The Park District is conducting maintenance on its phone system on Tuesday, February 27 at 5pm. While efforts will be made to minimize disruption, patrons may experience intermittent interruptions in phone service, which could extend into the evening. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Young and aspiring hockey players – girls and boys, ages 6 and up – are invited to skate with members of the Highland Park Giants Hockey team on Monday, February 19 from 11am-noon at Centennial Ice Arena.

Attendees will have a chance to enter a drawing to win public skating passes, or a skating class at Centennial Ice Arena.

Sponsored by the Garrett Collopy Foundation

11am-noon

Monday, February 19

Centennial Ice Arena (3100 Trail Way)

Event is free (includes skate rentals).

As we are beginning to think about pulling out our snow boots and parkas from the back of the closet, our parks department has already been working hard to prepare our parks for the winter chill. Their year-round commitment ensures that our parks remain inviting and well-maintained for everyone to enjoy! Check out their winter to-do list.

Throughout the fall, our parks crews complete leaf-clearing and mulching at all our 44 parks. The mulch protects the grounds and plant life during the colder months. Weather permitting, crews aerate, seed, and sod to contribute to the health and vitality of the parks. Teak benches are brought in for refinishing to preserve their longevity. In addition, the team conducts a thorough inventory of picnic tables throughout the parks, collecting those in need of repair. New tables are constructed when necessary, ensuring well-maintained and sturdy seating options.

In November, the staff spends two to three days preparing the Danny Cunniff Park sled hill for winter fun by removing rocks and filling any holes. They are also fencing in the driving range at the Highland Park Golf Learning Center in preparation for the Winter Dog Park. At the same time, another crew is installing the hockey boards in preparation for the outdoor rink at Sunset Woods Park. Once the temperature drops to below-freezing for five consecutive days, the crew strategically floods the frozen ground 24 hours a day over 5-6 days to create a thick ice floor.

Winter is an opportune time for tree maintenance & tree trimming to promote the long-term health of our parks’ beautiful trees, particularly our beautiful oak trees. Crews also take this opportunity to remove buckthorn and other invasive species. This eco-conscious effort aims to preserve the natural biodiversity of the parks, promoting a healthy and balanced ecosystem.

In the early spring, the crews meticulously take down the sled hill, Winter Dog Park, and hockey boards at Sunset Woods. Benches and picnic tables are also placed back in our beautiful parks, signaling a seamless transition from winter to spring and preparing the parks for the warmer seasons.

By: Trainer Amy Hohman

As the cold weather approaches, many outdoor exercisers dread the idea of moving their workouts indoors. The following tips may help:

By: Trainer Adam Dicker

The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and, let’s be honest, indulgence. While the festivities often bring delicious treats and hearty meals, it’s essential to find a balance to stay fit and healthy. Here are a few tips to keep you on track with your fitness goals during the holiday season.

Prioritize Quick Workouts

Recognize that time might be a constraint during the holidays. Opt for shorter, high-intensity workouts that can be easily squeezed into a busy schedule. Quick bursts of exercise can be just as effective.

Involve the Whole Family

Plan activities that involve everyone, from hiking and biking to a friendly game of touch football. It’s a fantastic way to bond while staying active.

Mindful Eating

Enjoy holiday treats but practice mindful eating. Pay attention to portion sizes and savor each bite. When preparing meals, incorporate nutritious options. This can help you avoid overindulging while still enjoying the festive flavors.

Stay Hydrated

With holiday beverages and cozy drinks in abundance, it’s crucial to stay hydrated. Water not only keeps you feeling full but also supports overall well-being.

Get Creative with Gifts

Give the gift of fitness and consider presents that encourage physical activity. Purchase Fitness Club 10-Punch passes, personal training sessions, beach yoga punch passes, and more for the Recreation Center of Highland Park.

By: Group Fitness Instructor and Pilates Reformer Trainer, Cara Schlussel

Tis the season to be baking cookies! And while those cookies are in the oven, you’ve got 12 minutes to whip up a quick, high-intensity workout. Try these short, intense exercises the next time you’re in the kitchen. Here’s your plan do each exercise below for 40 seconds each with a 15 second rest, and repeat 2x:

  1. Squats: Stand hip-width apart and lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor, keeping your weight in your heels, back flat, and chest upright.
  2. Jumping Jacks: Get your heart pumping and maximize calories burned. Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides. Jump your feet out while raising your arms above your head, and repeat. Engage your glutes and push back to the start position. Repeat.
  3. High Knees: Bring one knee up to hip level and then switch legs. Try to go as fast as you can.
  4. Lunges: Stand with one foot in front of the other, about 2-3 feet apart. Keep your torso straight, shoulders back and your core engaged.  Bend your knees, lowering your body toward the floor and push back up to the starting position.  Be sure to do this exercise for both legs.
  5. Butt Kicks: Kick your right heel up to touch your butt and then your left foot, and repeat.
  6. Mountain Climbers: Start in a high plank, with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked above your wrists, legs extended, and core engaged. This is the starting position. Keeping your core tight, draw your right knee to your chest. Return to the starting position and immediately draw your left knee to your chest. Return your left leg to the starting position. That’s 1 rep. Continue to alternate. The quicker you move your legs, the more of a cardio challenge this will become.

The Park District of Highland Park is partnering with SaLT: Service and Learning Together and the Highland Park/Highwood Rotary Club to collect pre-packaged food donations to provide groceries to Highland Park and Highwood families facing food insecurities.

About 21.3% of Highland Park/Highwood residents live in poverty, 18% of residents over 60 years qualify for food stamps, and 22% of elementary school students are classified as low-income with many facing food insecurity, together we can make a meaningful impact in our community.

