Christmas Card Lane – November 24- December 30
Downtown Decatur across from ADM Center. Display of 4-by-6 foot Christmas cards based on the theme Holiday Season Around the World, painted and decorated by local artists and community groups, vote for your favorite, cash prizes awarded to the top three designs, free, $ to submit artworks, 217-423-3189.
Sleigh Bells Ring, Come and Listen – November 30
Country Club of Decatur, 135 N. Country Club Rd. The Symphony Orchestra Guild’s annual fundraiser, a gala evening with dinner, fine wines, live auction, music and dancing, black tie optional, funds raised benefit the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, the Decatur Youth Orchestra and music education programs funded by the Guild, 6pm, $, reservations required, 217-423-3189.
The ReGifters Holiday Dinner Theatre – November 30 & December 1
Decatur Club, 158 W. Prairie Ave. A couple regifts a Christmas present, only to find out it’s worth millions, annual holiday dinner theatre with proceeds benefitting Theatre 7, doors open 6pm, dinner 6:30pm, show 7pm, $, 217-429-4200.
XMAS Articles 2018 – November 30-December 29
Opening Event – November 30
Madden Arts Center, Anne Lloyd Gallery, 125 N. Water St. Original art and fine crafts for sale from more than 50 artists, varied mediums, opening event 11/30 during the First Friday Gallery Walk 5-7:30pm. Extended general gallery hours M-F 8:30am-5:30pm, Sa 10am-4pm, free admission, 217-423-3189.
Christmas Parade – December 1
Downtown Decatur. Annual Nighttime Lighted Christmas Parade, funds raised benefit Macon County CASA, 5:30pm, free admission, 217-872-3567.
Holiday Ornaments – December 1
Madden Arts Center, 2nd Floor, 125 N. Water St. Decatur Area Arts Council and Children’s Museum of Illinois team up to offer fun, easy Christmas decorations and ornaments for families to make and take, 1-3pm, free, 217-423-3189.
Vespers – December 1-2
Millikin University, Kirkland Fine Arts Center, 1184 W. Main St. Millikin’s 60th annual Vespers (Evening Prayers), the beautiful seasonal production 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 Open House – December 2
James Millikin Homestead, 125 N. Pine St. Tour the beautifully decorated Homestead, Sweet Shop Bakery treats for sale, proceeds support the preservation and restoration of the Homestead, 12:30-4:30pm, free, 217-422-9003.
Victorian Christmas Tea – December 2
Oglesby Mansion, 421 W. William St. Enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas celebration at Governor Oglesby’s beautiful Victorian mansion, refreshments served, 1-4pm, free, 217-429-9422.
Christmas Walk – December 5
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.
Cocoa & Cookies – December 7
Children’s Museum of Illinois, 55 S. Country Club Rd. Join Santa for an evening of crafts, cocoa, cookies and fun, PJ’s encouraged, 6-8pm, $, pre-registration suggested, 217-423-5437.
Nutcracker Ballet – December 7-9
Richland Community College, Shilling Auditorium, 1 College Park. Annual Nutcracker Ballet, a family holiday tradition, presented by Richland Dance & Mid-Summer Moon Productions, Sugar Plum Tea for guests after the Sunday performance, F 7pm, Sa 2 & 7pm, Su 2:30pm, $, 217-875-7211 ext. 6170.
The Miracles of Christmas – December 7-16
Little Theatre On The Square, 16 E. Harrison, Sullivan. New musical about Becca who has lost the spirit of Christmas, featuring many favorite holiday songs, 2 & 7:30pm, $, 217-728-7375.
95Q Secret Santa Concert – December 8
Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plaza. Annual 95Q holiday event, time TBA, $, 217-422-7300.
Holiday Jazz – December 8
Millikin University, Kirkland Fine Arts Center, 1184 W. Main St. Millikin University’s faculty jazz sextet performs their interpretation of holiday classics, 7:30pm, $, 217-424-6318.
PJ’s Party with Santa at Scovill Zoo – December 8
Scovill Zoo, 71 S. Country Club Rd. Bring your pillow, wear your PJ’s, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, ornament making, cookie decorating, animal presentation, children must be accompanied by an adult, 1-3pm or 5-7pm, $, 217-421-7435.
Chamber Orchestra Advent Service – December 9
Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. The Millikin-Decatur Symphony Chamber Orchestra performs in a service of the season, caroling favorites, 10:30am, free, 217-428-4336.
No Room at the Inn Nativity Display – December 9
James Millikin Homestead, 125 N. Pine St. Large variety of Nativity set styles on loan from local residents, vintage to modern collections, refreshments served, proceeds support the preservation and restoration of the Homestead, 1-5pm, $, 217-422-9003.
