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West Ridge Center

636 Ridge Rd.
Highland Park, IL 60035

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West Ridge Center is the perfect place for the young to explore and for adults to feel young!  Opportunities include:

  • Childhood Enrichment
  • After School
  • Visual Arts
  • Music, Dance, Theater
  • Martial Arts
  • Jammin’ Jungle Indoor Playground
  • Rental Spaces/Parties
  • Special Events


Front Desk
Mon-Thu: 8:30am-6:30pm
Friday: 8:30am-5pm
Saturday: 9am-12pm

Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm

Jammin’ Jungle 
Mon-Thu: 8:30-10:30am, 11:30am-1:30pm and 3-6:30pm
Fri: 8:30-10:30am, 11:30am-1:30pm and 3-5pm
Sat: 9-11 am

Administrative Offices
Mon-Fri: 8:30am-5pm


Brian Dumas, Recreation Supervisor II, Athletics & West Ridge Center
Cathy Fiori, Recreation Supervisor II
Mariana Henriques, Recreation Manager, Recreation & West Ridge Center

Diane Jerklin, Recreation Supervisor
Registration Office
Michele Long, Facility Coordinator

Childhood Enrichment…Benefits that will Last a Lifetime!

Our Childhood Enrichment curriculum provides children with a unique variety of opportunities to:

  • Increase their motor and social skill development
  • Learn and practice independence
  • Use their creativity and imagination
  • Develop an appreciation for  learning
  • Understand the importance of exercise in everyday life
  • Customize your schedule! Stay for just one class, or, lunch and multiple programs
    • Our KinderExpress program includes lunchtime (brought from home), supervised play, and busing to/from West Ridge and your Kindergartener’s school.
    • Lunch programs are also available for pre-k children. The lunch program bridges the gap between morning and afternoon programs. Transportation is not available for pre-k children.

Our dedicated teachers have combined experience of over 75 years caring for young children. Our teachers are committed to supporting your child and providing these quality programs… with benefits that will last a lifetime!


  • Resident Registration begins November 15 at 7:00a 
  • Which programs will be available during the winter/spring session?
    • This winter/spring availability is limited due to the full year registration option. To browse program availability click here.
  • Do I need to register for transportation?
    • Transportation is available for Highland park kindergartners going to/from West Ridge Center only. Participants must register for KinderExpress by December 1. Spaces may be limited.

Diane Jerklin, Recreation Supervisor
Phone: 847.579.3123


The HP Studio for Visual Arts offers a variety of visual art classes for children and adults who show interest in exploring their imagination and talents in a creative and supportive setting.  Our philosophy is to offer a variety of classes to encourage learning in a fun and creative way.

Youth Programs

Clay Shop offers participants in grades 1-4 an opportunity to build confidence and creativity while learning various hand building techniques with clay. Clay shop is offered on Mondays and Thursdays.

Adult Programs

Our Ceramic studio has a range of firing possibilities including high-fire, gas and electric firings. The studio also offers a complete range of electric wheels, a slab roller, extruder, glaze spraying booth, and plenty of storage for works in progress. Open studio time allows additional time for project completion.

To view and register for programs, click here.

Diane Jerklin, Recreation Supervisor
Phone: 847.579.3123

Dance can make a difference in a child’s life!

Dance Department logo_color

The Highland Park Studio for Dance and Performance is centered around a fun and nurturing environment that allows students to grow and advance at their own pace. Introductory classes focus on movement and coordination. Class levels progress to a more disciplined routine of stretching and proper techniques while promoting self-confidence. Our goal is to nurture each and every dancer while offering the highest level and quality of training.

Our professional staff strives for greatness in the areas of attitude, teachable spirit, discipline, selflessness, and integrity. We encourage every dancer to their fullest potential both inside and outside the dance studio.

Dance Sessions:

  • Fall Session (Sept. through Dec.)
  • Winter Session (Jan. through May culminating in the Spring Dance Show)img_0625
  • Spring Session (May through June)
  • Summer Session (June through Aug)



Ballet classes:
Girls wear pastel pink leotards (without skirt or tutu), pink tights and pink ballet shoes.
Boys wear black pants, white or black shirt, and black ballet shoes.

Hip-Hop and Tap:
Comfortable clothes (no jeans) and clean-soled shoes. No street shoes.

Modern and Contemporary classes:
Black pants (no bare knees), black leotard and no shoes

Jazz, Performance and Broadway classes:
Black pants (no bare knees), black leotard and black jazz shoes



We are excited to introduce our new professional dance instructors who have trained with world renowned dancers such as…. Merce Cunningham, Randy Duncan, José Limón, View their Bios Here

Dance Instructor 3Tara Drazner

Highland Park Studio for Dance and Performance Programs

Introductory classes: Fantasy Dance, Fancy Feet

Our Introductory classes have an eclectic blend of technique and creativity for the foundation of our training and ensuring a well-rounded dancer and performer. All of our levels from instill the basics, uses French terminology, and teaches variations of classical ballet.
We begin with introducing the dancer to the dynamics of music and dance, using the body and mind creatively in a structured by highly supportive environment. Creative movement, gross motor skills, and basic ballet steps are introduced and further developed with level progression and formalized training. Children love coming to ballet class and will be gaining more coordination, musicality, and self-confidence every week.


