Where to Celebrate New Year’s in the Springfield Area

Whether you’re in the mood for family-friendly festivities or prefer to let your hair down and ring in the New Year in style, Springfield offers plenty of options for partygoers. Here are our four favorite picks for places to say goodbye to 2017.

1. Firefighters Postal Lake Club, 940 West Lake Shore Dr.

Time travel back to the 1970s with this fun New Year’s Eve party featuring music from the era Cool 2 Duel, a dueling pianos group. Find some old bell-bottoms to participate in the 70s costume contest and enjoy a prime rib and chicken breast dinner by Nelson’s Catering. The festivities for ages 21 and older start at 6 p.m., with the live music beginning at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $60 and include your meal and a champagne toast at midnight.

2. 2018 First Night Springfield, Springfield High School

For the 31st year in a row, downtown Springfield will host this all-day family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration, with a ton of events taking place at various city venues. The fun kicks off at 1 p.m. with free crafts and entertainment for kids at Springfield High School. At 4:30 p.m., head to the high school auditorium for a theater organ performance by Mark Gifford. At 5 p.m., visit your choice of 10 performances at four downtown venues, including comedy, music, dance, storytelling, and magic. Local teen bands will enjoy their own performance venue at the Black Sheep Cafe, making this truly an event that will please the entire family. Fireworks kick off at 8 p.m., leaving you plenty of time to ring in the new year on your couch in your PJs. Visit the official event page for a full schedule of festivities.

3. The Crowne Plaza Springfield, 3000 South Dirksen Parkway

The Crowne Plaza is hosting their annual Ultimate New Year’s Eve party. This year, entertainment includes live sets from Lick Creek, Groove Daddies, and Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters, all hosted by your favorite Radio Pro DJs. Enjoy a complimentary swag bag with New Year’s Eve treats, hors-d’oeuvres created by the hotel’s executive chef, two drink tickets, and even a few surprises. Make a night of it by opting for a package deal that includes a hotel stay, champagne toast at midnight, midnight snack, and mimosa breakfast with full bar. The party gets going at 9 p.m.; attendees must be 21 or older.

4. Route 66 Hotel and Conference Center, 625 East St Joseph St.

Party the night away with the festivities at Route 66 this New Year’s Eve, including a mechanical bull riding contest with three cash prizes, live music from Hi-Tek Redneck, games, entertainment, and drink specials. You’ll enjoy a champagne toast with your fellow revelers at midnight. The night gets started at 8 p.m. The party costs $145 which includes overnight accommodations for two and late checkout with brunch on New Year’s Day.

Treat yourself to a new Kia this year. Stop by Green Kia to explore our inventory of high-quality new and pre-owned vehicles.

6 Things to Put in a Car Emergency Kit

You never know what can happen when you’re out on the road. To make sure you’re prepared for a breakdown, you should always have an emergency kit packed in your vehicle with the following necessary items.

1. First Aid Kit

The most essential item in your car emergency kit is a first aid kit. You can buy pre-made kits that include everything you need or you can put together your own kit with what you already have in your home. Regardless of which option you choose, your first aid should include the following:

  • Bandages
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Gauze pads
  • Cotton balls
  • Aspirin
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors

2. Jumper Cables

Sometimes the battery in your vehicle simply requires a jump to get going again. In this case, you’ll be glad you had a set of jumper cables in your emergency kit. However, jumper cables only work if you have another car that can give you a jump. You might want to consider a battery with attached jumper cables. Some options even come with outlets to recharge phones or other mobile devices.

3. Cellphone Charger

Your cellphone is a lifeline if you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere. However, it can only help you if it has a charged battery. You can include a backup cellphone charger in your emergency kit, but if your car battery is dead or you’re trying to conserve battery power, this might not help. In this case, consider including a solar phone charger in addition to your regular charger. Solar phone chargers let you power up your phone anywhere you get sunlight.

4. Food and Water

Food and water are two other important items you’ll want for your car emergency kit. When you’re choosing food items, look for non-perishable snacks and high-calorie options. This can include energy bars, jerky, almonds, dried fruit, tuna packs, and cereal. If you get trail mix, be sure you choose one without chocolate, which will melt in the high temperature of your vehicle. You’ll want to make sure you have enough bottled water for everyone traveling with you, and you can even consider packing a sports drink mix to add to the water for extra flavor and calories.

5. Weather-Related Items

You should always tailor your emergency kit to the weather you’ll be driving in. Therefore, you’ll need to add and subtract items throughout the year to keep up with the changing seasons. For example, you’ll want to make sure your emergency kit has an ice scraper when you’re traveling in the winter. In the summer, a battery-powered fan can help keep you cool while you’re waiting for help to arrive.

6. Entertainment

If your vehicle breaks down, you don’t know how long it will take for help to arrive. The last thing to include in your emergency kit is some entertainment. Consider a book, pack of cards, pen and paper, or something else that can help you pass the time.

