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Springfield Park District Annual FUN Events

Find great events in our parks and facilities all year round!  These are open to the community, sometimes free, or just a small program fee. Some of our events take place annually and are the tried and true traditions of so many Springfield and surrounding community families, like our Movies in the Park, Zoolie Ghoulie and our Carillon Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular! 





Bike & Hike Days at Washington Park

Bike & Hike Days are an annual summer treasure! From April through September, park district staff barricade the main entrances to block the park and minimize vehicular traffic so that community members and families can enjoy walking, biking and hiking safely throughout this beloved park.

Art Spectacular at Rees Carillon

Art Spectacular is a multi-experience festival of art, music and children's programs. Founded by Rees Carillon Society Board Member, Barb Walker, Art Spectacular is a professionally juried fine art and craft show featuring collector and museum-quality works of art and crafts. Over two days, Art Spectacular attracts approximately 5,500 to 6,500 attendees. The 50 participating artists are among the region's and nation's most recognized artists and artisans. This event also features hourly carillon and other performances by local musicians along with features patron bucks, food vendors, gift basket raffle, silent auction, kid art sale and a Kids Place with a small admittance fee.

Art Spectacular


Ice Rink Public Skate at Nelson Center

Public Skate is open to the public and all ages Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Patrons enjoy music being played while skating on the ice.  Patrons must abide by all Nelson Center skating rules. Children 10 years of age and under must be accompanied
and supervised by a responsible adult, age 16 or older. Please call ahead to confirm public skate times as it may be canceled due to tournaments, games, and/or special events: 217-753-2800.

Check the Skate Schedule.

Ice Hockey


The Springfield Park District partners with multiple user groups to provide hockey and ice skating programs and services.  Each fall, the Springfield Junior Blues returns to the ice at the Nelson Center Ice Rink in Lincoln Park.  The Springfield Jr. Blues have more than 30 seasons in the North American Hockey League (NAHL).  


Classroom of the Game

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Carve for the Carillon at Washington Park

The annual Carve for the Carillon is held the second weekend of October each year.  Come help us carve pumpkins at the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon & Washington Park Botanical Garden grounds for the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular!  This is a free event, rain or shine.  While pumpkins last.  Bring your own carving tools.  This event brings the entire community together to carve 2000+ pumpkins for the following weekend's event "Spectacular."


Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular at Washington Park

Over 2000 twinkling lights glow during the magical Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular! The annual event was inspired by the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular in Providence, Rhode Island, which featured the talents of professional artists. The Springfield Park District’s annual Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular differs in that everyone in the community is invited to participate in carving their own pumpkin during Carve for the Carillon. All 2,000 pumpkins carved at Carve for the Carillon will be illuminated at Jack O-Lantern Spectacular and displayed around the Carillon and Washington Park Botanical Garden grounds. This is a family friendly event for all ages. Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular will feature special Carillon music, lighting, sound effects, and food vendors. We are seeking volunteers and sponsors.

Zoolie Ghoulie at Henson Robinson Zoo

The Springfield Park District and Capitol Radio Group present the annual Zoolie Ghoulie at the Henson Robinson Zoo, held the Friday and Saturday before Halloween.

Make sure to grab your little ghouls and goblins and have a WILD time wandering through the zoo's spectacularly spooky scenes at this safe trick or treating event each year! Regular Zoo Admission applies, and only $5 for costumed guests and young trick-or-treaters.

Safe trick or treating inside Henson Robinson Zoo.  217.585.1821


Monster Mash Ad

Special Recreation Dances at Erin's Pavilion

Join Special Recreation for a night filled with FUN and friends at Erin’s Pavilion. The room will be decorated based on the monthly theme. Hang out and listen to music from a live DJ and boogie all night! Enjoy popcorn, lemonade, and water. The program is for individuals with and without disabilities.  Our biggest Dance of the season is always the October "Monster Mash Halloween Dance" which is held annually the last Friday in October at 7pm at Erin's Pavilion.  This is an Inclusive Program and free for all participants who attend!



