From a world-class racecourse to kiddie theme parks, from sailing on cleverly designed water retention ponds to biking through acres of forest preserves, the Greater O’Hare region offers families a plethora of outdoor and indoor recreational activities.
Through years of planning and citizen support, more than two dozen park districts have developed low cost and dynamic programs for all ages.
The Arlington Heights Park District has won the National Gold Medal for Excellence from the National Sports Foundation twice; the Elk Grove Village Park District boasts a theme park for children and an indoor merry-go-round; and the Des Plaines Park District’s Mystic Waters Aquatic Center has lazy river drop slides, a diving platform and a sand volleyball area.
Busse Woods, officially the Ned Brown Preserve, is a 3,700-acre Cook County forest preserve of lakes, woods and meadows (four times the size of Manhattan’s Central Park) with its own herd of elk. The 590-acre Busse Lake is ideal for boating and fishing. The fall colors are beautiful, and the 11-mile bike path is in use all year long.
The region is also home to a number of private and
public golf courses. Bensenville is home to The White Pines Golf Dome, considered the world’s premier
indoor golf facility. Once inside, visitors are
transported to a tropical golf environment with
life-like green turf.
The YMCA has fully equipped facilities in Palatine,
Des Plaines, Schaumburg, Glen Ellyn, Elmhurst
and Lombard. Many park districts have health clubs,
and nearly every community has a choice of several commercial health clubs.