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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
Art Music, Dance, Theater
Martial Arts
Jammin’ Jungle Indoor Playground
Rental Spaces/Parties 


NEW! 2019 Front Desk 
Mon, Wed, Thu: 9am-5pm
Tue: 8am-6:30pm
Fri: 8am-4pm

NEW! 2019 Jammin’ Jungle Hours 
Mon, Wed, Thu: 8:30-10:30am, 11:30am-1:30pm and 3-5pm
Tue: 8:30-10:30am, 11:30am-1:30pm and 3-6:30pm
Fri: 8:30-10:30am, 11:30am-1:30pm and 3-4pm
Sat: 9-11 am

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


Sara Stanke, Recreation Supervisor

Natalie Liang, Recreation Supervisor 

Cathy Fiori, Recreation Supervisor II

Mariana Henriques, Recreation Manager, Recreation & West Ridge Center

Registration Office 

Michele Long, Facility Coordinator


Introducing ParkSchool for 2, 3 and 4-year-olds. Your child’s bright future begins at ParkSchool.

Click here for more information »

Variety After School Programs
(grade k-4)

Resident registration begins  7:00a, April 24 
( Fall & Full Year programs)

Programs at West Ridge Center provide 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

West Ridge Connection (Busing)
(grade k-4)

Connect your child’s school day with a West Ridge Center after school program. Children are transported from school to West Ridge Center by District 112 school buses. Students are welcomed off their bus by staff and are provided with a snack, activities, and are then escorted to their program.
(grade 1-4)

Invention Convention
(grade 1)

Tuesdays or Wednesdays
Step inside; think outside the box! Do what most doers don’t, think up something new. Then, make the new even newer—because we’re creative doers! Children may handle or consume food products. Instructor: Ginny Schwalbach. Min/Max 8/12.

Clay Shop
(grade 1-4)

Build skills and self-confidence while learning hand building techniques with clay. No matter your experience, design & make tiles, pots and figures easily. Creations are glazed and fired after imaginations have run wild! All materials are included. Instructor: Lori Cohen. Min/Max is 6/10.

The Art of Cooking
(grade 2-4)

Mix, stir, chop, create! This class will incorporate cooking combined with an art project. Each week is inspired by a new color. A recipe will be made together as a group and eaten before the class ends. A “Lookbook” is sent home at the end of the session with recipes and coordinating art work. Children handle and consume food products in this program. Instructor: Lori Cohen & Belle Kolman. Min/Max 8/14

Click here for Pre-K summer programs

  • Safety Village
  • Camp Tot Stop
  • Space Camp

Sara Stanke, Recreation Supervisor



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

Youth Art programs are offered after school. Click here for more details.

Adult Programs

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

To view and register for programs, click here.


Mariana Henriques, Recreation Manager
Phone: 847.579.3120

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

To register, click here.

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.

Mini Camps and Introductory Dance Programs

ClassAgeDescriptionSessions offered
Rainbows and UnicornsAges 2-5Dancers learn ballet basics, modern musical rhythms, while they
develop a foundation of basic classical ballet vocabulary and hip
hop movements. Fun activities build coordination, discipline, and
muscle control. Min/Max 4/12. Instructor: Margo Proeh.
Winter, Fall and Full-Year
ShowBiz Mini Dance and Theatre CampsAges 2-7Enjoy a mini camp experience that includes dance and musical
theatre class, story time, costumes, and games! You will explore
each camp’s theme through movement, stories, craft and media.
Families and friends enjoy a small showcase on the last day of
class. Please bring a water bottle. Snack is provided. Instructor:
Margo Proeh, Gabrielle Garza, and the Children’s Theatre Co. Min/
Max: 7/15.
Fancy FeetAges 3-5Focus is on an introduction to music and movement, while
learning the basics of classical ballet like posture, positions, rhythm
skills, coordination, and self-expression. Creative games and
stories with imaginative exercises are incorporated. Costumes used
in class. Instructor: Margo Proeh.
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and Full-Year
Fantasy DanceAges 2-5Let's dance and become the unimaginable. Students learn dance
techniques centered on the “theme of the week” including:
Frozen, Cinderella, and others. Using props, costumes, and
movement, children will develop dance skills and knowledge. This
class creates the magic of movement, which leads student to fall in
love with dancing! Children must be potty-trained and ready for a
drop-off group experience. Instructor: Margo Proeh.
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and Full-Year
Dance With Me (Parent/Tot)Ages 2-4Prepare your little one to feel comfortable in the dance studio or
a performance class and create wonderful memories together!
Parents and tots learn the very basics of dance, work on body
position and control together while exploring their imagination
and enjoying some great tunes! Recommended as a first dance
class experience to prepare students for a drop-off class. Instructor:
Margo Proeh.
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and Full-Year

