Park News

Give the Gift of Experiences
Give the Gift of Experiences this Holiday Season! 

Winterland Holiday Zoo Lights
Take the walking experience and behold the splendor of hundreds of colorful twinkling lights as you stroll through the pathways around the Zoo. Children will love the zany 3D glasses (for purchase) that make the view of the colorful lights come to life with reindeer and candy cane shapes! Join us from November 30 through December 30 (see flyer for exact dates and times) at the Henson Robinson Zoo this season. Call 217-585-1821 for more information. Add our Facebook event to your calendar.

Santa House
The Springfield Tradition continues in 2018 when Santa will arrive at his home away from the North Pole at Robin Roberts Stadium. His house opens on December 8th and will be open everyday until December 22. Mondays through Fridays from 5:00pm to 8:00pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00am to 6:00pm. Admission is FREE and photos with Santa are $5 (no charge if photos are taken with your own camera). Add our Facebook event to your calendar.

Winter Camp
Our winter day camp is one day at a time feel free to sign up everyday or just one. Camp will be at the Nelson Center from 7:30am to 5:30pm. We will be open Christmas Eve and New Years Eve from 7:30am-3:00pm. We will be closed all day on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Call 217-503-4576 for more information or to sign up.

Public Skate
Come out to the Nelson Center and skate! Check out the December calendar to see available dates and times. Call 217-753-2800 to check availability.

45th Annual Winter Holiday Floral Show
The Conservatory will be filled with poinsettias amongst the tropical collection. Poinsettias, tropical plants, and evergreens will overflow the Washington Park Botanical Exhibit Hall for a stunning display from December 1-20. Call 217-546-4116 for more information. Add our Facebook event to your calendar.

Holiday Carriage Rides
The Park District is excited to announce that the Vintage Carriage Rides are back for December this year! Plan to bring your family or loved ones out for a charming horse-drawn carriage ride thru Washington Park which will be decorated for the holiday season. Pre-registration is required. Please call 217-501-4234 for more information and to secure your spot. Time slots are available from 5:00pm through 8:00pm on December 7, 21, 28, 29 and 31.

Special Recreation at The Nutcracker
Join us for this Christmas tradition on December 8th at the Sangamon Auditorium from 1:30pm to 4:30pm. We look forward to this day of ballet! Call 217-503-4576 for more information or to sign up.

Special Recreation at the Holiday Parade
Join us on December 8th for the Springfield Jaycees at their 47th-ish annual parade to celebrate the start of the Christmas season! Meet in the lobby at the Nelson Center at 4:45pm. Call 217-503-4576 for more information or to sign up.

Happy Holly Days
In this special one day class, we will have fun playing games: fishing for candy canes, and making a fun Christmas craft. They will also make a yummy holiday treat. Join us on December 8th from 10:00am to 11:30am at the Washington Park Pavilion Preschool. Call 217-546-3970 for more information or to sign up.

Special Recreation Free Dance
Join us on Friday, December 7 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm at Erin's Pavilion for our monthly FREE dance. This dance is for anyone ages seven and up. Put on your dancing shoes and semi-formal dress attire and get ready to boogie! Call 217-503-4576 for more information. Add our Facebook event to your calendar.

Caroling at the Carillon
Sing holiday carols accompanied by the Carillon next to a roaring bonfire. The Trinity Wind Ensemble will again provide us with seasonal interludes. Cookies and hot chocolate plus a special visit from Santa courtesy of the Rees Carillon Society. Add our Facebook event to your calendar.

Special Recreation at A Christmas Carol
Come see the classic Christmas tale and the perfect Holiday show to get you into the Christmas spirit. Join us on Sunday, December 9th from 1:30pm to 4:00pm at the Hoogland Center for the Arts to watch A Christmas Carol. Call 217-503-4576 for more information or to sign up.

Movie Tuesday: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Join us on Tuesday, December 11 at AMC Springfield 8 to watch Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Fees for this program include the price of the movie, popcorn, and a drink. Drop off and pick up will be determined closer to the movie date. Call 217-503-4576 for more info or to sign up.

Special Recreation at A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage
Everyone’s favorite holiday classic comes to life Live on Stage! Join us on December 12 at 7:00pm at the Sangamon Auditorium. To sign up please call 217-503-4576.

