I absolutely adore nature play areas. Not only do they encourage outdoor play but kids appreciate nature at the same time. Unstructured play time is always a must. When I heard Lake Zurich had a new nature playscape, Kuechmann Kove, I knew the kids would love it. I was right!


Kuechmann Kove is located at Kuechmann Arboretum, 7.8 acres of open space and a forest with 25 different species of trees. Located on Old Rand Road between to private residences, it’s easy to miss the entrance (especially if you’re distracted by looking at the lake on the other side!). Look out for the Kuechmann Arboretum signs and follow the black top driveway to the main entrance. We actually walked here from Breezewald Park so it was pretty easy to find. But if you do decide to drive, there is a small parking lot.

Hop around

One of my favorite aspects of this nature playscape are the artfully decorated stepping stones that just brighten the area. The kids loved stepping (and jumping) from stepping stone to stepping stone. The kids also loved jumping from tree stump to tree stump. And who can resist hopscotch?

Get the kids out in nature at the new nature playspace, Kuechmann Kove at Kuechmann Arboretum in Lake Zurich, Illinois.

Fun play items

There’s a small log structure kids can climb on or through as well as a wigwam style hut. Kids can pretend to row, row, row the boat in the red canoe. Really fun items to spark anyone’s imagination.


Unlike other forest preserves, kids are encouraged to use their imagination to create cool things like forts or forest tee-pees with branches. They also have a slate style chalkboard to make their own art. You can find chalkboard in the shed.

Get the kids out in nature at the new nature playspace, Kuechmann Kove at Kuechmann Arboretum in Lake Zurich, Illinois.

Learn at the Discover Lab

Similar to Dundee’s Wahoo Woods, the little shed or Discovery Lab holds items to help kids learn. We found things like chalk, books, and so much more.


Take a hike

While the kids were playing, I took a short hike on the mulched nature trail. Since it is an arboretum, they did a great job identifying some trees with plaques. There is also a short boardwalk that was pretty fun to walk on.

READ MORE: Looking for more nature play areas? Kids will love Lincoln Marsh and Red Oak Nature Center.



Visiting Kuechmann Kove was a wonderful way to get the kids out in nature and have fun. If you are in the area, I’d recommend stopping by!

TIPS TO ENJOY Kuechmann Kove

  • If you don’t mind walking, park by Breezewald Park and walk about.7 miles to the Arboretum.
  • It may be a little muddy if you come after it’s rained, so just dress the kids appropriately.
  • We didn’t find any bathrooms here. I’d use them at Breezewald Park or Stomping Grounds Cafe!
  • Grab a coffee and treat to go from Stomping Grounds Cafe (use the bathrooms here first!) then walk on over to Kuechmann Kove.


  • Go on a playground crawl around  Lake Zurich – add Breezewald Park and Paulus Park. Both are lakefront playgrounds with beaches. (Stay tuned for a review!)
  • Grab food at Hungry Mule. On Sundays, kids eat free.



Website: https://www.ancientoaksfoundation.org/nature_playscape/
Location: 626 North Old Rand Road, Lake Zurich
Cost: Free
Parking: Small parking lot
Stroller-friendly? It’s doable but may be a little bit hard on the mulched nature trail. There is a paved sidewalk from Stomping Grounds Cafe.
Food: No food available for purchase, but there are a couple tables available. Bring food and have a little picnic!
Crowded: We visited on a Sunday morning and it was not busy at all.