In 2017, the Downers Grove Park District’s efforts were devoted to numerous behind-the-scenes improvements to make its facilities more energy efficient and accessible, and to transitioning rooms in the 1892 Blodgett House back to their original uses when the family lived there. This year, the park district is turning its energies to creating exceptional programming, said Dawn Hartman, manager of marketing and creative development.
At the Downers Grove Museum, an exhibit entitled “Hearth & Home: The Significance of Downers Grove’s Historic Homes” is planned for the fall and winter, opening Sept. 8. It will delve into the ways Downers Grove residents lived in their homes and will also cover the histories of many local homes, built between the 1830s and the 1930s.
The museum also expects to introduce by summer’s end virtual tours of the 1892 Blodgett House, enabled by SmartPhones and iPads. This new technology will allow members of the public to take self-guided tours of the home, pointing their devices at marked objects and subsequently hearing all about those items, using an app called “HP Reveal.”
A new driving range shelter at the Downers Grove Golf Club is now open. The structure will cover 10 of the driving range’s 22 hitting stations, Hartman noted, and will come equipped with both ceiling fans and heaters in order to extend the golfing season for enthusiasts.
In addition, a new playground constructed at O’Brien Park this fall and new mowed paths through high grass are being cut from Walnut Park to the adjoining Belmont Prairie Path. Guides to the new paths will soon be posted on the park district website, along with drone footage of the trails, Hartman said.
Finally, events abound. Thirteen weeks of Tuesday night summer concerts, ending Aug. 21, were held at the Veterans Memorial Pavilion in Fishel Park. Pop/rock, rhythm and blues, country and classical groups performed and food trucks were on hand to add to the public’s enjoyment.
In addition, Harvest Fest will be held at Fishel Park on Sept. 29. The day begins with the DG 5&8-Miler competitive race followed by a day full of children’s activities, live music, contests and games for all ages, a craft show, a beer garden, food trucks and more.
The Woodridge Park District’s Athletic Recreation Center opened an additional gymnasium in March to accommodate those wishing to expand a variety of sport leagues, drop-in play and camp opportunities. It was part of the original building design but had to be delayed because of the postponement of a promised $2.5 million state grant. When the grant was later released, the multi-activity gym was built, said Megan Pettit, public relations and marketing manager.
In addition, the district’s pools and adjacent Lazy River at Cypress Cove have been improved with the application of a new, non-abrasive, slip-resistant surface to enhance swimmer safety and comfort.
This fall two new outdoor pickleball courts will be constructed at Hobson Corner Park to meet a growing demand for the popular sport. Other planned park additions include a new neighborhood with play equipment at the new Timber’s Edge Park, due to be master-planned this fall; and the development of a sled hill at the Town Centre property.
As far as activities are concerned, a new Family Fishing Day took place at Lake Harriet. Fishermen of all ages enjoyed the new pier used to hook a fish or two.
Open Ropes Course Nights are also being held one night per month at the recreation center for those ages 8 and older. Participants must measure at least 42 inches to participate and must be no taller than 6’3”, Pettit said. The evening sessions are planned for 6 to 8 p.m., Sept. 20, Oct. 23, Nov. 20 and Dec. 27. A maximum of 12 participants will be permitted at each session. The cost is $20 per resident or $25 per non-resident.
private recreational facilities
Private facilities that offer a wide range of recreational activities abound in the Chamber630 area. They offer everything from fitness classes and workout equipment to dance classes, swim classes, indoor golf, outdoor golf, trampolines, kick boxing, ice skating and bowling.
Bear Paddle Swim School
Board & Brush – Downers Grove
Celebrity Dance Studio
Downers Grove Choral Society
Downers Grove Golf Club
Downers Grove Park District
Downers Sand Club Sports Bar & Grill
Erini Yoga & Wellness, Ltd.
Fuzzy Logic Escape Room
Good Samaritan Health & Wellness Center
Indian Boundary Ymca
Main Event Entertainment
Midtown Athletic Club
Orangetheory Fitness – Woodridge
Pinot’s Palette (Elmhurst)
Ruffled Feathers Golf Club
Seven Bridges Golf Club
The Art of Good Eating
Tivoli Bowling Lanes
UFC Gym Downers Grove
Village Greens of Woodridge
Woodridge Park District