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This rock and pop driven worship band boasts an impressive track record, including four Grammy nominations. Renowned for their heart pumping live concerts, the tight-knit Newsboys have been featured in Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly, among many others. With two decades of performing together, 31 number one radio hits, and a song recently featured in the film God's Not Dead, the Newsboys bring not only a great show, but also a heartfelt message to the stage.
in her four decade long career, Lynn Anderson has recieved countless accolades and awards including CMA Female Vocalist of the Year, Billboard's Artist of the Decade, and a Grammy Award. Her sophisticated image and "countrypolitan" sound helped her become one of the first performers to receive mass crossover success in country and pop music, spearheaded by her breakthrough song "Rose Garden". Today Lynn continues entertaining her audiences with no sign of slowing down! Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and she is set to rock the stage at 7:30 p.m.
Smoke & Mystery Tour
The largest touring illusion show in the U.S., Nelson Illusions is one-of-a-kind theatrical spectacle that combines rare and original illusions from around the world with award-winning, jaw-dropping magic. Featuring four Master Magicians with varying styles, the show is an entertaining blend of mystery, drama, romance, and comedy. A show of wonders that even some audience members are invited to share in on stage. Bring the kiddos out to explore the wonderful world of magic and maybe even learn a little magic yourself! Doors will open at 7 p.m. and this magical event will start at 8 p.m.
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!!
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.
Quincy Service League's Holiday Show & Sale
This annual event features over 100 booths of great Christmas gifts, decorations and home decor.
Three Chicks & A Stage
Mrs. Frump, director of the Peaceful Valley Orphanage, has planned for the children to spend Christmas Eve with local families. Setting off in an old bus on Christmas Eve to deliver the kids, they are pursued by the Busybodies from the board of trustees and the suspicious sheriff, and they even pick up a lovesick troubadour on his way home. This ride turns into an adventure Mrs. Frump and the kids didn't expect; one that you and your family will never forget!! Please make special note that there is two different dates and times: December 6th at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6 p.m. December 7th at 2 p.m. with doors opening at 1 p.m.
The Bob & Tom Comedy Show
Back by popular demand!! If you love The Bob & Tom Show, don't miss this event. Bob and Tom Comedy Show is a touring comedy act that features recurring characters from the hit radio show. If you have been a longtime listener of the show waiting to see Tim Cavanagh, Ralph Harris, Bob Zaney, or Kristi Lee on stage, now is your chance to enjoy their mature humor. Doors will open at 7 p.m. and this dynamic duo will go on at 8 p.m.
Sweet Dreams: Mandy Barnett Sings Patsy Cline
Mandy Barnett, the originator of the role of "Patsy Cline" in the theatrical production Always...Patsy Cline, brings her world-class vocals to Effingham in a tribute to the memorable country star. Along with other pop and country standards, and selections from her own critically acclaimed albums, Mandy Barnett is sure to bring a spectacular to the stage! Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and Mandy is set to sing the night away at 7:30 p.m.
The Church Basement Ladies in The Last Potluck Supper
The Last Potluck Supper is the fifth and last installment in the popular comedy series The Church Basement Ladies, based on the books by Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann Nelson. The ladies meet in the kitchen to prepare for the church's Centennial Celebration and, through a series of flashbacks, share memories of the last 100 years. Though times are tough in the community, through the grace, hilarity and antics of their stories, the ladies manage to get through it all with a laugh!! Please note that there will be two different times the show will be performed. The first performance will be at 2 p.m. with doors opening at 1 p.m. And the second performance will be at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.
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.
My Heart in a Suitcase
ArtsPower's presentation of My Heart in a Suitcase is a dramatic adaptation of Anne Lehmann Fox's courages autobiographical account. Forced to leave her family in order to escape 1938 Nazi-controlled Germany, Anne struggles to bring meaning to a world filled with violence and hatred, and must learn to rely on her own courage and the generosity of others to survive. My Heart in a Suitcase is a gripping, poignant and dramatic tribute to the power of love and the strength of the human spirit to triumph over unimaginable hardship. This show is great for children in 4th to 8th grade. It not only teaches them about a world wide lesson, but also shows them how to treat one another. Doors open at 9 a.m. and the show will start at 10 a.m.
