Park News

Veteran's Memorial Pool to close early for 2018 Season
Important Announcement:  due to a mechanical failure in the pool pump operating system, we have had to shut down Veteran's Memorial Pool, located at 2700 E. Ely in Springfield.  Please see the details below.  Call the Nelson Center with any questions at 217-753-2800.

Park and Chill
Park and Chill at the Washington Park Concession Stand is NOW OPEN! They are serving handmade Italian ice, ice cream sundaes, and other frozen treats. Hours are from Tuesday through Sunday from 12:00pm to 8:00pm. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

2018 Movie & Music Series Schedule
It's that time of year again!  Find your fun, find your smile when you join the Springfield Park District all summer long at any one of our FREE Movie & Music events in the parks.  Check out the schedule below for full details!  And we want to give a SHOUT OUT to our most generous sponsors.  Without these organizations and local businesses, we would not be able to put on this summer series for the community for FREE!

Washington Park Historic Photography Display
Come view photographs of Washington Park dating back to its creation in 1902. The exhibit chronicles the changes that have taken place over the years. Call 217-546-4116 for more information. Add our Facebook event to your calendar.

Special Recreation at Dock Dogs
The Springfield Park District Special Recreation Department will be attending this dog jumping competition on Friday, August 24 from 10:00am to 12:00pm. Kids (ages 8+) and adults both will be wowed by the skills these dogs have. Plan accordingly if you want to see up close as you might get a little wet in the splash zone. Must pre-register by calling 217-503-4576.

Special Recreation at The Enchanted Bookshop
Springfield Park District Special Recreation is going to local theater to enjoy some performances by local actors. Any admissions are included in the fee. On September 1st they are going to see "The Enchanted Bookshop" at The Hoogland Center for the Arts (420 S. 6th Street, Springfield, IL) for the 2:00pm showing (which will be a sensory friendly performance). Call 217-503-4576 for more information or to sign up.

Special Recreation Holiday Camp: Labor Day
This day camp is offered on most Federal Holidays. Join us on Labor Day for a day full of fun activities! This camp is available for ages 5-22. You do not have to have a disability to attend. An afternoon snack will be provided. The day will include recreational activities as well as arts and crafts projects. Bring a cold sack lunch with a drink each day. No candy or soda please! Call 217-503-4576 for more information or to sign up.

August Calendar
Here is a fun calendar that you can print off and stick on your fridge! Click the image below for a print-friendly version.

Summer Program and Facility Guide
Our Summer Guide is here! Make sure to pick up a copy on Illinois Times stands around Springfield. This is a MUST HAVE resource for everything Springfield Park District! Click the image below to download a pdf 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:

BMX Track

The Springfield Park District and Springfield BMX have partnered together to offer a full BMX track and an all-inclusive BMX program that provides recreational programs for children and adults. The track itself is nestled in upper Riverside Park. This unique BMX course features a dirt track complete with jumps and asphalt turns. Springfield BMX strives to provide a high quality ABA (American Bicycle Association) program, in fact, riders from Springfield BMX compete in top level competition such as: Worlds, Nationals, and State Championships. Winning titles in all three and have for years! Check out their Facebook page: Springfield BMX

Open from March 2018 - November 2018
Practices: Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30pm - $5 fee 
Races: Sundays (registration 1-2pm) - $12 fee

USABMX Membership: 
Cost: $60 
Can be purchased at the track during operating hours. 
Contact: Jeremy Barlow Track Operator at 217-931-2680, email or Eve Barlow Track Operator 217-685-9193

Track Hours:
Closed Jan-Feb 
Reopens March 2018 
The BMX Club operates the track at Riverside Park seven days per week

Public Hours:
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays - Dawn to Dusk 
Wednesdays - 5:30-7:30pm

Riders are required to have helmets, closed toe shoes, long pants and it is recommended to have long sleeves.

Have fun and take part in this new, competitive, recreational, exciting, and fast paced sport! Dekhockey is a form of off-ice hockey played on foot, using a ball, in a rink with a sport court surface. Making it an accessible sport since it requires no skill to ice skate. Dekhockey is a non-contact sport, allowing talent and coordination to become dominant factors. Running, stick handling, passing, and shooting are the basics needed for this fast and exciting game. A sport in which the whole family can participate!

We have leagues that run from April-October. To register online individually or as a team go to or email for a registration form. If you have any questions please call 217-741-1164. Follow Springfield DekHockey on Facebook.

Private Golf Lessons
Private golf lessons with one of the four Springfield Park District PGA Professionals are available from April 1 through November 1 by appointment for all ages. Please contact one of our PGA/LPGA Golf Professionals for more information:

  • Paul Loutzenhiser, PGA Professional - Bunn G.C. 217-522-2633
  • Jim Sutzer, PGA Professional - Lincoln Greens G.C. 217-786-4111
  • Linda Sherwood, LPGA Apprentice - Bergen G.C. 217-753-6211
  • Lance Flury, PGA Professional – Pasfield G.C. 217-698-6049

Washington Park Botanical Garden Group Tours
Bring your group for a tour of the Garden today! Available from April 30 through August 31 for all age groups. Please call ahead to schedule a time, 217-546-4116.