Santa Shuffle – December 9
Decatur Indoor Sports Center (DISC), 1295 W. Wood St. Non-competitive fun run for ages two-10 on the indoor track from 1/8 to one mile, games and inflatables, all participants receive a medal, cookie and photo with Santa, ages two to four, 3:30-4pm; ages five to six, 4-4:30pm; ages seven to eight; 4:30-5pm; ages nine-10 5-5:30pm, $, 217-429-3472.
Senior Center Trip to The Little Theatre – December 12
Johns Hill Center departure, 601 S. Jasper St. Bus trip to enjoy The Miracles of Christmas in Sullivan, 12pm, $, reservations by 12/5, 217-429-7750.
Christmas High Tea – December 15
Mari-Mann Herb Co., 1405 Mari Mann Ln. 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.
Tribute to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra – December 15
Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plaza. Experience the power, music and magic of The Prophecy Show featuring songs from most of TSO’s albums, 7pm, $, 217-422-7300.
Celebrate the Season – December 18
Country Club of Decatur, 135 N. Country Club Rd. Lunch and program by Champaign resident Rick Orr who will demonstrate how to make live winter arrangements, presented by the Garden Club of Decatur, social hour 11am, lunch 12pm, program 1pm, $, reservations required, 217-864-1371.
Seniors’ Holiday Lunch & Bingo – December 20
Macon County Senior Center, 1430 N. 22nd St. Enjoy a catered holiday lunch followed by bingo, 12pm, $, reservations by 12/14, 217-429-7750.
Gingerbread House Workshop – December 21 & 22
Children’s Museum of Illinois, 55 S. Country Club Rd. Decorate your own gingerbread house, fun for the whole family, all materials provided, 10am-12pm & 1-3pm, $, 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, crafts and dancing, 10am-2pm, $, pre-registration encouraged, 217-423-5437.
New Year’s Eve Ice Skating Party – December 31
Decatur Civic Center, Ice Arena, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plaza. Music, games and ice skating, 7:30pm-12:30am, $, 217-422-7300.
Seniors’ New Year’s Party – January 1
Johns Hill Center, 601 S. Jasper St. Ring in the new year, bring a snack to share, play cards, dominoes or work on a puzzle, 1-4pm, free, 217-429-7750.
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.
Decatur Barn Colony Artists – December & January
Madden Arts Center, 2nd Floor, 125 N. Water St. Artists and friends of the arts gather to learn from each other, M’s 7-9pm, free, $ to join group, 217-791-4423.
Library Exhibit – December
Decatur Public Library, Art Gallery, 130 N. Franklin St. Featuring the works of Shirley Buescher, library 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.
First Friday Gallery Walks – December 7 & January 4
Four Downtown Art Galleries: Madden Arts Center’s Anne Lloyd Gallery and Blue Connection Gallery, 125 N. Water St.; Illinois Art Gallery, 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,
First Friday Opening Reception – December 7
Illinois Art Gallery Exhibit – December
Illinois Art Gallery, 160 E. Main St. Opening reception featuring Darren Miller’s artworks, refreshments, F 12/1, 5-7:30pm, free. General exhibit viewing during December, Tu-F 11am-5pm, Sa 11am-3pm, free, 217-422-1509.
Perkinson Exhibit – December 10-February 8
Millikin University, Kirkland Fine Arts Center, Perkinson Gallery, 1184 W. Main St. Brilliant artworks on exhibit from the Millikin University Permanent Collection, M-F 12-5pm when school is in session, free, 217-424-6227.
Decatur Airport Exhibit – January
Decatur Airport, Main Terminal, Lobby Gallery, 910 Airport Rd. Featuring the works of Brian Spencer, airport lobby 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 in the North Gallery and a collection of art created by the local group Sustain Our Natural Areas in the South Gallery, Nature Center open hours, free, 217-423-7708.
Young Artists Showcase 2019 – January 5-29
Reception – January 11
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 Illinois Art Gallery, Reception 1/11 5-7:30pm, general exhibit viewing M-F 8:30-4:30, Sa 10am-2pm, free, 217-423-3189.
CONCERTS & LIVE MUSIC
Dulcimer Music – December 1, 15, 29 & January 12, 26
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Listen to the Dulcimer Club play old time music, 10am-12pm, free, 217-423-7708.
Blue Grass Music Jams – December 10 & January 14
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Enjoy old time tunes played by area musicians, 1-4pm free, 217-423-7708.
