Go West Sponsors


Moms Supporting Moms


Cutest Kids in the World


Go West Young Mom wants to feature the Cutest Kid in Your World.  Click HERE for details.

Entries in pools (13)


Summer Guide 2013: Public Pools Open Through Labor Day

Just like I expected, the temperature is heating up just as schools are heading back into session and many park district pools are closing for the season. Bummer! But if you'd like to squeeze in a few more outdoor swimming sessions before Labor Day, here's a list of pools that are indeed open at least some days over the next two weeks.

Please do doublecheck the hours on these pools' websites (or better yet, call) to make sure they are open before you head out. I don't want any crying swimsuit-clad children on my conscience!

Sunset Pool in Geneva:

  • This pool will be open on Friday, Aug. 23, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. (get in for half-price) from 12:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 24-25, then close from Aug. 26 through Aug. 30. During Labor Day weekend, it's open from 12:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31 and Sunday, Sept. 1, then from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 2 (Labor Day), the last day of the season. (Note: This is an update and correction to what I posted earlier in the week.)

Otter Cove Aquatic Park in St. Charles:  

  • Starting Wednesday, Aug. 21, this pool will be open from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, then 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Sept. 2 (Labor Day) is closing day and the pool will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. that day. Because there is no school in St. Charles on Friday, Aug. 30, it will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Also because of staff returning to school, it is possible that portions of Otter Cove will be closed on certain days. (Note: I've seen the Lazy River closed quite a bit this time of year.) The phone number is 630-513-4377. 

Photo by Barbara L. Slavin on Flickr.


Click to read more ...


Summer Guide 2013: Saving Money at Twilight Swims

We've been talking on the Go West Facebook page recently about how expensive it can be to take your family to some of the public pools in the area.

But one way to get in a lot cheaper is to take advantage of the "Twilight Rates" that many of the pools offer later in the day until closing. In addition to the lower price of admission, there are usually less people in the pool, you don't have to worry about constantly re-applying sunscreen, and if you can squeeze in an early dinner before heading to the pool, your kids will likely be exhausted and basically fall into bed when you get home!

So here's a list of area public pools that offer special rates later in the day. It's always wise to check their websites to doublecheck the hours and rates, and calling ahead is smart too, since occasionally some of these pools close early for swim meets. Hours will start to change once school is in session, too, and some of them eliminate the later swimming sessions, so take advantage of these soon!

Night swimming. Photo by Hans Heijnen on Flickr.


Otter Cove Aquatic Park in St. Charles: The Twilight Swim rate is $5 for both residents and non-residents. It is offered from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. 

Swanson Pool in Pottawatomie Park in St. Charles: The Twilight Swim rate is $3 for both residents and non-residents. It is offered from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m on Saturday and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. (Note the pool will close at 4:30 p.m. for a swim meet on Thursday, July 25.)

Click to read more ...


Summer Guide 2013: Splash parks, splash pads and spraygrounds in Chicago's western suburbs

Note: This post originally ran in 2012, but hours and admission has been updated for 2013.

If you're looking to cool off your kids, but don't want the commitment or expense of a public pool, there are a number of splash parks, spraygrounds and splash pads in Chicago's western suburbs.

Some of the below splash parks are in suburbs that aren't exactly west, but came recommended by readers! If you have more suggestions to add, please do so in the comments section. And finally, thank you to all the readers who helped compile this list via their answers to a Facebook posting; it's much more vibrant because of your contributions.

Prairie Point Splash Playground

  • 4120 Plainfield Road in Oswego
  • Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
  • Admission: Free
  • Notes: This sprayground just opened in 2012. According to the Oswegoland Park District, it has 17 spray and play features.

Phillips Park Splash Pad

  • 1000 Ray Moses Drive in Aurora
  • Hours: Open the same season as the nearby Phillips Park Aquatic Center
  • Admission: Free
  • Notes: This is a small splash pad located in front of the Phillips Park Visitors Center. Read a Go West review about the Phillips Park Zoo and park here

Photo by nathansnostalgia on Flickr.

Click to read more ...


Summer Guide 2012: Outdoor Pools in Chicago's Western Suburbs

School is out for summer, so it's time to pull out the swimsuits, the suncreen and the beach towels! We hope this guide might inspire your family to try out a few new pools this summer. We really do have an embarrassment of riches in Chicago's far western suburbs. If you know of a pool in the area that's open to the public but not on this list, please share. We'd also love to hear your personal take or tips on any of the spots below. 


The toddler pool at Otter Cove Aquatic Park is enclosed by a gate. Photo by Tara Burghart.Otter Cove Aquatic Park, part of the St. Charles Park District
Address: Located in James O Breen Community Park, at the corner of Campton Hills and Peck roads in St. Charles
Hours: A bit complicated. Click here for details.
Closing date: Sept. 3.
Amenities: A zero-depth entry activity pool; 25-yard swimming pool; body slide; tube slide; two diving boards, lap lanes; some sprayground-like features; gated toddler pool; lazy river; concession area; and family restrooms.
Admission Rates: For non-residents, $13 each. (Check the site for resident rates.) Twilight rate is $5 for all ages, whether you're a resident or not. It's from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. everyday until Aug. 10 but Sunday, when the twilight swim is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Twilight swim ends Aug. 10.
Go West’s Take: This 9-acre facility was in the planning stages and then under construction for several years. In my opinion, the wait was worth it! My daughter and I visited a number of times last summer, and each time we spent the bulk of our time in one of the featured pools: First the toddler pool, then the general-interest activity pool and then the lazy river. It really does offer something for every age, and the facility is so clean and nice and shiny! It is indeed more expensive than most other pools on this list, so try to take advantage of the twilight rate or look for one of the "buy one, get one free" coupons in the mail.

Click to read more ...


Opening Dates for Public Pools and Spraygrounds

A slide at Wing Park Family Aquatic Center in Elgin. Photo by Tara Burghart.The season of summer doesn't officially start until June 20, but let's get real ... summer is here! And it looks like we're in for some steamy weather over Memorial Day weekend. Next week, I'll be posting the updated Go West Guide to Outdoor Pools and Splash Parks, with info on admission rates, hours, amenities and more. 

But in the meantime, here's a list of opening dates for pools, splash parks and spraygrounds in the western suburbs. Some don't open until June, but there are enough opening this weekend that you should be able to find one that will help you keep cool! 

Note: Please check the operating hours closely. Even if the pool opens this weekend, many of them have shortened hours until the first or second week of June. 

Click to read more ...