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December News 22

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Youth & Teen

K-5th Grade

L.E.A.D. (Learn. Excel, Achieve. Display) After school Program focuses on the four key elements needed for youth to be successful in education and their lives. Our afterschool program provides a warm, caring environment beyond school hours where your children have the opportunity to complete homework, engage in fun activities, and learn from community organizations.

Transportation: Parents must check with Unit 4 Transportation to see if their child qualifies for busing to the Leonhard Recreation Center based on their policies. Champaign Park District does NOT provide transportation.

*You may pay a $20 non-refundable deposit per child, per month to hold a spot. The balance will be due on the dates listed below by 5p. Participants will be dropped at this time and space offered to waiting list participants.

Dates: August 18 2022 – May 24, 2023
Days: M-F, follows Unit 4 school calendar (schedule is subject to change)
Location: Douglass Community Center
Deadline: Open until filled
Questions: lynne.franco@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2573

Note: School’s Out Days are not included in this program. Register for them separately.

K-5th Grade

We have lots of holiday fun planned for your children to enjoy during break. Keep kids active and learning all while making new friends at our Holiday Adventure School’s Out Day. Please pack a morning snack and a sack lunch. Please no peanut/nut products.

12/27 – Field Trip to Elevate Trampoline Park
12/28 – Field Trip to Peoria Playhouse
12/29 – Field Trip to Children’s Discovery Museum (Normal, IL)
12/30 – Field Trip to Skateland 
1/3 – Field Trip to (TBD)
1/4 – Field Trip to Planetarium at Parkland Community College

Date: December 27 – January 4
Day: Tuesday – Wednesday
Time: 7:30a-5:30p
Location: Leonhard Recreation Center
Fee (R/NR): $62/$93
Deadline: December 20
Questions: shannon.walter@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3988

K-5th Grade

Think you have what it takes to help your team succeed? Survivor: Outwit, Outplay, Outlast is a week will be full of fun challenges and puzzles that will test your team. Will you and your friends come out on top or will you be ‘voted’ off? We will continue our thrilling escapades on three field trips. Admission for the field trips is included in the registration. Parents should drop their child off by 8am and pick up at 5:30p. In order to attend field trips, children 8 years old and under must have a booster or car seat. Please put their name on the car seat. Each child should bring a snack and lunch.  Please no peanut/nut products.

12/27 – Field Trip to Urbana Aquatic Center
12/29 – Field Trip to Anita Purvis Nature Center
1/3 – Field Trip to Elevate Trampoline Park

Day: Thursday – Wednesday
Time: 7:30a-5:30p
Location: Douglass Community Center
Fee (R/NR): $62/$93
Deadline: December 15
Questions: lynne.franco@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2573

3rd-7th Grade

Science. Technology. Engineering. Art. Mathematics. It’s Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead! Various science organizations from UIUC, in partnership with X-Time, are excited to introduce you to the wonderful world of STEAM and all that it entails. This is NOT a drop off event.

  • December 1 | Deadline: November 24
  • December 15 | Deadline: December 8

Day: Thursday
Time: 4:30-6p
Fee: FREE, but registration is required for each session
Location: Martens Center 
Questions: katherine.hicks@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3973

Champaign Park District Youth Theatre Presents: Amélie

7th-12th Graders

This musical is an incredibly beautiful and highly underrated production based off of the world-renowned, Academy nominated movie of the same title. Amélie is an extraordinary young woman who lives quietly in the world but loudly in her mind. She covertly improvises small but surprising acts of kindness that bring joy and mayhem. But when a chance at love comes her way, Amélie realizes that to find happiness she’ll have to risk everything and say what’s in her heart. With a gorgeous new score and the same charming story as the film, this musical is witty, imaginative, touching, and lyrical as the ensemble knits together the power of connection and possibility. 

*Please note this is the teen version, meaning modifications have been made to the script to alter any inappropriate content in dialogue. None of the music or story has been altered.

Deadline: Monday, December 26
Parent Meeting: Tuesday, January 3, 6p on Zoom
Auditions: Thursday, January 5, 4-8p at Springer Cultural Center
Call-Backs: Friday, January 6, 6-8:30p at Springer Cultural Center

Rehearsals | Day | Time | Fee(R/NR) | Min/Max
January 9 | M/Tu/ W | 6-9p | $149/$199 | 30/40

There is a $35 non-refundable fee for this program.

