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Smoke on the River
This Illinois state championship BBQ contest features live entertainment and barbecue sampling at Kesler Park on the Riverfront.
Join us at the Art Center for ArtFest on Saturday, September 19 & 20 from 12 to 5 p.m for hands on art projects! There will be a free clay competition for kids & adults, an art exhibit scavenger hunt, a collaborative mural, live figure drawing, and demonstrations & hands on activities by local artists. quincyartcenter.org
Annual Barry Apple Festival
Over 50,000 people join this quaint historic town to celebrate the apple industry. Old-time crafts, specialty food, entertainment, a car show, and a parade are highlights of the weekend of festivities.
Hatch: A Creative Re-Use Art Festival
What happens when you mix artists with unwanted materials destined for the landfill? You get Hatch, a Creative Re-Use Art Festival from the I.D.E.A. Store in Champaign, a marketplace of ideas from recycled materials. In its third year, the event will kick off with a “Trashion” Show, where designers use only recycled materials to make the latest in fashion. An exhibit filled with inspired, recycled pieces follows and concludes with an art fair where you can purchase the artwork that you just can’t live without.
Be a Tourist in Your Own Backyard
Come visit the Quad Cities during its annual Be a Tourist in Your Own Backyard weekend. While many local residents take advantage of this annual promotion, it is also a great time to explore the Quad Cities as a visitor. Enjoy discounts on lodging, attractions, dining and shopping during the Martin Luther King Day weekend. Go online to take advantage of the discounts or pick up a coupon booklet at the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau visitor center - Open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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.
Sample savory hotwings from the talented chefs of area restaurants. Sponsored by the Great River Restaurant Association and held at the Oakley Lindsay Civic Center in downtown Quincy. Held annually the day before Superbowl Sunday. For more information contact 217-223-1000.
Holiday Walk & Live Window Display
You'll revel in all things Christmas while strolling Madison Street during the Holiday Walk. Enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride, meet Santa's reindeer, warm up with a marshmallow roast, and visit merchant open houses featuring special sales, refreshments and more! The highlight of the event is the shopkeeper's windows, featuring creative and sometimes humorous live holiday displays. You've never seen anything like it-not even on State Street! The Holiday Walk begins when Santa arrives by fire engine to light the Christmas tree in Constitution Court (Thomas and Madison) at 6 p.m. Photo op and visit with Santa from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Forest Park National Bank.
CITY: Forest Park
Deck the Depot
Enjoy Deck the Depot, a brisk holiday walk through Berwyn's downtown Winter Wonderland complete with lights, live reindeer and a petting zoo at the Municipal Parking Facility. Let Santa know what's on your wish list and then get a complimentary photo with the Big Man in Red at Bounce Sports. Snuggle up on a horse-drawn sleigh ride or a hayride. Relax to the sounds of Carolers. For those who prefer a traditional chauffeur, a heated trolley will also make stops at all of the Open Houses. All of the event's are family-friendly and free! Opening Ceremony will take place at 5:15 p.m. at the "Berwyn" Train Depot at Windsor & Grove. Pick up an event punch card and enter our event raffle by visiting Bounce Sports. Depot District merchants will stay open late to offer complimentary goodies, holiday specials and cheer to all who visit. The event will also feature a special drawing for adults 21+ who spend $10 in the Depot District and have the event passport "punched" by all of the participating open houses for a chance to win a basket worth over $200!
Home For The Holidays
Catch the old fashioned holiday spirit in Downtown Oak Park! Celebrate the season with free horse-drawn sleigh rides and a visit from Santa.
CITY: Oak Park
Maple Festival at Touch of Nature, a free educational family-fun event to learn the history and see the process of making maple syrup from the woods to the kitchen. It includes maple syrup demonstrations, tree identification hikes and a home-cooked pancake breakfast which includes maple syrup harvested a Touch of Nature. The event also features blacksmith, hide tanning, silk embroidery, furniture making and other demonstrations, as well as local artisans and vendors. Admission to the event is free. The Pancake breakfast is $10.
Long Grove's Holiday Festivities
Charming, historic downtown Long Grove is the destination for the holiday season. Visitors will enjoy a variety of family fun beginning Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas Eve, such as the Humbug Scavenger Hunts for kids. Check back for upcoming details about additional family-friendly winter weekend activities including our annual tree lighting ceremony, cookie walk, snowman building, caroling, storytelling, kids’ Humbug coloring contests, Christmas with Santa, and more! Plus, warm up with, hot apple cider in the Visitors’ Center!
CITY: Long Grove
Rialto Square Theatre Festival of Trees
The Rialto Square/ComEd Festival of Tees is a week-long extravaganza to kick off the holiday season! Festivities include a fabulous display of 60 decorated trees and wreaths, on which bids are taken, plus numerous special events throughout the week that will put you in the holiday spirit. Schedule: 11/24-Opening Night Celebration; 11/25-Festival of the Vine-Wine Tasting, Holiday How-to Seminar & Senior Day; 11/26-"Salute to Our Heroes" Day; 11/28-Kids' Workshop, Santa's Hotline, Teddy Bear Brunch & Young Professionals Party.
