Illinois : Safety by City
- Arlington Heights
- Crystal Lake
- Des Plaines
- East St Louis
- Fairview Heights
- Granite City
- Mount Prospect
- Oak Lawn
- Rock Island
- Tinley Park
In the southwest suburbs of Chicago, along I-55, sits the popular city of Bolingbrook.
This city is a draw for people who want to be close to the city but have a safer place to sleep at night or people who are sick of city life and want to be in a more suburban area without missing out on the amenities of the city.
Many of the cities in the Chicago area are actually called Villages, and Bolingbrook is technically a village.
It’s one of the, if not THE, largest village in the region.
Despite its size, it’s still one of the newest villages in Chicago, having been incorporated in 1965.
You won’t find too many historical markers here, but you will find a wealth of things to do.
I love researching cities and learning about cool things to do, and at first glance, I saw Pelican Harbor, which made me excited to see pelicans.
Well, it’s actually a community pool, so I can’t even sell that “you can see pelicans here.”
To make up for it, I can tell you there is an Ikea here.
Whether you want to explore indoor or outdoor attractions, Bolingbrook definitely has something for everyone.
Whalon Lake brings an abundance of wilderness activities, while The Promenade is the central gathering place for the community.
There is no traditional downtown area of Bolingbrook.
Most of the hotels are located right along the interstate, making for easy travel to other parts of Chicagoland if you have a car while you’re here.
Warnings & Dangers in Bolingbrook
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low overall risk here. Crime rates are very low by state and national comparison. Bolingbrook has also been consistently ranked as one of the top 100 places to live in the United States by Money Magazine. Bolingbrook is also the 24th safest city in the state of Illinois.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
The Metra rail line can take you right to downtown Chicago's Union Station. You can also use the PACE bus system to get around the suburban area. Taxis and rideshares are readily available. You have low risk with any option.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
The theft rate here is two and a half times lower than the national average, giving it a low risk. You should still use caution in crowded areas, but this isn't a place where you need a death grip on your purse or wallet.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
There's a medium risk because severe weather can happen any time of the year. All the extreme weather comes with ample warning, and you can review the emergency preparedness plan on the city's website. Severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flooding can happen throughout the year, but spring is the worst season for it. Winter will bring a certain amount of snow and ice, but that's totally normal here. Even the occasional blizzard isn't anything this city hasn't dealt with before.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
There's a one in 3,214 risk of being a robbery victim, which is very low. The rate is more than half less than the national average.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
Being that its part of the Chicagoland area, it's going to be medium risk, but Bolingbrook itself isn't considered a hard target. The best way you can help is to stay vigilant and follow the rule of "See Something, Say Something."
SCAMS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk of tourists being scammed as most of the scams are common ones you'll find in any residential area. You should still use caution if anyone approaches you with a deal that seems too good to be true.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Women are going to love Bolingbrook and can do so at low risk. The sexual assault rate is just under the national average, so you should still use all the personal protection you would as a female in any city.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The water here meets or exceeds all required standards at the state and federal levels. Illinois America Water provides the tap water here and this is a quote from the 2020 Water Quality Report, "We take water quality so seriously that 7 of our water treatment plants have been nationally recognized with Directors Awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Partnership for Safe Water program for surpassing federal and state drinking water standards."
Safest Places to Visit in Bolingbrook
The Illinois Aviation Museum is a popular spot here.
Several major restoration projects have made the museum a must-see in this community.
Planes from various eras are on display.
One note on this attraction is that it’s only open on weekends.
The Whalon Lake area is part of a 1,500-acre preserve in the DuPage River system.
The lake itself covers 80 of those acres and is stocked with fish throughout the year.
You will need an Illinois fishing license to catch fish here.
You can also kayak on this lake without a permit.
The trails here can be used year-round and it’s a popular place for snowshoeing in the winter.
You might want to swing by The Promenade Bolingbrook first to visit the Bass Pro Shop for all your fishing needs.
This is a traditional open-air shopping mall with all your favorite stores and perhaps a few brands that are new to you.
Concerts and farmer’s markets are held here throughout the year.
Check the website for the full schedule of upcoming events closer to your visit.
Throughout the year, you can ice skate at Rocket Ice Arena and Pelican Harbor Water Park has indoor and outdoor pools as well.
(I can confirm there are NO pelicans here.)
Wilderness Falls is another popular place for the whole family with several miniature golf courses and batting cages.
Keep an eye out for Maddux the Moose, as this mascot is often seen helping players on the golf course.
Johansen Farms is a great place for plant and flower lovers, but if you’re here during the Fall Festival, you can go through the Children’s Zoo and Pumpkin Patch.
I can’t even go into detail about the dining options here because there are so many.
The Visit Bolingbrook website has a great list of everything in the village and you can search for the type of food or price point.
Places to Avoid in Bolingbrook
Crime maps show the highest number of incidents happening in the central part of the village along I-55.
The farther west you are, the lower the crime rates are.
However, there is no bad part of the city.
