Disconnect to reconnect: Unplug Illinois Day at HEParks

Hoffman Estates Park District (HEParks) announced its participation in Unplug Illinois Day on Saturday, July 13.

Unplug Illinois is a statewide initiative spearheaded by the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) aimed at encouraging people to disconnect from electronic devices and engage in active play opportunities at park and recreation agencies throughout Illinois.

Join HEParks for a day of digital detox and outdoor excitement at the picturesque South Ridge Park in Hoffman Estates. Celebrate Illinois Unplug Day offers a perfect opportunity to disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature, activity and community. Best of all, it's a free event.

Unplug Illinois promotes healthier lifestyles, sustainable environments, thriving economies, and engaged communities. The campaign underscores the vital role of parks in fortifying community bonds.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, at South Ridge Park, 1450 Freeman Road, in Hoffman Estates.

This free event welcomes everyone to enjoy a variety of ‘unplugged’ activities amid the serene surroundings of South Ridge Park. Whether you're looking to engage in active play, foster creativity, or forge connections with others, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Activities include:

Among the highlights is Ninja Course Races. Prizes will be awarded to the fastest competitors in each age group: 5-7 years, 8-10 years and 11-12 years. TwistiCity will mesmerize attendees with a Bubble Show, followed by a children’s interactive music performance by Jeanie B and the Jelly Beans. Local organizations will also be on hand to engage with the community, including representatives from the police and fire departments, Palatine Library, Schaumburg Township District Library, Bach to Rock, Kona Ice, and the Youth Commission.

For those seeking more physical activity, an Inflatable Obstacle Course will be set up, and South Ridge Park’s splash pad will be open for some refreshing fun.

Celebrate Illinois Unplug Day is part of the statewide Unplug Illinois movement, advocating for healthier lifestyles, sustainable environments, and vibrant communities through active participation in park and recreation activities.

“The benefits of unplugging from technology encourage people to connect with their community, stay active, and strengthen relationships,” said Karrie Miletic, director of Recreation at Hoffman Estates Park District. “Unplugging has been shown to improve quality of life, help you feel more refreshed every day, enhance sleep quality, and boost interpersonal communication.”

“Parks, recreation, and conservation professionals understand the value of unplugging. Our members' daily mission is to encourage communities to engage with one another through expertly designed programs and services,” said Suzi Wirtz, IOM. “The Unplug Illinois initiative places this mission at the forefront on Saturday, July 13. I hope all of Illinois will take advantage of the activities and programs in their local communities and connect with family and friends by ‘plugging into’ these experiences!”

In 2024, Unplug Illinois will be featured on TV, radio, and the internet throughout Illinois. Special events are planned, and details can be found at

About the IPRA:

Established in 1944, the Illinois Park and Recreation Association serves over 3,000 park, recreation, and conservation professionals throughout the state. IPRA is a national leader in providing premier education, networking, and resources. For more information about IPRA, its board, and mission, please visit the IPRA website at

About Hoffman Estates Park District:

Hoffman Estates Park District (HEParks) is a community gem in Illinois, renowned for its exceptional park district services and facilities. With prestigious state and national accreditations and gold medal awards, HEParks is a leader in recreational offerings. Our expansive green space spans 900 acres, featuring over 70 parks, an accredited arboretum, two dog-friendly areas, and five vibrant splash pads.

Our two community centers each boast their own fitness facilities, alongside a wide range of sports and recreation programs for all ages, including adults, youth, and seniors. The district also offers a twin-ice arena, comprehensive child care programs for ages 3-12, and a dedicated senior activities center. Discover more about our values, commitments, and mission on our website at

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