Park News - Scroll down to see more exciting events!

Movie & Music in the Park
Movies and Music in the Park is back for the summer! See the flyer below for all the event dates, times and locations.

Pool Passes on Sale
Splash into Summer Fun! Our outdoor pool passes are on sale now. We have individual, senior and family passes for Nelson Center Pool and Veterans Memorial Pool. There is also a Hopper Pass which will give you access to BOTH pools all summer long! Call 217-753-2800 for more information or to purchase your pool passes. See the flyer below for details.

FREE Days at the Zoo!
Mark your calendars.... You will want to take advantage of our NEW Free Day Schedule at the Henson Robinson Zoo.

Each year we offer free days at our zoo. They have traditionally surrounded events that happen a couple of times each year. But this year we have an exciting NEW Free Day Program! Plan your next outing and take advantage of one of these free days to visit the Zoo.

Third Thursday Free Days
Every third Thursday from June to September will be a free day.

June 15
July 20
August 17
September 21

FREE Saturdays!
Plan a Free Saturday at the Zoo on one of these dates listed below.
Saturday, May 27
Saturday, July 22
Saturday, August 26

Henson Robinson Zoo Day
Friday, June 16

For more information contact the Zoo at 217-585-1821.

GO!217 Workout in the Park
We want to help you get fit and keep the community moving! Join us on Thursday, June 1,  for our FREE Workout in the Park. The workout will start at 6:00pm. Bring a friend, yoga mat (optional) and water. Check out the GO!217 Facebook Page for more information. Add GO!217's Facebook event to your calendar.

56th International Carillon Festival
The International Carillon Festival is lauded as one of the world's most important and prestigious carillon events. This year's event will be from Jule 4-9 (Sunday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday) from 6:30-8:30pm each night. On the final day, June 9, there will be fireworks at dusk. Call 217-546-3853 for more information. This is a FREE event for all ages. Add our Facebook event to your calendar.

Special Recreation Free June Dance

Bring your dancing shoes and let's get ready to boogie at Erin's Pavilion on Friday, June 2 from 7:00-9:00pm! This is a luau dance and it is free for individuals of all ages and abilities. Come dance and hang out with friends. Call 217-585-2941 ext. 2303 for more information. Add our Facebook Event to your calendar.

Central Illinois Amateur Golf Tournament
This is a 36 hole flighted amateur golf tournament for ages 15 and up at Lincoln Greens Golf Course. The tournament begins on June 3 at 9am and runs until June 4. Registration is due by June 1 at noon at Lincoln Greens Golf Course. Download your registration form here. Call 217-786-4111 for more information.

Cops and Bobbers

Join us on Sunday, June 11 from 8:00-11:00am at Erin's Pavilion for our Annual Cops & Bobbers Fishing Clinic. This is a free event for ages 7-12. In order to participate you must contact Office Walcher at 217-741-0988 or email at

FootGolf Family Fun Day

Join us on Sunday, June 11 to try out FootGolf for FREE! For more information call Bergen Golf Course at 217-753-6211. Add our Facebook Event to your calendar.

Frank Coffey Memorial Golf Tournament

This is a two-day junior memorial tournament for ages 8-15. The tournament runs from June 14 through June 15 with tee times from 9:00am to 12:00pm each day. Call 217-698-6049 for more information. Download a registration form to sign up.

Dad Golfs Free

Give your Dad the free gift of golf this Father's Day. On Sunday, June 18, 2017 your dad will golf free with the purchase of a child's green fee.

Sangamon County Fair with Special Recreation

Join us for summer fun with rides and games at the Sangamon County Fair on June 18 from 9:00-11:30am. Drop off and pick up for this program will be at Erin's Pavilion. This NEW program is for ages 7 and up. You must register one week in advance by calling 217-585-2941 ext. 2303.

Father's Day at the Zoo

Join us at the Zoo with your Dad on June 18 from 10:00am to 5:00pm for Father's Day! Dads will get in free with a paid child. Call the zoo at 217-585-1821 for more information. Add our Facebook Event to your calendar.

Central Illinois Daylily Society Plant Show

This is a free, open house style event on June 24 from 12:00-3:00pm in the Washington Park Botanical Garden Exhibit Hall for all ages. There will be beautiful examples if daylilies on display. Call 217-546-4116 for more information. Add our Facebook event to your calendar.

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

Summer Program Guide
Our NEW Summer Program and Facility Guide is here! Make sure you check out our locations to pick up your copy or at any Illinois Times Stand. You can also click the image below and download our free guide right to your computer!

