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Gurnee Park District Newsletter – June 2024

While summer doesn’t officially begin until June 20th, it’s safe to say it is officially feeling like summer! The trees are fully boasting their summer flair and the temperatures are slowly rising higher and higher! Make sure to soak up those rays and beautiful days by taking a visit to one of our amazing 28 parks (see this month’s Park Highlight below)!

We have a lot in store this month! Mark your calendars for our upcoming June events and MORE!

MAKE A SPLASH AT THE AQUATIC CENTER!

The Hunt Club Park Aquatic Center is NOW open! Enjoy fun all summer long!

Hours include:
Monday – Friday: 12:00 – 7:00pm
Saturdays & Sundays: 12:00pm – 7:00pm
*passholder only entry 11:00am-12:00pm
Holidays: 11:00am – 7:00pm

We have a busy summer planned! Visit our Aquatic Center event calendar here!

Visit for the day, or all summer long by purchasing your online day pass or 2024 season pass!

Online Day Pass
2024 Season Pass

*Don’t forget to check Rainout Line for all weather-related updates!

FAMILIES ON THE FAIRWAY – 6/7

This Friday (6/7), get ready for our annual Families on the Fairway event at Bittersweet Golf Course! This event is FREE and FUN for the whole family! Friday, June 7
7:00-9:00pm
Bittersweet Golf Course | 875 Almond Road

Learn More!

MONTHLY MIXER – 6/14

Grab your friends as our popular monthly mixers have been extended through July!

NEW summer location: Gurnee Community Church | 4555 Old Grand Avenue, Gurnee, IL. 60031

As summer begins, let’s celebrate with an old-fashioned picnic, indoors of course! Lunch will include fried chicken, potato salad, vegetable and fruit trays, and dessert. Following lunch, we’ll play “Name That Tune” with singer and piano player, Robb Pedraza. 

Friday, June 14 – 11:30am-1:00pm
*Doors open: 11:00am/lunch service begins at 11:30am

Registration deadline: 6/10

Save Your Seat

SOUNDS OF SUMMER CONCERT SERIES

Our Sounds of Summer concert series begins this month! See below for our upcoming June concerts:

June 13: Sounds of Summer Evening Concert – “90s Pop Nation” at Viking Park
(7:00-8:30pm)

June 18: Sounds of Summer Children’s Series: “Mary Macaroni” at Viking Park
(10:30-11:15am)
* We’re proud to partner with our friends at Forest Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry. 
Forest Orthodontics & Pediatrics’ SMILE Ice Cream Truck will be onsite! The team will be serving up FREE, sweet treats to guests (while supplies last)!

June 27: Sounds of Summer Evening Concert – “Radio Gaga” at Viking Park
(7:00-8:30pm)
*thank you to our sponsor, Old National Bank, for making this event possible!

Special thank you to the Gurnee Exchange Club, who will be onsite for our evening concerts selling concessions!


DEI CORNER – PRIDE MONTH

As we welcome the month of June, we also welcome Pride Month, a time to celebrate, remember, and continue the progress toward equality and acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community. Here at the Gurnee Park District, where the heart of our mission lies in fostering a welcoming environment for all members of our community, we embrace the significance of this month by reflecting on its origins and celebrating its importance.

DEI Corner Blog

PARK HIGHLIGHT – SHAW PARK

Head on over to the east side of Gurnee, just past Route 41, down Belle Plaine Avenue, and you will find…Shaw Park!

Tis’ the season to get outside, and Shaw Park is a great place to do just that! Tucked away in the quiet neighborhood near Spaulding School, Shaw Park is another one of Gurnee Park District’s finest locations. The park boasts an inviting playground for all ages, plenty of shade from mature trees, as well as a wooded walking path. If you’re looking to get in some extra steps, hop on over to the “Boulevard View Trail,” which connects to the park for an extra ¾ mile walking adventure.

Did you know? In 2018, the park received a makeover to its playground structures, including new slides, climbing features, a merry-go-round, a swing set, and a tot lot. In addition to plenty of new and exciting play features, our Parks Teams also added a large shade sail or kite, making picnics at the park the perfect summer activity!


UPCOMING SUMMER EVENTS

Mark your calendars for MORE fun throughout the summer!

Special Event Calendar

Looking for a FUN and REWARDING job? We’re hiring!
Available positions include:

Business Services Specialist (FT)
Facility Maintenance I & II (FT & PT)
FitNation Childcare (PT)
Fitness Attendant (PT)
Group Exercise Instructor (PT)
Park Ambassador (PT)
Personal Trainer (PT)
Special Events Coordinator (PT)

Apply today!

Have a great month! We look forward to seeing you out and about at Gurnee Park District!

Hunt Club Park Aquatic Center
Families on the Fairway 6/7
Monthly Mixers 55+

May 8, 2024

Gurnee Park District Newsletter – May 2024

It’s safe to say that all those April showers gave way to some beautiful May flowers! Spring is SPRINGING here at Gurnee Park District! Take time to enjoy all of the vibrant signs of spring by planning a visit to one of our parks – pack a picnic lunch, invite some friends, and make a day of it! This time of year is fleeting, but the memories it brings can last a lifetime! We have a lot in store this month! Mark your calendars for our upcoming May events and MORE!

