Waukegan Park District

Waukegan Park District | Bowen Heritage Circle


The Bowen Heritage Circle is the community’s source for quality adult educational and craft programs plus special historical programs for the entire family!

Click HERE to register online for Bowen Heritage Circle programs and events.

Circle instructors usually own their own art, craft, or other business and bring you the latest and finest instruction available. Bowen Heritage Circle classes are designed for beginners to advanced students. Whether your interest is in crafts, lectures or historic programming, give The Circle a try, you won’t be disappointed.


Click here for Class Supply Lists page




Lilac Cottage

Lilac Cottage is located at 1911 N. Sheridan Rd. in Bowen Park. Lilac Cottage is one of the few remaining buildings in Bowen Park that was a part of Bowen Country Club. This beautiful cottage was built for Mrs. Bowen, Miss Addams, and Miss Smith so that they could come and go without bothering the everyday activities of Bowen Country Club Camp. This large, imposing colonial style home houses the Waukegan Historical Society’s J. L. Raymond Research Library.

Upcoming Programs

Basket and Soap Making Classes

 “Basket Making-Smoked Twill Basket (ID #4557),” instructor Sandy Bulgrin will guide you through the basket making process.  At the end of class you will have a tall basket to take home with you that features a unique “D shaped” handle with smoked spokes.  This two day class will be held on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 and Tuesday, April 22, 2014 from 6:00-8:30pm at Lilac Cottage in Bowen Park, 1911 N. Sheridan Road, Waukegan, IL 60087.  Cost of the basket making class is $30 for Waukegan Park District residents and $35 for non-residents.  An additional $20 fee for materials is due to the instructor at the start of the first class.  Registration deadline is April 8, 2014.


“Intermediate Soap Making: Adding Color and Fragrance (ID #4560),” is for students who have completed our “Basic Soap Making” class.  Instructor Laura Zielinski will teach the process of adding fragrance and color to soaps.  The soap classes provide unique hands-on learning experience for the participant.  The class will be held on Sunday, April 27, 2014 from 2:00-4:00pm at Lilac Cottage in Bowen Park, 1911 N. Sheridan Road, Waukegan, IL 60087.  Cost of the soap making class is $34 for Waukegan Park District residents and $39 for non-residents.  An additional $15 fee for materials is due to the instructor at the start of class.  Registration deadline is April 20, 2014.


To register for classes call the Waukegan Park District- Jack Benny Center for the Arts at 847-360-4740.  The Jack Benny Center is located at 39 Jack Benny Drive in Bowen Park.  Register online at www.waukeganparks.org.  Participants are asked to please register in advance so the instructors have the proper supplies.







Lilac Cottage Rentals

Are you looking for a bride’s room prior to for your wedding in the Bowen Park Formal Garden? Are you interested in renting a space for a group of 24 for a bridal or baby shower? Are you tired of having your company “team” meeting at the office? Tables and chairs are available for small parties of 24 and the room seats 30 in a meeting room style set up. Amenities include coffee makers, punch bowl and ladle, stove, refrigerator and microwave. The main room at Lilac has a wonderful sun porch that overlooks beautiful Bowen Park. The “Blue Room” is perfect for family portraits. Rentals require a minimum of 2 hours and a $75 deposit is required to hold the date. Contact the Jack Benny Center for the Arts 847-360-4740 to inquire about room rentals at Lilac Cottage.

Click here to download Rental form.

Click here for the Facility Use Agreement.


Oakwood Cemetery Walk

Oakwood Cemetery Walk, an annual event that began in 1995, takes the participants through the city cemetery (1851). Visitors to Oakwood have been taken back to a time and place that has ranged from pre- Civil War to as recent as 1979. Four to six “residents” are portrayed by local “actors” each year. There has always been diversity among the characters portrayed. Finding information about women and minorities has been challenging but rewarding. The cemetery walk has featured the first female physician in Waukegan and George Washington Bell, a former slave turned Union soldier. This annual event is a cooperative program between the Waukegan Park District, City of Waukegan, and the Waukegan Historical Society.

J. L. Raymond Research Library

The Waukegan Historical Society research collections are located in Lilac Cottage in the Bowen Heritage Circle, 1911 N. Sheridan Rd., Bowen Park. This extensive collection of maps, documents, photographs, books and vertical files may be accessed during open hours. Copy services are available for a slight fee, and volunteers are on hand to assist with genealogical or other research topics. Call librarian, Beverly Millard, at 847-360-4772 to learn more.


For Earth's Sake

The Waukegan Park District is committed to helping bring the youth of our community back OUTSIDE to enjoy nature through its NO CHILD LEFT INSIDE initiative. Volunteers from the Waukegan's Harbor Citizen's Advisory Group, Chicago Wilderness, Illinois Audubon, New Allies for Culture and Nature that then Waukegan Park District's Cultural Arts Division will be presenting earth awareness topics relating to our local environment. Some activities presented are appropriate for families while other topics are great for educators, scout and youth leaders or parents.

Admission is free of charge but pre-registration is a must so we can provide enough leadership. Always dress for the weather when attending FOR EARTH'S SAKE events. Please check out the Cultural Arts pages of the Recreation Connection for more information. Some activities may require a small materials fee.
For more information regarding For Earth's Sake programming, click here.


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