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Recreation and Tourism

Plenty to Do in & Around Warrenville

Winter, summer, inside or outdoors, there’s something to do for everyone in or around Warrenville.

Park District

Park District: The Warrenville Park District provides the community with a wide variety of recreational programs, events and services. These include sports leagues for all ages, day camps during the summer and school breaks, sports camps, fitness programs, preschool programs, active adult programs, day trips, and birthday party services. The Warrenville Park District Recreation Center is home to many programs and the FitnessNOW center which provides state of the art cardiovascular and resistance equipment, 3 lane indoor track, Life Fitness Cross trainers, upright and recumbent bikes and treadmills. The District is involved with hosting or participating in several special events each year including the Fall Family Fest, Holly Days, Summer Daze, 4th of July festivities, Bike Rodeo and 5 K Run.

In addition to indoor facilities, the Warrenville Park District manages 59 acres of parks and open space that is utilized for active as well as passive pursuits.

Forest Preserves: County preserves surround Warrenville. The largest with 1,339 acres is Blackwell. With a small lake for boating and fishing, nine miles of hiking trails, a campground, shelters and picnic sites, a dog exercise area, winter tubing down Mt. Hoy, and plenty of parking, Blackwell is ideal for a day or overnight adventure.

skating

At the north end of Blackwell, off Mack Road, is McKee Marsh. A three mile hiking trail provides outlooks for animal and bird watching. Audubon Society members from all over Chicagoland treasure the opportunities here.

Just east of Blackwell is Herrick Lake, a preserve extending from Butterfield to Warrenville Road and just east of Winfield Road. Fishing and boating are a big draw because of a concession and boat rental open during the summer. On its many trails, bikers, hikers, and horseback riders are welcomed.

To the south of Warrenville along Raymond Drive is McDowell Preserve, a former Nike site during World War II. Here you can walk along the DuPage River, watch water rush over a dam, picnic, and fish.

But best of all, nestled right in the center of Warrenville, is Warrenville Grove, a 115-acre park, also along the DuPage River. A footbridge crossing the river lets you watch the man-made dam while you reflect on past times of river swimmers or the gristmill of Warrenville’s founder.

County planners expect to connect all these parks with a hiking/bike path in the very near future.

building

Though not part of the County Forest Preserve District, the renowned Illinois Prairie Path promotes walking, jogging, biking, or horseback riding along a trail formerly used by the Aurora and Elgin Railroad as it cuts east/west through the center of town.

Finally, the Morton Arboretum in Lisle is just minutes away. This famous 1,700-acre non-profit outdoor museum with more than 3,300 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants, was established in 1922 by the founder of the Morton Salt Company. Plantings are displayed in beautiful landscapes along 11 miles of roads and paths. Educational courses are given and special events throughout changing seasons are celebrated.

Other Recreational Opportunities: For golfers, challenging public and private courses fall within a short distance of Warrenville. Cantigny Golf, four miles north, even has a special course and instruction for youngsters. A private fitness club in Cantera supplies subscribers with a full exercise and fitness program, three pools, personal trainers, climbing wall, gymnasium and childcare. A martial arts studio and gymnastics academy are conveniently located right in town, while bowlers and skaters need to travel short distances to surrounding communities.

No need for an empty calendar for Warrenville residents. From summer festivals to good book reading and so much in-between, life is good and quality-filled.

building

Public Library: From a volunteer library in a little corner of the Community Building in the 1960s to the current 28,000 sq. ft. building, the Warrenville Public Library District completes the series of downtown civic buildings. Books, DVDs, music CDs, and audio books are among the more than 100,000 items available for checkout. Large print books and books in Spanish are also available. The library’s friendly staff and professional librarians are available to assist residents in their quest for information. Free wireless Internet access is provided and library cardholders can use a number of computers to access the Internet, email, or office software. Visitors of all ages can enjoy free programs year-round. A wealth of information can be accessed 24/7 via the library’s website at www.warrenville.com.

Art: Building on juried art shows dating back to the 1960s on the front lawn of Mildred Baldwin’s home, and later to Art on the Prairie, a complete art fair along the Prairie Path, Warrenville has always attracted fine artists who work in many mediums. Samples of their work can be found at City Hall’s gallery. Seriously interested art patrons are now working to develop a public arts center with programs to enrich the artist in each of us.

Music: The Folk-Lore Center on Butterfield Road brings to suburbia unique weekly concerts in a wide variety of musical styles. Bluegrass and jam sessions, plus instruction in all areas of folk music are on tap. The Brooze Brothers, famous for half-time shows at Chicago Bulls games, and the Tunes of Glory Bagpipe Band are both from Warrenville.

