What the locals do for fun

Get off the tourist track and relax

click to enlarge What the locals do for fun
Photo courtesy Henson Robinson Zoo
Henson Robinson Zoo

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it is advised to check individual websites for up-to-date information and offerings

Haven't you seen enough sights? How about some fun? Take it from the locals – here are many ways to have a good time in the capital city that don't involve learning anything at all. Just enjoy.


AMF Strike N Spare Lanes
2660 W. Lawrence Ave.
Traditional bowling on 36 lanes, plus a game room. Karaoke is offered every Saturday night in the lounge.

Bounce Tag
3720 Hollis Dr.
An indoor play park for kids and teens. Bounce houses, activity areas, arcade and laser tag.

Ergadoozy Creative Play Center
1320 S. State St.
An indoor play center for kids under 12. Seven play spaces offer unique ways to run, crawl and slide, no matter the weather.

Henson Robinson Zoo
1100 E. Lake Shore Dr.
Just south of town near Lake Springfield, Henson Robinson Zoo features more than 90 species of animals from Africa, Asia, Australia and North and South America. Parking is free, and food is available for purchase or you can bring your own and have a picnic in the pavilion.

Kidzeum of Health and Science
412 E. Adams St.
Interactive exhibits where kids are encouraged to touch, jump, climb, play, create, be active and explore. Through state-of-the-art exhibits and programs, kids learn while they play.

King Pin Lanes Bowling Center
3115 E. Sangamon Ave.
This family-owned and operated bowling center can host your party or special event, or just a night out with the family.

click to enlarge What the locals do for fun
Photo courtesy Knight’s Action Park
Knight’s Action Park

Knight's Action Park and Route 66 Twin Drive In
1700 Recreation Dr.
Prepare to get wet and wild at Knight's Action Park. In addition to pedal boats and water slides – including the four-story Devil Ray and the popular Splash Kingdom – this perennial local favorite also offers mini-golf, a driving range, batting cages, kiddie rides, go-karts, an arcade and more. After dark, have a nostalgic family movie night in the car. Route 66 features two screens, each showing double features that begin shortly after dusk on the weekends April through October and seven nights a week between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend.

Nelson Center
1601 N. Fifth St.
In the heart of Lincoln Park sits the Nelson Center, home to an ice rink that features year-round public ice skating sessions. Nelson Center also has an outdoor pool that includes a diving board, slide and separate kiddie pool. Open between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend.

Real Ax
2920 S. MacArthur Blvd.
A BYOB ax throwing facility where you can put your skills to the test. Five pits hold up to eight players per pit and can be reserved for parties or group outings.

Riverside Stables
2310 Chinchilla Rd.
Take a scenic trail ride along the Sangamon River. You can also rent a canoe or kayak for a half day or full day excursion.

3801 S. MacArthur Blvd.
This destination shopping experience has a large selection of sporting gear and fashion, but also features a 16,000 gallon salt water aquarium, a 65-foot-tall Ferris wheel, putting greens, golf stimulators and Walk of Presidents. Ginna's Café and Fuzziwig Candy Shop are located inside.

Skateland South
1500 Recreation Dr.
Whether you're looking for an afternoon of fun or a venue for a celebration, Skateland is a family-friendly roller skating rink.

SkyZone Trampoline Park
3454 Liberty Dr.
This all-walled trampoline playing court features an array of fun activities ranging from fit to low-impact.

Springfield Walks
Springfield's premiere and first tour company bringing you all the history and mystery that Lincoln's Springfield has to offer.


2909 N. Dirksen Pkwy.
Both national and local talent perform at this live music venue, which won the Academy of Country Music's "Nightclub of the Year' award in 2016. It is primarily a standing, general admission venue. No live events are currently scheduled due to COVID restrictions. Check the website for updates.

Donnie B's Traveling Comedy Club
Donnie B's is the premier comedy club in the Midwest, offering everything from nationally touring acts to open mic nights. The club, now in its 22nd season, hosts comedy shows at various locations around Springfield.

Illinois State Fairgrounds
801 E. Sangamon Ave.
If you happen to be visiting the capital city between Aug. 12 and 22, we recommend the spectacular Illinois State Fair, featuring all the animals, rides, tractors, concerts and attractions you can imagine. But nearly every weekend of the year there is something special happening on the fairgrounds, which is just a couple of miles north of downtown Springfield. Events run the gamut from horse shows and a giant flea market, to a weekly farmers market (spring through fall) and craft sales. Other weekend-long events include a home show, garden sale, motorcycle races and coin show, among many others. If you're looking for something fun to do on a weekend, visit the Illinois Department of Agriculture's calendar of non-fair events.

The BOS Center
One Convention Center Plaza
Located in the heart of downtown Springfield, this multi-purpose facility hosts many events open to the public including concerts, circuses, sports tournaments and much more. Check their calendar for upcoming events.

UIS Performing Arts Center
One University Plaza
This auditorium located on the campus of University of Illinois Springfield hosts national tours for musicians, comedians, Broadway shows and more. Check their calendar for upcoming events.


MidState Mayhem Roller Derby
Skateland South
1500 Recreation Dr.
This all-female, amateur roller derby team promotes and supports local athletics, charities, civic organizations and businesses.

Springfield Jr. Blues
1601 N. Fifth St.
Nelson Center
jrblues.comThe season for this North American Hockey League team runs from September-March. All tickets are general admission.

Springfield Sliders
1415 N. Grand Ave.
Robin Roberts Stadium
The Sliders are members of the Prospect League, a wood bat experience similar to most minor league parks around the country. All tickets are general admission, although party rooms are available for rent.

Springfield FC Soccer Semi-Pro Soccer
4600 11th St.
SASA Fields
Springfield FC is now a member of the United Premier Soccer League.

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