Outdoor Activities for Families
Washington Park Zoo
You don’t have to go to Chicago to see wild animals…Washington Park Zoo located just off Lake Michigan’s shore houses approximately 250 animals that are non-releasable wildlife or rescue exotic pets, some are also Species Survival Plan animals or members of designated endangered species groups. The zoo spans 15 acres through meandering tree-covered pathways. Among the 250 animals, you’ll see exotic species from around the world including cougars, wallaby and emu as well as zebras, lions, tigers and bears.
The zoo is right by the beach, splash pad and restaurants, too.
Deep River Waterpark
An afternoon of splashing, sliding and floating await you at Deep River Waterpark. The Chicagoland area’s largest waterpark has speed slides, tube rides, a racer, wave pool and river rides. Mayor Byrdovich’s Courthouse offers an enormous water play area for kids who may be a bit frightened by the “big kid” rides.
For a day-into-night adventure, we recommend camping! Caboose Lake Campground in Remington has cabin rentals and sites for RVs and tents. This one-stop-shop camping facility has fishing boat rentals, volleyball, paddleboats and a 20-acre lake to enjoy. The Summer Beach Family Fun Zone is located on-site and has water wars, slides, inflatables, bumper boats and a dunk tank! When the State and National Park campsites fill up try Lakeshore Camp Resort for full-hookup campsites and 12 cabins. Check for weekend entertainment and enjoy mini-golf, beaches, fishing and your choice of four on-site pools.
Zao Island and Zig-E's
Kids and adults can enjoy a round of miniature golf or riding go-karts at Zao Island in Valparaiso or Zig-E's in St. John. They both have game rooms filled with arcade games and classic ones like “Whack & Win.” Laser tag and batting cages are also available for those looking for a bit more physical activity.
At Zao Island, stop and see the alligator exhibit with 45 real alligators before you leave!