Christmas Parade – November 23
Downtown Decatur. The 2013 Lighted Nighttime Decatur Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Decatur Jaycees, 5:30pm, free, 217-413-0990.
Santa House – November 23-December 24
Central Park, Downtown Decatur. Visit Santa Claus at his downtown house, days and hours vary, visit www.decaturchamber.com for visiting hours, free, donations appreciated, 217-422-2200.
How Great Our Joy – November 26
St. Patrick Catholic Church, 407 E. Eldorado. Concert presented by Opus 24 featuring choral music for fall, Advent and Christmas with piano, string quartet and vocal scholarship winners, 7:30pm, $, 217-422-1422. www.decaturopus.com
Heritage & Holly Home Tour – November 29-30
Tour begins at Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. Captains of Industry is the theme of the 23rd annual home tour featuring the Captains' prominent historic homes in Decatur decorated for Christmas, refreshments and entertainment, trolley transportation available, proceeds benefit the Near Westside Restoration and Preservation Society's (NWRAPS) programs, tickets available at Haines & Essick, Kirlin's and Wabash Depot, Candlelight Tour F 4-8pm, Sa 12-6pm, $, 217-412-7170.
Christmas Walk – December 4
Downtown Decatur. Downtown comes alive with horse-drawn carriage rides, music and carolers, delicious goodies, and Santa Claus in Central Park, extended retail hours and art galleries open, 4:30-8pm, free, 217-423-3475 and 217-422-1509.
XMAS ARTicles – December 4-30
Opening Event – December 4
Madden Arts Center, Anne Lloyd Gallery, 125 N. Water St. A Christmas shop with original art and fine craft gifts by over fifty area artists in varied mediums, opening event 12/4 5-8pm. General gallery hours MTWF's 8:30am-4:30pm, Th's 8:30am-7pm, Sa's 10am-4pm, free admission, 217-423-3189.
Mark Schultz: A Christmas to Remember – December 6
Mt. Zion Convention Center, 1410 Mt. Zion Pkwy, Mt. Zion. Mark Schultz performs his inspirational Christian music in a solo concert, Day 40 opens for Mark, doors open 6:30pm, concert 7:30pm, $, 217-864-5424.
Nutcracker Ballet – December 6-8
Richland Community College, Shilling Auditorium, #1 College Park. Richland's 18th annual Nutcracker Ballet, a family holiday tradition, Sugar Plum Tea after the Sunday 12/8 performance, F & Sa 7pm, Su 2:30pm, $, 217-875-7211 ext. 6170.
Breakfast with Santa – December 7
Children's Museum of Illinois, 55 S. Country Club Rd. Give Santa your wish list, enjoy a continental breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and make a holiday craft, 8-10am, $, reservations required, 217-423-5437.
Gingerbread House Workshop – December 7
Children's Museum of Illinois, 55 S. Country Club Rd. Decorate your own gingerbread house to take home, 10am-12pm, $, reservations required, 217-423-5437.
Pajama Party with Santa – December 7
Scovill Zoo, 71 S. Country Club Rd. Kids ages 3-10 can wear their PJs, bring their pillow, and visit with Santa while they make an ornament, eat cookies, and see how the zoo animals prepare for winter, presented by Decatur Park District, parents must be present, 1-3pm or 5-7pm, $, 217-421-7435.
Vespers - December 7-8
Millikin University, Kirkland Fine Arts Center, 1184 W. Main St. Millikin's annual traditional Vespers (Evening Prayers), the beautiful seasonal production performed by more than 300 student voices and instrumentalists featuring carols, anthems, and motets from around the world, 3 & 7pm, $, 217-424-6318.
Victorian Christmas Tea – December 8
Millikin Homestead, 125 S. Pine St. Visit James and Anna Millikin's historical home decorated for Christmas, includes holiday music, a small boutique and bakery sale, refreshments served, 1-4pm, free, 217-422-9003.
A Queer Carol – December 12-14
Millikin University, Pipe Dreams Studio Theatre, 1099 W. Wood St. Play based on the Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol,” this contemporary gay retelling remains true to the original message, $, www.pdtheatre.com or 217-420-6739.
Christmas Art Jam! – December 13
Madden Arts Center, 125 N. Water St. A family event with art, games, and movies, for ages 5 and older, 5:30-8:30pm, $, 217-423-3189.
