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North Aurora park picnic shelter reservations begin

It's time to plan outdoor summer fun

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The Fox Valley Park District, which includes North Aurora and the Red Oak Nature Center, began accepting picnic shelter reservations in February. Spring Lake Park (shown) in Aurora has one of 13 picnic shelters available for summer parties and picnics.[]

NORTH AURORA – For the first time, picnic shelter reservations are available at Red Oak Nature Center in North Aurora, the Fox Valley Park District announced in a news release.

They are offered only on weekends at Red Oak. The district began accepting picnic shelter reservations this month on a first-come basis, according to the release, which cites the availability of 13 shelters throughout its park system in Aurora, North Aurora and Montgomery.

Reservations for groups of 25 or more are available from May 1 to Oct. 21. Fees are $60 for residents and $90 for nonresidents, with a $100 refundable security fee required. Reservations include exclusive use of the shelter, pavilion and grill areas during the reserved time. Adjacent open space and playground areas remain available to the public during reserved times. Capacity ranges from 30 to 150 people at all the shelters except Cool Acres in North Aurora, which can accommodate groups as large as 200. Cool Acres – on the Fox River along Route 25 and Sullivan Road – is the only shelter area that allows consumption of alcohol, the release stated. Additional fees and permits are required.

Austin Park, Copley I Park and North Aurora Island Park are not available for shelter reservations this year because of restroom renovations.

Reservations are taken in person in Aurora at the Cole Center at 101 W. Illinois Ave., Prisco Center at 150 W. Illinois Ave. and Eola Center at 555 S. Eola Road during weekday hours. An illustrated picnic shelter guidebook also is available at foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.