Ahoy, mateys! How has your summer been going? Our summer has been full of travel, but we’ve also had the chance to explore local Chicagoland attractions. One of our kids’ favorite attractions, when they were younger, was Pirates’ Cove in Elk Grove Village. It’s been awhile since our last visit, so we felt a return visit was in order. So off we went, my three kids (ages 7, 5, and 2) and I went for some pirate themed fun!
- The hand-powered boats were a big hit. It just takes a minute for the kids to figure out how to work it. The staff stays ankle deep in the water to help the kids out. We experienced the longest line for this since 5 or so people are allowed in at a time.
- The Pirate Ship, located in the center of the park, makes for fun photo ops. Plus, people could go on top of the deck….
….or head down below to work on crafts like this witch craft.
- Well-maintained. I think the Park District does a fabulous job maintaining the grounds – it’s clean and their landscape is pretty.
- Jump around the Jolly Roger Jump! My 2-year-old couldn’t resist bouncing around in the bounce house. They only allow 5 people at a time, so the line was pretty long.
- Choo choo! The Seafari Express train ride is always a winner in our books. My little train lover enjoyed finding animals. It is a pretty short ride, so we rode it twice. Bonus points since the whole family could ride this one. Tip: Have the kids sit in the front to ring the bell.
- Can’t resist a fun playground. The Camelot playground had one specifically for older kids and one for younger kids. It was even partially shaded with a rubber cushion ground. The highlight though was going down this bad boy — a dragon slide!
- Manageable. There are 7 attractions, a playground and a spider net, and a craft center. It’s great since it’s not overwhelming, and totally manageable since I was by myself.
- Fun shows on stage. A great way for the kids to rest or grab a bite to eat.
- Slide. Race down the Pirate Plunge.
- Huge rocking climbing wall! It was my 5-year-old’s first time scaling a rock climbing wall of this size. He didn’t get very far, and I was happy to see a crew member trying to help him out.
Note: Close-toed shoes are necessary and you must be 45 ” tall height.
- Soar on the Soarin’ Schooners. A fun ride where the kids go round and round while the boat goes up and down. It wasn’t too fast at all.
- Round and round on a mini merry-go-round. The Captain’s Carousel, with it’s 22 horses are pint-sized. There are a few stationary seats where parents can sit with their kids.
- Adults are always FREE!
Tips to enjoy Pirates’ Cove:
- Most of the rides are for kids only and parents can’t tag along with the exception of the train ride. Make sure your kid is comfortable attending rides by themselves or try to schedule a play date and have a buddy tag along.
- Pack a lunch. There are tables located throughout. You can even sit on the pirate ship.
- If you get there early, start at the boats or the bounce house. The lines for these were the longest because they only allow 5 people at a time. The lines for the carousel and train went fairly quickly.
- Wear close-toed shoes if the kids plan on climbing the rock wall.
- Check their schedule for special themed Fridays. When we visited, they had a Halloween theme where kids could dress up and trick-or-treat at each station. It was really fun!
While it’s sad to find that my 7-year-old has already grown out of this theme park, I was happy to see that my younger kids had a blast. What a fun day out! I highly recommend visiting with your young kids…before they get too old!
Admission: Kids general admission $12, kids resident $9, adults free
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sunday noon to 4 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Location: 901 Leicester Road, Elk Grove Village, IL
Parking: There is a free parking lot on Leicester but it does fill up. You can also park at the Pavilion (Wellington) or the church.
Stroller-friendly? Yes, we brought our stroller (as did everyone else). It may be hard to navigate with a wagon since the walkway is narrow. There is stroller parking at most of the attractions.
Food: There is a picnic shelter and some grassy areas. You can also buy food at a concession stand.
Crowded: We were here on a Friday afternoon and it was pretty busy, but not overwhelming.
Best for: The website recommends it best for children ages 1 to 9, but my 7-year-old was a little bored with the “kiddie rides”
Plan to spend: An hour and a half to two hours depending on how busy it is.
Interested in discovering more fun things to do in Elk Grove Village? Read my Chicago Parent post on this lovely town.
Stay tuned for an interview with Pirate Pete, Pirates’ Cove resident pirate.
Disclosure: Pirates’ Cove provided complimentary tickets for my family and I for review purposes. My thoughts are 100% my own.