Lake Charleston Trails
Visit Lake Charleston for hiking, biking, walking, running, bird watching, fishing. Five trails available, connect to Lakeview Park, Woodyard Park, and Lake Charleston for a relaxing walk, run, or ride! Bring the whole family or take a quiet walk with your Big/Little. Visit the Lake View Trails Charleston Illinois Facebook Page to get up-to-date info on the current trail maps and volunteer opportunities to help make these trails great for everyone! More info at www.charlestonillinois.org.
FREE Movies at the LifeSpan Center
Monday-Friday at 1 pm. Free popcorn and lemonade with movies. For list of movie titles, visit www.colescouncilonaging.org.
Mondays from 4:30-5:00pm and Tuesdays from 10-11am at the Mattoon Library Kids Space for ages 3-7. Storytime includes a story, crafts, and music. Visit www.mattoonlibrary.org.
NATURE NUTS KIDS CLUB
Last Monday of every month, 4-6p.m. DHNC – Youth (Ages 7-15) – Free ( $10 joining fee)
Started in 2013, the Nature Nuts Kids Club manages the Pine Tree Trail area on the Douglas-Hart Nature Center property. Meetings are dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of nature. The club will sometimes host special events throughout the year to raise money for their projects, as well as assist Douglas-Hart Nature Center staff with festivals and programs. The club will also plan special outings for the group such as book store excursions, touring museums, and more. There is a $10 new member fee due at your first meeting and some special outings have additional fees associated with them. Visit www.dhnature.org.
Ninja Warrior Classes
Tuesdays/Monthly 5-6pm or 6-7pm. Wednesdays/monthly 5-6pm or 6-7pm at Phoenix Elite, 1101 N Loxa Rd, Mattoon. Ages 5-12. $50/month. Train like a Ninja Warrior at Phoenix Elite. Class includes strength and coordination training. Obstacles include two warped walls, cargo net, rope swing, spider wall, monkey bars hurdles, and more. More info: 217-345-6897 www.charelstonillinois.org.
Story Time & Snuggles
Last Wednesday of every month at 10am at the Douglas-Hart Nature Center. Take your little ones to a relaxing morning read filled with crafts and play time. (teddy bears and stuffed animals are allowed) To register online, email email@example.com or call the nature center at 217-235-4644.
Home-School Game Club
2nd Thursday of each month at the Mattoon Public Library, 2:30p.m.- 4:30p.m., located on the second floor-general for children. Visit www.mattoonlibrary.org.
3rd Thursday of every month, 4-6pm at Douglas-Hart Nature Center. Ages 12-17 – Free! Douglas-Hart Nature Center is looking for members for our new Caring for Animals with Respect and Education (C.A.R.E.) Club! C.A.R.E. Club members will learn basic care and handling skills for turtles, salamanders, rabbits, and more! Members who meet volunteer goals will earn a free t-shirt and become Certified Animal Handlers at DHNC. Visit www.dhnature.org.
First Friday of every month at 10am at the Douglas-Hart Nature Center. Take your little to a fun day of adventures while learning about nature and its inhabitants. 1$ per person. (All ages are welcome, but double check when registering). To register online, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the nature center at 217-235-4644.
Saturday Morning Story Series
First Saturday of every month, at the Lincoln Log Cabin visitor center. Saturday Stories feature the reading of a historically-themed children’s book, followed by activities and crafts which help to engage youngsters in history and bring the stories to life. The programs, geared towards ages 5-10, are free and open to the public. All youth must be accompanied by an adult. Visit http://lincolnlogcabin.org/.
9-10:30am, Saturdays, at Lincoln Log Cabin for ages 14-18yo, 15$/person/class. Special instructor Linda Ross will be teaming up with the Lincoln Log Cabin for teaching yoga to the community while being surrounded and sometimes under baby goats! Join them in a fun time and some stress release. Check out their Facebook for dates. Visit http://lincolnlogcabin.org/.
AMC Sensory Friendly Films
2nd and 4th Saturday each month at AMC Theatre. AMC is proud to partner with the Autism Society to offer unique movie showings where we turn the lights up, and turn the sound down, so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing! Please check your local AMC theatre listings for specific show times, and don’t forget to share your family fun with #AMCSensoryFriendly.
