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The oldest surviving capitol building in Illinois is putting on its best holiday duds and throwing the doors open to the public. Visitors to the Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site will find the building illuminated by more than 250 candles and trimmed with decorations appropriate to the 1840s, when a young Abraham Lincoln served there. Decorations include fresh greenery and fruits.
The Museum is decked out for the holidays; the trees have twinkle lights, Sam is dressed up, and of course the tree competition! During the month of December the Museum gets dressed up for the holidays. The Festival of Trees features a display of over 20 trees decorated by businesses and non-profit groups.The public can vote for their favorite tree by making a donation in jars in the lobby. The Midwest Museum of Natural History also has ‘special events’ happening weekly all December long!
The Weber House is decorated in a style reminiscent of a prosperous 18th century home. As was the custom, decorations are homemade from greens, pine cones, fruits, flowers and assorted sweets. The Christmas trees, although common today, are not historically accurate. They did not come on the scene until Queen Victoria. And then they were small table top trees. So come on in and see Christmas of long ago.
Where did the Lincoln boys hang their stockings for Santa to fill? What might have been in those stockings? What kinds of Christmas goodies were on Lincoln's table? Discover how the Lincoln family celebrated the holidays by taking a tour through the Lincoln Home.
Celebrate the Holidays with a visit the Dana-Thomas House - A Frank Lloyd Wright Design as the exterior of the home will be lined with 1,000 candles and guests can take a silent tour of the beautiful interior accompanied by holiday music. Evening tours are also available 11/30 - 12/21 from 5 pm - 7:30 pm
The dramatic story behind one of the world’s most notorious escaped Nazi war criminals being brought to justice is told using recently declassified artifacts from the Mossad, Israel’s Secret Intelligence Service. This is the first time this exhibition has ever left the State of Israel and the first exhibition in the United States to fully document the pursuit, capture, extradition and 1961 trial of a principal perpetrator of The Final Solution.
To celebrate the return of our National bird, the great Bald Eagle, the public is invited to the free activities at the civic center, Black Fox Singers, Native American dancers, vendors, food, live raptors and an eagle watch, held from 10-5pm both days.
John Wood Mansion Candlelight Tours bring the holidays to the mansion each weekend in December. Free and open to the public, the Governor John Wood Mansion is decked out in decorations, with a variety of live performers each weekend from Dec. 3-17th. Held on Saturday evenings from 6-8pm and Sunday's from 1-3pm. For the entertainment schedule or more information contact the Historical Society at 217-222-1835.
The centerpiece of Clayville is the Broadwell Inn, the oldest brick building in Sangamon County, built in 1824 by the Broadwell family as a stage coach stop between Springfield and Beardstown. The Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is surrounded by numerous other historic buildings from Central Illinois moved to Clayville in the 1960s to recreate an early frontier pioneer village. Come see a unique piece of Illinois history.
Pioneer artisan and craftsman demonstration, historic building tours, kids activities, craft vendors, with food and refreshments. Enjoy period music and audience participation entertainment throughout the weekend in an 1820's pioneer village.
Welcome warmer weather and shake off cabin fever during Naper Settlement’s annual tribute to the changing of the seasons. Learn the time-honored method of collecting sap the old-fashioned way and see a maple tree tapping demonstration. Enjoy hands-on activities and presentations that recount Illinois’ Native American heritage and pioneer past and try a tasty maple treat. Each of the historic buildings will have a different theme and special activities for families to enjoy.
Come to the huge fireworks display at the Mt. Vernon Airport for July 4th. This event also includes live entertainment, children's area, food vendors, and much more!
Celebrate the season at Allerton! Come out anytime to shop for gifts, enjoy tours of the decorated Mansion, and relax with friends over lunch. New this year, the Showcase will feature an application process for our 20+ artisans and businesses, selling their unique products, handcrafted wares, and baked goods. Tours of the historic Mansion will be held on the hour from 10am-3pm (no registration necessary) and a warm lunch buffet will be available at 11:30am or 1:30pm (with advanced ticket purchase). End the memorable day with a carriage ride around the Estate! There's a reason why this incredible estate is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of Illinois, and there is not doubt it becomes even more wondrous during the holidays!
