Resources and Match Activity Ideas


Charleston Library

Curbside service currently available Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 10am-1pm. Visit


Douglas-Hart Nature Center 

Activities available, learn more and see their calendar at  Trails remain open, please follow social distancing guidelines.


18th Street Farmers Market

Saturdays 8am-Noon through September 26th at the Coles County Center for Human Services building parking lot in Charleston. Customers asked to wear masks.


Fairview Drive-In

16045 E Hwy 33, Newton. For list of movies or to purchase tickets, visit


Lincoln Log Cabin

Open to the public. Shelters, playgrounds, historic buildings and visitors center remain closed for the time being. Visitors will be able to hike trails, fish in the pond and tour the outdoor portions of the historic farms.


Mattoon Farmers Market

Fridays through early Fall at Lytle park from 8am-11am. Entrance along South 32nd street. Social distancing guidelines in effect. Customers asked to wear masks.


Mattoon Library

Currently open to the public Monday-Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday 9am-1pm.


Mattoon YMCA

Open 5am-1pm and 3pm-8pm Monday-Friday, 7am-5pm on Saturday, and Noon-4pm on Sunday. The number of people in the facility will be limited by the state. Pool hours available, reserve your time at Virtual workouts and other events available at


Lucky Strike Bowling Alley

1310 E. Street in Charleston. Open now.


Mattoon Lanes Bowling Alley

On North US Hwy 45 in Mattoon. Now open.


Zax Trax Go-Carts

1120 Old State Rd. in Mattoon. Open now.


Planet Entertainment Arcade

1513 Old State Rd. in Mattoon. Offers a variety of virtual car racing games, claw games, and arcade games. Now open.


Silver Star Skate Center

1505 N. US Hwy 45 in Mattoon. Will open August 1st on Saturdays initially and then start offering Friday nights and Sunday afternoons in September.


Lytle Park 

The playground area at Lytle Park in Mattoon is now open to the public. Equipment will not be sanitized. Visitors will use the equipment at their own risk and should utilize hand wipes/sanitizer at their own will. (Most parks and playgrounds in Mattoon/Charleston are back open to the public but will not be sanitizing the equipment.)



Every Tuesday October 6 – Dec. 15, 3-5:30p.m.

Douglas-Hart Nature Center – Youth (K-5th Grade) – 5min/10max – $5/M, $7/NM

Oh the places you’ll go . . . This is an afterschool program for the adventurous who love to explore outdoors. Participants will be encouraged to use their problem solving skills, imagination, and creativity during hands-on games, crafts, experiments, and more! Participants should dress for indoor and outdoor play, bring a reusable water bottle and snack. Price is per class. To register, visit


COVID-19 Safety for Volunteers & Program Attendees

At The Douglas-Hart Foundation, safety has always been a priority. From making sure our classrooms are cleaned after use, to assuring gloves, eye protection, and ear protection to our volunteers whenever needed. However, this year, safety has taken on a whole new meaning. Along with the protocols listed above, we now have self-checks for all staff and volunteers, masks worn when we are unable to social distance, more strict cleaning protocols, and many other new protocols to help keep staff, volunteers, and patrons safe. We want to make sure that everyone at Douglas-Hart, Friendship Garden, and The Whiteside Garden feel safe and secure. Anyone attending programs or helping volunteer on site MUST practice the following:


  1. Wear a mask or face shield (no exceptions).
  2. Do not volunteer or attend programs if you are feeling ill, running a fever, have come in contact with someone with covid-19, etc.
  3. Registration is required for ALL volunteer opportunities and programs. All programs are limited to 10 participants and fewer.
  4. Utilize curb-side drop off for youth programs.


Mon., October 12 (Columbus Day), 9a.m.-3p.m.
Douglas-Hart Nature Center – Youth (K-5th Grade) – 5min/10max – $12/M, $15/NM
It’s just a bunch of hocus pocus. Join us for a day of double, double, toil, and trouble with bubbling science experiments, crafts, games, and more! Participants should dress for indoor and outdoor play, and bring a reusable water bottle, 2 snacks, and lunch. To register, visit


Friday, October 16, 4-5:30p.m.
Douglas-Hart Nature Center – Adult/Family – 5min/10max – Free/M, $2/NM
Join Ms. Jenn in a walk through the prairie to learn about ethnobotany, how Native Americans and Pioneers used prairie plants for everyday uses. Bring your binoculars and your camera, there is a lot to see as we wander to all three prairies. To register, visit


Third Saturday of every month, 10a.m-Noon
Douglas-Hart Nature Center- Youth 7-12 – $6/NM, $4/M
October: Spiders (Every child will receive a copy of Charlotte’s Web)
November: Opossums
December: Cardinals
January: Canines
Creature Feature is a monthly program that highlights a new animal each month. We’ll explore life as an animal, play wildlife games, and have some critter-crazed fun! Registration required. To register, visit


Fri., October 23, 5-8p.m.
Douglas-Hart Nature Center – Youth (K-5th Grade) – 5min/10max – $8/M, $10/NM
What is that creeping and crawling in the night? Owls, spiders, bats, and . . . MONSTERS! This graveyard smash will include games, crafts, dancing, and pizza! Costumes optional but encouraged. Dress for indoor and outdoor play, and bring a reusable water bottle. Pizza will be provided, but participants may bring their own dinner that does not need reheated. To register, visit