Progressive Ballet

ClassAgeDescriptionSession Offered/Registration Options
Ballet IAges 5-7Our beginner level class introduces students to the structure
and sequence of a traditional ballet class. Students learn
basic ballet principles such as ballet terminology, body positions,
and common
movement phrases.
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and Full-Year
Ballet IIAges 6-8Exercises for alignment, flexibility, and coordination develop
a strong foundation of understanding classical ballet training.
Posture and placement of classical ballet are emphasized. Students
gradually move into the traditional ballet format of barre followed
by center exercises. Key components are musical timing, turn out,
proper alignment and memorization of ballet terminology.
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and Full-Year
Ballet IIIAges 7-10Exercises for alignment, flexibility, and coordination develop a
stronger foundation of understanding classical ballet training.
A heavier focus on posture and placement of classical ballet are
emphasized. Students gradually move into the traditional ballet
format of barre followed by center exercises. Key components are
musical timing, turn out, alignment and understanding of ballet
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and Full-Year
Ballet for AthletesAges 7-13Supplement elite athletic performance with this class geared
towards body awareness and alignment, core strength, flexibility,
and balance. Students learn basic ballet exercises and vocabulary
to understand and appreciate how the body can be a vital
instrument in artistic expression within any arena, field, stage or
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and Full-Year
Open Level Ballet + Hip HopAges 10-15This is a basic ballet and hip-hop class for students of all levels,
experience and ability who are looking to study a fusion of
traditional, and contemporary dance with room for creativity.
Students build coordination and flexibility while learning new
steps and choreography.
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and Full-Year

Progressive Performance and Broadway

ClassAgeDescriptionSession Offered/Registration Options
Hip-Hop BalletAges 3-6Little bit of ballet and a little bit of hip-hop! A great high energy
class to keep your young dancer’s attention by capturing their
natural enthusiasm for music and movement.
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and Full-Year
Hip-HopAges 6-12High energy beats and moves get you jumping! Learn the latest
moves with focuses on body isolation, attitude, coordination,
freestyle movement, and break dance technique. Boys and
girls feel the rhythm and get into the groove! Helps improve
dance skills as well as promote athleticism. No dance experience
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and Full-Year
PomAges 7-14From fast sharp moves to high energy combinations, learn
techniques in motions, jumps, cheer, kick and choreography. A
great way to prepare for competitive and/or performance Pom and
Cheer teams or just learn some new skills and have fun.
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and Full-Year


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 professional dance instructors who have trained with world renowned dancers such as… Merce Cunningham, Randy Duncan and Larry Long View their Bios Here

Dance Instructor 3

Natalie Liang, Recreation Supervisor
Phone: 847.579.3131

Dance Progressive Programs

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

Variety Programs (Click on program name to register)

Resident registration begins  7:00a, April 24 

Safety Village

(Age 5 Entering grade K in 2019)


Take a fun approach to safety procedures through role-playing, art projects, stories, films and practical experience outside. Join us in our newly designed Safety Village and learn about stranger safety, what to do in an emergency situation, and how the Police and Fire Departments help us. Children will ride tricycles so helmets are a must, please bring them from home. Red, yellow, Go! Instructor: Ginny Schwalbach. Min/Max 10/20.