Winter Camp at Erin's Pavilion

Winter Camp, located at Erin’s Pavilion, is all inclusive with safe and fun activities for a wide range of individuals. Each patron will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities; Arts-N-Crafts, Bingo, Card Games, Movies, Sports and much more!  Each child should bring a sack lunch and snacks in a disposable container. Please no peanuts/nut products. Limited spots are available! MIN/MAX: 10/20.

For more information: 217-585-2942 ext.2303 or
email: ahawkins@springfieldparks.org

Register online: Activity #370240

Annual Winter Holiday Floral Show at Washington Park Botanical Garden 

 Enjoy 500+ poinsettias nestled among the decorated fresh evergreens and lush tropical foliage displayed in the Botanical Garden Exhibit Hall. 

This backdrop makes wonderful photo opportunities for couples, families, and gathering all those who have returned home for the holiday season.

The Winter Holiday Floral Show is on display for the entire month of December.  The event is free for all ages. Donations are welcomed.  Open Monday - Friday: noon - 4pm.  Saturday & Sunday: noon - 5pm.

Winter Holiday Floral Show


Annual Caroling at Rees Carillon 

For more than 40 years, the Springfield Park District, Rees Carillon Society, the Carillon Belles have partnered to bring the blessed event to Washington Park, free to the public.  Join us as we celebrate the season around a roaring bonfire singing holiday carols to the bells of the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon.  Free Admission and Refreshments ... and maybe evening a greeting from old St. Nick!

Annual Zoo Lights at Henson Robinson Zoo

Henson Robinson Zoo (HRZ) Lights - Mark Your Calendars from Thanksgiving Weekend through the end of December.  Thousands of twinkling lights adorn the Zoo each season and turns the grounds into a magical wonderland!  Follow on the Zoo's Facebook page for all of the Special Event dates to be announced during each week of Zoo Lights.


Zoo Lights Schedule

Santa House

Keep your eyes out!  Santa is coming to Park District Town!! 

A local tradition for more than 40 years.


Bike & Hike Days at Washington Park

Bike & Hike Days are an annual summer treasure! From April through September, park district staff barricade the main entrances to block the park and minimize vehicular traffic so that community members and families can enjoy walking, biking, and hiking safely throughout this beloved park. 

Bike and Hike Image

Great Lawn Kite Festival Flyer

Great Lawn Kite Festival in Southwind Park

Come out to Southwind Park for a wholesome family friendly experience you will remember for years to come. 

Professional kite flyers & dealers from around the nation will travel to Southwind Park and demonstrate the truest form of kite flying!

Springfield Lucky Horseshoes Schedule

Summer FUN for the whole family! 

Springfield Lucky Horseshoes 2024 Schedule
Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon

Carillon Summer Concerts

Carlo van Ulft, Springfield Park District’s Master Carillonist, and local assistant carillonists, play a variety of music from original carillon compositions to arrangements of popular classics and pop music. Enjoy the beauty of Washington Park and the adjacent Botanical Center with the unique accompaniment of relaxing carillon music.

May through September
Wed:  6:30 PM
Thu:   6:30 PM
Fri:     6:30 PM
Sat:    2:00 & 6:30 PM
Sun:   2:00 & 6:30 PM

International Carillon Festival 

The International Carillon Festival, first held in 1962, is lauded as one of the world’s most important and prestigious carillon events. The Festival has earned an unsurpassed tradition of presenting the world’s finest carillonists/carillonneurs. During the past five decades, the Festival has featured carillonists from: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, and the United States.

The Festival is presented by the Springfield Park District with the support of The Rees Carillon Society and The Carillon Belles. Individuals and families are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner as well as lawn chairs and blankets. Several monitors will be positioned around the tower to view the playing keyboard and carillonists during the performance. All concerts are about 45 minutes in duration.

As always this is a free event.

International Carillon Festival