Best Dog Parks in Chicago

by: Jo Montgomery

If there’s one thing Chicagoan dog owners know, it’s that their pooches need places to run, chase balls, roll around and just be, well, dogs. Luckily for dogs and their owners, Chicago has over twenty dog parks conveniently scattered around the city.  You can even frolic in these parks with the comfort of knowing that the other dogs are safe to play with. That’s because Chicago has something called Chicago Dog-Friendly Area (DFA) tags   that you obtain from your veterinarian for just $5. The tag confirms that your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date, and they’ve had a recent negative fecal test. If your dog isn’t donning one of these tags in any of Chicago’s Dog-Friendly Areas, you could get whacked with a whopping $500 fine. That’s a lot of dog biscuits!

To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of the best dog parks in Chicago – many within walking distance of all three Chicago Windsor luxury communities. That’s because our communities are dog-friendly by design. We want our four-legged members to feel just as pampered as our two-legged ones.

Of course, when it comes to dog parks, amenities will vary from park to park. Some are modest concrete areas that are fenced-in, while others feature grass, special areas for large and small dogs, and even water features! Here’s the scoop on the very best dog parks in Chicago for you and your pup for some fun in the sun.

River Park Dog-Friendly Area, 5100 N Francisco Avenue 

This dog park located within River Park, is also known as Paws Park. It’s an ideal park for skittish pups because it’s one of the quieter parks in the city. With lots of trails, and near the new bike and pedestrian path, this park is an ideal destination for a day out with Rex.

Puptown Dog Park, N Marine Drive

Expect your four-legged companion to make friends during your visit to this popular dog park. It’s maintained entirely by the Puptown Dog Owners Group and offers a .38-acre asphalt and gravel surface. Even though it’s one of Chicago’s smaller dog parks, it’s big on fun.

Portage Park Dog Friendly Area, 4100 N Long Avenue

Portage Park has grown into one of the largest and most popular dog parks in Chicago. Managed by the Portage Park Dog Park Committee, the park is clean and welcoming, and is host to lots of community events. Oh, and there are also dog drinking fountains and benches for owners.

Wiggly Field Dog Friendly Area, 2645 N Sheffield Ave

Wiggly Field is Chicago’s very first dog park! And to this day it is still one of the most loved.  The park is .37 acres of K-9 fun and plenty big enough for a game of fetch. The surface is mostly asphalt and gravel, but there are a few mature trees that provide welcome shade on a hot Chicago day.

Wicker Dog Friendly Area, 1425 N Damen Avenue

The very heart of the Wicker Park community is the Wicker Dog Friendly Area. You can find it in the southeast corner of the triangular shaped Wicker Park. Since it’s a favorite, and not too large, it can get a bit crowded in the morning and early evenings. It features a double gate entrance, dog drinking fountains, and plenty of seating for tired owners.

Bennett Park, 514 N Peshtigo Court
Bennett Park, a two-acre privately operated public space, features two 24-hour public dog parks for large and small pups. Owners will appreciate the lovely shaded grove and ample seating.

Lakeshore East Dog Park, 450 E Benton Place

Lakeshore East Dog Park is a .1-acre true oasis for you and your pooch, just north of Millennium Park. Covered mostly in green turf, the park also has concrete sidewalks, and quite a few lovely mature trees that keep it nice and shaded. You’ll also find a dog drinking fountain, a double gate entrance, and benches.

Skinner Bark Park, 1331 W Adams Street

Skinner Bark Park is one of the most beloved and unique in Chicago. Its .4 acres are a combination of green turf, pea gravel, and concrete. And its large area is perfect for tireless games of frisbee and tug-o-war. The park is maintained by a community group, who puts on fun social events for dogs and their owners.

Grant Bark Park, 1000 S Columbus Drive

Nestled inside Grant Park is the ultimate downtown experience for your dog – Grant Bark Park.

At .36 acres, there’s plenty of space for running and tossing the ball in one of Chicago’s larger dog-friendly areas. You’ll find a double gate entrance, dog drinking fountains, and asphalt and pea gravel surfaces. You’ll also enjoy the mature trees where you and your dog can get a break from the sun.

Fred Anderson Dog Park, 1629 S Wabash Avenue

The Fred Anderson Dog Park is one of the newest in Chicago – with a cool, contemporary vibe.

Truly designed with pooches in mind, there are slanted concrete blocks and ledges for hours of climbing and playing king (or queen) of the hill. The .44-acre fenced-in area is covered in concrete and artificial turf. It’s also well-lit for those nighttime walks. Additionally, there are separate play areas for small and large dogs, as well as dog drinking fountains, double gate entrances, and plenty of seating.

Calumet Bark, S Crilly Drive

Just north of Calumet Beach, on the city’s Southeast Side, sits the Calumet dog park. The 7,100-square-foot park has a surface of asphalt and pea gravel, and makes the most of its modest space. Well designed, it features trees for staying cool, benches for relaxing and a water fountain for dogs.

Churchill Park, 2007 W Churchill Street

The Churchill Park lies just off the famous 606 Trail. It’s a popular stop for dogs and their owners to cool off after a long walk on the 606. There’s plenty of room for a game of fetch and it features a drinking fountain and pools for dogs to cool off.

Horner Park, 2741 W Montrose Avenue

Horner Park area dog owners have turned a portion of Horner Park into a Dog Friendly Area. There are also plans for expansion to include water features and agility installations. It’s one of the few spaces with real grass instead of concrete, gravel or turf. It also happens to be one of the largest of Chicago’s dog-friendly parks.

McKinley Park Dog Park, 2210 W. Pershing Road

On the corner of McKinley Park, near Pershing and Western, is another fairly new dog-friendly area. With plenty of room for play and exercise, the approximately .27-acre space is fully fenced off. The park features real grass and a welcoming, neighborhood feel.

Bronzeville Dog Park, 3940 S Indiana Avenue

The Bronzeville Dog Park is also new on the scene.  The space offers separate areas for small and large dogs, as well as grassy areas and paved paths. It features a water fountain and bench seating for hydrating and resting from all the romping around.

Belmont Harbor Dog Beach, W Belmont Ave &, N Lake Shore Dr

Belmont Harbor Dog Beach is a double-gate fenced-off stretch of beach that you and your dog will want to come back to again and again. Even though the park is only .15 acres, this peaceful sandbar, in the still waters of Belmont Harbor, is perfect for pups to splash and cool off in. When you visit, be sure to pack water for your pup, because there is no doggie water fountain.