Skateboarding is undeniably cool. Kids know this. You know this. If your little adventurer is chomping at the bit to grind on some rails, visit one of these kid-friendly skate parks — all with something a little different to offer. Some have an area set aside for beginners so your soon-to-be shredders can learn and roll at their own pace. Grab your helmet and protective gear and set out for a day of fun.
photo: courtesy of Tony Nungaray via flickr
Wilson Skate Park
Near Montrose Beach, Wilson Skate Park is well lit and fairly small, giving your skater a chance to get his or her bearings without a crowd or ton of distractions. This oasis is known for its smooth transitions, large pools, ramps and grind boxes. Plus, parking is free. You’ll see a bunch of families and kids here on weekends along with some of Chicago’s famed female quad skaters, Chicks in Bowls. Note: Boards and skates only; no bikes.
Located at 700 W. Wilson Ave. in Uptown. Online: chicagoparkdistrict.com.
photo: Grant Park Skate Plaza via Jackie N. on Yelp
Grant Park Skate Plaza
Don’t let the huge size and scope intimidate you. This three-acre park includes more than a dozen rails, ramps and stairs as well as straight stretches of concrete, giving kids so many opportunities to learn and develop their wheel skills. BMX bikes and skates are also welcome. Parents can hang out in one of the viewing areas to keep and eye on their kids and enjoy the skyline views.
Located at the southern end of Grant Park, near Michigan & Roosevelt avenues downtown. Online: chicagoparkdistrict.com.
photo: Diana T. via Yelp
Logan Boulevard Skate Park
This smaller skate park, located under the Kennedy expressway, is somewhat sheltered for weather and every bit as cool and gritty as it sounds. All wheels are allowed, included BMX bikes, at this well-lit skater’s haven. The cool aspect of this park is that, at the suggestion of community members, the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District have commissioned original art to decorate the skate park—sculptures and art made from recycled materials and chrome. Also, Haas Park is nearby, which features a playground, fitness center and spray pool.
Located at 2430 W. Logan Blvd. in Logan Square. Online: chicagoparkdistrict.com.
photo: Bolingbrook Park District
Indian Boundary Skate Park
This outdoor concrete skate park, which is part of a larger 76-acre sports facility, features half and quarter pipes, pyramids and lots of rails for grinding. The best part: beginner skateboarders can learn the ropes in a designated practice area with a small box, complete with rails and training platforms. Parents, skaters and siblings can take advantage of the concession stand, bike paths and park.
Located at 990 W. Boughton Rd. in Bolingbrook. Online: bolingbrookparks.org.
photo: courtesy of Maximum Panda via flickr
Community Park West and Swenson Park
Glenview has two fun outdoor skate parks designed for skateboarders and inline skaters only. While both parks are good for all levels, Swenson Park is ideal for beginners—at 7,000 sq. ft. it’s smaller and a bit easier for little kids to navigate and practice tricks. Swenson also has an in-line hockey rink. Parents will be able to utilize the nearby playground for younger siblings. Also, a big pro is that the park is deigned with a skatelite surface—a durable paper-composite material—instead of concrete, which makes falls a little less painful.
Community Park West is located at1001 Zenith Dr. in Glenview. Swenson Park is located at 901 Shermer Rd. in Glenview. Online: glenviewparks.org
Asylum Skate Park
If it’s raining outside or if you just want a different experience, check out this indoor park and skate shop. BMX, inline, skateboards and scooters are welcome here. If your kids are completely new to skateboarding and need to learn the basics, Asylum has camps for kids ages 7-12 that will teach them how to start, stop, drop in, olly, ride ramps, keep their balance and do some basic tricks. Or, kids can take one-on-one lessons to sharpen their skills. Bowls, stairs, ramps, rails, edges — Asylum has it all. Fee: $14-$20 per day.
Located at 29850 N. Skokie Hwy. in Lake Bluff. Online: asylumskatepark.com.
Did we miss your favorite skate park? Let us know in the Comments!
— Wendy Altschuler