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Springfield, Illinois: Movies in the Park in Springfield, Illinois
by Nicholas Bazanov
Activities for kids plentiful this summer
Central Illinois families won't have to travel far to keep the kids entertained once school's out. They also won't have to spend a lot of cash, according to Derek Harms, director of recreation for the Springfield Park District.
Activities like the Movies in the Park series and Touch a Truck are free, and the park district offers scholarship opportunities for low-income families who want to take advantage of other summer programs.
They're activities that families don't have to drive to St. Louis or Chicago to enjoy. It's in their backyard. And for the economy, you know people are looking for things close to home that they don't have to spend a lot of money (to utilize), Harms said.
The park district's biggest summer events are usually the Movies in the Park, which take place once a month during the summer at various parks. They feature children's movies projected on a large, inflatable screen.
Springfield Park District activities
*This year's movie schedule is: Kung-Fu Panda at Comer Cox Park on June 19, Madagascar 2 at Kiwanis Park on July 10, Jumanji at Centennial Park on Aug. 7 and High School Musical 3 at Rotary Park on Sept. 11.
The park district also is bringing back the Touch a Truck event after a successful debut last summer. It's scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 11 at Lincoln Park.
What we do is bring out a variety of vehicles to the park Bobcats, bucket trucks, mowers, tow trucks, concrete trucks, any type of vehicle you can imagine. They're parked on the grass, and we pull the keys out and kids can come and climb in and honk the horns. It's really a lot of fun, Harms said.
By AMANDA REAVY