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:

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.

Alley Catz Bowling
This year-long bowling program for the developmentally disabled consists of six, 8-week sessions. Alley Catz Bowling League offers a great opportunity for socializing. All participants must register one week in advance in order to participate in a session or bring $2 each week to King Pin Lanes. Call 217-585-2941 ext. 2303 for more information or to sign up.


The Springfield Park District and the Springfield BMX Club have partnered together to offer a full BMX track and an all inclusive BMX program that provides recreational programs for both kids and adults. The track itself is nestled in upper Riverside Park. This unique BMX course features a dirt track complete with jumps and turns. The BMX Club strives to provide high quality ABA (American Bicycle Association) program, in fact, riders from the Springfield BMX Club have been racing and dominating in the Illinois State Championship Series for years. Go to the Springfield BMX Club Facebook page or the Springfield BMX Club website for more information.

The BMX Track is open from March 1 through October 29. Practices are on Wednesdays (weather permitting) and cost $5. You are required to have helmets, closed toed shoes, long pants and long sleeves. Races on on Sundays from 2:00-4:00pm (Pre-Registration 1:00-2:00pm).

Public Hours:
  • Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 3:00-8:00pm
  • Saturdays from 12:00-5:00pm

Preschool in the Park
Enroll your child in our Preschool in the Park program at Washington Park for the 2017-2018 year! We have 3-5 year old mixed aged classes and you can pick 2, 3 and 5 day options. Call Debbie at 217-546-3970 for more information.

Private Golf Lessons
Private golf lessons with one of the four Springfield Park District PGA Professionals are available thoughout the spring, summer and fall by appointment. Please contact one of our PGA/LPGA Golf Professionals for more information.

Ballroom Dance Classes
Ballroom Dance class offerings and logistics may change. Always check for current information at or call Ron & Paula at 217-553-0446. These classes will run from April 19 until October 4 at the Nelson Center from 6:00-9:30pm on Wednesday nights. Learn Ballroom, Salsa, East Coast Swing, Cha Cha/Mambo, Waltz, and West Coast Swing. To sign up call 217-544-1751 ext. 1012 or 217-553-0446.

Spring and Fall DekHockey Leagues
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 Dekhockey rink was built right next to the Nelson Center. It will be under lights with a scoreboard and a proshop. Jr and Adult Spring and Fall Leagues registration is open! Contact Springfield Dekhockey at 217-741-1164 & 563-949-6492 to get signed up or for more information. You can also register individually or as a team online at or email at Check them out on Facebook @SpringfieldDekhockey.

Special Olympics:Tennis
Learn to hit, volley and serve. Tennis can be great exercise! Become a member of our Special Olympics Tennis team. With singles and doubles. Practices start on April 2 and run through June 1 from 9-10:30am every Sunday. If you are eight or older and love tennis or want to learn more about tennis, than this is for you! The location of our practices has not yet been determined. Please call 217-585-2941 ext. 2303 for more information or to sign up.

Washington Park Botanical Garden Group Tours & Educational Programs
Bring your group for a tour of the garden today! Please call ahead to schedule a time. Tours are available Mondays-Fridays between 9:00am and 3:00pm from April through September. These tours are free and are available for any age group. Call 217-546-4116 to schedule a tour.

Girls Golf
LPGA-USGA Girls Golf is a developmental junior golf program for girls ages 7-17 the program was formed to create a network for girls to learn to play golf, build friendships and sample competition in a positive and supportive learning environment. Girls work with PGA instructors to learn the basics in rules, etiquette, full swing, short game and putting.

Space is limited to the first 32 participants.

Registration forms are due by May 31 (or before all slots are full).

Junior Golf Camps
The Springfield Park District Junior Golf Camps consist of 9 hours of instruction by PGA Professionals that will cover all facets of golf including etiquette, Rules of Golf, putting, chipping and full swing instruction. Kids will also have an opportunity to play in a scramble format.

Pasfield Gold Course
Monday, April 24 at 6:30am
$90/per camp per child (limit one camp per child)

The first three days of camp will be at Lincoln Greens Golf Course and the last day will be at Bergen Golf Course:
CAMP #1: June 5-8 - FULL
CAMP #2: June 19-22 from 9am - 12pm each day
CAMP #3: July 24-27 from 9am - 12pm each day

Call 217-698-6049 for more information or go to the Camp Registration Page for more information.

Special Olympics: Softball
Catching, batting, throwing! Softball is a team sport and you must have prior experience in order to play. We invite you to join the program starting April 29 with the district competition in July. Practices are on Saturday mornings from 9-10:30am at Lincoln Park Softball Field. Call 217-585-2941 ext. 2303 for more information or to sign up.

