Soak up the sun at one of 10 suburban beaches

  • Batavia's Harold Hall Quarry Beach offers fun in the sun for kids and adults alike.

    Batavia's Harold Hall Quarry Beach offers fun in the sun for kids and adults alike. Courtesy of Batavia Park District

  • A lifeguard watches over the crowds at Centennial Beach in Naperville during a previous summer.

    A lifeguard watches over the crowds at Centennial Beach in Naperville during a previous summer. Courtesy of Naperville Park District

 
 
Updated 6/5/2022 8:15 AM

If a change of scenery from your local pool is what you seek, consider heading to a suburban beach this summer. It's closer and cheaper than traveling to a faraway beach destination. Plus, many beaches offer a plethora of activities beyond just swimming. So, grab the sunscreen, a towel and a beach read for a day of fun. And, as always, it's wise to check the weather report and beach website for updates before heading out.

Centennial Beach

 

500 W. Jackson Ave., Naperville, (630) 848-5092, centennialbeach.org/

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, now through Aug. 16. Hours vary after Aug. 16. Closed on Aug. 17 and 24-26 and Aug. 29-Sept. 2. Last day is Sept. 5.

Admission: Adults: $9 residents/$14 nonresidents; kids 3-17: $7 residents/$12 nonresidents; after 5 p.m.: $4 residents/$6 nonresidents. Season memberships available.

Centennial features wading and swimming areas in what used to be a quarry. A sand volleyball court, a sand play area, a waterslide and locker rooms with showers are among the other amenities. Plus, starting June 8, try paddleboarding yoga from 7:45-8:45 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It's $20 for residents and $30 for nonresidents. Advance registration is required.

Crystal Lake beaches

Main Beach

300 Lake Shore Drive, Crystal Lake, (815) 477-5404, crystallakeparks.org/beaches

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Hours: 9 a.m. to dusk now through Aug. 12; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 13-14, 20-21, 27-28 and Sept. 3-5

West Beach Swim Area

2330 Lake Ave., Crystal Lake, (815) 477-5009, crystallakeparks.org/beaches

Hours: 11 a.m. to dusk now through Aug. 12

Admission at both beaches: Residents: $1; free for seniors and kids 3 and younger; free for residents after 5 p.m. Nonresidents: $12 for adults, $9 for seniors and kids 4-15, free for kids 3 and younger; half price after 5 p.m. Season passes are available.

Swimming, picnicking and athletic activities are just a few of the things you can do here. Pavilion rental is available for groups, too.

Lilly Kurgan, then 7, of Mundelein and her mom, Mariko, try their hand at building sand castles as part of the Diamond Lake Beach Bash in Mundelein last year. This year's free bash is Saturday, June 11.
  Lilly Kurgan, then 7, of Mundelein and her mom, Mariko, try their hand at building sand castles as part of the Diamond Lake Beach Bash in Mundelein last year. This year's free bash is Saturday, June 11. - Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer, 2021
Diamond Lake Beach

1016 Diamond Lake Road, Mundelein, (847) 566-5650, mundeleinparks.org/aquatics/diamond-lake-beach/

Hours: Noon to 5 p.m. daily Saturday, June 4, through Aug. 7; closed on Tuesdays

Admission: $5 residents; $10 nonresidents. Season passes available.

A beautiful lake, a sand beach, grassy areas and a shaded picnic grove are just some of the highlights. Enjoy swimming, boating, kayaking and other activities. Some equipment (standup paddle boards, kayaks) is available to rent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 11, there's a free beach bash featuring beach Zumba, popsicle and paint, a watermelon-eating contest, beach games, hula dancers, food trucks, free boat rentals, swimming and giant games.

Yoga on the beach kicked off the Diamond Lake Beach Bash in Mundelein last year. Greg Huster of Libertyville joined others in stretching after his morning run. This year's free bash is Saturday, June 11.
  Yoga on the beach kicked off the Diamond Lake Beach Bash in Mundelein last year. Greg Huster of Libertyville joined others in stretching after his morning run. This year's free bash is Saturday, June 11. - Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer, 2021
Gillson Park

North entrance: Lake and Michigan avenues; south entrance: Sheridan Road and Michigan Avenue, Wilmette, wilmettepark.org/gillson-park

Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. now through Sept. 5

Admission: Daily passes can be purchased at the beach house. Daily parking passes can be purchased at the Lake Avenue entrance. Season passes are available. See the website for details.

