The Lake Forest Club Vacation-Like, Resort-Style Oasis In Own Back Yard 'Begins And Ends With The Kids And Family'

Barry Sigale
Updated 4/28/2016 10:39 AM
  • The Lake Forest Club has long been the "gold standard" of Championship Swimming and Diving and Junior's Tennis programs throughout the North Shore.  The Lakle Forest Club

    The Lake Forest Club has long been the "gold standard" of Championship Swimming and Diving and Junior's Tennis programs throughout the North Shore. The Lakle Forest Club

LAKE FOREST -- Long-time Lake Forest resident Peter Rukavina has been elected president of The Lake Forest Club. Now he is spearheading a campaign to attract new members to enjoy a similar experience which has given so much back to him and his family. To that end, the Club is offering an incentive-laden membership initiative for 2016.

"We joined The Lake Forest Club because of its stellar reputation," said Rukavina. "Members referred to the swim team as the "gold standard" among Chicagoland clubs and perennial meet champions, the tennis and paddle facilities as second to none with some of the best teaching pros, and the summer and fall camp programs for kids the best around for fun and enrichment. The inclusive atmosphere at the bar and poolside cocktail parties made us comfortable when making our decision to join. We also have made many new friends for life."

With a young and growing family, Rukavina was looking for a "home in the community outside our own home. For us, that turned out to be The Lake Forest Club."

The storied, members-only club celebrating 58 years as a "home" for thousands of families in Lake Forest and surrounding communities, has been lauded for providing a stimulating environment for children who enjoy a wide variety of activities in a safe setting while allowing parents at the same time to participate in their own activities without worry. At the end of the day, families can meet up at the Club's upscale, yet something-for-everyone 554 North restaurant and Bar, the Shark Bar & Grille, or the Shark Bites snack bar.

"The club begins and ends with the kids and family," said Rukavina.

At The Lake Forest Club, families get away from their busy schedules and come together to enjoy swimming, diving, tennis, paddle tennis, ice skating, sledding, basketball, and volleyball. The Club's facilities have grown to three swimming pools comprised of a 5-meter lap pool, deep diving pool, and shallow pool for younger children; 12 clay tennis courts; four paddle courts with warming hut; Winter Ice Rink; Sledding Hill; basketball courts; and playground.

"The Lake Forest Club enjoys a rich tradition of sporting activities with a focus on participation, skill development, and good sportsmanship," said Rukavina. "We're well known and highly regarded for our strong team sports which provide fun competition from beginner to expert. Our professional staff helps members take their game to the next level," he said.

Many Lake Forest Club members compete on the ten women's and four men's tennis teams, as well as its 11 men's and eight women's paddle teams; while others have contributed to both the Club's Championship Swimming and Diving and Junior's Tennis programs. The Club also offers limited golf to our members through its privileged relations with the Glen Flora Country Club.

In addition, the Lake Forest Club offers one of the best summer day camps on the North Shore for its Junior Sharks, particularly for those between the ages of three and ten. There is a myriad of activities for families with young children through teens and young adults along with active adults of all ages.

The Lake Forest Club has a rich social tradition. "We hosts fun events for all our members, from College Bonfire Night to Oktoberfest, Mother's Day, Labor and Memorial Day barbecues, and Ravinia Music Night," said Rukavina. "We also support the Lake Forest community by opening our doors to non-members' social activities and fund raisers in our unique dining/ballroom environment as well as outdoor party facilities in the summer.

The Lake Forest Club campus is situated on eight private acres adjacent to Lake Forest Hospital. It is surrounded by shade-trees and peacefully landscaped lawn, a retreat for all members to enjoy in a beautiful natural setting. The clubhouse is unique in architectural design with a center fireplace that warmly welcomes members and guests alike.

Within the clubhouse is the upscale, family casual 554 North restaurant and bar offering formal dining as well as selections for children and teens. The enhanced bar is a favorite place to enjoy a cocktail and hors d oeuvres and watch sports.

The Lake Forest Club's organic garden offers members locally-sourced seasonal vegetables to highlight their culinary appetite. Its wine club offers nicely-appointed wine lockers for members to share their favorite vintages. The club offers alfresco dining in the Shark Bar & Grille overlooking the pool underneath shade trees, while its younger Sharks can retreat to the "Shark Bites" café for their own kids inspired menu.

"We're not a country club but a private club without the pretentious behavior people might find elsewhere," said Rukavina. "We have a relaxed atmosphere. We're kid friendly. I can't say it enough, 'it's all about the kids and family,'" he said.

The Lake Forest Club is located at 554 N. Westmoreland, directly across from Lake Forest Hospital. For more information, please call Marc Raymond, general manager, at (847) 234-5316, or visit