So there’s a new spray park in Lindenhurst. But I’m writing to you with trepidation in my heart because this is MY secret! But, I guess you can join us and we’ll play nicely. Oak Ridge Park sits nestled in a quiet neighborhood on Lindenhurst’s far northeast side. Head down Independence Boulevard and you’ll see a drive with somewhat hidden signage on the south side of the road, turn down the tree-lined lane and you’ll see 18 glorious acres of outdoor bliss.
The park is divided into four sections–an Archaeological Dig Site (sand play area), the spray park, a soccer field and activity field and a 9-hole Frisbee golf course.
When you pull into the drive and enter the roundabout to your immediate right (behind the parking lot) is the Disc golf course. It extends from in the wooded area out into an open field. Hole 1 is in the woods closest to the entrance.
The woods are bedded with large wood chips. I wouldn’t wear sandals in this area. As for sun or shade, you’ll get both while playing a full round. Many families were playing when we were at the park and I heard quite a few comments about it being a good course. I won’t be a good judge of that–but check it out!
Next up is the spray park which is partially fenced and blocked off by the bathroom shelter, leaving large walkways to the parking lot and walking paths. It boasts a small mushroom and fountain (think toddler-sized), a larger mushroom, spray ring, multiple fountains, dumping overhead bee hives, turtle and frog sprayers that rotate, and a manually spinning sprinkler. The splash pad is set on smooth concrete, with grass around the perimeter.
While there is no shade over the water features, included in the spray park area are the full (clean and glorious) restrooms, picnic tables and full covered shade.
While sitting under the pavilion, parents have a complete view of the spray park, making it easy to supervise the kids. A few benches and picnic tables are along the perimeter of the spray park are out in the sun. I would suggest bringing picnic blankets to sit on in the grass on more crowded days. The park was packed on our first visit and empty the next; we had equal amounts of fun! Many children brought buckets to play with–I’d highly recommend that!
My children (and many others) loved to play with the toys that move. My favorite were the turtle and frog sprayers. Positioned across from one another, they squirt water out quite far; but when they are turned completely to the side, the water stops (so no spraying parents in the grass or tables). The other toy the children can take charge of is the horizontal tube sprinkler; children can spin this to spray around. I have to warn you not to let your children try to climb on this, as my my daughter learned the hard way with a probable black eye.
The park was clean, and the water is chlorinated and checked daily before opening. Although the signage at the park states hours are sunrise to sunset, that is meant for the other areas of the park, not the spray park. The spray park is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Behind the spray park sit the soccer and activity fields, which are currently covered in straw as the grass grows. According to the original concept, an ice skating area may be available this winter too, we’ll keep you posted! A retention pond is also along the pathway that leads to the activity field in the southeast corner of the park. If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll want to hang out with the geese there for far too long.
To the left of the parking lot is the archaeological dig site sand play area with dinosaur bones. We walked on the pathway that winds quite a bit away from the spray park. This area is completely shaded and has picnic tables and a bench–this area is very serene with a grassy ground cover.
The sandbox here is not huge, but it entertained my crew and we had to drag them away (to the spray park to be rinsed off). The bones aren’t too difficult to find as we dug up one ‘whole’ dinosaur in our quest. If you continue walking north on the path that brought you to the dig site, you will come to a small sign with information about the habitat at the park. The pathway leads to Independence Boulevard where you entered.
We’ve already been to Oak Ridge Park twice this week and I simply cannot wait to ride bikes up there from the Millennium Trail. The new underpass at Grass Lake Road connects this park to Lake County Forest Preserve’s McDonald Woods, which also leads to Forest View Park. When I think about a place to spend an entire day, it is here because there is so much to do!
Oak Ridge Park
600 Independence Blvd., Lindenhurst
Have you taken your family to Oak Ridge Park yet? What was your favorite feature?