St. John’s Living Nativity – November 18-19
St. John’s Lutheran Church 2727 N. Union St. Kick off the Christmas season with live animals and over 200 volunteers bringing the story of Jesus to life, 4:30-5:30pm & 6-8pm, free, 217-875-3656.
Christmas Card Lane – November 20 – December 30
Preston Jackson Park, 337 N. Water St. Outdoor exhibit/competition comprised of larger-than-life greeting cards created by local artists and groups, outdoor display open 24/7, free, 217-423-3189.
Christmas Tree Lighting – November 25
Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plz. 5th annual lighting of the 25-foot live Christmas tree with cookies, hot cocoa, music and visit with Santa, 6:30pm, free, reservations required, 217-422-7300.
DAAC Holiday Gift Shoppe – through December 23
Madden Arts Center, Anne Lloyd Gallery, 125 N. Water St. Original art and fine crafts for sale from nearly 40 artists in varied mediums, M-F 8:30am-5:30pm, Sa 9am-2pm, free admission, 217-423-3189.
Hollywood Holiday Gala – December 1
Country Club of Decatur, 135 N. Country Club Rd. Symphony Orchestra Guild of Decatur’s gala dinner with silent and live auctions, live music and dancing, black tie optional, proceeds support the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, the Decatur Youth Symphony Orchestra, scholarships and music education programs, 6pm, $, reservations required by 11/17, 217-423-3189.
Sidewalk Prophets: Great Big Family Christmas Tour – December 1
Lincoln Square Theater, 141 N. Main St. A live musical Christmas experience for the entire family, 7pm, $, 217-454-4583.
Decatur Christmas Parade – December 2
Downtown Decatur, parade route. Annual Nighttime Lighted Christmas Parade with floats, music, local celebrities, candy and more, $ prize for best float, entry proceeds benefit Boys and Girls Club of Decatur, 4:30pm, free admission, $ to enter floats, 217-872-3566.
Vespers – December 2-3
Kirkland Fine Arts Center, 1184 W. Main St. Millikin’s annual Vespers (Evening Prayers) performed by over 200 musicians featuring choral selections including classical, choral modern, gospel and traditional songs, Sa 2 & 7:30pm, Su 2pm, $, 217-424-6318.
Christmas Open House – December 3
James Millikin Homestead, 125 N. Pine St. Tour the historic Victorian Millikin Homestead beautifully decorated for Christmas, 12:30-4:30pm, free, 217-422-9003.
Christmas Tea – December 3
Oglesby Mansion, 421 W. William St. Enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas afternoon tea at Governor Oglesby’s beautiful Victorian mansion decorated for the holidays, 1-4pm, $, 217-423-7708.
Forsyth Tree Lighting – December 3
Forsyth Park, 500 W. Weaver Rd., Forsyth, IL. Lighting of the Village Holiday Tree, roast s’mores, enjoy music, horse and buggy, crafts and fun, 6pm, free, 217-877-9445.
Santa Shuffle – December 3
Decatur Indoor Sports Center (DISC), 1295 W. Wood St. Indoor track running, game playing, inflatables jumping, all participants receive a medal, cookie and photo with Santa, run distances vary per age group, for children ages 4 and older, 3:30-5:30pm, $, reservations required, 217-429-3472.
Christmas Walk – December 6
Downtown Decatur. Festive family evening of holiday shopping and merrymaking with live entertainment, trolley rides, holiday treats and Santa Claus in the Transfer House, extended merchant hours 5-8pm, free, 217-423-3189.
Trees on the Tees – December 6-10 & 13-17
Hickory Point Golf Course, 727 W. Weaver Rd. Travel through a path of beautifully decorated trees aboard a golf cart and afterward enjoy s’mores and hot cocoa by the fire pit, times vary, $, reservations required, 217-422-5911.
The Nutcracker – December 8-10
Shilling Auditorium, RCC, One College Park. Decatur Community Dance presents their beloved holiday performance featuring local dancers and characters. Fri-7pm, Sat-4pm, Sun-2pm. Tickets: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rudolph’s Village Market – December 8-10
Forsyth Park, 500 W. Weaver Rd. Outdoor holiday market with more than 20 vendors, food trucks, kids’ activities and more, 4-8pm, free admission, 217-877-9445.
Breakfast with the Grinch – December 9
Friends Creek Community Building, 101 E. Elm St., Argenta, IL. Join the Grinch for the Argenta/Oreana Community Breakfast, pancakes and sausage or biscuits and gravy, 9am, $, 217-358-0783.
Lighted Christmas Parade – December 9
Village of Oreana, IL, 407 S. View St. The 7th annual Small Town Living Lighted Christmas Parade, 4:30pm, free, 217-468-2476.
“A Christmas Story the Musical” – December 9-10, 15-17
Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plz. Musical born from the classic movie A Christmas Story about Ralphie and his dream of getting a Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun, presented by Theatre 7, F’s & Sa’s 7:30pm, Su’s 2pm, $, 217-422-7300.
