Since the first cardboard boat regatta was hosted at Southern Illinois University in 1974, many communities in Illinois and surrounding the Chicagoland area have organized their own events at which participants must design, build, and sail their own boats made only of simple materials like corrugated cardboard, glue, and duct tape.
This summer, Chicago families have many opportunities to visit and even take part in these creative boating events. Parents and kids can enjoy playful and creative problem-solving together through the process of making and sailing watercraft in 2011 cardboard boat regattas around Chicagoland.
America’s Cardboard Cup Regatta – June 25
On Saturday, June 25, families can attend and participate in the America’s Cardboard Cup Regatta in Crystal Lake, IL. The event opens at 9:00 a.m., with the races starting at noon. Possible awards include prizes for the fastest boat in each class, the most spectacular sinking, the most patriotic boat, the most attractive boat, and the ugliest boat.
Interested participants can pick up sheets of cardboard now from the Crystal Lake Park District Maintenance Garage located in the parking lot at Main Beach and check out the event’s official website for the rules and regulations, a registration form, and directions for how to build a cardboard boat.
Visit this creative family event at Main Beach at 300 Lakeshore Drive in Crystal Lake, IL, a little over an hour to the northwest of downtown Chicago.
Channahon 50th Anniversary cardboard boat regatta – June 25
As part of the celebration for its 50th anniversary, the Village of Channahon will hold a 5K run and a cardboard regatta among other family day activities on June 25 at the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Four Rivers facility.
Visit this celebration at the Four Rivers facility in Channahon, IL, about an hour to the southwest of downtown Chicago.
Lake Ellyn Cardboard Regatta – July 2
As part of its annual Fourth of July Celebration, Glen Ellyn is holding the Lake Ellyn Cardboard Regatta on Saturday, July 2 at noon at Lake Ellyn Park. Prizes will be awarded to the fastest boats.
Interested participants must register by noon on July 1, with residents paying a $50 fee and nonresidents paying a $75 fee (both fees include 10 sheets of corrugated cardboard).
Visit this fun-filled family event at Lake Ellyn Park at 645 Lenox Road in Glen Ellyn, IL, about 40 minutes to the west of downtown Chicago.
Lincolnshire 2011 Cardboard Boat Regatta – July 4
On Monday, July 4 at 2:30 p.m., Lincolnshire, IL, will hold its event at Spring Lake. Prizes will include an Overall Champion award, the Titanic Trophy for the watercraft that sinks the best, and the Red, White, and Blue Trophy for the most patriotic boat. All participants will receive medals.
Interested participants can attend informational boat-building workshops at the Rivershire Nature Center on Londonderry at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 12 and Saturday, June 19. Online registration will end at noon on July 1 and cost $20 until this point. Signing up at the event will cost $30.
Visit this family-friendly event at Spring Lake Park at the corner of Oxford Dr. and Lincolnshire Dr. in Lincolnshire, IL, about 45 minutes north of downtown Chicago.
Cardboard Boat Regatta – July 30
On Saturday, July 30, Grayslake, IL, will hold its 6th Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta at Jones Island Park. Participants will check in at 9:00 a.m., with races beginning at 10:00 a.m. Families pay a $20 fee to register each boat. Check out the 2011 Park District Program Brochure for more event details and information about how to sign up and prepare for this activity.
Visit this creative event at Jones Island Park at 159 N. Alleghany Rd. in Grayslake, IL, about an hour to the north of downtown Chicago.
What Floats Your Boat Cardboard Race – August 20
On Saturday, August 20, families can visit and participate in the 9th annual What Floats Your Boat Cardboard Race at Mastodon Lake in Phillips Park in Aurora, IL. Participating boaters should check in at 8:30 a.m., with the first race starting at 10:30 a.m. and prizes being awarded at 12:30 p.m. Awards will include prizes for the best human-powered and mechanical boats, as well as recognition of the watercraft that sinks the best.
Registration for this event will open in June 2011 and close on Wednesday, August 10.
Stop by this family-friendly cardboard boating event at Mastodon Lake in Phillips Park in Aurora, IL, about an hour to the southwest of downtown Chicago.
Great Cardboard Boat Regatta – September 11
At 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 11, the Lake Storey Recreational Area in Galesburg, IL, will hold its annual regatta. Interested participants can call the Galesburg Lakeside Recreation Facility at 309-345-3683 for more information and to get free sheets of cardboard starting in June. A few instant boat kits will also be available on the day of the event. On that day, people can register from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., with the first race starting at 1:00 p.m. Registration will cost $25 per boat.
At this event, parents and kids can also enjoy watching the Galesburg Public School Foundation’s Annual Duck Race, which will begin around 3:00 p.m.
Visit this creative family event at the Lake Storey Park Beach Area at 101-199 North Lake Storey Road in Galesburg, IL, about 3 1/2 hours to the southwest of downtown Chicago.
Families that enjoy making and playing with cardboard toys may also be interested in cardboard vehicles, cardboard playhouses, and cardboard dollhouses.
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