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Hinderman: Celebrating the season, Orland-style

Updated: January 24, 2013 6:12AM



We are in the homestretch; just a few more days until Christmas.

My wish is that whatever you celebrate this time of year — Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan or other religious ceremonies — you have wonderful moments filled with warmth, family and tidings of the season.

Take a moment and reflect on what you are thankful for as the year ends.

If you have family members who are safe and sound, be grateful.

If you’ve lost someone close this year, take time to honor his or her memory.

That said, remember, the little ones (and bigger ones, too) will be on winter break. Consolidated High School District 230 and Orland School District 135 will not be in session from Monday until Jan. 7, so let the fun begin.

Keeping all ages occupied during this season takes a little planning.

Here are a few local ideas.

If the weather continues to remain warm, consider heading outside to explore the vast expanse of walking paths, bike trails and open lands. If you need to head indoors, a few trips around the Sportsplex walking track is a great cardio workout.

Why not work out your brain and stop in at the library? Or, if you embrace the cold (and if we get some consecutive freezing days), the Winter Wonderland at Centennial Park ice rink provides plenty of fresh air amid beautiful surroundings.

The Sportsplex is hosting “School’s Out … Fun is In!” Open gym and soccer will be available during your days off from school. Try climbing The Rock from noon to 6 p.m. for an additional fee. Available dates are Wednesday to Friday and Jan. 2-4 and 21.

The Rock is a 32-foot-tall wall, available for a $3 daily fee for residents or $6 for nonresidents. The towering structure offers eight ropes, six leads and two auto belays.

Registration costs for the open gym and fields are $3 for residents, $6 for nonresidents and $12 for nonresident high school students. The Rock remains the same cost as listed above.

Consider saving a few bucks by purchasing an all-inclusive play package that includes Rock access, open gym and open field play for one flat rate — $5 for residents, $10 for nonresidents and $15 for nonresident high school students.

As always, Sportsplex members (children or students who are under a family plan or have a high school plan) may use the gym and The Rock for free.

If you are more of the “outdoors” type, consider heading to the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, which is open from sunrise to 9 p.m. through March 4, weather permitting. There is a warming house on-site, where skates, helmets, cross-country skis and snowshoes can be rented.

The warming house has limited hours; visit www.orland-park.il.us.

Remember, there also is a campfire site from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturdays. Also, this year will see their inaugural snowman-snowwoman building contest at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 10. Carrot noses will be provided.

This is an off-ice activity and, of course, is weather (snow) permitting!

If you “undecorate” immediately after the season, remember to recycle any lights and/or electrical cords you will not use next year.

Orland Park will collect lights through Feb. 1 at the Frederick T. Owens Village Hall, 14700 S. Ravinia Ave.; the recreation administration building, 14600 S. Ravinia Ave., and at the Sportsplex, 11351 W. 159th St.

Materials will be processed in the United States, with the plastic used for fuel, and the copper pieces sent to a smelter.

No reimbursement will be made.

For more information, call the Recreation Department at (708) 403-7275.

Start the New Year right by taking part in Orland Hour, an energy-saving initiative employed by the village at different locations. Simply turn off any nonessential lighting or electrical products from noon to 1 p.m. any Monday through Friday.

May this season provide health, warmth, happiness and a renewed spirit!



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