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2018 Holiday Events Preview

Santa House construction begins on November 8 on the Riverwalk, transforming a park pavilion into a magical place where Santa will welcome kids and listen to their wishes. As the holidays quickly approach, preparations are underway at the Naperville Park District to offer both new and traditional special events as opportunities for all ages to gather and celebrate this festive time of the year.

Volunteers support the Park District’s holiday events and will prepare for serving by viewing a holiday volunteer training webinar on Wednesday, November 7 from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Those interested in holiday volunteer opportunities may contact Volunteer Manager Lynnette Hoole at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register for the training.

Magical Ice Cream Social takes place Friday, November 9 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center at 305 W. Jackson Ave. A new event that debuted in 2017, Magical Ice Cream Social is for children ages 1-6 and includes an engaging performance by a princess and a snowman, ice cream sundaes and fun crafts to make. Registration is underway at Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Kids’ Night Out at Fort Hill Activity Center will feature “Gobble Gobble Fun” on Friday, November 16 from 6:00-9:00 p.m.  Parents can drop their children off and enjoy a night out or some quiet time at home before the holidays. Additionally, the December 21 Kids’ Night Out, “Gingerbread Hunt,” includes favorite holiday activities like making Santa Hats, making a Gingerbread Man and decorating cookies. Register for either or both events at

Santa House, presented by Woody Buick GMC begins Friday, November 30 and ends Sunday, December 23. Located on the Naperville Riverwalk at Jackson Ave. and Webster St., Santa House is open to the public on weekends and Tuesday-Thursday December 18—20. Visiting Santa is free, with the option of purchasing photos with Santa at $8 each or $15 for two. Tuesday-Friday hours are 4:00-8:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday hours are 12:00-6:00 p.m. No advance reservations are needed during the public event hours.

Families with children who have special needs are asked to register for a specific time at one of four Special Needs Nights at Santa House from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Mon., Dec. 3, Tues., Dec. 4, Wed., Dec. 5 or Thurs., Dec. 13. Online registration at begins Thursday, November 8 at 9:00 a.m.

Advance reservations also are required for Pet Night, sponsored by Kriser’s Natural Pet, on December 10 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. and for Military and First Responders Night, sponsored by Operation Support Our Troops, on December 11 from 4:00-8:00 p.m.

“The Park District gratefully acknowledges the many generous sponsors and enthusiastic volunteers that support Santa House and make it a unique community event,” said Director of Recreation Brad Wilson.

Another favorite Park District event, Skating with Santa, will take place on Saturday, December 1 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. at Rocket Ice Rink in Bolingbrook. Children will have the opportunity to skate with Santa, Anna and Elsa and enjoy hot chocolate. To register, visit

A fun, family event during the school holidays is Family Bingo and Pizza at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, December 27 at the Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center, 305 W. Jackson Ave. The event includes 12 games of Bingo, pizza and drinks, and prizes for both adults and children. Register by December 21 for the early bird price of $11 per person for Naperville residents.

Children ages preschool through high school may participate in the Park District’s Winter Break Camps December 26-28 and January 2-4, including a full day camp and special interest camps such as sports, arts, cooking and Lego engineering. Check the Winter Program Guide for details and register at

Capping off the holiday season, the Park District will host the annual Countdown at the Carillon on New Year’s Eve, Monday, December 31, including an early family countdown at 6:00 p.m. led by Dolly McCarthy and a traditional midnight countdown to the New Year. The early countdown festivities start at 5:30 p.m. with Carillon music for children and refreshments provided while supplies last. Festivities will begin for the traditional countdown at 11:15 p.m. with Carillon music.


Connect your business’s brand with a well-known and respected one like the Naperville Park District’s and reach a large, active and diverse audience.

To learn more about our sponsorship opportunities contact
Stacey Fontechia Sales and Sponsorship Manager at 630-848-3575 or at


Funds raised through the Naperville Parks Foundation support the Naperville Park District’s Fee Assistance Program. The Naperville Parks Foundation supports the recreation needs and desires of the residents of Naperville – encouraging health and wellness, fitness, family time, and fun. The Foundation supports the mission of making recreation of all kinds accessible to everyone across the community, regardless of socioeconomic circumstances.

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 Naperville Park District officials heard the good news for which they have been waiting for many months: the District has achieved national accreditation through the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).

The decision was announced at the NRPA national conference in Atlanta following a formal hearing before the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).

Naperville is only the second park district in Illinois to earn this distinction and the 104th nationally accredited agency in the nation; there are more than 10,000 recreation agencies in the United States. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies accredits a handful of park agencies each year that have completed a multi-step process involving a self-review by the agency, a site visit, and an evaluation and formal report by the Commission.

“We are extremely proud to bring this honor to Naperville,” said Park District Executive Director Ray McGury. “It’s an affirmation of our high standards and also an encouragement to continue bringing high quality recreation and parks experiences to our community.”

The Park District’s accreditation process began approximately one year ago and included an extensive self-evaluation by staff and a 5-day visit from CAPRA reviewers this past July. Maintaining the accreditation requires annual reports and 5- and 10-year reviews.

Park District staff members noted that the CAPRA process has helped them see the big picture, focus on long term goals and plans, review plans more regularly, organize documents so that they are accessible and useable, and collaborate more effectively with other departments and outside organizations.

Our Mission
We provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community.
Our Vision
To be a national leader in parks and recreation providing and promoting high quality experiences and facilities at a great value to our community.
Core Values
Health and Wellness, Environmental Education, Stewardship and Sustainability, Community Enrichment, Public Safety, Accessibility, Personal Growth and Enrichment.
© 2020 Naperville Park District