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Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
Kick off the holiday season and create your special memories on The Magnificent Mile in 2014! The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, the nation’s largest evening holiday celebration, jump starts the holiday season on Saturday, November 22 with a full day of family friendly activities, concerts by top musical artists and the best holiday shopping. The day’s excitement culminates with a grand evening parade down Michigan Avenue marshaled by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, illuminating one million lights on 200 trees. The parade concludes with a grand finale fireworks show over the Chicago River.
Holiday Lights Train
The Holiday Light Train is Pete's biggest event of the year. The park is decorated for the Holidays. See over 250,000 lights in various displays. Giant toy soldiers, candy canes, cascading snow flakes, flying reindeer, and swans swimming, just to name a few of Pete's displays!
Night of the Luminaria
Be a part of one of the most beautiful and romantic visions of the year. The streets, steps and sidewalks of Galena come alive with nearly 5,000 candle-lit luminaries at dusk. Take a special luminaria trolley ride, be a part of a pub crawl, or just stroll through the streets for this enchanted view.
East Peoria Festival of Lights & Folepi's Winter Wonderland
Light up your night at the East Peoria Festival of Lights (FOLEPI)! The annual Festival of Lights is a one-of-a-kind holiday spectacular. With more than two million lights in the festival, the beauty will be sure to mesmerize you and your family.
Six Flags Great America Fright Fest
It's Thrills by Day, Chills by Night at Fright Fest Presented by Snickers®. Six Flags Great America will be totally transformed into a Halloween playground, Fridays - Sundays. Have a ghoulish good time with hair-raising shows, electrifying street entertainment and thrilling haunted houses. Plus, experience all the rides in the dark. There will also be a special trick-or-treat trail just for kids.
Boo! at the Zoo
Halloween fun awaits families at Brookfield Zoo’s annual Boo! at the Zoo celebration. The popular daytime event, presented by Fisher-Price, features a Costume Parade, Costume Showcase, professional pumpkin-carving demonstrations, not-so-scary games and activities, special animal Zoo Chats, and haunted hayrides.
Shelbyville Festival of Lights
Come to Shelbyville and take a drive through Forest Park as it is lit up for the Holiday season. These lights are put in place each year by volunteers and new lights and themed areas are also added. Candy Cane lane is to honor loved ones. Come enjoy the Victorian Village, Santa's Shop, the North Pole, Bethlehem, and others.
Warrenville Holly Days
Holly Days, sponsored by the Warrenville Park District is the City's annual holiday celebration that marks Santa's official entry into Warrenville. Guests can enjoy a warm bonfire, raffles, free horse and carriage rides, hot cider and cookies, and, of course, a visit with Santa. Local Park District and school dance troops, singers, and bands entertain attendees during the event. It is at this event that Warrenville officially turns on its holiday lights creating an array of colors for passersby along Route 56 to see. Holly Days, primarily for Warrenville residents, gives the community an opportunity to come together and kick off the holiday season.
Lighting on John Deere Commons
Come and experience the sights and sounds of the holiday during the Lighting of John Deere Commons in downtown Moline. Meet Mr. & Mrs. Claus, take a carriage ride and watch the fireworks during this holiday celebration centered around the famous John Deere Pavilion.
Du Quoin Annual Holiday Lights Fair
Starting the day after Thanksgiving and continuing through the month of December. Come experience Du Quoin Tourism’s transformation of the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds into a magical place with lights and decorations. The event features a 1 1/2-mile drive through over $250,000 worth of lighted displays as well as decorated trees, entertainment, food, crafts and visits with Santa in the Expo Hall. The light trail opens nightly from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m., and the Expo Hall will be open on the second and third weekends in December from 5:30 — 9:30 p.m. The Expo Hall features Santa’s train ride and Santa’s Workshop.
Holiday Lights at Bunker Hill
Historic buildings at Kennekuk County Park's "Bunker Hill Historic Area" will be lit for the occasion and decorated for the holidays. Continuing throughout the holiday season, the holiday lights will be displayed weekends from 5-8 p.m.
19th Century Christmas at Deere-Wiman House & Butterworth Center
Don't miss these two beautifully decorated Deere family mansions during the holiday season. The 19th Century Christmas features the interiors of the homes decorated for the holidays; along with living-history volunteers, Choir performances, Santa Claus, music, and make-and-take activities for the children. These homes once belonged to the John Deere family and are now operated by the William Butterworth Memorial Trust. Open noon to 5 p.m. Free admission.