No Rehearsal: January 16*
Rehearsal Location: M/Tu – Springer Cultural Center; W – Hays Recreation Center
Tech Week: February 27 – March 1, 5-9:30p at Virginia Theatre
Performance Dates & Location: March 2-4, 7p and March 4, 12p at Virginia Theatre

Parents will be asked to volunteer 10 hours per family, and help with their child’s costume.

Questions: alexis.webb@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2376

Three volunteers pictured together
If you are at least 13 years of age, enthusiastic, hardworking, and willing to learn, we can coordinate volunteer hours for you. This is a great opportunity to acquire new skills, gain valuable work experience, and complete high school volunteer hours. Teen volunteers are permitted to work a maximum of 25 hours per week. A waiver must be printed, signed and mailed/dropped off:

Volunteer Coordinator – Jarod Lake
Hays Recreation Center
1311 W. Church St., Champaign IL 61821

For more information, please contact Jarod at volunteer@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3926

Sports & Fitness

Douglass First String Basketball is a cross-court, officiated league, and designed to teach basketball fundamentals with an emphasis on fun, teamwork, sportsmanship, and growth. Players of all skill levels are encouraged to participate. Volunteer coaches and officials are needed! Additional times may be added as needed.

  • K-2nd Grade: 9a
  • 3rd-4th Grade: 10a  
  • 5th-6th Grade: 11a 

Game Dates: January 7-March 4, 2023
Tournament: 3/3-3/4
Deadline: December 1, 2022
Awards Ceremony: March 11, 10a
Practices: Practices will start in December. Day/Time varies based on coach.
Location: Douglass Community Center
Fee (R/NR): $70/$105; Additional $15 after deadline if space available.
Questions: katherine.hicks@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2573

2nd-8th Grade

Have fun and learn to play the game! The Champaign Park District and Prime Time Volleyball Club have teamed up to provide a great volleyball program designed to focus on the technique and skills of each player. All coaches are selected by the Prime Time Volleyball Club. The clinic will concentrate on developing the ability to pass, set, spike, and serve the ball.

  • 2nd-5th graders | Jan 2 – Feb 13* | 5:30-6:30p
  • 6th-8th graders | Jan 2 – Feb 13* | 6:30-7:45p

No Clinic: Jan 16*
Location: Leonhard Recreation Center
Fee (R/NR): $61/$91.50
Late registration: If there are openings, a $10 late fee will be added.
Deadline: December 27
Questions: cody.flowers@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3983

Ages 15+

With Hatha Yoga, improve and enhance your body’s strength, flexibility, and balance as we focus on the whole body. This gentle class will also help relieve stress and tension as we learn yoga postures, meditation, and breathing exercises.

Session 1
Date: January 3 – February 28, 2023
Day: Tuesday
Deadline: December 27

Session 2
Date: January 5 – March 2, 2023
Day: Thursday
Deadline: December 27

Time: 5:30-6:15p
Fee (R/NR): $54/$81
Location: Leonhard Recreation Center
Instructor: Pat Casey
Questions: shannon.walter@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3988

50 Plus!

Join our 50 Plus Program! Individuals aged 50+ living in Champaign-Urbana can join for an annual fee of only $10 beginning November 1. Socialize, adventure, and learn with the Champaign Park District! 


  • Discounted rates on many programs at both Hays Recreation Center (HRC) and Douglass Annex (DA).
  • Free admission to several annual events, plus these programs: Cards and Games, Bridge Group, Bunco, Trivia, Wii, Chair Exercises, and Munchies at Hays (HRC); Open Game Day, Chair Exercises, and Computers 101 (DA).
  • Members get advance registration for the yearly senior trip.


  • Fresh coffee weekday mornings.
  • Table area to play cards/gather (based on availability).


It’s easy to become a member! Register at any Champaign Park District facility, and you’ll be entered into our system to automatically receive member discounts on programming. Membership is nontransferable.

Join us as we host a series of different speakers to discuss topics such as healthy living, healthcare and retirement, Internet safety, and much more. Each date will focus on a different topic.

Date: Friday, December 9
Location: Hays Recreation Center
Time: 10-11a
Fee (M/NM): Free/$3 per session
Deadline: Must register a week in advance of event
Questions: call Jean at 217-239-1152 or email at veronica.cousett@champaignparks.org

Join us for some DIY Crafts and Coffee. Enjoy making things such as motivational cards for individuals in nursing homes, bookmarks for children, and homeless mats for those less fortunate. We will provide ideas, supplies, and coffee – you just bring your creativity!

