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Tour de Chocolat'
Held on the First Friday of the month, this recurring local cultural and social event showcases the visual arts and artists for the purpose of art education, visibility and the opportunity to purchase and collect art. February’s theme is the Tour de Chocolat’, where businesses will provide chocolate goodies at their stores. The culinary cook-off will take place in the BCPA Ballroom. Entries will be accepted in the following categories: youth, amateur, and professional. Celebrity judges will be doing sampling and making determinations at the beginning of the event. You vote, too! Take samples and vote with your dollars! People’s Choice and Celebrity Judge nominations are revealed at the end of the evening.
Family New Year’s Eve Party
Start the new year off right! Enjoy games, giant inflatables, arts and crafts and dance to the latest tunes! Returning this year…spin the prize wheel and active toddler zone. Celebrate with a balloon drop at noon! Pre-register by Dec. 30 at noon. Children under 2 are free. Ages 2 and up: Pre-registration: $7 – Includes admission, party favors and snack. Day-of: $10 at the door. (Day-of registration does not include party favors or snack.)
Illinois Department of Natural Resources staff will offer an informative presentation about bald eagles, the fish they eat, the native fish, the wildlife and the history of the Grafton area. The program will include a short video presentation. Spotting scopes will be available before, between and after programs to provide live eagle viewing. In addition, a live eagle will be on display from Noon to 3 p.m. from the World Bird Sanctuary. Photos can be take for a small donation.
Heavenly View Cabin
Heavenly View is a luxury cabin with views that will take your breath away! Nestled near the top of the Mississippi River bluff, this cabin provides amazing views of the Mississippi River valley and the surrounding property. The cabin sits on 50 private acres which you can enjoy from the covered patios and screened-in porch that adjoin three sides of the cabin. Wake up in the morning with a cup of coffee and step outside to listen to the wild turkeys gobble around you or watch the whitetail deer feed in the meadow at the bottom of the valley. Savor the sunset and its beautiful colors across the hills.
Lucas Oil Monster Truck Nationals
The astonishing speed, sound, and fury of colossal 10,000-pound, ten-foot-tall machines going for broke in a high-flying, all-out showdown are the ingredients for an unforgettable night of entertainment. The Monster Truck Nationals are back for a high-velocity shootout at the Convocation Center on Saturday, February 6th. The size and scale of the 10-feet-tall machines of The Monster Truck Nationals can only be truly appreciated close-up. And that’s why everyone with an admission ticket is invited to a free Pit Party, two hours before each performance. At the Pit Party, the Monster Truck Nationals drivers give autographs and pose for photos. Everyone can get a close look and a photo of the trucks, pick up a souvenir, and take part in interactive games and displays before heading to their seats for the excitement of the show.
Galva Freedom Fest Celebration
Come and enjoy a hometown filled with pride. 4th of July, events begin at 8am, including a pancake breakfast, 5K/fun run, a parade filled with antique tractors, bands and floats. Stop by the park for an art jam, photo photo show, talent show, food and much more. Stay the for the evening and Join us at the park for professional entertainment and spectacular fireworks fired by International award winners Melrose Pyrotechnics.
Maple Syrup Time
For 4 weekends in February and early March, you're invited to walk with us into the Garden's sugar bush as we tap our maples. Help us collect the sap as it flows from the trees and cook it down to pure maple syrup. A great way to shake the winter blues!
Ringin' in the New Year in Downtown Naperville
Bring the whole family to enjoy the final day of 2015 shopping, dining and celebrating in Downtown Naperville. Enjoy free performers (face painters, caricature artists, magicians, henna tattoo artists, jugglers, stilt walkers, fortune teller and more) from 1-3pm. Get clues for a scavenger hunt. 50 randomly selected entries will receive a Downtown Naperville gift card. There will also be free trolley rides from 1-4pm and free Shutterbox photos and prizes for kids. Wander around downtown and see all the trains too! Follow the sky lights to the Covered Bridge and stroll down the Riverwalk just a short distance to the Carillon. There will be free hot chocolate at the Riverwalk eatery while you wait for the early evening Countdown to Ring in the New Year at 6pm.
An Historic Christmas Holiday House Walk
Ring in the holidays at six historic sites in one fun-filled day. Step back in time and admire the beautiful decorations of holidays past at Edwards Place, the Lincoln Home, the Governor’s Mansion, Elijah Iles House, the Old State Capitol, and Vachel Lindsay Home. At each home, visitors can listen to 19th century Christmas carols and visit with the Lincolns. There is no charge for admission to any of the houses, and the sites may be visited in any order.
The Wizards of Winter at the Effingham Performance Center
Featuring some of the mid-Atlantic's finest rock and progressive musicians, The Wizards of Winter, reprise a few of the greatest hits of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Christmas and Classical catalog. The Wizards of Winter bring their musical intensity, stage theatrics and holiday fun to the Effingham Performance Center at 8 p.m. This 22 member ensemble boasts soaring vocal harmonies, precision string instrumentation, powerful percussion and stunning keyboard work, layered around a rich storyboard that evokes December's past!
