St. Charles Park District: Yoga, pilates and more await guests on paddlewheel cruises

Get away from it all by cruising down the peaceful and scenic Fox River on a paddlewheel riverboat. Offering public, private and specialty cruises throughout the spring and summer, the St. Charles Park District paddlewheel riverboat experience is truly one you and your family won’t want to miss.

“We offer a variety of options for all ages, whether you want to plan an adventure with your children, host a fundraiser or simply, enjoy the Fox River in a new way,” said Tera Harvey, Manager of Cruise Operations. “There is truly a paddlewheel riverboat cruise for everyone.”

Public cruises begin May 15, with departure times at 1:30 p.m., 2:45 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through May. Then, starting in June through August, the schedule will expand to include daytime cruises Tuesday-Sunday. The 50-minute, 4-mile public cruise heads north from Pottawatomie Park to the Q Center and back. While taking in the scenery, you’ll learn about the rich history of the land from the Pottawatomie tribe that roamed the shores prior to St. Charles settlement to community lore regarding Al Capone’s infamous “hideaway.”

All public cruises have available for purchase boxed water and cotton candy. Guests can also bring snacks or pack a picnic to enjoy aboard.

If you’re seeking a more intimate setting than a public cruise allows, rent a private charter to celebrate an upcoming milestone or special occasion. Or host a fundraiser for your organization, with a portion of each ticket donated to your cause. All private charters allow the host to bring food, drink and plan entertainment/activities on the boat.

New this season, the park district is offering private weekday cruises at a discounted rate.

“We found that a lot of groups, especially those that included children or seniors, preferred the daytime slot,” said Tera Harvey, Manager of Cruise Operations.

The Park District will again offer specialty public cruises, including new themes as well as favorites from previous summers.

New this year is Pirate Adventure on the Fox June 19. Tickets to this special event include a round of mini-golf and a riverboat cruise. Aboard the riverboat, children will turn into pirates with a pirate tattoo and eye patch, and play eye-spy to look for treasure along the river. Then, on the mainland, enjoy a small drink and popcorn, and play an 18-hole round of minigolf at Pottawatomie Park’s River View. Additionally, you and your pirates can carry on the adventure with a complimentary treasure map to hunt for gems in the park.

Another new experience for all ages is River View Yoga and Cruise Aug. 7. This relaxing retreat will start in Pottawatomie’s historic pavilion for a 45-minute yoga class for all levels, followed by a 50-minute cruise on the paddlewheel riverboat.

Back this season is the nature-themed EcoFloat Aug. 19, led by Outreach Ambassador and Naturalist Pam Otto. On this all-ages cruise, you’ll build-your-own root beer float as you take in and learn about nature’s sights and sounds up and down the river.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit, or call Tera Harvey at 630-513-4308.

All events are subject to COVID-19 restrictions.