Some locals consider Riis Park in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood to be an underrated gem among the well-landscaped parks on Chicago's Northwest Side. Like many large Chicago parks, this 56-acre space is bursting with indoor and outdoor amenities, including sports fields, an indoor gymnasium, and a state-of-the-art playground. However, it's in its unique outdoor elements that Riis Park shines as a great place for frisky pups and humans alike.
People love Riis Park's uncommon seasonal features, like its water park and fishing pier in the summer, and its skating rink in the winter. Dogs love the sheer amount of space here and all of the interesting flora and fauna to smell and chase. Rolling lawns are an equally good place to set up for a concert or go for a vigorous on-leash romp. Squirrel chasers will find plenty of fluffy tails to bolt after, so be sure to keep a tight grip on that leash!
Both two-legged and four-legged park visitors will definitely want to check out the beautifully landscaped pond. In addition to the fishing pier, there's a fountain and lots of animal visitors including ducks and geese. Around the pond, mature trees provide ample shade in the summer and lots of interesting places to sniff all year long. As your dog explores, willows dip into the water and reeds rustle in the wind. Quacks and honks signal to pups who love herding feathered friends that there's more work to do.
Take your time exploring Riis Park. The expansive grounds are varied and yield many surprises. You might wander into a wooded section one day and notice fruit on one of the trees. On another day, you might spot an unusual migrating bird visiting the pond. Some days, you may want to bring a blanket, a book, and your dog's favorite chew so you can enjoy lolling together in the sunshine for a while. Whatever your mood or interest, there's plenty here to ensure that you and your dog will have a great day at Riis Park.