Swimming at Rosewood Beach is closed for the season. Check out our Beach Programs page for information about fun at Rosewood all year long!
Rosewood Beach is a national award winning beach located along the shores of Lake Michigan. The beach features three protected coves:
- Nature cove and passive beach area used for ecological/nature programs
- Guarded swimming cove and beach
- Recreation cove and beach
Nestled against Rosewood’s wooded bluffs is a one-of-a-kind beachfront Interpretive Center and amenity buildings including concessions, restroom, and guard buildings. The beach areas and buildings are connected by a boardwalk that runs the length of Rosewood Beach. The newly restored Rosewood opened in 2015. For an in depth look at how this amazing restoration project took shape, click here.
The summer swimming season may be over, but there are still lots of great things to do at Rosewood this fall….
Family & Adult Programs
Jon Pratscher, Manager
Julie Rivi, Assistant Manager
Tori Ziegler, Office Coordinator
Programs for Every Member of the Family
After School Programs
Through hands-on after-school programs your child will explore and discover the ever changing environments of Rosewood and/or learn a new outdoor adventure skill.
Gems from the Lake (Grades 3-6)
Ravine Rangers (Grades K-4)
Outdoor Quests (Grades 1-6)
Early Childhood Programs
|One-Day Adult Programs||One-Day Family and Adult Programs||One-Day Kids' Programs|
|Spring Bird Count||Babies at the Beach||Beachfront Geocaching
|Brunch and Learn Nature Workshop||Stories in the Sand|
Beach Fitness Programs
School Programs at Rosewood Interpretive Center offer school groups the opportunity to learn about the lakefront through experiences in an outdoor setting. Our hands-on philosophy encourages learners to heighten their awareness of the natural world, understand basic ecological concepts and increase concerns for the earth and all its life. Our programs meet Common Core and Next Generation Standards. Programs are held at Rosewood Beach Interpretive Center (R) but may also be held at Heller Nature Center (H). Some programs may be available to travel to your school (S). Look for the icon next to the program to see where the program can take place. For more information on time and pricing view our School Program Guide. For questions or to book a school program call 847-433-6901.
Rocks Rock! . Fall/Winter/Spring (H) (R) (S)
Become a geologist and learn about rocks and minerals. Students will have the chance to investigate rocks and minerals, record observations and will also formulate predictions if rocks sink or float.
Third- Fourth Grade
Ecosystems . Fall/Spring (H) (R) (D)
Choose a one or two day experience focusing on ecosystems and the components that compromise them. One ecosystem may be studied per day (lakefront, forest, prairie, or pond) and core content will include defining an ecosystem, its interdependency of living and non-living parts, food chains and webs as well as adaptations. The remaining content is tailored to your school. Choose from additional activities such as dichotomous keys, soil or water testing, microscope use, decomposition, camouflage, migration, journaling activities, and more.
Illinois Geology . Fall/Winter/Spring (H) (R) (S)
A Heller Naturalist will lead students in an Illinois geologic journey. Students travel through time to discover and describe geological eras and their relationship to the rocks and minerals found in Illinois. As geologists, students will describe characteristics, record observations, scientifically test, and identify a variety of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks found in Illinois.
Maple Syrup Harvest . March (R)
Visit a grove of maple trees to take part in the age-old tradition of tapping trees, collecting sap, and making syrup. End the program by sampling some delicious maple sap and syrup. Program includes identifying sugar maple trees, learning nature’s ingredients for sap, and discussing the process by which trees create sap. This program may also be held at Sunset Park in Highland Park.
Ravine Education . Fall/Spring (R)
Through guided observation, experiments and exploration of the ravines, students will understand ecosystems prior to development, the plants and animals that historically used the slopes and streams as refuge, and the species that still depend on ravines today.
Have you always wanted to learn about nature and never knew where to begin?
A Heller Naturalist can create a program that is based around your interest and needs including leading your group on a nature walk, teaching a workshop, helping you earn a scout badge or visiting your group for an informational discussion. We also have a variety of established programs; pricing information is below.
Guided Hike- $8/8.25
Ravine Education- $8/8.25
Stream Netting- $8/8.25
For more details or to book your program contact Heller Nature Center at 847.433.6901.
