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Holiday Fun Around Champaign

by Rose Price

Garage Sale for Uni High’s Habitat for Humanity Club 

December 5 First Presbyterian Church

 302 W Church St

Need inexpensive gifts for the holidays?  Check out the Garage Sale at Uni High. The sale will take place From 8am to 1pm in the basement of the 1st Presbyterian Church in Champaign. Clarksdale MS is one of the poorest areas in the country, and is in desperate need of better housing. Uni High’s club supports the Habitat for Humanity affiliate there.  This is one of their biggest fundraisers. 

​Holiday Wonderland

Lincoln Square Mall - 201 Lincoln Square, Urbana, IL

Roberta Morris and the American Cancer Society host this special viewing of the biggest Christmas Village display in the Midwest. There are over 500 Department 56 lighted houses and accessories.  Best of all, it's free.  Go to Lincoln square and walk through the Holiday Wonderland with your family.  There will also be an interactive village for kids.  

Hours for viewing 

Saturday, December 5 – 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday, December 6 – noon to 6:00 pm

Monday, December 7 – 4:00 to 7:00pm

Tuesday, December 8 – 4:00 to 7:00 pm

Wednesday, December 9 – 4:00 to 7:00pm

Thursday, December 10 – 4:00 to 7:00pm

Friday, December 11 – 3:00 to 7:00 pm
Saturday, December 12 – 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday, December 13 -noon to 6:00 pm
Wednesday, December 16 – 4:00 to 7:00pm

Friday, December 18 – 3:00 to 7:00 pm
Saturday, December 19 – 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday, December 20 – noon to 6:00 pm

Wednesday, December 23 – 3:00 to 7:00pm
Snow Village design by Roberta (Bert) Morris

Donations going to American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Champaign County.


The 2nd Annual Light Up McFerren Park Christmas Light Display

786 W Elm St. Hoopeston IL

This year the City of Hoopeston added several new displays throughout the park.  Visitors drive the mile long loop at McFerren Park and view the incredible light display. Tens of thousands of lights guarantee a night you won’t forget. View the displays every evening, now through Jan.3, from sundown until 11 p.m. at McFerren Park. Admission is free.

Contact Hoopeston City Hall for more details at (217) 283-5833

Santa Stuff

Pictures with Santa

Marketplace Mall

Santa will be at the Mall through Dec. 24.  

There are Special deals available when you purchase in advance and reservations can be made. *Remember* Reservations and photo packages are NOT required to visit Santa. 

Calls From Santa

What if your child could talk to the Big Jolly man himself?  That can actually happen!  For over 20 years, the Champaign Park District has been offering free calls from Santa to Champaign-Urbana children. 

This year, calls will be made on Dec. 9 between 6-8 p.m. The deadline to register is Dec. 8 by 5 p.m. 

Calls are FREE

Register here

***Volunteer “Santas” are still needed!! Contact Claudia Christy at for more information*** 

Santa Train

Gibson City Railroad Station

221 N Sangamon Ave, Gibson City, Illinois 60936

This year the Santa train will be stopping at the Gibson City Railroad Station on December 12 sometime between 8 am and 11 am.  

No tickets are necessary.  Show up...and wait.  Santa will be there, there is singing and candy and it's been rumored that Mrs. Claus is making the trip this year.  Don't forget you camera and maybe some hot chocolate!  Regular railroad operations may cause delays, thus the big time slot.   

Thanksgiving Events This Week!

by Rose Price


It’s not officially the holiday season until Santa makes his way through the streets of Downtown Champaign. This area favorite features pre-parade entertainment; free hot chocolate and performances as well as floats, marching bands, and of course Santa Claus himself. The event concludes with the lighting of the Downtown Christmas Tree in the One Main Plaza.

Admission is FREE


Orpheum Children's Science Museum

346 N. Neil St.

Champaign, IL 61820

Experience the Snow Globe in the Orpheum Theatre.  The event takes place immediately after The Parade of Lights! You'll have a ball, literally.  Expect snowballs, indoor sledding, ice fishing, holiday crafts, and story telling!  INDOORS!!!!  Remember, you probably shouldn't throw snowballs inside your own home!


William M. Staerkel Planetarium

2400 W. Bradley Ave.

Champaign, IL 61821

Santa lost his compass and can’t find his way home! Uh, this could be a disaster!  Can the stars help? Learn about the day and night sky and how the stars make pictures in the sky in the very special holiday show for young stargazers. Learn how you, too, can find Santa’s secret star!

Admissions $5 Adults, $4 Seniors/Students/Children.

FOSP members get in FREE!



Labor Day Events

by Rose Price

Labor Day Weekend is almost here; one of the last summer weekends to BBQ and relax with friends, but if relaxing is not what you have in mind, there are alot of fun Labor Day events to keep you entertained all weekend.​

Amish Country Cheese Festival
Sept. 3-5

106 E Progress St, Arthur

Family fun all weekend! It's the 42nd Annual Amish Country Cheese Festival. Come see the National Cheese Eating Finals, listen to a clown band and then take the kids on an Amish buggy ride? Visitors can also try milking a cow and curling cheese.










Eat With Animals

Sept. 5

Anita Purves Nature Center

1505 N. Broadway, Urbana

Come get a behind the scenes look at the Nature Center's wildlife during feeding time.  All proceeds help support the animals' ongoing care.  Urbana Parks.


The Champaign County AFL-CIO Labor Day Parade

Sept. 7
The parade starts at 10:00 a.m. in downtown Urbana at Lincoln Square Mall. A state of the Labor Movement in Illinois presentation will be made.  Live music will follow and the annual softball tournament will begin after lunch.  

***Kids, make sure you bring a bag, there will be plenty of candy to collect.


Labor Day Shoot Out

Sept. 7

1414 Triumph Drive, Urbana IL

The best shooters in the area can test their skills against one another for bragging rights.  Top three shooters will receive prizes.  Registration has opened but is limited to the first 40 people.  Sign in starts at 8 a.m. Cost is 20$ per shooter.  

For more information call 217.344.4282

or E-mail



Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3