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Recreation in Fairview Heights

Residents of Fairview Heights take naturally to the array of sports, recreation, and activity programs offered year round by the Fairview Heights Parks and Recreation Department. The programs utilize city parks and other facilities in the community. Senior citizens take maximum advantage of two senior centers: the 60s Plus Senior Center at the Municipal Complex and the Caseyville Township Senior Center nearby.

Fairview Heights Parks

The Illinois side of the St. Louis metropolitan area has more than 25 golf courses that challenge the best of golfers. Stonewolf Golf Course and Far Oaks are the newest and nearest. A Goalby designed course, Far Oaks offers 18 holes of championship golf and is recognized as one of the top courses in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

Far Oaks starts in the tradition of a Scottish links-style course with native prairie grasses and wild flowers. The course quickly flows through majestic oak trees with elevation changes associated with mountain courses. The 8,000 sq. ft. clubhouse provides a grill and bar, meeting room, locker rooms, and a well-stocked pro shop.

The golf and residential community of Stonewolf features an 18-hole public golf course designed by the legend himself, Jack Nicklaus! The course offers dramatic shifts in terrain surrounded by mature forest, four lakes, 69 sculpted bunkers, and an 8,500-square foot clubhouse.

The clubhouse restaurant, Jack’s On The Green, features a broad range of menu selections and offers a perfect setting for many types of private events, including wedding receptions, dinner parties, and golf outings.

Stonewolf Golf Course

In 1995, the city hosted the Prairie State Games for the first time and has hosted the event each year since. A multi-sport festival of Olympic-style competition, the event gives amateur athletes from throughout the state the chance to compete in a range of individual, team, and elite sports. Also in 1995, Fairview Heights hosted the Pan Am Baseball Championships, an international tournament for youngsters. That year, the 10 to 12 year olds came to Fairview Heights. In 1996 through 1998, boys 16 and older came to the city for the tournament.

Two huge community parks and three neighborhood parks in Fairview Heights total more than 200 acres. Pleasant Ridge Park, in the northern part of the city, is the largest of the two community parks with 95 acres. The park offers roller blading facilities and wintertime sledding. A bit of very early Fairview Heights history is represented in the park in the form of a two-story log cabin, a structure built about 1850 by the Kinsella family. Other facilities in the park include picnic pavilions, playground, and open space for passive recreation.

Ninety-acre Longacre Park is the second of the two community parks. It is the site of new Recreation Station, a 16,000-square foot playground created by 2,000 volunteers who raised the funds needed and built it over a five-day period.

Other recreation facilities in the park include three ball diamonds, concession stands, walking and jogging trail, tennis courts, volleyball court, and picnic pavilions. The three neighborhood parks range in size from 12 acres to less than an acre. In addition, a new U.S. Ice Sports Complex that was completed in 1998 features two interior NHL hockey rinks.

The Fairview Heights Parks and Recreation Department offers a variety of summertime activities for residents of all ages. Included are summer day camps, trips for families and senior citizens, adult and youngster swim classes, Pee Wee soccer, T-ball, country line dancing, a variety of craft classes, tennis, and adult aerobics. The department sponsors several annual events. Among these are an annual Easter egg hunt, a science fair, Halloween haunted house, Santa calls to children, “Musical Nights of Spring,” and employee fitness day. The Fairview Heights American Legion sponsors baseball tournaments that draw big crowds.

An easy drive east of Fairview Heights, the mammoth Carlyle Lake state recreation area is 18-miles long and covers 26,000 acres, with 11,000 acres of public land surrounding it. Pére Marquette State Park, an 8,000-acre recreation mecca to the north, boasts a 72-room lodge that is open year round.

During the baseball season, express buses make stops in Fairview Heights, taking residents to St. Louis Cardinals baseball games. Express buses are also available for St. Louis Rams football, Blues hockey, and to such sites as the Muny Opera and Six Flags Over America theme park.

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