Citizens Park in Barrington reminds me of Ravinia Festival or the Chicago Botanic Garden with its huge trees and winding pathways. The first thing I noticed when entering the property from Lake Zurich Road was the beautiful stonework pavilion near the North parking lot. The main parking lot is a long walk to the playground, so I suggest bringing strollers, scooters or other ride-on toys for the littles. There’s another lot closer to the playground but spaces are limited.
You’ll also see other similarly designed buildings that house indoor bathrooms and changing tables. Bathrooms are also located near the tennis courts on the South side of Citizens Park and closest to the main parking lot.
In fact, Citizens Park makes a great place to walk, bike or wander along the paths that lead through the shady trees and grassy spaces. There’s even a waterfall in a clearing where you can enjoy the sound of rippling water.
Paths are both paved and gravel-lined, but I walked both in my flip-flops and wasn’t bothered at all by rocks. I wandered through the trees and passed a large picnic pavilion filled with families enjoying lunch. There were many picnic tables scattered through the park and a grass field in the center that’s perfect for picnicking on a blanket, throwing a ball or just letting the kids run off some energy.
Of course, the kids will also use up plenty of energy at the Citizens Park playground. With its multiple slides, ramps, swings, and tunnels, it’s the perfect size for children of varying levels of abilities. There’s also an enormous tree house at the southwest corner of the park. It’s big enough for mom, dad, and many, many kids. It is also completely ADA accessible.
But be forewarned: You will want to bring insect repellent. The Pepper Family Treehouse is suspended over a part of the Cuba Marsh Forest Preserve, and marsh equals mosquitoes! The mosquitoes were out in full force the day of my visit. There’s also a shaded path through the forest preserve encircling the marsh where you might see a heron or other wildlife.
Citizens Park is a beautiful place to spend a few minutes or a few hours. But do bring your bug spray to make the most of it!
What is your family’s favorite activity at Citizens Park? Tell us in the comments section below.