Crappie USA Super Tournament
Crappie USA will hold one of the 2015 Super Tournaments on Lake of Egypt in Marion, IL. This will be a guaranteed payout of $10,000 and prizes. The tournament starts at 6:30am and will run until 3pm with a weigh-in at 4pm.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Having been in the music and entertainment business for more than fifty years now, country music legend Mel Tillis is truly a jack-of-all-trades. This songwriter of the decade for two decades has also appeared in numerous feature films, was a Comedian of the Year for six years, and even turned his hobby, painting, into a charity for speech and hearing impaired. With 36 top ten singles, Country Music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis continues to shine forth as a true entertainer. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and his entertaining show will begin at 7:30 p.m.
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.
It all started when five hard-rockin' kids joined forces in the early 80's to form Night Ranger. Hit songs include "Sister Christian," "When You Close Your Eyes," and the anthemic "(You Can Still) Rock America." The band just released their new studio album, HIGH ROAD and features classic Night Ranger feel-good, high-energy rock'n'roll. The band is very excited to be headed back on the road to share their music with fans and they are headed to Effingham! With 30 plus years and more than 17 million albums sold worldwide, Night Ranger has proven they can still "Rock In America"!! Doors will open at 7 p.m. and the night will be rocked away at 8 p.m.
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.
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.
The Winter Wonderettes
THE WINTER WONDERETTES takes audiences to Harper’s Hardware for their 1968 holiday party, hosted by the female singing group The Wonderettes. When Santa turns up missing, the ladies must use their talent and creative ingenuity, plus some great holiday tunes such as “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “ Run Rudolph Run,” “Winter Wonderland” and 20 other seasonal favorites, to save the festivities. This energetic and entertaining show is guaranteed to delight audiences of all ages.
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.
Service League Holiday Gift Show
This year the show will have over 100 merchants selling items from specialty foods, handcrafted clothes and quilts, holiday decorations, jewelry, outdoor garden and patio décor, hand blown glass, woodworking and much more!
The Nutcracker Ballet is a holiday tradition woven with beautiful choreography, music and a special story. Set to the lovely score by Tchaikovsky, this two act ballet begins with a young girl named Clara who receives a special gift from Herr Drosselmeyer at a Christmas Party. The nutcracker gift quickly becomes Clara’s favorite and soon transforms into a prince who invites her to join him on a special journey. The story continues through the snow, into the Land of Sweets where dancers from many lands entertain them. Is it all a dream? This will be the 15th time that the Kaiser Dance Theatre has brought the lovable ballet to local audiences. The first performance took place in 1985 and since then has become one of Quincy’s very own holiday traditions.
Waukegan Charter Boat Fishing
Eight experienced fishing charter boat captains offering World Class Salmon, Trout and Perch fishing April into November. The Waukegan Charter Boat Association is the oldest and largest charter boat fleet on Lake Michigan. Experience Coho Salmon, Chinook ( King ) Salmon, Rainbow (Steelhead) Trout, Brown Trout and Lake Trout fishing on the western shores of Lake Michigan out of Waukegan, Illinois.
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.
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
Christmas on the Fox/Art and Craft Show
Quality, hand-made arts and crafts. No commercial or manufactured items. Come and experience the delights of the season.
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!
Christmas on Broadway
Four star-struck holiday tourists are snowbound in a shuttered Broadway theater on Christmas Eve. With nothing but a few trunks filled with costumes, props, and set pieces, they live out a shared dream-starring on Broadway!
CITY: St. Charles
Champaign Urbana Ballet presents The Nutcracker
It the classic ballet - "Swirling among snowflakes that float from the evening sky, the sweet sounds of violins and flutes fill the air. It is Christmas Eve, and in every house, warm hearts beat in anticipation of the magic of the night. In one special house - the home of the Stahlbaum family - the music and the magic are about to take an unusual shape." That excerpt from Champaign Urbana Ballet's The Nutcracker sets the stage for what has become a glamorous, magical holiday tradition for local audiences. Our production is presented each December with a live orchestra, the famed CU Symphony Orchestra, in the elegant Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois. Local children are cast in roles as mice, soldiers and Polichenelles, while company dancers perform the Waltz of the Snowflakes and Flowers, variations of international delights, and the magnificent Pas de Deux that richly defines the Tchaikovsky score.
Ugly Sweater Party
Join us for some holiday cheer! -$100 in Topgolf game play awarded to the "All Around Ugliest," "Most Festive," and "Best Duo," costume. -Drink Specials -DJ playing the latest hitsTopgolf is also an official toy drop off location for Toys for Tots, so if you're interested in donating, just bring a gift with you to the party.
