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Recreation

Recreation

There are plenty of opportunities for Flossmoor residents to enjoy leisure and recreation — whether it is a walk in the park, a specialty program or a round of golf.

In 1969, the Homewood Park District and the Flossmoor Park District merged to form the Homewood- Flossmoor Park District with a total property size of 43.5 acres. Nearly four decades later, the district has grown to an acreage of more than 365 and has won numerous awards, including the NRPA National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Administration twice in 1991 and, most recently, 2006. The H-F Park District also received the Illinois Association of Park Districts and the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association’s Distinguished Agency Award in 1998 and again in 2004.

Some of the H-F Park District’s parks are designed for special interests. Extreme Scene Skate Park is set up especially for skateboarders. Rover’s Run Dog Park operates year-round and features a large fenced area for running and playing, a separate fenced-off training area, an owner-doggie drinking fountain and much more. Millennium Park features a zero-depth, outdoor water playground — a summer favorite for area children.

H-F Park District facilities, programs and events bring the communities together for fun, relaxation and learning. The H-F Park District offers recreation programs for all ages and interests, regardless of ability. Each year, more than 40,000 people participate in the district’s 700-plus programs and special events. Participants can choose from recreational programs and activities such as trips, arts and crafts, sports leagues, aerobics, gymnastics, adult learning, social activities and more. The Park District also operates its own preschool program — The Learning Tree Preschool — and lunch program for adults, ages 55 and better – Let’s Do Lunch. In cooperation with the Homewood and Flossmoor public school districts, the Park District also operates before and after-school programs for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Many of the District’s early childhood/preschool programs are held at the Marie Irwin Community Center, located in Homewood. The Irwin Center is a hub of activity and features meeting rooms, arts and crafts rooms, billiards, preschool classrooms, an outdoor bandshell and more. The summer’s annual Starry Nights Concerts, which feature top-name entertainment, are held outdoors in the Irwin Park bandshell.

Whether you’re wobbly on the ice or a seasoned hockey player, the H-F Ice Arena located in Flossmoor has programs for a wide range of interests, including figure skating and ice hockey. Renovated in 2001, the Ice Arena features main and studio ice rinks, conference/ meeting facilities, locker rooms and a specialty pro shop.

The H-F Racquet & Fitness Club — the park district’s 110,000-square-foot fitness facility — has features and amenities that rival any commercial health club. It boasts a state-of-the-art fitness center, 10 indoor satin-turf tennis courts, racquetball, basketball, a walking/jogging track, an indoor lap pool, child care facilities, a complete pro shop, fitness classes, massage therapy, personal training, conference rooms and full-service locker rooms. It was named the number one tennis member organization in the nation by the United States Tennis Association in 2001. In 2007, it was listed in the top 50 Tennis Welcome Centers in the country by Racquet Sports magazine. The professional staff offers private and group lessons, team tennis, and competitive and recreational tournaments.

Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center is a joint project of the Homewood-Flossmoor and Olympia Fields Park Districts. The 40-acre nature preserve is home to a diversity of wildlife and habitat types. Irons Oaks is dedicated to providing quality programs and professional development experiences in both environmental and adventure education. In addition, Irons Oaks has two beautiful buildings with rooms available for rent. Located at the intersection of Vollmer Road and Western Avenue, the park is open to the public seven days a week from dawn until dusk. All scheduled programs are designed to be hands-on learning experiences.

The H-F Sports Complex at the James Hart/Millennium School Campus was built in 2002 by the H-F Park District and Homewood School District #153. This cooperative facility is used for physical education classes during the school day. When school is dismissed and during summer break, the Park District uses the Sports Complex for after-school programs, sports leagues and more.

The H-F Park District also operates two outdoor aquatic facilities. Lions Club Pool features a large main pool, a tot pool, a sand playground area, a waterslide and plunge pool, a grassy sunbathing area, shade umbrellas and a concession stand. Dolphin Lake Pool is a regulation-size pool featuring a diving well, tot pool and shade umbrellas. Swim lessons are available in the summer at both pools for all ages.

The annual Flossmoor 5K run and walk gives participants the opportunity to run and walk through scenic Flossmoor neighborhoods. This Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA) Registered Race is held on a U.S.A. Track and Field certified course, which is flat, shaded, and provides a wonderful event for all.

Following the race, participants and spectators can relax and socialize at Flossmoor Fest, a family-oriented festival with great food and entertainment. Family, friends and visitors can sample mouthwatering fare from a variety of Flossmoor’s best-loved restaurants, while local community groups offer snacks, ice cream and beverages throughout the event.

The festival begins with a parade that ends in Flossmoor’s downtown and is followed by performances by local and regionally renowned musicians. Attractions for children abound, including a rock-climbing wall, pony rides and a variety of games. And best of all, activities in the park are free for kids!

To find out more about this year’s activities, visit www.flossmoor.org. To learn more about the H-F Park District, visit www.hfparks.com.

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