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December News 23

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Youth & Teen

Stethoscope and plastic heart

Ages 7-14

Kids will learn about heart health, how to eat healthy, and why it’s important to be active. This is a drop off event.

Date | Topic | Deadline

  • November 28 | Clean Eating | November 21
  • December 5 | Put technology away and get out and play! | November 28

Day: Tuesday
Time: 5-6p
Fee (R/NR): $10/$15
Location: Martens Center
Questions: zoe.southlynn@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3931


3rd-6th graders

Have you ever wondered how an airplane flies or how sounds travel to your ear? Learn, discover, and expand you knowledge of the world around you as we focus on the science behind common everyday things. This is a drop off event.

  • December 4 | Deadline: November 27
  • December 11 | Deadline: December 4
  • December 18 | Deadline: December 11

Day: Monday
Time: 5-6p
Fee (R/NR): $15/$22.50
Location: Martens Center
Questions: zoe.southlynn@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3931

3rd – 7th Graders

Science. Technology. Engineering. Art. Mathematics. This is what makes up STEAM. 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 7 | Deadline: November 30
  • December 21 | Deadline: December 14

Day: Thursday
Time: 4:30-6p
Fee (R/NR): $5/$7.50
Location: Martens Center 
Questions: zoe.southlynn@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3931

Sports & Fitness

Power Vinyasa Yoga helps improve strength, flexibility, balance, focus, and joy. The structure of this class is designed to include all bodies and levels with many modifications and variations. Notice the differences in your mind, body, breath. Bring a mat, 1 to 2 yoga blocks, and water.

November 28 - January 2Tuesday8-9aNovember 21
December 7 - January 11Thursday8-9aNovember 30

Fee (R/NR): $40/$60
Location: Martens Center
Instructor: Simone Graham-Bickham

This cross-court, officiated league, is 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 | 9a
  • 3rd-4th | 10a
  • 5th-6th | 11a

Deadline: December 1
Game Dates: January 6 – March 2
Tournament: March 2-3
Awards Ceremony:
 March 9 @ 10a
Practices will start in December. Day/Time varies based on coach.
Fee (R/NR)
: $75/$112.50; Additional $20 after deadline if space available
: Douglass Community Center
Questions: lynne.franco@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3973

Get ready to fast break your way to fun! The Youth Hoops Basketball Leagues emphasize the fundamentals of basketball while having fun and learning sportsmanship. All players will receive approximately equal playing time. Each league uses different rules, basketballs, and basket heights chosen specifically to encourage skill development and success.

  • Deadline – Th, December 21
  • Coaches Meeting – December 28
  • Coaches Contact – Week of January 1
  • Practices Begin – Week of January 8
  • Games Begin – January 20

Fee (R/NR): $86/$129 + Jersey Fee
Deadline: December 21

Questions: cameron.walls@champaignparks.org

Whether it’s basketball, volleyball, or pickleball, Open Gym is the perfect time to get moving! Here are some important Open Gym information for the Leonhard Recreation Center, Douglass Community Center and the Martens Center.

50 Plus!

Join our 50 Plus! program to socialize, adventure, and learn!  Individuals aged 50+ living in Champaign-Urbana join for an annual fee of $30. Those outside of Champaign-Urbana pay $40. Non-members are always welcome to participate at the non-member (NM) fee, varies per program.


  • Discounted rates on many programs at both Hays Recreation Center and Douglass Annex.
  • Members get advanced early registration for the yearly senior trip.
  • Free admission to several annual events plus these programs: Games, Fitness, Brown Bag Lunch Discussions, Socials, Picnics, and more.


  • 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.

  • M = Member
  • NM = Non-member

These exercise sessions focus on providing you with a great workout while in the support of a chair. Focus on stretch and strength, core fitness, and yoga. No matter your preference, you are sure to burn calories!


