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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.
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.
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.
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.
Aalto's Station House Cottages at Irish Hollow
Delivered gourmet breakfast by a wood burning fireplace, hiking trails, relaxing massage, seasonal packages, beautiful gardens, seven-course candlelight dinners, lush furnishings and amenities, all nestled in a gorgeous countryside setting.
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.
Aerie's Cottages & Vacation Villas
At Aerie's, the individual Cottages include jaccuzzi tubs, kitchenettes and private decks. The Lodge, perfect for family gatherings includes a common room, full kitchen and a deck shared by four ensuite rooms. The Vacation Villas offer multiple arrangements and include private deck space with access to the swimming pool and clubhouse. Free Wi-fi.
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.
Alton Hauntings Tours
Based on the book Haunted Alton by Troy Taylor, Alton Hauntings Tours offers an entertaining and spine-tingling trip into the unknown, taking visitors to the most authentic haunted places in Alton. Uncover the eerie folklore, ghostly tales and documented haunted spots on a three-hour walking tour of the city’s most haunted sites. Visitors will see sites that have become nationally known, like the old Alton penitentiary, First Unitarian Church, Enos Sanitarium and many others. The tours have been proven to be popular with ghost enthusiasts and history buffs alike, and nowhere else can you learn as much about the real, haunted history of Alton. Walking tours and bus tours are offered during two touring seasons – Spring & Summer and the Haunted Fall Season. Private tours are also available for groups of 20 or more. Reservations must be made in advance for all tours.
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.
Anthony Acres Resort
Anthony Acres Resort has picturesque views of Lake Sara. The resort is only five minutes from Effingham, so you can come into town and enjoy some food or shop.
Arthur Amish Country Information Center
This visitor's center offers maps and information on the entire Amish area, including the 150 Amish craft shops that dot the countryside surrounding the village of Arthur.
Aurora's Holiday Festival of Lights
Enjoy the sparkle, shimmer and shine of the 2014 Festival of Lights. One of the largest free outdoor holiday light displays in Northern Illinois. Dazzling displays that will delight both adults and children. A winter wonderland of animated visual arts, lighted tunnels, a forest full of lights and more! Open from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday; and 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday starting Nov. 28 through Dec. 28, 2014. Donations accepted.
Bald Eagle Bus Tour
Guided, four-hour tours of bald eagle, wintering communities. View and learn about the bald eagle's habits, life history, preservation efforts and threats to its future. Reservations required. Bus departs from Stoney Creek Inn.
Bald Eagle Days Environmental Fair
Don't miss the Bald Eagle Days Environmental Fair and Wildlife Art Show at the QCCA Expo Center in Rock Island, Illinois. The show is heralded as the largest event in the Midwest dedicated to the United States' national symbol of freedom. The three-day event includes live eagle, hawk, owl and vulture flying demonstrations along with educational programs and over 200 fun and informative exhibits.
CITY: Rock Island
Bald Eagle Trolley Tours
Be mesmerized by the beautiful bald eagles at Starved Rock. In January and February ride the trolley from Starved Rock Lodge to the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center for bald eagle viewing and an educational program. Includes lunch during the week and brunch on Sunday in the Main Dining Room. Tour options: 9:00am w/tour first & 11:00am w/lunch first, $25 Includes Lunch/Adults; Children under 10/$5 less. January & February Mon, Wed, Sat & Sunday Monday: Tour begins with lunch at 11am Wednesday: Tours begins with lunch at 11am Saturday: 1st tour begins at 9am, ending with lunch 2nd tour begins with lunch at 11am (Please note: There are no tours on January 24th) Sunday: Tour begins with brunch at 11am (Please note: There are no tours on January 25th).
Bald Eagle Watching in the Cache River Wetlands
The Cache River Wetlands offers great opportunities for eagle watching, as well as spotting other birds. The Cache River Wetland Center provides resource and identification materials to help you spot eagles and other birds in the area and along the rivers. They will provide maps and directions to the viewing station for the nest just off Illinois Route 37 off Perks road and south of the visitor's center.
Ballard Nature Center
Just minutes away from the city but a world away, Ballard Nature Center is home to dozens of species of birds and wildlife. Natural prairie, wetlands, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, ponds and creeks round out the outdoor experience.
