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Entries in summer (42)


The June 'Go Guide' to Outdoor Pools and Splash Parks

Ready or not -- swimsuit season is upon us! Here at Go West Young Mom, we're gearing up the “Go Guides” again for this summer, and first up is our guide to pools and splash parks in the Fox Valley. If you know of a pool or splash park in the far western suburbs that's open to the public but not on this list, please share. We'd also love to hear your personal take on any of the pools and splash parks below.


The toddler pool at Otter Cove Aquatic Park is enclosed by a gate. Photo by Tara Burghart.Otter Cove Aquatic Park, part of the St. Charles Park District
Address: Located in James O Breen Community Park, at the corner of Campton Hills and Peck roads in St. Charles
Hours: From June 4 through Aug. 14, open swim is weekdays from noon to 8 p.m. On Saturdays, open swim is from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Residents and pool pass holders can swim earlier; check the site for details. Shorter hours are in effect from May 28-June 3 and Aug. 15-Sept. 4.
Closing date: Sept. 4.
Amenities: A zero-depth entry activity pool; 25-yard swimming pool; body slide; tube slide; two diving boards, lap lanes; some sprayground-like features; gated toddler pool; lazy river; concession area; family restrooms and a children’s sand play area.
Admission Rates: For non-residents, $12 for children ages 15 and under, $13.50 for adults. (Check the site for resident rates.) Twilight rate is $5 for all ages, whether you're a resident or not. It's from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. everyday but Sunday, when the twilight swim is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Go West’s Take: This 9-acre facility has been in the planning stages and then under construction for several years, so I'm sure St. Charles residents will be especially eager to see the results. I got a sneak peek of the pool in May before it opened and was impressed. You can read that story by clicking here. If you've visited the park already, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Swanson Pool at Pottawatomie Park, part of the St. Charles Park District
Address: 8 North Ave., St. Charles
Hours: Note that the newly renovated Swanson Pool will reopen for the season on June 4. Open swim through Aug. 14 is weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 8:3 p.m. On Saturdays, open swim is from noon to 8 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 7 p.m. Residents and pool pass holders can swim earlier; check the site for details. Shorter hours begin Aug. 14.
Closing date: Sept. 5.
Amenities: A zero-depth entry activity pool; 50-meter pool; two waterslides; drop slide; a diving board, lap lanes; some sprayground-like features; concession area; family restrooms and a children’s sand play area.
Admission Rates: For non-residents, $7.50 for children ages 15 and under, $9 for adults. (Check the site for resident rates.) Twilight rate is $3 for all ages, whether you're a resident or not.
Go West’s Take: My daughter and I enjoyed a beautiful twilight swim here  last July. Swanson Pool is more than 70 years old, and has a true sense of history in lovely Pottawatomie Park. I'm eager to see the renovations done while it was closed in 2010-2011. But even last year, it struck me as a very nice, general-use pool the whole family would enjoy.

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Weekend Spotlight: Memorial Day Ceremonies and Parades

This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer: Barbecues, flip-flops and swimming pools.

Photo by slworking2 on Flickr.Yet of course the true aim of Memorial Day is to honor those men and women who have died while serving in the American military. So the “Weekend Spotlight” falls on a number of Memorial Day parades and ceremonies in the area on Monday, most of them organized by American Legion or VFW posts.

Check the Go West Calendar for full details on the following events, as well as many other events happening over this holiday weekend.

* St. Charles’ Memorial Day activities will start at 6 a.m. with the raising of the colors at Baker Community Center, followed by ceremonies at several area cemeteries. The city’s parade will proceed along Main Street, stepping off at 10 a.m. on 6th Street and continuing to Riverside Avenue. There will be a ceremony at the Freedom Shrine (north of the Police Department) immediately after the parade.

* Elgin has a Patriotic Memorial Association that has been planning the city’s Memorial Day activities for more than 100 years. This year, the events will start at 8:45 a.m. with a Catholic Mass and end at 11 a.m. at Bluff City Cemetery with a program paying tribute to the 20th anniversary of the first Persian Gulf War and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. There will be musical performances along with students reading Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

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Go West Giveaway: Four Family Passes to Santa's Village AZoosment Park in East Dundee

Updated on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 1:12PM by Registered CommenterTara Burghart

I didn’t grow up in the Chicago area, but I’ve heard plenty of references over the years to now-closed, treasured spots like Kiddieland Amusement Park and Santa’s Village.

