Park News - Scroll down to see more exciting events!

HSHS St. John's Hospital WANTS YOU to Workout in the Park!
Join HSHS St. John's Hospital and FitClub for the "First Thursday of the Month" FREE Workout in the Park! Join us September 1 and October 6 at the Gazebo in Washington Park.  You don't need to bring any equipment... Just bring your friends and a drink and we'll do the rest!  See the flyer for full details!

Out and About
We take a one-day trip to places outside and around our area. All admissions are included in the fee. You must register two weeks in advance for each program. Call 217-585-2941 ext. 2303 to register or for more information. (prices will be updated once tickets go on sale for each venue)

Extreme Haunted Hayrides and Zombie Paintball at Riverside Park
The 2016 season for Extreme Haunted Hayrides in Riverside Park starts Friday, September 30! Gates open at 6:00pm and rides start at 7:00pm. Rides will run every Friday and Saturday night in October. More information can be found on their website or by calling 217-522-7702.

Game Night with Special Recreation
Hockey is a fast-paced game with lots of action. Come on out and cheer on Springfield's semi-pro hockey team, the Jr. Blues, to victory and hang out with friends! All games are at the Nelson Center and you must reserve your spectator seat one week in advance by calling 217-585-2941 ext. 2303.

Fur, Feather, Fin Fall Fling with Touch-a-Truck
Join us for the final free admission day of the year on Saturday, October 1 with an activity packed schedule of turtle races, animal programs and more! Touch-a-Truck begins at 10am and runs until 2pm. The Fall Fling runs from 10am-6pm. Call 217-585-1821 for more information. Check out our Facebook event.

WILD About Reading
Anyone ages 2 and older can enjoy the zoo after hours to explore reading and imagination for only $1! Every WILD About Reading will include a story, a craft and an animal visitor! On October 7 from 6-7pm we will be having fun with spooky animals. Make sure you pre-register by calling the zoo at 217-585-1821.

Fun Fall Fling
This is a one day child-only class on October 8 from 10-11:30am at Washington Park Pavilion. We will do fun fall activities, make a fall craft and make a yummy treat. There is a limit of 12 children so make sure you reserve your spot! Call the director at 217-546-3970 to sign up.

Carve for the Carillon

Come help us scoop and carve pumpkins at the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon and Washington park Botanical Garden grounds for the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular! Carving is on Saturday, October 8 from 11am-4pm and on Sunday, October 9 from 11am-4pm (while supplies last). Bring your carving tools and help create the spectacular with us! Call 217-546-4116 for more information and email if you are interested in volunteering. Check out our Facebook event.

Holiday Camp: Columbus Day
This is an all-day camp on October 10 from 8am-5:30pm at the Nelson Center. Have your child enjoy crafts, games, sports, movies and much more! This program is for individuals with disabilities but is open to everyone. Please bring a cold sack lunch with a drink. Call 217-585-2941 ext. 2303 to sign up. Check out the Facebook event.

Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular

Come enjoy the sparkling splendor of 2016 illuminated Jack-O-Lanterns surrounding the Carillon and Botanical Garden at Washington Park on October 14 & 15 from 6:30-9:30pm each night. Proceeds to benefit the Carillon. Food Vendors will be on site during the event! Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children (ages 4-11), FREE for children 3 & under. Save $1 if you buy your tickets in advance at the Carve for the Carillon event. Call 217-546-4116 for more information. Check out the Facebook event.

Nature Buddies: Animal Hike
For this Nature Buddies trip we are going to meet by the large map for a fun early morning hike around the trails. We will look for signs of animals and work on animal tracks. Dress for the weather.

Nature Buddies is a free, family-based program to get the family outside and exploring our local environment. Suitable for all ages. Please call the zoo at 217-585-1821 for more information and questions. Add our Facebook event to your calendar.

