Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony – November 30
Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary Anderson Plaza. Start a new family tradition with cookies and cocoa, holiday music and reindeer sleigh rides. 4-7pm, free, 217-422-7300.
Holiday Gift Shoppe – through December 28
Madden Arts Center, Anne Lloyd Gallery, 125 N. Water St. Original art and fine crafts for sale from more than 50 artists, varied mediums, M-F 8:30am-5:30pm, Sa 10am-4pm, free admission, 217-423-3189.
Christmas Card Lane – November 28-December 28
Downtown Decatur, across from ADM Center. Display of 4 x 6 foot Christmas cards painted and decorated by local artists and community groups, vote for your favorite, cash prizes awarded to the top 3 designs, free, $ to submit artworks, 217-423-3189.
Christmas Walk – December 4
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 hours and art galleries open, 5-8pm, free, 217-423-7000.
95Q Secret Santa Concert – December 6
Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plz. Country community concert benefitting the Salvation Army, 6pm, $, advance tickets required, 217-429-9595.
“It’s Christmas Time Decatur!” – December 6
Country Club of Decatur, 135 N. Country Club Rd. The Symphony Orchestra Guild’s gala dinner, silent and live auctions, music by Terry Brennan and Friends, funds raised benefit the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, the Decatur Youth Orchestra and music education programs funded by the Guild, $, reservations required, 217-423-3189.
Nutcracker Ballet – December 6-8
Richland Community College, Shilling Auditorium, 1 College Park. Annual Nutcracker Ballet, a family holiday tradition, F 7pm, Sa 2 & 7pm, Su 2:30pm, $, 217-875-7211 ext. 6170.
Bells and Baklava Christmas Bake Sale – December 7
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 520 N. Union St. A la carte bake sale featuring homemade Greek pastries, cookies, spanakopita and more, all proceeds benefit St. Catherine’s Philoptochos fund donating to local, national and international charitable efforts, 9am-1pm, call ahead for full-pan orders, 217-620-9762.
Christmas Parade – December 7
Downtown Decatur parade route. Annual Nighttime Lighted Christmas Parade, 5:30pm, free admission, 217-872-3567.
Vespers – December 7-8
Millikin University, Kirkland Fine Arts Center, 1184 W. Main St. Millikin’s 61st annual Vespers (Evening Prayers) performed by over 300 student singers and instrumentalists featuring songs from past centuries, carols, anthems, and candlelight, not recommended for children under age 7, 2 & 7:30pm, $, 217-424-6318.
Christmas Tea – December 8
Oglesby Mansion, 421 W. William St. Enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas afternoon tea at Governor Oglesby’s beautiful Victorian mansion decorated for the holidays, cookies, tea and punch served, 1-4pm, free, 217-429-9422.
Santa Shuffle – December 8
Decatur Indoor Sports Center (DISC), 1295 W. Wood St. Fun run on the indoor track, play games, jump on the inflatables, all participants receive a medal, cookie and photo with Santa, run distances vary per age group from 1/8 to 1 mile, check in 10 minutes prior to child’s start 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.
Christmas Open House – December 8
James Millikin Homestead, 125 N. Pine St. Annual reception held in this historic home decorated for the holidays. Sweet Treats Bakery will offer delectable goodies for sale in the South Parlor, 12:30-4:30pm, free.
Christmas Shoot – December 12
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. The Decatur Camera Club will hold its annual Christmas shoot for taking photos of indoor Christmas scenes and decorations onsite, bring a tripod if you have one, the public is welcome, refreshments served, 6-8pm, free, 217-412-4900.
Elf The Musical – December 13-22
Little Theatre On The Square, 16 E. Harrison, Sullivan, IL. New musical based on the holiday film about Buddy the Elf and his quest to find his true identity, 2 & 7:30pm, $, 217-728-7375.
Holiday Big Band Jazz Gala – December 13
Decatur Club, 158 W. Prairie Ave. Holiday dinner theater jazz event featuring Millikin University’s Jazz Band I and One Voice, with guest jazz singer and Millikin Alum Angel Spiccia, dinner 6:30pm, performance 7pm, reservations, 217-429-4200.
