Springfield city parks celebrate 37th annual Fabulous February

Date: 2/5/2015

SPRINGFIELD – Springfield Department of Parks, Buildings & Recreation Management is having a party and everyone is invited.

On Feb. 16, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, along with the Springfield Board of Park Commissioners, invite you to kick off “Fabulous February” for its 37th year of winter carnival fun.

Forest Park will come alive with a day jam-packed with activities that invite families to spend time together just having fun and relaxing.  The traditional hayrides – and sleigh rides if conditions permit – and hot dog roast will take place near the basketball courts, just outside the Recreation Office.

The first hayride begins at 11 a.m. and the hot dog roast begins at noon. Both activities will continue throughout the day until 3:30 p.m.  Families can take a scenic hayride through Forest Park for a $2 fee, per person, and roast their own hot dogs over an open fire for $1. There will be a snack bar under the tent with other beverages and popcorn. All snack bar items will be offered for a $1 per item fee.

In addition, Tom Ricardi will fascinate and entertain as he brings his rare birds of prey to Forest Park.  Ricardi and friends will be under the tent located by the Recreation Office. The show begins at 12:15 pm. 

Before you can catch your breath, Conrad McIntire’s Magical Wizardry magic show will dazzle you at 2 pm. McIntire’s will challenge you with his sleight of hand tricks that beg the question, “Will you believe your eyes or your mind?”

Children, seven to 15 years of age, can pre-register for a two-part adventure program with Brad Miller of “Next Level Adventures,” who will conduct an adrenalin-rushed “Mission Impossible” day of challenges at the ECOS building in Forest Park from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for the first session, and from noon to 2 p.m. for the second session.

The clock is ticking as secrets, skills and surprises comprise this adventurous mission that will take you throughout the park. The program is free and hotdogs are provided for lunch for those that register for the full day. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required for both sessions.

During this vacation week, Cyr Arena is operating with expanded public skating hours. The rink will host public skating Monday through Friday, from noon to 1:50 p.m. There are public skating hours Friday and Saturday from 7:00 to 8:50 p.m., and Sunday from 2 to 3:50 p.m. There is a fee of $3 for children 16-years of age and under, and $5 for adults for public skating. Skate rentals are available for a $4 fee. Call Cyr Arena at 787-6438 for details.

We’re looking for a few good cowboys – urban cowboys, that is; ones that are eager to learn about the natural wonders contained in Forest Park.

This fast-paced, hands-on adventure will take you into the world of wildlife, trees and water through the eyes of the experts in this three-part series that runs Wednesday (Wildlife Wednesday), Thursday (Think Trees Thursday), and Friday (Freshwater Friday),  from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Children ages eight to 13 years old are welcome. Pre-registration for each day is required for this free program that will meet at the old monkey house building in Forest Park adjacent to the Park Administration Building.

The activities continue on  Feb. 18 when Brad Miller of Next Level Adventures comes back for a day of nonstop action in our “Adventure Challenge” event.  Children, ages seven to 15 years old, must pre-register for this program.

Miller and his staff will challenge you to navigate your way through the wilderness, while performing survival techniques, shelter building, and much more. The mission begins at 1 p.m. at the Porter Lake Skate house in Forest Park, and ends at 3 p.m. Pre-registration is required and space is limited.

On Feb. 19, there’s a pool, pizza, and ice cream party at Central High School on Roosevelt Avenue. Children, ages five to 15- yearsold, must pre-register for this “Fab February Fav.” The fun begins with swimming in the pool from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. A pizza party follows in the cafeteria with a make-your-own sundae bar.

Please note that children who cannot swim must be accompanied in the pool by an adult, parent or legal guardian. Proper swimwear is required.

We’ve added something new this year and it’s sure to drain your brain. Take the trivia challenge and win prizes in this seriously fun and interactive game that takes place in the cafeteria from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

The week will also include our “Fabulous February!” Invitational Basketball Tournament. The annual Edward J. Moriarty Memorial Tournament will take place at Chestnut Accelerated Middle School on Plainfield Street. Come support Springfield’s future stars as they compete for the title of “champions” in this double-elimination event. Call 787-6435 for the complete schedule of games.

Also new this year is “Sweetheart Carriage Rides” in Forest Park. Valentine’s Day is Feb. 14 and we are offering a bit of love to anyone reserving a horse-drawn carriage ride through the park.  There is a $35 fee per couple and each ride holds up to four people. Call 787-6435 to book your reservation. Rides will leave from the Recreation Office and run from 2 to 5 p.m.

For safe skating updates, please call 787-6434 or 787-6461 and for additional information on any of the programs, visit www.springfieldparks.com. No calls will be answered on Presidents’ Day, Feb. 16.