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16th Annual Holiday Housewalk & Market
Tour gorgeous homes decorated for the holidays, shop our artisan market for unique gifts, enjoy carolers, delicious food and fun with friends. Fee: Housewalk $40; Market: $5 for $15 for the Thursday Preview Party. *The homes are located in different neighborhoods so personal transportation is necessary.
CITY: Oak Park
30th Annual St. Charles Scarecrow Festival
More than 100 handcrafted Scarecrows on display. View and vote for your favorites. Huge juried craft show, carnival, great food, continuous free live entertainment, many free children's activities, make your own scarecrow, and much more! A celebration of the autumn season!
CITY: St. Charles
4D Comedy Juggler Mark Nizer
Whether juggling laser beams, a 16-pound bowling ball, or running electric carving knife, Mark Nizer, winner of the prestigious International Juggling Championships, is sure to astound! With his combination of original comedy, world class juggling, movement, music, and technology, it is no surprise that has been called, "Nothing less than brilliant," by Performance Magazine among other accolades. This is sure to be a fun-filled show starting at 2 p.m. and doors opening at 1 p.m.
4th Annual Center City Restaurant Week
Whether you consider yourself a foodie, have a bit of a sweet tooth, or simply just enjoy tasting new dishes. then you’re going to love Center City Restaurant Week! The concept is simple – restaurants located in Downtown, Midtown and Campustown offer special menus all week, featuring their most delicious dishes at knockout prices! Make Restaurant Week a whole week experience and understand why Champaign is known for great dining.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
This museum is one of the most-visited presidential museums in the nation where visitors can experience the entire Lincoln story under one roof, from Abe's humble beginnings in an Indiana log cabin to his days as president in the White House. Be dazzled by two special effects theaters featuring historical ghosts and a Civil War battlefield, life-like vignettes that depict important moments in the president’s life, and artifacts that range from Lincoln’s stovepipe hat to an original copy of the Gettysburg Address.
African American Civil War Soldiers Monument
This unique artwork is one of only a handful of sculptured tributes to the African American Civil War soldier in the entire United States. Commissioned by the City of Decatur, the work was designed and created by renowned artist, Preston Jackson. Jackson created several concepts for the statue and allowed the citizens of Decatur to vote to select the final design.
Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Have you ever had a really rotten day? Alexander has.. Laugh and sing along with this hilarious musical adaptation of Judith Viorst's classic children's book, presented by Two Beans Productions, and discover along with Alexander that sometimes, every one of us has a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. The show is about an hour long and is great for children from kindergarten to third grade. It covers arts, literature-based, music, relationships and family which is a great learning experience for children. Doors will open at 9 a.m. and this show will start at 10 a.m.
Allerton Park & Retreat Center
Allerton Park was the private estate of Robert Henry Allerton, who donated it to the University of Illinois in 1946. It features 1,500 acres of woodlands, formal gardens and more than 100 sculptures. The park is open to the public for hiking, picnicking, cross-country skiing and leisurely garden strolls.
Aloha Falls Miniature Golf & Games
Seasonal facility offering outdoor miniature golf, a retro arcade, cafe and bar from spring to fall. Miniature Golf offers two Hawaiian-themed courses that offer a relaxing easy round of mini-golf on the Beach Course or an adventurous and difficult round on the Waterfall Course. Retro Arcade has over 100 of the favorite console games from the 80's and 90's with 10 screens devoted to classic console games and two 90" projection screens with modern consoles. Cafe & Bar features a few unique options including the Volcano Dog, and a Chocolate Avalanche ice cream float. Craft beers and sangria also available for the big kids!
Paddle-board lessons and rentals are provided by Alpine Accessories at Three Oaks Recreation Area. Make reservations by calling 847-854-4754 or online. Walk ups on availability.
CITY: Lake in the Hills
Alpine Slide at Chestnut Mountain Resort
Fun for all ages. Ride your own sled down 2,050 feet of terrain-tailored track to the banks of the Mississippi.
Alton Museum of History and Art
Winged monsters, explorers, riverboats and a gentle giant. The Alton Museum of History & Art shows the crossroads of American history in Alton. The museum is located in the historic Loomis Hall across from the Wadlow statue. Loomis Hall is the oldest building in the state of Illinois continuously utilized for education. One of the most popular rooms, the Wadlow Room, pays tribute to Alton's "Gentle Giant" and the World's Tallest Man. The Pioneer Room explores the history of Alton from the Lewis & Clark Expedition to the Civil War with exhibits on Elijah Lovejoy, the Lincoln-Douglas Debates and the "Alton Route" on the Underground Railroad. Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sunday 1 - 4 p.m.