Bang Bang Pie Shop
Bang Bang Pie Shop has been banging out delicious pies in Chicago for a short time, but the notoriety they have received is nothing short of delicious. Every day they offer a chocolate, cream and fruit pie option using only the freshest seasonal ingredients. But beware; if you’re looking for a place that just bangs out everything for everyone, you might want to look elsewhere because these guys make their pies like Grandma used to. From made-from-scratch warm biscuits to homemade pies, either way you can’t go wrong.
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.
Beach Boys at The Virginia Theatre
What better way to spend the early winter months than with the warmest band around! The Beach Boys will take the stage at the historic Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign, playing a show jam-packed with their greatest hits. This is a show you won't want to miss!
Beall Mansion - An Elegant Bed & Breakfast Inn
Indulge yourself at the Beall Mansion, a sumptuous Bed and Breakfast Inn located 12 blocks from the Mississippi River. Designed by Lucas Pfeiffenberger and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this elegant mansion features 18 ionic columns, eleven and a half foot ceilings, crystal chandeliers and marble and bronze statuary throughout. Let us pamper you with sumptuous feather beds, whirlpools for two, 24 hour "all you can eat" chocolate buffet, and optional gourmet breakfast in bed. Free Wi-fi. In room massage, spa, golf and corporate packages available.
Bennison’s Bakery has been a North Shore institution since 1938, earning a reputation as a high quality full line bakery with emphasis on European style pastries, cookies, and custom decorated cakes. Bennison’s Bakery is one of the few bakeries in the country to employ two Certified Master Bakers, and with experience comes unsurpassed quality.
Bishop Hill Prairie Arts Center & Colony Pottery
Enjoy watching the potter in an open air studio creating artwork on the potter's wheel. The center also features rug, broom, weaving and spinning artisans.
CITY: Bishop Hill
Blackhawk Chocolate Trail
A delicious mixture of cocoa is found every which way along the Blackhawk Chocolate Trail in the four-county area of Northwest Illinois. Enjoy visiting candy stores, bed and breakfasts with special chocolate-themed packages, gift shops and old-fashioned soda fountains.
Blackhawk War Monument
This monument is located on the site of Kellogg's Grove, an early settlement established in 1827 on a mail route between Peoria and Galena, and now on the National Register of Historic Places. It honors those killed in the Blackhawk War, including in the final Illinois Battle which occurred at this grove in June, 1832. Abraham Lincoln, a member of the Illinois militia, helped bury five of the slain men. The remaining soldiers were originally buried throughout the area at the spots at which they fell. Fifty years after the war, local farmers collected the remains and buried them in one enclosure on top of this hill overlooking the Yellow Creek Valley. The 34-foot high monument was dedicated in 1886.
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.
BROADWAY BY DESIGN
Show-stopping Broadway hits from Wicked to Jersey Boys to The Sound of Music. BROADWAY BY DESIGN is filled with songs that you love most! Vote for your favorite songs as this is your show to program. Then enjoy an exciting evening of show tunes, performed by Broadway singers and actors who love to perform the music you love to hear! List of selections coming soon with voting throughout the season will be available on Effingham Performance Center's website. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the good ole tunes will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Broadway in Chicago
Broadway In Chicago presents the hottest shows in Chicago's bustling Downtown Theater District. On the stages of the Oriental Theatre, Cadillac Palace Theatre, Bank of America Theatre, Auditorium Theatre and Broadway Playhouse, you will discover theater productions direct from Broadway, along with world premieres.
Come out to Camp Lakewood and enjoy the views of Lake Pauline plus all the creature comforts. Camp Lakewood is an RV campground. The sites include cable, WiFi, 30/50 AMP. They also offer a one and two bedroom cabin that is fully furnished and self contained. The newest cabin sleeps five and includes Cable TV. They do offer tent sites as well for those who want to be a little closer to nature.
Discover Green Street and the heart of campus at the University of Illinois. Restaurants, bars, shops, bookstores and more await your presence in this Orange & Blue themed area.
Cedarhurst Center for the Arts & Mitchell Museum
Exhibitions, a children's gallery, a permanent collection and special events. Grounds include 85 acres sculpture park, nature trails and bird sanctuary. Hosts annual Cedarhurst Craft Fair.
