Ever play backgammon? Here’s your chance to try it. Backgammon games and lessons available for beginners every Wednesday. First time entry is free. Meets 6-9 p.m. at Harvest Market, 3001 Veterans Pkwy., 217-622-9447.
Springfield Chess Club
Chess, the ultimate game of strategy. Casual chess games for the public and club members of all ages and skill levels. The club meets weekly 5-7 p.m. at the White Oaks Mall food court. Free. White Oaks Mall, 2501 Wabash Ave., 217-726-2584.
Fourth Saturday of every month, Forever Home Feline Ranch has cats available for adoption on the fourth Saturday of every month. Opportunities are also available for fostering and volunteering. 12-3pm. Donations welcome. Ace Hardware, 1600 Wabash Ave., 217-787-5100.
Community Appreciation Day
Feb. 11, 9am-4pm. Free admission. No need to RSVP. Just stop at the admissions desk to check in. Free. Kidzeum of Health and Science Children’s Museum, 412 E. Adams St., 217-971-4435.
Feb. 11, Sat. The ALPLM, Lincoln Public Library and Compass for Kids will celebrate the 214th birthday of Abraham Lincoln with the second annual “Lincoln’s 4 Lincoln Read-a-Thon and Book Drive!” Community leaders will read their favorite children’s books throughout the day. Museum admission will be free Saturday and Sunday. Consider bringing a new children’s book to donate to Compass for Kids.
Capital City Improv Spring Workshops
Feb. 16, March 16, April 20. 7-9pm. Interested in trying improvisational theater? Join Capital City Improv for spring workshops and learn to improv basics and play a variety of improv games. Anyone 12+ is welcome. Space is limited. Please RSVP via the Capital City Improv Facebook Messenger to reserve a spot. Free. Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 S. Sixth St., 217-523-2787.
2023 Springfield Area Home Builders Association Home Expo
Feb. 17-19. 2-8pm Friday, 9am-6pm Saturday, 10am-4pm Sunday. Check out the latest trends in the home building and remodeling industry. An event the whole family will enjoy. Lego contests, face painting and a Lowe’s Kid’s Corner where kids can build a project to take home. $6. Children 12 and younger are free. BOS Center, 1 Convention Center Plaza, 217-698-4941.
Springfield Flea Market
Feb. 19, March 19. Sat. 8am-3pm. Antiques, vintage, collectibles, crafts, new and used. Illinois State Fairgrounds Illinois Building, 801 Sangamon Ave., 782-6661. Admission $1.50. Children younger than 12 free with an adult.
Winter Old Capitol Farmers Market
Saturdays through in February, March and April. 8am-12pm. Union Station, 500 E. Madison St., 217-544-1723.
St. John’s Lutheran Preschool open house
Feb. 21, 5:30pm. Open house for prospective students and their families. Free. St. John’s Lutheran Church, 2477 W. Washington St., 217-793-3933.
The Boat Show in Springfield
Feb. 24, 2pm-9pm; Feb. 25, 10am-7pm; Feb. 26, 10am-5pm. Lots of exhibitors from across central Illinois. Fiberglass and aluminum fishing boats, inboards, runabouts, pontoons and more. Concessions. $5 at the door. Ages 12 and younger are free. Orr Building, Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 Sangamon Ave., 217-525-2589.
Woodlawn Farm Museum Open House
Sat., Feb. 25, 10am-3pm. This great opportunity will provide you with the chance to learn the role Woodlawn Farm played in the Underground Railroad movement in the mid-1800s. Learn about the pioneers who settled the farm, and their efforts to assist slaves in gaining their freedom. Adults $5, Students $3. Woodlawn Farm, Jacksonville, Old Route 36, three miles east of Jacksonville.
Feb. 25. 2-3, 6-7pm. A kind princess, Snow White, is banished to the forest by her wicked stepmother, but is welcomed into the cottage of seven eccentric but lovable friends. Her whereabouts are made known to the evil stepmother who poisons her with a tainted apple. Can anyone save her? sypgfoundation.org. $10-$15. Sacred Heart Griffin Theater, 1200 W. Washington St., 217-553-4475.
