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Free and easy: A guide to summer fun in the Fox Valley

Thom Z25 Aurorwheelie's across skatepark Phillips Park Aurora. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media

Thom Zand, 25, of Aurora, wheelie's across the skatepark at Phillips Park in Aurora. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 18, 2012 9:26PM



Roger Brungart stood in the hot afternoon sun with his shirt off and a frisbee in his hand eagerly enjoying a day playing one of his favorite past times, frisbee golf.

The 22-year-old Auroran and his friend Corey Ellingwood of Sugar Grove weren’t alone in that idea. At Jericho Park in Aurora, dozens of players lined up at each hole, ready to outdo each other.

“It’s an economically sound sport,” Ellingwood said. “As soon as you’re into it, you really can’t stop playing.”

Once you buy your discs — and assuming you don’t lose them — the sport is free.

“It’s nice to be outside, it’s good exercise, and you meet a lot of new people,” Brungart said.

For 15-year-old Jordan Guinn of Oswego, the place to spend a summer day, without spending any money, is the skate park.

“I’m always over here,” Guinn said as he rode his bike around the Prairie Point skate park in Oswego. “I would be inside playing video games if this place wasn’t here. I wouldn’t be getting active.”

Prairie Point also attracted Oswego residents Kelly McGloon and Lexi Chavez, who brought 5-year old Trent Hisey to cool down in the Prairie Point complex’s splash pad area.

“It’s free, and you get some sun,” Chavez said. “We call it our little secret.”

From splash pads to frisbee golf courses, dog parks to garden plots, the Fox Valley is chock-full of free (or really cheap) activities to keep kids and adults active and engaged this summer.

Check out these local hot spots that are sure to help keep the summertime blues at bay without breaking your wallet.

SKATE PARKS

AURORA

Hupp Park Skate Park, Illinois Avenue and Orchard Road on Aurora’s West Side. Hours are dawn to dusk throughout the year. Skaters are allowed Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Bikers are allowed Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Phillips Park Skate Park, at Phillips Park on Aurora’s East Side, just north of the Phillips Park Aquatic Center. The 8,000-square-foot BMX/skate park opened last year, and is already being labeled as one of the premiere facilities in the entire Chicago area.

BATAVIA

Batavia Skate Park, 411 S. River St.

ST. CHARLES:

East Side Sports Complex and Edward N. Regole Park Site, 3565 Legacy Blvd.

Mount St. Mary Park, on Route 31 south of downtown, by the Fox River.

SPLASH PADS

AURORA

McCarty Park, 350 E. Galena Blvd.

Phillips Park splash pad is outside the David and Karen Stover Visitors Center, at 1000 Moses Drive. The facility is designed for children under age 13 to play in jets of water. The splash pad is open during the same season as the park’s Aquatic Center.

GENEVA

Moore Park Sprayground, northeast corner of East Side Drive and Geneva Drive

OSWEGO

Prairie Point Community Park at Plainfield and Grove Roads

YORKVILLE

Bristol Station Park, 2753 Alan Dale Lane. The playground consists of a “water tower” play structure, a playground with a climbing wall and several slides.

DISC GOLF

AURORA

Jericho Lake Course, on the west side of Aurora/Montgomery, sandwiched between Jericho Lake Park and the Stuart Sports Complex.

OSWEGO

Eagle Ridge Park, behind the Civic Center, between the railroad tracks and Route 25. Park at the Civic Center and follow the Waubonsie Trail over the railroad tracks, park at Violet Patch Park (on Route 25) and walk the Waubonsie Trail to the course.

ST. CHARLES:

James O. Breen Community Park at Peck and Campton Hills roads.

FISHING (besides in the Fox River, of course)

AURORA

Lake Gregory, at Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Road

Mastodon Lake, a 28-acre fishing lake, in the Phillips Park west recreation area, with three fishing piers around the lake. (The area around the lake also features a playground for youngsters, sand volleyball courts, horseshoe pits and a pavilion.)

BATAVIA

Riverwalk at Houston Street and Island Avenue.

ST. CHARLES

East Side Sports Complex and Edward N. Regole Park Site, 3565 Legacy Blvd.

SUGAR GROVE

Dugan Park West, 1944 Fays Lane

Rolling Oaks Park, 490 Mallard Lane

RAFTING

ST. CHARLES

Mount St. Mary Park canoe launch, half-mile south of Main Street on Route 31 by the Fox River.

Ferson Creek Park canoe launch, Route 31 east of Wildrose Springs Drive

YORKVILLE

Bicentennial Riverfront Park, 301 E. Hydraulic Avenue. Canoes, kayaks, sea kayaks, tubes and stand-up paddleboards are available for rent at the park. Call the Outdoor Leadership Center for more information at 630-882-9211

FREE MOVIES

AURORA

“Movies in the Park” features Hollywood-hit films on a big screen in June and July at Phillips Park. Pre-event activities will be held at 8 p.m., and the movies will start 30 minutes after sunset, which is between 9 and 9:15 p.m. This season’s movie schedule includes: June 23, “How to Train Your Dragon” (PG); July 14, “Hugo” (PG); July 28, “Tangled” (PG).

OSWEGO:

Village Green Park, behind the Oswego Post Office. Movies begin at dusk. Movie line-up is: Wednesday, ”Ratatouille” (G); July 18, “Puss in Boots (PG); Aug. 1, “Antz” (PG); Aug. 15, “Happy Feet” (PG).

FREE OUTDOOR CONCERTS

MONTGOMERY/AURORA

Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. at designated locations. Bring lawn chairs or blankets.

Thursday: Smokin’ Gunz, Montgomery Park, River Street and Mill Street, Montgomery

July 5: Saturday June Band, Montgomery Park, Montgomery

July 19: Jonathan Devin and New Country, Montgomery Park, Montgomery

July 26: Aurora American Legion Band, McCullough Park, Lake Street and Illinois Avenue, Aurora

DOG PARKS

AURORA:

Lincoln Park Dog Park, on the south side of Lincoln Park at Russell and Lakewood on the West Side of Aurora.

Gregory Island Dog Park, on Indian Trail, just west of Route 25. The park is bordered by the Fox River on both sides.

Phillips Park Dog Park, on the west edge of Phillips Park . Dogs have nearly three acres to roam off-leash in the gated facility.

ST. CHARLES

East Side Sports Complex and Edward N. Regole Park Site, 3565 Legacy Blvd.

James O. Breen Community Park at Peck and Campton Hills roads.

SUGAR GROVE

Sugar Grove Sports Complex, 901 Wheeler Road



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