When I was compiling the Splash Pad Guide, I learned of a new spot: Dragonfly Landing in Lisle. So on a sweltering day in mid-July, the preschooler and I decided to check it out.
Park Name: PrairieWalk Pond and Dragonfly Landing, a 4.5 acre natural area funded with help from a $400,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. PrairieWalk Pond serves as a storm water retention basin that supports the redevelopment in downtown Lisle. It opened in October 2010. Dragonfly Landing, which features a splash pad and playground, opened in June 2011.
Location: Just west of Main Street in downtown Lisle. The park is bordered by Route 53 on the west, Ogden Avenue on the north, Burlington Avenue on the South and Garfield Avenue on the east. (If you are using your GPS, it's probably easiest to navigate to the intersection of Garfield and Burlington avenues. Street parking is not allowed; instead you can park in a public lot off Garfield Avenue. The spots under the trees do not require a permit. You'll see the signs.)
Amenities: PrairieWalk Pond features a 2-acre pond with a lighted path around it, a number of scenic overlooks, a preserved wetland and a gazebo. It also features more than 100 different types of native plants, grasses, shrubs and trees. plus educational signage. Dragonfly Landing is a nature-themed splash pad with "giant" flowers that mist water. It also has a picnic shelter with a living "green" roof (although it's brown this year because of the drought) and a playground that in addition to your normal slides and climbing walls features spinning "cat tails" and bouncy, wooden "lily pads." There are no restrooms, just a portable toilet and a hand-washing station. The park has a water fountain.
Admission: Parking and the park are free. The splash pad is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. It opened from the season on Memorial Day weekend, and while I can't find this info for sure, I bet it closes for the season Labor Day weekend.