The 10 Best Dog Parks in Chicago

Dog Park Series - Family with Dog

Written by Jeremiah Wright

Updated: January 24, 2023

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Dogs are considered one of the most loyal, friendly, and intelligent pets one could have around the house. But they’re also full of energy! Some dogs require at least 1-2 hours of daily exercise. At first, you may be very excited and enjoy playing with it and running around the house, but you might get tired over time. 

In this case, designated dog areas will be of great help! Besides providing your pet with open space for running, you’ll also encourage it to socialize with other dogs. It’s essential if your furry friend is a puppy since early socialization will help them get accustomed to strangers more easily. 

So we’ve decided to make things even easier and provide you with a list of the 10 best dog parks in Chicago, a city in Illinois

What do you need to attend a dog park in Chicago?

Before checking the list and choosing what suits you best, there’s an essential thing for you to consider. While most parks do not have an entrance fee, some require your dog to have a DFA (Dog-Friendly Area) tag. This means that you’ll have to pay a permit of $5 per calendar year. This permit gives you access to all of Chicago’s DFAs. 

Then, you’ll need to have a City of Chicago dog license and proof of valid rabies vaccination. Other required vaccinations include distemper, hepatitis, bordetella, parvovirus, and para-influenza. You can check out the official Frequently Asked Questions regarding DFAs and DFA tags if you have further questions. Once you check all these and receive a DFA tag, you can easily enjoy a day off with your puppy in one of the best dog parks in Chicago!

1. Norwood Park Dog-Friendly Area

why do dogs sniff butts

Norwood Park Dog-Friendly Area features a drinking fountain for your dog and benches for yourself to keep an eye on your pet.

Norwood Park Dog-Friendly Area
Location5850 N Avondale Ave, Chicago, IL 60631
Hours6 AM – 11 PM

Located in Chicago’s Norwood Park, north of the service yard on Avondale Ave, the Dog-Friendly Area has 13 acres and will keep your furry friend busy! It features a drinking fountain for your dog and benches for yourself where you can keep an eye on your pet. The park also provides poop bags, so you don’t have to carry them. 

Before visiting the park, check all the rules so that you avoid activities that might result in a fine. For example, if you don’t clean up after your dog immediately, you can get a fine of up to $500. Another rule prohibits bringing human or dog food inside the park, while the maximum number of dogs allowed per person is three. 

2. Puptown Dog Park

Puptown Dog Park
LocationNortheast corner of Lawrence &, N Marine Dr, Chicago, IL 60640
Hours6 AM – 11 PM
Price$5 – yearly permit

Puptown Dog Park is a place where your dog will enjoy its freedom like never before! It can run freely and play off-leash. The park measures about 38 acres and consists of asphalt and gravel. The Puptown Dog Park is supported and taken care of by the Puptown Dog Owners Group. 

One event that makes this park unique is the Howl-O-Ween canine costume contest – an annual event and fundraiser. Besides this, the Puptown Dog Owners Group organizes in-park movie nights. Neither you nor your pet will get bored!

You should be very careful if you have a small puppy because it can slip through the fence.

3. Skinner Bark Park

Why do dogs drool

Skinner Bark Park has beautiful paths for a nice walk with your dog and open spaces where you can play with your pet.

Skinner Bark Park
Location1358 W Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60607
Hours6 AM – 11 PM
Price$30 per year

The 4-acre Skinner Bark Park’s official name is Park No. 569. It has beautiful paths for a nice walk with your dog/s and open spaces where you can play with your pet. There are specially designed stations where you can clean your puppy – can you wish for more?

More than that, if you get in touch with the community that manages the park, you can keep track of the events for dogs and dog owners that are organized monthly. You’ll have a chance to be part of a beautiful dog community!

One important thing to consider: if you want to be a park member, you’ll have to pay $30 a year for membership, which is used for maintenance.

4. Portage Park Dog-Friendly Area

Portage Park Dog-Friendly Area
Location4100 N Long Ave, Chicago, IL 60641
Hours6 AM – 11 PM

Portage Park Dog-Friendly Area has now become one of the most popular dog parks in Chicago. The Portage Park Dog Park Committee manages the area, always keeps it clean, and organizes various events in the park. It features drinking fountains for furry buddies, as well as benches for their owners. 