CITY: Mount Vernon
Cedarville Historical Museum
This museum is located in an 1889 school building and features a permanent exhibit honoring Jane Addams, who was born and raised in Cedarville. Miss Addams was an internationally famous humanitarian and social work pioneer who founded Chicago's Hull House and won the Nobel Peace Prize. Museum exhibits include personal items and memorabilia from her life and the life of her family. There are also changing exhibits on topics of local historical interest and a research center and a research center. Open: May thru October: Saturday and Sunday: 1 pm - 4 pm; or by appointment.
Celebration River Cruises
Hop aboard the family-owned Celebration Belle riverboat that cruises the mighty Mississippi River. Operating April through October, the 800-passenger riverboat offers a variety of cruises, ranging from sightseeing tours to theme cruises such as Big Band and fall foliage, captain's dinner and dance cruises, and overnight excursions.
Chanute Air Museum
The Chanute Air Museum celebrates the 76 year legacy of the former Chanute Air Force base and the development Illinois aviation. The Museum showcases over 30 aircraft, including a rare P-51H Mustang and XB-47 Stratojet, while exhibits include "Life at Chanute" and "The 99th Pursuit Squadron: From Rantoul to Ramitelli and Beyond." Bus parking and a gift shop are available.
Cheif Keokuk Campground
The Chief Keokuk Campground features 70 pads with electrical hook-ups for trailers, plus 25 tent sites (All camping Class B/E). There is a shower building on site. A sanitary dump station is near the camping area. A primitive cabin, Chief Tecumseh, is also available. The cabin is located on a slope overlooking Johnson Lake. A fire grill, table and BBQ grill are provided outside. A full size bed, two sets of bunk beds, a table and benches are provided inside. The cabin has heat and air conditioning as well as two ceiling fans. Reservations can be made, for dates between May 1st and November 1st, at ReserveAmerica.com for the campgrounds and cabin.
Chestnut Mountain Resort
Ski along scenic slopes at Galena's Chestnut Mountain Resort, perched high above the Mississippi River. Rated by Ski Magazine as one of the top ski resorts in the Midwest, Chestnut Mountain goes all out with a snowboarding park and night skiing. Stay at the rustic 120-room lodge, which has three restaurants, including the fine-dining Sunset Grille. There are fun non-skiing activities in the summer as well, including boat cruises on the Mississippi Explorer and the exhilarating Alpine Slide, which speeds 2,000 feet down a hillside. Or try the new Segway Mountain Adventure Tours, a three-mile guided ride through rolling terrain.
Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival
The festival showcases the work of 95 unique artists in a pristine setting overlooking a lake, spectacular gardens and 385 acres of majesty. All of the artwork embodies a botanic theme, use or material. Festival-goers will have the opportunity to see the masters at work, with interactive art demos and booth chats taking place all weekend long!
Chicago Chocolate Tours
Take a fun, educational guided walking and tasting tour of select chocolate shops along the Magnificent Mile or in the Loop. Learn about the history of chocolate and sample chocolate delights on this tasty tour
Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field
One of the most storied teams in all of sports, if not MLB, the Chicago Cubs located on the North side of Chicago call the friendly confines of Wrigley Field home since 1916. Come for a game, for the crowd, for the history of being in an historic ballpark. Sit out in the bleachers and watch the Cubs as they try to break the longest championship drought in professional sports.
Chicago Premium Outlets, Aurora
Find impressive savings at over 120 designer and name-brand outlet stores, such as Ann Taylor, Armani, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, Coach, Cole Haan, Elie Tahari, Gap Outlet, J.Crew, Lacoste, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Salvatore Ferragamo, Michael Kors, Theory, Vera Bradley and more. The opening of an additional 80 stores in the Spring of 2015 will make this even more of a Midwest Shopping destination! In Aurora, 37 miles west of Chicago.
Chicago River Architecture Tour - Wendella Sightseeing Boats
The Chicago River Architecture Tour is a 60-minute journey through the heart of the city. Led by an architectural expert, this in-depth tour traces the history and innovations of urban architecture in Chicago.
Come out to Allstate Arena this summer to enjoy a night of world-class basketball and family fun with the Chicago Sky! With a season that runs May through August, the Sky provides summer-fun for all ages. Chicago's premier women’s professional basketball team offers fans the unique opportunity to get their group in the game, and on the court. Groups can register to high five the Sky players, deliver the game ball to the referee, play on the same court as the Sky or sing the National Anthem. No other sporting event allows you to get as up-close-and-personal with the players!