3rd Saturday of every month, 10am-noon at Douglas-Hart Nature Center. Youth ages 7-12, $6/Non-Member, $4/Member. Mar. – Cheers for Chickadees, Apr. – Hooray for Herps, May – Beetle Bash. Creature Feature is a monthly animal program with activities, crafts, books, and games. Visit www.dhnature.org.
COZY AND CREATIVE
Third Sat. of each month (Jan. – Mar.), 1 – 3p.m. DHNC – Family – $5/Family. Cabin fever gets the best of us during cold winter months, but come on out to Douglas-Hart Nature Center for the cure . . . creativity. Families will be able to “make what they can take” during these craft programs, while getting cozy with a cup of hot cocoa. Visit www.dhnature.org.
Youth Open Gym
November-March, Noon-2pm (Sundays) for youth in 1st-12th grades at the CHS West Gym 1615 Lincoln Ave, Charleston. 3$ per person/ per session. (Closed Dec 22, Dec 29, Mar 15). Bring your own basketball and come let off steam playing games such as HORSE and Pick Up.
Teen/Adult Open Gym
November-April, 8-10pm Tuesdays, 3$/per person at Jefferson Elementary Gym- 106 9th street Charleston. Bring your own basketball and come play some different games with your pals. Watch the newspaper/Facebook for exact dates.
Young People’s Community Curation/Museum Project Meeting
March 3rd, March 10th, & March 17th from 4:00 PM to 5:15 PM at the Mattoon Public Library in the Programming Room. The Society for a Young People’s Community Curation Project (YPCC) will begin meeting today. No experience necessary; registration is required. Ages 9-12. Sign up at www.mattoonlibrary.org or call 217.234.2621.
Video Game Day! (Xbox Original & Nintendo Switch)
March 7th from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM, at the Mattoon Public Library in the Teen Space. For ages 10 to 14 year olds. Visit www.mattoonlibrqry.org.
SOHO: Ultimate Fort
March 9th & April 9th, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. At the Douglas Hart Nature Center (DHNC) – Youth (7-12) – $12/Non-Member, $10/Member. Are you ready to create the Ultimate Fort? Participants will learn how to work together as a team when creating their version of the Ultimate Fort in our Nature Play Area. Please dress for indoor and outdoor play. Participants must bring a sack lunch. Registration required. Visit www.dhnature.org.
Family Movie The Lion King
March 10th, 4pm – 6pm. Charleston Public Library. Families, come and watch “The Lion King” Rated PG, with us on the Big Screen in Rotary Room B. Feel free to bring your own snacks and drinks! Free program open to the public, no library card required. Kids under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. Visit www.charlestonlibrary.org.
Teen Movie Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
March 12th, 4:00pm – 6:30pm. CharlestonPublic Library. Teens, come and watch “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” (PG-13) on our big screen in Rotary Room B. Feel free to bring your own snacks and drinks! This free program is for teens ages 13-18. Visit www.charlestonlibrqry.org.
Kids Chess Club
March 14th and March 28th, 10:00am-11:00am. At the Mattoon, Public Library in Teen Space Area. Kids Chess Club is an opportunity for kids grades 2 through 12 to come and play against other players of their own age or to learn the basics of the game. Visit www.mattoonlibrary.org.
Make and Take
March 14th & April 11th 10:30 am -4:00pm, at the Charleston Carnegie Public Library in the KidSpace Atrium. Kids under eight, please bring an adult to help. Drop in to make one, some, or all our crafts, then take them home with you! Visit www.charlestonlibrary.org.
March 16th & April 6th, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. DHNC – Youth (7-12) – $12/Non-Member, $10/Member. Let’s use your imagination to go on a vacation . . . an imagi-cation! We will travel the world to the Sahara Desert in Africa, the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia, and the Amazon Rainforest in South America! Please dress for indoor and outdoor play. Participants must bring a sack lunch. Registration required. Visit www.dhnature.org.
Soho: From Sleep to Spring
March 16th & April 6th, 10:00 am – noon. DHNC – Youth (4-6) – $6/Non-Member, $4/Member. Plants and animals are ‘springing’ back to life! Join us in your pajamas to wake up with a spring story, game, and craft. Pajamas encouraged, but not required. Please dress for indoor and outdoor play. Registration required. Visit
Soho: Dolittle or Domore?