Zoolie Ghoulie
Join us on October 21 from 4-8pm and October 22 & 23 from 1-5pm for Zoolie Ghoulie! This is for safe trick-or-treating inside the Henson Robinson Zoo for all ages. There will be costume contests on Friday at 6pm and Saturday & Sunday at 4pm. It is only $4 for trick-or-treaters and $3 for parents/guardians. Call the zoo at 217-585-1821 for more information. Add our Facebook event to your calendar.

Monster MASH Halloween Dance

Join us for the biggest dance of the year on Friday, October 28 from 7-9pm at Erin's Pavilion. The Monster MASH Halloween Dance has a ton of spooky Halloween fun! Come dressed up in your Halloween costume and dance the night away with friends with a live DJ. Enjoy refreshments and treat bags. This dance is for anyone ages 7+ with or without a disability. Call 217-585-2941 ext. 2303 for more information. Check out our Facebook event.

September Calendar
Here is a fun calendar that you can print off and stick on your fridge!

Fall Program Guide
Click on the image below to download our FREE Fall Program Guide!

Facility Guide
Click the image below to download our free 2016 Facility Guide!

Event and Program Listings
To help you better find what fun event or program you are looking for, we have created this quick alphabetical listing:

Washington Park Botanical Garden Group Tours/Educational Programs
Have a group of kids that would love to learn about the garden? Getting family together and in need of finding fun activities to do? We offer FREE tours of the Gardens Monday-Friday between 9am and 3pm from now until December 20. You must call ahead to schedule a time. 217-546-4116.

BMX Track
The Springfield Park District and the Springfield BMX Club have partnered together to offer a full BMX track in Riverside Park. This track offers fun and adventure for all ages and ability levels. There is a $60 annual fee to become a member of the Springfield BMX Club. Practices and races run from April 3 - December 14. Practices are on Wednesdays from 5-8 p.m. and races are on Sundays from 1-2 p.m. Call 217-544-1751 ext. 1012 for more information.

Carillon Tours
Carillon tours start in May and run until the end of September. Tours are available on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays between 12pm and 6pm. Tours are $4/adult and $3/child (under 16). Call 217-546-3853 for more information.

Summer Carillon Concerts
Listen to beautiful music three days a week! (and did we mention it's FREE?!) Join us on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays at Washington Park to hear the beautiful bells play from May 1 until September 30. Call 217-546-3853 for more information.

Private Tennis Lessons
Private tennis lessons are up and running throughout the rest of the tennis season! If you would like more of a one-on-one instruction, then this will be perfect for you. Lessons will run Monday-Friday until September 30. All you have to do is call 217-546-4103 to schedule an appointment at a time that works for you.

Women's Tennis Drills
Ladies of all ages are welcome to improve their skills in the sport of tennis. Call Velasco Tennis Center at 217-546-4103 to schedule a day and time. These drills will only be offered until September 30.

Pee Wee Tennis Lessons
Have a little one age 3-7 that may be interested in tennis? Have them try out a few lessons to see if they are interested! Call the Velasco Tennis Center to schedule a lesson today at 217-546-4103.

Platform Tennis League
Students who are looking for a more competitive training program or just simply want one-on-one platform tennis instruction may want to consider platform tennis lessons. Platform tennis lessons are available until November 11 (or the first snowfall) based on your availability. Call the Velasco Tennis Center to schedule a lesson at 217-546-4103.

After School Recreation - PowerPlay! Beyond School
We will be offering an afterschool program for individuals with disabilities starting August 17 (for Chatham Schools) and August 22 (for Springfield schools). This program will focus on fitness, nutrition and health. We will provide a snack, recreational activities and time to do homework. For more information or to sign up contact Annette at 217-585-2941 ext. 2303.

Manny's Drills
Open for all ages, abilities and genders! Manny's Drills will teach any player to improve his or her skills through repetition. These drills will be available from August 22 - November 10 (or the first snowfall). Call the Velasco Tennis Center today at 217-546-4103.

Ballroom Dance
Want to clean up your dance moves? Sign up for Wednesday night dance class at the Nelson Center! There will be a session from August 24 - September 28 and from October 12 - November 16 for ages 15 and older. Make sure you call 217-544-1751 or 217-553-0446 in advance to reserve your spot.