Indulge your decadence in the heart of historic downtown Galena. With well over 200 flavors of Swiss, German, French, Belgian, Venezuelan and domestic chocolates – Chocolate’ is the destination all chocolate lovers must experience.
The Chocolate Factory prides itself in offering quality gourmet chocolates in a wide variety of mouth watering flavor, formulated with only the finest ingredients. Our irresistible silky smooth blended chocolates make delicious rich candies for any occasion!
Christmas in the Village
Spend the day in downtown Cobden, where you can enjoy fresh-roasted nuts while listening to strolling Victorian carolers and madrigal players, take an old-fashioned horse-drawn surrey or wagon ride around the village, and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Feed Store, where handcrafted wreaths and gingerbread houses will be on display, shop the Christmas Bazaars and watch the lighting of the village tree.
Christmas with the Lincolns
Where did the Lincoln boys hang their stockings for Santa to fill? What might have been in those stockings? What Christmas goodies were on Lincoln's table? Discover how the Lincolns celebrated he holidays by taking a tour through the Lincoln Home.
Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse
Discover the beautifully restored, historic Vaudeville-Era Dinner Playhouse. Circa '21 services up exciting musical productions with dinner. Even your wait staff are part of the pre-show! Watch your waiter dance, and sing before each show begins. Matinee performances are also available. Check website for current show schedule.
Join Clint Black, heralded as one of the Country music's brightest stars for a Christmas performance to remember. Boasting nearly two dozen #1 hit singles and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Black remains a devoted family man and Honorary Chair for the International Rett Syndrome Foundation. This prolific country star invites us to join in the holiday spirit as he performs music to light up the season! Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and Clint will perform at 7:30 p.m.
Combined Lake and River Tour - Wendella Sightseeing Boats
The Combined Lake and River Tour offers a comprehensive overview of Chicago, with breathtaking views of the magnificent skyline and an up-close perspective from the Chicago River.
Comfort Suites Aurora
This award-winning hotel with 82 suites offers a deluxe hot breakfast, indoor pool, fitness room, free high-speed Internet and business meeting facilities. A preferred hotel conveniently located adjacent to the Metra Station, with easy expressway access to O'Hare International Airport (ORD) & Midway International Airport (MDW). We are also located just minutes from Aurora Municipal Airport (ARR).
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is located primarily in Williamson County, with small extensions into eastern Jackson and northeastern Union counties of southern Illinois. At almost 44,000 acres and with three lakes, Crab Orchard, Little Grassy, and Devils Kitchen, endless opportunities abound for watching wildlife, hiking nature trails, photography, swimming, fishing from the bank or by boat, and hunting. Four seasonally operational campgrounds are open from April-October and offer full hook-up, water, electric, or non-electric sites. Refuge staff and volunteers at the visitor center welcome visitors and sightseers 7 days a week from 8am-4:30pm. Visitor activities such as guided hikes, bald eagle tours, and monthly F.U.N. programs help connect families with the diversity of flora and fauna that southern Illinois has to offer. The Refuge provides many opportunities for wildlife-dependent outdoor recreation for the nature lover in us all.
Cracker Jax Shop
Cracker Jax began in 1984 as a vintage clothing store and has since transformed into the magical place it is today! All senses are delighted as you shop 15 cases of new and vintage jewelry, eclectic clothing, soy candles, oils, incense, gemstones of every kind, unique gifts, stunning greeting cards, books, antique and shabby chic furniture, art and one-of-a-kind treasures. We are lovers of all things beautiful!
Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary
Tour Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary. Animal lovers can learn about, pet, hold and feel some of the 350 rescued animals, comprised of 30 different species. All income supports the rescued animals. Critter Camp is a non-profit, tax exempt, charitable, volunteer operated, no-kill facility that does not buy, breed, sell or exploit any animal.Personally guided tours are available seven days a week year round for up to six people per tour, but all tours are by appointment.
CITY: German Valley
Cuneo Mansion and Gardens
The opulent Cuneo Museum and Gardens, located on 75 acres and dotted with formal gardens and statuary was the perfect setting for the wedding scenes in "My Best Friend's Wedding." The gazebo where the best friends were caught kissing was built specifically for the film, but Cuneo's owners liked it so much they decided to keep it permanently. Take a guided tour through the historic Mediterranean-style Cuneo mansion to see Renaissance artworks and lavish European furnishings.