UPCOMING MAY EVENTS:

OPENING WEEKEND AT HUNT CLUB PARK AQUATIC CENTER – 5/25-5/27

Opening weekend at the pool is coming up fast! See our Aquatic Center hours below!

Saturday, May 25 – 12:00 – 7:00pm*
*11:00am-12:00pm passholder entry only
Sunday, May 26 – 12:00 – 7:00pm*
*11:00am-12:00pm passholder entry only
Monday, May 27 – 11:00am – 7:00pm

*Visit Rainout Line for all weather-related updates!

Make sure you and the family are ready for the summer season – purchase your Hunt Club Park Aquatic Center 2024 season pass today at reduced rates now – 5/31!

Purchase your 2024 season pass here

 2024 SUMMER PROGRAM & EVENTS GUIDE

Summer is right around the corner! Get ready by taking a look at our NEW Summer Program and Events Guide, which includes summer programs, classes, events, and more!

View 2024 Summer Program & Events Guide

T-BALL & LIL’ SLUGGERS LEAGUES

Let’s play ball! Our T-Ball and Lil’ Sluggers leagues begin soon. These leagues are perfect for your future all star to learn basic fundamentals of the game of baseball, all while having fun and being part of a team!

Make sure to join your team soon – spaces are limited! Practices begin the week of June 10!

Play ball this summer

 GO GURNEE REBOOT EVENT – 5/19

Looking to learn more about the GO Gurnee movement? Join us for our GO Gurnee Re-Boot event on Sunday, May 19! The GO Gurnee Re-boot event will include guided walking groups, FREE GO Gurnee swag, music, FREE hot dogs and chips (while supplies last), and MORE.
Have a furry friend who likes to walk, too? Bring them along to meet other dog lovers and even enjoy some pet-friendly giveaways!

Learn more here

MEMORIAL DAY HOURS – 5/29

We will be open with limited hours on Memorial Day (Monday, May 29). Please see below for our facility hours:

Hunt Club Park Aquatic Center: OPEN 11:00am – 7:00pm
Hunt Club Park Community Center: CLOSED
FitNation on Nations Drive: OPEN 7:00am – 12:00pm
Viking Park Community Center: CLOSED 

PARK HIGHLIGHT – PRAIRIE OAKS

Tucked away in the rolling landscape of the Prairie Oaks neighborhood, you will find one of Gurnee Park District’s most hidden gems – Prairie Oaks Shagbark Park.

Entering the park, especially during this time of year, is nothing short of magical. In fact, with groves of mature oak trees, stunning landscaping, and even a hidden fairy garden, it’s almost as if you’ve entered a scene from the Secret Garden. And it’s right here, in Gurnee!

Behind every twist and turn that the park has to offer brings something new to behold. Make sure to visit one of the two permanent book-lending libraries, built by local park neighbors, or, drop a “bone” in the dog toy-sharing bin. Looking for more fun? Walk the short path, which connects Prairie Oaks Shagbark to the neighboring Prairie Oaks Silo Park!

Did you know? The playground equipment at Prairie Oaks Shagbark Park was recently updated in the fall of 2022. Among the many new features replacing those that had been installed 20+ year ago, include a nod to the park’s fairy tale theme, with playground equipment including a tree fort aesthetic.

DEI CORNER – MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH

Spring is in full bloom as we head into a new month, signaling a time to get outside! And what better way to do so than during the month of May, also recognized as “Mental Health Awareness Month.” 

DEI Corner Blog

UPCOMING EVENTS

Our summer event schedule is now online! Mark your calendars for Neighborhood Nights, Families on the Fairway, Sounds of Summer concerts, and MORE!

View Special Events schedule here

Looking for a FUN and REWARDING job? We’re hiring!
Available positions include:

Aquatics (current and summer positions – PT)
Business Services Specialist (PT)
Customer Service Representatives (PT)
Cultural Arts Supervisor (FT)
Dance Instructor (PT)
Director of Recreation (FT)
Facility Maintenance (PT)
Member Services (FT)
Personal Trainer (PT)
And MORE!

View all available positions here

Have a great month! We look forward to seeing you out and about at Gurnee Park District! 

May GO Gurnee Event
May Event - Opening Weekend at the Aquatic Center
May Event - Summer Program Guide
Mario Moreno
April 30, 2024

The place is always clean and nicely organized. Bathrooms always spotless lean.

Nathan Medina
April 27, 2024

Nice place. Overall I think it's great but it's too expensive for me. The pool is nice but it's a little shorter than a regular pool. The sauna and steam room are both great and the locker room is in good condition and clean.

Wayne Burke
April 7, 2024

Everyone is very nice and helpful. Very clean and maintained. Keep up the great work!

Juli
November 14, 2023

I have not yet used the facility, but the tour was thorough, and the staff was friendly. I would like there to be weight machines, but lots of classes are offered that I'm looking forward to trying.

Kenneth Norwood
September 26, 2023

Absolutely the Best fitness facility!! The staff are Top Notch! DuMel is the Best!!

Belle Searcy
August 4, 2023

Always clean, not too noisy, sauna, steam sauna, spacious hot tub, plenty of machines, broken machines get fixed in timely manner, lots of water bottle fillers, plenty of sanitization wipes, friendly staff, friendly people working out... overall worth the price! (Just wish they were open later on weekends)

Angela Mirretti
May 1, 2023

Love this place, great group classes!!