Before you head out on your next trip, make sure you have a roadside emergency kit packed with these essential items.

4 Winter Weather Driving Tips

If you’ve ever been stuck in severe winter weather you know how intimidating and dangerous it can be for automobile travel. Drivers should be extra careful on the roads and be well prepared to deal with any winter road emergencies. Green Kia gently reminds our customers to be cautious while driving in adverse weather conditions because your health and happiness is our top priority. These are four winter weather driving tips.

De-Icing Your Windshield

Whatever you do, don’t use hot water unless you want to deal with a bunch of shattered glass. The first thing to do is to start your car and then turn on your front and rear defrosters. This will help melt the ice and snow and also warm up the inside of your car. When you’re ready to scrape the ice off, use a plastic ice scraper because plastic scrapers won’t damage or scratch the glass surface. Don’t use your windshield wipers until after you’ve completely removed the snow and ice from the windshield. Also, make sure your car has enough windshield washer fluid before you head out.

How to Get Unstuck

If you find yourself stuck in the snow or ice, try to avoid the temptation to spin your wheels. This will just dig you into a deeper hole. Instead, safely get out of your vehicle and look for the path of least resistance between your car and clear ground. Then, try to clear the snow behind your wheels and in front of them as well. If you can, generously pour kitty litter or sand around your tires. Also, keep in mind that the more your front wheels are turned, the more resistance you will have in movement in any direction, so try to keep your front tires as straight as possible.

How to Handle a Skid

If your car begins to slide, keep calm and follow these simple steps. First of all, don’t allow yourself to panic. Take a deep breath and refrain from slamming on the brakes. Remove your foot from the gas pedal and steer your car in the direction you want to go. Wait for the car to stop skidding and to slow down so you can recover control. The best thing to do is to prepare ahead of time for handling a skid by practicing in an open parking lot.

Winter Road Essentials

You should always pack some wintertime essentials in your vehicle so you’ll be prepared in the event of an emergency. First start with car essentials, such as flares, a jack, a spare tire, driving chains and a windshield scraper. Next, get together some things that will help keep you safe and comfortable if you get stuck out in the cold. This includes an extra coat, gloves, a warm hat, a blanket or two, hand and feet warmers, bottled water, an extra power pack and charging cord for your cell phone, a lighter, flashlight, and snacks.

Winter can be a stressful time, especially for driving. So make sure you are well prepared with plenty of rest and everything you need to keep you and your family safe on the road.

Wintertime Performances You Can’t Miss in Springfield

Sometimes it’s hard to adjust to wintertime. The days get a lot shorter and it gets cold outside. Unfortunately, we often have no choice but to stay indoors, but you can only watch so many movies before you feel restless. It might be time for you to kick the winter blues by heading out with family or friends to enjoy a wintertime performance. Whether it’s a holiday concert, show, or ballet, your spirit will feel refreshed. We at Green Kia want our customers to be happy, so we’re pleased to suggest these wintertime performances you can’t miss in Springfield.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The Hoogland Center of the arts on South Sixth Street is a perfect place to catch a concert. The Land of Lincoln Barbershop Chorus brings us “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” It’s a heartwarming holiday show with comforting barbershop harmonies that will undoubtedly get you into the holiday spirit!

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Everyone’s favorite underdog is Charlie Brown. There’s something about him that makes us smile on the inside and want to be better humans. The old holiday classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas” will surely entertain kids of all ages. Presented by the Hoogland Education Department, the classic television show comes to life in this perfectly performed stage adaptation. Join Charlie Brown, Linus, Snoopy, Peppermint Patty, and the rest of the Peanuts Gang as they’re reminded of the true meaning of Christmas.

The Nutcracker

The Springfield Ballet Company brings to Springfield its 43rd annual performance of “The Nutcracker.” This family-friendly tradition is a timeless holiday classic that can’t be missed. It follows young Clara and her Nutcracker as they journey through an extravagant Christmas party to a ferocious battle with the evil Mouse King, and then on to a magical visit to the Land of Snow. The show features a cast of more than 120 performers, including local actors from our community, as well as professional guest artists. “The Nutcracker” is the perfect combination of culture, fantasy, and holiday magic.

Holiday Pops in the Heartland

Make your holidays more memorable by attending the Illinois Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Pops in the Heartland. This festive holiday music is truly a community affair, as it features the Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony, Springfield Youth Performance in Springfield, Springfield Ballet Company, along with the Bloomington-Normal Symphony Orchestra and the Twin Cities School of Dance. Guest Conductor Thomas Heuser does an outstanding job of bringing it all together in a spectacular fashion that will leave you begging for an encore.

By now you’re probably flipping through your calendar looking for available dates so you can treat yourself or someone you love to one of these amazing wintertime performances. Why not make a whole night of it? Get a little dressed up and head out for a special night on the town. Start with a drive through some holiday lights, enjoy a delicious dinner, or go out for dessert and drinks after the show.