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September News 23

Monthly HighlightsDid you know we have several eNewsletters to sign up for? Stay up-to-date with all Champaign Park District news by subscribing to more mailing lists!



Youth & Teen

Ages 3-5 with parent

Join us as 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.

Book: Science Skills: Counting and Measuring with Pizza at Sally’s by Monica Wellington
Date: August 29
Day: Tuesday
Time: 1-1:30p
Fee (R/NR): $15/$22.50
Location: Martens Center 
Deadline: August 22

Martens Center computer lab

6th – 8th graders

Kids will get hands-on experience developing their own code, as well as learning why coding is important, and how it is being used in the world today. We will be using Scratch, an amazing online coding tool for kids to create videos, music, and many other things. This is a drop off event.

Date: September 5 – October 10
Day: Tuesday
Time: 5 – 6:30p
Deadline: August 29
Fee (R/NR): $10/$15
Location: Martens Center

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.

  • September 7 | Deadline: August 31
  • September 21 | Deadline: September 14

Day: Thursday
Time: 4:30-6p
Fee (R/NR): $5/$7.50
Location: Martens Center 
Questions: paige.duncan@champaignparks.org

Child coloring on coloring sheet.

Ages 7-12 | Level: Beginner

Kids will explore the exciting skill of drawing through age appropriate discoveries and lessons. Use of drawing, shapes, and other innovative activities will grow your child’s ability to see the world around them and create spatial awareness with confidence.

Date: September 9 – October 14
Day: Saturday
: 10:30a – 12p
Fee (R/NR): $95/$142.50
Deadline: September 2
Location: Springer Cultural Center
Instructor: Kelli Roos
Questions: michelle.olden@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3909

Ages 7+, Adult & Child must both register

Bring out your creativity at the Martens Center, with the artists from Unveiled Creations. 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.


  • September 10 | “You Are My Sunshine” Paintings 

Day: Sunday
Time: 1-3p
Fee (R/NR): $35/$52.50 per person; must register as a pair
Location: Martens Center
Deadline: September 3
Instructor: Kim Burcham and Keri Tavenner
Questions: lynne.franco@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3971

Team work for graphic design working on wood table with computer tablet electronic pen and color chart

Ages 18+ | Level: Beginner

Learn the basic principles of graphic design and apply this to the design of your own personal or business logo. A supply list of $35 will print at the time of registration. There is a $35 non-refundable fee for this program.

Day: Monday
September 11 – October 16
Time: 6-8p
Fee (R/NR): $123/$173
Deadline: September 4
Location: Springer Cultural Center
Instructor: Bill Geerdes
Questions: michelle.olden@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3909

1st-3rd & 4th-6th graders

Do you enjoy creating, building, and imagining with LEGO? Learn engineering and design skills through guided hands-on exploration. Create animals, buildings, simple machines, transportation, and build your own LEGO creations.

1st-3rd Grade

Date: September 27, October 25, November 22, December 27
Day: Wednesday
Deadline: September 20

4th-6th Grade

Date: September 13, October 11, November 8, December 13
Day: Wednesday
Deadline: September 6

Time: 4:30-5:30p
Location: Martens Center
Fee (R/NR): $30/$45; additional $5 after the deadline if space available
Questions: katherine.hicks@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3973

Sports & Fitness

Two people fencingAges 13+

En Garde! Add a new twist to your fall schedule by signing up for a six-week introduction to fencing! Participants will learn through footwork, drills, small group instruction, and open fencing with varied adult ages. Fencers should come dressed to work hard in loose clothing (no denim jeans) and tennis shoes. All fencing equipment is provided.

*Additional $10 fee for U.S. Fencing Association Non-Competitive Membership per participant. Register online separately at www.usafencing.org/page/show/698114-individual-memberships

Date: September 8 – October 13
Day: Friday
Time: 7-8p
Fee (R/NR): $90/$135
Deadline: August 26
Location: The Point Fencing Club and School, 401 N. Vine St, Urbana
Instructor: Point Fencing Club Cavalier Staff
Questions: justice.miller@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3984

Ages 15+

This 45-minute class focuses on good walking technique, speed, strength, and FUN! Walking workouts can be as casual or vigorous as you want them to be. By adding speed intervals and muscle strengthening exercises to you walk, you can work up a good sweat and give your body a great workout!

  • September 6 – October 11 | Deadline: August 30

Day: Wednesday
Fee (R/NR): $50/$75
Time: 11-11:45a
Location: Martens Center
Instructor: Michelle Earle
Questions: lynne.franco@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3971

Ages 3-8

Children can enhance their basketball skills and knowledge, and work on developing fundamentals of the game. Shooting, dribbling, passing, and defensive skills are emphasized.