Shirlese Locke
March 27, 2023

I love the Fitnation Gurnee location. However, I really missed the Exercise classes at the HuntClub location. Please bring them back.

Barry Bernstein
March 16, 2023

I finally found a club that is clean, open and expansive with working machines and lots of good reviews. It has everything you should expect in a quality health club, including a pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room, clean locker rooms and even drink vending machines. They even have a senior citizen discount, which several of the store front places do not. The front desk area is almost as big as some of these storefront places. They do provide towels and have clean showers 🚿. Please tap on the thumbs up 👍 and follow me with my many reviews.

Emily S.
January 22, 2023

I've been coming to fitnation since September 2022. I really like all of the staff, amenities and group fitness classes. I wish there were more group fitness classes offered in the evenings and on later on the weekends.

anthony bennett
January 19, 2023

Constantly being kept clean even with hs jocks working out. Lol

We love Hunt Club Fitness center I really enjoy the walking track!!

empowheressence
January 3, 2023

I like working out at FitNation.

I highly recommend Fit Nation they have so much to offer! Working out here is great we also love the pool and all the additional amenities such as: women's workout room, classes, basketball 🌻

Brenda Hansen
October 7, 2022

Nice place to work out at your own time and level

Darya
September 25, 2022

Nice clean facility!

Ricky Fico
May 14, 2022

I rejoined FitNation just about a month ago after a 2 year hiatus. That hiatus put 30 pounds on my frame and now, since March 27 and a month at FitNation I am down 20 of those pounds. FitNation is clean, the staff accommodating and the equipment - awesome!

Dave Dayton
April 30, 2022

The FitNation facility is impeccable. In spending over an hour 6 days a week watching the care taken by the staff from maintaining the equipment, lighting, towel service and cleaning everywhere, I am thankful to have became a member. I know it's difficult for many to make it a habit to of working on our physical being, the recognition and greetings by the front desk staff makes one feel like this is the place you belong. When you get the call to join a facility, to address your physical needs, the cost value comparison of FitNation is money well spent. Thanks for better health, physically and mentally.

Darby Hiott
January 11, 2022

Has everything and very nice

Jim Fallguy
December 18, 2021

Offers weight systems and free weights plus group fitness.

Rodney Vieux
December 3, 2021

I love it! Great place to work out.

Jessica Castrejon
November 9, 2021

Were not clear about the kids memberships , was kinda of a waste of time. My kid has gone alone paying the daily pass , but when I tried to get him a membership he needed and adult to go with him. Not sure how that works but 🤷‍♀️

Gretchen Morrison
September 19, 2021

Bonnie, the Hydrofit instructor for aquartics on Mondays and Tuesdays ROCKS! Her class is a WORKOUT from 9-10 with little downtime in between exercises. That down time is filled with jogging in place. I appreciate her enmcouragement and options for folks with limited mobility. Thank you, Bonnie!

Renee Pratscher
September 13, 2021

I've only been to the Nation's Drive facility and it's wonderful! The front desk is super helpful and very pleasant. They always wish you a great workout when you arrive, and they send off with a "Have a nice day", when you leave. Always! The facility is very clean, and I see the staff constantly vacuuming, cleaning, and going the extra distance to keep up with covid requirements so that the place is safe for all guests. All the machines are in good condition and I particularly love the two private work out rooms within the women's locker room. 5 stars, Fitnation!

TONE FRENCH
June 26, 2021

100% back open. Great environment, great equipment no excuses get there and get right. 💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾

Stephanie Ambre
June 26, 2021

Love the staff + environment is great! Would give it 5 stars if it was open till 9 on Fridays and hours were longer on the weekend!

Sheila Melo Grospe
January 5, 2021

It was my first time back since the pandemic started and I really appreciate the practices in place for maintaining a clean workout area and social distancing. Everyone followed the rules and it felt very safe. Plan to try and make more time again to workout safely.

Joseph N.
December 12, 2020

Great place. Nice and clean...doing a great job during these tough times!

great place to workout if you don't want to wait for a machine, staff is friendly and super clean.

Wendy Rojel
May 29, 2015

Fitnation is My Favorite Place To Workout

April 15, 2024

Gurnee Park District Welcomes NEW Youth Program Supervisor, Megan Baird!

Gurnee Park District is excited to announce and welcome Youth Program Supervisor, Megan Baird, CPRP.

megan baird headshot
Megan Baird, New Youth Program Supervisor

Megan joins Gurnee Park District with a wealth of experience in the field of parks and recreation. In 2015, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Recreation Administration from Eastern Illinois University. From there, she worked as a Recreation Coordinator at Round Lake Park District before entering her most recent role as the Recreation Supervisor for Buffalo Grove Park District. As a Recreation Supervisor, Megan oversaw a variety of recreation programs, including fitness, camp, athletics, and various in-house programs.

Deeply committed to her profession, Megan is a member of the National Parks and Recreation Association (NRPA), as well as the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA). In September 2022, she continued her professional growth by becoming a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP).

Having been a proud Gurnee resident for many years, Megan is excited to bring her passion for recreation to Gurnee Park District. In her new role as Youth Program Supervisor, Megan hopes to further foster community engagement, create inclusive environments, as well as aid in the continued success of our youth programs.

Gurnee Park District looks forward to having Megan join the team. “We are thrilled to welcome Megan on board,” shared Sabrina Hinkens, Youth Program Manager. “Her contributions will play an integral role in our continued growth and ability to provide exceptional services to our community.”

