Anyone that grew up in this area knows about Caboose Park. You see, Lake County residents now are spoiled with many fantastic parks and playgrounds, but it wasn’t always this way.
As a life-long resident, I can remember when playgrounds were few and far between. Lake Villa Township Park, more commonly referred to as Caboose Park, has been here for a very long time. The Soo Line donated the caboose to Lake Villa Township in 1974. The first official raising of the flag and park dedication day was June 26, 1976. The caboose was recently remodeled back to its original design in 2014 by Lake Villa Township staff and as part of a local Eagle Scout project.
One can’t visit the park without feeling a sense of nostalgia– even if you didn’t visit this park particular as a child. The tall metal slide with no safety guards (eek!), merry-go-round, jungle gyms and simple swing sets are unchanged from the days of my youth. Parts of the park have been upgraded over the years, but it still retains that old-fashioned playground feeling. Huge old trees shade areas of the playground and various sporting fields throughout the day. Spread out on a few acres of grassy, rolling hills with sand, mulch and grass among the play features, the open space is a breath of fresh air. Benches and picnic tables offer seats for mom or dad to kick back while kids run.
The stand-out feature of the park is, of course, the authentic Soo Line Caboose! Kids can climb on both ends of the newly re-painted train car and see in, but can’t enter. The caboose is a great attraction for little kids and train-lovers, while the wide variety of play structures offer something for kids of all ages. My favorite thing about the park, though, is that there is plenty of room for kids to just run. Everything is spread out so kids are constantly drawn from one area to another.
Lake Villa Township Park makes a great destination for group gatherings. There are two pavilions, lots of picnic tables, grills and ample parking. To reserve a pavilion contact Lake Villa Township. The only drawback is that the bathroom facilities are porta-potties.
Behind the township building there is a tot-lot open to public when the preschool is not in session. This area is somewhat set apart from the main playground, so kids wouldn’t easily be able to access both playgrounds. Lake Villa Township Park is a great place to visit for kids of all ages, especially families with kids ranging in age.
Find Caboose Park / Lake Villa Township Park featured in these previous posts:
- Best Playgrounds for a Picnic Playdate
- Ultimate Train Lovers Guide for Kids in Lake County
- Sledding in Lake County
Fairfield Rd and Grand Avenue (Rt. 132) in Lake Villa