Ice Jamz
Spend a Friday Night ice skating with your friends at the Nelson Center Ice Rink! Enjoy the light show, music, games, giveaways and more! Call 217-753-2800 for more information.

Special Recreation at Sesame Street Live
When magician Justin visits Sesame Street to put on a magic show, Elmo wants to be a part of the big event. Elmo will discover the “power of yet.” Join us on December 22 at 10:30am at the BOS Center. Call 217-503-4576 for more information or to sign up.

Holiday Hockey Clinic
Our Holiday Hockey Camp at the Nelson Center enables our travel players to improve upon their hockey techniques and abilities within a 2 day drop-in program. Each day a different curriculum will be set in the areas of skating, shooting and puck handling. This camp starts on December 27th and runs until December 28th from 5:45pm to 7:15pm each night. For more information or to sign up, call: 217-753-2800.

National Skate Day
We invite you to discover your inner superhero and SKATE TO SUPERPOWERS! We will have giveaways, free ice skating lessons, skating demonstrations and off-ice activities. Dress up as a superhero or come as yourself and enjoy some FREE time on the ice! Please wear warm and comfortable clothing (example: hat, gloves, etc…) You MUST call 217-753-2800 or come to the Nelson Center to register your child(ren) for this event - we will need to know your shoe and skate size. We are ONLY accepting a maximum of 100 participants. DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS BY DECEMBER 24TH, 2018 OR WHEN FULL.

December 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.

Fall Program and Facility Guide
Our Fall 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.

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.

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.

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.

Washington Park Preschool
The Park District offers play-based pre-school programs at Washington Park Pavilion with a curriculum is 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 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.

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 September 5 through November 28. All participants must register one week in advance! Call 217-503-4576 for more information or to sign up.

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 217-525-8847 for more information.

Washington Park Botanical Garden Group Tours
Bring your group for a tour of the Garden today! Available from September 10 through December 18 for all age groups. Please call ahead to schedule a time, 217-546-4116.

Project H.O.W.L.
In Project H.O.W.L., we Help Out Wild Life! In our zoo classroom, 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. Advanced registration is required. Call 217-585-1821 for more information or to sign up.

Springfield Jr. Blues Home Schedule
Come out to the Nelson Center this hockey season and cheer on your local Springfield Jr. Blues! Most home games are played on Friday (7:05pm) and Saturday (6:05pm) nights. Call 217-525-2589 or go to for more information or to buy tickets. Download the Jr. Blues App (iPhone/Android) for more info!

Special Recreation at Springfield Jr. Blues Games
Come on out and cheer on Springfield's Semi-Pro hockey team, the Springfield Jr. Blues, to victory and hang out with friends! Call 217-503-4576 for more information or to sign up.

Fall Carillon Concerts
Our 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 unique accompaniment of carillon music. Concerts are scheduled for Wednesdays at Noon and Sundays at 2:00pm and 4:00pm. Go to for more information on the carillon or call 217-546-3853.

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. Call 217-503-4576 for more information or to sign up.

Special Olympics: Basketball Team and Skills
One of America's favorite sports and a great way to get exercise. You can learn the skills or join our Special Olympics team. Call 217-503-4576 for more information or to sign up.

This is a recreational league for men. Teams play 10 games plus a single elimination tournament. Awards are given for both regular season and tournament play. Call 217-544-1751 ext. 1012 for more information or to register.

Special Olympics: Swim Team
This is an opportunity to learn and practice swimming and stroke skills for all abilities. With athletes working toward Special Olympics competition. Practices begin on December 2, 2018 and run until June 14, 2019 at Eisenhower Pool on Sundays from 4:00pm to 5:30pm. Call 217-503-4576 for more information or to sign up.

Minorhawks Learn to Play Hockey
This is an 8 class program co-sponsored by the Springfield Park District and Springfield Youth Hockey Association. 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. LTP 2 is a feeder program into our Lower/Upper House Leagues and Travel team. Register for the Early Bird and save $10! (Early Bird ends 12/16/18) USA Hockey Registration is $45 (price may vary) and equipment rental is $125 ($100 refundable). Call 217-753-2800 to sign up. Go to to sign up for a USA Hockey Registration.

Winter Camp
Ice Jamz
Holiday Hockey Clinic
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