I love taking the kids to the park, and we are fortunate to have so many in the QC within just a few minutes of wherever you happen to be. We do get in a park “rut” though. You know – you go to the same park every time because it’s easy to fit in between errands, and you know where the bathrooms are. You also know your kid just loves that rocking dinosaur which can get you a few minutes of peace to check your Facebook.
Recently though, a friend suggested a park we’d never been to and we ventured out. I had forgotten how much fun it is to take the kids somewhere different, and see their excitement running up to the merry-go-round or zipline. With my kids getting older, I know my park days are numbered. This summer it is one of our goals to make a tour of all the awesome parks we can get to, at least on the Illinois side. I asked my mom friends for some suggestions, and they came through with lots of ideas. Here is a list of Illinois parks that might just turn into your next favorite.
Lincoln Park, Rock Island
Lincoln park hosts 2 playgrounds, 2 amphitheaters, tennis and basketball courts, cannons to climb, and hills to roll down. Our favorite playground there has an awesome fireman pole, and extra challenging monkey bars. The best excuse to go to Lincoln Park though is the Starlight Revue Tuesday night concerts. Kids can play, adults can relax, and there is pie! A perfect summer night.
Longview, Rock Island
Fellow mom blogger Meghan offers a terrific summary and photos of Lincoln Park’s new playground equipment here, including the expression swing. Longview is also home to Whitewater Junction waterpark, and a very large picnic area.
Hodge, Rock Island
Hodge got a makeover this winter, and we were pleasantly surprised to see the updated playground equipment including a spinning tornado, while our old favorite the dinosaur is still rocking. We also enjoy their updated tennis courts, dedicated by RI tennis super-star Madison Keys herself. This is a great park for kids of all ages, as the older ones can play tennis, basketball, or volleyball near the playground (although the volleyball courts were being renovated at our last visit).
Hauberg, Rock Island
Hauberg is an old favorite of ours, tucked into the grounds of the Hauberg Estate (it is the first park we took all of our babies to ages ago). It is rarely busy, and great for little kids. Once the kids are done playing, it’s always nice to walk through the flower garden at the Estate.
MLK Park, Rock Island
MLK is Rock Island’s newest park. Mom friend Toni who works at the MLK Center says kids love the “four-square, checkers and other games painted on the ground, new playground equipment, and big field to play kickball. It also has a large shelter available”.
Geneseo City Park, Geneseo
Meghan suggested this one. “A fabulous find! Our kids range from 1 to 9 and they all had a blast. There’re are lot of climbing options, great slides, fun spinny things, swings and a ‘new-age’ merry-go-round. There were also tons of picnic tables and benches and the playground was surrounded by green space.”
Miss Patty’s Park, Moline
Miss Patty’s inspired our tour of parks this summer. What a hidden gem! Nestled in a quiet neighborhood in Moline, it is new, peaceful, shaded and beautiful. The park overlooks the River Valley, with a small orchard where we saw deer roam right past us. Both times we have been the only family there, giving the kids the run of the place. If we had never been to Miss Patty’s, what other QC treasures were we missing?
Riverside Park, Moline
Joanna suggested Riverside and it is next on our list for a visit. “In addition to the firetruck play area, it has a jungle gym with some slides and then swings and a fun 4 person teeter totter. Plus a garden area and its greenhouse is open during the morning certain days of the week. Great shelter that was close to eat lunch too.” I was pleased to see in my research that it is also Moline’s first all-inclusive playground.
Ben Butterworth, Moline
Butterworth offers several playgrounds to explore with a view of the river and all conveniently located off the bike path. Katie says “Macie loves climbing to the top of this! It is also one of her favorite parks because it’s shaped like a boat!!!”
Marggy loves to hit Millennium park “for a nice, clean, renovated playground with a great rock wall and climbing rope net! Close to Black Hawk College, it’s right along a main street, but tucked back far enough by a circle drive that it’s safe and feels more remote than it is. We appreciate the pavilion for shade and a picnic and close restrooms. There are enough structures that it never feels crowded, but we have never seen more than 5-7 kids there at a time”.
What are your favorite parks on the Illinois side of the QC? Any you would add? Let me know if you try one of these, and what you enjoyed!