March 17th & April 7th, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. DHNC – Youth (7-12) – $12/Non-Member, $10/Member. Dr. Dolittle is known for his unique ability to talk to animals and help them. But what if you can’t talk to animals? How can you help care for them? During this program, participants will ‘do more’ by learning about animal care with hands-on activities, games, and crafts. Please dress for indoor and outdoor play. Participants must bring a sack lunch. Registration required. Visit www.dhnature.org.
Soho: Pollinator Party
March 18th & April 8th, 10:00 am – noon. DHNC – Youth (4-6) – $6/Non-Member, $4/Member. Isn’t spring bee-autiful? This pollinator party will celebrate the bees, butterflies, birds, and many more pollinators. All participants will get to decorate a pot and plant a seed to take home! Please dress for indoor and outdoor play. Registration required. Visit www.dhnature.org.
Soho: Secrets of the Forest
March 18th & April 8th, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. DHNC – Youth (7-12) – $12/Non-Member, $10/Member. Let’s reveal the secrets of the forest by searching high and low with binoculars and magnifying glasses. Who knows what is waiting to be discovered?! It is up to you to just look at little closer during this outdoor exploration program. Please dress for indoor and outdoor play. Participants must bring a sack lunch. Registration required. Visit www.dhnature.org.
March 19th, 4pm – 5pm. Rotary Room A, Charleston Library. Grades K-8. Kids under eight, please bring a grownup. If you love Legos, join us as we build together, take on challenges, show off building skills, and just have fun. Visit www.charlestonlibrary.org.
Soho: Lucky Charms
March 20th, 10:00 am – noon. DHNC – Youth (4-6) – $6/Non-Member, $4/Member. Help the leprechaun find all his lucky charms during this St. Patrick’s Day inspired program. This program includes a story, scavenger hunt, game, and craft. Don’t forget Lucky Charms as a tasty treat – they’re magically delicious! Registration required. Visit www.dhnature.org.
Soho: Over the Rainbow
March 20th, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. DHNC – Youth (7-12) – $12/Non-Member, $10/Member. This program will take you “somewhere over the rainbow.” Participants will enjoy a scavenger hunt, crayon art, rainbow science experiments, and much more colorful fun! Go on the hunt for a pot of gold, and you will be sure to taste the rainbow! Please dress for indoor and outdoor play. Participants must bring a sack lunch. Registration required. Visit www.dhnature.org.
Craft Your Own Journal
March 23rd, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Rotary Room A, at the Charleston Carnegie Public Library. Learn how to make your own journal out of scrap paper and cereal/cracker boxes etc. You will be shown how to sew signatures into your crafted cover to make your own homemade journal. All supplies will be provided. Visit www.charlestonlibary.org.
Kids’ Easter Egg Scramble
April 4th at the Morton Park-West Pavilion 1215 Division St., Charleston. The Charleston Parks and Recreation Department is having its annual Easter Egg Hunt. Hop on over to Morton Park and join us for this egg-stra special egg hunt. This event will be held even if it is drizzling. If the weather is severe we will reschedule. Register the day of the event. It’s a free event. 1-2 years old start at 9:10 am, 3-4 years old 9:20 am, 5-6 years old: 9:30 am, 7-8 years old: 9:40 am, and 9-10 years old: 9:50 am. If you have any questions, call the Charleston Parks and Recreation Department at 345-6897.
April 4th, 10:00 am – noon. DHNC – Family – $5/Family. The Easter Bunny is on his way! Are you ready? Hop into Douglas-Hart to decorate a basket for Easter! Participants will also enjoy a live rabbit encounter! Visit www.dhnature.org.
Lincoln Log Cabin Hosts an Easter Egg Roll
April 4th, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM. Celebrate a presidential tradition at Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site! The Lincolns and Sargents will be hosting a traditional Egg Roll and Easter Egg Hunt, along with other period games, a craft activity, and storytime for children. The Easter Egg Hunt begins at 1:30 p.m., and the Egg Roll begins at 2:30 p.m. Children (12 and under) will be divided into age groups, with each group having staggered start times. Visit http://lincolnlogcabin.org/.