Situated along 60 acres of lakefront property, Gillson Park offers a swimming beach, picnic areas, bicycle trail, sand volleyball, lighted tennis courts, a fitness course, a tot lot, a dog beach, a kayak and SUP launch area and more.

Glencoe Beach

55 Hazel Ave., Glencoe, (847) 835-1185, glencoeparkdistrict.com/glencoe-beach

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. now through Friday, June 10; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 11 through Sept. 5. Only open to season passholders on the weekends, holidays and before noon on weekdays.

Admission: Daily fees are $10 for residents and $20 for nonresidents; free for kids 2 and younger. Season passes are $35 for residents ages 2-64; $70 for nonresidents ages 2 and older; free for senior residents 65 and older.

This beach is perfect for family outings, picnics and more. Plus, the Paul & Ada Safran Sprayground -- featuring interactive water play pieces, swings, slides and a playground -- is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily during summer. If you want to try other water activities, paddleboards, kayaks, sailboats, and chairs and umbrellas are available to rent at the Beach House, which also features showers and lockers. Plus, there are volleyball courts and complimentary volleyballs available. The facility is open to walkers, runners and bikers from sunrise to sunset.

Batavia's Harold Hall Quarry Beach offers lots to keep kids engaged for the whole day.
Batavia's Harold Hall Quarry Beach offers lots to keep kids engaged for the whole day. - Courtesy of Batavia Park District
Hall Quarry Beach

400 S. Water St., Batavia, (630) 406-5275, bataviaparks.org/harold-hall-quarry-beach

Hours: Noon to 7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday (twilight hours from 5-7 p.m.); noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Open through Aug. 14.

Admission: $10 residents, $13 for nonresidents. Twilight: $4 residents, $6 nonresidents. Punch passes: $90 residents, $120 nonresidents.

There are tons of things to enjoy at this 60,000-square-foot former quarry, including a drop slide, a sandy beach and swimming area, a large picnic area and sand volleyball courts. Snacks and drinks are available at the concession stand.

This year, don't miss the Wacky Water Olympics from 12:30-4 p.m. Monday, June 13, featuring relay races, splash contests, food from Fernando's Street Kitchen and more.

Paulus Park Beach & Sprayground

200 S. Rand Road, Lake Zurich, (847) 438-5146, lakezurich.org/482/Beaches-Fees

Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 5; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 6 to Aug. 7; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 8-12; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 13-14, 20-21, 27-28 and Sept. 3-5

Admission: $9 for residents 18 or older, $11 for nonresidents 18 or older; $6 for residents 4-17, $8 for nonresidents 4-17; free for anyone 3 or younger. Twilight rate after 5:30 p.m.: $3 residents, $5 nonresidents.

Enjoy the large beach and sprayground. Nonmotorized watercraft can be used on the lake for a $5 fee.

Kids enjoy the Witbit inflatable at Diamond Lake Beach in Mundelein during a previous summer.
Kids enjoy the Witbit inflatable at Diamond Lake Beach in Mundelein during a previous summer. - Courtesy of Mundelein Park District
Phil's Beach

328 N. Main St., Wauconda, (847) 526-3610, waucondaparks.com/parks-facilities/philsbeach/

Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Sept. 5. WIBIT hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Admission: $7 for residents, $9 for nonresidents. Free for seniors 62 and older and kids 3 and younger. Twilight (after 5 p.m.) is $2 for residents and $3 for nonresidents. Season passes are available.

Historic Phil's Beach features a splash pad, WIBIT inflatable, bathhouse, concessions, a picnic pavilion, baggo, game tables, swim area, board walk and a sandy beach on the western shore of Bangs Lake.

Rosewood Beach

883 Sheridan Road, Highland Park, (847) 831-3810, pdhp.org/rosewood-beach/

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily during summer

Admission: Daily passes are free for residents and $10 for nonresidents. Season passes are free for residents, $100 for nonresidents. A parking decal is required.

Rosewood offers a guarded swimming beach with a nature cove for ecological and nature programs and concessions.

• With additional reporting from Eli Morkert.

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