Holiday Trivia & Other Festive Shenanigans – December 13
Children’s Museum of Illinois, 55 S. Country Club Rd. Holiday trivia and games at this adults-only Museum After Dark event, must be 21 years or older, 6-9pm, $, reservations preferred, 217-423-5437.
Christmas High Tea – December 14
Mari-Mann Herb Co., 1405 Mari Mann Ln. The 30th annual full English High Tea featuring 12 sweet and savory treats, tea and mulled cider, Christmas stories and special surprises, 12-2pm, $, reservations required, 217-429-1555.
A Very Postmodern Christmas – December 14
Millikin University, Kirkland Fine Arts Center, 1215 N. Kirkland Dr. Holiday show filled with originality, wit and virtuosic musical performances, presented by Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, 7:30pm, $, 217-424-6318.
PJ Party with Santa at Scovill Zoo – December 14
Scovill Zoo, Education Center, 71 S. Country Club Rd. Bring your pillow, wear your PJs, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, ornament making, cookie decorating, animal presentations, for children ages 3-10 accompanied by an adult, 1-3pm or 5-7pm, $, 217-421-7435.
Tribute to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra – December 14
Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plz. An extravagant Christmas musical production featuring the power, music and magic of The Prophecy performing songs from most of TSO’s albums, 7pm, $, 217-422-7300.
Christmastime in the Soy City: A Rockin’ Musical Revue – December 21
Decatur Civic Center Theater, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plz. Festive show filled with pop-rock and rhythm & blues holiday songs presented in a classic TV Christmas special style, proceeds benefit the Decatur Area Arts Council and Rock University: Millikin, 7:30pm, $, 217-423-3189.
Gingerbread Workshop – December 21 & 23
Children’s Museum of Illinois, 55 S. Country Club Rd. Decorate pre-made cardboard houses with icing and candy as a family, Sa 10am-12pm & 1-3pm, M 10am-12pm, $, reservations required, 217-423-5437.
Happy Noon Year – December 31
Children’s Museum of Illinois, 55 S. Country Club Rd. A special countdown to noon to bring in the New Year, music, crafts and festive fun for those who don’t stay up late, 10am-2pm, $, 217-423-5437.
New Year’s Eve 5K Run/Walk – December 31
Decatur Family YMCA, 220 W. McKinley Ave. End 2019 with a Run/Walk presented by The Decatur Family YMCA and Bob Brady Auto Group, medals for all participants, awards for top runners in various age groups, long-sleeve t-shirts if registered by 12/6, for ages 14 and older, proceeds benefit YMCA Youth Sports Programs, registration ends 12:15pm, race start 1pm, $, 217-872-9622.
Central Illinois Title Co. Exhibit – through December
Central IL Title Co., 145 S. Water St. Featuring the works of Carol Kessler, business open hours, free, 217-422-1509.
NFP Art Silent Bid Fundraiser – through December 16
Decatur Public Library, Art Gallery, 130 N. Franklin St. Donated artworks auctioned by silent bids, proceeds benefit Gallery 510’s programs or not for profit organizations in the Decatur area if specified by donating artists, library open hours, free to attend, 217-422-1509.
Decatur Airport Exhibit – December
Decatur Airport, Main Terminal, Lobby Gallery, 910 Airport Rd. Featuring Leta Burch’s paintings, airport lobby open hours, free, 217-422-1509.
Rock Springs Exhibits – December
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Various media works by the Barn Colony Artists in the North Gallery and Dave Castor’s nature photography in the South Gallery, Nature Center open hours, free, 217-423-7708.
Wildflour Exhibit – December & January
Wildflour Artisan Bakery & Café, 256 W. Main St. Featuring Barbara Dove’s oil paintings, café open hours, free, 217-422-1509.
Decatur Barn Colony Artists – December 2-January 27
Madden Arts Center, 125 N. Water St. Artists meet for fun shared hands-on painting and learning supporting the arts in Decatur, guests welcome, M’s 7-9pm, free, 217-791-4423.
Perkinson Exhibit – December 2-January 31
Reception – January 31
Millikin University, Kirkland Fine Arts Center, Perkinson Gallery, 1184 W. Main St. Exhibition showcasing creations of the Central Illinois Area Art Teachers, varied mediums, M-F 12-5pm when school is in session, free, 217-424-6227. Reception 1/31, 5-6:30pm, free, 217-424-6227.