CITY: Wood Dale
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
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.
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.
Holidays at the Home and Studio
Enjoy the Holidays at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park! Youth volunteers will be on hand to tell stories of how the Wright family celebrated the holidays. You won't want to miss the highlight of the tour, the 12-foot tree in the children's playroom, all decked out in period ornaments. After visiting the Home, visitors are welcome to step into Frank Lloyd Wright's studio to experience the Froebel blocks, the geometric shapes that Wright credited with influencing the development of his Prairie style of architecture. In addition, hot chocolate will be available in the courtyard! Dates are December 13th and December 20th with tours running continuously from 9-11am.
CITY: Oak Park
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.
The Second City Holidays in the Heights
The holidays are a time for giving and joy. Of family parties, too much egg nog, marathon shopping trips, and itchy sweaters with jingle bells on them. Everyone loves the holidays, especially the Second City. Don't miss this hilarious send up of the holiday season featuring a phenomenal cast from Second City and their trademark comedy and improve.
CITY: Arlington Heights
White Christmas - Stage Coach Players Theatre
December 4-6 & 11-13 at 7:30 pm December 7 & 14 at 2:00 pm IRVING BERLIN'S WHITE CHRISTMAS Based Upon the Paramount Pictures Film Written For the Screen by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama and Melvin Frank MUSIC AND LYRICS BY IRVING BERLIN BOOK BY DAVID IVES and PAUL BLAKE Original stage production directed by WALTER BOBBIE Orchestrations Larry Blank Vocal and Dance Arrangements Bruce Pomahac Directed by Josh Smith Musical Direction by Nika Plattos Based on the timeless film, this heartwarming musical adaptation features seventeen Irving Berlin songs and a book by David Ives and Paul Blake. Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil's former army commander General Waverly. The dazzling score features well known standards including Blue Skies, I Love a Piano, How Deep Is the Ocean and the perennial favorite, White Christmas.
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.
Rialto Square Theatre Festival of Trees
The Rialto Square/ComEd Festival of Trees 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.
Step out of the cold and into a winter wonderland filled with LEGO brick. Throughout the month of December, young brick fans are invited to play seasonal games and deck the halls with loads of brick-tastic holiday fun!
Visitors Center Holiday Gift Expo
Freeport/Stephenson County Visitors Center, 4596 US Highway 20 East, Freeport. 8 am to 7 pm. Shop for unique local products during this special expo at the Freeport/Stephenson County Visitors Center. Over a hundred local vendors with products ranging from Pretzel items to books to cards to rugs to mugs to more are featured. The gifts are either produced in Stephenson County or highlight some aspect of local culture and history. Open: 8 am - 7 pm seven days a week.
Snow Globe Saturdays
Experience the magic of the holidays as downtown Champaign’s historic Orpheum Theater transforms into a winter wonderland! The theater becomes its very own snow globe featuring indoor sledding, snowman making, snow ball throwing, ice fishing, and more! Bring your wish list for Santa and enjoy sounds of the season floating through the glittery air. After a couple of runs down the snow hill, return to the Orpheum’s mezzanine for hot chocolate, treats, and crafts.
Fine Line Arts Festival (formerly Raku Day)
Fri. May 29 Festival opening night! Come socialize, enjoy a catered dinner, participate in a specialty event. There is a fee. Sat. May 30 is a great outdoor fun day for everyone! Bring the kids! Experience a variety of hands-on art experiences including Japanese Raku, etching, welt felting and more. Visit www.fineline.org for details and registration.
CITY: St. Charles
Run Your Ice Off
Over 200 runners participate in this annual “Hardcore” 5k race held, snow, rain or shine beginning at 11am.
Dinner and Christmas Concert
Lovely Christmas music by the Prairie Singers and a delicious holiday meal by the Cheese Shop of Ottawa. Reservations required. Reddick Mansion Association.
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.
Victorian Christmas at the Reddick Mansion
The Reddick Mansion will be decked out in it's Victorian Christmas Decor and open for tours! Activities for this weekend include: gingerbread house making, holiday music, photos with Santa, and a walk-through a life size gingerbread house! Check the Reddick Mansion Website for more information. Includes Holiday Open House, Christmas Music, and refreshments.
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.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
A play based on the book written by Barbara Robinson in 1971. It tells the story of Imogene, Claude, Ralph, Leroy, Ollie, and Gladys, six delinquent children surnamed Herdman. They go to church for the first time after being told that the church offers snacks. Despite protests from other church members, they are given roles in the Sunday school's Christmas play, in which they tell the Christmas story in a non-conventional fashion.
