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2018 Naperville Park District Fall Fun Preview

The Naperville Park District offers a variety of autumn events, including favorite traditions and new programs for the community to enjoy during the months of September and October.

On Wednesday, September 5, adults ages 18 and up are invited to an Adult Hike with a Naturalist from 8:00-9:30 a.m. at Knoch Knolls Park to look for wildlife. The fee is $6 for Naperville residents and $9 for others.  A second Adult Hike with a Naturalist also is offered on Saturday, October 20, when the autumn colors will be in full display.

Families can register for the fall Family Campout at Knoch Knolls Park on Sept. 8-9 or 15-16. On Saturday, enjoy games, a buffet-style supper, a twilight hike and S’mores around the campfire. Sunday includes a light breakfast.

Every Thursday afternoon in September, the community is invited to visit the 95th Street Farmers Market, presented by the Naperville Park District and the Naperville Public Library. Meet local vendors and purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables, organic meats, homemade breads and jams and more. Hours are 3:00-7:00 p.m. in the parking lot of the 95th Street Library located at 3015 Cedar Glade Drive. September market days will feature fun, fall themes and the best of the fall harvest.

Parents can drop off their kids, ages 4-12 for Superhero Night at Fort Hill Activity Center on Friday, September 21 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. featuring an obstacle course, a superhero hunt, and an opportunity to write a letter to their favorite superhero. Dinner and juice are provided. Register online at

Fort Hill Activity Center challenges cyclists to beat the trainers in its first Century Ride, to be held on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Teams of 4 or less can register at The fee is $100 per team.

New for 2018, the Park District’s outdoor movie series, A Night at the Movies finishes the season with a showing of “Monsters, Inc.” on Saturday, September 22 at 7:00 p.m. at Rotary Hill. Bring chairs or blankets and dress for the weather.

A fall tradition at the Park District, hayrides are offered in October at both Seager Park and Knoch Knolls Park. Gather with family and friends in the hay wagon for a ride through the woods, warm up by a campfire and enjoy hot chocolate and apple juice. A festive Halloween Hayride is scheduled on October 27, where kids can wear costumes and roast marshmallows. Register early at as dates fill quickly.

A new event, School’s Out Field Trip & Fun begins October 4 for ages 6-10, offering all-day field trips on school holidays in October and November. Destinations include Pump It Up on October 4, Odyssey Fun World on October 5, Enchanted Castle on October 8, a movie theater on November 6 and Safari Land on November 21.

The weekend of October 5-7, the Naperville Park District will host Summer Place Theatre’s Ghost Stories in the Park...In the Dark at the Riverwalk Grand Pavilion. Tickets are $7 and are available at the door or through the Naperville Park District at . Shows run Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. The Riverwalk Grand Pavilion is located along the Riverwalk just west of Centennial Beach. This event is appropriate for adults and children ages 5 and up.

The fourth annual Creepy Critters Day will take place at Knoch Knolls Nature Center on the Columbus Day school holiday, Monday, October 8 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. This is a free drop-in program that includes a Creepy Story Time presented by the Naperville Public Library at 10:30 a.m.

Families can register for a Family Hike with a Naturalist at Knoch Knolls Park on Saturday, October 13 from 8:00-9:30 a.m. View the fall colors and learn about wildlife in the area.

Cool Science: Halloween Gooey Concoctions will give preschool children ages 3-5 the opportunity to create gooey concoctions while learning about the science of solids and liquids. The class meets from 4:00-5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 17 at the 95th Street Center at 2244 W. 95th Street. A similar program for ages 6-11, Cool Science: Halloween Potions, Elixirs & Magical Mixtures, meets October 17 from 6:00-8:00 p.m., also at the 95th Street Center.

Knoch Knolls Nature Center hosts two programs in October about spiders: Amazing Arachnids meets October 20 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. for ages 7-9 and Super Spiders meets October 27 from 10:00-11:30 a.m. for ages 5-6.

Fort Hill Activity Center will host Spooktacular, a Halloween event for kids ages 4-12 on Friday, Oct. 26 from 6:00-9:00 p.m.  Parents can enjoy an evening out while children play at the Fort, Fort Hill Activity Center’s indoor playground and childcare area. Kids’ activities will include pumpkin decorating, Halloween Bingo, Mummy Relay Races, Pin the Stem on the Pumpkin, and Monster Freeze Dance. Dinner and juice are provided. Register online at

Magical Starlight Theatre will hold auditions on Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28 for the 2019 musical production of Tarzan. Auditions will be held at the Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center located at 305 W. Jackson Ave. Children must be in fourth grade or above to audition. Actors under age 16 may audition either on Saturday, Oct. 27 or Sunday, Oct. 28 from 1:00-2:30 p.m.  Actors age 16 and older may audition on either day from 2:30-4:00 p.m. Call backs, if necessary, will be held on Monday, Oct. 29 at 7:00 p.m.

The Scare-illon concert, a free event scheduled from 7:00–8:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27, will feature both classical and popular music with spooky and atmospheric themes played by Naperville City Carillonneur Tim Sleep.   Élan Dance Company dancers will perform special Halloween-themed dances. 

The 2018 Halloween Happening presented by Woody Buick/GMC will take place at the Grand Pavilion at the Riverwalk from 1:00–4:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 28. This free event is designed for children ages 10 and under with four themed areas, where they can collect treats, play games and win prizes. The four themed areas include Halloween Way, Fairytale Lane, King Arthur’s Court, and Adventure Alley. Kids are welcome to wear their favorite costumes to the event.


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