Christmas in Downtown Decatur

Christmas Kick-Off – November 19
Downtown Decatur. An entire day of festive events to kick-off the holiday season in Decatur.

Holiday Art Making, Madden Arts Center 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Free Ice Skating, Decatur Civic Center 3:30pm -5:30 pm
Central Park Lighting Ceremony 5:10pm
9th Annual Lighted Christmas Parade 5:30 pm
Santa House Opens following parade 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Free holiday movie at the Lincoln Square Theatre 8:00 pm

Christmas Parade – November 19    
Downtown Decatur Parade Route. “It’s a Wonderful Life” is the theme for the Annual Nighttime Lighted Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Decatur Jaycees, entry fees used to send disabled children to summer camp, 5:30pm, 217-413-0990.

Santa House in Central Park – November 19 – December 23
Downtown Decatur, Central Park. Visit Santa and tell him your Christmas wishes, bring your camera, F’s 4-8pm, Sa’s 11am-5pm, W 12/7 4-9pm, Su 12/18 11am-5pm, M 12/19-F 12/23 4-8pm, free, donations accepted, 217-422-2200.

Holiday Gallery Walk – December 2
Madden Arts Center, Blue Connection, Gallery 510. Art gallery shops full of original art and fine crafts from more than 50 artists in varied mediums, 5-8pm. 217-423-3189.

XMAS ARTicles – December 2-30
Madden Arts Center, Anne Lloyd Gallery. General gallery hours MTWF’s 8:30am-4:30pm, Th’s 8:30am-7pm, Sa’s 10am-4pm, free admission, 217-423-3189.

Holidays Around the World – December 2
Decatur Club, Ballroom, 158 W. Prairie Ave. Celebrating holiday music from around the world, elegant dinner, live and silent auctions, black tie optional or dress in the tradition of a country of your choice, funds raised benefit the Millikin Decatur Symphony Orchestra and music education in Decatur, for ages 14 and older, 6pm, $, 217-454-6349.

Motown Christmas – December 3
Lincoln Square Theatre. The Fabulous Motown Revue performs classic holiday hits, 7:00pm. $. Get tickets at lincolnsquaretheatre.com or call 217-423-3189.

Christmas Walk – December 7 
Downtown Decatur. Downtown comes alive with horse-drawn carriage rides, music and carolers, children’s activities, delicious goodies and Santa Claus in Central Park, extended retail and art gallery hours, 5-8pm, free, 217-422-2200.

PopLocal “Shop till you Pop” – December 9 – 10
Downtown Decatur, Corner of Main & William (Haines & Essick Building). A hip handmade market with home goods, art, jewelry, wearables and more featuring central Illinois artisans. A great place to buy Christmas gifts, or just treat yourself! Also get your tickets here for Asleep at the Wheel at The Lincoln Theatre, presented by Backland Radio. Serving refreshments and adult beverages.  Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 10-2pm, 217-423-4739. More info >

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play – December 9 – 10
Decatur Club, 158 W. Prairie Ave. Holiday dinner-theatre fundraiser to benefit Theatre 7, which brings the beloved American holiday classic to life as a live 1940’s radio broadcast, seated five-course dinner, cash bar and show, doors open 6:30pm, dinner 7pm, $, 217-429-4200.

A Christmas Carol – December 9 – 11
Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plaza. Original stage adaptation of Charles Dickens’ tale presented by Mid Summer Moon Productions, F 7pm, Sa 2 & 7pm, Su 2pm, $, 217-422-7300.

Merry Texas Christmas Y’All – December 11
Lincoln Square Theatre. Celebrate the holiday season with a performance by Asleep At The Wheel. 3:00pm Matinee. Advance $30, Door $35. Get tickets at lincolnsquaretheatre.com


 

 

Holiday Events

Salvation Army Bell Ringing – through December 24
Various Decatur locations. Ring a Salvation Army bell for donations to the famous red buckets, must be age 16 or older, all proceeds remain in Macon County for the homeless shelter, food pantry, social services, clothing, utility and rent assistance, senior and youth programs, 2 hour shifts from 10am-8pm, www.ringbells.org or 217-428-4672.

Heritage & Holly Home Tour – November 26 & 16
Near West Historic District. Christmas tour of historic homes decorated for the holidays. This year’s theme is HerStory – Women Building Decatur. Tickets $15. nwraps.ticketleap.com/heritage-holly-2016/

Cocoa & Cookies with Santa – December 2
Children’s Museum of Illinois, 55 S. Country Club Rd. Enjoy hot cocoa and cookies with Santa, listen to a holiday story read by a local celebrity, make an edible science project, 6-8pm, $, reservations required, 217-423-5437.