This annual reenactment of late-1700s Illinois life on the frontier prairie features blanket traders, merchants, military units, fife and drum corps, and period-style food from more than 20 vendors. The encampment offers military drills, mock battles, along with story telling and children's activities.
The cabin’s historic interpreters will discuss the ever-changing Christmas traditions during Abraham Lincoln’s time and how the Greek bishop St. Nicholas came to be known as Santa Claus, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Meanwhile, the Visitor’s Center will offer music, snacks and family-friendly activities.
You are cordially invited to the Hegeler family’s annual Christmas party. Step back in time to 1887 and be whisked away by the staff as you peek into the family’s and guests’ party preparations. Then, experience the fun of the party with carols, stories, and more. Guests at this event will tour the Mansion and will be guided through a play by one of our maids, meeting the Hegeler family and friends as the story unfolds. Actors in period dress in each room will give you a glimpse into the holidays as celebrated during Victorian times. The halls are festively decorated for the occasion. This theatrical tour is different every year and features local stars from Stage 212, Engle Lane, IVCC, and local high schools. This event always sells out quickly and is a fun annual tradition.
Come celebrate the arrival of Lewis and Clark at Camp River Dubois. This annual event commemorates December 12, the day William Clark and the men of the detachment arrived at the confluence of the "Riviere a Dubois," Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. The event will include members of the detachment portraying military life, re-enactors recreating the civilian population and demonstrations. For more information, call (618) 251-5811.
Step back in time to the days when frontier fur trappers met with fur traders and buyers during this reenactment festival at Pere Marquette State Park. The Second Annual Pere Marquette State Park Rendezvous will be a traditional Pre-1840 event with buckskinned re-enactors portraying primitive traders and campers. There will be period demonstrations, black powder and longbow shoots, camp music and food common to days on the Illinois frontier. The public is invited to attend and admission is free.
Visit the 50-acre showground and experience the fall harvest early 1900’s style. The event features the historical value of collection and exhibition of gasoline and steam tractors, power driven farm machinery and other equipment through field demonstrations, displays of gas engines, garden tractors, farm tractors, and equipment. Tractor pulls, craft demonstrations, speakers, children activities and music are featured daily. Food is available and parking is free. Take the kids on a train ride throughout the showground. .
DrumLine Live, the show stopping attraction created by the musical team behind the hit movies, “Drumline” and “Drumline: A New Beat,” embodies the soulful, high-stepping style of the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) marching band experience. With its riveting rhythms, bold beats, and ear grabbing energy, DrumLine Live is a high octane musical roller coaster ride that is guaranteed to touch every emotion in your body. They have a brand new show for the entire family and they promise… you will be on your feet by Halftime!!
This collaborative exhibit explores what it means to be Hmong American. How has Hmong life changed since refugees first entered the U.S. in the 1970s? What does it mean to be Hmong American today? Through objects, audio recordings and personal stories of Hmong Americans, this exhibit immerses visitors in the material culture and social issues of Hmong American communities. The exhibition is now open and will run through December 2016. A special opening reception featuring refreshments and live music will be held 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at the museum, located in Cole Hall on the NIU campus. The event is free and open to the public. The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free and all are welcome.
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 lights will be displayed weekends from 5-8 p.m.
Join us and over 800,000 volunteers nationwide in placing a wreath on a veteran's grave. Invite your family and friends to an experience you will never forget, as we take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to honor our service men and women and their families.
Visit the old world featuring a tipi encampment, black powder shoots, pre-1840 demonstrations, bow-shoots, tomahawk and knife throwing, primitive fire-starting and 1840 trade goods. Open: Friday is Educational Day with over 600 students touring the grounds. 10am to 5pm on Saturday, and 10am to 3pm on Sunday. Admission $2.00 per person.