Greater Decatur Chorale – January 11-13
Richland Community College, Shilling Auditorium, 1 College Park. “Unforgettable” by the Decatur Park District’s Greater Decatur Chorale, F & Sa 7:30pm, Su 2pm, $, 217-422-5911.
Collegiate Chorale – January 20
Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. The Millikin University choir performs their final concert of a four-day tour, 7:30pm, free, 217-424-4336.
COMEDY & THEATER
Solstice: A Concert of Dance – December 6-8
Millikin University, Shilling Hall, Albert Taylor Theatre, 1184 W. Main St. Original dance works that celebrate art performed by Millikin’s students and faculty, Th & F 7:30pm, Sa 2pm, $, 217-424-6318.
NATURE & GARDENS
Feed the Animals – December 9
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Learn how Rock Springs cares for its resident animals, assist in hand feeding snakes, turtles and a salamander, 2pm, $, reservations required, 217-423-7708.
Wild and Wonderful Wolves – December 15
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Learn about the history of wolves and how people view them today, 2pm, free, reservations required, 217-423-7708.
Nature Programs and Family Hikes – December & January
Rock Springs Nature Center (RSNC), 3939 Nearing Ln.; Friends Creek Conservation Area (FCCA) 13734 Friends Creek Park Rd., Cisco; Fort Daniel Conservation Area (FDCA), 4975 Fort Daniel Rd; reservations required, 217-423-7708.
12/20 – Mammals of Illinois, RSNC, 6pm, free
12/22 – Cold Moon Viewing, RSNC, 7pm, free
1/5 – Owl Prowl, FCCA, 9-10:30pm, $
1/12 – Winter Birds, FDCA, 10am, free
Totally Toads – December 20
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Learn how to attract amphibians to your yard, view live frogs and toads and create a toad house to take home, 2pm, free, reservations required, 217-423-7708.
Dinos vs. Dragons: What’s the Difference? – December 27
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Compare fact with fiction as the mythical and prehistoric creatures are discussed, 2pm, free, reservations required, 217-423-7708.
Bird Feeding Basics – January 6
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Visit the Window on Wildlife to identify wild birds and what to feed them during the winter, 2pm, free, reservations required, 217-423-7708.
EVENTS FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES
Parents’ Night Out at the DISC – December 15 & January 12
Decatur Indoor Sports Center (DISC), 1295 W. Wood St. Kids ages five-12 enjoy games, rock wall, inflatables, scooters, pizza and more, 5:30-8:30pm, $, must pre-register, 217-429-3472.
Ice Skating Special Sessions – December 20-21, 24, 26-28 & January 1, 21
Decatur Civic Center, Ice Arena, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plaza. Public ice skating, 10:30am-12:30pm & 1-3pm, $, 217-422-7300.
Father/Daughter Dance – January 26
Hickory Point Banquet Facility, 727 W. Weaver Rd., Forsyth. Young ladies ages five-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 1/23, 217-422-5911.
SPORTS, HEALTH & FITNESS
FESTIVALS & EXPOSITIONS
Arts Technology Expo – December 4
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, 4-6pm, free, 217-424-6318.
Decatur Bridal Expo 2019 – January 12
Decatur Club, 158 W. Prairie Ave. Meet with a wide range of wedding professionals in one location, 12-4pm, $, 217-428-3481.
Fallen Heroes Tree of Honor Dedication – November 29
Decatur Civic Center Lobby. 10:00 a.m.The Decatur Civic Center is honored to partner with America’s Gold Star Families and the Sgt. Anthony Maddox Memorial in hosting the inaugural Fallen Heroes Tree of Honor. The Tree of Honor will stand in the Civic Center lobby and feature 155 hand crafted ornaments of fallen soldiers representing 40 states across the USA. Immediately following the ceremony there will be an official lighting of the Tree and attendees will be invited to participate in hanging the ornaments. The public is invited.
Second Saturday Book Sales – December 8 & January 12
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.
Geminid Meteor Shower – December 14
Griswold Conservation Area, 9896 Meridian Rd., Blue Mound. View the strongest meteor shower of the year, hot chocolate and marshmallows available to make s’mores, bring lawn chairs and blankets, 9-11pm, free, reservations required, 217-423-7708.
Dance at the KC – December 16
Decatur Knights of Columbus, 520 E. North St. BAM! plays a variety of music for dancing, proceeds benefit New Life Pregnancy Center and Oasis Day Center, 3-6pm, $, 217-875-3090.
Seniors’ Triple S Lunch – January 16
Johns Hill Center, 601 S. Jasper St. Camaraderie and a Triple S meal (soup, salad and sandwiches) for seniors, 12pm, $, reservations by 1/11, 217-429-7750.
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.