Parks and Recreation

The award-winning Naperville Park District has just about anything a family could want in the way of recreation. The park district maintains 125 parks that make up 2,300 acres. From virtually every neighborhood in the city, there is a lovely, green park within walking distance.

At the center of it all is the spectacular Riverwalk, a linear park in which brick pathways wind for miles along the DuPage River to Centennial Beach, a six-acre chlorinated swimming park. Centennial Beach, open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, is a gathering place for hundreds of people, from babies to seniors. Its sandy beach, refreshing water, volleyball nets and picnic areas make family ?mini-vacations? possible just about every day during warm weather.

Other facilities available for residents and operated by the park district includes 720 garden plots, ice and in-line skating rinks, a trap shooting club, 22 tennis courts, 60 playgrounds and 100 playing fields. In addition, golfers can enjoy playing on two park-district-run championship golf courses.

When it arrives on doorsteps four times a year, the Naperville Park District Program Guide is filled with listings of almost 4,000 classes and programs for residents of all ages and interests. Residents can enroll in team activities and classes by mail or via the park district?s website

For sports enthusiasts, there are lessons, teams and camps for swimming, diving, hockey, soccer, softball, basketball, archery, skating, tennis, golf, fitness and weight training, volleyball, aerobics, skiing, snorkeling, football, bowling, karate, racquetball, bicycling, boating, fencing, gymnastics, wall climbing and wrestling.

Children are able to learn a variety of important and fun lessons through park district classes like Mad Science, Little Mr. and Miss Manners, First Aid, parentchild activities, sign language, and fishing.

Safe and fun activities are also abundant including hayrides, stories, parties and outings.

For creative types, the park district offers photography, gardening, drama, ceramics, painting, calligraphy, piano, stenciling, holiday crafts, sewing and more. Other classes include jazz, ballet, tap, cooking, homebuyers? workshops, wardrobe enhancement, cake decorating, baby sitters clinics, pom-pons and cheerleading. The list goes on and is continually updated with some of the newest trends like fitness boxing, in-line skating and hip-hop dance. Senior citizens enjoy a drop-in center that features a variety of social and educational opportunities including a number of trips and outings each year.

The Heritage YMCA Group offers even more recreational and physical fitness opportunities for its members through classes and programs. The Y, established in Naperville in 1910, maintains its original facility in downtown Naperville. The Kroehler Family Center contains two swimming pools, gymnasium, and cardiovascular and strength-training equipment. The 95th Street Family Center also has a pool, double gymnasium, aerobic studio, a wellness center, and a supervised children?s center. The Y?s new Field House has five multi-purpose courts, running track, and a wellness center. Visit the YMCA?s website at .

In addition to the two championship Park District golf courses, Naperville and the surrounding area offer several other public courses, including Tamarack Golf Club and three DuPage County Forest Preserve courses. Several country clubs including Cress Creek Country Club, Naperville Country Club and White Eagle Golf Club offer members outstanding play and are available for special outings.

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County owns or maintains more than 23,000 acres of open and recreational space, including more than 600 acres of lakes, 60 miles of river and streams, and over 80 miles of trails. The Forest Preserve District also offers classes and programming to help DuPage County residents get back to nature. By using the trail matrix, DuPage County residents can choose the perfect route to hike, jog, bike, ski or horseback ride. Fishing is permitted in all of the Forest Preserve District?s lakes, rivers and streams, unless otherwise posted. Visit the DuPage County Forest Preserve District?s website at .