CITY: Vernon Hills
Curtis Orchard is an 80-acre apple orchard, pumpkin patch and entertainment farm offers activities for the whole family. Open July 20–December 20, the orchard country store and bakery offer a wide variety of gift and food items, including pies, fritters, apple crisp donuts and award-winning cider. Outdoor activities include seasonal apple and pumpkin picking, kids play structures, a giant slide, several mazes including the corn maze, petting zoo, toddler area, birthday parties and corporate picnics. Weekend activities include outdoor meals, live entertainment, seasonal pony rides, and an orchard wagon.
Dailey & Vincent: "Spirit of Christmas Concert"
Three-time Grammy nominated Daily & Vincent, one of the most elite Bluegrass acts in America, returns to Effingham to delight us again with their "Spirit of Christmas Concert". Spearheaded by four-time International Bluegrass Music Association's "Vocalist of the Year" winner Jamie Dailey and five-time Grammy Award winner Darrin Vincent, this Bluegrass powerhouse will get you in the mood for the season with their highly acclaimed signature sound live concert performance.
Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure
You’ve seen them race, now drive in real stock cars that have been used in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. At the Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure, you can drive around Chicagoland Speedway at speeds over 170 mph. Or you can choose the Ride-Along to experience the thrill of NASCAR racing like never before as a professional driver thunders you around the track. In 2014, the Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure will be at Chicagoland Speedway June 14-15 and August 16-17. See their site for more details.
Danville Symphony Orchestra Presents "Beethoven Lives Upstairs"
Experience the award winning and ever popular dramatic story of Beethoven through the eyes and ears of the young boy who "lives below his apartment" in Beethoven Lives Upstairs presented by the Danville Symphony Orchestra.
Danville Symphony Orchestra Presents "Heroes and Heroines"
Heroes and Heroines have been the focus of the greatest story tellers throughout history! Join Danville Symphony Orchestra Maestro Jeremy Sterling and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Principal French Hornist, Robert Danforth for this musical survey of some of the most heroic stories ever set.
Dawg Daze of Summer at Alto Vineyards
What’s summer in Southern Illinois without festivities! Join Alto Vineyards in celebrating the summer with music, food and canine friends. Local art and wines; along with food and games, to support local animal shelters. From noon to 7pm
CITY: Alto Pass
Deerfield's 4th Annual Winter Celebration
The Village of Deerfield will be celebrating the holidays with festive holiday activities for every age. Enjoy horse-drawn sleigh rides, roasted chestnuts, carolers, warm treats, live animals and more. In addition Saturday will include the big man, Santa Claus to offer photo opportunities for children of all ages, holiday games, including dreidel games, petting zoo, pony rides, gingerbread house decorating and much more.
Discover cute boutiques housed in historic storefronts in downtown Champaign, including antique and consignment shops. Be sure to stop at PACA’s Architectural Salvage Warehouse, where you’ll find everything from vintage stained glass to ceramic tiles.
Downtown Crystal Lake Main Street
Visit the award-winning Premier Main Street which is full of charming shops, delightful restaurants, quality entertainments and life-enhancing opportunities and events.
CITY: Crystal Lake
Eagle Meet and Greet
Come see live eagle demonstrations every Saturday in January at the Alton Visitor Center. See a live bald eagle up close and personal! Ask and learn about their species and habitats. Then, grab your official All Around Alton Eagle Watcher's Guide as you journey out along the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway to see eagles in their natural habitat. Free! For more information, call 1-800-ALTON-IL or go to www.VisitAlton.com.
Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa
At Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa go golfing on one of four championship courses, horseback riding along hilly wooded trails, boating on the sapphire waters of Lake Galena, or soaring over the countryside in a hot air balloon with Galena on the Fly. Relax in the luxury of the resort’s Stonedrift Spa with a pampering massage. Eagle Ridge offers a wide variety of lodging that ranges from traditional inn rooms to golf villas and distinctive homes.
