You have your favorite neighborhood playground. It’s close to home, the monkey bars are marked with your kiddo’s handprints, and the tube slide practically calls you by name. But did you know there are more than 500 playgrounds in Chicago? Just imagine what else there is to explore. Go beyond the norm and click through our album of hidden gem spots for new-to-you, non-stop fun.

For a Gem Within a Gem: Skinner Playground

Everyone knows Mary Bartelme Playground. But do you know Skinner Playground, tucked in its shadow? Look for it a few blocks west and go bananas on its modern climbing structure, many slides, swings, sandbox and water sprayer. Fun details -- like turtle statues and dragon climbing structure -- make this spot special. Bonus points for sticking around to explore the adjacent park and garden.

1331 W. Monroe St., between Racine and Ashland in the West Loop. Find out more about the park online at

What is your favorite playground in Chicago? Let us know in the Comments!

— Mistie Lucht

Photos: Playground Pointers & Chicago Park District