Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Before heading to your favorite Park District facility, be sure to check our Thanksgiving hours.

FacilityThursday, November 24Friday, November 25Saturday, November 26
Centennial Ice ArenaClosedClosedClosed
Deer Creek Racquet Club8am-noon6:30am-noon7:30am-6pm
Heller Nature CenterBuilding Closed, Trails Open 7:30am to DuskBuilding Closed, Trails Open 7:30am to DuskBuilding Open 9am-3pm, Trails Open 7:30am to Dusk
Highland Park Golf Learning CenterClosedClosedClosed
Lincoln School (Gymnastics)ClosedClosedClosed
Recreation Center of Highland Park (Fitness)7am-noon7am-4pm7am-6pm
River's Edge Mini GolfClosedClosedClosed
Sunset Valley Golf Club8am-4pm (weather permitting)8am-4pm (weather permitting)8am-4pm (weather permitting)
West Ridge CenterClosedClosedClosed

For a full listing of local and national resources for you and your family to access, including news updates, vigil information, donations, volunteering, and reclaiming property, visit Highland Park Strong.

As we all continue to heal and move forward as a community, we would like to share our plans for reopening Park District programs and services.

While we hoped to begin offering all our programs and services this week, we made the difficult decision to cancel summer camps* through Friday, July 8. Summer camps will resume as scheduled on Monday, July 11. We understand that this decision may put your family in a difficult position for childcare. However, after meeting with our summer camp staff today, all of whom were working at the July 4th events, we understand that they need additional time to heal and prepare themselves to return to camp. In addition, the Unplugged Event scheduled for this Saturday, July 9, at The Preserve of Highland Park is canceled.

The following facilities are open tomorrow July 7 for regular hours:

The following programs will begin as scheduled tomorrow July 7:

The following programs scheduled to start this Saturday, July 9 are postponed one week and will begin on Saturday, July 16:

*Golf Camp will resume on Thursday, July 7

Available May 31-September 1, excluding July 2-4

Daily boat launch passes are available for purchase at the Recreation Center of Highland Park for power boats, sunfish sailboats, SUPs, and kayaks. Personal watercrafts are not eligible for daily launches this season. The daily pass includes parking and in and out privileges for the day. Daily boaters are asked to return their daily pass card in the Park Ave drop box at the end of their visit. 

Personal Watercrafts are not eligible for daily launches.

Recreation Center of Highland Park
1207 Park Ave West 


Spring is the time of year you may notice dandelions popping up in our parks.  You might wonder why the Park District doesn’t do something about all those yellow flowers.  Letting them bloom is one way we keep our parks at their healthiest. Though not a complete source of nutrition for bee pollinators, dandelions also fill in early spring food source gaps.

As part of our best management practices, we aim to avoid spraying lawn chemicals to eliminate what some might deem an unsightly nuisance.   Instead, the yellow blooms can open to their glory across our parks.  Once the grass is long enough, crews will mow the dandelions giving our parks a more uniform “green grass” appearance.  

The Park District of Highland Park was one of the first Park Districts in Illinois to adopt an Environmental Policy which includes maintaining our parks, facilities and natural areas in a manner that enhances and protects the environment by minimizing the adverse impact on air and water quality. This includes “Integrated Pest Management” practices that minimize chemical use in favor of other management efforts such as careful mowing, aeration and–in the case of dandelions–working with nature to provide healthy places to play.

The Ravinia Farmers Market (RFM) opens for its 44th season from 7am to 1pm and will run until October 26 at Jens Jensen Park in Highland Park. The Ravinia Market is one of several markets in the Chicago area featuring local, organic produce grown by North Shore vendors.

“The Ravinia Neighbors Association and the Park District of Highland Park are the gracious Host Sponsors of the RFM, which allows the weekly event to have non-profit status. This alliance continues the mission to bring together the community in the Ravinia District,” says market manager Ed Kugler, who has managed the market since 2016. Kugler’s company, Taste Marketing, manages both the RFM and the Glencoe Farmers Market, which opens for its second season from 1-5pm, on June 11, next to Village Hall at 675 Village Ct. 

This year’s RFM will be bigger than ever, having more than doubled in vendor participation in the last three years, says Kugler. In addition to retaining most vendors from last year, Kugler has added several new vendors to the weekly line-up. Look for new offerings this season, such as a special Market Membership and a sponsorship program.

Live music continues this year, as “Jazzman” Jeff Justman returns from 8:45 to 10:45am most weeks. Since 2016, the North Shore-based acoustic musician has offered market-goers live entertainment in pass-the-hat style. Regular music performances from additional local artists are scheduled from 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. each week on the market grounds. Weekly performances are sponsored by the Highland Park Community Foundation and Life Rhythms.

COVID-19 protocols will continue to remain at the forefront for the safety of customers, vendors, and market staff. Kugler adds, “Although conditions have changed since the 2021 market season, we are still following current COVID-19 state and local protocols, which will be followed and adapted to as we are directed by the City of Highland Park. The RFM is a member of the Illinois Farmers Market Association (ILFMA), which collaborates with the governor’s office to determine how all farmers markets in Illinois will follow the current COVID-19 protocols.”

Stunning!  A huge congratulations to Highland Park’s own Jason Brown, who performed flawlessly last night in the men’s figure skating short program at the 2022 Winter Olympics.  It was his personal-best short program performance.  Jason Brown performs the men’s figure skating free skate program this Wed., Feb 9, at 7:30 pm.

Go Jason!!!   

The Board of Park Commissioner’s monthly meetings are moving from Tuesday nights to Wednesday nights. The Park Board’s regular January meeting is now scheduled for Wednesday, January 26. On a forward-going basis, the Park Board will meet on the fourth Wednesday of each month and have a workshop (meeting of the whole) on the second Wednesday of each month. 

To view the Park Board’s meeting schedule, agendas, videos, and minutes, click here

Congratulations to Centennial Ice Arena’s own Jason Brown for being named to the U.S. 2022 Olympic Figure Skating Team. A one-time resident of Highland Park and graduate of Highland Park High School, Jason learned to skate at a young age. When he was just five years old, his mother registered him in the Park District’s Learn-to-Skate tot program at Centennial, and he skated and trained at the ice arena early in his career. As his skill on the ice progressed, he began competing and succeeding in major skating competitions. In 2013, Jason became a World Junior Silver Medalist, and in 2014 he was selected to represent the United States on the men’s figure skating team at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The team brought home a bronze medal. 

Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou join Brown on the U.S. figure skating team for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing from February 4 – 20.
To view the 2022 Winter Olympic Games schedule, click here. Check back to this website for updates regarding Jason Brown during the Games. Best of luck, Jason! 

In response to the recent steep rise in COVID-19 cases and to keep our residents and staff as safe and healthy as possible at our facilities, the Park District of Highland Park wants to remind our patrons that the State of Illinois mandates that all individuals aged two and older are required to wear a face-covering when indoors, regardless of vaccination status. 

 Please follow these important guidelines: 

In Lake County, the CDC Data Tracker reports a positivity rate of 16.24% over the past seven days.  We appreciate our community’s understanding and cooperation as we work together to navigate these challenging times.  Always, your health and safety are our top priority, and we will keep you updated as the situation evolves.  

The Park District encourages all eligible patrons to get vaccinated against COVID-19. For more important information about the COVID-19 vaccines, best practices to protect yourself and others, and the proper way to wear face masks from the CDC, click here

For updates on the Park District of Highland Park COVID-19 response, click here.