Photo courtesy of Santa's Village AZoosment Park.Well, if those were a big part of your childhood, I have good news: Santa’s Village is re-opening this year in East Dundee and it will feature a couple of rides from Kiddieland.

Now I have even better news. Go West Young Mom has four passes to give away, and each pass is good for admission for a family of four! I’ll tell you how you can enter the giveaway in a moment, but first, a bit more about Santa’s Village.

It’s actually been re-named Santa’s Village AZoosment Park, and its grand opening is scheduled for this Friday. This will be its first summer season since closing in 2005.

The owners are Jason and Amy Sierpien, who own a Marengo-based entertainment company called A Zoo to You. The renovated park will combine features of an amusement park and a zoo and is aimed at families with children ages 2 to 12.

“We have mixed the nostalgia of both the original Santa’s Village and Kiddieland with a variety of animal activities to re-open Santa’s Village AZoosment Park,” says Jason Sierpien.

The rides from the original Santa’s Village include the balloon race, the convoy, the sleigh ride and the starjet; the Kiddieland rides include “Midge ‘o Racer” and "Kiddie Whip," and the new rides include a dragon coaster, kiddie ferris wheel, kiddie hand trains; swings and a tilt-a-whirl.

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A Go West Sneak Peek: Otter Cove Aquatic Facility in St. Charles

I need to go shopping this weekend to buy my daughter some more swimsuits. Once she sees Otter Cove Aquatic Park in St. Charles, I’m sure we’ll be returning again. And again. And again.

This slide empties into the activity pool. Photos by Tara Burghart.I was so lucky to get a guided tour of the not-quite-finished aquatic facility this week, and today I get to give readers of Go West Young Mom a sneak peek! If you grew up like me, thinking that a Slip  ‘n’ Slide in your front yard was about as good as summer could get, I think you’ll be amazed by Otter Cove.

The 9-acre Otter Cove Aquatic Park is located at the intersection of Peck Road and Campton Hills Road on the west side of St. Charles. It is scheduled to open May 28, with a grand opening scheduled for June 4 featuring games, prizes and catered food.

The aquatic park is part of the St. Charles Park District and was made possible by the passing of a refendum in 2008. It is located right next to the Ottter Cove Splash Park, which I’m sure many of you are familiar with. Depending on what kind of pass you buy or daily rate you choose, you will be able to use just the splash park -– or travel between both the aquatic park and the splash park. (A park district staffer will man a gate between the two complexes and check wristbands.)

The drop slides empty into a portion of the lap pool that's 12 feet deep.Otter Cove Aquatic Park was actually supposed to open in the summer of 2010, but late approval of several permits delayed its opening by an entire year.

When I visited on Wednesday, lounge chairs were being delivered and a worker was fixing a problem with some of the signs. Much of the landscaping might have to wait until fall.

My friendly and informative tour guide was Steve Muenz, assistant superintendent of recreation for the St. Charles Park District. I could tell that he is very proud of the facility, but he will be relieved when it opens!

The aquatic facility has four water areas, and all but the lap pool feature “zero-depth entry” (like you get on the sandy beach), which is particularly helpful for the elderly, people with disabilities and the very young. Here are some details on those water areas: 

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Go West Summer Camp Guide: Geneva

Time for another episode of Summer Camp Week here at Go West Young Mom. Today we provide a list of camp opportunities in Geneva. Please remember that we welcome suggestions and tips -- we know there are more camps out there!

Photo by iStockphoto.com.

Name & Description: Acting and theater workshops, introducing skills to build stage presence by increasing confidence in young actors through games, exercises and storytelling.

Sponsor or Organization: Geneva Underground Playhouse

Location: 524 W. State St. in Geneva

Ages: For children in 1st grade through 6th grade.

Dates: There are two weeklong sessions of this class, one offered from June 20-25 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and another from July 11-16 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

For More Information: www.guptheatre.org or call 630-677-1725.

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