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Lazy Rivers, Water Slides, and Other Awesome Pools in the Chicago Area

Plunge into these cool pools this summer. Bonus: most are free.

Cermak Family Aquatic Center   Photo: Thomas Photographic
Best Lazy River

Cermak Family Aquatic Center

This 400-foot course may not stack up to Six Flags’ 1,600-foot river, but the much smaller crowds (read: no lines) and entrance fee will soon make you forget that. $7 for nonresidents. 7600 Ogden Ave., Lyons

Best Water Park Vibe

Skokie Water Playground

Price seem steep? Consider the aquatic play area, the massive water bucket that dumps a tsunami onto eager crowds, and the all-ages inner tube slide, and you’ve got one of the best deals around. $14 for nonresidents. 4701 Oakton St., Skokie

Best Sunbathing

Washington Park

The park’s chances of hosting the Olympics may be long quashed, but a 50-meter pool remains. And with it, a massive 5,000-square-foot deck, perfect for those who’d rather sun than swim. Free. 5531 S. Martin Luther King Dr.

Best High Dive

Portage Park

If the pool’s 10-meter monster (that’s 33 feet!) leaves you shaking in your suit, you can always choose the less daredevilish five-meter option. (We won’t think less of you.) Free. 4100 N. Long Ave.

Best Water Slide

Humboldt Park

Gloriously tall at 14 feet, the twisting, turning slide has its own landing bowl, which greatly reduces your chances of head-butting a stranger. Free. 1440 N. Sacramento Blvd.

Best Meet-Cute

Holstein Park

This extension of Bucktown’s singles scene draws flirt-ready crowds of mustachioed men and fashion-forward femmes. Take that, Tinder. Free. 2200 N. Oakley Ave.

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