Columns | Kane County Chronicle

St. Charles Park District: From celebrations to education, there’s a cruise for everyone

Summer is more fun rolling down the Fox River aboard the St. Charles Park District’s Paddlewheel Riverboats.

The historic riverboats float along the river with daytime cruises as well as specialty-themes cruises that provide a lively experience for couples, families, coworkers and friends.

“We have a variety of options so everyone can choose something enjoy,” said Tera Harvey, manager of cruise operations for the St. Charles Park District.

Happy Hour Cruises will setting sail on July 1 and 29. Can you think of a better way for friends to unwind after a busy week? The riverboat returns to Pottawatomie Park in time to catch dinner at your favorite spot in downtown St. Charles. Group rates are available for purchases over 10 tickets. Call Harvey at 630-513-4308 for details.

Toasting National Daiquiri Day on July 19, passengers will enjoy delicious rum-based cocktails as well as mocktails and includes a Cuban-themed dinner and music. This cruise is for adults only, ages 21 and older.

Another favorite summer cruise for ages 21+ is the Monarchs & Margaritas Cruise on Aug. 27. This evening starts with a chance to learn more about the incredible journey of the monarch’s migration to the mountains of Mexico. The Fox River plays an important role in this journey. Celebrate this special event with chips, salsa and a tasty margarita.

Adults aren’t the only ones who will have all the fun! Families with young ones will enjoy the Heroes vs. Villains Riverboat Cruise on Saturday, Aug. 6 where guests are encouraged to come dresses as their favorite alter ego. Create your own superhero mask while onboard during the cruise.

Another great option is Private Charter Kid Cruises from 12-1 p.m. every Tuesday through Friday all summer long. These special excursions include crafts and Eye Spy activities for children as they view the community from the water, catching site of wildlife and fellow boaters.

Theme cruises are popular and do tend to book fast. Harvey said it’s best to purchase tickets in advance, available online or at Pottawatomie Community Center.

Join nature expert Pam Otto when she leads discussions on the inhabitants in and around the river on the popular Riverboat Eco Float on Aug. 18. Otto will help guests as they search the air and land for sightings of swooping swallows and foraging muskrats. And while guests enjoy the opportunity to learn and relax aboard the cruise there is the added fun of making your own root beer floats to top off the perfect evening.

Sunset Cruises, including those with BYOB options, make a perfect date night, Harvey said. Check the calendar for select dates and times and celebrate with your someone special or an anniversary.

A trip aboard the Paddlewheel Riverboats is a chance to gain new perspective of the community and learn a smidge of history. Captains share stories about the history of the riverboats, the surrounding park areas and unique legends such as the Underground Railroad or Al Capone.

If you’re celebration includes a number of friends, consider purchasing group tickets to save on your outing and the park district offers private cruises, which are a fun way to celebrate a special occasion, family reunion and company event.

“We’ve seen lots of celebrations aboard the cruises, from birthdays and anniversaries to private cruises for family reunions and baby showers,” Harvey said. “Whether it’s a date night for two or a company outing for 90, there’s always a lot of fun.”