The YMCA's health, fitness and sports programs are developmentally appropriate and help people at any stage of life build positive health habits. Participation in YMCA programs offers youth and adults opportunities for friendship and community, a sense of well-being, increased self-confidence and improved mental abilities.

Welcome Annette Smith to our Arts Department

Annette Smith is excited to start sharing her love and knowledge of theatre and all things dramatic with the Fox Valley Family YMCA community. She started acting at age 5 and found her passion on stage, spending every summer performing at theatre camps. When she reached high school she focused on theatre - beginning to teach at the same summer camp she attended growing up. When she started her time at Illinois State University she focused on acting and theatre education, wanting to help future generations find a home either on stage or backstage like she did. She also began her study of Shakespeare at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Annette moved to the Fox Valley Area from Chicago with her husband and son to be closer to their family.  She brings her passion for theatre in all its forms, especially Shakespeare and musicals, with her to the YMCA and looks forward to helping build a strong arts department for everyone!

View featured THEATRE WORKSHOPS, including Intro to Theatre and Improv, here.

Art01Our YMCA arts programs promote confidence and creativity through dance, drawing, drama, painting, music and more.

While the YMCA is traditionally known as a place to learn how to swim or practice your favorite sport, YMCAs are quickly becoming the place where kids and adults learn to paint, write, sing or act. The Fox Valley Family YMCA offers a variety of art and theater classes for children to experience a variety of art mediums such as theater, painting, drawing, sculpting and more.

According to a recent article, Dr. Kerry Freedman, Head of Art and Design Education at Northern Illinois University says, “Parents need to be aware that children learn a lot more from graphic sources now than in the past. Children need to know more about the world than just what they can learn through text and numbers. Art education teaches students how to interpret, criticize, and use visual information, and how to make choices based on it.” 

Whimsical Lettering
Tuesdays, 5-6:30 pm  |  $40M/$60NM

During this 4-week class, students will be introduced to a variety of supplies and samples to create their own alphabets and lettering.  This is NOT a calligraphy class.  This lettering is to be used in journals, posters and other artwork.


Draw and Doodle your Pet
Wednesdays, 5-6:30 pm  |  $40M/$60NM

This 4-week class is where you will create a unique drawing of your pet.  You will be using markers and colored pencils for this project.  During the class, students will be introduced to Zentangle and will apply it to their project.  A picture of your pet must be submitted 7 days before the class begins.

Intro to Illustrative Watercolor Journaling
Fridays, 5-6:30pm  |  $40M/$60NM
Students will be introduced to contour drawing and blind contour drawing in this 4-week class. You will learn about observing and then drawing what you see.  You will discover a variety of ways to use watercolor pencils and or paints.  These skills can be used in multiple art creations.

Sports, whether team-based or individual, are a great activity for children that provide a variety of benefits other than physical activity. Participation in sports can help build self-esteem and confidence, can motivate children to excel academically and can help build social skills. Participation also can teach children the benefits of goal-setting and practice. Find one of our sports camps that's right for your child and REGISTER TODAY!

Summer Basketball Clinics
July 8-July 12  |  $25M/$40NM
Ages: 5-7  |  9:15-10am
Ages: 8-9  | 10-11am
Ages: 10-12  | 11-12pm
Summer basketball clinics are a week-long camp that will focus on the fundamentals of basketball including dribbling, passing, shooting, along with offensive and defensive drills. All skill levels are welcome!

Summer Flag Football Clinics
July 15-July 19  |  $25M/$40NM
Ages: 5-7  |  10-11am
Ages: 8-10  |  11-12pm
Flag football clinics are a week-long camp that will emphasize football skills without the hard-hitting of contact football. Clinic training will include: passing, receiving, fly routes, and running drills. This camp is ideal for players interested in learning the fundamentals of flag football and those looking to improve their football skills.

Daycare Athletics Camp (Central)
Ages: 3-5 |  July 3-Aug 14
Wednesdays 3-3:30pm  |  $35M/$45NM
We welcome all of our ELA athletes to join us this summer for a fun, sports camp! Campers will play a variety of sports switching it up each week.

ELAW Outdoor Sports Camp (West)
Ages: 3-5  |  Tuesdays 10:30-11am  |  $35M/$45NM
Session I: May 7-June 18
Session II: July 2-Aug 13
We welcome all of our ELAW athletes to join this us this summer for a fun, outdoors camp! Campers will play a variety of outdoor sports including soccer, kickball and t-ball. We will play these fun games while enjoying the beautiful summer sun! Please be sure to dress appropriately for the sizzling summer weather.

Chicago Fire Youth Soccer Camp
June 17-21
3-5 year olds  |  8-9:00AM  |  $95
6-12 year olds  |  9-12:00PM  |  $170
Kick off your summer by signing up for a Chicago Fire Soccer Summer Camp! Play, learn and train with our passionate, highly qualified Chicago Fire coaches who will support your child to develop soccer skills in a week of soccer-filled fun. Programs are suitable for all ages and ability levels. Spaces are limited! All players registered will receive a SITC Dri-Fit jersey, ball, individual player evaluation and a ticket to a Chicago Fire game at Toyota Park! 

Little Sparks: an introduction to soccer where children and parents can take their first steps in soccer together!
COMMUNITY: Build on your child’s key soccer skills through activities and themed practices.
COMPETITIVE: Develop your child`s performance through game-related scenarios.

small group training just for kids!

Small-Group Training (4-8 participants) isn't just for adults, kids now have the ability to participate and benefit from group training with a certified fitness instructor. Introducing a fun and exciting way for your children to participate in a non-competitive exercise program built just for their age group and ability level.