Cooking Classes
Join us and learn the basics of independent cooking. Or classes run for 4-weeks every Thursday during a particular session. We will teach you how to use small kitchen appliances, cooking hygiene and safety, and healthy eating. For anyone with or without a disability. You must register one week in advance by calling 217-585-2941 ext. 2303.

Zooper Edventures Classes
Join the Henson Robinson Zoo on Saturdays from September -December from 1-3pm for Zooper Edventures Classes. Your 5-6 year-old or 7-9 year-old will discover more about animals and their ecosystems. They will also have fun with animal games, crafts and zoo exploration. Advanced registration is required. Please call the zoo at 217-585-1821 for more information or to register.

Fencing is here for the fall! Sign up for as many sessions as you want and learn the basics or further develop your skills. Classes are held at the Nelson Center on Sunday afternoons. Call 217-544-1751 ext. 1012 for more information or to sign up.

Dekhockey - a NEW sport outside the Nelson Center in Lincoln Park! Springfield DekHockey is a sport for youth and adults that is literally hockey without skates. The outdoor dek hockey rink was built right next to the Nelson Center. It will be under lights with a scoreboard and a proshop. They are taking registrations currently for youth leagues for the upcoming season right around the corner starting Saturday, September 10 and adult league team and free agent registrations for season starting Monday, September 5. Contact Springfield Dekhockey at 217-741-1164 to get signed up! Check them out on Facebook @SpringfieldDekhockey.

Preschool in the Park
The Park District offers play-based pre-school programs at both Lincoln and Washington park Pavilions with a curriculum based on the Illinois Early Childhood Learning Standards. The philosophy of the pre-school program is that every child should be given the best chance to grow and develop intellectually, emotionally, and socially. Call 217-546-3970 with any questions and to get your little one signed up!

Zoo Tot Classes
Zoo Tot classes are a chance for you and your pre-schooler to share a special, fun and educational experience at the zoo together. Each class includes stories, animal visits, cool crafts, games, and more! (For any class theme, please choose either the Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday session). These classes are for ages 2-5 and run from 10-11am. Call 217-585-1821 to register.

Diving Lessons
This program provides the youth of Springfield & Sangamon County an opportunity to learn and perfect the sport of one-meter springboard diving. Classes start up on September 6 and we are accepting all levels of ability. There are even private lessons available! Call Eisenhower Pool at 217-525-8847.

Alley Catz Bowling
Every Tuesday afternoon starting September 6, 2016 through November 28, 2017 from 3:15-4:45pm enjoy a great time bowling with others. You can either pay weekly or pay for an 8-week session. Call 217-585-2941 ext. 2303 for more information or to sign up.

Aqua Aerobics
These classes are designed to improve cardiovascular conditioning, stretching and muscle toning. Classes run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:15-10:15am for ages 18 and older. Call 217-525-8847 to register or for more information.

Wednesday Doubles
Want to get together with a friend and play on a doubles league? Purchase a season pass for $60 (seniors) or $40 (adults) and head to the Velasco Tennis Center on Wednesday nights at either 5pm or 7pm. Call 217-546-4103 for more information.

Game Night
We are back for the fall with free nights of fun and games for anyone with or without a disability. From September 7 - November 30 every Wednesday from 5:30-6:30pm at Erin's Pavilion. In order to participate you must register by calling 217-585-2941 ext. 2303 at least one week in advance.

Project H.O.W.L.
We Help Out Wild Life (H.O.W.L.)! We will learn about animals and their ecosystems, and on zoo grounds, we will present enrichment items to enhance those animals' lives and stimulate new behaviors. These Saturday afternoon classes are for any child ages 10-12. Call the zoo at 217-585-1821 to register.

Masters Swim Practice
Have advanced swimming skills and want to practice them with others? Join us at Eisenhower Pool on Sundays from 8-9:30 a.m. and practice with either the aquatics director's workouts or other participant's workouts. This practice will run from September 11 - May 21. Call 217-525-8847 for more information.

