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July News 23

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Youth & Teen

Prairie Farm staff member reading to younger children at the farm.

Once upon a time, the Prairie Farm animals hosted story time. Children of all ages stopped by the farm to enjoy animal stories. Some children brought blankets and picnic baskets filled with goodies. Others brought their smile, but they all lived happily ever after.

Date: Monday until July 24
Time: 2-2:30p
Location: Prairie Farm

Illustration of a molecule.

Ages 3-5 with parent

In Science Club Jr. we explore cool science topics by reading a storybook and doing hands-on (and a tad bit messy) experimentation. Each class focuses on a different topic. This is NOT a drop-off program.

  • June 27 | Exploring Water & Dissolving: The Gingerbread Man by Eric Suben | Deadline: June 20
  • July 11 | Chemistry Science: Whopper Cake by Karma Wilson and Will Hillenbrand | Deadline: June 27
  • July 18 | Shadow Science: What Makes a Shadow? by Clyde Robert Bulla | Deadline: July 11
  • July 25 | Magnet Science: Stuck by Oliver Jeffers | Deadline: July 18
  • August 1 | Water Science: Water by Frank Asch | Deadline: July 25

Day: Tuesday
Time: 1-1:30p
Fee (R/NR): $15/$22.50
Location: Martens Center 

Photo of 3D printed letters spelling "STEAM" surrounded by other 3D printed creations.

3rd-7th graders (in Fall 2023)

Science + Technology + Engineering + Art + Mathematics = Creativity! This essential component of innovation will help kids develop the critical thinking skills to think outside the box. Join us for The Art of STEAM!

  • July 8 – August 5 | Lights, Cameras, Take Action! | Deadline: June 24

Day: Saturday
Time: 10-11:30a
Fee (R/NR): $75/$112.50
Location: Martens Center 

telescope on tripod with a starry sky in the background.

Ages 5+

Join members of the Champaign-Urbana Astronomical Society, Inc. on select Saturdays for an evening under the stars. See the stars and planets through the largest public telescope in East Central Illinois. All skywatch sessions are cancelled in the event of cloudy weather (visit cuas.org.). No registration required.

  • June 24
  • July 22

Time: Sunset
Location: CUAS Observatory, 926 County Road 700E, Champaign
Questions: sean.hurst@champaignparks.com or 217-819-3901

Child playing with Legos at Lego Club located at Martens Center.

1st-3rd Grade

Do you enjoy creating, building, and imagining with LEGO? Join us at the brand new Martens Center for our Monthly Lego Club! Learn engineering and design skills through guided hands-on exploration. Create animals, buildings, simple machines, transportation, and build your own LEGO creations.

Date: June 28, July 26, August 23
Day: Wednesday
Deadline: June 26

Time: 4:30-5:30p
Location: Martens Center
Fee (R/NR): $30/$45
Questions: katherine.hicks@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3973

Paint splatter on an palette surrounded by paint brushes and paint tubes.

Ages 7+, Adult & Child must both register

Bring out your creativity at the Martens Center, with the ladies from Unveiled Creations for Grown Up and Me Paint. They will guide you to create beautiful canvas creations to take home. Each parent and child participant will create a canvas that will combine to make a larger picture.

  • July 9 | “Flip Flop Fun!” paintings | 1-3p | Deadline: June 30
  • August 6 | “By the Light of the Moon” paintings | 1-3p | Deadline: July 28

Day: Sunday
Fee: $60/$90
Location: Martens Center
Instructor: Kim Burcham and Keri Tavenner
Questions: lynne.franco@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3971

Young children making crafts with Prairie Farm staff member.


Ages 2-4, with parent

Hay, hay, hay! Here’s a fun class for little ones to enjoy with their parents! Pee Wee Farmer sessions include plenty of contact with the animals, arts & crafts, games, and songs. Wear tennis shoes or boots to all classes. NO sandals, please. T-shirt included in fee!

*Refunds will not be given due to inclement weather cancellations unless more than on of the classes in a session are canceled. If more than one class is canceled, we will offer a prorated refund as a household credit.


  • June 2 – June 23 | Friday
  • June 8 – June 29 | Thursday
  • July 7 – July 28 | Friday

Fee (R/NR): $44/$66
Deadline: 1 week prior to start date

Illustration reading "Science" surrounded by science related objects.

