New at Park District: Kung Fu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, T-Ball for preschoolers

The Naperville Park District has been busy getting ready for summer and tweaking its programming to better serve residents and their interests.

This summer enjoy Concerts in Your Park, Carillon recitals and a tulip sale. New programs include Kung Fu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes. Also find a new wood floor at the Rubin Center for little and big dancers alike. And for the littlest lovers of America’s favorite pastime, T-Ball lessons will introduce pre-kindergarten 4- and 5-year-olds to hitting and throwing.

While summer technically is still more than a month a way, these programs surely will get you thinking about the good times to come.

Concerts in Your Park

The Naperville Park District’s summer concert series, Concerts in Your Park will begin June 22 at May Watts Park, featuring OMT (formerly One More Time), a favorite local rock band that plays a variety of songs from classic to current.

In its 12th season, Concerts in Your Park brings free, family-friendly entertainment to neighborhood parks throughout the community. All concerts begin at 7 p.m. and end by 8:30 p.m. The audience is encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Flavorwave frozen treats by Kona Ice will be available for purchase.

Earlier this year, the locations of the concerts were selected by participants in an online contest called “Your Concert, Your Park, Your Choice.” Interested residents cast almost 700 votes for preferred locations and styles of music for this summer’s series.

The schedule is:

June 22 — May Watts, OMT (One More Time), rock

June 29 — Wil-O-Way, Soda, pop

July 13 — Winding Creek, Final Say, pop

July 20 — Old Saw Mill, Hillbilly Rockstarz, country

July 27 — Tall Grass, Gecko Club, indie

Aug. 3 — Fox Hill Greens, The Hat Guys, rock

Millennium Carillon

Visitors who want to climb the 253 steps to the top of the 160-foot Millennium Carillon tower can do so from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. Friday hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. begin May 23 and continue through Aug. 15.

The Carillon summer recital series begins at 7 p.m. June 3, featuring carillonneurs from the Netherlands, France, Canada and the U.S.

The schedule of performers is:

June 3 — Frans Haagen, carillonneur, Netherlands

June 10 — Stefano Colletti, carillonneur, Douai, France

June 17 — Jim Brown, carillonneur, Naperville

June 24 — Andree-Anne Doane, carillonneur, Oratoire St. Joseph, Montreal, Canada

July 1 — Jim Frackenthal, carillonneur, Chicago

July 8 — Tim Sleep, city carillonneur, Naperville

July 15 — Roy Lee, carillonneur, Toronto, Canada

July 22 — David Hunsberger, carillonneur, Berkeley, California

July 29 — Tiffany Lin/Michael Solotke, carillonneurs, Washington, D.C., and New York City

Aug. 5 — Julie Zhu, carillonneur, Chicago

Aug. 12 — Auke de Coer/Adolph Rots, Groningen Duo, Groningen, Netherlands

Aug. 19 — Julia Littleton, carillonneur, Arlington, Virginia

In addition to the Tuesday-evening summer series, weekly recitals by local carillonneurs will take place at noon on Saturdays through December. Weekly concerts will be at 7 p.m. Saturday from June through August and at 4 p.m. Sundays May through September and at 3 p.m. Sundays October through December.

Visit to learn more.

Tulip Bulb Sale

The Naperville Park District’s annual tulip bulb sale will begin at 8 a.m. Friday, May 16, at the Riverwalk pavilion near the Park District’s parking lot at 320 W. Jackson Ave.

The bulbs for sale will include those that bloomed this spring along the Riverwalk, in front of the Park District administration building, and at other Park District locations.

Bulbs will be sold for $3 a dozen on a first-come, first-served basis.


Dancers are delighted with the new wood floor studio that recently was installed in room 123 at the Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center in downtown Naperville. A similar floor was part of the 95th Street Center, which opened in 2013

“The timing is perfect,” said program manager Brittany Malatt. “The new floor will be home to an expanding variety of dance classes for all ages, from preschool through older adults, and from beginning dancers to our pre-professional Élan Dance Company.”

Starting in the summer, the Dance Academy will offer several new dance classes and classes with multiple dance styles, such as Jazz/Tap Combo, Musical Theatre Dance, and TumbleDance. There also will be more program options for boys and younger dancers, including Boppin’ Boys, Superhero Moves, and Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

Martial Arts

Responding to the increasing cultural diversity in Naperville, the Park District recently added two new martial arts programs: Kung Fu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Both programs will be taught by world-class competitors who have started their own academies in Naperville.

The new Kung Fu classes will be taught by one of several instructors at the Bei Dou Kung Fu Academy, including world champion and Grand Master Qiang Li.

Li began her Wushu practice in China at age 6 and was selected to compete on the Chinese national Wushu team at age 15. Qiang Li’s husband, Master Xiaofei Dong, founded the Naperville Academy in 2007.

Jiu Jitsu classes will come to the Park District courtesy of the Mark Turner Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy, on Washington Street.

“Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques can help kids respond with confidence, strength and knowledge when faced with bullying,” said instructor Mark Turner, owner of the Mark Turner Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy. “All techniques are purely defensive with no strikes. Children can learn how to defuse a situation without initiating physical aggression.”

Kung Fu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes will be offered through the Naperville Park District’s Summer 2014 Program Guide beginning the first week of June.


For 4- and 5-year-olds not starting kindergarten in September, T-Ball classes are now available to them, too.

Young, developing athletes will learn how to hit a ball off a baseball tee in addition to developing catching, throwing and base-running skills. Weekly recreational games also will be played, which will demonstrate the importance of sportsmanship and teamwork.

Weekly practice sessions are 60 minutes long and held on either Mondays or Tuesdays. Weekly games, which will begin the week of June 9, will be 60 minutes long on Wednesdays or Thursdays.

To learn more about these and other Naperville Park District programs, visit

1 Comment

  • Family affair as Jake Grimes and sister Reese pick up Kung Fu medals -

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