Market Days Flea Market & Vendor Fair
Held the first Saturday of every month, this farmers market and flea market features crafts, antiques, furniture, household items, baby furniture, produce, collectibles, art, food booths, and live entertainment!
Country Folk Art Festival
Extraordinary handmade arts and crafts made by award winning artisans. Reproductions of antique American furniture, historic crafts, folk art, primitives, unique Halloween, Christmas creations! Also some original antiques.
Arthur Amish Country Christmas Kickoff
The Christmas lighted parade steps off at 5:30pm and will showcase Santa & Mrs. Claus through downtown Arthur. Immediately following the parade, Santa will visit with children and parents in Knights Court downtown to start collecting those early Christmas requests. Complimentary hot chocolate and cookies will be served during his visit. Throughout the day, businesses in the downtown area as well as the countryside will feature early Christmas bargains and host Open Houses.
Home for the Holidays Arts and Crafts Fair
Satisfy your shopping urges at the annual "Home for the Holidays Arts and Crafts Fair" held in Geneseo. You will be able to select from the plethora of hand crafted items that would be difficult to find anywhere else. There will be something for everyone, so get your holiday shopping done early!
John A. Logan College Autumn Fest
This annual event features over 100 original, handmade arts and crafts, great food, free admission, and free parking. For more information call 1-800-851-4720, extension 8287.
Hometown Holly Day
Over 50 vendors to complete your Christmas shopping. Local shops will be offering discounts. There will be breakfast with Santa at the Methodist Church, put on by the Optimist Club. There will also be a cookie walk at the Catholic Church and a light parade at dusk. Bingo at Harlan Hall will complete the fun filled day!
Turkey Testicle Festival
It’s a great night as you don’t have to bring a dish to pass or talk to relatives. If you have never tried a turkey testicle, this is your chance! No need to worry about the weather the festival is held under one huge heated tent, with plenty of portable potties available. The bar is open but the number of people allowed inside at any one time is limited, as it can become pretty packed. There will also be hats, t-shirts and sweatshirts for sale to remember the night. “So grab a friend that's never been, enjoy a cold brew, great music, and hot nuts!" This is a 21 and older event only so bring your ID. Hope to see you there.
Kewanee Lighted Parade and Windmont Park Lighting
View Kewanee’s magical wonderland of vivid colors and whimsical lights celebrating the spirit of the Christmas season. Open daily 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. through New Years Day.
Christmas Market "Julmarknad"
The holiday festivities in Bishop Hill begin with Julmarknad, or Christmas Market. This event is based on Scandinavian customs dating back to the Middle Ages when farmers and artisans would gather in the village squares to sell their wares. Bishop Hill businesses will be offering unique gifts, handmade wares, antiques, quilts, collectibles, baked goods, delicious foods, and Swedish imports. Scandinavian foods such as herring, lutfisk, and rye bread are also in abundance. Select from a large array of delicious holiday cookies, homemade by community bakers on Friday and Saturday.
Christmas Market - Julmarknad
Experience the sights, sounds and aromas of Christmas past. Swedish folk characters roam the village, music plays, shop the Swedish Food specialties, abundance of handmade wares, folk art, antiques. Select homemade chocolate delicacies during the Chocolate Walk.
Get Lit New Year's Eve Fun Run
Now in it's 13th year, Get Lit is a fun way to "run" in the new year! Open to men, women and children, this event is a non-competitive run/walk on a two-mile paved course through the Folepi's Winter Wonderland drive-through display.
Christmas in Paris
Come join us for a magical night in Paris, Illinois - full of games, crafts, laughter and fun for the entire family. Most storefronts will be open for shopping or hosting an activity. Most activities are free. All are invited. Visit our facebook page to learn more.
Historic National Landmark, Bishop Hill, glows with luminary lit sidewalks and candle lit windows in honor of St. Lucy, a celebration of lights. Musical entertainment abounds throughout the village. Musicians will perform at the Steeple Building and at Vagnhall Galleri, the air will be filled with musical melodies. The village specialty shops and dining establishments stay open late for an enchanted evening to remember. Feel like dancing? Experience the Old Colony School barn dance serenaded by the Rusty String Pickup Band. Experience a utopia on the prairie holiday experience this season.
Andover Christmas Walk
Andover and Andover Lake Park will glow with decorations. Stroll on walkways marked by luminaries or ride in a horse-drawn wagon. Join a soup supper, visit Santa and take part in a Christmas tree silent auction. Refreshments & kids crafts at the American Legion Building from 5pm to 7pm. Visit candle-lit Jenny Lind Chapel and hear live Christmas music from 6pm to 8pm.