Holiday Big Band Jazz – December 9
Decatur Club, 158 W. Prairie Ave. Holiday dinner theater jazz event featuring Millikin University’s Jazz Band I and Millikin Alum vocalist Angel Spiccia, doors open 5:30pm, dinner 6:15pm, show 7:30pm, $, reservations required, 217-429-4200.
PJ Party with Santa at the Zoo – December 9
Scovill Zoo, Education Center, 71 S. Country Club Rd. Bring your pillow, wear your PJ’s, decorate cookies, make a take-home craft, visit some animals up close, story time with Santa and Mrs. Claus, for children ages 5-12, 1-3pm or 5-7pm, $, reservations required, 217-422-5911.
Scott Wattles & The Blue Suede Crew Christmas Show – December 9
Lincoln Square Theater, 141 N. Main St. Relive some Elvis’s greatest Christmas music, 6pm, $, 217-454-4583.
NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet – December 11
Millikin University, Kirkland Fine Arts Center, 1215 W. Kirkland Dr. The holiday spectacle and classic returns to Kirkland for the first time since 2019, 7pm, $, 217-424-6318.
Winter Raccoon Candy Cane Hunt – December 16
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Hike to find some holiday goodies that the Winter Raccoon has hidden throughout the forest, 10am, free, reservations required, 217-423-7708.
A Christmas Extravaganza – December 23
Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plz. “That Spectacular Holiday Concert” featuring FRESH, DA PHUNK, Rapper Twenty-Two and opening band Lady Luck, 7pm, $, 217-422-7300.
New Year’s Eve on Ice – December 31
Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plz. Ring in the New Year on ice skates, 7pm-12:30am, $, 217-422-7300.
Revel in Red New Year’s Eve Bash – December 31
Lincoln Square Theater, 141 N. Main St. Ring in 2024 with live music at this New Year’s Eve party, 6pm, $, 217-454-4583.
Swing in the New Year! – December 31
Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. New Year’s Eve program featuring the musical talents of Manley Mallard and the Blue Notes Quintet, 7pm, free with donations accepted 217-428-4336.
Nativity Exhibit at the Homestead – January 6-7
James Millikin Homestead, 125 an. Pine St. Tour the historic Victorian Millikin Homestead and also see more than 100 nativity sets on display, 12-3pm, $, 217-422-9003.
Cancer Care Center Art Exhibits – December & January
210 W. McKinley Ave., center’s open hours, free, 217-422-1509.
December – Will Doty
January – Sue Watts
Decatur Airport Exhibits – December & January
Main Terminal, Lobby Gallery, 910 S. Airport Rd., airport open hours, free, 217-422-1509.
December – Pam Marty
January – Alison Huckstep
Decatur Public Library Exhibit – December & January
Art Gallery, 130 N. Franklin St., library open hours, free, 217-422-1509.
December – Leta Burch
January – Will Doty
Rock Springs Exhibits – December & January
3939 Nearing Ln., M-F 8am-5pm, Sa 9am-5pm, Su 1-5pm, free, 217-423-7708.
December – Barn Colony Artists’ various media and Decatur Camera Club’s nature photographs
January – The Glacier’s Edge Master Naturalists’ artworks & photos and District Staff’s photographs
Permanent Collection – December 4-January 12
Kirkland Fine Arts Center, Perkinson Gallery, 1215 N. Kirkland Dr. Exhibit of selected artworks from the Millikin University permanent collection, M-F 12-5pm when school is in session, free, 217-424-6318.
First Friday Gallery Walk – December 1 and January 5
Downtown Decatur. Browse the new exhibits during the opening receptions at Gallery 510, Blue Connection Gallery and the Anne Lloyd Gallery, 5-7pm, free. 217-423-3189.
Gallery 510 Exhibits – December & January
160 E. Main St. Exhibit hours Tu-F 11am-5pm, Sa’s by appointment, free, 217-422-1509.
December – Jessica Disbrow
January – Area Arts Teachers
Young Artists Showcase 2023 – January 5-26
Madden Arts Center, Anne Lloyd Gallery, 125 N. Water St. Annual juried exhibit featuring exemplary artwork by Decatur area students in grades 5-8. Reception 1/5, 5-7pm, general exhibit viewing M-F 8:30-5:30, Sa 10am-2pm, free, 217-423-3189.
“Changes” – January 15-February 29
Kirkland Fine Arts Center, Perkinson Gallery, 1215 N. Kirkland Dr. Art exhibition featuring the works of Millikin Art Therapy Alumna Deysha Barber ’19, M-F 12-5pm when school is in session, free, 217-424-6318.
CONCERTS & LIVE MUSIC
“Bye Bye Birdie” – November 17-19
Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plz. A 1950s all-American teenage rock and roll classic with high energy, great music and comedy, great for all ages, presented by Decatur Underground Theater, F’s & Sa’s 7pm, Su’s 2pm, $, 217-422-7300.
Opus 24 Fall Concert – November 20
Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. Featuring selections by composer Elaine Hagenberg to be sung by the choir at the upcoming Building Bridges and Transforming Lives through the Power of Music Festival in Italy in June 2024, 3pm, $, 217-454-8709.
