Chicago's best beaches for babies

Written by: Sitaara Jones

Chicago's best beaches for babies

Photo: Megan Backes

Having a little one shouldn’t stop you from getting out and soaking up the rays. Here’s a roundup of some of the best sandlots around the city that are perfect for baby’s first trip to the beach. Stock your diaper bag with swim diapers and sunscreen, and get ready to introduce baby to Lake Michigan!

Great for South Siders
Margaret T. Burroughs (31st Street) Beach
3100 S. Lake Shore Drive
Burroughs Beach stretches from 31st Street to 26th Street and offers amazing skyline views for adults and a newly renovated and ADA accessible playground for kiddies of all ability levels. Yummy concessions, easy and affordable parking, and a “green roof” for family picnics make this beach an easy choice for South Siders.

Great for North Siders
Loyola/Leone Beach
Touhy Avenue and Lake Michigan
Loyola/Leone Beach is perfect for North Side dwellers and active families alike. Chicago’s largest beach features a 2/3-mile walking trail along the beautiful beach and Lake Michigan, making this the perfect beach for stroller walks and jogs. In addition to a playground, there is also a softball field and basketball court available for older siblings.

Great for families with dogs
Foster Avenue Beach
5200 N. Lake Shore Drive (Foster Avenue and Lake Michigan)
Parent to a baby and a dog baby? Head over to Foster Avenue Beach and get the best of both worlds. Foster Beach has its own dog beach at the northeast end and outdoor showers so that your fam can clean off after a day in the sand and sun.

Great for water adventuring babies
Kathy Osterman Beach
4600 N. Lake Shore Drive
Osterman Beach is located in the northernmost tip of Lincoln Park and is perfect for families that want to explore the water: it is known for having shallower water than other beaches.

Great for water-shy babies
63rd Street Beach
6300 S. Lake Shore Drive. (E. Hayes Drive at Lake Michigan)
Baby not quite ready to frolic in Lake Michigan? No worries! 63rd Street Beach has interactive water fountains that are perfect for letting your little one enjoy the water without swimming in the lake.

Great for a day of relaxing
12th Street Beach
12th Street at Lake Michigan on Northerly Island 
If a less crowded day at the beach is what you’re in search of, 12th Street Beach is the perfect spot for you. Nestled just south of Adler Planetarium, this beach feels like a private sandy shore just for you and your family. Concessions and restrooms are nearby and you can check out the nearby museums when you need a break from the sun.

Sitaara Jones is a Chicago native and enjoys working from home as a mom of two and wife. A former third-grade teacher, Sitaara enjoys making the lives of teachers and students healthier through movement and also works as a fitness instructor.

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The NPN blog gives voice to our members' thoughts about parenting in the city, and the views expressed don't necessarily reflect our own. Want to write for us? Email with your topic ideas.


Posted on May 23, 2019 at 3:24 PM