2-4 years, 5-7 years, 8-12 years
For more Information visit a front desk or email:
Central Branch contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
West Branch contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What to expect from youth small group Training

  • No Session Dates! We know fitting a workout into your busy schedule is tough and we don't want that to be the reason you're not able to work out. A great convenience of small group training is that you're able to designate start dates and class times with your trainer so that it fits your schedule!
  • Think of small group training as a hybrid of personal training and group exercise classes. Benefit from one on one time but within a group of participants who are at your similar fitness level, creating a bond through healthy competition.
  • How many participants can I expect? 4-8 participants 

YOUTH SMALL GROUP TRAINING 30 min 45 min 60 min
5 Sessions $26 $40 $53


Can kids use the wellness center? YES!

  • Kids age 10-13 years of age must be accompanied by an adult at all times in the wellness center.
  • Kids age 10-13 must complete an orientation prior to using the wellness center.  Please make an appointment at the front desk.
  • Kids age 10 and up can participate in personal training and youth-specific small group training.
  • Kids age 10-13 must check in at a front desk to receive a wrist band to use the wellness center.












A gymnastics birthday party at the Y means that kids will have fun in our foam pit and tumble through our obstacle course! The Y provides pizzas, juice, tableware, and even a Birthday t-shirt - this is all included in the price. Plus, YMCA Gymnastics staff member will be on hand to run the party from start to finish. This includes all the setup and cleanup! See below for our 2 party package options:

PARTY PACKAGE 1 | Up to 15 children | $150M / $225NM | Ages 6+
The Y provides 1 staff, 2 large pizzas, 2 juices, all paper products and a Birthday t-shirt! 15 invites max including the birthday child. No more than 15 children.

PARTY PACKAGE 2 | 15-25 children | $230M / $330NM | Ages 6+
The Y provides 2 staff, 3 large pizzas, 2 juices, all paper products and a Birthday t-shirt! 25 invites max including the birthday child. No more than 25 children.

All parties run for 2 hours. Gymnastic parties can be held some Saturdays and most Sundays. 3 weeks notice is needed to secure a party date.

Call to book your birthday party today!
(630) 552-4100 EXT. 245

The Y offers many different themed parties.  Click here for more info.

May 6 - August 3
Mon/Wed: 5-6:00am  |  SAT: 7:30-8:30am
$75M/$120NM  |  5 Practice Punch Card $30M/$45NM

Masters Swimming is our swim group for people who are 18 and older. You will receive coached swimming workouts that help improve your swimming technique and fitness level. This group welcomes adult swimmers from lap swimmers, to adults interested in competitive swimming, as well as triathletes.

*no practice Memorial Day or 4th of July.

Christine Milakis, the new Arts and Humanities Director

A Whole New OUTLook

Christine grew up dancing from ages 4-17 and has been a dance instructor for over 13 years. Her philosophy is to provide a fun, safe and encouraging environment for children interested in dance, music, and theater. "A few of my long-term goals are to grow the art and humanities program in addition to making the arts more accessible to all children," said Christine.

Christine has been focusing her efforts on La Premiere’s Dance Company’s auditions coming up on Oct. 21st. La Premiere’s revamped program is perfect for dancers who are new to the dance world or who have only 1-2 years of experience. “We recognize that kids have school work and need family time, those things come first,” said Christine. “This program is structured in a way that makes it possible for kids to do both and still compete at a higher level.”

Join us in welcoming This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to our team!


• Updated class names and descriptions

• Additional classes for younger dancers

• Dance classes for students at Early Learning Academy - West Branch in Sandwich

• Plans to add a theatre program including workshops and improv classes

• And a WHOLE NEW LOOK –– stay tuned for the unveiling!

View fall dance classes here. 

October 25 - December 13
Fridays  |  $36M/$47NM  |  Central  |  
Ages 7 - 12
This great summer league will keep your children active and moving during these fun, summer months. Players are placed on teams each week testing their throwing, dodging, catching, speed and agility skills. This league takes place every Friday evening from 5:30-6:30pm.

Register online or at our front desk.

Mondays  |  9-11:00AM  |  FREE
Pickleball is a combination of tennis and badminton that is played by hitting whiffle balls with light-weight wooden paddles. The rules are simple and the game is relatively easy for beginners to learn. Played on a badminton court with a 3-foot high net.


Dec. 14 & Feb. 22  |  10:00am - 12:00pm  |  FREE 
Bingo is a great way to bring people together to play an old favorite game and discover some new friendships.


Fridays  |  9-11AM  |  FREE

Deb has been drawing and creating for as long as she can remember. At an early age, she was making doll clothes for trolls and Barbie’s and coloring and drawing anything she could get her hands on. Most all children color and draw but Deb never stopped.

Through the years she continued making crafts for gifts for family members and trying a variety of mediums. She has continued to hone her skills in drawing and painting. She has created in both Graphite and Charcoal, Pen and Ink with Watercolor Washes, Scratchboard, Scrimshaw, Glass Painting, Sculpting with clay and more. She attended the American Academy or Art in Chicago learning traditional skills of the Masters. Leaving there with a Fine Arts Degree and Commercial Degree. She secured an internship designing Point of Purchase Display in her last semester of Art School. During that employment, she learned computer skills and was able to apply both Sign Making and Graphic Design knowledge and experience.

Since 2006 She has been drawing Caricatures and has her own Caricature business. She offers both people and animal Caricatures from her Etsy Shop online done from photos provided. She also works live at both private and Corporate event providing entertainment and drawings to the guests. She gained her LIVE caricature experience working at Chicago’s Navy Pier and Shedd Aquarium before venturing out on her own.

Deb is excited to bring her art background to programming at the Y!