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Picnics: A Great Way to Spend a Summer Day

Enjoy summer’s bounty with an outdoor picnic at one of the area’s many parks.


Cornish Park (Harrison St. and Rt. 62, 847-658-2700) has picnic tables with kid and adult-friendly amenities including fishing, historical memorials and convenient access to the downtown area.

Towne Park (100 Jefferson St., 847-658-2700) is near the heart of Algonquin and has a baseball field, picnic shelter, basketball court, restrooms and the city’s largest playground, Angel Park playground.


Jaycee Park (Silver Lake and Cary Algonquin Rds., 847-639-6100) includes a beautiful pond and nature conservation area, as well as a fishing pier, picnic shelter, horseshoe courts and restrooms.

Crystal Lake

Main Beach (300 Lake Shore Dr., 815-477-5404) has it all—a beach, playground, picnic tables and grills.

Three Oaks Recreation (5517 Northwest Hwy., 815-459-2020) is the perfect place to have a picnic and overlook breathtaking views of the water and lake islands or eat a lakeside lunch at the outdoor dining patio.

Veteran Acres (Rt. 176 and Walkup Rd., 815-459-0680) boasts many outdoor athletic fields and recreation areas, restrooms, picnic shelters, a playground, two lighted tennis courts, a basketball court, horseshoe pit, hiking trails, scenic pond and nature center.

Woodscreek Park (Golf Course and Ackman Rds., 815-459-0680) is home to Crystal Castle, a large, community-built, wooden playground. The park also has soccer practice areas, a bike path, restrooms, Memorial Walkway and fishing pier.


Betsey Warrington Park (12209 Lois Ln., 847-669-1504) is right by Stingray Bay Family Aquatic Center and has soccer fields, a walking path and is home to Huntley’s original homestead and other historical buildings.

Deicke Park (11419 S. Rt. 47, 847-669-1504) has four shelters and a playground. A walking path and pond also make this park a great place to spend the day.


Moraine Hills State Park (914 S. River Rd., 815-385-1624) has ten picnic areas with convenient parking. Many areas are handicap accessible and have covered and open-air tables, grills, public restrooms and water pumps. Alcohol is banned in the park.

Peterson Park (4300 Peterson Park Rd., 815-363-2168) is a large park with much to offer. Located on McCullom Lake, the park has two playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, horseshoes, picnic shelters, grills, public restrooms and is near Peterson Park Beach.

Veterans Memorial Park (3400 Pearl St., 815-363-2168) is located near Green Street in McHenry. The park has a large playground, picnic shelter, public restrooms and a gorgeous white gazebo that can be rented for weddings.


Emricson Park (898 W. South St., 815-338-4363) hosts five picnic shelters, some with water and electricity, as well as nearby restrooms and many picnic tables.

The McHenry County Conservation District maintains 18 sites with picnic areas. Shelters and picnic areas are available by reservation or on a first come, first serve basis. Call 815-338-6223 or visit for more information.

Pack the Perfect Picnic

Before you head out, make sure you have everything you need. Use this checklist as a reference.

  • Plates
  • Napkins
  • Cutlery
  • Corkscrew
  • Trash bags
  • Cups
  • Blanket
  • Chairs
  • Flashlights or lanterns
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Extra layers of clothing
  • and FOOD, of course! Check out our Farmers Markets Guide for the best local produce and homemade goods!

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