1st – 3rd Graders (in Fall 2023)

Find your inner Mad Scientist as we have fun with different science topics!

  • July 11 – 25 | Playing with Colors | Deadline: July 4
  • August 1 – 15 | Inspirations from the Past | Deadline: July 25

Day: Tuesday
Time: 2-3p
Fee (R/NR): $45/$67.50
Location: Martens Center 
Questions: paige.duncan@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3843

Macro photo of bee on honeycomb.

3rd-7th graders (in Fall 2023)

Come celebrate National Urban Beekeeping Day with us! Learn all about the relationship between beekeepers and honey bees and their vital role in our community. Children will be doing hands-on activities to explore the world of honey bees and why beekeepers are their best friends.

Date: July 19
Day: Wednesday
Time: 1-3p
Deadline: July 12
Fee (R/NR): $26/$39
Location: Martens Center

Sports & Fitness

Yoga participants in downward dog position.Ages 15+

Join us for 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 3
Date: June 27 – August 15*
Day: Tuesday
Fee (R/NR): $36/$54
Deadline: June 20

Session 4
Date: June 29 – August 17*
Day: Tuesday
Fee (R/NR): $42/$63
Deadline: June 22

No Class*: July 4, July 18, July 20
Time: 5:30-6:15p
Location: Leonhard Recreation Center
Instructor: Pat Casey
Questions: shannon.walter@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3988

Children holding small basketballs participating in the Mini Dribblers program.

Ages 3-6

Calling all preschoolers – this is your chance to be a big star! Mini Dribblers is designed to practice basic dribbling, passing, and shooting skills. We’ll use 8′ hoops, just the right size to build skills. Players will be grouped with those of similar ability. 


July 13 – August 3 | Th | 6-6:45p | Deadline: June 26

Fee (R/NR): $54/$81, includes t-shirt
Late Registration: If there are still openings in the program, a $10 fee will be assessed. T-shirt not guaranteed with late registration.
Location: Leonhard Recreation Center
Questions: brittany.delmar@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3983

Seniors participating in group fitness class.Ages 15+

Beginners and active seniors; enjoy fun music, easy-to-follow moves, and a friendly atmosphere in a class that improves flexibility, joint stability, balance, coordination, muscular strength, and endurance. In Forever Fit, we combine light cardio (to strengthen heart and lungs) with strength training to make this a workout you’ll look forward to.

Session 2
Date: July 5 – August 16
Day: Monday/Wednesday
Fee (R/NR): $65/$97.50
Deadline: June 28

Time: 8:30-9:15a
Location: Leonhard Recreation Center
Instructor: Jo Rodriguez
Questions:shannon.walter@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3988

Photo of basketball hoop.

Ages 3-6

Bitty Ballers Clinic is designed to help children learn basic dribbling, passing, and shooting skills using our mini basketball hoops and lowered rims.


July 15 – August 5 | Sa | 9:30-10:15a | July 1

Fee (R/NR): $50/$75
Location: Martens Center
Questions: katherine.hicks@champaignparks@org or 217-819-3973

Photo of children playing in a soccer match.


Learn hard work, teamwork, and social skills while having a great time! The leagues focus on fun, sportsmanship, fundamental instruction, and opportunity. All players will receive approximately equal playing time, minimum 50% playing time. Each league uses soccer balls, goals, and fields proportional to their age as recommended by the U.S. Youth Soccer. All teams will play six officiated games on Saturdays or on weeknights (depending on the league). Older ages (3rd grade+) will also play in an end of season tournament.


