Skateboarding is undeniably cool. Kids know this. You know this. If your 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. (P.S. We’re also sharing the best spots to take lessons.) If boarding isn’t their thing, some also allow bikes and rollerblades. Grab your helmet and protective gear and set out for a day of fun.
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Where to Skateboard Outdoors
Logan Boulevard Skate Park
Logan Boulevard Skate Park, located under the Kennedy expressway in Logan Square, is somewhat sheltered for weather and every bit as cool and gritty as it sounds. All wheels are allowed, including BMX bikes, at this well-lit skater’s haven. The cool aspect of this park is the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District 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.
Grant Skate Park
Don’t let the huge size of Grant Skate Park and scope intimidate you. This three-acre park located at the southern end of Grand Park includes more than a dozen rails, ramps and stairs as well as straight stretches of concrete. BMX bikes and skates are also welcome. Parents can hang out in one of the viewing areas to keep an eye on their kids and enjoy the skyline views.
Indian Boundary Skate Park
Indian Boundary Skate Park is part of a larger 76-acre sports facility in Bolingbrook. This outdoor concrete skate park 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.
Central Park Skate Plaza
Bolingbrook’s 2nd skate Park, Central Park Skate Plaza is significantly larger and includes ramps, ledges, banks, rails, staircases, steps, skate benches, a platform and skate boxes. It was designed to mimic an urban plaza and offers spectacular views of the popular Central Park. Bikes, boarders and bladers are all welcome.
Community Park West and Swenson Park
Glenview has two fun outdoor skate parks designed for skateboarders and inline skaters only. While both Community Park West and Swenson Park 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 can visit the nearby playground for younger siblings. Also, a big upside is the park is designed with a skatelite surface—a durable paper-composite material—instead of concrete, which makes falls a little less painful.
Frontier & Centennial Park
The Naperville Park District has 2 skate parks located at Frontier Sports Complex and Centennial Park. Frontier was renovated in 2021 and both contain several skating elements including half-pipes, quarter-pipes, boxes, rails and more. Centennial is located along the DuPage River, next to the outdoor community pool and a large park. Non-motorized skateboards, in-line skates and scooters are welcome.
Elk Grove Village offers both an indoor and outdoor skate option at Audobon Skatepark. It’s a great place for all levels to practice tricks, ride ramps and rails and grind ledges. Be warned, the indoor park is not heated so they close if the temps drop below 10 degrees (or at staff discretion).
Wilson Skate Park
Near Montrose Beach, Wilson Skate Park is well lit and fairly small, giving your skater a chance to get their 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.
Skate Park at Olympic Park
Schaumburg Park District’s Skate Park at Olympic Park was designed to mimic elements of parking lots, street curbs and other skater-enticing areas you’d find in a cityscape. Skaters will also find staircases, benches, walls of various heights and a large concrete bowl.
Ryann Buss Zone Skate Park
Located at Knox Park in McKenry, Ryan Buss Zone Skate Park offers a variety of ramps and rails that will challenge even the most experienced skater. Helmets are required at this skate park.
Where to Skateboard Inside
Asylum Skate Park
If it’s raining outside or you just want a different experience, check out the indoor Asylum Skate Park and skate shop in Lake Bluff. BMX, inline, skateboards and scooters are welcome here. If your kids are completely new to skateboarding and need to learn the basics, Asylum offers camps and lessons that will teach them how to start, stop, drop-in, olly, ride ramps, balance and do basic tricks.
For Skateboarding Lessons
Certified Personal Trainer and lifelong skateboarder Ben Karbin created SK8 Chicago to provide lessons to the next generation of boarders. Over the last 20 years mentoring young skaters, he’s honed his ability to make aspiring skaters feel comfortable and confident to learn new tricks and techniques. SK8 offers skate lessons, clinics and camps for all levels and also builds custom ramps. They have equipment available to rent if you don’t have your own and can offer advice if you’d like to make a purchase.
Little Ripper Skateboarding
Looking for a way to keep kids active during the pandemic shutdowns, Logan Square dad Enrico Hufana started Little Rippers Skateboarding. Hufana and other experienced instructors give kids ages 3-14 an introduction to boarding so they have the confidence to safely navigate all skate parks.
For more information on Chicago Park District skate parks, check out their website.
— Wendy Altschuler & Maria Chambers
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