Andover Christmas Julotta
For over 160 years this early morning (6:30 a.m.) service has been held at Augustana Lutheran Church. The service is held in a setting similar to that used by the Swedish congregation in 1870. The choir sings a Swedish anthem and the service is in English. Candles in the pews, altar and windows illuminate the sanctuary. Service begins at 6:30am.
The annual Christkindl Market will be held in downtown Quincy's Washington Park. Visitors can shop in heated tents featuring booths from local merchants, authentic German food and drink, activities for youth, visits with Santa and much more!
Cambridge Christmas on the Square
70 plus crafters will be featured at the Cambridge Parent Club’s annual craft show. Visit beautifully decorated homes during the Tour of Homes, area churches will feature “specialty treats.” Stop at Cambridge Community Hall and enjoy a visit with Santa, Holiday Music, supper and view the Festival of Trees. End the day and partake in the Baptist Church Christmas Cantata. Hours: 10am to 8pm.
Christmas on the Fox/Art and Craft Show
Quality, hand-made arts and crafts. No commercial or manufactured items. Come and experience the delights of the season.
Ol’ Fashion Christmas
Breakfast with Santa, make-it and take-it ornaments for kids, edible Christmas ornaments for wildlife, train and carriage rides, candy cane hunt, viewing mini Christmas trees, and a chocolate fair. Parade features floats, marching bands, and Santa. Dusk falls and tens of thousands of lights light up the decorations at Veteran’s Park downtown Galva. Enjoy the Galva Arts Council entertainment in the evening.
Fun for the whole family including roasting hot dogs on an open fire, haunted trail rides and a kid's activity tent.
Christmas Tea at the Stephenson County Historical Museum
Celebrate this holiday tradition at the historic 1857 Oscar Taylor home decorated in Christmas finery. Enjoy music and and homemade cookies with coffee, tea or punch as your tour the mansion. The Holiday Gift Shop will be open featuring a selection of historical books, toys and other unique gift items.
Torchlight Halloween Hike, Pumpkin Carving and Wiener Roast
Enjoy Lincoln Log Cabin in the dark! We will start at the Visitor Center for a bonfire and wiener roast. Bring out your best carved pumpkin by 4:30 pm and visitors will judge the best carvings and prizes will be awarded. You will also want to hike the paths between our historic farms by torchlight to hear storytellers in the Lincoln Cabin and Sargent House there to entertain guests with seasonal stories. To benefit the educational and interpretation programs of Lincoln Log Cabin, the Foundation will be selling hot dogs and s’mores for you to roast over an open fire.
Joy of Christmas Service
This beautiful Christmas service is one you won’t want to miss. It begins in Andover’s Augustana Lutheran Church and concludes by walking to candlelit Jenny Lind Chapel for communion. The service features special choral and instrumental music by Augustana College students and faculty. Refreshments follow the service at Augustana Church. Service begins at 7:30pm.
The Nutcracker Ballet is a holiday tradition woven with beautiful choreography, music and a special story. Set to the lovely score by Tchaikovsky, this two act ballet begins with a young girl named Clara who receives a special gift from Herr Drosselmeyer at a Christmas Party. The nutcracker gift quickly becomes Clara’s favorite and soon transforms into a prince who invites her to join him on a special journey. The story continues through the snow, into the Land of Sweets where dancers from many lands entertain them. Is it all a dream? This will be the 15th time that the Kaiser Dance Theatre has brought the lovable ballet to local audiences. The first performance took place in 1985 and since then has become one of Quincy’s very own holiday traditions.
Geneseo Christmas Walk
Geneseo’s spirit sparkles downtown with Christmas magic in the air. Each storefront window has family, friends and even animals depicting various scenes. Enjoy chestnuts roasting. Make memories for young and old. Join the Jingle Bell Run and other family activities during the afternoon and enjoy the lighted Christmas parade at 5PM. Watch for Santa. Hours: 8am to 9pm.
The Winter Wonderettes
THE WINTER WONDERETTES takes audiences to Harper’s Hardware for their 1968 holiday party, hosted by the female singing group The Wonderettes. When Santa turns up missing, the ladies must use their talent and creative ingenuity, plus some great holiday tunes such as “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “ Run Rudolph Run,” “Winter Wonderland” and 20 other seasonal favorites, to save the festivities. This energetic and entertaining show is guaranteed to delight audiences of all ages.
