Centennial Park

This park spans 73.8 acres. It was purchased for $161,809 in 1959 via bond issue. The original acreage was 79.122, however several land exchanges have taken place over the years. This includes exchanging the land for Centennial High School and Jefferson Middle School for the land for Morrissey Park.

Centennial Park is the second largest park in the Champaign Park District and has the widest variety of recreation to offer visitors.

Centennial Park offers eight lighted tennis courts, one lighted baseball field and five unlighted baseball fields, an unlighted basketball court, and a soccer field. There is a playground with swings, and in the winter provides the only sledding hill in the Park District.

There are several picnic areas, a shelter, outdoor grills, restrooms, drinking fountains, walking paths, and plenty of parking. Concession stands are open seasonally.

The Sholem Aquatic Center is located in Centennial Park, and includes two water slides, lap lanes, a lazy river, a children's pool, and shaded seating.

Also located within the grounds are two Champaign Park District buildings: the Leonhard Recreation Center and the Bresnan Meeting Center.

Leonhard Recreation Center, originally dedicated in 1976 as the Bicentennial Center, was rededicated in 1984 to honor CPD commissioner Patricia H. Leonhard. It houses a full gymnasium, air-conditioned activity space, locker rooms, and offices. It also offers plenty of Health & Wellness and Special Interest programs, including sports clinics and the Model Rocket Workshop. In 2012 it was announced that the Leonhard Recreation Center would be replaced with a $5 million dollar facility in the Spring of 2014. Replacing the thirty five year old building will be a complex that includes a new heating and cooling system, several indoor basketball and volyball courts, a walking track, and activity rooms. Ground was broken for the new facility July 3rd, 2013, and will be partially funded by a $2.5 million dollar grant from the state's Park and Recreation Construction program (Wade 2012).

Bresnan Meeting Center, originally dedicated in 1968 as "The Meeting Center," was rededicated in 1984 in honor of Park Commissioner Donald F. Bresnan. The Bresnan Meeting Center is the administrative office of the Champaign Park District. Board of Commissioners' meetings are held here on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m.

Finally, Centennial Park also houses the Prairie Farm which is open from late May to mid-August. Prairie Farm is a replica turn-of-the-century farm that was dedicated in 1966. The farm features a petting area, classes for kids, tours, and horse-drawn trolleys.


aerial view of Centennial Park

aerial view of Centennial Park

Image Courtesy of the Champaign Park District View File Details Page

Centennial Park

Centennial Park

Centennial's wide open fields make it the ideal place for a picnic, a game of touch football, or family gathering. Image Courtesy of the Champaign Park District View File Details Page

Sledding Hill

Sledding Hill

Centennial Park becomes a winter wonderland when the snow starts to fall and the hill is perfect for sledding! Image Courtesy of the Champaign Park District View File Details Page

Centennial Playground

Centennial Playground

The playground is just one of the many kid-friendly features. With various climbing bars, ramps, and slides this playground is a great place for kids to let off some steam. Image Courtesy of the Champaign Park District View File Details Page

Street Address:

2205 Sangamon Dr., Champaign, IL 61821 [map]

Official Website:

Champaign Park District

Cite this Page:

“Centennial Park,” ExploreCU, accessed June 27, 2017, http://explorecu.org/items/show/157.
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