Illinois Product Expo
March 4-5. Explore Illinois food through your taste buds with free samples from each vendor. Discover new products, relax in the Illinois Wine Garden and stock up on your longtime favorites. illinoisproductexpo.com. $5. Ages 10 and under free. Orr Building, Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 Sangamon Ave., 217-725-8047.
Springfield Public Schools Foundation Annual Dinner and Art Auction
March 10. Mark the calendar for the 41st Annual Dinner Celebration and Art Auction. Everyone is invited to gather for an evening with friends, fine food provided by Maldaner’s Restaurant and student entertainment. All proceeds support the foundation’s mission to support innovative learning across District 186. Erin’s Pavilion, Southwind Park, 4965 S. Second St., 217-525-4406.
Star Wars & Beyond, the Best of John Williams
March 10. 7:30pm. A performance of the sounds of “Star Wars” by the Illinois Symphony Orchestra with conductor Vince Lee. UIS Performing Arts Center, One University Plaza, 217-206-6160.
Willy Wonka Jr.
March 10-12. 7pm March 10-11, 2pm. March 12. The delicious adventures in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory light up the stage in this captivating adaptation of Roald Dahl’s fantastical tale. Featuring the enchanting songs from the 1971 film, in addition to a host of fun new songs. $18. Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 S. Sixth St., 217-523-2787.
Million Dollar Time Machine
March 11. 7:30pm. Twenty-four of the greatest artists that have ever lived will emerge one by one from a time machine and share the same stage for a truly epic show. UIS Performing Arts Center, One University Plaza, 217-206-6160.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
March 11, Sat. at noon. The parade starts at Jefferson and Sixth streets and goes west on Fifth Street, east on Capitol Avenue, to north on Sixth to the Reviewing Stand (the family-friendly area), then east on Washington to the Horace Mann parking lot. Downtown Springfield.
March 12. 10am-4pm. Hosted by the Springfield Model Railroad Society. Visit the largest train show in downstate Illinois. See operating layouts. Early bird shopping ($10) starts at 9am. $5. Under age 11 is free. Orr Building, Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 Sangamon Ave., 217-725-8047.
WWE Road to WrestleMania
March 19. 7pm. $20-$115. BOS Center, 1 Convention Center Plaza, 800-745-3000.
All Ages Improv
March 25 and April 26. 7-9pm. Presented by Capital City Improv. Join members of CCI’s Teen Improv troupe for an evening of comedy for the whole family. Watch as the teens team up with your favorite members of CCI for scenes and games made up on the spot. $15. Hoogland Center for the Arts Club Room, 420 S. Sixth St., 217-523-2787.
March 26. 9am-3pm. The show will feature U.S. and foreign coins, ancient and modern coins, gold and silver bullion, state quarters and paper money. More than 70 dealer tables. Hosted by the Central Illinois Numismatic Association. Free for members and children under 16. $1. Northfield Inn, Suites and Conference Center, 3280 Northfield Dr., 217-523-7900.
Rochester STEM Fair
March 30. 6pm.-8pm. Learn about all the science, technology, engineering and math education, clubs and activities for K-12 students in central Illinois. This is a regional event for students and their families, teachers and administrators. Event is free but tickets are required. At Rochester Athletic Complex.
April 1-2. See what’s new at the zoo for 2023. $5.50-$7.50. Children 2 and younger are free. Henson Robinson Zoo, 1100 E. Lake Shore Dr., 217-585-1821.
Earth Awareness Fair
April 2. Bringing together city departments, organizations, businesses and individuals to showcase and encourage Earth stewardship, resilience, sustainability and community. Henson Robinson Zoo, 1100 E. Lake Shore Dr., 217-585-1821.
Madagascar the Musical
April 17. 7-9pm. Based on the DreamWorks’ hit animated motion picture and filled with outlandish characters, adventures galore and an upbeat score, this musical is the perfect family outing for audiences of all ages. $19-$59. UIS Performing Arts Center, One University Plaza, 217-206-6160.
May 5. With the Illinois Symphony Orchestra conducted by Joon Andrew Choi. UIS Performing Arts Center, One University Plaza, 217-206-6160.
First Sunday Midwest Bazaar Spring Fever
May 7. 8am-4pm. You never know what you’re going to find at this bazaar. Top-notch vendors, food, pet adoption mobile site. You can even visit some alpacas. Orr Building, Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 Sangamon Ave., 217-725-8047.