Alton-Audubon Eagle Festival
Join us for the kick-off of the eagle watching season. Activities include: live eagle meet & greet, preview of events at the Eagle Watching Hot Spots, kid's activities, crafts and eagle viewing walks. Learn about eagle watching - how to spot eagles, where to look and what brings the eagles here each winter. Then, head across the river to Downtown Alton for ice sculpting on the streets.
Anderson Japanese Gardens
Anderson Japanese Gardens has been named one of the highest quality Japanese gardens in North America by Sukiya Living Magazine since 2004. Inspired by calm and tranquility, this 12 acre award winning landscape is comprised of koi-filled ponds, winding paths, gentle streams, cascading waterfalls, raked gravel gardens, beautifully trained pines, and more. Master craftsmanship and 16th century traditional architecture is found throughout the garden.
Animal Care League Hoiday Bazaar
Holiday items, pet items, gift baskets, baked goods, jewelry, music and more! Come and enjoy guest artists throughout the day. All your generosity goes right back to support the daily activities of our shelter. Santa will be there on Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
CITY: Oak Park
Antioch's Gingerbread Walk & Scavenger Hunt
Bring the family and friends to Downtown Antioch to hunt for Gingerbread! Find delightful Gingerbread Sculptures of Houses and other unique creations. Fill out a contest entry form and track down the different Gingerbread Clues throughout Downtown. Turn in the completed entry form for a chance to win exciting prizes and vote for the best one. Enjoy strolling musicians and carolers on Saturdays while finishing all the holiday shopping.
Antique and Collectible Markets
Join us for 25,000 sq. ft. of quality antiques and collectibles. Items you will not find anywhere else. Great selection of gift ideas for the holidays or for your home.
CITY: St. Charles
Bald Eagle Tours at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge
Crab Orchard is home to six nesting pairs of resident bald eagles and their offspring. A few nesting sites are visible from public roads throughout the Refuge and eagles are spotted daily. Guided tours visit eagle nests and areas of the Refuge where eagles may be spotted. The cost is $5 for adults and $2.50 for youth under the age of 12, and reservations are required.
Bald Eagle Watch Weekend
"Eagle Watch Weekend" includes activites both at the Starved Rock Lodge and the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center. You don’t have to travel north to see these majestic birds of prey. Thousands of eagles migrate south from Canada during the winter and Illinois is one of the homes of the greatest population of wintering bald eagles. For a birds eye view, hike to the top of the Rock.
Go on a one of a kind country adventure you'll never forget! Become pioneers for a day on a real 1800s farm and village. Miniature train rides, pony rides, petting zoo, pioneer craft demonstrations, and special events. In the Discovery Barn see chickens, sheep, piglets, baby goats and more.
Blue Moon Balloon Company
Balloon bouquets, arches, flags, pillars and just about anything you can think of made out of balloons!
Breakfast with Santa
Join the jolliest man, as well as the Mrs., for a breakfast buffet at Starved Rock Lodge. Following breakfast, you'll be treated to "Magic by Cory". Also attending will be "Grace" a white-tailed deer from the Furry Friends. Children may take turns sitting on Santa's lap to tell him their Christmas wishes and receive a chocolate treat. Enjoy brunch and meet Santa between 8:30am and 11:30am. $15.50 adults & $11.95 children under 10.
Breakfast with Santa
Enjoy an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet in the Brookfield Zoo's Discover Center with a special appearance from Santa and Mrs. Claus along with some special zoo costumed characters. Photo opportunities will be available with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Musical entertainment will make for an uplifting fun time for your entire family to enjoy. Reservations are required. Dates include December 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22.
Bret Michaelas Birthday Bash
Get ready and join Bret Michaels as he rocks out the Effingham Performance Center for his Birthday Bash! He's a cultural icon, a rock god, an entrepreneur, a TV star, a father, the face of the American Diabetes Association, a supercross enthusiast, solo artist, and a generous donor to a myriad of charitable causes. Selling over 32 million records, the legendary performer continues to top the charts with his solo releases with three generations of loyal fans. Doors open at 7 p.m. and help celebrate his birthday at 8 p.m.
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.
Bronzeville Children's Museum
First and only African American children's museum in the country for children ages 3-9. Interactive exhibits, unique programs. Focus on culture, history and contributions of African Americans.
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.
Byron Museum Of History & Lucius Read House
The Byron Museum Complex consists of a large Exhibit Hall and the historic Lucius Read House, which was on the Underground Railroad and is a listed site on the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. The Read House features a permanent exhibit entitled, ‘From Shackles to Freedom: The Underground Railroad’ which shines a spotlight on Byron’s participation in the Underground Railroad. We are happy to accommodate group tours outside regular hours. Tours are free and are self-guided or a docent can be arranged. We also have ample meeting space available.
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.