  • Last day to register – July 2
  • Coaches Contact – Week of July 17
  • Coaches Meeting – July 13 at 6p at Leonhard Recreation Center
  • Practices Begin – Week of July 24
  • Games Begin – August 5
LeagueBall/PlayersOfficiationTournament LocationFee (R/NR)
Kindergarten Co-edSize 3/ 3v3Coach Officiated N/A$47/$70
1st-2nd Grade Co-edSize 3/ 4v4Coach OfficiatedN/A$75/$112.50
3rd-4th Grade BoysSize 4/ 7v7OfficiatedMahomet$82/$123
3rd-4th Grade GirlsSize 4/ 7v7OfficiatedMahomet$82/$123
5th-6th Grade BoysSize 4/ 9v9 or 7v7OfficiatedMahomet$82/$123
5th-6th Grade GirlsSize 4/ 9v9 or 7v7OfficiatedMahomet$82/$123
7th-8th Grade BoysSize 5/ 11v11OfficiatedUrbana$91/$136.50
7th-8th Grade GirlsSize 5/ 11v11OfficiatedUrbana$91/$136.50

*NOTE: More players may be allowed, depending on coaching availability. Team size varies depending on enrollment & number of coaches

Registration Deadline: July 2

Questions: brittany.delmar@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3983

Photo of net from the soccer goal,

Ages 3-14

Challenger British Soccer Camps provide young players of all abilities with the rare opportunity to receive high-level soccer coaching from a team of international experts 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.

Each child will receive a free t-shirt, soccer ball, giant fold-out poster, and a personal player evaluation. Supplies: Campers should bring plenty of water each day. Full-day campers should also bring a packed lunch with a beverage and snacks each day. All campers should arrive at camp with sunscreen already applied, as well as with additional sunscreen to apply as needed (we recommend an SPF of at least 30).

  • Tiny Tykes (ages 3-5) is a fun introduction to the very basic elements of the game. Small coaching groups, lots of running, kicking, laughing, and new friends.
  • Half-Day Recreational (ages 6-11) develops individual foot skills, technical practices, tactical progressions and small sided games.
  • Half-Day Competitive (ages 8-14) is for the more advanced player. These sessions offer some of the same skill building as the Half-Day Recreational with a much stronger emphasis on competition and advanced play.
  • Full-Day sessions (ages 10-14) are for the senior player and include a high level of individual skill building, tactical instruction, and an emphasis on highly competitive game-related activities.

Attire: Summer active wear, shin guards, and athletic shoes or soccer cleats. Partial rebates are available for families willing to host the British coaches.

For the full experience and a chance to add an international flair to your summer, host a Challenger coach for the week and get a taste of England. Host families also receive a partial rebate.


Registration Deadline: July 17
Free Challenger Soccer Jersey: Register online at challengersports.com before June 17, 2023 and receive a free Challenger soccer jersey.


Tiny Tykes | 3-5 | M-F | 8-8:45a | $112 | $132

Half Day Rec. | 6-11 | M-F | 9a-12p | $153 | $183

Half Day Comp. | 11-14 | M-F | 1-4p | $153 | $183

Full Day | 10-14 | M-F | 9a-4p | $228 | $268

Location: Dodds Soccer Complex (both weeks)

All registration online through Challenger Sports.

Questions: brittany.delmar@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3983

Zumba GoldAges 18+

A dance party for beginners and seniors, Zumba Gold offers fun and easy moves to Latin and other international rhythms at a slightly slower pace than traditional Zumba.

  • July 22 – August 26 | Sa | Deadline: July 18

No Class*: July 1
Time: 9-9:45a
Fee (R/NR): $50/$75
Location: Martens Center
Instructor: Rena Leake
Questions: katherine.hicks@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3843

50 Plus!

Photo of Hays Senior smiling

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

Two seniors quilting at Douglass Annex

Is quilting your hobby? Stop by and join our quilting club. This club has a great group of participants that creates different quilting designs together.

Date: Year Round
Day: Tu/W
Time: 10a – 12:30p
Location: Douglass Annex
Fee (M/NM): Free/$4 per session
Questions: call Robert at 217-819-3961 or email at robert.white@champaignparks.org

Photo of Douglass senior talking

Men’s Club is a great way to come together to have fun, learn new things, and share experiences. Men’s Club will meet the first Wednesday of each month.

Date: July 5, August 2
Day: Wednesday
Time: 10:30-11:30a
Fee (M/NM): Free/$4
Location: Hays Recreation Center
Questions: call Jean at 217-239-1152 or email at veronica.cousett@champaignparks.org

Photo of a Hays senior making crafts.

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: 7/11, 7/25
Day: Tuesday
Time: 10a-12p
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


Date: 7/6, 7/20
Day: Wednesday
Time: 1-2:30p
Questions: call Robert at 217-819-3961 or email at robert.white@champaignparks.org

Sign up at Douglass Annex

Fee (/NM): Free/$4 per session

Group photo of seniors in the Champaign Park District's 50 Plus! program.

