Garden Park, Sheridan Square, Evanston, IL 60202
Just two blocks North from your front door, Garden Park is equipped with a gorgeous view of Lake Michigan. Here you can find a little slide and swing set with picnic tables in the shade and benches to soak up the sun. A perfect waterfront picnic area equipped with plenty of trash bins, you don’t have to worry about packing your trash with you as long as it gets into the proper container. Bring your dog or cat to the park as long as they stay leashed and you pick up after them. There is a water fountain, but there is not a restroom, so while your pooch is in the clear, make sure you take care of what you need to prior to making your way down to Garden Park. You can leave your quarters in the car as there is ample free parking on Sheridan Square. If the free diagonal parking is full, however, you will need to plug the meter for parallel parking.
Kelly Park, Evanston, IL 60202
Only four blocks West of Garden Park is Kelly Park. While Garden Park might be the nice romantic spot to have a picnic, Kelly Park is the place for the kids to play. Here you can find a newly constructed playground with all sorts of cool features to keep your children entertained. There is even a basketball court for you to shoot some hoops with friends or start a pickup game. The park has benches and tables spaced out for parental supervision while still accommodating for personal space. There is a pavilion on site to wait out any rain in case you walked or biked down, but the bathrooms may be locked and there is not a water fountain, so be sure to bring plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and use the bathroom before you make your way down.
Baker Park, Evanston, IL 60202
Adjacent to Kelly Park, Baker Park provides a large, open field with abundant green space for everyone. Spread out your blanket, throw a frisbee, or mingle with other dog walkers. You will want to wake up early with the birds if you intend to fly a kite, as the field tends to populate rather quickly. The number of people who occupy Baker Park makes it great to meet new people, but if you’re looking for a quiet, isolated spot to meditate or focus on yoga, this may not be the place. Likewise, sometimes the park will be rented out for Cub, Boys, and Girl Scouts as well as other community events and activities. During the winter, you can find an ice rink to skate on as long as you have your own skates. The park underwent a one million dollar renovation about three years ago adorned with smooth sidewalks and lights. Contrary to other parks, there is a water fountain and toilets, so you don’t have to worry about finding a spot to go. During election season, Baker Park is a polling station, so keep that in mind when the time comes around.
Rogers Beach Park
7705 N Eastlake Terrace, Chicago, IL 60626
Rogers Beach Park spans a little over two acres along the banks of Lake Michigan. Here you can enjoy a casual game of tennis on the courts overlooking the water. Since 1921, Chicago’s Parks and Recreation was maintaining the small, municipal beaches. In 1959, the Chicago Park District officially adopted Rogers Beach Park and seventeen other “street-end beaches” from the City of Chicago. As the number of residents living in apartments in Rogers Park increased, the public access to beaches needed to increase, too. Rogers Park is named after Phillip Rogers, an Irish immigrant who relocated to Chicago from New York in 1836. Rogers was a truck farmer, who ended up accumulating more than sixteen hundred acres of land. His daughter’s husband, Patrick L. Touhy, who passed in 1911, divided up Rogers’ land, titling the neighborhood Rogers Park to pay his father-in-law respect.
Vera Megowen Park
Vera Megowen Park, Evanston, IL 60202
Vera Megowen Park is a quaint, neighborhood parked situated between the alley behind Chicago Avenue and Hinman Avenue. Here you can take a rest on a bench along the meandering sidewalks while your children play on the playground equipment. Locals refer to Vera Megowen Park as “merry-go-round park,” but be warned, you will have to be the muscle for the merry-go-round, so you might end up wearing yourself out more than your kids. Pokemon-Go fans rejoice, as there are some monsters to catch here! Stop out in the morning to enjoy the park to yourself and a few others or make your way down after work in the evenings to mingle with some fresh faces. The apartments next door have wonderful views overlooking the park, so apartment hunters, take note! The park is stocked with a wealth of trash cans, so stop down and enjoy a picnic in the peace and quiet of Vera Megowen Park!