Camp Sagawau Environmental Education Center
Environment Education Center - offers cross country skiing in the winter.
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.
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 Children's Museum at Navy Pier
Hands-on exhibits and daily-changing activities make every visit unique for young children and adults, too. Dig deep into the Dinosaur Expedition, try to stay dry in WaterWays, make a masterpiece in the KraftArtabounds Studio, and climb up to the crow's nest on the Kovler Family Climbing Schooner. Toddlers can have fun in Kids Town and Treehouse Trails.
Chicago Flower & Garden Show
There's even more color, fragrance and roll-up-your-sleeves, good ideas at the next Chicago Flower & Garden Show presented by Mariano's, March 14-22, 2015 at Chicago’s Navy Pier, the No. 1 tourist destination in Illinois. More than 20 feature gardens from top designers bring visitors the first joys of spring and exciting ways to "Do Green. Do Good." The Marketplace's 100 exhibitors is a shopper's paradise; the Kids Activity Garden is so much fun, kids don't realize how much they're learning about greening our world. Garden Gourmet features top chefs with cooking demos. Experts present seminars on the best tricks and tips of gardening; Tablescapes show the most gorgeous, dreamy decor for indoor or outdoor dining, and the "Art of Floral,” features interpretive floral designs. For more information and tickets, including group tour rates, visit www.chicagoflower.com/
Chicago White Sox
The famed White Sox plays on the South side of Chicago at U.S. Cellular Field. Come for the hits, the fireworks and the fun.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
CoCo Key Water Resort - Rockford
CoCo Key, one of Illinois' largest indoor water parks, is Rockford's home for any-weather family water park fun. Attached to the Best Western Clock Tower Resort and Conference Center, CoCo Key Water Resort makes for a perfect tropical family getaway. Explore over 60,000 square feet of indoor water park fun with three giant waterslides, Coconut Grove Adventure River, Parrot's Perch interactive Play Island, indoor/outdoor spa, kiddie pool with zero depth entry, 10,000 square foot Key Quest Arcade, private cabanas, birthday party rooms, and more
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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
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.
Discovery Center Museum
Named one of the top 12 children's museums in the nation by Forbes in 2012, here kids can explore more than 250 hands-on art and science exhibits, a planetarium, TV studio and the Tot Spot for toddlers. Discovery Center also boasts the nation's first community-built outdoor science park, the Rock River Discovery Park, featuring a two-story maze, water play area and dinosaur fossil dig.
Dr. Richard Eells House
The Dr. Richard Eells House was a stopping point on the Underground Railroad in the 1840s, and is the oldest standing two-story brick home in Quincy.
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
DuPage Children's Museum, Inc.
Where children and adults learn to play together. Enjoy exhibits, workshops and materials that stretch the imagination and stimulate creativity. A fun environment for exploration and discovery.
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.
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.
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!!
Ethnic Heritage Museum
Six nationalities that helped shape the cultural region are represented in this home museum, built in 1850. Located in the heart of the old water power district, the house features a room for each ethnic group it represents: African American, Irish, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, and Hispanic. Call to confirm hours and admission fees. Visit the website for information about current exhibits.
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
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.
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.
Graue Mill and Museum
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Mill is the only operating waterwheel gristmill and one of three authenticated underground railroad stations in Illinois.
CITY: Oak Brook
Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort and Enchanted Forest
Discover a magical family getaway just beyond the glow of Chicago at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort. Nestled in the Starved Rock area of Illinois, Grizzly Jack's is an oasis of relaxation and adventure - a destination where water park fun meets natural wonder. Escape from the big city and enjoy a vacation in the scenic Northwoods at Grizzly Jack's - an unforgettable place to unwind, play, meet, dine and explore with family and friends.
Haigh's Scuba Diving Quarry
Scuba dive in a 12-acre, spring-fed quarry and see several varieties of fish, along with underwater attractions that include a 33-foot cabin cruiser, a marine dump truck and an amphibious vehicle. Rental equipment, air-fills and dive instruction are available.
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.
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!
Holiday Hoopla at Wonder Works
Join us for Holiday Hoopla on December 13th & 14th. Celebrating the holidays means something different to everyone. Wonder Works celebrates Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanza on two very special days. Events will include storytelling, games and special art activities all celebrating the holidays and the diversity they represent.
CITY: Oak Park
Holiday House at Magnolia Manor
The 14 room historic mansion is decorated for the Holidays, with many of the decorations for sale. Holiday luncheons can be scheduled with reservations. Luncheons include a served meal and a house tour. Regular tours are offered from 1 to 4pm daily.
Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo
See the Lights. Feel the Magic. Continue the Tradition. Chicagoland's largest lights festival surrounds you in the cheer of over 1,000,000 twinkling LED lights, ice carvings, light shows, Santa and Mrs. Claus. You're sure to feel the magic of the holidays! Enjoy a full schedule of nightly music and live entertainment inside the pavilions. Also on the schedule, an amazing magic show, costumed characters, a model railroad display, and the 38 foot Talking Tree. Holiday Magic is on Saturdays and Sundays, December 6-7, 13-14-, 20-21 and Friday to Wednesday, December 26-31. Regular parking and admission fees apply. Free with zoo membership.
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
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!.
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
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.
This local favorite opens in April and closes in October. Homewood Grill is a snack stand that serves American meals, candy, ice cream, slushies and more.
Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum
Come to The Morton Arboretum this holiday season to see trees in a different light! Illumination will engage your senses with dazzling projections, trees that respond to your touch and sound, and vivid, electric colors throughout. This is an outdoor event on a one-mile, gently rolling, paved path that takes approximately one and one-half hours to complete. Please dress for the weather. Food and beverage concessions are available for purchase. Walking along the paved trail you can hug a tree to make it grow brighter, sing to a tree and watch it change color, interact with light and color with a swipe of your hand, and many more surprising experiences around every turn! Also, be sure to warm up next to fire pits while enjoying hot cocoa, s'mores, and other delights, stop in to browse the holiday wares at The Arboretum Store, and enjoy energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly LED lighting. Please note, the event closed November 27, December 1, 8, 15, 24, 25.
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.
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.
J.E. Robinson Underground Railroad Tours
In the early 1800s, Alton became a safe haven for slaves escaping from the bonds of slavery. Because of the area's neighboring slave state of Missouri, runaways found refuge in the free land surrounding Alton. The tunnels of the Underground Railroad run deep beneath the streets along the "Alton Route." The area was a major stop along the Underground Railroad, hiding slaves in caves, barns and basements throughout Alton, Otterville and Jerseyville. Hear the slave's tales, feel their fear and learn about Alton's remarkable past on an Underground Railroad Tour. Tours available by appointment only.
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.
The Joliet Slammers are a professional baseball team based in Joliet, IL that play in the independent Frontier League. Home games are played at Silver Cross Field in Joliet. They are the 2011 Frontier League champions.
Kane County Cougars
As an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, the Cougars continue to set a standard of excellence, both on and off the field. In 2013, the Cougars are expecting to welcome their 10 millionth fan in franchise history, and have routinely been one of the top draws throughout Minor League Baseball, while providing the best in affordable and family-friendly fun throughout Chicagoland.
Kankakee County Museum
The Kankakee County Museum is the home of the Kankakee County Historical Society. Founded in 1906, it is the oldest incorporated local historical society in Illinois. The Main Museum Building contains seven permanent and temporary exhibit galleries, the Museum Store, the Museum's Archival Research Library, the Museum's offices, and support facilities. The Museum Complex also encompasses the historic 1855 Dr. A. L. Small House, the 1904 Taylor One-Room Schoolhouse, Column Garden and Outdoor Exhibit Area. The museum boasts more than 85,000 artifacts in addition to 20,000 still images in the photo collection.
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.
KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort
KeyLime Cove, the official resort of nearby Six Flags Great America, offers a year round tropical resort experience. The massive indoor water park features a wave pool, body and tube slides, a lazy river, waterfalls and whirlpools. Besides the splashy fun, KeyLime Cove offers a variety of restaurants and entertainment options geared to both kids and parents. Grab a little "me" time and indulge in the luxurious Paradise Mist Spa, or pamper your princess at The Enchanted Lagoon Kids Spa.
Kohl Children's Museum
Kohl Children’s Museum offers hands-on, interactive exhibits designed exclusively for children ages birth to 8. All of the exhibits and programs are designed to make learning fun and interesting for young children. A visit to a grocery store, a veterinarian’s office as well as a day care inhabited by dolls allow children to participate in adult activities on their own scale. Children can build a house, make music, take care of cars, explore the properties of water and much more in the many engaging exhibits featured.
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.
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.
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.
Enchanting Linmar Gardens is nestled in a hillside overlooking the historic town of Galena. The secluded 3.5-acre garden is situated on natural outcroppings which have been enhanced with hand-built terraces. Meander on a guided tour along paths through a collection vibrant annual and perennial flowers including hostas, viburnums, conifers, grasses and daylilies.
Long Grove's Annual Apple Festival
The distinctive Long Grove shops and restaurants help celebrate the Apple Festival with unique seasonal gifts and foods, including cider donuts, caramel apples and the Long Grove Apple Haus’ famous brown bag apple pie. Live toe-tapping music, carriage rides, hayrides and children’s activities round out the fest.
CITY: Long Grove
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.
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.