Bike and Hike Days
Each season from May through September plan to take part in Washington Park Bike & Hike Days! You can now enjoy time during the week. We give park goers an opportunity for safe recreation by minimizing vehicular traffic. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4:00pm to 6:00pm enjoy our modified loop and Sundays enjoy our full loop from 8:00am to 3:00pm.

Private Tennis Lessons
For students who are looking for one-on-one tennis instruction. Private Tennis Lessons are available throughout the season based on your availability. Minimum 4 sessions; lesson times can be broken up in 30 minute segments. Please call the tennis pro shop to schedule a private lesson.  Lessons are available from May 1 through September 27 from Monday through Friday at the Velasco Tennis Center. Call 217-546-4103 to schedule a lesson.

Manny's Drills
Through repetition the student will improve her skills for better enjoyment of the sport. At the end of drill, the student will participate in games designed for the improvement of their game. This is for new or returning players. Drills begin on May 1 and run through September 27 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm on Mondays through Thursdays. Contact the Velasco Tennis Center at 217-546-4103 for more information or to sign up.

These hockey games are pick-up style hockey games organized by the participants. Full Gear is Required. Fee is per game. Games are played at the Nelson Center. See flyer below for dates, days and times. Call 217-753-2800 for more information.

Disc Golf
Disc golf is available for free and for all ages at Lincoln and Douglas Parks. Lincoln Park has two 18-hole courses and Douglas Park has one 18-hole course. The courses are both open from Dawn until Dusk.

Centennial Skate Park
This skate park was designed by local skating enthusiasts. It features an array of trick-orientated objects like advanced bowls, handrails, trick boxes, vert ramps and banked ramps. Open to all ages, both skaters and spectators will enjoy this park. Park is open from Dawn until Dusk.

Multi-Use Trails
The Springfield Park District has five multi-use trails available to the public. Trails are open from Dawn until Dusk and are a great way to get outside and exercise. Many trails are shaded so you don't have to worry about the sun beating down on you on hot summer days.

Dog Runs
The Springfield Park District offers two free dog runs for the public. These are the only areas within the Springfield Park District facilities where you are allowed to take your furry friend off-leash. In Stuart Park, there are two designated fenced-in areas (one for big dogs and one for little dogs) where your dog will be able to run around off leash. In Riverside Park, there is a lower section of the park that is not fenced in where your dog is allowed to run off-leash. These dog runs are open from Dawn until Dusk.

Tennis Season Passes
Season passes for tennis are available for purchase. Just head over to the Velasco Tennis Center or call 217-546-4103 to get your pass today!

Carillon Weekly Concerts
The Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon is one of the largest and finest of the worlds carillons. Located in historic Washington Park, the Rees Carillon is the site of numerous free public concerts, exciting community events and the world-renowned International Carillon Festival held each June. Carlo van Ulft, the Park Districts 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. Go to for more information on the carillon or call 217-546-3853.

Try Out Pickleball
Pickleball has started! Join us and come learn the basics of pickle ball from members of the Springfield Pickleball Association. Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports of today. We will provide paddles and balls, all you have to do is show up and have fun! Connect with the Springfield Pickleball Club.

Bingo Night
Join us for a night of fun and play BINGO! We play cover all, four corners, and regular Bingo. Join us for FREE on Wednesdays at Erin's Pavilion from 5:30pm to 6:30pm from May 2 through August 29. All participants must register one week in advance! Call 217-585-2941 ext. 2303 for more information or to sign up.

Carillon Tower Tours
The Rees Carillon is a 12-story tower with observation decks, offers spectacular views of Washington Park and Springfield from the city’s highest point of elevation. The beautiful 67 cast bronze bells range in weight from 22 pounds to 7.5 tons! Enjoy an insider view of this extraordinary architectural landmark and rare musical instrument. Allow 30 minutes. Tours cannot be purchased in advance. Tours are available on a first-come first-serve basis. Large groups please contact us in advance. Last tour at 5:30 PM. Call 217-546-3853 for more information or to schedule a tour.

This is a pick-up style hockey game that is organized by the participants at the Nelson Center. You MUST have full hockey gear, we do not provide hockey gear. Fee is per game. Games start on May 6 and run every Sunday until August 26 from 8:00pm to 9:30pm. Call 217-753-2800 for more information.

Masters Swim Practice
This is a practice written, run and organized by participating master swimmers. This program is offered for advanced swimmers. Participant must have an up-to-date year lap pass or purchase a day pass. Call 217-753-2800 for more information.

Tennis Camp
This camp is designed to prepare students to compete at a higher level including competitive high school teams, summer USTA tournament and/or local, regional or national tournaments. Conditioning will be taught through consistency drills and education on the impact of proper nutrition. Additionally, the code of behavior during practice and competitions will be taught. Choose which session(s) best fit your schedule. Camp will run from May 29 through August 30 at the Velasco Tennis Canter in Washington Park. Camp will be from Monday through Friday from either 9:00am to 10:30am or from 4:00pm to 5:30pm. This camp is for ages 7-18. Call 217-546-4103 for more information or to sign up.