It’s time for summer fun on the run! Van space is limited, so hurry and register for these members-only trips!

  • June 28 | Bloomington, Illinois
    • Tentatively planned 
      • Deadline: June 21
      • Time: 9a-3p
      • Fee (Members Only): $30
  • July 26 | Peoria, Illinois
    • Tentatively planned 
      • Deadline: July 19
      • Time: 9a-3p
      • Fee (Members Only): $30

Jupiter's at the Crossing

Enjoy a delectable, leisurely lunch with friends. Pass around pictures of grandkids or share a funny story. There’s nothing like bonding over a meal! Meet us at the restaurant.

Date | Location | Deadline 

  • July 12 | Jupiters at the Crossing | Deadline: July 10

Day: Wednesday
Time: 11a
Fee: Cost of your meal
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

Tech Talk

Whether you would like to learn about email or even troubleshoot some sort of tech, this class is perfect for you. In Tech Talk, you will have the chance to learn about computer basics, how to use your mobile device, apps, the internet, and much more.

Date: July 11
Time: 1-2:30p
Location: Douglass Annex
Deadline: Call and register for specific dates
Fee (M/NM): Free/$4 per session
Questions: call Robert at 217-819-3961 or email at robert.white@champaignparks.org

Spinning the BINGO wheel.

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

Deadline: Must register weekly by 7 days prior to the program date


Date: 7/7, 7/21
Day: Friday
Time: 10-11a
Min/Max: 6/30
Fee (M/NM): Free/ $4 per session
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


Date: 6/30, 7/28
Day: Friday
Time: 12-2p
Min/Max: 6/10
Questions: call Robert at 217-819-3961 or email at robert.white@champaignparks.org
Fee (M/NM): Free/$3 per session

Sign up at Douglass Annex

Movie Mondays

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.

Date: Monday, July 17
Time: 12p
Fee (M/NM): Free/$4 per session
Location: Douglass Annex
Questions: call Robert at 217-819-3961 or email at robert.white@champaignparks.org

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

News-Gazette 2023 People's Choice Awards

We are honored to be nominated for 11 News-Gazette People’s Choice Awards >> this year! Voting is open until July 7, 2023. Click below to view all the categories we’re nominated for and make sure to vote!

Group of people watching performance at the Jazz in the Park event.

This summer, gather your friends, family, and neighbors for our Jazz in the Park Summer Concerts. Audience members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and refreshments.

  • June 22 | Chip McNeil Quartet
    • Location: Porter Park
  • July 20 | Leon Lewis Nicol Trio
    • Location: Kaufman Lake

Time: 6-8p

Photo of chairs and playground structure at Sholem Aquatic Center.

Movie Nights are open to season pool pass holders only – so don’t miss out on the fun – get your pass today!

Date | Movie

June 24 | Luca 

July 15 | Hook

Time: 8-10p
Questions: ryan.hays@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3985

Hessel Park Concerts

This summer, gather your friends, family, and neighbors for our Hessel Park Concerts. Audience members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and refreshments.

Date: July 1
Time: 6-8p
Band: Samba Soul 
Location: Hessel Park

Family watching movie at Thursday Night Flix event.

Grab some popcorn and a blanket and join us under the stars for a Thursday night flick every month during the summer with different and on-site food trucks to enjoy! Movies begin at dusk.

  • July 6 | Movie: Encanto
    • Location: Clark Park

Child sliding down slide at Sholem Aquatic Center.

Enjoy family fun and sensory friendly swimming at Sholem Aquatic Center! Sholem has various special sensory considerations and a water wheelchair. Please bring extra money for concessions.

GOALS: Learn new skills, increase peer interaction, socialization, motor functioning and development.

Date: July 7, July 28
: Sholem Aquatic Center
Fee (R/NR): $6/$9 Sholem Entry Fee – pay at door

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!


  • July 12: Mulholland Drive (2001)
  • July 13: Three Dog Night
  • July 15: I Love Lucy: The Movie (1953)
  • July 27: Ann Wilson of Heart & Tripsetter

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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