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Fall Fun Preview at the Naperville Park District

The Naperville Park District offers a variety of autumn events for the community to enjoy during the months of September and October.

On Thursday, September 14, 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. This event is free but registration is required. A second Adult Hike with a Naturalist also is offered on Saturday, October 28.

Visit beautiful Knoch Knolls Park and Nature Center, located at 320 Knoch Knolls Road, and also learn about Monarch butterflies at the inaugural Monarch Festival on Sunday, September 17 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Watch Monarchs being tagged, learn how to plant a pollinator garden, and visit with local beekeepers and conservation organizations. Children can have fun with games and crafts and food trucks will be on site offering some lunch items and beverages for purchase.

Fall hayrides will take place at both Seager Park and Knoch Knolls Park each weekend in October. The outings include a ride through the woods, a campfire and hot chocolate.  

The weekend of October 6-8, 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 Oct. 6-8. 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 third annual Creepy Critters Day will take place at Knoch Knolls Nature Center on Monday, October 9 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.

Preschool children ages 3-5 can create gooey concoctions while learning about the science of solids and liquids. Cool Science: Halloween Gooey Concoctionsmeets from 4:00-5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 10 at the 95th Street Center at 2244 W. 95thStreet. Cost is $26 for residents and $39 for nonresidents. A similar program for  ages 6-11, Cool Science: Halloween Potions, Elixirs & Magical Mixtures,meets October 10 from 6:00-8:00 p.m., also at the 95th Street Center. The cost is $36 for residents and $54 for nonresidents.

On Saturday, October 21 Knoch Knolls Nature Center presents Acro-Bats, a new program for children ages 6-8 with fun activities to help them learn about the world’s only flying mammal, the bat. The program takes place from 10:00-11:30 a.m. The cost is $15 for residents and $22 for nonresidents.

Fort Hill Activity Center will host Spooktacular, a Halloween event for kids ages 4-12 on Friday, Oct. 27 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. Registration is $25 for residents and $38 for non-residents, and Fort Hill Fitness Members receive a discount.

Free Halloween events include the Scare-illon concert from 7:00-8:00 p.m. on Oct. 28 at the Millennium Carillon, located at the base of Rotary Hill at 443 Aurora Ave. and Halloween Happening from 1:00-4:00 p.m. on Oct. 29 at the Riverwalk Grand Pavilion.

The Scare-illon concert, scheduled from 7:00–8:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, will feature both classical and popular music with spooky and atmospheric themes played by Naperville City Carillonneur Tim Sleep.  Special guests this year include Élan Dance Company dancers, who will perform special Halloween-themed dances. 

The 2017 Halloween Happening will take place at the Grand Pavilion at the Riverwalk from 1:00–4:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 29. 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.


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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.
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