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!.
Christmas Feast at the Lodge
The weather outside is frightful, but the Christmas Feast at Pere Marquette Lodge is so delightful! Enjoy our fabulous, mouth-watering spread! Serving from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Reservations for parties of six or more will be accepted. Brunch Prices: Children 0-3: FREE, Children 4-11: $9.95, Adults 12 & Up: $24.95. Call (618) 786-2331 ext: 502 to make your reservations.
Midnight in Morris
Celebrate the season and shop in beautiful downtown Morris, located on the historic I & M Canal. Check out all the specials and shop late for all your holiday gifts and supplies. The shops are open from 8:00pm to midnight specifically for this event.
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
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
Brook Farm is your stop for local produce this season. We grow a wide variety of fresh vegetables, popcorn kernels and produce delicious flavored popcorn products.
Von Bergen's Country Market
Our farm market features a large variety of farm fresh family grown vegetables. Our sweet corn is picked fresh every morning when its the sweetest. Tomatoes, green beans, pickling cucumbers, broccoli, zucchini and other summer squash, a variety of specialty peppers are among the fresh vegetables we grow here on our farm. If fruit is what you are looking for, you will find our homegrown muskmelon, honeydew and watermelon delicious. We also carry Michigan peaches, pears, nectarines and other in season fruit from the Midwest. We are a working family operated farm. We want you to have a day on the farm experience when you stop by during the summer or the fall. Our tractor/sand box play areas are available all during the season. Our own animals are always here for you to visit, but we do bring in more during the fall season. In the fall we have our family grown pumpkins, gourds, corn shocks, Indian corn and other specialty decorations. Of course we will still have the fall veggies, squash and more, plus the continuing of the summer treats! KNOW YOUR FOOD! KNOW YOUR FARMER!
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!
Red Barn Market
It's spring and we are open 8 to 6 everyday. We now have a great selection of vegetable plants, herbs, annuals, perennials, and hanging baskets. New plans are coming in every week. As always there is pottery, outdoor furniture, and fountains. Also, we have fresh asparagus direct from or farm. Come today and check us out!
Prairie Sky Orchard
Our small family-run business is celebrating over 20 years of bringing your family the delights of the autumn harvest. Apple picking is a great way to spend a crisp autumn day with friends and family. We planted our first 100 apple trees in 1996. Since then we have planted an additional 1900 trees.
44th Annual Christmas Crossroads Craft Show
Christmas Crossroads, presented by the Lockport Woman's Club, has been a crowd pleaser since its inception in 1971. Featured this year will be 185-190 artisans and craftsmen from a 6 state area, selling such items as Christmas wreaths, centerpieces, ornaments, dolls and doll clothes. Also highlighted are hand painted glass and windows, bath salts and soaps, purses, plus quilted and sewn creations, dog/cat items, music boxes, jewelry, pottery, candles, garden art, and photographs. Also included are children's and women's clothing, a variety of Christmas angels and snowmen, herbal vinegar's and oils, dips, floral, furniture, American Girl/Bitty Baby accessories and wooden and country crafts. Local organizations participating include Trinity, Lockport Boy Scout Troop 63, Lockport Lion's Club, St. John Episcopal Church and Hospice. All proceeds from the show are used for collegiate, vocational and summer camp scholarships. In addition, community projects and various charities including Will County Historical Society, Lockport Township Park District, and holiday baskets to the needy are supported. 8:30am-5:00pm Sat, 9:30am - 3:30 pm Sun. $3.00 Adults, $2.00 Senior Citizens, $1.00 Students(6-18yrs), 5& under Free.
Enjoy affordable rates in a convenient location when choosing the Quality Inn® in Mount Vernon, IL, ideally located off of Interstate 57 near many area points of interest.
CITY: Mount Vernon
Drury Inn & Suites
Located at the intersection of I-57 and I-64, the Drury Inn & Suites Mt. Vernon is just moments away from popular attractions, shopping, outdoor adventures and history lessons.
CITY: Mount Vernon
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.
Stade's Farm & Market
Stade's Farm & Market is located in scenic McHenry County in northeastern Illinois approximately 50 miles from Chicago. We produce 2,200 acres of crops that range from traditional corn and soybeans to specialty crops including many fruits and vegetables commonly grown in northern Illinois. Through our own farm market, we sell our fresh fruits and vegetables directly to consumers in our local area. Our goal is to provide our customers with the finest quality produce possible.