March 26, 2024

Gurnee Park District Newsletter – April 2024

Welcome to April! Spring is officially underway, and what a beautiful time of year it is here at Gurnee Park District! As you enter our facilities, you will now notice the emergence of colorful blooms greeting you around every turn – that’s right, flowers such as daffodils, hyacinths, and tulips are ready to make their mark this season! Take time to get outside and enjoy these welcoming signs of FUN to come!

POOL PASSES ON SALE!

Make sure you and the family are ready for some fun in the sun – purchase your Hunt Club Park Aquatic Center 2024 season pass at reduced rates now – 5/31!

Purchase 2024 Season Passes

FAMILY NERF WARS – 4/12

Gather your squad and get ready for an action-packed night of adrenaline-pumping Nerf battles and activities for the whole family to enjoy! Fuel up with a dinner of pizza, salad, and dessert before taking on the Nerf arena. All Nerf supplies, such as blasters, foam darts, and goggles will be provided (please leave your supplies at home).

Friday, April 12
5:00 – 7:00pm

Hunt Club Park Community Center 

Get Ready to Play

SPRING FLING INDOOR SWIM EVENT – 4/19

Spring is in full swing so come join us for an evening playing games to win prizes at our indoor pool carnival! There’s fun for everyone with food and drinks, cannonball contests, ring toss, cornhole, and more. Swim right up and fling your way to a pool prize!
***Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by someone ages 16+ and everyone attending must be registered for the event (even if they don’t want to swim). Children under 3 are free.

Friday, April 19
6:00-7:30pm
FitNation Indoor Pool

Sign Up to Make a Splash

GURNEE DAYS 2024

Mark your calendars! Gurnee Days 2024 will be held on Saturday, August 10 and Sunday, August 11!

Want to be a part of Gurnee Days? We are currently looking for sponsors, food vendors, and more!

Get More Info

SUMMER CAMP 2024

We are gearing up for another FUN summer, complete with a variety of camps, activities, special events, field trips, cookouts, and MORE!

Sign up today to save your child’s spot! Limited spaces are still available! 

Join Your Camp

OPT-IN FOR FUN!

We’ve made it easier to receive program updates! Text alerts are now available to Gurnee Park District program participants. Ready to sign up? It’s easy!

Click on one of the links below to update your account settings to begin receiving text messages. Note: Participants will only receive texts relevant to active memberships, classes, events, and/or programs. 

PARK HIGHLIGHT – RAVINIA PARK

Ravinia Park is ready for you and your family to make the most of the spring season!

Located off of Ravinia Drive in Gurnee, Ravinia Park offers plenty of ways to stay active. Aside from an amazing mud-free playground with plenty of shade for those warm, sunny days, sports courts, and fields, Ravinia also offers a paved walking path.

The paved walking path, which covers approximately .5 miles, navigates around the nearby wetlands, bringing you up close and personal to the serene backdrop of the park. As you make your way towards this area, keep an eye out for some of the park’s residents, including the return of redwing blackbirds, Sandhill cranes, herons, and more.

Did you know? To combat flooding that may occur each year from the adjacent wetlands, our Parks Team installed a boardwalk in 2016. The sections of the boardwalk offer the ability to traverse the path safely no matter what the weather brings each season.

DEI CORNER BLOG

The month of April celebrates a variety of cultures, causes, and initiatives all month long. We are proud to highlight several significant observances that we feel help to spread the importance of inclusion, awareness, and giving back to our society.

DEI Corner Blog

UPCOMING EVENTS

BONFIRE & BREWS: FOOD TRUCK FRENZY – 5/4

Get ready for a sizzling night of delicious food, refreshing brews, and cozy vibes at our “Bonfire and Brews: Food Truck Frenzy” event, exclusively for adults 21+! Savor the delicious flavors of local food trucks, beverages courtesy of Gurnee Exchange Club, live music from Matt Nanke, Axe Throwing from Axe Legends, giant games, and more!

Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

$10 per person (adults 21+ only) / Register online or at the door!

When: Saturday, May 4
Time: 7:00-11:00pm
Location: Viking Park

Register Today

PARK BEAUTIFICATION – 5/18

Join us to help beautify your community parks! We will be planting flowers, mulching, and picking up branches/trash at four park locations. Please plan to dress in layers based on the weather – long pants, old sneakers/shoes, gardening gloves, etc. Additional tools and supplies will be provided. All ages welcome!

Park locations include:

Hunt Club Park
O’Plaine Park
Ravinia Park
Viking Park

Sign-Up to Volunteer

GO GURNEE – GET MOVING IN MAY – 5/19

It’s time to put on your walking shoes and get on over to Viking Park for an afternoon of fun and walking. Participants will get a free “GO GURNEE” t-shirt and other GO Gurnee swag (while supplies last), learn about the many parks and walking paths Gurnee has to offer, and meet others in the community who want to better their health or even create a walking group. Fuel up on a FREE hot dog and chips (while supplies last)!

