Thanks to the Urbana Parks Foundation for sponsoring our Parent’s Guide to Crystal Lake Park in Urbana. Great parks build great communities! UPF recently launched a $2 million fundraising campaign titled Campaign for the Next Century. The campaign seeks to build on more than a century of generosity from individuals, businesses, and civic organizations by supporting a variety of Urbana Park District parks, programs and activities. The campaign targets three specific areas of emphasis which include the Urbana Parks Endowment, Crystal Lake Park, and Youth Scholarships. These areas of support align with UPF’s mission to strengthen the local park system and enhance the health and vibrancy of the community. Gifts for other purposes or projects are also welcome. Whether you live in Urbana or a surrounding community, you can make a positive impact on Urbana’s parks by donating today.
A Bit about Crystal Lake Park
Champaign-Urbana residents tend to associate Crystal Lake Park as being the Crystal Lake Park Family Aquatic Center, but there is so much more to Crystal Lake Park than that! Great play spaces, areas to gather with a large group, a huge sledding hill, summer boat rentals (canoe and paddleboat) and a beautiful lake are some of the features you’ll want to familiarize yourself with.
It is worth a note that Crystal Lake Park is undergoing a park rejuvenation project and some features/areas may be added or unavailable during this process, expected to be completed in 2019.
Park of the Urbana Park District, Crystal Lake Park is located in close proximity to Carle Foundation Hospital and the University of Illinois Campus. At the north end of the park, you’ll find Crystal Lake Park Family Aquatic Center, the Anita Purves Nature Center and Busey Woods.
Tips For Your Trip From Other Parents
- The playground is found by entering from Park St at Central Ave and turning left. You’ll see the playground shortly.
- Watch out for areas surrounding the water that can drop off steeply and be dangerous for small children. Fortunately, you won’t find any water very close to the playground.
- There are an abundance of benches and tables around the park. You won’t have a problem finding somewhere to sit.
- Park of the 2019 Rejuvenation Project is to make the perimeter of the park more friendly for walking/jogging. If you visit before this project is complete, be aware that the walking perimeter of the park is the same as the road people drive through.
- Visiting for the sledding? Park near the Lake House and head in to the park and to the east and you’ll run right into “cannonball hill“.
Is this park good for toddlers?
Yes! There are several toddler-friendly features at the playground, like the ramp to climb onto the structure and rocking horse-type rides.
What amenities are offered?
A LOT of amenities are offered at Crystal Lake Park for your enjoyment, including:
- Playground equipment
- Sand volleyball
- Pavilions, picnic tables and grills available for use
- Boat rentals during the summer (paddle boat and canoe)
- Lake House Facility Rental (ahead of time)
- and more!
How are the bathrooms?
You’ll find restrooms near the Lake House open during April-October. There may be portable toilets or other restrooms located within the park.
Are there picnic tables and grills?
Yes and yes! Plenty of picnic tables and benches, and many grills located within the park.
Is there any shade?
Yes. Crystal Lake Park is full of mature trees and there are shaded areas throughout the entire park.
When is this park open?
Park hours are sunrise to sunset, unless you’re renting the Lake House or a pavilion.
What is parking like?
There are parking areas located all throughout the park. Just drive the perimeter of the park and find a place you’d like to park to get out and explore. There are also a number of spots near the Lake House.