Holidays Around the World – December 2
Decatur Club, Ballroom, 158 W. Prairie Ave. Celebrating holiday music from around the world, elegant dinner, live and silent auctions, black tie optional or dress in the tradition of a country of your choice, funds raised benefit the Millikin Decatur Symphony Orchestra and music education in Decatur, for ages 14 and older, 6pm, $, 217-454-6349.

A Christmas Past – December 3
Fletcher Park, Sulphur Springs School House, 323 Fletcher Park Blvd., Mt. Zion. Visit Mrs. Claus, tour the museum, tree lighting ceremony, refreshments served, 4:30-6:30pm, tree lighting 6pm, free, 217-864-5424.

Christmas Extravaganza – December 3
Mt. Zion Convention Center, 1400 Mt. Zion Pkwy, Mt. Zion. Pictures with Santa, concessions, games, face painting and magic show by The Amazing Dudley, for kids ages 3-11, 11:30am-2pm, $, 217-864-5424.

Christmas High Tea – December 3
Mari-Mann Herb Co., 1405 Mari Mann Ln. The 27th annual full English High Tea featuring an array of sweets, treats and tea sandwiches, Mrs. Claus joins in, children may bring their favorite doll, bring your camera, 12-2pm, $, reservations required, 217-429-1555.

Santa Fly In – December 3
Main Hangar Restaurant, 910 S. Airport Rd. Santa flies in to hand out goodies, breakfast included with ticket, for children ages 4-10, 9am-12pm, $, reservations required, 217-421-7452.

Vespers – December 3-4
Millikin University, Kirkland Fine Arts Center, 1184 W. Main St. Millikin’s annual traditional Vespers (Evening Prayers), the beautiful seasonal production performed by over 300 student singers and instrumentalists featuring songs from past centuries, carols, anthems and candlelight, 2 & 7:30pm, $, 217-424-6318.

Santa Shuffle – December 4
Decatur Indoor Sports Center (DISC), 1295 W. Wood St. Santa stops at the DISC for a non-competitive fun run on the indoor track, all participants receive a medal, cookie and photo with Santa, check in 15 minutes before race time, ages 2-4 3:30-4pm, ages 5-6 4-4:30pm, ages 7-8 4:30-5pm, ages 9-10 5-5:30pm, $, 217-429-3472.

A Swingin’ Little Christmas – December 9-18
The Little Theatre on the Square, 16 E. Harrison, Sullivan. Swing into Christmas with this Branson-style holiday variety show with singing, dancing and comedy, fun for the whole family, evening shows 7:30pm, matinees 2pm, $, advance ticket purchase preferred, 217-728-7375. 

Nutcracker Ballet – December 9-11
Richland Community College, Shilling Auditorium, 1 College Park. Richland’s 20th annual Nutcracker Ballet, a family holiday tradition, Sugar Plum Tea following the Sunday performance, F & Sa 7pm, Su 2:30pm, $, 217-875-7211 ext. 6170. 

Holiday Jazz – December 10
Millikin University, Kirkland Fine Arts Center, 1184 W. Main St. Celebrate sounds of the season with Millikin University’s faculty jazz sextet performing their swing interpretation of holiday classics, joined by guest vocalist Millikin alumna Angel Spiccia Slykas, 7:30pm, $, 217-424-6318.

Pajama Party with Santa at Scovill Zoo – December 10
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, decorate cookies and enjoy special animal encounters, parents must be present, 1-3pm or 5-7pm, $, 217-421-7435.

Chamber Orchestra Advent Services – December 11  
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, 8 & 10:30am, free, 217-428-4336.

Christmas Open House – December 11
Millikin Homestead, 125 N. Pine St. Visit James and Anna Millikin’s historical home decorated for Christmas; punch, cider, cookies and the Sweet Treats Bakery selling a variety of homemade items packaged and holiday-wrapped for gift giving, 1-4pm, free, 217-422-9003.

Victorian Christmas Tea – December 11
Oglesby Mansion, 421 W. William St. Enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas celebration at Governor Oglesby’s beautiful Victorian mansion, refreshments served, 2-4pm, free, 217-429-9422.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas – December 13
Hickory Point Banquet Hall, 727 W. Weaver Rd., Forsyth. Designs for the holidays presented by Wethington’s Florist Sandy Johnson, meeting and program by the Garden Club of Decatur, social time 11am, meeting 11:30am, lunch 12pm, program 1pm, $, reservations required, 217-429-7828.

