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Glancer Magazine

KIDS + TEENS | Free Summer Play Days June 17, July 15, Aug 19 at Sensory Garden Playground


On June 17, the Sensory Garden Playground will host their second summer play day event from 10am to Noon. At this event, families can explore the playground’s first phase, get their faces painted, plant flowers in the fragrance garden, draw with chalk and socialize. The Wheaton Rotary Clubs and local service organizations will be joining in on the fun.

“The Wheaton Rotary Clubs have been supportive of the Sensory Garden Playground project since 2013. At the April 22nd, Fun Run, they presented the Play For All Foundation with a combined check of $20,000. We want to recognize the Rotary Clubs along with several of our supporting service organizations because their continued support was instrumental in us completing phase one of the project, said Margie Wilhelmi, Director of Marketing.

“The Sensory Garden [Playground] project was a unique opportunity for our clubs to get behind from the very beginning,” said Wheaton Rotary Club member Steve Charvat. “Rotary prides itself on being part of a solution and making a difference in the lives of others. This project seemed ideal and we are pleased to be involved.”

The Sensory Garden Playground (2751 Navistar Dr., Lisle, IL.) provides opportunities for side-by-side play to children of all abilities. The Summer Play Days are free-of-charge and will take place on June 17, July 15 and August 19, 10A-12P.

New this year, several local libraries will be presenting sensory-friendly story times. On June 17, Naperville Public Library will be there and on August 19, Glen Ellyn Public Library.

Alongside staff from the Wheaton Park District and Western DuPage Special Recreation Association, the story times will take place in the playground’s Central Gathering Area.

“The library will provide a table with sensory-engaging materials, as well as a story time that will be appropriate for children of all ability levels,” said Ellen Norton, Children’s Services Supervisor at the Naperville Public Library’s 95th Street Branch. “We will also have information on hand about all of our fun programs going on throughout the summer.”

The playground’s equipment is funded by corporate and private donations, and fundraising for the next phase, an accessible treehouse, is underway, said foundation board member Margie Wilhelmi.

“Everything helps,” she said. “We’re getting close to our goal, and if we meet it, we may be able to start construction on the treehouse sometime this year. We have hosted two focus groups to receive community input and blueprints are underway with a design firm.”

Late last year, the Play For All Playground & Garden Foundation, the 501(c)3 nonprofit developing the facility, announced it had received a $100,000 donation and a $50,000 donation toward the treehouse from two local donors who wished to remain anonymous.

This summer, the foundation will install the Sensory Arch, the second in a series of sensory-integrated sculptures by local artist Joe Gagnepain.

The arch, an eight-foot-tall steel horseshoe, will span the wooden bridge into the playground. Two more sculptures—a Carousel that spins on a central axle and a Harness Racer, shaped like a farmer operating a horse-drawn plow—are also planned and under construction.

Beyond the treehouse, blueprints for the 40-acre facility include a playground for 5-to-12-year-old children, water play area, boulder climb area, and multipurpose sports field.

No registration or fees are required for this year’s Play Days. To learn more about them and support the completion of the treehouse and other future phases, visit

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