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16th Annual Holiday Housewalk & Market
Tour gorgeous homes decorated for the holidays, shop our artisan market for unique gifts, enjoy carolers, delicious food and fun with friends. Fee: Housewalk $40; Market: $5 for $15 for the Thursday Preview Party. *The homes are located in different neighborhoods so personal transportation is necessary.
CITY: Oak Park
30th Annual St. Charles Scarecrow Festival
More than 100 handcrafted Scarecrows on display. View and vote for your favorites. Huge juried craft show, carnival, great food, continuous free live entertainment, many free children's activities, make your own scarecrow, and much more! A celebration of the autumn season!
CITY: St. Charles
4D Comedy Juggler Mark Nizer
Whether juggling laser beams, a 16-pound bowling ball, or running electric carving knife, Mark Nizer, winner of the prestigious International Juggling Championships, is sure to astound! With his combination of original comedy, world class juggling, movement, music, and technology, it is no surprise that has been called, "Nothing less than brilliant," by Performance Magazine among other accolades. This is sure to be a fun-filled show starting at 2 p.m. and doors opening at 1 p.m.
4th Annual Center City Restaurant Week
Whether you consider yourself a foodie, have a bit of a sweet tooth, or simply just enjoy tasting new dishes. then you’re going to love Center City Restaurant Week! The concept is simple – restaurants located in Downtown, Midtown and Campustown offer special menus all week, featuring their most delicious dishes at knockout prices! Make Restaurant Week a whole week experience and understand why Champaign is known for great dining.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
This museum is one of the most-visited presidential museums in the nation where visitors can experience the entire Lincoln story under one roof, from Abe's humble beginnings in an Indiana log cabin to his days as president in the White House. Be dazzled by two special effects theaters featuring historical ghosts and a Civil War battlefield, life-like vignettes that depict important moments in the president’s life, and artifacts that range from Lincoln’s stovepipe hat to an original copy of the Gettysburg Address.
African American Civil War Soldiers Monument
This unique artwork is one of only a handful of sculptured tributes to the African American Civil War soldier in the entire United States. Commissioned by the City of Decatur, the work was designed and created by renowned artist, Preston Jackson. Jackson created several concepts for the statue and allowed the citizens of Decatur to vote to select the final design.
Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Have you ever had a really rotten day? Alexander has.. Laugh and sing along with this hilarious musical adaptation of Judith Viorst's classic children's book, presented by Two Beans Productions, and discover along with Alexander that sometimes, every one of us has a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. The show is about an hour long and is great for children from kindergarten to third grade. It covers arts, literature-based, music, relationships and family which is a great learning experience for children. Doors will open at 9 a.m. and this show will start at 10 a.m.
Allerton Park & Retreat Center
Allerton Park was the private estate of Robert Henry Allerton, who donated it to the University of Illinois in 1946. It features 1,500 acres of woodlands, formal gardens and more than 100 sculptures. The park is open to the public for hiking, picnicking, cross-country skiing and leisurely garden strolls.
Aloha Falls Miniature Golf & Games
Seasonal facility offering outdoor miniature golf, a retro arcade, cafe and bar from spring to fall. Miniature Golf offers two Hawaiian-themed courses that offer a relaxing easy round of mini-golf on the Beach Course or an adventurous and difficult round on the Waterfall Course. Retro Arcade has over 100 of the favorite console games from the 80's and 90's with 10 screens devoted to classic console games and two 90" projection screens with modern consoles. Cafe & Bar features a few unique options including the Volcano Dog, and a Chocolate Avalanche ice cream float. Craft beers and sangria also available for the big kids!
Paddle-board lessons and rentals are provided by Alpine Accessories at Three Oaks Recreation Area. Make reservations by calling 847-854-4754 or online. Walk ups on availability.
CITY: Lake in the Hills
Alpine Slide at Chestnut Mountain Resort
Fun for all ages. Ride your own sled down 2,050 feet of terrain-tailored track to the banks of the Mississippi.
Alton Museum of History and Art
Winged monsters, explorers, riverboats and a gentle giant. The Alton Museum of History & Art shows the crossroads of American history in Alton. The museum is located in the historic Loomis Hall across from the Wadlow statue. Loomis Hall is the oldest building in the state of Illinois continuously utilized for education. One of the most popular rooms, the Wadlow Room, pays tribute to Alton's "Gentle Giant" and the World's Tallest Man. The Pioneer Room explores the history of Alton from the Lewis & Clark Expedition to the Civil War with exhibits on Elijah Lovejoy, the Lincoln-Douglas Debates and the "Alton Route" on the Underground Railroad. Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sunday 1 - 4 p.m.