First Friday Gallery Walk – December 6
4 Downtown Art Galleries: Madden Arts Center’s Anne Lloyd Gallery and Blue Connection Gallery, 125 N. Water St.; Gallery 510, 160 E. Main St.; The ArtFarm, 252 N. Park St. An evening of unique art, artist talks, live music, hors d’oeuvres and beverages in the downtown Decatur art galleries, 5-7:30pm, free, 217-423-3189.
First Friday Opening Reception – December 6
Gallery 510 Exhibit – December
Gallery 510, 160 E. Main St. Opening reception featuring Jessica Disbrow’s artworks, refreshments, F 12/6, 5-7:30pm, free. General exhibit viewing during 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 Pam Marty’s watercolor paintings, airport lobby open hours, free, 217-422-1509.
Library Exhibit – January
Decatur Public Library, Art Gallery, 130 N. Franklin St. Featuring the works of Leta Burch, library open hours, free, 217-422-1509.
Rock Springs Exhibits – January
Rock Springs Nature Center, North Wing Gallery, 3939 Nearing Ln. Decatur Camera Club’s photography displayed in the North Gallery and Melody Arnold’s photographs in the South Gallery, Nature Center open hours, free, 217-423-7708.
Young Artists Showcase 2020 – January 7-30
Reception – January 10
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, Reception 1/10 5-7:30pm, general exhibit viewing M-F 8:30-5:30, Sa 10am-4pm, free, 217-423-3189.
First Friday Opening Reception – January 10
Gallery 510 Exhibit – December
Gallery 510, 160 E. Main St. Opening reception for Area Art Teachers, refreshments, F 1/10, 5-7:30pm, free. General exhibit viewing during December, Tu-F 11am-5pm, Sa 11am-3pm, free, 217-422-1509.
CONCERTS, LIVE MUSIC & MOVIES
Cross Country Classics – December 5 & January 2
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Classic country and gospel tunes played by local musicians, 6-7:30pm, free, 217-423-7708.
Blue Grass Music Jams – December 8 & January 12
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Enjoy old time foot-tappin’ tunes played by area musicians or bring your instrument and play along, 1-4pm free, 217-423-7708.
Solstice: A Concert of Dance – December 12-14
Millikin University, Shilling Hall, Albert Taylor Theatre, 1184 W. Main St. Annual concert of original dance performed and choreographed by Millikin University students and faculty, guest artists featured, Th & F 7:30pm, Sa 2pm, $, 217-424-6318.
Dulcimer Music – December 14 & January 11, 25
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Listen to the Dulcimer Club play old time music or bring your dulcimer and join in, 10am-12pm, free, 217-423-7708.
Road to Memphis Fundraiser – December 28
Pop’s Place, 4335 W. Main St. Fundraiser for the Black Eyed Lillies to compete in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee in February, 8-11pm, suggested $ donation, 217-855-4262.
Greater Decatur Chorale – January 10-12
Richland Community College, Shilling Auditorium, 1 College Pk. “Shall We Dance” concert featuring many of your favorite tunes of a lifetime presented by the Decatur Park District’s Greater Decatur Chorale, F & Sa 7:30pm, Su 2pm, $, 217-422-5911.
Collegiate Chorale Tour Finale – January 19
Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. The Millikin University Chorale performs their final concert of their regional tour, 7:30pm, free-will offering taken, 217-424-4336.
University Choir Tour Finale – January 26
St. Patrick Catholic Church, 407 E. Eldorado. The Millikin University choir performs their final concert of their 2-week domestic tour, 2pm, free-will offering taken, 217-424-4336.
HISTORY & MUSEUMS
Let’s Rock – December 29
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Find the differences between rocks, minerals and fossils, explore the roles they play in everyday life, and see a wide variety of real specimens, 2pm, free, reservations required, 217-423-7708.
Winter Lore – January 11
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. A naturalist reads Native American stories about winter, 10-10:30am, free, reservations required, 217-423-7708.
Native American Games & Lifestyles – January 26
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Hear about the Native Americans who inhabited Illinois over 200 years ago, their culture, lifestyle and experience their skill-building games they played, dress for the weather, 2pm, free, reservations required, 217-423-7708.