A Christmas Survival Guide/Holiday Musical Revue
Laugh away your seasonal anxieties and join five young optimistic people on their hilarious journey to find the true essence of Christmas. Rated PG. Performances: Fri.-Sat.8pm; Sun. 2pm
Holiday House at Magnolia Manor
The 14 room historic mansion is decorated for the Holidays, with many of the decorations for sale. Holiday luncheons can be scheduled with reservations. Luncheons include a served meal and a house tour. Regular tours are offered from 1 to 4pm daily.
2015 Christkindl Holiday Festival
Come to downtown Barrington for the annual Christkindl Festival. This is an open-air event during the holiday season featuring authentic German food, live entertainment, drinks, fun activities for families and kids crafts, live reindeer, carousel & train rides, Gingerbread House competition and even Santa's house. Please visit the website for a complete list of entertainment.
Christmas in Carterville
This annual Christmas celebration encompasses the entire downtown area of Carterville. Santa and his helpers will be on hand for photos. There will be hot chocolate and cookies, caroling, chili supper, gingerbread contest, festival of trees, Sugar Plum Dance Fairies, face painting, Candy Land Path, Horse and Carriage rides and much much more. This event is held in downtown Carterville.
White Christmas The Musical
Celebrate the holiday season with Irving Berlin's White Christmas, the merry and bright stage production based on the classic silver screen romantic comedy. When two former Army buddies, who are now Broadway performers, follow a sister act booked at a charming Vermont Inn, they soon discover that it is owned by their former commander. With no snow and no customers, the General is nearly bankrupt. To save the lodge, the two acts team up and put on a festive show packed with Irving Berlin favorites like Blue Skies, Count Your Blessings, I Love a Piano, and, of course, White Christmas. White Christmas is joyful entertainment for the entire family and will have audiences dreaming of tree tops glistening and sleigh bells in the snow.
A Carpenters' Christmas
Singer Lisa Rock and her 6-piece band are keeping the Carpenters' holiday tradition alive and bringing their unforgettable Christmas songs to the stage.
Geneseo Christmas Tour of Homes
Some of Geneseo’s most beautiful and unique homes will be featured on the tour, each with a touch of the Christmas season. The Tour of Homes is sponsored by the Geneseo Alliance of Ladies (GALS). The money goes to help women from our community continue their education or get training to re-enter the workforce.
Buffalo Grove Days 2015
This annual festival has fun for everyone. The festival will include the chamber beer garden, a business and craft fair, free entertainment all day long, a carnival, games, special events, a parade and fireworks on Sunday. Please visit the website for more information.
4th of July Weekend Kayak Tour & Beach Glampout
Camp out on the wooded, sandy beaches of the Illinois River. A potluck dinner on the beach will be followed by a movie, via a pico projector under the stars. There will be campfires on the beach to enjoy! This event is perfect for the first time camper! A full hot breakfast will be served in the morning before setting out on a guided kayak tour for approx. 2 hours. This trip will explore either the Mazon River or the Illinois River and the wildlife along the way!
Freedom Fest at Skydive Chicago
Take advantage of local organizers, entertainment and the famous firework show at no registration cost. Skydive Chicago offers the best entertainment in the Midwest! The 220-acre resort offers camping, canoeing, hiking, fishing and swimming, all onsite.
Come Celebrate monthly at Whispering Pines, a bed and breakfast with a beautiful, quiet country setting on a heavily wooded three acre lot. May - Honoring our mothers and remembering our veterans - Mom's breakfast recipes/All American brunch. June - Honoring and remembering our fathers and our flag - Dad's breakfast choice/New England to Hawaii. July - Independence Day Celebrations - flags to fireworks. August - Summertime on our deck - nothing like breakfast outdoors. September - Enjoy Our Outdoors & Dwight Harvest Days - country living lifestyle! Times: 7:00am - 11:00 am through September 23rd.
Columbus Day Family Potluck Campout / Kayak Tour
Camp out on the wooded, sandy beaches of the Illinois River. Includes a potluck dinner on the beach under the stars and there will be campfires on the beach to enjoy! This event is perfect for the first time camper! A full hot breakfast will be served in the morning before setting out on a guided kayak tour for approx. 2 hours. This trip will explore either the Mazon River or the Illinois River and the wildlife along the way!
Labor Day Pow Wow
Each Labor Day weekend, Black Hawk State Historic Site welcomes their annual Labor Day Weekend Pow Wow hosted by hosted by MAPA, the Citizens to Preserve Black Hawk Park Foundation, Black Hawk State Historic Site and IHPA. This pow wow celebrates the Native American culture and tradition of the Sauk and Meskwaki (Fox) tribes that once resided in the Quad Cities region. The celebration features Native American dancing, music, and crafts.