Gingerbread House Workshops – December 18 & 21
Children’s Museum of Illinois, 55 S. Country Club Rd. Decorate your own gingerbread house, 12/18 1-3pm, 12/21 10am-12pm, $, reservations required, 217-423-5437.

Church Street Christmas Church Tour – December 18
First United Methodist Church, 201 W. North St. Walk, drive or ride the free trolley to visit several Decatur Church Street churches, music, refreshments and historical information offered, 1:30-4pm, free, 217-423-9711.

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, music, craft and festive fun, confetti flies and balloon drops at noon, 10am-2pm, $, reservations required, 217-423-5437.


 

ART

Perkinson Exhibit – through January 20
Millikin University, Kirkland Fine Arts Center, Perkinson Gallery, 1184 W. Main St. Exhibit of David Linneweh’s recent paintings, M-F 12-5pm when school is in session, free, 217-424-6227.

Decatur Airport Exhibit – December
Decatur Airport, Main Terminal, Lobby Gallery, 910 Airport Rd. Featuring the works of Carol Kessler, airport lobby open hours, free, 217-422-1509.

Library Exhibit – December
Decatur Public Library, Art Gallery, 130 N. Franklin St. Featuring the works of Judy Kimmons, library open hours, free, 217-422-1509.

Rock Springs Exhibits – December
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. North Gallery – various media works by the Barn Colony Artists; South Gallery – Dave Castor’s photography, Rock Springs business hours, free, 217-423-7708.

Thesis Exhibitions – December
Millikin University, Kirkland Fine Arts Center, Lower/Studio Galleries, 1184 W. Main St. Featuring the Millikin University Senior Bachelor of Fine Arts thesis exhibitions, M-F 12-5pm when school is in session, free, 217-424-6227.

First Friday Gallery Walks – December 2 & January 6
Anne Lloyd Gallery, 125 N. Water St.; Blue Connection, 117 N. Water St.; Gallery 510, 160 E. Main St. An evening of unique art, artist talks, live music, hors d’oeuvres and beverages in three downtown Decatur art galleries, 5-7:30pm, free, 217-423-3189.

First Friday Opening Reception – December 2
Gallery 510 Exhibit – December
Gallery 510, 160 E. Main St. Opening reception featuring Darren Miller’s metal sculptures, refreshments, F 12/2, 5-7:30pm, free. General exhibit viewing during December, Tu-F 11am-5pm, Sa 11am-3pm, free, 217-422-1509.

Library Exhibit –January
Decatur Public Library, Art Gallery, 130 N. Franklin St. Featuring varied works of the Barn Colony Artists, library open hours, free, 217-422-1509.

Rock Springs Exhibit – January
Rock Springs Nature Center, North Wing Gallery, 3939 Nearing Ln. North Gallery – Decatur Camera Club’s photography; South Gallery – Decatur Audubon Society’s photography, Rock Springs business hours, free, 217-423-7708.

Young Artists Showcase 2015 – January 5-30
Reception – January 8
Madden Arts Center, Anne Lloyd Gallery, 125 N. Water St. Annual juried exhibit featuring exemplary art work by Decatur area students in grades 5-8, presented by Gallery 510 Arts Guild, M-F 8:30-4:30, Sa 10am-2pm, free, 217-423-3189.

First Friday Opening Reception – January 6
Gallery 510 Exhibit – January
Gallery 510, 160 E. Main St. First Friday opening reception featuring Richard Colbeck’s pen and ink works, refreshments, F 1/6, 5:30-7:30pm, free. General exhibit viewing month of January, Tu-F 11am-5pm, Sa 11am-3pm, free, 217-422-1509.

Peace, Love, Posters – January 20-February 24
Millikin University, Kirkland Fine Arts Center, Perkinson Gallery, 1184 W. Main St. Exhibition viewing M-F 12-5pm when school is in session, free, 217-424-6227.

 

CONCERTS & LIVE MUSIC

Dulcimer Music – December 3, 17 & January 14, 28
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Listen to the Dulcimer Club play or bring your dulcimer and join in, 10am-12pm, free, 217-423-7708.

Blue Grass Music Jams – December 11 & January 8
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Enjoy old time tunes played by area musicians or bring your instrument and play, 1-4pm free, 217-423-7708.

Greater Decatur Chorale Dinner & Concert – January 13-15
Scovill Banquet Facility, 3909 W. Main St. Annual event by the Decatur Park District’s Greater Decatur Chorale, F & Sa cash bar 6pm, dinner 6:30-7:15pm, concert 7:30pm, Su lunch 12:30-1:30pm, concert 2pm, $, reservations required by 1/4, 217-422-5911.