Have a furry friend that likes to walk too? Bring them along to meet with other dog lovers and even enjoy some pet-friendly GO Gurnee giveaways. If you don’t own a puppy, don’t worry as volunteers from “Reach Rescue“, a non-profit animal rescue group located out of Mundelein, IL, will be on hand with a few of their available rescues. Let’s get GO-ing this spring!When: Sunday, May 19
Time: 1:00-3:00pm
Location: Viking Park

Learn More

Looking for a FUN and REWARDING job? We’re hiring!
Available positions include:

Aquatics (Lifeguards & Swim Instructors Summer 2024)
Customer Service Representatives (FT & PT)
Facility Maintenance I & II (PT & Seasonal)
FitNation Member Services (PT)
Fitness Attendant (PT)
Fitness Group Exercise Instructor (PT)
Grounds Maintenance I (Seasonal)
Park Ambassador (PT-seasonal)
Personal Trainer (PT)
Special Event Coordinator (PT)
Youth Soccer Referee (PT)
And MORE!

Click here for more information!


STAY CONNECTED

Looking for MORE fun? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date with daily park happenings, news, and more!


Have a great month! We look forward to seeing you out and about at Gurnee Park District!

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March 18, 2024

Spring Forward with Gurnee Park District

Spring has finally arrived, and what a wonderful time of year it is here at Gurnee Park District. Soon, colorful flowers, such as the tulips our Parks Team planted last fall, will emerge, brightening our parks and facilities for all who visit. These welcoming signs of spring, along with the return of sunshine and warmer days, bring a sense of energy and excitement all around. With that said, I am excited to share with you ways you can “spring” forward into an all-new season of FUN!

Alongside the natural beauty within our parks, this spring you can count on a lineup of familiar and new events for all ages. Get ready to meet everyone’s favorite spring Bunny at Viking Park during our annual “Bunny Bash” on Saturday, March 23rd. Enjoy breakfast, crafts, egg hunts, and countless photo opportunities during this egg-citing morning. In April, our “Family Nerf Wars” event returns, offering competitive and playful families the chance to take aim and engage in various fun games and Nerf battles. With the arrival of May, we welcome a NEW event for adults – “Bonfire and Brews: Food Truck Frenzy”. Join us for a memorable night out full of live music, games, delicious local flavors, and refreshing beverages under the stars.

As the days begin to lengthen and the temperatures rise, you may find yourself eager to embrace a more active routine. Take this time to try something new! Join our motivating group exercise instructors as they lead a variety of fitness classes at our fitness facility, FitNation. Or, perhaps you are looking for some friendly competition. Try a game of pickleball! We offer indoor play at our FitNation and Hunt Club locations or grab a friend and head down to our outdoor courts at O’Plaine, Betty Russell, and Hunt Club Parks. If you prefer to get outside to explore the sights and sounds of spring, our GO Gurnee Walking Club hosts weekly walks in and around the Gurnee area. If you haven’t experienced the benefits of the GO Gurnee movement, save the date for our GO Gurnee Kickoff Event at Viking Park on Sunday, May 19!

With warmer weather on the horizon, and the end of the school year close within reach, it is the perfect time to start planning your summer adventures! What would summer be without the excitement of summer camp and relaxing pool days? We offer a variety of summer camps that meet every family’s needs and interests. Summer camp is a great way to stay active, meet new friends, as well as make lasting memories. And when the summer heat sets in, our affordable pool prices make sure you can cool off and savor those sunny days by the pool!

This spring season promises to be packed full of excitement, and I can’t wait to see you all enjoying everything Gurnee Park District has to offer. Whether you are immersing yourself in the beauty of the season, making cherished memories at one of our community events, discovering new ways to stay active, or gearing up for a summer of fun in the sun, I encourage you to spring forward and enjoy all that our park district has in store for you!

Susie Kuruvilla, CPA, CPRP

Gurnee Park District Executive Director

February 27, 2024

Gurnee Park District March 2024 Newsletter

Spring is right around the corner, and with that comes the start of an amazing transformation here at Gurnee Park District. From the vibrant colors that will soon take over the landscape to the welcome of longer, sun-filled days, springtime offers a beauty that does not compare – you just have to make time to see it!

With that said, we are excited to share some of the ways you can take in the excitement of the season!

BUNNY BASH – 3/23

Families are sure to have an egg-cellent time at this year’s Bunny Bash! The event includes an egg hunt (indoors or outdoors, weather dependent), craft, continental breakfast, and pictures with the Egg Hunt Bunny!

Parents and children must preregister for this event and an adult 18+ must attend with their child/ren. Parents and children 10 years & up attending the event MUST register for the *breakfast-only option (*Includes breakfast ONLY).

Register for your preferred session:
8:30 – 9:30am
9:15 – 10:15am
10:00-11:00am

Location: Viking Park Community Center

Special thank you to our sponsors, Forest Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry and Consumers Cooperative Association, for making this event possible!

Hop to it; register TODAY!

POOL PASSES – SAVE NOW – 3/31

Only a few more weeks left to SAVE! Make sure you and the family are ready for some fun in the sun – purchase your 2024 Hunt Club Park Aquatic Center season pass today!

Purchase your 2024 season pass here!

 SPRING SOCCER LEAGUES – BEGIN 4/1

Spring soccer leagues run from April – June and are available to those ages 4 years old – 5th grade. Soccer leagues include one weeknight practice (determined upon registration) and one game per week (played on Saturdays). 

Join your team!

GROWING TREE PRESCHOOL TOURS

Join us for a personalized tour of Growing Tree Preschool!

Tours will provide parents the opportunity to learn about our program philosophy and curriculum, visit the classrooms, meet the teachers, and more! Parents can also enroll their children in the upcoming school year with a discounted registration fee.

