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Five Best Dog Parks in Chicago

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Chicago is full of over 30 dog parks, or dog-friendly areas as the city likes to call them. These parks are located all around Chicago, so wherever you are in the windy city, you're sure to be close to a place you can take your pooch for some exercise and fun. You may be looking for a beach experience, an obstacle course, or an off-leash park where you can play a great game of fetch. No matter what experience you and your canine best friend crave, Chicago is sure to have a park that accommodates you.

If you want to bring your dog to one of Chicago's dog parks, you should keep a few things in mind. One, you must have a DFA permit for each of your dogs. Two, your dogs need to have full immunization. Three, you should comply with basic courtesy rules like cleaning up after your dog. Finally, make sure your dog is well-behaved. Everyone deserves a fun, safe trip to the dog park.

Montrose Dog Beach

Located in Uptown, Montrose Dog Beach covers over three acres of off-leash fun for you and your four-legged friends. Visit the shores of Lake Michigan during the summer to give your pup a chance to splash through the water and enjoy the sand. Montrose Dog Beach is very popular, so if you're looking for a chance to introduce your furry pal to other canines this is the place to do it.

The park is open all year, but expect it to fill up during the summer months. Canines love to go swimming here, and you may want to go swimming, too, so bring your suit and a towel! Montrose Dog Beach features benches so you can rest while your dog romps, a handicap accessible ramp, a washing station to get all that sand off before you head home, and a double-gated entrance. If you forget your poop bags, don't worry. MonDog, the group of volunteers responsible for maintaining the park, can provide you with some. They also clean the park, so you're sure to get the best experience.

Skinner Bark Park

Also known as The West Loop 569 Bark Park, the Skinner Bark Park is full of amenities that will have your pup smiling with joy. The park has been open since 2014 and features three types of turf (artificial, pea gravel, and cement) to provide variety for your dog's paws. A three-tiered drinking fountain ensures dogs of all sizes can quench their thirst, and hoses are available to fill your dog's water bowl.

Amenities aren't just for the dogs, either. The benches are shaded by umbrellas, and the park is kept clean with dog-friendly sanitizing products to ensure the best experience for humans and canines. You'll also find fun events at Skinner Dog Park, like meetups for different breeds of pooch and yearly celebrations to commemorate the opening of the park. Skinner Dog Park is definitely worth a visit if you're in the West Loop neighborhood.

Wiggly Field Dog Park

This Lincoln Park location is Chicago's first official dog park, and it remains popular for a reason. It is fenced in and features mostly asphalt and gravel with sparse tree cover, making it a great place for dogs to let loose and run. Feel free to let your dog go off-leash here as you play fetch or Frisbee.

Small dog owners, fear not. Your petite pups can enjoy their own small dog enclosure. The entrance is asphalt (so watch out on hot days!) and the park also includes agility equipment so your canines can get some exercise. Since you're in the Lincoln Park location already, be sure to leash your pup and take a walk to see some of the nearby Chicago public art as well before you head back home or to your hotel.

Jackson Bark

Jackson Bark is located on the South Side and was built in 2014. This park is popular among Chicagoans and their dogs due to the variety of agility structures and obstacle courses it provides. Built on a former tennis court, it features over 50 playthings like A-frames, tunnels, hoops, tires, climbable towers, and other great play areas for dogs to expend their energy. The numerous structures vary in size, meaning that dogs of all breeds and levels of agility will have something fun to play with when you visit. If you've got a pup who needs some exercise, Jackson Bark is the place to go.

If you have a wonky work schedule or your dogs like to take multiple trips to the dog park a day, definitely visit Jackson Bark. This community dog park is open every day from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., is large enough for your dogs to run around in, and is completely enclosed.

Bronzeville Dog Park

The Bronzeville Dog Park on 3940 S. Indiana is maintained by a nonoprofit community group called BARC (Bronzeville Association for Recreation with Canines) who are working to develop more dog parks on Chicago's South Side. This new dog park opened in 2019, is fenced in, and features both grass and pavement. You can rest on a bench while your dog plays, and rest easy that the big and small dogs are kept in separate enclosures.

The Bronzeville Dog Park also features a drinking fountain in both the large and small dog areas, plus trash cans and some shade trees. Keep an eye on BARC as they open up more South Side dog parks; there are lots of ways to get involved with the nonprofit, either as a dog park visitor or as a volunteer. The dogs of Chicago always appreciate even more places they can run around with their owners and with other dog friends.

These are just a few of the many dog parks to be found in Chicago. Did we mention you and your dog's favorite park? If you have a recommendation for us, let us know! We're always looking to add to our list of awesome Chicago dog parks.