete, so pack your bag with sturdy-soled water shoes and a few band-aids — just in case. Admission is $3; ages 12 months and younger are free. 951 McHenry Rd.
Buffalo Grove (847-793-0570 or

What is your favorite splash pad in Chicago or the suburbs? Let us know in the Comments!

— Amy Bizzarri & Selena Kohng

Photos: Courtesy of Chicago Park District, Buffalo Grove Park District, Glenview Park District, Westmont Park District