There is a shuttle bus that runs on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays through September 5 from the upper Rosewood lot (Roger Williams) to the Lower beach lot (Sheridan Road) from 10am-6pm (weather dependent). Once the upper parking lot is full, there is overflow parking available at Ravinia School with shuttle service.
|Rosewood Beach||Park Avenue Beach &|
|Moraine Beach||Central Park |
|City of Highland Park Vehicle Sticker*||City of Highland Park Vehicle Sticker*||City of Highland Park Vehicle Sticker*||City of Highland Park Vehicle Sticker*||City of Highland Park Vehicle Sticker*|
|City of Highland Park Vehicle Sticker*||Before 3pm|
Park Avenue Season Parking Decal ^^
City of Highland Park Vehicle Sticker*
|City of Highland Park Vehicle Sticker*||City of Highland Park Vehicle Sticker*||City of Highland Park Vehicle Sticker*|
|$40 Daily Parking Pass (upper Rosewood Lot Only)|
or Lakefront Season Parking Decal^
|Park Avenue Season Parking Decal ^^|
Lakefront Parking Season Decal^
|Lakefront Season Parking Decal^||Lakefront Season Parking Decal^|
|$40 Daily Parking Pass (Upper Rosewood Lot Only)|
Lakefront Season Parking Decal^
(Upper Rosewood lot only)
|Park Avenue Season Parking Decal||Lakefront Season|
|Lakefront Season Parking Decal^||Lakefront Season Parking Decal^|
|No Non-Resident Parking||Park Avenue Season|
|No Non-Resident Parking||No Non-Resident Parking||No Non-Resident Parking|
* City of Highland Park Sticker: Vehicle stickers must be valid. Purchase at City Hall, 1707 St Johns Ave.
*** Rosewood Daily Parking Pass (upper Rosewood and Ravinia School lots only): $40/day. Not valid on holidays. Purchase at Centennial Ice Arena before May 28, and at Hidden Creek AquaPark May 28-Sep 5.
^Lakefront Season Parking Decal: #39758 – $250. Valid dawn to dusk every day, excluding holidays , through Dec 31,2016. Not valid at Park Ave. on weekends/holidays. (A $5 Lakefront Decal is available for employer-assigned vehicles not registers in Highland Park. Decal must be permanently affixed to vehicle windshield.) Purchase at West Ridge Center, 636 Ridge Road, beginning Mar 19, or Hidden Creek AquaPark, 1220 Fredrickson Place, from May 28-Sep 5.
^^ Park Avenue Season Parking Decal: $50 Residents/$150 Non-residents. Valid dawn to dusk every day. Decal is included with season boating storage and/or launch pass. Not available for individual sale. One per boater. All decals will be mailed.
Please join us in 2017 for Picnic Rentals! Rentals are not available at this time.
Reserve a beachfront picnic area for your group.
Please note, picnic rentals are not available on holidays.
- Picnic area
- Two picnic tables for up to 20 people
- 2 hour rental time
- $45 nonrefundable rental fee
- $50 daily damage deposit (refunded after party)
Host will recieve up to 10 parking passes valid for the day of the event. Parking passes allow parking at the upper Rosewood parking lot only. All regular parking restrictions will remain in effect, click here for parking info.
Reservations can be made at Hidden Creek Aqua Park, 847.433.3170. Please note, rentals are not available on holidays.
Interpretive Center Rentals
Hold your next event along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan! The Rosewood Interpretive Center is the perfect spot for group meetings, family gatherings, or birthday parties and can accommodate up to 50 people.
Rental of the Interpretive Center includes:
- Use of the surrounding deck & Nature Beach Cove (no swimming allowed)
- Tables, chairs, refrigerator, WiFi, 70 inch monitor, Blu-ray player and sound system available for use inside the Center
- An attendant present during the allotted rental time
Room Rental Fee
Fall, Winter Spring
Two hour minimum, daily until 10pm
Residents: $250/2 hours, $125/each additional hour
Nonresidents: $380/ 2 hours, $190/ each additional hour
Summer (Memorial Day Weekend Through Labor Day Weekend)
Two hour minimum Mon-Fri from 6-10pm, Sat-Sun from 7-10pm
Residents: $380/ 2 hours, $190/ each additional hour
Nonresident: $510/ 2 hours, $255/ each additional hour
Enjoy a nature-themed birthday party led by a Heller Nature Center Naturalist. Choose from several age-appropriate themes including geology and habitat exploration. Parties are 1 ½ hours and include 30 minutes for the host to lead party activities on their own inside the Interpretive Center. Parties have a 15-20 child maximum. Most activities take place outside rain or shine. In the event of extreme weather, indoor activities are substituted. Parties are available spring and fall.