Christmas Trolley Lights Tour
Relax before the holidays on this illuminated tour of the LaSalle, Peru, Oglesby and Utica area, just days before Christmas. Let the staff plan the route and do the driving so you can enjoy light displays in our fully enclosed trolley. The trolleys are heated but you may want to bring along an extra blanket. Each tour will have a guide to get into the holiday spirit through some Christmas carols and songs. Tours run from 6-8pm and reservations are a must.
Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature
The largest African American history and literature collection in the Midwest, the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature contains a wealth of precious documentation of the black experience. The collection places a strong focus on African American history in Illinois.
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
Rachel Barton Pine at Ravinia
Called “the definition of the ideal musician for the 21st century” by Yo-Yo Ma, cellist Mike Block joins Rachel Barton Pine to chronicle the flow of music from Bach to Bartók to the blues. Bennett Gordon Hall Ticket Price: $10
CITY: Highland Park
The African-American Cultural & Geneological Society of Illinois Museum (AACGS)
AACGS promotes and provides resources and education on the history of the African American. Embracing all cultures, it offers genealogy workshops, museum displays, storytelling, essay and poetry contests, and the promotion of Cultural Arts.
It's a Wonderful Life
It's a Wonderful Life. 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. For more information visit www.shopmorrisil.com.
New Year's Eve Overnight at Starved Rock Lodge
Join the party and stay the night on New Year's Eve-Dec. 31, 2014. Stay a night at the historic Starved Rock Lodge where the New Year's Eve party takes place in the Great Hall and Starved Rock Room. The two-sided fireplace is aglow and the ambiance is warm and inviting. The cocktail hour begins with an open bar and hors d'oeuvres, followed by a New Year's Eve Dinner Buffet, a champagne toast at midnight, 1:00 am pastries and brunch on New Year`s Day. Two live bands performing during the evening to keep you entertained!
Kewanee Lighted Parade and Windmont Park Lighting
View Kewanee’s magical wonderland of vivid colors and whimsical lights celebrating the spirit of the Christmas season. Open daily 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. through New Years Day.
Christmas Home Tours
Visit Historic Golconda and tour 4 homes, a church and the local museum. Christmas in the courtyard begins at 5:30 pm with refreshments and, at 6:00, a live Nativity Scene and caroling around a huge bonfire on the Court House lawn in downtown Golconda, Santa arrives on the fire truck at 6:30.
Otter Cove Aquatic Park
Splash park features interactive children's water play area with safety surface.Lazy River, tube and body slides, lap pool, zero-depth entry pool, toddler pool, diving boards, concessions, sand play area.
CITY: St. Charles
Come and enjoy the region's most exquisite culinary experience, from the open kitchen, to our Wine Room with 1000+ wines from all over the world, to the unique culinary cuisine prepared by the one and only Chef Liz. Exceptional Food and even better service await your palate here at RARE Chophouse!
CITY: Mount Vernon
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.
Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation (FMR. Chess Records Studio)
2120 S. Michigan Ave. is one of the most famous addresses in all of American pop history. Former home of the legendary Chess Records label from 1957 to 1967, 2120 housed the studio and recording company that begat legendary recordings by Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf, Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker, Etta James, Aretha Franklin and dozens of others.
Zoo Year's Eve
Rock in the "Zoo Year 2015" with your friends at Brookfield Zoo! In the Holly Jolly Theater there will be live DJ music, games, party favors, prizes and an early countdown at 8pm. Also at the Hamill Family Play Zoo you can make your own noisemaker and enjoy an early kid-friendly countdown. This area is perfect for families with children ages 6 and under. This event is free with paid zoo admission.
Sheldon Peck Homestead
DuPage County, Chicago’s Western Suburbs - This 1840s farmhouse features reproductions of Sheldon Peck's folk paintings, exhibits on the area's first school, the underground railroad, farming and pioneer life. Admission is free.