Eagle Watching at Starved Rock State Park
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. The Starved Rock Lodge in Utica offers a “Bald Eagle Trolley Tour” in January and February on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Viewing birds from the Veranda at the Starved Rock Lodge is good as well. Dress warmly though. This great viewing spot is right outside the doors of the Great Room. If you’d like some exercise, take a hike on one of the trails at the Starved Rock State Park. One trail begins right at the Veranda. For a birds eye view, hike to the top of the Rock. Another popular event is "Eagle Watch Weekend" with activites both at the Starved Rock Lodge and the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center.
The Egyptian Theatre hosts film festivals, special movie screenings, and live entertainment events. This theatre is a 1929, fully restored Egyptian Art Deco movie palace and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The Egyptian is also available for rentals, tours, weddings, graduations, parties and receptions. Capacity: 1,419 Raised stage with dressing room below; balcony and lobby space.
Ellwood Holiday Traditions Weekend
Start your holiday season by taking a guided tour of the decorated Ellwood House mansion. Local businesses, decorators, college groups, and clubs help to present the home in a new, elegant way each year. This is the place to get ideas for your own decorating or view what times were like while the Ellwoods inhabited the opulent home.
Erth's DINOSAUR ZOO LIVE
Get ready for the ultimate playdate- 65 million years in the making- as Erth's DINOSAUR ZOO LIVE leads you on a breathtaking tour of pre-historic Australia. Meet and interact with an eye-popping collection of life-like dinosaur puppets presented in an entertaining and educational live theatrical performance created by Erth Visual & Physical of Sydney, Australia. This one in a life time show will start at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6 p.m. Be sure to bring the kids out for a night of pre-historic learning and fun!!
Famous Fossil Vineyard & Winery
Taste soft reds, crisp whites and luscious fruit wines all make at the winery using the best of Illinois grapes. Watch wine being made and then relax and enjoy a glass of wine in the tasting room or on the deck overlooking the vineyard. The Sweet & Savory Plate of meats, cheeses, fruits and chocolate is available daily for a light lunch or snack. Special events are held throughout the year including vineyard tours, festivals and wine & food pairings and a small private room is available for showers, parties & meetings. To learn more about Famous Fossil wines or upcoming events, visit our website. Open: June thru December: daily: 11 am - 6 pm; January thru May: Wednesday thru Saturday: 11 am - 6 pm; Sunday: Noon - 5 pm.
Festival of Lights
Smile, laugh, be de-lighted at the East Peoria Festival of Lights! The festival features the fantastic Folepi's Winter Wonderland lighted drive-through display, open from Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve, and many other events during December including a competitive run, gift show, theatrical productions and more. The Festival of Lights annual Parade of Lights covers three miles of Washington Street starting on one side of the city and ending just past downtown. The parade features floats shaped entirely from lights, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the chopper motorcycle float illuminated with LED lights, a 70-foot long float of the famous Clydesdale horse team pulling a delivery wagon, Frosty the Snowman, the starship Enterprise illuminated with 48,000 LED light bulbs, and the 95-foot-long smoke-spewing China dragon.
CITY: East Peoria
Festival of the Vine
Geneva restaurants create an array of specialties under an outdoor tent at the “Flavor Fare” partnered with wine and live musical entertainment. The Fall Harvest Market offers food and floral demos, unique displays plus Kid’s Patch activities. An arts and crafts show, flower market, horse-drawn carriage rides and several exceptional wine tasting and dinner events also take place around the historic downtown.
Fever River Railroad
For model railroad aficionados -- and everyone else who ever enjoyed model trains -- this model railroad is something to see. The Fever River Railroad is a 120X24-foot HO scale model of a hypothetical railroad running from Duluth, Minnesota to St. Louis, Missouri. This fully operational model railroad has detailed scenery, rail yards, factories, and interchanges with many other railroads. The model railroad allows for the operation of multiple trains along railroad right-of-way that portrays typical towns along the Duluth to St. Louis route. The Fever River Railroad is an ongoing project with upgrades to the layout and scenery that provides an exciting model railroad experience. A collection of railroad memorabilia and pictures, many from the surrounding area, are on display throughout the facility. The Stephenson Society of Model Trainmen, who operate the railroad, host an open house twice a year, and visitors are welcome at other times by appointment.