Developmental Rat Hockey
This drop-in hockey program is designed for parents and their children to enjoy the ice together while developing hockey skills. The program runs from April 29 through August 30 on Saturdays from 5:15-6:15pm and Sundays from 4:15-5:15pm at the Nelson Center. Call 217-753-2800 for more information.

Private Tennis Lessons
These lessons are for all ages and are for people looking for one-on-one tennis instruction. Private Tennis Lessons are available throughout the season based on your availability. Please call the tennis pro shop at 217-546-4103 to schedule a private lesson.

Women's Tennis Drills
Through repetition the student will improve her skills for better enjoyment of the sport. At the end of the drill, the student will participate in games designed for the improvement of their game. To schedule a day and time call Velasco Tennis Center at 217-546-4103.

Aqua Aerobics
Aqua Aerobics classes are designed to improve cardiovascular conditioning, stretching and muscle toning. May is our last month of classes. Aqua Aerobics class will run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:15-10:15am each day. Call 217-525-8847 to sign up or for more information.

These pick-up style hockey games are organized by the participants. Games run on specific weekdays from May 1 through September 8 at the Nelson Center. Call 217-753-2800 for more information.

Bike and Hike Days
Each season from May through September on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4-6pm (modified loop) and on Sundays from 8am-3pm take part in Washington Park Bike & Hike Days. Check out the loop maps. You can now enjoy time during the week! Bike and Hike days are where we give park goers an opportunity for safe recreation by minimizing vehicular traffic.

Carillon and Tower Tours
Go on a tour of the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon and its tower. Make sure you call ahead to schedule a day and time for your tour at 217-546-3853. Tours will be available from May 3 through September 27 on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Save the Date for Pickleball
Pickleball is every Wednesday at 5:30pm at Iles Park! Come learn the basics of Pickleball from members of the Springfield Pickleball Association. We provide the paddles and balls, all you have to do is show up in athletic wear and have fun!

Bingo Night
Join us on Wednesdays for FREE Bingo! We play Bingo, cover all and four corners. Bingo Night will run from May 3 through August 30 from 5:30-6:30pm at Erin's Pavilion in Southwind Park. Call 217-585-2941 ext. 2303.

Carillon Concerts
Carlo van Ulft, the Park District's carillonist, plays a wide variety of classical, folk and popular music year-round. Enjoy the beauty of Washington Park and the adjacent Botanical Center with the unique accompaniment of carillon music. Free concerts in the summer are played on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 & 6:30pm and on Wednesdays at 6:30pm. Call 217-546-3853 for more information.

Summer Adult Learn to Play Hockey
Drop in for our Summer Adult Learn to Play Hockey program! This is for beginners to learn the basics of hockey. The program runs from May 3 through August 30 on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Call 217-753-2800 for more information.

Diving Lessons
This program provides the youth of Springfield & Sangamon County an opportunity to learn and perfect the sport of one-meter springboard diving. Lessons are available to all levels of participants; from Beginner to Competitive (participants must pass a swimming skills test prior to participating in this program). Sessions run monthly from May 2 - August 13. Call 217-525-8847 to sign up or for more information.

Cooking Class
Learn the basics of cooking in this Thursday night class at Erin's Pavilion! This class will teach the basics of independent cooking with a focus on learning to use s-mall kitchen appliances, cooking hygiene and safety, nutrition, and healthy eating. Call 217-585-2941 ext. 2303 to sign up or for more information.

Fencing classes will take place on Sunday afternoons at the Nelson Center. Intermediate classes run from 1:00-2:00pm and beginner classes run from 2:15-3:15pm. These classes are for ages 8 and up. See the flyer below for more information or call 217-544-1751 ext. 1012.

Tennis Clinics
No matter what skill level you are with tennis, these are the clinics for you! We have youth clinics for ages 7-18 and adult clinics for ages 15 and up. Clinics begin on May 22 and run through July 28. Each session is 2 weeks long so chose the session(s) and time(s) that best fit your schedule. Call 217-546-4103 for more information or to sign up.

Advanced Player Tennis Camp
This camp is designed to prepare students to compete at a higher level. Conditioning will be taught through consistency drills and education on the impact of proper nutrition. Choose which session(s) best fit your schedule. Sessions run Mondays though Fridays from May 22 through July 28 from 10:30am - 12:30pm. Call the Velasco Tennis Center at 217-546-4103 for more information or to sign up.