Midwest Show Choir Invitational – January 20-21
Mt. Zion High School, 305 S. Henderson, Mt. Zion. Show choirs from around the Midwest perform, times vary, 217-864-2363

Collegiate Chorale Tour Finale Concert – January 22
Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. Millikin University choir performs classical and newly composed pieces finalizing their Midwest tour, 7:30pm, free, 217-424-4336.

University Choir Tour Finale Concert – January 29
Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. Millikin University choir performs classical and newly composed pieces finalizing their Midwest tour, 3pm, free, 217-424-4336.

 

COMEDY & THEATER

Solstice: A Concert of Dance – December 8-10
Millikin University, Shilling Hall, Albert Taylor Theatre, 1184 W. Main St. A collection of original works is unveiled in a live-action dance program, Th & F 7:30pm, Sa 2pm, $, 217-424-6318.

 

NATURE & GARDENS

Snake and Turtle Shows – December 4 & January 21
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Learn about snakes and turtles, then see and touch the live animals, 2pm, $, reservations required, 217-423-7708.

Conservation Areas in Winter – December 10
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. The staff will drive you to several Conservation District sites to look for wildlife and natural beauty, learn about ongoing restoration work, 2-4pm, free, reservations required, 217-423-7708.

Bird Feeding Basics – January 7
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Learn to help our feathered friends, first five families to register get a free nest box, 10am, free, reservations required, 217-423-7708.

Feed the Animals – January 15
Rock Springs Nature Center (RSNC), 3939 Nearing Ln. Get a behind the scenes look at how RSNC cares for their reptiles, amphibians and fish during the winter, 2pm, $, reservations required, 217-423-7708.

Prancing Deer Mini Camp – January 17 & 18
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Take a close look at deer fur and antlers, learn about Illinois’ largest plant eater, dress for a venture outside in search of deer tracks, 1/17 for ages 1-5, 1/18 for ages 3-5, both with an adult buddy, 9:30-10:30am, $, reservations required, 217-423-7708.

 

EVENTS FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES

Super Saturday Recess – December 3-January 28
Decatur Indoor Sports Center (DISC), 1295 W. Wood St. Active Saturday mornings with inflatables, scooters, basketball, tumbling and more, for kids ages 4-11, parent must be present, 10am-12pm, $, 217-429-3472.

Kid’s Club – December 10 & January 14
Fletcher Park Recreation Center, 323 Fletcher Park Blvd., Mt. Zion. Concessions, old time movies, classic cartoons, prizes, live entertainment by Doodles the Dragon, Granny Giggles and The Gary Strong Marionettes, proceeds benefit the Fletcher Park Splash Pad, doors open 1:30pm, $, 217-864-5424.

Christmas Break–School’s Out – December 21-January 4
Decatur Family YMCA, 220 W. McKinley Ave. Daily Y activities for students K-6 including several field trips, 6:30am-6pm, $, reservations required, 217-872-3835 ext. 116.

Winter Break Day Camp – December 21-23, 26-30 &
January 2-3
Decatur Indoor Sports Center (DISC), 1295 W. Wood St. When school is out, kids ages 5-14 can enjoy rock climbing, volleyball, basketball, soccer and field trips, 6:30am-6pm, $, www.decatur-parks.org or 217-429-3472.

Winter Break Camp – December 26-30
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Kids ages 6-12 play games, make crafts and spend time doing outdoor activities, bring a sack lunch, two healthy snacks provided each day, dress for hiking and the weather, 9am-4pm, $, register by 12/23, 217-423-7708.

Jingle Bells Mini Camp – December 28 & 29
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Explore through hands-on activities and songs, dress for a short excursion outside, 12/28 for ages 1-5, 12/29 for ages 3-5, both with an adult buddy, 9:30-10:30am, $, reservations required, 217-423-7708.

Father/Daughter Dance – January 28
Hickory Point Banquet Facility, 727 W. Weaver Rd., Forsyth. Young ladies ages 5-12 and their dads enjoy dinner and an evening of music and dancing, presented by Decatur Park District, dinner 5-6pm, dancing 6-9pm, $, reservations by 1/25, 217-422-5911.

 

SPORTS, HEALTH & FITNESS

Club Ice – December & January
Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plaza. Public ice skating, skate rental available, F’s 7:30-10:30pm, Sa’s 3:30-5:30pm, Su’s 1-3pm, $, 217-422-7300.

Pickleball Open Play – December 5-January 25
Decatur Indoor Sports Center (DISC), 1295 W. Wood St. Courts for open play, paddles available for checkout, 6-9am, free for DISC members, $ for non-members, 217-429-3472.

