Springfield cultural events flourish with performing arts options. One of the best and most original of the area takes place each summer from June through August at  New Salem. A recreated village from Lincoln's era and one where he worked for many years, the town has an open air and nationally acclaimed theater that homes nightly performances in amphitheater style that seats 475 people. Off season however, performances continue year round in the smaller indoor theater. These performances are referred to as "Chautauqua" which was a theater and amusement style of the late 19th century to early 20th. A variety of plays, concerts, and even lectures take place at the indoor theater.

The University of Illinois at Springfield's Sangamon theater is impressive and hosts many shows throughout the year. For ballet lovers, performances by the Springfield Ballet Company should satisfy your desire for beauty on stage at a fraction of the cost it would be in Chicago. Meanwhile, those more in favor of a night of music may prefer to see a performance by the Illinois Symphony Orchestra.

Another outdoor performance option is by the Springfield Muni Opri which does many of America's favorite musicals, many of them Broadway inspired shows.

If you are in Springfield around the 3rd Saturday in May, don't miss the Springfield Highland Games put on by the St. Andrew's Society of Central Illinois.  Bagpipe bands, bagpipe and drum solo competitions, musical groups, Scottish dancing, and much more!  Visit Abe and the State Fair, but don't neglect this great annual event.