Mini Tennis Camp
This camp will prepare students to compete at a higher level. Conditioning will be taught through consistency drills and education on the impact of proper nutrition. Mini Tennis Camp will run Mondays though Thursdays from May 22 though June 1 from 1:00 - 2:00pm. This camp is for ages 7-20. For more information or to sign up contact Velasco Tennis Center at 217-546-4103.

Pee Wee Tennis Lessons
These lessons offer a great way to introduce children ages 3-7 to the sport of tennis through fun and interactive games and drills geared toward children. Pee Wee Tennis Lessons run Mondays through Fridays from May 22 though June 2 from 5:30-6:30pm at the Velasco Tennis Center. Call 217-546-4103 to sign up or for more information.

Manny's Tennis Practice
Local tennis pro Manny Velasco will educate students on specific parts of the sport, with individual attention placed on strategies, basic strokes and conditioning. Basic equipment repair is included in the class. Try-outs will be held for this class. This is a FREE class that will run Mondays through Thursdays from May 22 through June 1 at Velasco Tennis Center. Call 217-546-4103 for more information.

Junior Zoo Keepers
This eight-class course challenges teens ages 13-17 with hands-on activities that allow them to learn about how Henson Robinson Zoo makes conservation, education, animal care and animal enrichment our top priorities. Junior Zoo Keepers will not only expand their knowledge about animals and conservation issues, but also acquire actual handling experience with some of our education use animals. Our activities will also help to develop students' collaborative work skills and oral communication skills. Pre-registration is required. Please pick either the Tuesday or Saturday session when registering. Call 217-585-1821 for more information or to register.

Zooper Edventures Classes
Hop on over to the zoo to discover more about animals and their ecosystems. Kids ages 5-6 will have a wild time in the classroom with fun animal games and crafts! Explore the zoo and observe some beastly behavior! Advanced registration is required. Call 217-585-1821 for more information or to register.

Master's Swim Practice
Have advanced swimming skills and want to practice with others? Join us on Sundays at Nelson Center Pool from 8-9:30am from May 28 through September 3. Call 217-753-2800 for more information.

The Funshop program offers a unique education based environment where parents and children can interact together. Parent orientation is on May 30 (for returning parents) and May 31 (for new parents). Classes run from June 5 through July 14 for ages 16 months up to 5 years old. Choose which day and time best fit your schedule. Call 217-753-6234 or email to register your child. Check out the Funshop blog!

Zoo Camp
Does your child love learning about animals? Then join the flock for an adventure at the Henson Robinson Zoo! Games, crafts, zoo hikes and other fun learning activities help us to explore the animal world on zoo grounds and our air-conditioned classroom. Classes available ate full-day or half-day and are for ages 7-9 or 10-12. Call the zoo at 217-585-1821 for more information or to sign up.

Slders Baseball Games with Special Recreation
Summer time and baseball games go together so come on out and cheer on the Springfield Sliders Baseball team! Call 217-585-2941 ext. 2303 to reserve your spot (you must call at least one week in advance).

Springfield Sliders Home Schedule
Cheer on the Springfield Sliders this summer. Check out their home schedule below and mark your calendars. All games are played at Robin Roberts Stadium at 1415 N. Grand Ave. East, Springfield, IL 62702. Call 217-679-3551 for more information or go to their website.

Summer Skate School
Summer Skate School is offered throughout the summer for figure skaters at the Nelson Center. Skaters will be able to schedule private lessons with instructors. There will also be spins, jumps and stroking classes held during designated times. A schedule will be distributed closer to summer. Skate School will begin on Monday, June 5 and run until Friday, August 11. See the flyer for more information or call 217-753-2800.

Nelson Center Summer Camp
How many summer camps have you heard of that teach your children how to swim and ice skate?! At the Nelson Center's summer camp, we do just that! Starting on June 5 and running until August 11 from Mondays through Fridays. From 7:00am until 5:30pm your child will be enjoying arts & crafts, field trips, ice skating, swimming, sports, games, nature and so much more! You will not hear "I am so bored" at all with our summer camp. Also, if you sign up between now and May 15 we will give you $10 off each week registered! Call 217-753-2800 for more information or to sign up.

Special Needs Summer Day Camp
Join Special Recreation for Camp L.E.A.P. this summer! Camp begins on Monday, June 5 and runs until Friday, August 18. Camp is Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 5:30pm at Nelson Center for ages 4 to 12 and Erin's Pavilion for ages 13 to 25. This camp is for individuals with and without disabilities. There will be scheduled activities for each day. Make sure your child packs a lunch with a drink each day (we will provide an afternoon snack). Call 217-585-2941 ext. 2303 for more information or to sign up.