Tours will take approximately 30 minutes and must be scheduled via our sign-up link. 

Interested? Sign up for a tour!

2024 SPRING PROGRAM & EVENTS GUIDE

Spring into FUN! Our 2024 Spring Program & Events Guide is NOW available online!

Spring registration begins Tuesday, March 5 at 7:00am! 

View Spring Program & Events Guide here!

PARK HIGHLIGHT – TIMBERWOODS PARK

As you drive down Almond Road in Gurnee, IL, you can catch a glimpse of Timberwoods Park. Timberwoods has been a part of the Gurnee Park District park system for several decades, and in the fall of 2021, received a few upgrades to its playground features.

Walking up to the playground, regardless of age, brings a feeling of wonder and excitement. Surrounding three blue slides are an array of intricately woven steps, climbing ropes, monkey bars, and ladders that guests of all ages could spend countless hours playing games like “Lava Tag” or “Woodchips” on. Sticking out tall and proud in the middle of it all is the main focal point of the park – a giant, twisty-turny tube slide. To get to the top of the slide, you have to climb a rope ladder that is encased in a giant, half-moon shaped apparatus. What kid, or even adult, wouldn’t want to try THAT out?!

In addition to a top-notch playground, Timberwoods Park also offers a basketball court as well as baseball/softball and soccer fields, perfect for any means of friendly competition!

Did you know? Timberwoods Park is often referred to as the “Blue Park” for its iconic blue playground features. When construction for playground equipment updates began in 2021, our Parks Team kept this sentiment in mind making sure all new equipment kept with the blue color scheme!

 DEI CORNER – WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

The month of March celebrates Women’s History Month. We are honored to showcase some of the important female figures who have helped to make Gurnee Park District what it is today, as well as those who were an inspiration to the field of Parks and Recreation. 

Read more!

HOLIDAY HOURS – 3/31

We will be open with limited hours on Easter Sunday, March 31. Please see below for our facility hours:

Hunt Club Park Community Center: CLOSED
FitNation on Nations Drive: OPEN 7:00am – 12:00pm
Viking Park Community Center: CLOSED

Have a “hoppy” day! 


UPCOMING APRIL EVENTS:

FAMILY NERF WARS – 4/12

Gather your squad and get ready for an action-packed night of adrenaline-pumping Nerf battles and activities for the whole family to enjoy! Fuel up with a dinner of pizza, salad, and dessert before taking on the Nerf arena. All Nerf supplies, such as blasters, foam darts, and goggles will be provided (please leave your supplies at home).

Register for Family Nerf Wars beginning Tuesday, March 5 at 7:00am!


Looking for a FUN and REWARDING job? We’re hiring!
Available positions include:

Aquatics (current and summer positions – PT)
Customer Service Representatives (PT)
Facility Maintenance I (FT, PT, & Seasonal)
FitNation Childcare (PT)
FitNation Member Services (PT)
Fitness Attendant (PT)
Fitness Group Exercise Instructor (PT)
Grounds Maintenance I (Seasonal)
Personal Trainer (PT)
And MORE!


Click here for more information!

Have a great month! We look forward to seeing you out and about at Gurnee Park District! 

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February 21, 2024

IAPD/IPRA Community Service Award Recipient – Barb Hooker

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Gurnee Park District programs and events would not be possible without the help and support of our community volunteers. This year, we are proud to share that along with the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) and Illinois Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA), we recognize long-time volunteer Barbara “Barb” Hooker as recipient of the 2023 IAPD/IPRA Community Service Award! 

For the past 23+ years, Barb, a long-time Gurnee resident, has been a steadfast presence here at Gurnee Park District. After retiring in 1999, Barb wanted to fill her time with something meaningful and decided to reach out to Gurnee Park District for any available volunteer opportunities. Our Volunteer Coordinator at the time saw the perfect fit and invited Barb to join our monthly “Senior Mixers.” 

Every month, these luncheons bring together 85-135 local seniors who enjoy a catered lunch, dessert, entertainment, and heartwarming camaraderie. Our dedicated Senior Mixer volunteers, like Barb, go above and beyond, helping set up decorations, greet guests, serve, and clean up. Our Senior Mixer volunteers not only make it possible for Gurnee Park District to run events such as these, but also act as ambassadors for other senior programs in the Gurnee community.

On behalf of all of us at Gurnee Park District, we would like to extend our gratitude and recognition to Barb for her 23 years of selfless service to the Senior Mixer program, the older adult community, and the Gurnee Park District. Thank you, Barb, for making a difference and brightening the lives of so many here in Gurnee! 

January 30, 2024

February 2024 Newsletter – Gurnee Park District

FEBRUARY 2024 GURNEE PARK DISTRICT NEWSLETTER

February is here and we are filled with all the feels as we look forward to another great month at Gurnee Park District! The arrival of February signals the excitement and anticipation that spring is close within reach (45 days away, to be exact). As this short month passes, remember to take a pause and enjoy the changes taking place – longer days, the weather turning slightly warmer (we hope), and the sounds of nature returning to fill the air once again. What a beautiful month we have in store!

With that said, make sure to get out and enjoy all that Gurnee Park District has to offer this month, such as events, walking trails, parks, programs, and so much more!

SUMMER CAMP REGISTRATION – OPENS 2/6!