Date: December 9
Day: Friday
Time: 10-11:30a
Location: Douglass Annex
Fee (M/NM): Free/$3 per session
Questions: call Robert at 217-819-3961

Sign up at Douglass Annex

TGIF! End your week with fun people and a game of B.I.N.G.O. Prepare to have a great time! Champaign Park District will provide the prizes.


Date: December 2 & 16
Day: Friday
Time: 10a-12p
Min/Max: 6/30
Fee (M/NM): Free/ $3 per session
Questions: call Jean at 217-239-1152

Sign up in the Senior Binder at Hays Recreation Center or call 217-239-1152


Date: December 9
Day: Friday
Time: 1-3p
Min/Max: 6/10
Fee (M/NM): Free/$3 per session
Questions: call Robert at 217-819-3961

Sign up at Douglass Annex


Join us for Munchies at Hays! The latest topics on current events, jokes, poems, and more will generate the conversation at this lunch gathering. Please bring a sack lunch, and we’ll provide additional munchies to enjoy.

Dates: December 12
Day: Monday
Time: 12-1p
Location: Hays Recreation Center
Questions: call Jean at 217-239-1152 or email at veronica.cousett@champaignparks.org

Sign up in the Senior Binder at Hays Recreation Center or call 217-239-1152

Events & More

Enjoy holiday lights every Thursday through Sunday, starting November 25 – January 1 at Prairie Farm. Winter Nights at Prairie Farm is an accessible experience featuring festive light displays throughout the farm. Cocoa will be available for purchase to enjoy as you journey through a winter wonderland!
Join us for opening night on November 25, 2022 to meet Santa, listen to carolers, and enjoy complimentary hot chocolate.

Questions: zoe.southlynn@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3931

Champaign-Urbana Special Recreation will be selling Double Good Popcorn to support our scholarship fund! 50% of all sales during our 4-day sale will go towards helping individuals with disabilities in C-U have fun!
Champaign-Urbana Special Recreation works to bring recreation to all those who want to play. Our scholarship fund benefits individuals and families who need financial support to attend our programs. Scholarships are available to Champaign and Urbana residents for use towards CUSR Youth & Teen, Adult, or Athletic programs as well as special events.
You can follow our Facebook Event now to get ready for the main event! But before then, get familiar with the app and how you can participate in our fundraising event November 27, 5p-December 1, 5p!

Questions: cusr@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3980

Get the best prices of the year for Leonhard Recreation Center & Sholem Aquatic Center on Cyber Monday! This sale is only good on Monday, November 28 and only online! Leonhard Recreation Center prices are going up in January, so make sure to lock in Cyber Monday rates!

Santa wanted to do something extra special this year! So he learned about Zoom and set out to spread some holiday cheer. We scheduled the big guy for not one…not two…but THREE Tuesday evenings this December for Zoom with Santa! He also has his head Sign Language Interpreting elf available for kiddos and adults video chatting with Santa.
Dates: December 6, 13, 20
Time: 6-8p
Deadline: December 1, 5p
Questions: william.schoell@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3926 

Join us to celebrate the holiday season with Pizza & Pajamas with Santa! Enjoy holiday themed crafts, music and a visit from Santa. Each guest will get to enjoy pizza, cookie, and a drink while hanging out with Santa. Don’t forget to dress in your favorite holiday jammies! Participants must register.

To register, call 217-398-2573.

Date: Saturday, December 10
Time: 12-1:30p
Fee (R/NR): $11/$16.50 per person
Questions: lynne.franco@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2573

Join us for a real holiday treat with Holiday in Whoville at the Virginia Theatre! Watch Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966 TV short) with screenings at 1p, 2p, 3p, and 4p. During the event, we will have pictures with Santa and trolley rides through Downtown Champaign.

Date: Sunday, December 11
Fee: $4, children under 2 are free. Tickets available at the door or online at thevirginia.org
Questions: zoe.southlynn@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3931

Working in Parks & Recreation is more than having fun. You’re enhancing the quality of life for all people through advancing environmental conservation efforts, social equity, & health/wellness. Grow your career by applying on our mobile app or website.

Because some residents are unable to participate in recreation programs due to economic hardship, the Champaign Park District offers scholarships to reduce certain fees and charges. We now offer both scholarship and registration forms in Spanish! Fill out the form and submit the completed packet in one of the three ways listed on the form.

Questions: Please call 217-398-2550

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