Thurs., October 29, 6-7p.m.
Douglas-Hart Nature Center – Family – 5min/10max – FREE/M, $2/NM
Before the blue moon of All Hallows Eve, come to the nature center to learn about the phases of the moon with a brief demonstration, and then enjoy a guided nighttime hike with a trained naturalist to look for creatures of the night. To register, visit


Scare on the Square

Join The Charleston Parks & Recreation Department and the Charleston Chamber in celebrating Halloween on October 31st! This year, we will be hosting a Drive-Thru Trunk or Treat to help minimize contact and encourage social distancing!


Effingham Public Library
The library is open 9 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Library visitors will be limited to 35 at a time, all visitors should wear a mask, all visitors should come to the doors facing our East parking lot.  The first floor is now open for browsing and we have brought down a selection of items from the second floor as well.  There is no access to study rooms or the second floor at this time.  Digital resources continue to be accessible anytime/anywhere. Visit to learn more!

Effingham Farmers Market
Saturday mornings, 8 am to noon every Saturday through the end of October. We would also like to ask our customers to wear a mask to protect our vendors.

Ballard Nature Center
Visitor center exhibits remain closed.  Trails, kids’ fishing pond, and pavilions are open.  Weekly self-led trail activities.

Parks and Playgrounds
Effingham Parks and Playgrounds are open to the public, Rec Center is closed.

Workman Sports & Wellness Complex
We are now open with safety restrictions in place!  Please remember to adhere to local guidelines and maintain social distancing throughout your visit.

TREC Trail
Open, Please remember to follow guidelines and maintain social distancing.

Effingham County Case Manager
Available to help with unemployment, government phones, food assistance and so much more!  Monday-Thursday 9am-1pm at 200 N 3rd St, Suite 2, Effingham.  Call 224-209-6638 or email  The Case Manager also visits communities near you, so contact for their schedule!

Spanish with Raul
ONLINE  Mondays at 10 a.m. Join the Effingham Public Library on their Facebook page for simple Spanish lessons from Raul!

Power your Job Search with Google Tools
ONLINE via Facebook  Monday, Oct. 12, 11 a.m.  Join Matt Cain, User Experience Coordinator with Effingham Public Library, as he demonstrates how to use Google’s services, particularly its job search tool, to find jobs. This webinar will be on Facebook Live at

Homelessness in Effingham County Presentation
Online Recorded Session on Facebook  Thursday, Oct. 15, 6 p.m.  Join us as Cindy Mayer, Outreach Director at CEFS, for a pre-recorded discussion of homelessness in Effingham County. Registration Required. This session intended for adults.

Chicken Fun
October 17 @ 12:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Self-guided trail featuring a book by one of our own educators.   There will be fun activities along the trail and a craft.  Lots of amazing facts about chickens and their wild relatives, e.g. turkeys.  We’ll even have some live chickens for you to see.  Come anytime between 1pm & 4pm.   $10 per family, includes a book.  Pre-registration required.

Spooky Walk
October 30 @ 12:00 am
Details will be out later on this evening program.   We are looking for people to carve and donate pumpkins for the hike.  The pumpkins will be voted on by the hikers dropping in their $1 program fee and the one with the most $ will win a prize.  Carved pumpkins will need to be dropped off by Oct. 29th.

Bizarre Illinois- Strange Stories From Our Past
Wednesday, Oct. 21, 7 p.m.   Zoom- link to be added at a later date.  This Zoom presentation showcases over 100 bizarre newspaper stories from Illinois that have not been seen in over 100 years. These unbelievable stories were not lost, they were simply hidden. This program provides a time portal back to the early days of the state when it was filled with strange deaths, ghosts, sea serpents, peculiar people, medical anomalies, oddities, psychic phenomena, and UFOs This will change the way you view the good ol’ days of IL. Registration Required. Please provide an email address so that we can send the Zoom link before the event. Adults.

ONLINE Resume Class
Facebook  Monday, Oct. 26, 11 a.m.  Join Matt Cain, User Experience Coordinator with Effingham Public Library, as he provides tips on how you can build or improve your resume. This webinar will be on Facebook Live at Registration required at

Night Hike
November 6 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Enjoy this self-guided luminary-lit trail, learn about nocturnal creatures along the way, and participate in some fun activities.  Come anytime between 6pm & 8pm.  No registration needed.  Free.

ONLINE Power your Job Search with Google Tools
Facebook   Monday, Nov. 9, 11 a.m.  Join Matt Cain, User Experience Coordinator with Effingham Public Library, as he demonstrates how to use Google’s services, particularly its job search tool, to find jobs. This webinar will be on Facebook Live at  Registration required

ONLINE Resume Class
Facebook  Monday, Nov. 23, 11 a.m.  Join Matt Cain, User Experience Coordinator with Effingham Public Library, as he provides tips on how you can build or improve your resume. This webinar will be on Facebook Live at  Registration required