Visit Frank Lloyd Wright's Dana-Thomas House as the exterior of the home will be lined with 1,000 candles and guests can take a silent tour of the beautiful interior accompanied by holiday music.
First Night Evanston
A great Evanston New Year's Eve celebration that brings together a great community! Experience an incredible range of music, dance, poetry and more from some of the world's finest artists. It's a family-friendly event too, featuring an afternoon of exciting musical and variety performances geared to young children as well as a teenage battle of the bands and a teen improv performance in the evening. Performance venues include some fantastic acoustical spaces in some of Evanston's greatest old classic houses of worship. $20 in advance; $25 until 12/31; $30 at door. Type: Festival/Special Events. Various locations in Evanston.
First Night Springfield
Head on out to the 29th Annual First Night Springfield! This family-friendly, alcohol-free event is a Springfield area tradition. Free children's activities from 1 - 4 PM at Springfield High School Commons. Fireworks at 8 PM. Over 30 performances around Downtown Springfield from 6 PM-11:15 PM.
Christmas with the Lincolns
Discover how the Lincoln family celebrated the holiday by taking a tour through the Lincoln Home, with period decorations.
Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis
Be part of the largest holiday 5K race series aimed to fight arthritis! Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis is a fun and festive way to kick off your holidays by helping others! Wear a holiday themed costume and tie jingle bells to your shoelaces. Raise funds to help find a cure for arthritis, the nation's leading cause of disability.
Jim Brickman: Comfort & Joy- The 2015 Holiday Tour
This year, Jim Brickman will bring together the sounds of the season with Comfort & Joy, the 2015 Holiday Tour. Hailed by the Boston Herald as a ‘crowd-pleaser,’ Jim celebrates this in a one-of-a-kind concert event filled with lush instrumentals and soaring vocals. As he marks this 19 year tradition from coast to coast, Jim will showcase new music, along with holiday favorites and the hits that made him the most charted (30) Billboard Adult Contemporary artist earning him two Grammy nods and four gold albums. With featured musical guests, feelings of comfort and joy are fused together with Jim’s most beloved hits like ‘Valentine,’ ‘If You Believe,’ ‘The Gift,’ ‘Angel Eyes,’ and ‘Sending You A Little Christmas.’ You’ll be reminded of what we cherish during this most wonderful time of the year…Togetherness.
Holiday Open House at the Sycamore History Museum
Sycamore History Museum says “Thank you” to its supporters Saturday, December 5th during their Annual Holiday Open House. This free event is fun for everyone who loves the holidays. Enjoy festive music, drink hot chocolate, take home a craft activity, and decorate sugar cookies. The museum will also be open for tours led by the Junior Docents.
Midwest Museum of Natural History Festival of Trees
See the Midwest Museum of Natural History decked out for the Holidays during the 2015 Festival of Trees. Local businesses and organizations decorate trees that are displayed around the museum all month long. Visitors to the museum then get to vote for their favorite tree. And if that's not enough, plan your visit around one of the weekly events and programs. View MMNH's calendar of events to see what other fun activities are planned at the museum. December is a great time to visit and experience the Midwest Museum of Natural History.
Chicago Wolves Hockey
Chicago Wolves Hockey at the Allstate Arena. Four-time league champion Chicago Wolves Hockey team provides fun and affordable sports entertainment for the entire family. Now through April 2016. Tickets plans are available. Visit the website.
Santa Cause 5K
The Santa Cause 5K race will be a family friendly event for all ages; a great activity for the whole family to participate in during the holiday season. Join the cause and embrace your inner Santa. For our inaugural event, we are partnering with the Peoria Downtown Development Corporation and bringing the route into the Downtown Warehouse District to show-case major improvements to the area. In addition, all extra proceeds will benefit “Dazzle Downtown,” providing funds for festive lights and decor for the warehouse district.
9th Annual Crazy Horse Bluegrass Festival
The fun starts Friday night at 7 p.m. Two shows on Saturday and a gospel show on Sunday. Lots of fun and great music. Tickets can be purchased at the door if not camping. Line-up will be announced around March/April 2016. Everyone is welcome!
East Peoria Festival of Lights
East Peoria presents the 32nd annual Festival of Lights, a festival of electrical lighting displays that help spread the holiday cheer. The festival includes a parade on November 19th and a Winter Wonderland drive thru at Veteran's park that runs Thanksgiving through New Years Eve, allowing visitors to enjoy the lights in their warmth of their vehicles.
Sweet Pete's Candy
Sweet Pete's Candy is the sweetest destination on Earth. We offer handmade chocolates and confections, ice cream, frozen yogurt, cupcakes and more. Join us for a party, class or field trip for a sweet candy-making experience you will be sure to love.
PNC Winterfest at the Peoria Civic Center
PNC Winterfest, Peoria’s newest holiday tradition, is coming to downtown Peoria on November 27th. This 39-day event will give central Illinois the chance to enjoy outdoor ice skating on the corner of Fulton Street and Jefferson Avenue. PNC Winterfest will feature a real ice rink will be ready for you to skate in any type of weather.