June 4-14 – June Safety Village Classes

Tu-F 9:30-11am
Tu-F 11:45am-1:15pm
Tu-F 2-3:30pm

August 6-9 – August Safety Village Class

Tu-F 9:30-12:30pm

Space Camp(Grades 1-3)

3, 2, 1…LIFTOFF! Blast off on an amazing adventure into space to learn about the wonders of our Universe. Zoom past planets and soar through our solar system. Explore black holes, the Milky Way, and gaze at nebula and galaxies all while pretending to be an astronaut. We will observe the power of the Sun, study the International Space Station, and make a 3D model of our solar system. Participants should bring a “space approved” lunch. Instructor: Ginny Schwalbach. Min/Max 6/12.

August 13-16

Tu-F 9-1pm

Camp Tot Stop
(Ages 2-3)


A great opportunity for little ones who are not quite old enough for camp! We’ll enjoy camp-themed art projects, games, and songs. We’ll be especially busy exploring the outdoors and getting lots of exercise! Please provide a lunch and drink. Register for one or more sessions!
Instructor: Belle Kolman. Min/Max: 6/12.

June 17-August 1

Mondays 9:30-12:30pm
Tuesdays 9:30-12:30pm
Wednesdays 9:30-12:30pm
Thursdays 9:30-12:30pm

Sara Stanke, Recreation Supervisor


Be Inspired By the Magic of Theatre! Join us on the stage. 

Fall 2019 Musical Theatre Tots: Let It Go!

  • Final Showcase will be during last scheduled class

Fall 2019 Performance Program and Young Performers: Frozen Jr.

  • Fall Theatre Show: Sunday, December 8, 2019


Based on the 2018 Broadway musical, we bring Elsa, Anna, and the magical land of Arendelle to life, onstage. A story of true love and acceptance between sisters, Frozen JR. expands upon the emotional relationship and journey between Princesses Anna and Elsa. When faced with danger, the two discover their hidden potential and the powerful bond of sisterhood. With a cast of beloved characters and loaded with magic, adventure, and plenty of humor, Frozen JR. is sure to thaw even the coldest heart!

Young Performers* | Grades K-1

Kids have their first chance to perform on stage. All children attend weekly rehearsals to learn songs, dances, and scenes. The class includes acting, games, singing, and dancing. Each child enrolled receives a character part, an audio file, and a script for personal practice.

Instructor: Margo Proeh, Gabrielle Garza & Children’s Theatre Staff. Min/Max 7/20. No class on Nov 28, 30.

Show: Frozen Jr.

Final Performance: Sun Dec 8 . Mandatory rehearsal: Fri Dec 6.

Sep 12-Dec 8

3416202-A Cast I Sa 1:20-2:20pm

3416202-B Cast II Sa 1:20-2:20pm

3416202-C Cast III Th 4:15-5:15pm

Performance Program* | Grades 2-6

All children have the opportunity to perform in a musical theater production on stage. Actors rehearse weekly under the direction of our highly-accredited vocal, dance, and drama instructors. The final performance includes original costumes, sound and set. Each child who auditions receives a part, an audio file and a script for personal practice. First rehearsal is mandatory.

Instructor: Margo Proeh, Gabrielle Garza & Children’s Theatre Staff. Min/Max 7/20. No class on Nov 30.

Show: Frozen Jr.

Final Performance: Sun Dec 8. Mandatory rehearsal: Fri Dec 6.

Sep 14-Dec 8

Mandatory Auditions: Fri Sep 13 4:30-6:30pm (All performers receive a part.)

3416202-D Sa 2:25-4:25pm

Musical Theatre Tots! | Ages 3-5

Students delight in performing the adventures of Anna, Elsa and Olaf in Let It Go! Join us in a musical journey helping the three while singing, dancing and acting along the way. Students will perform in 4 songs and dances and receive 3 lines each in our final show. Students make new friends, connect to the musical theatre, and build a community among young artists. Theatre helps young children develop social, language, physical, and cognitive skills. Costumes are provided at the final performance. Children must be potty-trained and ready for a drop-off group experience. Instructor: Margo Proeh, Gabrielle Garza & Children’s Theatre Staff. Min/Max 4/12. No class on Sep 30, Nov 25.

Show: Let It Go! Join the snow queen Elsa and her sister Anna in this magical journey

Final Performance will be during last scheduled class.

