Summer can be an expensive time, with the schools closing for vacation and the challenge of keeping the children entertained, so here is a selection of FREE or inexpensive activities for kids in and around New Berlin, Springfield, Modesto, and Palmyra that our team has put together.
The Old Capitol Farmers Market takes place in downtown Springfield every Wednesday and Saturday, 8am to 12.30pm on Adams St between 3rd and 5th Streets with lots of local farms and artisan vendors selling fresh produce, artisanal baked goods and cheeses, flowers and more. The market runs until the end of October.
Free to the public the Springfield Old Capitol Art Fair boasts a children's tent to encourage the young collector, a food court, and live music. The Springfield Old Capitol Art Fair takes place on May 19 and 20 at the Old State Capitol Plaza.
The New Berlin Farmers Market takes place on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays from May 19th through October 13th from 4pm to 7pm at Wabash Park.
Every Thursday until October 11 the Illinois Products Farmers Market takes place at the Illinois State Fairgrounds at 801 E Sangamon Ave, Springfield from 4pm to 7pm with cooking demonstrations and plenty of affordable and fresh fruit, vegetables, cheeses, herbs, meat, baked goods and more.
The Legacy of Giving Music Festival in downtown Springfield takes place on June 1 and 2, admission is $5 and includes a children's area with inflatables, face painting, and kids games,
On Mondays through Saturdays, from June 5 to August 12 you can tour Lincoln’s neighborhood at Lincoln Home National Historic Site, from 11.30am for free. At 4pm on Thursdays and 2.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays, you can take a photo with Abe and Mary in their backyard.
This year’s Sangamon County Fair takes place between June 12 and 17. Children age four and under are free and general admission for ages five and up is $10. General admission includes all grounds acts and unlimited carnival rides.
As part of the 57th International Carillon Festival in Washington Park, Springfield there will be a fireworks display on June 9 at dusk.
The Clayville Folk Music, Car & Art Festival takes place on June 23 between 10am and 5pm at Clayville Historic Site, 12828 State Route 125 Pleasant Plains and is free.
Springfield Park District is showing Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales at dusk on July 13 at Rotary Park.
The West Sangamon Public Library in New Berlin offers a story time for toddlers and preschoolers every Wednesday from 10.30am.
Clara Irwin’s Strawberry Party takes place at Elijah Iles House on July 4 from 5pm to 8pm with a variety of games for children that would have been played in the early 1800s. A wide variety of strawberry dishes will be sold at family-friendly prices.
The Morgan County Fair takes place from July 11 to July 15 at 110 North Westgate Avenue Jacksonville, IL. There is a kids’ day on July 12 from 1.30pm to 3pm with face painting, games, activities and crafts at the southeast part of the fairgrounds near the 4-H Building.
The Illinois State Fair takes place between August 9 and 19 with family-friendly carnival rides, livestock shows, agricultural exhibits, contests, educational displays, free entertainment, harness racing, auto racing and much more.