Alton-Audubon Eagle Festival
Join us for the kick-off of the eagle watching season. Activities include: live eagle meet & greet, preview of events at the Eagle Watching Hot Spots, kid's activities, crafts and eagle viewing walks. Learn about eagle watching - how to spot eagles, where to look and what brings the eagles here each winter. Then, head across the river to Downtown Alton for ice sculpting on the streets.
Anderson Japanese Gardens
Anderson Japanese Gardens has been named one of the highest quality Japanese gardens in North America by Sukiya Living Magazine since 2004. Inspired by calm and tranquility, this 12 acre award winning landscape is comprised of koi-filled ponds, winding paths, gentle streams, cascading waterfalls, raked gravel gardens, beautifully trained pines, and more. Master craftsmanship and 16th century traditional architecture is found throughout the garden.
Animal Care League Hoiday Bazaar
Holiday items, pet items, gift baskets, baked goods, jewelry, music and more! Come and enjoy guest artists throughout the day. All your generosity goes right back to support the daily activities of our shelter. Santa will be there on Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
CITY: Oak Park
Antioch's Gingerbread Walk & Scavenger Hunt
Bring the family and friends to Downtown Antioch to hunt for Gingerbread! Find delightful Gingerbread Sculptures of Houses and other unique creations. Fill out a contest entry form and track down the different Gingerbread Clues throughout Downtown. Turn in the completed entry form for a chance to win exciting prizes and vote for the best one. Enjoy strolling musicians and carolers on Saturdays while finishing all the holiday shopping.
Antique and Collectible Markets
Join us for 25,000 sq. ft. of quality antiques and collectibles. Items you will not find anywhere else. Great selection of gift ideas for the holidays or for your home.
CITY: St. Charles
Bald Eagle Tours at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge
Crab Orchard is home to six nesting pairs of resident bald eagles and their offspring. A few nesting sites are visible from public roads throughout the Refuge and eagles are spotted daily. Guided tours visit eagle nests and areas of the Refuge where eagles may be spotted. The cost is $5 for adults and $2.50 for youth under the age of 12, and reservations are required.
Bald Eagle Watch Weekend
"Eagle Watch Weekend" includes activites both at the Starved Rock Lodge and the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center. You don’t have to travel north to see these majestic birds of prey. Thousands of eagles migrate south from Canada during the winter and Illinois is one of the homes of the greatest population of wintering bald eagles. For a birds eye view, hike to the top of the Rock.
Go on a one of a kind country adventure you'll never forget! Become pioneers for a day on a real 1800s farm and village. Miniature train rides, pony rides, petting zoo, pioneer craft demonstrations, and special events. In the Discovery Barn see chickens, sheep, piglets, baby goats and more.
Blue Moon Balloon Company
Balloon bouquets, arches, flags, pillars and just about anything you can think of made out of balloons!
Breakfast with Santa
Join the jolliest man, as well as the Mrs., for a breakfast buffet at Starved Rock Lodge. Following breakfast, you'll be treated to "Magic by Cory". Also attending will be "Grace" a white-tailed deer from the Furry Friends. Children may take turns sitting on Santa's lap to tell him their Christmas wishes and receive a chocolate treat. Enjoy brunch and meet Santa between 8:30am and 11:30am. $15.50 adults & $11.95 children under 10.
Breakfast with Santa
Enjoy an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet in the Brookfield Zoo's Discover Center with a special appearance from Santa and Mrs. Claus along with some special zoo costumed characters. Photo opportunities will be available with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Musical entertainment will make for an uplifting fun time for your entire family to enjoy. Reservations are required. Dates include December 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22.
Bret Michaelas Birthday Bash
Get ready and join Bret Michaels as he rocks out the Effingham Performance Center for his Birthday Bash! He's a cultural icon, a rock god, an entrepreneur, a TV star, a father, the face of the American Diabetes Association, a supercross enthusiast, solo artist, and a generous donor to a myriad of charitable causes. Selling over 32 million records, the legendary performer continues to top the charts with his solo releases with three generations of loyal fans. Doors open at 7 p.m. and help celebrate his birthday at 8 p.m.