As the Plainfield community has grown, so has its park district. Although the district was established in 1966, a population boom in the early '90s led to more diversified facilities, each one with different features. The Ottawa Street Pool, for example, invites visitors to bask in 200,000 gallons of crystal-blue water with diving boards and lap lanes, while the Normantown Trails Equestrian Center offers horseback-riding lessons and neighing tutorials in an indoor arena.
The equine experts at AZ Acres Incorporated teach fledgling steed bestriders the horseback riding essentials with a series of hands-on, once-weekly lessons. Classes are capped at four students to ensure individualized attention and an intimate learning environment. Two 30-minute basic lessons help students master the fundamentals of pony piloting. Pupils practice skills such as walking, trotting, and fox trotting, spending the whole lesson nestled in the proverbial saddle.
If you walk into USA Skate Center on the first Saturday afternoon of the month, you might think the aliens have landed. But there's no need to panic—it's just black-light skating, where skaters roll around the rink in the radioactive glow of purple lamps overhead. If that's not your style, the rink also hosts regular open-skate times and lessons, the latter of which include an R&B-inspired session for adults. Even when they're not attending a birthday party, younger skaters can refuel with a slice of pizza at the snack bar.
Canlan Ice Sports maintains three separate ice rinks for public play, sports programs, and special events. Public skate programs encourage local residents to take to the ice and practice hockey fundamentals during stick-and-puck sessions or get some exercise during unstructured adult rat hockey. Its youth-hockey program teaches beginners to skate and shoot. Figure-skating training camps for aspiring athletes and basic sessions for children teach skaters how to be more graceful so they can make grocery shopping more interesting for their neighbors by spinning and leaping down the aisles. Canlan Ice Sports also hosts local hockey teams including the Huskies Hockey Club, the Chicago Junior Bulldogs, and the Rampage Women’s Hockey Club.