Your dog will also have access to dog toys, water bowls, and even a small pool at its disposal. If you check with the committee, you will note that when the yearly events are organized, you and your pet can make some new friends in the park!

5. Jackson Bark

Dog Park Series - Woman with Dog

Jackson Bark is by far one of the most popular community dog parks in Chicago.

Jackson Bark
Location6000 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637
Hours6 AM – 11 PM

Jackson Bark is by far one of the most popular community dog parks in Chicago, and it is the largest enclosed dog park in the city! More than that, this park has become one of the 10 best dog parks in the United States! Consider yourself lucky if you can give your pet a day of fun there!

It features many amenities that you and your dog will delight in! These include drinking water stations, 3 double-gate entrances, toy baskets, benches, chairs, ramps, wade-pools, runners, hoops, and many others to have fun with!

6. Montrose Dog Beach

Montrose Dog Beach
Location4697 Lawrence, W Wilson Dr, Chicago, IL 60640
Hours6 AM – 11 PM
Price$5 – yearly permit 

This will be an amazing adventure for your puppy, especially if it enjoys a good swim! It will be the perfect destination for a hot summer day! We’re talking about the Montrose Dog Beach, located in the northwest area of Montrose Beach, near the Old Boat Launch. Imagine how happy your furry friend will be after spending an evening running in the sand and enjoying the cool water!

To make it easier for dog owners, there’s also a dog washing station so that you can clean the sand off your pet before leaving. Keep an eye on your puppy, especially if it likes swimming. 

7. Logan Square Dog Park

why do dogs drag their butts

Logan Square Dog Park has enough space for running around and playing fetch.

Logan Square Dog Park
Location2526 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Hours6 AM – 11 PM

The unique thing about Logan Square Dog Park is that it features designated areas for small and large dogs. So if you have a puppy and you don’t want it to play with huge dogs, Logan Square Dog Park should be at the top of your list!

It is located in Park No. 556 and has enough space for running around and playing fetch. There are also kiddie pools where your puppy can cool down during hot summer days. 

8. McKinley Dog Park

McKinley Dog Park
LocationPershing &, S Western Blvd, Chicago, IL 60609
Hours6 AM – 11 PM

This relatively new dog park measures 27 acres and is surrounded by a fence where both small and large breeds can enjoy their time and expend their energy! Since it’s the only dog park in the area, many furry friends will be running around! We’re sure neither you nor your puppy will have time to get bored!

Volunteers manage this park, so if you want to be part of the project, you can always offer to help with cleaning and maintenance.

9. Lakeshore East Dog Park

baby french bulldog closeup

Lakeshore East Dog Park is located north of Millennium Park.

Lakeshore East Dog Park
Location450 E Benton Pl, Chicago, IL 60601
HoursOpen 24 hours

Your dog will indeed thank you for taking it to Lakeshore East Dog Park! It is small but very beautiful. It is located north of Millennium Park. This 1-acre park features a drinking fountain and benches. It is popular among dog owners, so you can rest assured that you and your furry buddy will make some new friends! 

One thing people love about this park is that it’s as green as one can get! It provides many shaded areas, so it’s a perfect stop on a hot summer day.

10. Belmont Harbor Dog-Friendly Area

Belmont Harbor Dog-Friendly Area
Location1720 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Hours6 AM – 11 PM

Yet another fantastic place for water lovers – both dogs and their owners! Even though it’s a small beach, your dog will love it here! It’s enclosed, so you can let your pet run freely and consume the energy that’s been piling up! We advise you to go to the beach in the morning because it may be less crowded. If your puppy loves running around with many other furry friends, you can visit them anytime!

Ensure you take some water with you, as there are no water fountains for dogs around.

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About the Author

I hold seven years of professional experience in the content world, focusing on nature, and wildlife. Asides from writing, I enjoy surfing the internet and listening to music.

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