Staley Striders Indoor Track & Field – December 7-January 26
Decatur Indoor Sports Center (DISC), 1295 W. Wood St. Help for athletes ages 6-18, focusing on skill mastery, tee shirts provided for regular participants, presented by Tate & Lyle, Tu’s, W’s, Th’s 4:15-5:15pm, $, 217-429-3472.

Couples/Singles Dance – December 18
Knights of Columbus Hall, 520 E. North St. Enjoy dancing to the live band BAM!, 5-8pm, $, 217-422-2624.

DISC Open House – January 7
Decatur Indoor Sports Center (DISC), 1295 W. Wood St. Tours, demonstrations, giveaways, special discounts offered on annual passes, 9am-12pm, free, 217-429-3472.

 

FESTIVALS & EXPOSITIONS

2017 Decatur Bridal Expo – January 6-7
Decatur Conference Center & Hotel, 4191 US 36 West. The 38th annual Expo featuring more than 50 models in a high fashion runway show, musical entertainment, 40-60 vendor booths, wedding cake sampling, prizes and much more, F 5-9pm, Sa 12-4pm, $, www.DecaturBridalExpo.com or 217-428-3481 or 217-877-8200.

Neuhoff Wedding Extravaganza – January 28
Mt. Zion Convention Center, 1400 Mt. Zion Pkwy, Mt. Zion. Many wedding vendors all in one place including caterers, photographers, floral designers, bakers and more, 11am-3pm, $, 217-423-9744.

 

SPECIAL EVENTS

SWAT Open House – December 3
Midwest SWAT Academy, 160 Wildwood Dr., Mt. Zion. Family friendly fun, food, door prizes, facility tours, firearms training simulator and safety, self-defense demonstrations, 11am-7pm, free, 217-864-1045.

Cooking Show – December 5
Mari-Mann Herb Co., 1405 Mari Mann Ln. Enjoy the show “Let’s Get the Roasting On” by Executive Chef Brian Pehr, watch the preparation, then join in the feast, visit www.marimann.com for menu, 6-8pm, $, reservations required, 217-429-1555.

Chamber Business Breakfasts – December 7 & January 4
Decatur Club, 158 W. Prairie Ave. Breakfast and networking opportunities with other business professionals, business casual attire, 12/7 Decatur Leadership Institute project overview, sponsored by the Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce, doors open 6:30am, breakfast 7-8am, $, reservations preferred, 217-422-2200.

Speaker Series – December 8
Millikin University, Richards Treat University Center, 1184 W. Main St. Jim Grady, president and CEO of Kopetz Manufacturing, speaks for the Millikin University Institute for Science Entrepreneurship Speaker Series event, 7:30pm, free, 217-424-6211.

Second Saturday Book Sales – December 10 & January 14
Decatur Public Library, 2nd floor, 130 N. Franklin St. Used books, CDs, DVDs and special items for sale, proceeds benefit Decatur Public Library’s literacy promoting programs, presented by Friends of the Library, 9:30am-12:30pm, 217-424-2900 ext. 133.

Community Blood Drives – December & January
Blood drives to exclusively supply blood and blood products to Decatur’s hospitals, bring photo ID, eat and drink before giving blood, visit www.bloodcenterimpact.org for donor requirements and scheduling, free, 217-241-7550.
12/14 – DMH Classrooms,
2300 N. Edward St., 11am-6pm
12/17 – Harvest Bible Chapel, 2360 S. Mt. Zion Rd., 10am-1pm
1/11 – St. Mary’s Hospital Assisi Room, 1800 E. Lake Shore Dr., 10am-4pm
1/13 – Warrensburg-Latham High School, 425 W. North St., Warrensburg , 8:30am-2pm
1/14 – Macon County Farm Bureau, 1150 W. Pershing Rd., 8am-1pm

Scrap and Crop – December 17 & January 28
Fletcher Park Recreation Center, 323 Fletcher Pk. Blvd., Mt. Zion. Bring your own scrapbooking supplies, lunch, dinner and snacks, full kitchen available, each person will have a six-foot banquet table to use, 10am-10pm, $, reservations required, 217-864-5424.

Adult Bingo – December 21 & January 28
Fletcher Park Recreation Center, 323 Fletcher Pk. Blvd., Mt. Zion. Bingo plus prizes, 10-11am, free, 217-864-5424.

For information on how to include your event on the calendar, contact Cultural Arts Editor Terrie Potter by email: ArtsEdit@aol.com or call 217-423-0422.