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Picnic in the Park

What better way to enjoy the late summer/early fall weather than to head outdoors for a picnic in the park! You don’t have to go far to find a spot to spread out your feast. Your picnic place can be as near as your neighborhood park, as the Naperville Park District offers 59 picnic shelters in parks all across the community. Or head to a favorite location in the heart of downtown, such as the Riverwalk or Rotary Hill, or to a community park or sports complex in your area.


Picnic at the Jaycee Playground on the Riverwalk

Where to Go
We have compiled a list featuring parks with picnic shelters in each area of Naperville. Click here to see the list:

Or search for a park near your home by using the Parks & Facilities Search on our website, tagging “picnic shelter” to find additional destinations for your picnic.

The picnic shelter at Hunters Woods playground is an example of the shelters included in many parks.

What to Bring
For destinations near the Riverwalk, stop by the Riverwalk Café and pick up a sandwich, snack or soft drink to take with you to your picnic spot. 

Riverwalk Café

Or, try this easy recipe:

Quick and Easy Wraps to Go
Ingredients for one wrap:
1 6-inch flour tortilla
2 slices of cheese of your choice
1 oz. shredded lettuce
1 tomato slice
2-3 oz. of protein of your choice (sliced ham, turkey, grilled chicken, hummus, tofu, etc.)
1 T. mayonnaise or other spread

Place tortilla open face on a flat surface.  Spread mayonnaise (or substitute) over the entire tortilla.  Layer cheese, protein, tomato and lettuce in the center of the tortilla. Fold sides in about 2 inches toward the middle, then roll from the bottom, pressing to seal. Here's a quick video demonstration of how to fold your wrap.

Other easy picnic food ideas:
Snacks and lunches to pack for an outing to the park or playground

Ideas from Real Simple

Ideas from Pinterest

Ideas from Today’s Parent

We would love to hear from you! Share photos, feedback from your experience in the parks,
and your favorite picnic recipes or take-out food.  Comment below or email your photos and comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


A picnic on Rotary Hill


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On Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 Naperville Park District officials heard the good news for which they have been waiting for many months: the District has achieved national accreditation through the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).

The decision was announced at the NRPA national conference in Atlanta following a formal hearing before the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).

Naperville is only the second park district in Illinois to earn this distinction and the 104th nationally accredited agency in the nation; there are more than 10,000 recreation agencies in the United States. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies accredits a handful of park agencies each year that have completed a multi-step process involving a self-review by the agency, a site visit, and an evaluation and formal report by the Commission.

“We are extremely proud to bring this honor to Naperville,” said Park District Executive Director Ray McGury. “It’s an affirmation of our high standards and also an encouragement to continue bringing high quality recreation and parks experiences to our community.”

The Park District’s accreditation process began approximately one year ago and included an extensive self-evaluation by staff and a 5-day visit from CAPRA reviewers this past July. Maintaining the accreditation requires annual reports and 5- and 10-year reviews.

Park District staff members noted that the CAPRA process has helped them see the big picture, focus on long term goals and plans, review plans more regularly, organize documents so that they are accessible and useable, and collaborate more effectively with other departments and outside organizations.

Our Mission
We provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community.
Our Vision
To be a national leader in parks and recreation providing and promoting high quality experiences and facilities at a great value to our community.
Core Values
Health and Wellness, Environmental Education, Stewardship and Sustainability, Community Enrichment, Public Safety, Accessibility, Personal Growth and Enrichment.
© 2021 Naperville Park District