Festival of Trees
Entire month of December We're decked out for the holidays; we’ll have twinkle lights, Sam is dressed up, and of course the tree competition! During the month we will also have ‘special events’ happening weekly! Tree Decorating Competition During the month of December the Museum gets dressed up for the holidays, featuring 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 top three trees receive awards and participants are invited to the Museum's holiday party!The Museum provides the trees and the lights and your group provides the creativity. You may use home-made or store-bought ornaments (no food products please, such as popcorn or salt dough, etc. or glitter). Trees should be decorated between November 24-29 during regular Museum hours. Trees sold out last year, so call today to reserve yours: 815-895-9777 Non-profit Organizations: $35 Businesses: $100 Tuesdays and Thursdays Enjoy a free make-and-take craft! Each craft is winter-themed and fun for kids and the young-at-heart! Wednesdays Free day! Fridays Animal demonstration @ 3:00 pm: visit with one of the live animals at the Museum! A staff member will bring out an animal for everyone to learn about and touch. Saturdays Free hot chocolate (with admission)
2014 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.
First Night Springfield
28th Annual First Night Springfield! This family-friendly, alcohol-free event is a Springfield area tradition. Free children's activities from 1 - 4 pm at Springfield High School Commons. Fireworks at 8 pm. Over 30 performances around Downtown Springfield from 6 pm - 11:15 pm.
Stroll on State - Downtown Rockford
Stroll on State has carolers, roaming musicians, food from street vendors and downtown restaurants, and holiday shops. Kids can visit with Santa and real reindeer, skate at the Winter Wonderland, and watch the City of Rockford Downtown Christmas tree lighting.
Fine Art of Fiber
Viewers will enjoy an exhibition of more than 150 pieces, including quilts, various types of needle arts, knitting, weaving, wearable art, dolls and jewelry. Sales boutiques offer a similarly wide variety of items for sale, including woven and knitted pieces, artwear, traditional and contemporary quilts, handmade holiday gifts, and much more. There will also be fashion shows and lectures. Parking fees apply.
Home for the Holidays
Start the season of good cheer off right with an old-fashioned holiday feeling in downtown Morris. The nostalgic street lights downtown take on a festive glow with wreaths and lights adorning the lampposts. The celebration features a house walk, a night time lighted parade, carriage rides, trolley rides, a children's winter carnival, the festival of trees, live reindeer and of course, Santa!.
Ugly Sweater Extravaganza
Ugly Sweater Extravaganza. Located on the historic I & M Canal, Nostalgic Downtown Morris offers a rich history and continues to be the gathering place year after year for community festivals.
Oswego Christmas Walk
Come hear the sound of Christmas, the natural warmth and ambience that draws thousands to the downtown, Mason Square, and Douglas Square, the first weekend of December. Carolers, cookie walk, crafts, entertainment, and more.
Light Up the Holidays Parade and Festival
Light Up the Holidays Parade and Festival is held on the Friday following Thanksgiving each year. Activities begin at 10:00am and include the Renaissance Center Fun Fair, activities in the Joliet Historical Museum, Joliet Public Library, Gji's Sweet Shoppe, Jitters Coffeehouse, Chicken-N-Spice, The Red Goose Bakery and more. The Annual Festival of Trees held yearly inside the Rialto Square Theatre also add to the holiday festivities. Tree Lighting begins at 5:15pm in Van Buren Plaza Followed by the Light Up the Holidays Parade at 5:30pm.
Light the Veltway
Roosevelt Road will light the way to the holiday season with merriment including live music, food and libations. Berwyn's entertainment row will offer festivities for the whole family.
Deck the Depot
Saunter over to Berwyn's Depot District for Deck the Depot, a brisk holiday walk through Berwyn's downtown Winter Wonderland complete with lights, live reindeer and a petting zoo at the Municipal Parking Facility. Let Santa know what's on your wish list and then get a complimentary photo with the Big Man in Red at Bounce Sports. Snuggle up on a horse-drawn sleigh ride or a hayride (Windsor & Grove Ave.). Relax to the sounds of Carolers. For those who prefer a traditional chauffeur, a heated trolley will also make stops at all of the Open Houses. Best of all, even the "naughty" will be treated like the "nice" as all of the event's aforementioned features are family-friendly and free. Opening Ceremony will take place at 5:15pm at the "Berwyn" Train Depot at Windsor & Grove. Pick up an event punch card and enter our event raffle by visiting Bounce Sports. Depot District merchants will stay open late to offer complimentary goodies, holiday specials and cheer to all who visit. Don't forget that holiday shopping list! As an extra incentive, the event will feature a special drawing for adults 21+ who spend $10 in the Depot District and have the event passport "punched" by all of the participating open houses for a chance to win a basket worth over $200!