First Slice in Chicago isn’t just a great place to get slice of pie, it’s much more to the hundreds of people they help feed through their Shareholder Program; and even more to the people they help provide skills for so they can find work in restaurants throughout the city. That warm feeling you get from eating at First Slice could just be from the fresh delicious ingredients they use, or perhaps from the satisfaction of helping out.
From the Field Cooking School and Catering
From the Field Cooking School and Catering, located in Morton, offers a variety of cooking classes and catering services. Classes are hands on; and From the Field is happy to build a class around your needs… just tell them what you’re looking for! There’s something for everyone: from couples’s classes to knife skills, kitchen rentals to corporate outings, and custom baked goods made just to your liking. We are a culinary education center designed for the everyday person. We teach you how to prepare great meals, cooking techniques, the science of cooking, kitchen safety and sanitation, some food history and other useful information presented in clear easy to understand and entertaining manner. We offer hands-on cooking classes, demonstration classes, couple's night, corporate team building, private group cooking classes and offer commercial kitchen rental.
Gary Krinsky presents Toying with Science
Bringing science and entertainment together in Toying with Science, Gary Krinksy creates a theater experience filled with non-stop energy, combing circus elements, mime, original music, and audience involvement to explore the scientific principles of gravity, leverage, fulcrums and simple machines. This show covers multiple areas of science and is great for kids from second grade to fifth grade. Doors will open at 9 a.m. and this fun-filled learning show will start at 10 a.m.
Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop and Soda Fountain
A Ghirardelli® Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop is the perfect destination to experience decadent chocolate & irresistible World Famous Hot Fudge Sundaes topped with freshly homemade hot fudge. While at a Ghirardelli Ice Cream Shop, you can also indulge in unforgettable fountain treats including shakes, floats, malts and other delectable fountain creations.
Magnificent full-service inn celebrating more than 30 years of hospitality. Featuring elite amenities, dining and spa services in a romantic setting overlooking the Mississippi River.
Grafton Homestead Retreat
This country home, located in Grafton, Illinois, is nestled on over 70 acres of trees, pasture and farmland. Enjoy hours with your family exploring the outdoors, fishing, roasting marshmallows or taking a ride on the paddle boat. The property features pond fishing, camping, bonfire and BBQ facilities, hiking areas and picnicking. No hunting is allowed on the property but hunters are more than welcome to stay in this region known for its duck and deer hunting. Reservations are required.
Green Tree Inn Bed & Breakfast
Come home to Green Tree Inn where you can enjoy all the comforts of home and more. Let us pamper you while you enjoy the peacefulness of the quaint village often referred to as the “town that time forgot”. Green Tree Inn is located right off the Great River Road between Alton and Grafton. Take advantage of all the local activities and then come back to the Inn to relax, refresh and rejuvenate. All rooms have private bathrooms with shower/tub combo. Take advantage of our screened in porch, fire pit in the garden or fireplace in our great room to relax and unwind. The Inn is great in all seasons. Free Wi-Fi is available. Bicycles are available for our guests to take a leisurely ride around the village or on one of the local bike trails. This is a non-smoking facility
Harrison/Bruce Historical Village
The Robert L. Mees Village Centre serves as the hub of the Harrison/Bruce Historical Village by providing a venue for College and community events. Historical buildings include: The Purdy School, a one-room public school in Perry County, IL from 1860-1951. The Julia Harrison Bruce House, a replica of the house the house that was built in 1868 by David Ruffin Harrison. The Harrison Storefront, this "double dog trot" style log cabin is a replica of the cabin the David Ruffin Harrison family occupied prior to the construction of the brick, "Harrison House". And The Hunter Cabin, Emmanuel Hunter built the Hunter Log Cabin in 1818; the year Illinois became a state.
Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park
The Hennepin Canal State Park, a 104-mile linear park, is a rustic, historic, educational, and recreational jewel spanning five counties and includes the entire width of Henry County with access points in Annawan, Atkinson, Geneseo, and Colona. It offers an up-close look at a fascinating piece of transportation history. It is popular with bicyclists who ride from town to town exploring the history, dining, lodging, and entertainment possibilities as they travel. The canal multi-purpose recreational trail is a portion of the American Discovery Trail, a 6,800-mile coast-to-coast trail devoted to non-motorized use. It is also part of the Grand Illinois Trail, a 535-mile loop through northern Illinois. The tree-lined park is a refuge with prairie restorations and wetlands slicing through corn and soybean farmland. Home to diverse flora and fauna, it has become a favorite for bird watchers and prairie enthusiasts. It offers numerous year-round opportunities to boat, hike, bike, fish, ride horseback, snowmobile, ice skate, and cross-country ski. Explore Henry County’s jewel – the Hennepin Canal. In wintertime experience the longest snowmobile trail in the state -- 91 miles on the tow path. You can use the ice at your own risk, but pay heed to the locks, bridges and culverts where the ice likely is thinner than the rest of the canal. Bring your blades, skating along the canal is free! Keep in mind the rule is there must be 4" of snow and 6" of frost on canal for route to be open. Call the Visitor Center for automated message.