Warrenville Historical Society

tavern

Historical Building: The Warren Tavern was originally built as an inn and tavern in 1838. Formerly located on the corner of Warrenville and Winfield Roads as a stagecoach stop, it was quite the gathering spot hosting grand balls which attracted guests from the Chicagland area. The tavern was saved from demolition in 1992 when it was moved to its present site on Second Street by the Warren Tavern Preservationists. The Tavern is open for viewing and rental for small functions ranging from wedding and baby showers, birthday and reunions to meetings and other special events.

The Warrenville Historical Museum: Housed in the Albright Building and originally built as a Methodist Church in 1858, this historic Greek Revival Building has served the community as a church, dance hall, school, art gallery, theater and now a museum. Used for over 30 years by the famous Albright artists, father Adam and twin sons Ivan LeLorraine and Malvin Marr, the museum hosts an art gallery of work by Adam and Malvin Albright as well as the work of other local artists or scenes done with Warrenville as the subject. In addition to the art gallery the museum includes a Hall of Warrenville Businesses, including many artifacts from the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin Railroad which served the community for over 50 years. Other displays feature artifacts from the Warren Family, the town’s founders, as well as a collection of 1,000 Native American artifacts found in Warrenville. There is a hall dedicated to WWII Veterans from Warrenville as well as many more items which pertain to our local history. The museum is open on Sundays from 1-4, January through November and also on Wednesdays during the months of June-August.

Theater: Warrenville is home to its own theater productions put on by the Acorn Community Theater, working in partnership with the Warrenville Park District. It presents full-scale Broadway musicals at the Warrenville Community Building, 3S240 Warren Avenue, as well as summer musicals that cast a majority of young people, and the holiday season classic, A Christmas Carol. WMC Productions, the theater’s parent company, is a volunteer organization servicing families in over 30 Chicagoland communities. For more information or to get tickets, call WMC Productions at 630-393-2454.

Recreational Diversions

bridge

Ferry Creek Wetlands: Spanning six acres at Summerlakes Park, the area formerly known as Kuhn Farm was donated to the Park District and eventually restored into a useful recreational site after a grant became available. The project turned the once unusable area into a wildlife refuge characterized by birds, butterflies, frogs and others. Additionally, nearby primary school students harness the wetlands as an outdoor education site, while other visitors take pleasure in the natural haven by way of winding trails or the relaxing overlook platform at Kiwanis Park.

Illinois Prairie Path: Drawing in all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts, ranging from joggers, bikers and hikers to cross-country skiers and equestrians, the Illinois Prairie path stretches over 62 miles through Cook, DuPage and Kane counties. Known to be the premier “rail-to-trail” conversion of its kind in the U.S., the nationally-recognized path has received a number of accolades since its establishment in the Chicagoland area.

Artistic Endeavors

The Folk-Lore Center: Hailing as an outreach performing arts center dedicated to both experienced and up-and-coming artists, the Folk-Lore Center is a top spot in the area for folk music. Patrons have access to a variety of concerts, Bluegrass and slow jam sessions, workshops and private instruction.

Festivals

4th of July: Cerny Park becomes Festival City on our nation’s birthday. An evening parade on the 3rd, plus a 4th filled with all-day events and lots of food means residents can stay in town and still have a wondrous time. Spectacular fireworks end the evening.

Summer Daze: (Car Show and Street Dance) Always held the first full weekend of August, the Chamber of Commerce sponsors this huge downtown festival that draws thousands to view classic and antique cars, trucks and motorcycles, enjoy live and lively entertainment, children and teen activities and rides, eat a wide variety of food from local restaurateurs, and end the night dancing and listening to the music of famous area bands.

Holly Days: Bundle up for Santa’s arrival by carriage where he takes orders from his young believers at the Gazebo. On this first Friday in December, the official tree lighting ceremony lights up the city. Chamber and local sponsors provide free hot chocolate, cookies, coffee and candy canes.

Other: No list of events would be complete without mentioning nearby theaters and venues. Fermi Lab is a source of cultural events from concerts to film and lectures series.

In its McAninch Theater, the College of DuPage brings concerts, plays, and special artists. Both places have outstanding art galleries. And then there’s Chicago…!

Naper Settlement: This unique 19th century living history museum portrays the evolution of life throughout northern Illinois in the 19th century. Costumed villagers, special events and engaging exhibits are all part of this distinct historical site in nearby Naperville.

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