Cocoa & Cookies with Santa – December 13
Children's Museum of Illinois, 55 S. Country Club Rd. Bring your Christmas wish list and enjoy hot cocoa and cookies with Santa, pajamas welcomed, 6-8pm, $, reservations required, 217-423-5437.
Holiday Jazz – December 14
Millikin University, Kirkland Fine Arts Center, 1184 W. Main St. Celebrate the sounds of the season with Millikin University's faculty jazz sextet performing their jazzy swing interpretation of holiday classics, 7:30pm, $, 217-424-6318.
Santa Fly-in – December 14
Main Hanger Restaurant, Decatur Airport, 910 S. Airport Rd. Santa will fly in from the North Pole to read a story, hear children's Christmas wishes and hand out goodies, breakfast buffet included, 9am-12pm, $, reservations required, 217-421-7452.
Chamber Orchestra Advent Services – December 15
Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. The Millikin-Decatur Symphony Chamber Orchestra joins the musicians of Central Christian Church for services of the season, a Decatur Christmas tradition and gift to the community from Central Christian Church, 8:05 & 10:35am, free, 217-424-6318.
Vintage Christmas Tea – December 15
Oglesby Mansion, 421 W. William St. Enjoy an old fashioned Christmas celebration at Governor Oglesby’s beautiful Victorian mansion dressed for the holidays by the Decatur Garden Club, refreshments served, 1-4pm, free, 217-423-7708.
Great Gatsby Casino Night Gala – December 31
Mt. Zion Convention Center, 1410 Mt. Zion Pkwy, Mt. Zion. Ring in the New Year in 1920s style, professional dealers in the casino, music by the Smoothtimes Band, appetizer and dessert bar, Champagne toast, turn in winning chips for raffle tickets,1920s attire suggested, must be 21 years or older, doors open 7pm, event 7:30pm-12:30am, $, 217-864-5424.
Happy Noon Year – December 31
Children's Museum of Illinois, 55 S. Country Club Rd. A special countdown to the New Year for those who don't stay up late, fun and festive activities, balloons and confetti fly at noon, 10am-2pm, $, 217-423-5437.
Martin Ellis in Concert – December 31
Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. New Year's Eve Pops Concert featuring organist Martin Ellis from Indianapolis, 7:30pm, free, 217-424-4336.
Perkinson Exhibit – through December 13
Millikin University, Kirkland Fine Arts Center, Perkinson Gallery, 1184 W. Main St. Sculptures by Alison Ouellette-Kirby and Noah Kirby, M-F 12-5pm, free, 217-424-6227.
Decatur Airport Exhibit – December
Decatur Airport, Main Terminal, Lobby Gallery, 910 Airport Rd. Featuring the paintings of Sharon Zimmerman, airport lobby open hours, free, 217-422-1509.
Library Exhibit – December
Decatur Public Library, Art Gallery, 130 N. Franklin St. Featuring Mike Delaney's watercolors, library open hours, free, 217-422-1509.
Rock Springs Exhibit – December
Rock Springs Nature Center, North Wing Gallery, 3939 Nearing Ln. Various media works by the Barn Colony artists on display, Rock Springs business hours, free, 217-423-7708.
Exhibit Opening Reception – December 4
Gallery 510 Exhibit – December
Gallery 510, 160 E. Main St., Suite 100. Opening reception during the Downtown Christmas Walk featuring Rae Nell Spencer's watercolors, refreshments, W 12/4, 5-7:30pm, free. General exhibit viewing in December, Tu-F 11am-5pm, Sa 11am-3pm, free, 217-422-1509.
Decatur Airport Exhibit – January
Decatur Airport, Main Terminal, Lobby Gallery, 910 Airport Rd. Featuring Barbara Dove's oil paintings, airport lobby open hours, free, 217-422-1509.
Library Exhibit –January
Decatur Public Library, Art Gallery, 130 N. Franklin St. Featuring the photography of Delores Rice Logue, library open hours, free, 217-422-1509.
Rock Springs Exhibit – January & February
Rock Springs Nature Center, North Wing Gallery, 3939 Nearing Ln. The Decatur Camera Club displays the beauty of flowers, animals, and scenic views of Central Illinois through photography, Rock Springs business hours, free, 217-423-7708.
