Mattoon has a wide variety of recreational activities in the area to offer folks of all interests and activity levels.
The Great Outdoors
City of Mattoon Park Department
208 N. 19th St.
The City of Mattoon owns a variety parks and a sports complex, for more info please see the Parks & Recreation Department page.
Douglas-Hart Nature Center
The Douglas-Hart Nature Center is located on Route 316 at the eastern edge of Mattoon. The Center was established to recreate and maintain two native habitats of Illinois, the prairie and deciduous forest, as they appeared before intensive use of modern man.
Trails wind throughout Douglas-Hart Nature Center’s thirty-five acres. Observation stations are designated along the length of our 0.8 mile loop. An accompanying trail guide, detailing interesting and unique features of the prairie and deciduous forest, is available to all visitors.
The Visitor Center is open year round. It features interpretive exhibits and sensory displays to be enjoyed by kids of all ages. A bird observation area allows one to enjoy birds as they feed, bathe, and play. Programs and guided walks are conducted throughout the year. They are intended for the general public and cover such topics as wildflowers, gardening, reptiles, and pond life.
For more information, please call the Center at 217-235-4644. Reservations are required for large groups.
Visitor Center Open:
Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday – 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Sundays – 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Daily from dawn until dusk.
The Annual Y-Flyer Fleet 39 Regatta is always held on Lake Mattoon the second weekend in June.
Owned by the City of Mattoon, Lake Mattoon is located in the counties of Coles, Shelby and Cumberland. Having a maximum depth of 35 feet, the average depth is 10.5 feet. The capacity is 2.6 billion gallons with a surface area of 1,050 acres. 53% of the 55.5 mile shoreline is owned by the City of Mattoon, along with 348.5 acres of surrounding property. Lake Mattoon is fed by the Little Wabash River and is a popular recreation spot for boating, fishing, and camping. Approximately 1,042 boat permits are issued every year. The primary use of Lake Mattoon is supplying water to the City of Mattoon, Illinois.
Lytle Park Pool
3298 Cedar Ave
Lytle Park Superintendent: 217-234-2464
(Lytle Park is not owned by the City for more information please contact them)
The Great Indoors
Mattoon Area Family YMCA
221 N. 16th
AMC Showplace Mattoon 10
2509 Hurst Drive
Guest services: 217-234-8900
Silver Star Roller Rink
North Route 45
Mattoon Golf & Country Club
6700 Country Club Rd
Meadowview Golf Course
6489 Meadowview Ln
Pumpkin Patches and Orchards
Buxton Garden Farm
Located 3 miles west of Sullivan or 3 1/2 miles east of Bethany on IL Route 121. Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Roadside market spring, summer, and fall with seeds, plants, flowers and veggies, along with fresh produce. Corn, straw mazes and hayrides free! 200 varieties from 80 acres, you pick or we pick pumpkins, some may weigh 200 lbs! Colors include all shades of orange, yellow, red, white, and blue with shapes from flat to round and big to small. Also available, squash, gourds, Indian corn, cider, 1,500 plus mums, 5,000 cabbages, and a varitey of fall items. Gourd painting Oct 2 with gourd artist Karenlee Spencer. The first Buxton’s Pumpkin chuckin Contest Oct 9.
The Great Pumpkin Patch
Located 2 miles south, and 1/2 mile west of the Village of Arthur, the farm, homesteaded in 1859, consists of The Great Pumpkin Patch, The Homestead Bakery, and The Homestead Seeds. The Great Pumpkin Patch is open Sept. 15–Oct. 31st each year to celebrate the harvest. We grow over 400 varieties of pumpkins, squash, and gourds and have over 14 acres of displays and gardens. There are animals, mazes, and a historic one-room schoolhouse for you to explore. Open year-round, The Homestead Bakery offers made-from-scratch Amish baked goods, and The Homestead Seeds offers unique varieties of pumpkins, squash, and gourd seeds for the everyday gardener.
Okaw Valley Orchard
Located about 4 miles North of IL Route 121 on IL Route 32, follow signs. 15 varieties of apples available at different times throughout the season, pasteurized apple cider and cider slush, apple butter, applesauce, jellies and jams, caramel apples, fresh apple doughnuts, frozen apple dumplings, fresh fruit pies available. Large playground and picnic area.
Shady Crest Orchard
An Amish owned orchard one half mile south of Arthur. Golden and Red Delicious, Jonathan apples and other varieties available. Also, apple butter, jams and jellies, comb and strained honey, sorghum and maple syrup, popcorn, cider and blooming mums. Vegetables and squash are also available. Open 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday. Take Main Street South on the county line road to the orchard sign.