Ballroom Dance Program
Learn how to ballroom dance with Ron and Paula at the Nelson Center on Wednesday nights. Call 217-553-0446 for more information or to sign up.

Special Olympics Flag Football
Flag football is a fun and active game with great amount of exercise and running. Learn the basics and rules of flag football. Call 217-585-2941 ext. 2303 for more information or to sign up.

Special Olympics Bocce
A great one-on-one event or a doubles effort. Learn the game of Bocce, where throwing a little white ball, and then trying to get as close to it as possible with a larger ball while standing 60 feet away, can be as exciting as any sport offered. Call 217-585-2941 ext. 2303 for more information or to sign up.

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 private platform tennis lessons. Private platform tennis lessons are available until the first snowfall based on your availability. Call the pro shop to schedule a private lesson at 217-546-4103.

Pee Wees Tennis Lessons
These lessons offer a great way to introduce children (ages 3-7) to the sport of tennis through fun interactive games and drills geared toward children. Lessons start on August 13 and run through September 21 between 5:30pm and 6:30pm Mondays through Fridays at the Velasco Tennis Center. Call 217-546-4103 for more information or to sign up.

After School Recreation-PowerPlay! Beyond School
Our After School program focuses on fitness, nutrition, and health. We will provide a snack, recreational activities as well as time to do homework. NEW EXTENDED HOURS OPEN UNTIL 6PM. Call 217-503-4576 for more information or to sign up. Chatham School District students will be located at Erin's Pavilion and District 186 Student will be located at the Nelson Center.

Zooper Edventures
Take a walk on the wild side and have a Zooper Edventure! These classes are filled with theme-related games, crafts, a zoo discovery walk, and other fun learning activities! Advanced Registration is Required. Call 217-585-1821 for more information or to sign up.

Zoo Tot Classes
Zoo Tots classes are a chance for you and your preschooler (ages 2-5) to share a special, fun, and educational experience at the Henson Robinson Zoo together. Each class includes stories, animal visits, cool crafts, games, and more! Advanced registration is required. For any class theme, please choose either the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Saturday (if available) session. Call 217-585-1821 for more information or to sign up. These classes fill up fast!!

Alley Catz Bowling
This is a year long bowling program that meets on Tuesdays at King Pin Lanes from 3:15pm to 4:45pm. Come each week or just one day! Available for ages 8 and up. Call 217-503-4576 for more information.

Diving Lessons
This diving program will provide the youth of Springfield & Sangamon County an opportunity to learn, perfect and compete in the sport of one-meter springboard diving. Our instructors, Elisha Herr & Matt Woodson will be coaching all levels of participants ages 6-21. (Participants must pass a swimming skills test prior to participating in this program. Level placement is determined by Coach Elisha – Call 217-525-8847 for more information or to sign up. Click on the image below for easier reading.

Girls on the Run
Girls on the Run is a character development program for girls grades 3-5. The program combines life skill lessons with training for a 5k run in a creative, interactive and incredibly FUN way! The program emphasizes independent thinking, building self-awareness and confidence, making healthy choices, supportive friendships and having fun while being active. Lessons begin on September 4th and run every Tuesday and Thursday through November 8th. Call 217-726-9808 or go to 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 throughout the fall at Eisenhower Pool. Call 217-525-8847 for more information or to sign up.

Wednesday Doubles
Want to get together with a friend and play on a doubles league? We have the perfect night planned for pairs! Join us on Wednesdays at 5:00pm and 7:00pm from September 5 through November 28. All you need is a tennis season pass! Call 217-546-4103 for more information.

Cooking Class
Learn the basics of cooking! Some food will be prepared each week but not a full meal. This is a monthly program located at Erin's Pavilion on Thursday evenings from 6:00pm to 7:00pm. Call 217-503-4576 for more information or to sign up.

Senior Olympics
The Illinois Senior Olympics based in Springfield began in 1977, making it the oldest State Games in the United States. Springfield’s first Senior Olympics hosted 122 athletes. Today, the Illinois games hosts up to 1,400 male and female athletes with an age range of 50 years and better. The Illinois Senior Olympics include more than 20 events and 3 team sports. Springfield is the only qualifying site in Illinois for athletes that would like to participate in the National Senior Games.

The Illinois Senior Olympics is proud to promote healthy lifestyles for seniors. The games are an excellent way for seniors to be fit and active and improve their physical and mental condition. This is a great opportunity to socialize with other athletes, enjoy some friendly competition and engage the entire family in health and wellness.

Registration is already in progress and the deadline to apply is September 6, 2018. The cost to register is $40 ($45 if registering after August 9, 2018) and allows the participant to enter 6 events (additional events are $3 each). Register online at or call 217-528-4035 ext. 118 for registration forms and brochures.