This is a safe place from one end to the other.
One thing I can tell you in Illinois, having grown up near the Illinois/Missouri border – it annoys people when you say Illinois incorrectly.
The “s” is silent. It’s “Ill-in-noy,” not “Ill-in-noise.”
You should definitely avoid thinking all of the Chicago areas is this safe.
There’s a reason we have so many cities in the Chicago area on this website, and that’s because crime dangers can change within a few blocks.
You should research where you are staying and where you’ll be going so you can be better prepared for your trip.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Bolingbrook
- I always find it interesting the different crime and safety tips individual police departments put on their respective websites. To me, it’s an indicator of what’s really a problem in the community. One of the big ones on the Bolingbrook website is burglaries of vehicles. The top things stolen from cars are briefcases, cameras, mobile phones, GPS systems or mounts, radar detectors, I-Passes (the toll road device), and purses/wallets. Always lock your car doors and roll the windows up (even on a hot day) and park in well-lit areas. Don’t leave any personal belongings in a car, even if you are exhausted after a day of being a tourist. Take the time to clean out the car like it’s fresh off the factory line.
- There is an extensive Neighborhood Watch program in Bolingbrook. More than 100 neighborhoods have this. If you are renting a home during your visit, it’s a great idea to reach out to the head of the Neighborhood Watch and ask about current crimes in the area.
- In residential areas, you are not allowed to park your car on the street overnight. This is for a list of safety reasons you can read on the police department’s website. You can ask for permission to park on the street, but you’ll have to go to the police department to plead your case.
- Bolingbrook has a Crimestoppers hotline where you can report a crime anonymously and possibly get a reward for your information. Reports like this help keep a safe community safe. The number is (630) 378-4772 and calls are answered around the clock.
- If you are renting a home, the owner is required to have a license from the city of Bolingbrook as part of the “Good Neighbor” program. You should ask to see proof of this before renting a home. If someone cannot provide it, it might be a rental scam and you should move on.
- You should sign up for alerts on the city’s website. This will cover traffic hazards, hazmat situations, criminal activity impacting a part of town, or severe weather alerts. You can also sign up for Brook Police News alerts where you’ll get safety information that isn’t an emergency.
- A new road construction project has created what’s called a “Diverging Diamond” interchange. If you don’t have one in your home community, this might get a little confusing. I lived in Florida when they opened one of these and the number of people who ended up going the wrong way was staggering. You can read about how a diverging diamond works on the city website under the section “I-55 and Weber Road Construction.”
- If you are visiting during a winter storm and have questions about how snow removal works, or see an area that should’ve been plowed but hasn’t been, you can contact Snow Command at (630) 226-8820.
- Recreational marijuana use is allowed in Bolingbrook and across Illinois, but with a litany of restrictions. The bottom line is you can only use it if you are in a private place where the owner allows it and you are over the age of 21. You cannot use it in public places, even the gummy versions.
- It’s illegal to text and drive in Illinois, which can make it challenging if you are trying to navigate a new city. You can use hands-free devices. The only exception is if you are using a mobile device in an emergency situation.
So... How Safe Is Bolingbrook Really?
I’m still shocked at the theft rate in this city being so low.
Even safe communities tend to have a high property crime rate, which is about 50% car break-ins and shoplifting.
Bolingbrook has figured out how to keep these numbers low, and I’m guessing that the powerful Neighborhood Watch program is very helpful in that mission.
Every crime category here is lower than the national and state average.
- Illinois Violent Crime Risk: 1 in 239
- Bolingbrook Violent Crime Risk: 1 in 569
- Illinois Property Crime Risk: 1 in 65
- Bolingbrook Property Crime Risk: 1 in 65
While this is a safe community, it’s not the safest in the state.
Palatine takes the top spot for cities around the size of Bolingbrook for being the safest.
However, it’s important to know you aren’t getting a real sense of safety in the Chicago area.
You are also missing the city vibe that so many people love about Chicago.
How Does Bolingbrook Compare?
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- Visas - You will need a Visa if you are visiting from outside the U.S. The process takes about four months, so plan ahead of time. You will only need to show a Visa when you enter the country, and not as you go throughout the Chicago area.
- Currency - The U.S. Dollar will be the only currency accepted here. There are currency exchange options at the airports in Chicago. You don't need to carry cash here as credit cards and mobile payments are widely accepted. Some of the servers at restaurants might ask you to tip via Venmo or Cashapp.
- Weather - You should prepare for cold winters or warm, humid summers and spring/fall brings a wide berth of possibilities. The weather here can change by the day, sometimes experiencing temperatures of several seasons all in one day. There is a lot of walking to do in Bolingbrook and the surrounding Chicago area, so bring good walking shoes.
- Airports - Midway International Airport is 24 miles straight up the interstate, which is about a 30-minute drive. O'Hare International Airport is about 29 miles and 40 minutes northeast of Bolingbrook.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance is a great idea, especially when flying out of Midway, which has one of the top travel delays of all airports in the U.S.
Bolingbrook Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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