Swim Lessons
Whether you work better with a group or one-on-one with an instructor, we have the swimming lesson for you! Parent/Tot, Group, Semi-Private and Private lessons. All lessons will be taught on Sundays at Eisenhower Pool. Call 217-525-8847 for more information.

Learn to Skate Academy
Our Learn to Skate Academy is a six-class program. We teach a step by step progression of skills which develops the student's techniques in an enjoyable and social atmosphere. Students must receive a passing grade within their skill level in order to advance. Classes start up on September 27 and save $10 by registering by September 17! Call 217-753-2800 for more information or to register.

Springfield Jr. Blues Home Game Schedule
Here are all the home games for the Springfield Jr. Blues. Season tickets can be purchased here.

Learn to Play Hockey
This is an eight-class program co-sponsored by the Springfield Park District and the Springfield Youth Hockey Association. Classes run on Wednesdays and Saturdays starting October 8. We introduce basic hockey skills to boys and girls. Students must receive a passing grade to advance to Learn to Play 2 Hockey or to our House/Travel teams. Register for the early bird and save $10! (Early Bird ends on 9/29). Call 217-753-2800 for more information. Registration forms can be found here.

Special Olympics: Basketball
One of America's favorite sports and a great way to get exercise. You can join our Special Olympics Basketball Team or skills. The team and skills starts up on October 8, 2016 and runs until March 11, 2017 on Saturdays from 12-2pm at the Springfield Racquet and Fitness Center. Call 217-585-2941 ext. 2303 for more information or to sign up.

Lower & Upper House Hockey Leagues
These are 20-week recreational leagues for hockey players and is co-sponsored by the Springfield Park District and the Springfield Youth Hockey Association. Practices are on Mondays (lower house) and Tuesdays (upper house) and games will be played on Thursdays (upper house) and Saturdays (lower house). The leagues are for players who have successfully passed through Learn to Play but do not desire to play competitive travel hockey. Full equipment is required. Practices begin October 10 & 11 at the Nelson Center. Call 217-753-2800 for more information or to sign up.

Mite & Mini Mite Hockey
Mite and Mini Mite Hockey is a 20-week program for kids 8 years old and under who have successfully completed Learn to Play 2 Hockey. More advanced concepts will be covered and players will be put into a structured game format. Tuesdays will be practice for Mite & Mini Mite and their games will be held on Saturdays. For an additional $50/60, players may attend the Thursday night classes for extra ice time. Call 217-753-2800 for more information or to sign up.

Special Olympics: Snowshoe
Love the winter months? Then snowshoe is the sport for you! This program will teach even a beginner the fundamentals of snowshoeing. No previous experience is needed! Learn how to race in snowshoes. You do not have to compete in Special Olympics to be in this program.

Broomball Rentals
Get a team together and come out to the Nelson Center for a game of broomball. You and your team (ages 7+) will be wearing street clothes and sneakers on the ice... you do not even need ice skates! All equipment will be provided. Games are played on Friday and Saturday nights. Call 217-753-2800 to sign up or for more information.

Academy Bullets Swim Club
The Academy Bullets Swim Club is looking for swimmers of all abilities ages 5-18 to join their team. They promote development of strong and well-rounded athletes. Each swimmer will learn the four competitive swimming strokes plus racing turns and starts. "Every Swimmer, Every Day!"

Practices run nightly Monday-Friday and Saturday mornings at Eisenhower pool. For tryout information contact Jeff Skeels at

We have a new online forum called mySidewalk that community members can log onto and weigh in on crucial issues facing the Park District and share your feedback and what you would like to see for the future of recreation and parks in Springfield. Just follow the instructions below and go to We Want Your Feedback!

Carillon Concert
Learn to Skate Academy Snow Plow 1, 2, 3, 4
Learn to Skate Academy Basic 1-4
Jr. Blues Games
Touch a Truck
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