Putt, splash and cruise along the Fox River – Shaw Local

May is the time to take a break and have fun at Pottawatomie Park in downtown St. Charles. Show off your short game skills with a round of mini golf, pedal the Fox River in a rental boat, or sit back, relax and enjoy a paddle wheeler cruise on the Fox River.

Nestled along the Fox River, Pottawatomie Park offers plenty of activities.

The River View Miniature Golf Course is open and ready for all ages to play 18 holes of putt-putt.

Last year, the course celebrated its 50th anniversary and once again proved to be one of the park’s most popular attractions, said Sabrina Hunley, recreation supervisor for the St. Charles Park District.

“The last two years have been the busiest,” Hunley said.

Near the miniature golf course are the park district paddle boats, available for one-hour rentals and accommodating up to four people. Work your leg muscles as you ride up, down, and around the Fox River, take in shoreline views, and try working in tandem with friends and family to steer the craft.

The park area also has several one-person kayaks available for hourly rental. Hunley said these kayaks, which have a wider base, are great for beginners. Kayaks are more stable and less likely to tip over. It’s a great way to enjoy the beauty of water and a great workout.

“We love that we can help people get out of their traditional workout routine and spark their interest in something new,” Hunley said.

For a more relaxing time on the water, book tickets for the paddlewheel boats departing from Pottawatomie Park. Cruises offer a smooth ride along the Fox River, tranquil shoreline views, and a chance to enjoy nature – from birds in flight to small mammals along the shore.

Cruises are available on weekends from May to October. From June to August there is an additional weekday afternoon cruise. Tickets can be reserved online in advance or inside the Pottawatomie Community Center. The boats will start sailing on Saturday May 14.

The park district hosts popular theme cruises aboard the riverboats. Register now for a family favorite – the Pirates and Princess Adventure cruise at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 18 – as tickets are limited. This magical cruise is perfect for parents and their favorite young pirates and princesses. Costumes are encouraged, and there will be trinket treasures for each passenger and a treasure map for a post-cruise scavenger hunt in Pottawatomie Park. After finding the treasure, enjoy a little popcorn, a drink, and a free round of 18-hole mini-golf.

Cruises can be a great impromptu event, or take your next party to a new level and book a private charter aboard the paddlewheel riverboats. The riverboats can comfortably accommodate about 60 people for a casual event and 40 for a seated plated meal, said Tera Harvey, cruise operations manager for the St. Charles Park District.

Over the years, people have opted for private charters to host wedding and baby showers, family reunions, birthday parties and business outings. Private charters are available from one to three hours, Harvey said.

Last year, the park district offered discounted rates for private group charters for its one-hour noon or 3 p.m. sightseeing cruises, available Tuesday through Friday from June through August.

“It’s a great choice for older people in scout groups,” Harvey said, adding that with youth groups there are optional add-ons such as a sailor hat-making craft or part of mini-golf after the cruise.

Nothing beats the magic of a summer evening and the Park District Sunset Cruises, which are available select evenings from June through October. The Park District hosts sunset cruises for families, as well as cruises for ages 21 and up that include a BYOB option. On select Fridays, a Happy Hour Cruise offers group discounts for groups of 10-20 people.

“It’s a great option for those who have a group of friends, co-workers, but not enough for a private charter,” Harvey said.

For those who prefer to have fun on land, the mini golf course can also host celebrations with a round of mini golf for guests followed by cake and snacks in the covered concession area.

To learn more about booking parties and private charters, visit riverviewminigolf.org or stcriverboats.com or call 630-584-2334 to speak with a member of staff.

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