Mariana Henriques, Recreation Manager
Phone: 847.579.3120


Dance Progressive Programs

(click here for our Progressive Programs chart to decide which program is right for you)

Winter Dance Programs

Winter Registrations: November 15th - Highland Park Residents & November 22th - non-residents

To register: click here
* Grade K Students may sign up for KinderExpress Click here
All Winter Programs perform on our Spring Dance Show.
Tickets sold separately.
MondayTuesdayWednesday ThursdayFridaySaturday
Hip Hop Ballet
(Ages 4-6)

Hip Hop
(Ages 6-14)
Fantasy Dance
(Ages 2-4)
Pre-Ballet I
(Ages 3-5)
Hip Hop Ballet
(Ages 4-6)

Parent & Tot Dance
(Ages 2-4 with Parent/Guardian)
(Ages 6-8)
Expressive Modern
(Ages 2-5)
Fantasy Dance
(Ages 2-4)
Fantasy Dance
(Ages 2-4)
Ballet I
(Ages 4-7)
Fancy Feet
(Ages 3-5)
Hip Hop Ballet
(Ages 3-5)
Pre-Ballet I
(Ages 3-5)
(Ages 7-13)
Hip Hop Ballet
(Ages 3-5)

(Ages 3-5)
Hip Hop Ballet
(Ages 3-5)

(Ages 3-5)
Jazz I
(Ages 6-10)
Ballet II
(Ages 6-10)
Jazz II
(Ages 8-12)

Be Inspired By the Magic of Theatre!

2018 Spring Theatre Show:

“High School Musical Jr.” (Performance Program & Young Performers)

“Princess & the Pea” (Musical Theatre Kids!)

Winter Theatre Programs

Winter Registrations: November 15th - Highland Park Residents & November 22th - non-residents

To register: click here
* Grade K Students may sign up for KinderExpress Click here
All Winter Programs perform on our Spring Theatre Show.
Tickets sold separately.
Musical Theatre Kinder
(Grade PreK & K)

Musical Theatre Kinder!
(Grades PreK & K)

Young Performers
(Grades k-1st)
Musical Theatre Tots
(Ages 3-5)
Performance Program
(Grades 2-6)

Mariana Henriques, Recreation Manager
Phone: 847.579.3120

Karate  (Wednesdays): Click Here To Register For All Karate Programs

Instructors of the Illinois Shotokan Karate Club, under the direction of John DiPasquale, a four-time National Champion and former U.S. Karate National Coach, lead the Park District’s karate programs. Deerfield Park District residents, through a cooperative agreement, pay resident rates. This discount is not available through online registration.

Uniforms are not mandatory but are recommended at the beginning level. Uniforms are mandatory at the continuing, intermediate and advanced levels and program advancement is emphasized. Uniforms and belt testing are available through the ISKC instructor for an additional fee. Purchasing safety equipment ($50-100) is required for continuing, intermediate and advanced levels. Belt Testing Belt testing is available twice a year at various suburban locations for an additional fee. Uniforms and belt testing are available through ISKC instructor.

Youth Karate (Ages 8-14)
Karate skills put children in touch with their bodies and help build coordination, agility, strength and poise, as well as personal safety skills in a well-supervised setting. The confidence gained helps foster a strong positive self-image. The mental aspect builds confidence, control and discipline, and the physical aspect is enjoyable and beneficial.

Pre-Karate (Ages 4-7)
Through a variety of fun and creative activities, children develop coordination, strength and personal safety skills in a well-supervised setting. This program helps children develop memory and agility skills that are necessary for success in school and other sports.

Parent/Child Karate (Parent/Child, Ages 8 & Up)
Share quality time with your child while developing muscle tone, coordination, cardiovascular fitness and karate skills. Regardless of age, weight or current physical condition, karate can put your family on the right track to physical well-being. 

Taekwondo (Mondays or Thursdays): Click Here To Register for All Taekwondo Programs

One of the newest Olympic sports is a 2000-year-old martial art offering a variety of benefits for people of all ages and physical abilities. Students have the opportunity to improve concentration and self-esteem, achieve lifelong physical fitness and learn self-defense skills. Classes are taught under the direction of Grand Master Ki Hong Kim (8th Dan World Tae Kwon Do Federation).

A $45 uniform fee is required at the first class. Belt testing is offered through the K.H. Kim’s Taekwondo (OATC) at an additional fee. All colored belt students are required to have complete sparring gears. Please note, after the second class the fee is not refundable.