I Heart Bugs
Does your child like flying, crawling or buzzing bugs? So do we, your child will explore the fascinating world of bugs though music, art and stories. Come bug out with us! Classes run from June 5 through July 10 on Mondays from either 9:00-10:00am or 10:30-11:30am. Call 217-546-3970 to register your child.

Urban Fishing Program
This FREE fishing program will teach children ages 3-12 to fish. The program will run Monday through Friday from 9:00-11:30am or 1:00-3:30pm from June 5 through August 4. It will focus on safety, fishing techniques and aquatic ecology. All equipment will be provided. An adult must stay with the child. Call 217-546-3970 to sign up.

Preschool Summer Fun Camp

Registration is open! Your child will participate in art projects, music & movement, snacks and outdoor play. Camp runs from June 6 through July 13 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You have the option of singing your child up for the 9-11:30am classes or the 12:45-3:15pm classes. Call 217-546-3970 to sign your little one up.

Cooking Summer Style

This class is double the fun! Students will participate in hands-on cooking experiments by usung summer as a theme. The children will measure and mix their own yummy snacks. We will also make a fun art project during each class. Classes start on June 7 and run until July 12 (Wednesdays). Sign up for either 9:00-10:00am or 10:30-11:30am. This is a child-only class. Call 217-546-3970 to sign your little one up!

I Dig Dinosaurs

In this class your child will learn about dinosaurs that long ago walked the earth through songs, stories and art projects. The children will make a volcano and dig for bones! This is a child-only class for ages 3-5 that runs from June 9 through July 17 on Fridays from either 9:00-10:00am or 10:30-11:30am at the Washington Park Pavilion Preschool. Call 217-546-3970 to sign up.

Summer Swim Lessons

Summer is here and the outdoor pools are ready for swim lessons! Sign yourself or your child up for summer swim lessons. Lessons are available at all three of our pools: Nelson Center, Eisenhower and Veterans Memorial. Call 217-753-2800 for Nelson Center lessons, 217-525-8847 for Eisenhower Pool lessons and 217-753-3030 for Veterans Memorial Pool lessons.

3 on 3 Hockey

The Springfield Park Distirct and the Springfield Youth Hockey Association are co-sponsoring the Summer 3 on 3 Hockey program. This program is played with three skaters and one goalie for each team on the ice. Players will be evaluated and teams will be determined the first night. Teams will consist of seven to ten players, depending upon registration numbers. Join us at the Neslon Center from June 12 through August 12 for 3-On-3 Hockey. Call 217-753-2800 to sign up.

Special Recreation at the Muni

Local outdoor theater at its finest. Join us for all the fun plays happening this summer at the Muni Theater. We will meet at the Muni. Call 217-585-2941 ext. 2303 to sign up. See the flyer below for shows and details.

British Soccer Camp

Challenger Sports’ British Soccer Camps provide young players of all abilities with the rare opportunity to receive high-level soccer coaching from a team of international expert’s right in the heart of their own community. Campers will be exposed to individual foot skills, technical drills, tactical practices, small-sided games and scrimmages. Soccer skills are coached within a framework of character development based on respect, responsibility, integrity, leadership and sportsmanship. We offer a cultural education too! Our ever-popular Camp World Cup Tournament allows us to introduce players to the geography, traditions and culture of other great soccer-playing countries. Simply put; amazing coaches, awesome accents and cultural ingredients combine for a one-of-a-kind camp experience. Participants will receive a free T-shirt, soccer ball, giant fold-out poster and a personal player evaluation. Partial scholarships are available for families willing to host the British coaches.

Camp runs from June 19 through the 23 at Lincoln Park. Times vary based on your child's age (see flyer below for details). Call 217-544-1751 ext. 1012 for more information. Click here to sign up online.

Henson Robinson Zoo Penguin Holding Building
Please see the following Bid Notice and Specifications for the Henson Robinson Zoo Penguin Holding Building Project.  The owner will receive sealed bids until 2pm Central Time on Monday, May 15, 2017.  Bids are to be delivered to the Board Room of the Springfield Park District Offices at Bunn Park.

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!

Junior Zoo Keepers Tuesday Session
Sliders Baseball Games
Zoo Camp 3 Day Raptors: Sky Hunters
Beginner Diving Lessons
Intermediate 1 Diving Lessons
Join Our Mailing List
For Email Newsletters you can trust