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Ellwood House Holiday Traditions
Enjoy a holiday open house and tours of the beautifully decorated Ellwood House Mansion. HOLIDAY TRADITIONS Decorated Mansion Tours November 15-30 closed Thanksgiving day HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE SPECIAL EVENTS Friday, December 5: 7:00-8:30pm Saturday, December 6: 1:00-4:30pm Sunday, December 7: 1:00-4:30pm MEMBER'S NIGHT Thursday, December 4: 4:00-6:30pm Membership Information Kick off your holidays with a tour of the elegantly decorated mansion at the end of November, or join us for our open house events at the beginning of December. Every November, the Ellwood Museum partners with area businesses, community sponsors, and volunteers to decorate the mansion room-by-room on all four floors. From November 15-30, our guided holiday tours give visitors the opportunity to see the mansion in a new light. See our VISIT page for hours and information. At the end of our touring season, we open the doors for a three-day Holiday Open House weekend. Visitors may purchase tickets in the Visitor Center (or online) and present their tickets at the front door of the mansion. Upon entering the decorated mansion, volunteers will be stationed in each room, presenting the history of the Ellwood House and sharing information about the two generations of Ellwood family members who called Ellwood House home. HOLIDAY TRADITIONS is generously sponsored by Castle Bank. For times and information visit www.ellwoodhouse.org.
DeKalb Municipal Band Holiday Concert
CELEBRATING 160 YEARS OF CONTINUOUS MUSIC! The DeKalb Municipal Band is recognized throughout the country as one of the Midwest’s most historic musical organizations. This performance will feature newly arranged seasonal music along with musical guests from the area. History: The DeKalb Municipal Band is a tradition that goes back to 1854, when a small group of musicians fresh from the California Gold Rush formed the Silver Cornet Band. Since then, a City Band in DeKalb has existed for 155 years, uninterrupted by wars, and a depression. With such a record, DeKalb claims to be the city with the oldest continuous band in Illinois. When: December 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm Where: Egyptian Theatre http://www.dekalbparkdistrict.com/district/dekalb-municipal-band
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)
Married Alive! is a funny and touching new musical that looks in on two married couples, one newlywed and one oldly wed. From babies to empty nests, job stress to domestic bliss, it’s face paced and acerbic, but always affectionate. As one patron put it, “A hoot with a heart!” Married Alive! is a funny, affectionate outrage, and all it takes is four actors and a piano to go on this journey from Niagara to Viagra.
CITY: Crystal Lake
A Christmas Carol
Experience Charles Dickens' classic holiday tale in an intimate and historic venue. Join Scrooge as he journeys through the Christmases of Past, Present and Future with his three ghostly guides. Woodstock Musical Theatre Company’s annual production - with enchanting children, colorful costumes, clever special effects and merry Christmas carols - transports you to 1843 London. Capture the spirit of the 2014 holiday season with this classic Dickens tale.
Christmastime at Fine Line
Sale of juried artist created work. Includes pottery. jewelry. textiles, ornaments. more. Mon-Thurs 10am-8pm; Fri.Sat 10am-5pm; Closed Sunday.
CITY: St. Charles
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!
Happy Holiday Railway
Embark on a magical train ride through the winter countryside on your way to visit with Santa Claus himself! Warm treats will be served and gifts will be given to children on Santa's "good list".
Symphony in Lights
The Promenade Bolingbrook and the Village of Bolingbrook join together to provide spectacular Holiday family fun with the Symphony in Lights Holiday Light Show beginning at dusk and runs every hour on the hour until 9 p.m., Nov 15 - Dec 31. Tree Lighting is November 15th, 3pm – 8pm. Take more than 250,000 computer-controlled, brightly colored, energy efficient lights, choreograph them to the thunderous sounds of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, add flickering, multi-directional, strobe-like bursts of light, and the result is Symphony in Lights, the largest, most energetic, innovative, public holiday light show in the country that twinkles and shimmers as it illuminates the million-square-foot Promenade Bolingbrook. The show is designed to fit its environment. Spectators will experience 40 life-sized snowflakes dance around a massive 48-foot tall tree in the center's Village Green gathering area. LED lights at the Center run the entire show on the amount of energy needed to power only one average-sized home.
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.
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.
Christmas at Clayville
Enjoy caroling groups from local elementary schools starting at noon. There will be a children's store, face painting and refreshments. Santa will as be there to visit with the children.
CITY: Pleasant Plains
Old Capitol Holiday Walk
Held December 3, 4, 10, and 17. 5-8 pm each evening. SHOP LOCAL! 30+ shops and restaurants featuring unique shopping and dining. Festive holiday atmosphere with free Santa House, family entertainment and horse drawn trolley and shuttle van.
One More Time Antiques
Repurposed furnishings, antiques, and primitives fill this unique shop in historic downtown Freeport.
Built in 1929, this old-fashioned country hotel has every room decorated differently. Enjoy the rich colors of Calhoun County and the Illinois River at this quaint country inn. Reservations are required.
Home for the Holidays in Downtown Oak Park
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
Acquaviva Tasting and Wine Bar
Wine tastings, delicatessen meats, cheeses, craft beers, wine bar. Inside and outside garden seating. Enjoy a glass of wine or beer with friends in a relaxing atmosphere.
CITY: St. Charles
Enjoy a retreat along the Mississippi River in Grafton in this guest house near the public boat ramp and within walking distance of shopping and restaurants. This newly renovated, two-bedroom house has a beautiful view of the river from its 35-foot elevated height. A full kitchen and large wrap-around deck are among the amenities.
Located above Uptowne City Limits, theses suites offer overnight accommodations in the middle of Mt. Sterling. Each suite sleeps up to six people. Each features two bedrooms, large bathrooms and large living-kitchen areas. Suites offer their own washer and dryer, refrigerator, stove, dishes and big screen TVs with cable service. WiFi computer services are included.
CITY: Mount Sterling
Lock & Dam 21: Bald Eagles
Bald Eagles have been wintering in Quincy at Lock & Dam 21 since it began in 1938. The lock & dam is listed on the National Register of Historic Places covering 1,075 acres. For the best view of the eagles just drive to the boat ramp. Mark your calendar for the last weekend each January when Quincy hosts FAB Getaway Weekend...Food, Architecture & Bald Eagles! Visit seequincy.com for details.
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.
Jerseyville Harvest Inn
Whether you are in Jerseyville for business or pleasure, be sure to check out the Jerseyville Harvest Inn. This motel is conveniently located in the middle of the business district and is located on U.S. 67 and near Illinois Route 16. Amenities include in-room microwave, refrigerator, free Wi-fi, and free Continental breakfast.
WinterFest in Downtown Oak Park
Join Oak Park for a cookie walk inside over 50 participating shops and restaurants! Catch a glimpse of Saint Nicholas, enjoy a variety of family friendly acts and warm up inside the hospitality tent with free hot chocolate and coffee.
CITY: Oak Park