2015 Annual Holiday Walk
Live window displays, horse-drawn carriage rides and Santa and his reindeer are just part of the magic of The Annual Holiday Walk. Enjoy winter on Madison Street!
Streator's Fourth - America's Best!
The annual Fourth of July celebration includes a carnival at the City Park, talent contest, musical entertainment, food vendors and a parade with the highlight of the festivities being the awesome Fireworks display on Saturday, July 4th at the Streator High School Athletic Field. Please support this wonderful event by purchasing an autolotto fund-raising ticket. Also take in the Annual 4th of July Patriotic Parade on Sunday July 5th and the Galaxy "9 Hole" Golf Tournament on July 6th!
Home for the Holidays in Downtown Oak Park
Catch the old-fashioned holiday spirit with free horse-drawn sleigh rides and a visit from Santa!
Halloween Casket Races
The Annual Casket Race is back! The Casket Race features trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, plus the most frightfully funny and creepy designs. Cheer on your favorite team - or join the race!
Winterfest in Downtown Oak Park
Collect sweet treats at this signature holiday cookie walk on December 5th (11 a.m.-3 p.m.). Take photos with Saint Nicholas and enjoy a variety of family friendly entertainment acts.
Follow the Green Pumpkin Trail to collect healthy treats from local businesses and participate in kids' activities including pumpkin painting and costume swap. Join us October 17th from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
The Second City: Holidazed & Confused Revue
Spend your holiday season with the funniest comedy crew in the country: Second City and their hilarious holiday show Holidazed and Confused. These guys are bringing their world-famous skits, songs and laughs to Paramount’s 175-seat Copley Theatre from December 4 to 20 – and in a theatre this intimate, you’re up close and personal with all that Second City fun. Get some eggnog, get out to Aurora and get ready to laugh with Second City.
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas at the Paramount Theatre
There’s no better way to kick off the holiday season than with the band that changed Christmas music forever: it’s Mannheim Steamroller. Helmed by Grammy-winner and musical genius Chip Davis, this world-renowned group takes your favorite songs of the season and beefs them up with their signature new age style that’s been dubbed “18th century Classical Rock.” With 40+ years of live performances under their cummerbunds, these guys know how to put on a show that will leave audiences in absolute awe. Get in the holiday spirit with the uplifting sounds and magical arrangements of Mannheim Steamroller.
BatFest is Batavia's annual Halloween themed family event attracting over 2,500 ghouls. BatFest includes downtown Trick-or-Treating, Mothers' Club Parade, pumpkin roll, contests, BatArt and games for free family fun. Before the festival, join Batavia United Way for their BatFest 5K walk/run and 10K Run along the Fox River Trail. For more information, please visit www.5kbatavia.com
Goose Lake Prairie Partners Holiday Open House
This holiday event features decorated Christmas tree with homemade ornaments. Children will make holiday ornaments. Hot apple cider and homemade cookies will be served. Partners will be in 1830 period dress. Located in the Visitors Center, Sat Nov 14, 1:00pm - 3:00pm. Free admission.
Lee Greenwood Christmas at the Effingham Performance Center
"A Tennessee Christmas" with Lee Greenwood is a celebration of traditional and popular carols guaranteed to put the entire family in the spirit. See him live at the EPC at 7:30 p.m.
Scott Wattles Blue Suede Christmas at the Effingham Performance Center
Join musicians, Scott Wattles and the Blue Suede Crew at 7 p.m. as they celebrate the holidays with their sensational Rock 'n Roll Christmas show.
Memorial Day Tribute at the Effingham Performance Center
Three Chicks & A Stage present a Memorial Day musical tribute to our local veterans and military.
Branson On the Road at the Effingham Performance Center
What do you get when you bring together a fiddle, mandolin, banjo, guitar, upright slap bass, beautiful rhinestone costumes, hilarious comedy and country Christmas, bluegrass, rockabilly and gospel music? only one answer-Branson On The Road--Christmas Style at the Effingham Performance Center! The best way to experience a Branson Christmas show right where you live! Two different times to catch this amazing act, 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Dave Rudolf's Halloween Concert for Kids at the Effingham Performance Center
Dave Rudolf serves up his special brand of Halloween entertainment through parodies, bubbles, hula hoops and audience interaction at 3 p.m. Costumes welcome!