Editor’s Note: The following on Maryknoll Park is a sponsored post brought to you by the Glen Ellyn Park District, although the details about the park come from a very fun afternoon my family spent there in late May 2017.
I love a park that offers more than one thing. I mean, every park can’t be Central Park, but it’s nice if a community can have one “showcase” park that has a variety of amenities for a variety of audiences.
In Glen Ellyn, that park is Maryknoll Park, and my daughter, her friend and I decided to check it out on one of our first truly hot days in late May.
Maryknoll Park is located at 845 Pershing Avenue, just south of Route 38 and east of Route 53. It encompasses nearly 25 acres and features a splash park, two playgrounds, miniature golf course, bocce ball courts, a horseshoe pit, a cornhole game (bring your own bean bags), picnic pavilion, a party pavilion than can be rented for private events, and a 9-hole disc golf course.
The kids started on the more “adventurous” playground, scampering around on the large “boulder,” whizzing along on the 75-foot-long zip line and climbing the spiderweb-like structure. Their favorite attraction, however, was a piece of equipment something like a merry-go-round, but it has ropes for climbing and bars up top that kids can hold onto while it spins around. Super fun and unique.
After a while, they moved onto the more traditional playground, which features swings, a play structure with your standard slides, ramps and climbing opportunities, and a sand pit that is partially shaded by a large umbrella. Like the first playground, this one is built on a rubberized cushion surface.
But it wasn’t long before the splash park was calling to them, and the girls changed into the swimsuits I had packed in the clean bathrooms located in the nearby pavilion.
Now while the playgrounds are free and open to the public, the splash park is enclosed by a wrought iron fence, and it does have an admission fee. Kids ages 1 through 14 are $3, adults are $1, unless they are residents of the Glen Ellyn Park District and then they get in free. There is a park district employee who staffs the small hut next to the splash park entrance; he or she will give you a wristband so you can leave and come back during the same day if you like. The splash park will close for the 2017 season on Sept. 4; the temperature has to be at least 70 degrees for it to open. Operating hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Aug. 20. Look here for more limited hours once school is in session and on the summer holidays.
The Maryknoll splash park has an “Old West” theme, featuring a water tower, stationary train with “tracks” and a railroad crossing gate, a play cactus and of course lots of dumping buckets, water cannons, bubblers, aqua dome and more. On the edge of sprayground are a number of tables covered by umbrellas, so parents can relax while their kids get their splash on.
A nice option is that you can order concessions from the employee in the hut; he or she radios your order over to the Clubhouse that serves the miniature golf course, and then the food is delivered to you in the splash park, where you can eat at the tables. Since our trip to Maryknoll was stretching longer than I expected, we ended up ordering hot dogs, a soft pretzel and popsicles for a late-afternoon snack.
You can’t bring outside food into the splash park, but with the wristbands, you could easily take a break to eat a picnic lunch or snack outside on the grass or in one of the nearby pavilions. Other things you can’t bring into the splash park include coolers, wagons, bikes, toys with wheels, balls, squirt guns, or large buckets – and you are asked to only bring in a stroller if it is needed for an infant.
My daughter and her friend are nearly 9, and they’ve kind of been “over” splash parks for a while – maybe because they are confident swimmers. But they found some fun younger kids to play with during our visit, and that combined with the neat features Maryknoll offers and it being their first time playing in the water this season meant they spent two hours splashing around. There were a number of families there on that hot Sunday, but the splash park certainly wasn’t crowded.
Eventually, I was able to coax them out, and they begged to spend more time on the zip line and merry-go-round. We also walked over to take a look at the miniature golf course – called Holes & Knolls – and decided we’d definitely need to return to play this summer.
It offers two 18-hole courses in a natural setting around waterfalls and other water features. The fees to play all 36 holes are $5.75 for those 13 and under, $6.75 for those 14 to 59 and $5.75 for those 60 and older. You can doublecheck the season hours here, but in the summer, Holes & Knolls is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day but Sunday, when it is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The last rounds go out 45 minutes prior to closing.
The Maryknoll Clubhouse features the concession stand mentioned above, nice indoor restrooms and a party room that can be rented for birthday parties and other gatherings.
So between the two playgrounds, the splash park, checking out the miniature golf course and snacks (of course!) we ended up spending three hours at Maryknoll Park in Glen Ellyn. If you’ve never visited, your family should also make an outing there this summer – I think you’ll be glad you did!