Heritage Prairie Farm
Farm dinners at Heritage Prairie Farm, in Elburn have been a tradition since 2007. All farm dinners include a welcome cocktail upon arrival to the farm with butler-passed appetizers, and live acoustic music. For dinner, an upscale five-course meal, introduced by the chef himself, is served family-style in a charming atmosphere, regardless of the season. Get an inside look at how the farm operates from one of their knowledgeable staff with a private tour of the farm.
“Ciao” on delicious Italian food and delight in a grand parade. There will be midway rides and games, live music, a bocce tournament, a grape stomp, a pasta cook-off, a kids pet and bike parade, a road race and an art contest.
This engaging retail experience features the full line of Hershey's products, as well as one-of-a-kind gifts and souvenirs Be entertained by the singing baker at the bake shoppe, offering cupcakes, cookies and brownies all topped with Hershey's products.
Holiday House Walk
Come and enjoy a tour of five beautifully decorated and historic homes in Hinckley open to the public. Five homes will be featured in this holiday event. Tickets will go on sale beginning November 1. Tickets will be available for purchase the day of as well. The house walk will be from 2:00pm-6:00pm. Sponsored by Hinckley Parks and Recreation. Tickets are available at the following locations: Hinckley Fresh Market, Hinckley Public Library, Hinckley Village Office, Jack and Jina’s BP, and Treasures Old and New
Hoosier Mama Pie Company
Hoosier Mama Pie Company in Chicago is a new artisanal bakery striving to be a great "old" pie company. The pies are created by hand; kneading the dough, pinching the crust and using only the freshest ingredients. It’s one of the greatest pieces of diner pie you’ve never eaten.
A one-of-a-kind live black-light puppet show, John Tartaglia's ImaginOcean is a magical undersea adventure for kids of all ages. Tank, Bubbles, and Dorsel are best friends who just happen to be fish, and they are about to set out on a remarkable journey of discovery. Ultimately they find the greatest treasure of all: friendship. Jam-packed with original music ranging from Swing to R&B to Big Band, John Tartaglia's ImaginOcean is a blast from the first big splash to the last wave goodbye. Doors will swing open at 1 p.m. and dive in for the show to begin at 2 p.m.
Inn at 835
Springfield's only Nationallly Landmarked Inn... The Inn offers 13 guest rooms plus six extended stay suites, all with attached private bathes, internet, Wi-Fi, voicemail, wake-up calls and individual thermostatic room controls. Enjoy the Inn's amenities during your stay; a full Midwestern breakfast, local and national newspapers, and free off street parking. During your visit you will be within walking distance to most historic sites, all of the downtown and public transportation.
International Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon
The 49th Annual International Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon invites runners from around the world to participate in the 13.1-mile race past the nation’s premier Lincoln sites.
Equal parts of hard rock, heavy metal and Southern rock, Jackyl brought back rock'n'roll to its down-to-earth, wild, fun-loving origins...And back to the Effingham Performance Center. Jackyl is also full of spit and swagger and a "dirty" sense of humor. The band is best known for its song "The Lumberjack," which features a chainsaw solo by lead singer Jesse James Dupree. Jesse James Dupree is also featured on truTV's hit show Full Throttle Saloon.
Jubelt’s Bakery in Litchfield offers routine breakfasts and lunches, but this family has been in the bakery business since their German immigrant ancestors arrived a century ago. Stop by for a slice of pie or the whole pie, either way you’re sure to leave with a smile on your face.
Chicago's newest and largest cruise ship located at Navy Pier. Cruises are available for group and private charters along Chicago's lakefront for groups of 50 to 400 passengers.