Decatur Youth Symphony Orchestra’s “Winter Concert” – November 27
Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. A collection of holiday oriented symphonic music performed by a select ensemble of local middle and high school musicians, part of the Millikin Community Arts Academy, 7pm, free, 217-424-6358.
Jay White as Neil Diamond: The Sweet Caroline Tour – December 2
Lincoln Square Theater, 141 N. Main St. The world’s most authentic live Neil Diamond show brought to Decatur, 7pm, $, 217-454-4583.
Solstice: A Concert of Dance – December 7-9
Millikin University, Virginia Rogers Theatre, 1184 W. Main St. Annual concert showcasing a variety of dance and contemporary movement, choreographed by Millikin University students and faculty, Th & F 7:30pm, Sa 2pm, $, 217-424-6318.
Acoustic Music Jams – December 10 & January 14
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Tunes played by local musicians, listen or bring your instrument and play along, 2-4pm, free, 217-423-7708.
Taylor Made Band – December 30
Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plz. Taylor Swift tribute band performance with friendship bracelets and era outfits, 7pm, $, 217-422-7300.
Winter Chorale 39th Annual Concert – January 13-14
Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plz. The Greater Decatur Chorale presents “Singin’ Through the Decades” a show full of favorite hits featuring special guest choir Heart and Soul, 2pm, $, reservations required, 217-619-8044.
Collegiate Choir Tour Finale – January 21
Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. Millikin University choir performs their final concert of their four-day regional tour, 7:30pm, free-will offering collected, 217-428-4336.
University Choir Tour Finale – January 21
St. Patrick Catholic Church, 407 E. Eldorado St. Millikin University Choir performs their final concert following their two-week regional tour, 2pm, free will offering collected, 217-429-5363.
Fine Arts and Open House – January 28
James Millikin Homestead, 125 N. Pine St. Listen to Dr. Carmella Braniger’s poetry and hear music from a Millikin University Student Clarinet Ensemble then enjoy the open house, poetry & music 1-3pm, open house 3-5pm, $, 217-422-9003.
HISTORY & MUSEUMS
Mueller Co. at the 1904 World’s Fair – December & January
Hieronymus Mueller Museum, 420 W. Eldorado St. See a never-before displayed artifact from Mueller’s 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair booth and take home popular World’s Fair treats while supplies last, Tu’s-Sa’s 1-4pm, $, 217-423-6161.
Oglesby Mansion Open House – November 26
421 W. William St. Visit the historic Decatur landmark and beautifully restored Victorian home of Illinois Governor Richard Oglesby, 2-4pm, $, 217-423-7708.
NATURE & GARDENS
Wildlife Conservation Day – December 3
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. A day to celebrate the many conservation successes in the state of Illinois which include river otters, bobcats, bald eagles and turkey, 2pm, free, reservations required, 217-423-7708.
“Fluddles” Documentary – December 9
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. New documentary film shown about field ponds/duck ponds presented by Chicago filmmaker Bob Dolgan and the Decatur Area Audubon Society, refreshments, 2pm, free, 217-423-7708.
Geminid Meteor Shower – December 14
Friends Creek conservation Area, 13734 Friends Creek Park Rd., Cisco, IL. View the strongest meteor shower of the year, hot chocolate available, dress warm, bring lawn chairs and blankets, 9-11pm, free, reservations required by 12/9, 217-423-7708.
EVENTS FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES
Princess Ball – January 27
Scovill Banquet Facility, 3909 W. Main St. For young princesses ages 5-12 and their grown-up escort, dinner, dancing and appearances from their favorite Princess characters, formal wear, 5-9pm, $, reservations required, 217-619-8044.
SPORTS, HEALTH & FITNESS
Turkey Trot – November 18
Fairview Park, Pavilion #1, 1455 W. Fairview Park Dr. Annual ½ mile Turkey Tot Trot, 5K and 10K run, or 5K recreational walk, register by 11/3 to guarantee long-sleeved shirt, race 8am, $, registration required, 217-429-3472.
70th Annual Community Thanksgiving Luncheon – November 22
Decatur Civic Center Arena, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plz. Luncheon since 1953 for the community to come together and offer thanks and blessings for the year, hosted by the Decatur Regional Chamber of Commerce, doors open 11:30am, luncheon and program 12pm, $, reservations required, 217-422-2200.
Trivia Night – January 6
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Trivia questions about local flora and fauna, local history and more, winning team receives trophy and a prize, for ages 21 & older, drinks for purchase by Door 4 Brewing Co., proceeds benefit educational programming at the Macon County Conservation District, 6-8pm, $, reservations required, 217-423-7708.
Miller Lite Open – January 14
It’s back! The largest of its kind in the nation. The 21st Miller Lite Open hosts teams of four as they play one of six courses and putt to win the hole at each location. Proceeds benefit Webster Cantrell Youth Advocacy. Online registration starts on November 17 at wcya.org. Questions? Email: email@example.com or call 217-422-0187.