Drop-off Dates: Monday, August 14 – Sunday, September 10.

Items Needed

Drop-Off Locations

Every day, the lake presents itself differently, from the calm blues and greens of a peaceful morning to the vibrant oranges and pinks of a dramatic sunset. This mural celebrates the lake’s majestic sunrises, reminding those who look upon it of the positivity, creativity, and curiosity invoked by Lake Michigan.

Highland Park-based Christie Russert is the artist behind Sunshine Canteen®.  Christie’s work uniquely blends abstract patterns and landscapes and reflects her life, travels, and love of design. Her signature style focuses on vibrant colors, bold patterns, and themes of peace, love, and happiness, evoking a sense of freedom, joy, and a gateway to paradise. 

The Moraine Park Mural Project is a partnership between the Park District of Highland Park, The Art Center of Highland Park and the North Shore Water Reclamation District. A design competition was held in February 2023, inviting local artists to propose a design to paint the concrete structures at Moraine Beach. Christie, the winning artist, and her husband Joe worked hard throughout the summer to bring her design to life on the NSWRD structures.

Project Background

In February, the Park District of Highland Park and The Art Center of Highland Park began seeking submissions to decorate the two concrete structures at Moraine Beach. Artists participated in a design competition and submissions were due in March. Submissions were evaluated by a panel of judges who narrowed down the submissions to two finalists. The finalists’ designs were shared with the community through a survey and then shared with the Park District Board of Commissioners who determined the winning design in April. The winning artist began work in June and completed the murals in August, 2023.

Lake Michigan Sunrise, Christie Russert, 2023
Lake Michigan Sunrise, Christie Russert, 2023
Lake Michigan Sunrise, Christie Russert, 2023

“Camp was not just a way to pass the summer break, but a vital part of who we became.” Michael Eisner, former CEO of The Walt Disney Company, talking about how he and his business colleagues look back on their summer camp experiences.

The wonderful summer sports camps run by the park district offer your child seven weeks of fun and games, running around outdoors with their friends.

And that used to be enough.

Now, the experienced coaches, counselors, and student-athletes who teach the fundamentals of a wide range of sports—including baseball, basketball, golf, and soccer—provide campers with much more than a respite from school and a glimpse of glory as “the boys & girls of summer.” We’ll get to the extras after this short break to tell you what happens each week.

Jr. Varsity Sports Camp, for everyone in grades 1–4

While all of that fun is happening, kids are learning some mighty important life skills, from caring adults they trust—their coaches and counselors:

Troy Hoffmann, Athletic Supervisor at the Park District, said “These are things that help shape kids into good people, and we emphasize them every day. Happily, none of them require looking at a screen!”

Varsity Sports Camp, for everyone in grades 5–8

While the Varsity Sports Camp is great fun for everyone, if your young sports enthusiast is a girl in grades 3–6, take a look at our Girls Play Strong camp. It’s filled with special features designed specifically for them.

We’re looking forward to seeing your child this summer!

The Park District of Highland Park is partnering with Moraine Township Food Pantry to collect non-perishable food items to provide families in need with meals over Memorial Day Weekend.

Drop-off Dates: Monday, April 10-Sunday, May 14

Items Needed

Drop-Off Locations


The Moraine Township Food Pantry is always in need of donations. If you can’t supply the above Memorial Day Meal items, please consider donating the following at our facilities:

Golf.

Our golf camps offer all the benefits of team sports—being active both physically and mentally, being outdoors, making lifelong friends, and learning a game that your child can play for life—with one big difference: the outcome is all up to them.

Yes, golfers like to play twosomes and foursomes. But it’s all about what the individual does on the course that ends up on their scorecard. So if your child is ready to spend a summer playing a game where they are in control, we have a special sports camp that’s perfect for them.

The Highland Park Golf Academy week-long summer camp is a half-day of intense fun where players are immersed in a game that never gets old, never gets boring, and is never the same two days in a row. Students at the Golf Academy dive deep into the fundamentals: grip, proper swing techniques, driving, and putting. Plus the rules of the game, club selection, and proper course etiquette are part of every session. Our pro instructors emphasize self-esteem along with goal-setting—two skills that are important in every other aspect of life: from family, to school, to business. The great Tiger Woods said it best: “Achievements on the golf course are not what matters. Decency and honesty are what matter.”

Playing golf is fun, and we make sure that your child has a great summer! But just taking a club and whacking a ball around ends up being frustrating and disappointing. “Young golfers often just want to smash the ball as far as possible,” says Rob Saunders, PGA pro instructor at the Golf Academy, “and they end up hitting long and wrong time after time.” Students in this camp can spend plenty of time on the driving range swinging for the fences. (Actually, there aren’t any fences.) But individual time spent on the attached Par-3 course, practicing the all-important short game, will pay even bigger dividends for your golfer when tallying up the score at the end of a round with their friends.

Golf teaches discipline: there are rules, and everyone has to follow them to be successful. Golf teaches players to control their emotions: your child will learn to focus on the next shot, and not be overwhelmed by a bad one. Golf teaches responsibility and integrity: The Legend of Bagger Vance anyone? (Hint: The ball moved.) Golf teaches the value of being quiet: while a golfer plans each shot, and while other players line up their putts. Being quiet in the great outdoors, on a beautiful course, might just be the thing your child ends up liking the best about the game.

Does golf sound like the thing for your child? Sign them up for a week or two of summer camp at the Golf Academy where we help every child get started (or get better) playing this great game where what they do makes all the difference.