Kick off the holiday season in Effingham as the community celebrates a Hometown Christmas on Saturday, November 29th in downtown Effingham. The event is sponsored by The Effingham Central Business Group, the Effingham Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Effingham Convention and Visitors Bureau. Welcome Santa to town at 4 p.m. as he travels down Jefferson Street arriving on the west side of the Courthouse square lawn. Santa will then make his way to his house to greet and hand out treats to all of the children who come to visit him. Carolers will be filling the air with your favorite Christmas songs throughout the evening. There will also be complimentary horse-drawn carriage rides around the downtown area, along with children’s activities and other goodies. Santa will continue making visits to the Courthouse location throughout the holiday season. And be sure to stop by the Effingham CVB's tent in the downtown area to get some free Effingham souvenirs and register to win a great family-friendly Effingham basket! Stick around downtown for the official lighting of the City of Effingham Community Christmas Tree by Santa and Mayor Gillenwater at 6:30 p.m. We’ll countdown and watch downtown become a beautiful winter wonderland! Take a trip back in time reliving the history of Effingham County with a tour of the Effingham County Courthouse Museum. The 143 year old courthouse captures the past, present and future of our county’s history. Come in and share your family’s story with the staff. The museum will be open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and admission is free to the public.
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
Christmas Market "Julmarknad"
The holiday festivities in Bishop Hill begin with Julmarknad, or Christmas Market. This event is based on Scandinavian customs dating back to the Middle Ages when farmers and artisans would gather in the village squares to sell their wares. Bishop Hill businesses will be offering unique gifts, handmade wares, antiques, quilts, collectibles, baked goods, delicious foods, and Swedish imports. Scandinavian foods such as herring, lutfisk, and rye bread are also in abundance. You can also participate in the Chocolate Walk, located at the Steeple Building, where you can choose from a variety of chocolate delicacies.
CITY: Bishop Hill
Richardson Adventure Farm
Richardson's Adventure Farm - Home of the World's Largest Corn Maze! Their name says it all! This isn't your typical fall farm- Richardson Adventure Farm is an experience you can't find anywhere else!
CITY: Spring Grove
Lil Red Guest House
The Lil Red Guest House was built in 1860 and features two bedrooms with sleeping for up to four people. This charming red house is located within walking distance of local wineries, shopping and restaurants. The guest house has a comfortable porch swing from which to enjoy the view of the Mississippi River. Reservations are required.
Rusty Wallace Driving Experience
No matter what your need for speed, you’ll find it at the Rusty Wallace Driving Experience. You can get your basic adrenaline rush from the “Taste of Speed” racing experience at Chicagoland Speedway. Or ramp things up with the “Advance Racing” option that puts you behind the wheel of a race car powered by a TRD engine—the same one used in Rusty Wallace’s Nationwide cars. In 2014, the Rusty Wallace Driving Experience will be at Chicagoland Speedway April 26-27, May 24-26, June 20-22, August 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, and October 18, 19, 25, 26. See their site for more details.
Richard Petty Driving Experience
Experience NASCAR racing firsthand at Chicagoland Speedway in an “adrenaline pumping thrill of a lifetime.” Suit up and get behind the wheel of a real stock car as you drive 155 mph around the track, or ride shotgun and feel the rumble of 600 horses as you motor down the same asphalt driven by NASCAR drivers. In 2014, the Richard Petty Driving Experience will be at Chicagoland Speedway May 16-18, July 25-27, and September 19-21. See their site for more details.
DuSable Museum of African American History
The DuSable Museum of African American History is located on University of Chicago's Hyde Park campus. Experience a unique cultural environment as you travel through African American history. DuSable Museum shares African American history through a variety of impactful traveling and insightful permanent exhibits, educational programs and special seasonal celebrations. Visit, learn, and enjoy! Ongoing: Red, White, Blue & Black: A History of Blacks in the Armed Services; A Slow Walk to Greatness: The Harold Washington Story.
Harold Washington Library Center
The creation of Harold Washington Library Center is a product of a widely publicized architectural competition. Designed by Tom Beeby, the red brick, granite, and glass composition uses traditional design motifs to establish itself as a civic structure. A two-story battered granite base supports a five-story brick body punctuated by five arches along State Street and three facing Congress and Van Buren. The Harold Washington Library Center is a hybrid design that reflects the conflicting architectural ideas that characterized the late 1980s.
Memorial's Festival of Trees
This holiday tradition features more than 150 decorated trees, local entertainment, delicious gingerbreak cookies and tasty treats. The Festival includes a children's craft area, rides on the Candy Cane Express train, and a market filled with holiday gift items.
French Heritage Museum at the Stone Barn
Here you can explore the French involvement in the history of the Kankakee River Valley-the first explorers and missionaries; the coureurs de bois and fur traders and the pioneer settlers from France, French Canada, and Belgium.