The Joliet Park District sprawls across more than 1,000 acres, engaging visitors with everything from sports to nature. Guests can wander through the foliaged paths of the Pilcher Park Nature Center and the organic community garden, or treat their senses to the floral colors and aromas that fill the bird-haven greenhouse. The 10,000-seat Joliet Memorial Stadium hosts high-school and college sporting events, while a dozen athletic fields fill with recreational players hitting baseballs, catching softballs, and spiking soccer balls when the referee isn't looking. During the summer, inner tubes transport patrons down Joliet Splash Station's high-speed water slides and 865-foot lazy river, and the glittery strands of Fourth of July fireworks color the skies above the stadium.
Family Fun Zone packs a spectrum of entertainment catering to ages 14 and under into one hub complete with roller-skating rink, laser-tag arena, and an arcade. Multicolored lights sweep over the roller rink where birthday-party guests practice figure 8s or 44s, fueled by pizza and soda. Visitors transition from gliding to ducking beneath laser rays, and watchful parents can enjoy free WiFi from the comfort of the snack bar. Guardians also dole out tokens for the arcade, where glowing machines spit out tickets to a soundtrack of buzzing TVs and family-friendly music.
Aurora Roller Skate Center's gleaming wooden rink beckons wheel-hitched feet to orbit its oblong track beneath glowing white globe lamps. Gather four friends or nine members of the Walton family and lace up classic four-wheel skates before gliding through daily open-skate sessions (upgrade to inline skates for additional fee). A slew of special events and theme nights fill the skate center with movie and costume parties, and DJ Suave Smooth electrifies Friday and Saturday evenings with Top 40 hits and Schubert dirges that bellow through the rink's stentorian speakers as colorful lights flicker across the floor. On the sidelines, retro booths coddle weary gams, and skaters nosh on pizza and slushes from the snack bar or fawn over new trinkets from the novelty shop.