Sep 9-Dec 11

3416205-A M 3-4pm

3416205-B W 12:25-1:25pm



Musical Theatre Workshop | Grades 2-6

A weekly musical theatre workshop culminates in a showcase featuring age-appropriate excerpts from smash hit movie musicals! Students will learn the basics of vocal technique, choreography, and acting while working together to produce an in-class performance for family and friends. Showcase classes are only six weeks long and are a great way for young artists to develop their talents, foster self-confidence, and grow in social skills and team building. The showcase will take place during the last 30 minutes of our final class.

Instructor: Margo Proeh, Gabrielle Garza & Children’s Theatre Staff. Min/Max 6/20.

Aug 27 – Oct 1 | The Greatest Showman Act..Sing..Perform!

4416108-A Tu 4-6pm

Oct 22 – Nov 26 | The Descendants Act..Sing..Perform!

4416108-B Tu 4-6pm


Frozen Undernighter | Grades K-6

Join your cast members for a night to remember. Bond with your theatre family while singing karaoke tracks from Frozen, playing theatre games, and watch the movie together while eating pizza! This night is not only for cast members. Interested in theatre and love Frozen? Join us! Instructor: Margo Proeh, Gabrielle Garza & Children’s Theatre Staff

Oct 11

4416109-A F 5:30-8:30pm


Stage Craft Design Workshop | Grades 2-6

Bring your creativity and artistic flair! Calling all aspiring young artists to go behind the scenes of our fall musical and design a set piece for Frozen Jr. There is more that goes into theatre Performance than meets the eye. Help tell the story of Frozen Jr. by crafting and creating a part of the visual story. You don’t have to be in our fall performance to be in this class. Instructor: Margo Proeh, Gabrielle Garza & Children’s Theatre Staff

Nov 2

4416107-A Sa 9-11am


Winter Break Theatre Camp:

Fairytale Fun | Grades K-5

Let your imagination run wild creating your very own musical to these familiar fairy tales. Take the day to explore a wide variety of performing arts in an environment of encouragement and support. Students will sing, dance, act, do scenery and even costume work. Dream and create together with Children’s Theatre Co. Bring a healthy lunch, snack and water bottle. Sign up for one, two, three, four or all five days. Min 6/Max 16.  Instructor: Margo Proeh, Gabrielle Garza & Children’s Theatre Staff

Dec 23 | Jack and the Beanstalk

4416207-A M 10am-3pm

Dec 26 | Little Red Riding Hood

4416207-B Th 10am-3pm

Dec 27 | The Three Little Pigs

4416207-C F 10am-3pm

Jan 2 | The Princess and the Pea

4416207-D Th 10am-3pm

Jan 3 | The Three Bears

4416207-E F 10am-3pm


Natalie Liang, Recreation Supervisor
Phone: 847.579.3131

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.

Michael Divencenzo
Athletics Coordinator
Phone: 847.579.3198

Village (Adult/Child, Ages Newborn-16 Months)IMG_7694
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 16 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.


To register, click here.

Natalie Liang, Recreation Supervisor
Phone: 847.579.3131

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  is perfect for an athletic party.

Rental Days/Hours

All rentals are a minimum of 2 hours and are available Monday through Friday (depending on availability) and Saturday between 10am and 4pm. Rentals can be made up to 90 days in advance in person.


 Cost per Hour
Minimum of 2 hours per rental
Room capacityAmenities
Preschool Rooms $64/84*

Maximum Capacity: 30Toys
Tables & chairs
Sink (rooms 1 and 2)
Gymnasium $64/84*Maximum Capacity: 50Adjustable height basketball hoops
For athletics use only
No food and drinks allowed
Jammin' Jungle $75/95*Maximum Capacity: 30Indoor playground structure
child size bathrooms
No food and drinks allowed
Multi-Purpose Room $75/95*Maximum Capacity: 100Tables & Chairs
Additional Fees:All rentals will be charged a refundable $50 cleaning/damage deposit
*Sunday rentals are charged an additional non-refundable after hours fee: $25/hour

For availability Inquiries

Michele Long
Facility Coordinator
Phone: 847.579.3134

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.
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Registration for Fall programs begins July 24! 

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