Explore the parks in your backyard and beyond without breaking the bank. Parks owned, operated and maintained by the St. Charles Park District are free for the entire community and offer an abundance of fun this summer with activities and amenities for the whole family.
One of the newer playgrounds is at Lincoln Park with several play structures such as a rotating climbing net, and interactive play features as well as a number of slides, including those suitable for toddlers. An awning overhead keeps active tykes shaded as they play.
On Thursday nights, families can enjoy free concerts in the park. On July 28 concert-goers will be dancing all night long with a performance by 7th Heaven, a band playing covers from hitmakers like The Beatles, U2 and Journey. The last concert of this summer is on August 4 and features The PriSSillas, a female foursome bringing the fun with songs from big names like The Rolling Stones and Dolly Parton. Both concerts take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m., though community members are invited to arrive early to picnic and try dishes available from local restaurants.
A sensory garden and playground at Pottawatomie Park has a carefree summer day written all over it. Among other ADA-inclusive features, the playground includes a wheelchair swing, which allows individuals with special needs to swing without need for a transfer. Families can explore the sensory garden’s native plants, an immersive vine tunnel and hop to and from tree log steppers.
On August 19, the family-favorite box office favorite, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, debuts on the big screen for free at Pottawatomie’s amphitheater. Bring a blanket for the grassy slope. Concessions are available for purchase.
“There’s endless benefits for park visitors of all ages – sunshine, exercise, to name a few,” said Erika Young, Public Relations & Marketing Manager for the St. Charles Park District.
Way up north at Taly Park, visitor will encounter the Mighty Dragon—its green snake-like body the perfect place for a game of tag. Downtown at Haseltine Park, kids can swoop along a zip line.
At Hickory Hideout, nature play is the name of the game. Large tree trunks, rocks and other natural materials come together to compose a free-form area where imaginations can run wild. The space is located outside Hickory Knolls Discovery Center. Nature trails lie just beyond.
Waterways along the Fox River with access points from parks as well as large ponds within parks off amateurs and seasoned anglers an opportunity to cast a line. Fishing is available at 10 locations, including River Bend Community Park Pond and Mt. St. Mary Park. For the full list, visit stcparks.org/fishing. State fishing licensing and regulations apply.
In addition to fishing, Mt. St. Mary Park offers the chance to casually stroll paved pathways and admire the many large-scale sculptures that dot the park’s green spaces. Permanent fixtures like Mr. Eggwards, the slyly-smiling Humpty Dumpty-esque character, commingle with this year’s exhibition pieces, which range from conceptual to more true-to-life art. The park also features a towering playground and skate park.
Finding a hidden gem—or many—may just make for an unforgettable summer in St. Charles.