Little Dragons (Ages 4-5)
This introductory class is designed to captivate the interest of our youngest students. Skills are developed through gentle instruction and appropriate games for their ability. This class focuses on developing balance, coordination and respect for the discipline of martial arts training.

Early Taekwondo (Ages 6-7)
Designed especially for younger children, this program helps kids develop conditioning, coordination, listening skills and self-confidence through creative activities.

Adult & Child Taekwondo (Parent/Child, Ages 7 & Up)
This class provides families with a fun opportunity to spend time together while improving physical and mental conditioning through cardiovascular drills, calisthenics and traditional Taekwondo techniques including punching, kicking and blocking.

Youth Taekwondo (Ages 8-13)
This program includes a balanced cardiovascular workout including punching, kicking and blocking skills using the Taekwondo tradition and self-control. Participants will improve coordination, power of concentration, balance and both physical and mental discipline.

Tina Ginter
Athletics Coordinator
Phone: 847.579.3198

Village (Adult/Child, Ages Newborn-16 Months)IMG_7694kindermusik logo
This class stimulates the cognitive, social, emotional and physical development in the early days of your child’s life. We will participate in activities appropriate for the different stages of development for this age. We’ll play, massage, explore objects, sing and move to nurture development!

Our Time (Adult/Child, Ages 18 Months-3 1/2)
Based on child development research, this program addresses the whole child Scottthrough singing, listening, moving and playing simple instruments. We will also explore texture and sounds, play finger games and learn to “take turns” so social skills will blossom.

Imagine That (Adult/Child, Ages 3-5)
Pretend play activities are integrated with music, vocal development, storytelling, dance, movement and literature to encourage cognitive and literacy skills, creativity, and individuality. A parent or caregiver will join class during the last 15 minutes each week.

Cathy Fiori, Recreation Supervisor II
Phone: 847.579.3121

West Ridge is a great place to have your next birthday party or business meeting! West Ridge has the” at home” feeling with roomsWRC_MultiFunctionRoom_HolidayDecor - low res full of toys, small tables and chairs to accommodate children. You can have your party here and leave the mess to us. You can bring in your own entertainment and food. We ask that you not bring in live animals or DJs.

  • Jammin’ Jungle is our indoor playground and can be a great setting for the active child in your life.
  • Multi-purpose room is great for those big parties with room for up to 100 people.
  • Gym has a great new floor and is perfect for an athletic party. The gym may be rented on  Sundays from 1-3pm.

Rental Days/Hours

All rentals are by the hour and are available Monday through Friday (depending on availability) and Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 4pm. Rentals can be made up to 90 days in advance in person.

Fees (by the hour)

Jammin’ Jungle Indoor Playground, $71/resident, $91/nonresident
Preschool Rooms/Gym, $60/resident, $80/nonresident
Multi-Purpose Room, $58/resident, $78/nonresident
A $20 cleaning deposit is required for each room rental.

Park District of Highland Park Building Use Policy Rental Rules and Regulations

  1. Park District sponsored activities shall have priority in all facility usage.
  2. All rentals must be applied for in-person at the designated facility at which time full payment is required.
  3. Any individuals or groups applying for use of the facility must complete and submit the appropriate permit with the exception of scheduled Park District activities. The permits may be submitted no more than ninety (90) days prior to the proposed usage date and approved by the Center Supervisor dependent upon facility availability.
  4. Rentals are ninety percent (90%) refundable if reservation is canceled ten (10) or more working days prior to approved rental date.
  5. A refundable cleaning deposit will be charged. Cleaning deposits shall be refunded approximately two weeks after the date of rental if the group or individuals using the Center left the room in an orderly state. Please note: Additional fees will be assessed to the renter if there is any damage incurred by misuse of the facility and its property.
  6. All rental fees and charges are subject to change and are established annually by the Board.
    Rental fees will be charged based on 2 divisions: Resident and nonresident. Proof of residency is required with a valid ID.
    Individuals signing permit must be 21 years of age, be present during rental period and assume responsibility for all actions of the group and usage of the room and equipment including the chaperoning of minors.
  7. A rental permit shall be revoked at any time due to misconduct of individuals, falsification of information, misuse of property or failure to comply with Center and Park District rules and regulations. Rental payment will be forfeited to the Park District and future permits will not be issued to group or individuals involved.
  8. Park District reserves the right to prohibit any rental application which is contrary to the public safety and welfare.
    Any use of loudspeaker or public address instruments must be approved by the Park District. Necessary information must be submitted on rental application.
  9. Rental information for each facility, including forms, fees, hours and duration, room availability, and rules/regulations are available at the designated facility.
  10. Permits for fund-raising activities must be submitted thirty (30) days prior to the proposed usage date and must be approved by the Board.