First Friday – January 3
Gallery 510 Exhibit – January
Gallery 510, 160 E. Main St. First Friday opening reception for metal sculptor Darren Miller, refreshments, F 1/3, 5-7:30pm, free. General exhibit viewing month of January, Tu-F 11am-5pm, Sa 11am-3pm, free, 217-422-1509.
Young Artists Showcase – January 5-28
Reception & Awards Ceremony – January 5
Madden Arts Center, Anne Lloyd Gallery, 125 N. Water St. Annual juried exhibit featuring art work by Decatur area students in grades 5-8, presented by Gallery 510 Arts Guild. Awards for 5th & 6th grades 2pm, awards for 7th & 8th grades 3pm. General exhibit viewing M-F 8:30-4:30, Sa 10am-2pm, free, 217-423-3189.
Perkinson Exhibit – January 20-February 21
Millikin University, Kirkland Fine Arts Center, Perkinson Gallery, 1184 W. Main St. Featuring the paintings of Jeff Robinson, M-F 12-5pm, free, 217-424-6227.
Saturday Jazz at LSB
Lock Stock & Barrel, 129 S. Oakland Ave., 3:30-5:30pm, no cover charge, 217-429-7411.
11/16 – Decatur Big Band
11/23 – MU Jazz I
11/30 – Dixie Daredevils
12/7 – Diversity
12/14 – Decatur Big Band
12/21 – Craig Russo Latin Jazz
12/28 – Diversity
1/4 – Dixie Daredevils
1/11 – Decatur Big Band
1/25 – Millikin University Faculty Jazz
Millikin University Bands – November 15
Millikin University, Kirkland Fine Arts Center, 1184 W. Main St. The Millikin Symphonic Wind Ensemble and University Concert Band present a concert of traditional and contemporary music for large and small ensembles, 7:30pm, free, 217-424-6318.
Kamen Petkov & Russel Brazzel – November 17
Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. A musical event featured in the Sanctuary Concert Series at Central Christian, violinist and Bulgarian native Kamen Petkov performs along with guitarist Russel Brazzel, 4pm, free, 217-428-4336.
Fall Jazz Concert – November 19
Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1360 W. Main St. Concert by Millikin University's Jazz Band I, 7:30pm, free, 217-424-6318.
Decatur Youth Symphony Orchestra – November 25
Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. Orchestra comprised of area high school orchestra youth, 7:30pm, free, 217-424-6318.
Faith, Hope & Love – January 10-12
Scovill Banquet Facility, Scovill Golf Course, 3909 W. Main St. The Greater Decatur Chorale presents their winter concert along with dinner or lunch, F & Sa cash bar 5:30, dinner 6-7pm, concert 7:30pm, Su lunch 12:30-1:30pm, concert 2pm, $, 217-422-5911.
Collegiate Chorale Tour Finale – January 19
Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. Millikin University choirs perform classical and newly composed pieces, 7:30pm, free, 217-424-4336.
39th Central Illinois Jazz Festival – January 31 & February 1-2
Decatur Conference Center & Hotel, 4191 US Highway 36 West. Three-day jazz festival featuring bands and guest artists from across the country, hosted by the Juvae Jazz Society, casual attire, $, www.juvaejazz.com or 217-546-6091 or 217-877-4527.
nature & gardens
Rock Springs Conservation Area, 3939 Nearing Ln., free, (reservations required for 1/18 hike), 217-423-7708.
11/17 – White Tailed Trek, 1:30pm
11/24 – Watching for Waterfowl, 2pm
11/30 – Turkey Trot, 2pm
12/1 – Le Pew! Skunks, 2pm
12/28 – Holiday Relief, 2pm
12/29 – Carnivores of Macon County, 2pm
1/5 – Trees and Tracking, 2pm
1/18 – Family Fun: Wolf Moon, 7:30pm
1/19 – Off Trail, 1:30pm
Into the Wild On Snow Shoes – January 4
Rock Springs Conservation Area, 3939 Nearing Ln. Tour the trails on snow shoes visiting baited wildlife areas, look for animal tracks, wing marks, droppings and other clues, refreshments served, sponsored by a grant from ADMCares, 10am, free, reservations required by 12/30,
Hoot-enanny! – January 25
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Program shares everything about owls living in Macon County, 2pm, free, 217-423-7708.
Cold Days for Cold-Blooded – January 26
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Meet some cold-blooded residents and discover how they stay warm in winter, 2pm, free, 217-423-7708.