We are gearing up for another amazing summer, complete with a variety of camps, activities, special events, field trips, cookouts, and MORE!

Visit our 2024 Summer Camp Guide to view all of our offerings, and then, save your spot by registering TOMORROW! That’s right, camp registration opens Tuesday, February 6 at 7:00am!

View 2024 Summer Camp Guide Here

POOL PASSES – ON SALE NOW – 3/31

The arrival of spring is just a few short weeks away, which means summer will be here before we know it! Make sure you and the family are ready for some fun in the sun – purchase your Hunt Club Park Aquatic Center 2024 season pass today! 

Make a SPLASH in 2024

 FEBRUARY MONTHLY MIXER (55+) – 2/13!

We’ve got an all NEW theme this month for our February Monthly Mixer – “For the Love of Toys”! Are you ready to relive your childhood with some of those nostalgic memories of playing with your favorite toys? Well, we’re going to do just that! Join presenter Dean Milano for a demonstration that is sure to bring you back to your younger self!

Lunch will include lasagna, salad, and bread catered from Tina’s Italian Café in Gurnee.

Special thank you to our sponsor, Advocate Aurora Health, for making this event possible!

Registration deadline is Thursday, February 8!

Save your Seat!

2024/2025 GROWING TREE PRESCHOOL

Registration is now being accepted for the 2024/2025 school year at Growing Tree Preschool! Did you know? We offer flexible options to fit every families needs, an engaging curriculum, amazing staff, and so much more! Click on our Preschool Preview Guide below to view our upcoming 2024/2025 offerings. 

2024/2025 Growing Tree Preschool Preview Guide

NEW! THEATER PERFORMANCE CLASS

Lights! Camera! Action! Continue to build your acting skills learned in Introduction to Drama in our NEW Theater Performance Class! This class will focus on gearing up for a small play where our rising stars will perform for family and friends! 

Saturdays – 9:00-10:30am 
Hunt Club Park Community Center
March 9 – May 18
Performance will take place on May 18

Start Acting Today!

PARK HIGHLIGHT – O’PLAINE PARK

One of our larger parks in the district, O’Plaine Park has it all! No matter the season, visitors to the park can immerse themselves in all the fun this park has to offer.

For those who enjoy staying active, O’Plaine Park offers a variety of athletic courts and fields for all interests. Gather your friends and get ready for some friendly competition on the basketball court, or use our open sports fields for batting, fielding, or kicking practice. In addition, players can also practice their pickleball skills amongst not just one, but eight available fenced in pickleball courts.

If you prefer to quietly take in the sights of nature at your own pace, walk on over to our large trail system/walking path. This paved path, which provides nearly 2 miles of exploration and adventure, showcases the beauty of the park as it weaves through groves of mature trees as well as the parks featured amenities.

Other featured amenities include a large, mud-free playground, picnic shelter, and indoor restrooms.

Did you know? O’Plaine Park is also home to our “Garden Plots.” Garden plots are available for rent beginning March 1 – May 1, with growing season taking place May 1 – November 15. If you are interested in showcasing your “green thumb,” make sure to save the date to reserve your plot! 

Learn More About Garden Plots

DEI CORNER – BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Here at the Park District, as we deepened our understanding of Black History Month, we began by looking at its origins. We first recognized Dr. Carter G. Woodson who was the driving force behind this important commemoration. Dr. Woodson was an American historian, author, journalist, and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. He earned his PhD in History from Harvard University making him the second Black American (only following Dr. W.E.B Dubois) to graduate from Harvard. Dr. Woodson’s work and words continuously emphasized the significance of recognizing and preserving cultural achievements, as he stated, “Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.” 

Read More


UPCOMING MARCH EVENTS

BUNNY BASH – 3/23

Hop into spring at our Bunny Bash egg-stravaganza! Join us for a continental breakfast with all the fixings, an exhilarating egg hunt, creative crafts, and, of course, commemorative pictures with everyone’s favorite Bunny! There are three sessions to choose from:

Session 1 – 8:30 – 9:30am
Session 2 – 9:15 – 10:15am
Session 3 – 10:00 – 11:00am

Special thank you to our sponsors, Forest Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry and Consumers Cooperative Association, for making this event possible!

Hop to it; Save your Spot!


We’re hiring for summer 2024! Get ready to gain experience while having plenty of FUN along the way! Available summer positions include:

Click here for more information and to view ALL of our current job listings!

Have a great month! We look forward to seeing you out and about at Gurnee Park District!

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January 5, 2024

DEI CORNER – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Almost two years ago, we formed the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee at Gurnee Park District, a dedicated team of staff members who meet monthly to thoughtfully explore DEI related initiatives, goals, and community impacts. As we begin the new year, our committee is excited to share awareness on topics that we hope will inspire you to learn more about the significance and history each month celebrates.

For the month of January, we would like to recognize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who dedicated his life to advocating for racial justice, nonviolent resistance, and the realization of the American dream for all citizens. His iconic leadership during the American Civil Rights Movement, particularly through the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the March on Washington, and his powerful speeches like “I Have a Dream,” played a critical role in dismantling racial segregation and inspiring positive societal change.

