From opportunities for recreation and golf to theater and musical performances, there is never a shortage of things to see and do within our five Villages.
Year-round activities through local park districts, Village parks and recreation departments, and forest preserves allow active residents and visitors to enjoy some leisure time. Numerous park sites and recreational facilities dot the landscape of the Matteson area, featuring playground equipment, athletic fields, swimming pools, ice rinks, open spaces for picnicking and much more. Summer camps, athletic leagues, group fitness classes, arts and crafts, theatrical and musical instruction, and family-oriented events round out the list of popular programming for children and adults in the area. The Chicago Southland region is also a golfer’s haven, hosting more than 30 public and semi-private courses ready to cater to players of all skill levels.
A notable site to visit while in the area is the Riegel Farm Complex, overseen by the University Park Parks and Recreation Department. The 7.5-acre site features a circa 1924 barn, a tennis court, a baseball/softball field, a petting zoo, playground equipment, and a space for picnicking. Winter sports are popular here in the colder months as well. The complex is also home to a blooming community garden and plenty of room for social events.
The region is also replete with hundreds of miles of multi-purpose trails, including the 21-mile Old Plank Road Trail. An Illinois Rail-to-Trail project, the Old Plank Road recreation and nature trail is great for bikers, hikers and nature enthusiasts who enjoy observing more than 200 distinct plants and more than 2,000 species of animals, birds and insects. The Old Plank Road Trail also links guests to many local trails and bikeways.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Part of the area for more than 30 years, the Illinois Theatre Center in Park Forest offers a main stage series of six exciting plays, along with several community programs, including the Drama School, Summerfest Musical, Free Outdoor Classics, Project S.A.M., a reading series and an array of educational outreach programs. Freedom Hall’s Nathan Manilow Theatre is another acclaimed theatrical troupe that offers a six-production Main Series as well as a Senior Series and Children’s Series. The area also hosts the Matteson Community Theatre, a dynamic troupe that offers presentations that have included the well-known musical Annie.
Governors State University houses the modern Center for Performing Arts, a venue that plays host to a variety of world-class performing arts entertainment throughout the year. Take a step outside the facility into the beautiful Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park. Open year round, the park is home to 26 unique sculptures that line well-maintained pathways and open spaces ideal for an assortment of events.
From November through May, the Center for Performing Arts is home to the acclaimed Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) five-concert Saturday Evening Symphonic Series, which features internationally recognized guest musicians. The IPO also commonly plays at the Lincoln-Way high schools’ Fine Arts centers. The 75-member group, now in its 31st season (2008-2009), is the largest performing arts organization in the Chicago Southland.
The Chicago Southland region is home to more than 6,000 comfortable guest rooms, with several full-service hotels and motels located within our five areas. Excellent choices for lodging include Country Inn & Suites, the brand new Hampton Inn & Suites-Chicago-South/Matteson, the La Quinta Inn & Suites-Matteson, and Holiday Inn-Matteson. Complementing the spacious accommodations is exceptional customer service; superior amenities; and convenient locations near many area attractions, businesses and transportation networks.