5th – 6th | September 10 – October 1 | 9:30-10:30a | September 5

7th – 8th | September 10 – October 1 | 10:45-11:45a | September 5

Day: Sunday
Fee (R/NR): $50/$75
Location: Martens Center
Questions: lynne.franco@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3971

2nd-8th Graders

Bump, Set, Spike! The Champaign Park District and Prime Time Volleyball Club have teamed up again to provide a volleyball program designed to enhance players’ personal and team accomplishments on and off the court. During these five weeks, we will play 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, and 6v6 match-ups to help athletes work to use skills learned in individualized drills and utilize that drill knowledge/ability in game-like skills and team concepts. The program will teach players the rules, strategies, and skills of volleyball while promoting sportsmanship and fun. T-shirt included.


  • 2nd-5th graders | 1-2:30p
  • 6th-8th graders | 2:30-4p

Date: September 17 – October 22
Day: Sunday
Fee (R/NR): $68/$102
Deadline: September 6
Late Registration: If there are openings, a $10 late fee will be added
Questions: justice.miller@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3984

Ages 18+

Enhance your pickleball skills at Pickleball Skills and Drills. All skill levels are welcome. Focus will be on the development of pickleball fundamentals from drop shots, dinks, and overhead smashes, to serves and ball placement. Join the fun and learn a new skill!

Day: October 3 – 19
Time: 10a-12p
Location: Leonhard Recreation Center
Fee (R/NR): $81/$121.50
Deadline: September 23
Late Registration: If there are openings, a $10 late fee will be added
Equipment Required: Pickleball Paddle
Questions: justice.miller@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3984

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

Come have an awesome time being appreciated! Bring your appetite and luck — there will be BBQ, games, and activities.

Date: Friday, August 25
Time: 12-3p
Location: Hessel Park Pavilion
Fee: Free with membership

On the road again! We’ll keep you guessing with our trips to who-knows-where. Come with an open mind and enjoy a relaxing day trip to a mystery location. Trip and fee with be revealed at Douglass Monthly Senior Meeting. Members only.

Date: August 29 & September 27
Day: W
Time: 1-3p
Location: Departs from Douglass Annex
Questions: call Robert at 217-819-3961 or email at robert.white@champaignparks.org

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: September 6
: 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

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: September 11
: Monday
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

Smart Meals is a program designed to provide awareness and education on buying affordable, healthy foods that can be easily prepared at home. Each Smart Meal kit includes a recipe card, shelf-stable ingredients, a shopping list, and other educational materials. Each Smart Meal recipe is uniquely created by a registered OSF dietician. All meals are high in fiber and low in fat and sodium.

Date: September 18
Fee : Free, but registration required
Deadline: September 11
Location: Martens Center
Instructor: OSF Staff

Senior Health Insurance Program.

Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) is a FREE counseling service for Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers.

SHIP Counselors can help with:

  • Initial enrollment
  • Billing issues and appeals
  • General information and problem-solving
  • Selection of drug, Medicare Advantage and supplemental policies
  • Analysis of Medicare’s costs and benefits
  • Applications for financial assistance

SHIP counselors are NOT affiliated with any insurance company.

Date: September 25
Fee: Free, but registration required
Location: Martens Center
Deadline: September 18
Questions: lynne.franco@champaignparks.org or 217-819-3971

Outdoor Pickleball Court

Have you ever been curious about starting a new hobby, but wanted to try it out first? Join us as we learn something new and sample some of the programs the Champaign Park District has to offer. Meet at location or ride in the van from Hays Recreation Center.


  • Intro to Pickleball | September 27 | Outdoor Pickleball Complex

Day: W
Time: 1-3p
Fee (M/NM): Free/$5
Questions: call Robert at 217-819-3961 or email at robert.white@champaignparks.org

Sign up at Hays Center

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

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.

Date: August 24
Time: 6 – 8p
Location: Morrissey Park
Band: The Vine Street Syncopators

Join the Champaign Parks Foundation for a fun evening of food, socializing, and entertainment at the iHotel in support of the Champaign Park District’s Youth Scholarship Fund!

The new Ties & Tennies Gala on Thursday, September 14, will feature dueling pianos, complimentary wine and beer, plated dinner, live and silent auctions, and Featured Speaker: Team USA Paralympic Sitting Volleyball player, Nichole Millage.

All proceeds will benefit the Youth Scholarship Fund. Tickets include complimentary wine and beer and plated dinner and are now available for purchase online: https://bit.ly/Tennies2023

You can dress up or come casual, but be sure to wear your brightest tie and your best sneakers to support the Champaign Park District Youth Scholarship Program on Thursday, September 14!

For continued updates, follow the event page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/204284495433630

Champaign Park District and 40 North are teaming up to bring artists and art lovers together for a free juried art festival. Join us to purchase and pursue amazing local and regional art showcasing a multitude of mediums.

Date: September 16
Time: 10a – 5p
Location: West Side Park

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!


  • September 15: Greener Pastures (2023)
  • September 16: The Maltese Falcon (1941)
  • September 22: Zach Williams: A Hundred Highways Tour
  • September 28: I Wanna Dance With Somebody (2022): Sing-A-Long Style!

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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