As we honor Martin Luther King Jr. in January, let us reflect on his legacy and the progress that has been made, while acknowledging that there is still work to be done in the pursuit of true equality and justice. King’s vision extends beyond his time, encouraging us to actively engage in conversations, challenge biases, and promote inclusivity in our community and beyond. Through our DEI initiatives, we aspire to emulate the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. by fostering an environment that values diversity, promotes equity, and celebrates the richness that comes from embracing different perspectives. Together, let us continue the journey towards a more inclusive and harmonious society, inspired by the principles laid down by this remarkable leader.

To learn more about the origins of this important holiday, the transformative work and achievements of King Jr., as well as view an inspiring virtual tour of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, please click on the following links:

The Controversial Origins of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Virtual Tour of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park

Thank you for your time and we look forward to sharing more information next month!

January 3, 2024

January 2024 Gurnee Park District Newsletter

Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe another year has passed, but, as the saying goes, time sure does fly when you’re having fun!

Speaking of fun, we’ve already begun 2024 with a great start! This past Saturday, January 6th, we held our annual Frosty Fest event. Viking Park looked like a winter wonderland, complete with sleigh rides, ice sculpture games, and “snow” much more! Thank you to all who came to enjoy and support another fantastic event, including our sponsors from Advocate Aurora HealthBCU, and Honey Orthodontics!

And now, onto some more excitement this coming month!

POOL PASSES – ON SALE NOW!

It may only be the start of the winter season, but summer will be here before we know it! Make sure you and the family are ready for some fun in the sun – purchase your Hunt Club Park Aquatic Center 2024 season pass today!

Make a SPLASH in 2024

HELP PREDICT THE FUTURE OF FUN!

Calling all park and recreation enthusiasts! Help predict the “Future of FUN” at Gurnee Park District, where anything is possible!

Is there a new program you would like to see offered, or maybe new play equipment you would like added to your favorite park? The possibilities are ENDLESS!

Share your ideas, BIG or small, by taking a short survey:

NEW! INTRODUCTION TO DRAMA – ACTING UP

Have you ever wanted to be an ACTOR? Would you like to learn acting games and get comfortable speaking and being in front of an audience? Come join Acting UP where you will be trained in many acting techniques and learn the skills you need to be in the spotlight! You will also get the chance to give a performance in front of an audience of your family and friends! 

This all NEW class begins 1/13-2/17!

Saturdays at Hunt Club Park Community Center
9:00-10:00am
Ages 9-12

Begin Your Acting Career Here

GROWING TREE PRESCHOOL OPEN HOUSES – 1/17 & 1/18

See how we learn and grow at Growing Tree Preschool! Whether your child currently attends or you are considering enrolling in the upcoming school year, our Open Houses provide parents the opportunity to learn about our program philosophy and curriculum. Each class room will have fun and engaging preschool activities for your child while parents learn more about the program from the teachers and administrative staff. Parents can also enroll their children in the upcoming school year with a discounted registration fee.

Open Houses will take place from 6:30-7:30pm on:

Wednesday, January 17 at Hunt Club Park Community Center 
Thursday, January 18 at Viking Park Community Center 

*Registration for the 2024-2025 school year opens January 17th at 6:30pm!

WINTER BEACH BASH – 1/19

Those winter blues starting to make you feel down? Shake off the snow and join us for a night of beach-themed activities, prizes, and splashing good times at our 87-degree indoor pool at FitNation! Light snacks and drinks will be provided for all. Don’t forget your favorite beach attire!

Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by someone age 16+. Everyone attending must be registered for the event (even if they don’t want to swim). Children under 3 are free.

Join in the FUN

DEI CORNER

Almost two years ago, we formed the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee at Gurnee Park District, a dedicated team of staff members who meet monthly to thoughtfully explore DEI related initiatives, goals, and community impacts. As we begin the new year, our committee is excited to share awareness on topics that we hope will inspire you to learn more about the significance and history each month celebrates. 

For the month of January, we would like to recognize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who dedicated his life to advocating for racial justice, nonviolent resistance, and the realization of the American dream for all citizens.

View the DEI Corner Blog

PARK HIGHLIGHT – BETTY RUSSELL COMMUNITY PARK

Betty Russell Community Park is one of our most treasured parks here in Gurnee! Nestled in the Pembrook neighborhood, Betty Russell Park provides plenty of FUN for families all year round.

No matter the season, parkgoers can enjoy a variety of amenities including a large and imaginative playground, multiple outdoor sporting courts and fields, scenic nature trails, an outdoor ice hockey rink (winter season – weather permitting), and an enclosed shelter.

Fun Fact: Did you know, the park is named after Betty Russell, who served as Gurnee Park District Executive Director from 1977 – 1996.


UPCOMING FEBRUARY EVENTS:

MONTHLY MIXER – 2/13

Our Monthly Mixers return in February 2024 with an all NEW theme -“For the Love of Toys”! Are you ready to relive your childhood with some of those nostalgic memories of playing with your favorite toys? Well, we’re going to do just that! Join presenter Dean Milano for a demonstration that is sure to bring you back to your younger self!

Lunch will include lasagna, salad, and bread catered from Tina’s Italian Café in Gurnee.

Thank you to our sponsor, Advocate Aurora Health, for helping to make this event possible!

Save Your Seat

Looking for a FUN and REWARDING job this summer? We’re hiring for summer 2024!

Available positions include:

Aquatics:

Day Camp:

Click here for more information and to view ALL of our current job listings!

Have a great month! We look forward to seeing you out and about at Gurnee Park District!