NATURE & GARDENS
Nature Programs and Family Hikes – December & January
Rock Springs Nature Center (RSNC), 3939 Nearing Ln., or Griswold Conservation Area, 9896 Meridian Rd., Blue Mound, IL, dress warm, free unless otherwise indicated, reservations required, 217-423-7708.
12/8 – Season’s Changes, RSNC, 2pm
1/4 – Owl Prowl, GCA, 8pm, $
1/5 – Winter Tree Identification, RSNC, 2pm
1/10 – Full Moon Viewing, RSNC, 7pm
Mammals of Illinois – December 14
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Examine the pelts, tracks and skulls of Illinois mammals to piece together what their lives are like, 11am, free, reservations required, 217-423-7708.
Snake & Turtle Show – December 15
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Meet, feel and find out about these species’ way of life, 2pm, $, reservations required, 217-423-7708.
Armchair Birding – December 21
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Watch the birds at the Window on Wildlife, a naturalist will help you identify them and tell you what to feed wintering birds, 10am, free, reservations required, 217-423-7708.
Discovering Dinosaurs – December 22
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Find out how many dinosaur fossils have been found in Illinois, what their lives were like and see how you size up to them, 2pm, free, reservations required, 217-423-7708.
Saturday Zoo Buzz – January 4
Scovill Zoo, Education Center, 71 S. Country Club Rd. Presentation by zoo professionals from around Illinois, adult-focused sessions feature local, national and global conservation topics, January topic is Zoo Volunteerism, coffee and snacks provided, 9-10:30am, $, 217-421-7435.
EVENTS FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES
Super Saturday Recess – December 2-January 27
Decatur Indoor Sports Center (DISC), 1295 W. Wood St. An active Saturday morning with inflatables, scooters, basketball, tumbling and rock wall (select dates), for kids ages 4-11, a parent must be present, 10am-12pm, $, 217-429-3472.
Parents’ Night Out at the DISC – January 11
Decatur Indoor Sports Center (DISC), 1295 W. Wood St. Parents take some time for themselves while your kids ages 5-12 enjoy games, the rock wall, inflatables, scooters, pizza and more, 5:30-8:30pm, $, must pre-register, 217-429-3472.
Father/Daughter Dinner Dance – January 25
Hickory Point Banquet Facility, 727 W. Weaver Rd., Forsyth, IL. Young ladies ages 5-12 and their dads will enjoy dinner and an evening of music and dancing, presented by Decatur Park District, dinner 5-6pm, dancing 6-9pm, $, reservations by 1/22, 217-422-5911.
SPORTS, HEALTH & FITNESS
FESTIVALS & EXPOSITIONS
Arts Technology & Administration Expo – December 10
Millikin University, University Commons, Bob & Debi Johnston Banquet Rooms, 1184 W. Main St. Interact with a wide range of technology such as performance lighting simulation, virtual reality experiences, robotics and more, vote for your favorite media piece, 4-6pm, 217-424-6318.
Books Between Bites – December 4
Decatur Public Library, 130 N. Franklin St. A speaker presents a book or topic of interest, you do not have to have read the book at attend, bring your lunch, coffee provided, call for more information, 12:15-1pm, free, 217-791-4423.
Geminid Meteor Shower – December 13
Friends Creek conservation Area, 13734 Friends Creek Park Rd., Cisco, IL. View the strongest meteor shower of the year, hot chocolate and marshmallows available to make s’mores, dress warm, bring lawn chairs and blankets, 9-11pm, free, reservations required, 217-423-7708.
Senior Center Lunches – December & January
Johns Hill Center, 601 S. Jasper St. Camaraderie and a delicious lunch for seniors, transportation provided for $, 12-2pm, $, reservations one week in advance, 217-429-7750.
12/17 – Christmas Lunch
1/17 – Winter Cookout
Cooking Show – December 16
Mari-Mann Herb Co., 1405 Mari-Mann Ln. Prime Rib Extravaganza “Gooder” meal prepared by Millikin University’s Executive Chef Brian Pehr, cooking demonstrations, tips, recipes, full meal provided, BYOB, 6-8pm, $, reservations required, 217-429-1555.
Second Saturday Book Sales – January 11
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, 217-791-4423.
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.