Year round+ | M/W | 9:30 – 10:15a

Questions: call Jean at 217-239-1152 or email at veronica.cousett@champaignparks.org


Year round* | M/W/F | 9-10a

Questions: call Robert at 217-819-3961 or email at robert.white@champaignparks.org

No Class: December 25*
Fee (M/NM): Free with membership/$4 per session

It’s a festive time of year, filled with good cheer! As we ring in the holiday season, enjoy good food, friends, a special holiday breakfast, and decorating holiday cookies.

Date: December 1
Day: F
Time: 12-3p
Location: Douglass Annex
Fee (M/NM): Free/$4

Sign up at Douglass Annex

Help support our seniors and all the fun activities they get to enjoy by coming to the Hays Recreation Center to purchase some baked goods provided by the seniors themselves! We will have cookies, pies, cakes, and more!

Date: December 5
Day: Tu
Time: 9a-4p
Location: Hays Recreation Center

We cover it all, from your favorite classics to new premier movies at our Movie Mondays. Come view a different movie every Monday and we will provide the popcorn and beverages.

  • December 11

Day: Monday
Time: 12p
Fee (M/NM): Free/$4 per session
Location: Douglass Annex

Ring in the new year with party hats, trivia, and friends at the New Year’s Eve Party!

Date: December 29
Day: F
Time: 12p
Location: Hays Recreation Center
Fee (M/NM): Free/$5

Douglass Annex

512 E. Grove St
Champaign, IL 61820

Robert White

Hays Recreation Center

1311 W. Church Street
Champaign, IL 61821

Jean Cousett

Events & More

Enjoy holiday lights for FREE every Thursday – Sunday, starting November 24 – December 31 at Prairie Farm. This will be an accessible experience featuring festive light displays throughout the farm. Cocoa will be available for purchase to enjoy as you journey though a winter wonderland.

Join us for opening night on November 24 to meet Santa, listen to carolers, and enjoy complimentary hot chocolate.

Time: 5 – 9p


Get the best prices of the year for Leonhard Recreation Center, Martens Center & Sholem Aquatic Center on Cyber Monday! This sale is only good on Monday, November 27 and only online. Be sure you set a reminder to get a great deal on fun! ADD TO CART to see discount!

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 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 chatting with Santa. Click the button below to register!

  • December 5
  • December 12
  • December 19

Deadline: December 1, 5p
Questions: robert.white@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3961

Join us to celebrate this holiday season at Santa’s Workshop! Enjoy holiday-themed crafts, music, games, and a visit from Santa. Each guest will get to enjoy cookies and hot cocoa while hanging out with Santa. Don’t forget to dress in your favorite holiday wear! 

Date: Saturday, December 9
Fee (R/NR): FREE
Questions: lynne.franco@champaignparks.org or 217-398-2573

Join us for a Holiday in Whoville! 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. 

Time: 1p (doors open at 12p)
: $5, children under 2 are free. Tickets are available at the door or online at thevirginia.org
Questions: zoe.southlynn@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3931

Come celebrate our Noon Year’s Eve Day event on New Year’s Eve! This celebration is a family-friendly event for children to experience the New Year’s Drop with their family at noon rather than having to stay up until midnight. Noon Year’s Eve includes activities, music, crazy hats, noisemakers, a countdown to the big moment, and a drop of thousands of balloons. 

Date: Sunday, December 31
Questions: lynne.franco@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3971

Marquee that says "www.thevirginia.org"

Catch a movie or a performance at the historic Virginia Theatre! Make sure to follow the Virginia Theatre’s Facebook and Instagram to know when a new show has been added, when a movie is showing or to enter a ticket giveaway!


  • December 1: Synecdoche, New York (2008)
  • December 2: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • December 7, 14, 20: Meet Santa at the Virginia Theatre
  • December 9: A Magical Cirque Christmas
  • December 10: Holiday in Whoville 2023
  • December 15: The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song (2021)
  • December 16: Girl Named Tom – One More Christmas Tour
  • December 21: Die Hard (1988)

Click below to explore events and purchase tickets!

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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