- Beach Explorers (Ages 4-5)
Play games, build beach sculptures, write messages in the sand, find out who lives at the beach and more with our fun and interactive beach party! $290
- Wonders of Water (Ages 4-5)
Get wet and wild with our party that’s all about water! This party is filled with games, crafts and activities that all relate to water. $290
- Rocks Rock (Ages 6-9)
The beach is the best place to explore rocks and geology-they’re everywhere! This party is for the less active crowd who are more interested in playing in the sand, hunting for wishing rocks and fossils and getting a close-up, hands-on look at the different types of rocks that make up our beaches. $290
- Beach Treasure Hunt (Ages 6-9)
Discover the natural treasures of the beachfront with a scavenger hunt and interactive games and activities. This party can have either a Pirate Adventure or Nature Explorer theme. $290
- Geocaching (Ages 8-12)
This party is for the avid explorers who want to discover a new hobby that can last a lifetime. We’ll use GPS units to learn how to geocache, and then use our skills to find hidden caches all around the lakefront. $290
Rental and Party Information
•Applications are processed on a first-come first serve basis. A resident may not be the applicant and/or payee for a nonresident.
•A special permit and proof of insurance is needed to serve alcohol. Alcohol must be kept in the designated area at all times.
•Park District sponsored activities have priority over other facility use.
•The time written on the application form is the approved rental time. Staff will set up tables and chairs. Renters may arrive 30 minutes prior to the rental time to deliver food, decorate, etc. A set up time longer than 30 minutes must be included on the Facility Rental/Use Contract and will be charged at the regular hourly rate.
•Swimming is only allowed in designed areas at designated dates and times.
•No glass containers are allowed outside of the Interpretive Center building and live animals are prohibited. Grills may not be brought in.
•All decorations, equipment and food may not be brought into the facility earlier than the approved rental time. The Park District cannot hold/store any items for future pickup. All decorations and equipment must be freestanding without attachment to walls, ceilings or floors.
•An additional 30 minutes after the rental time is reserved for cleanup. Groups staying beyond the 30 minutes will be charged for the full hour. Cleanup is the responsibility of the renter. Renter assumes responsibility for all actions of the group and usage of room and equipment.
•Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the grounds of Rosewood Beach, including all parking lots.
•Payment in full is required at the time of booking, along with the $250 refundable cleaning/security deposit.
Rentals are 90% refundable if cancelled 10 or more working days prior to the rental date.
For further information contact:
Heller Nature Center | 847.433.6901.
Rental contract must be completed in person at:
Heller Nature Center
2821 Ridge Road.
Highland Park, IL 60035.
Lifeguards Need Your Help Too!
Keep yourself and your family safe around water, take note of these important water safety tips
Inclement Weather Policy
Beach operating hours are subject to prevailing weather conditions, including electrical storms, wave conditions, and heavy rains. If lightning and/or thunder is seen/heard, the water and beach will be cleared and not re-open until 30 minutes pass without lightning and/or thunder. If inclement weather continues for a period longer than three hours, the beach will be closed for the remainder of the day.
• Climbing on rocks is prohibited
• Flotation devices are prohibited in the water.
• Glass containers are prohibited.
• Swim only during public swimming hours and in designated areas.
• Children under the age of 11 must be accompanied by an adult.
• Diving from the shoreline or rocks is prohibited.
• Please dispose of all litter in the receptacles provided.
• For Public Safety Dogs are not allowed at Rosewood Beach – The new Rosewood Beach amenities are expected to increase the public’s use of the beach areas, and the presence of dogs and other pets creates a safety and sanitation concern. Therefore, for the safety and well-being of our beach visitors, dogs and other pets are not allowed at lower Rosewood beach including the boardwalk, bridges, and beach (per Park District Ordinance No. 15-04, section 2.03-e).
Parking is allowed during park hours, dawn to dusk only. No overnight parking. City of Highland Park Police Department enforced parking fine is $75 per occurrence for not having proper Park District of Highland Park or City of Highland Park season decals or daily parking passes. No exceptions. For the complete lakefront parking chart, click here.
Beaches are tested on a daily basis for bacteria levels by the Lake County Department of Health. The tests are reviewed, and the Department of Health recommends whether the beaches should be open or closed. For the health and safety of our patrons, the Park District of Highland Park follows the recommendations made by the Lake County Department of Health. Call the Lake County Health Department at 847.377.8030 for more information.
For current water temperatures, click here.
Want to know if the beach open? Sign up for our free Rainout Line service.
Rosewood Beach parking, lifeguards, or other questions? Contact:
Julie Rivi, Assistant Manager