Calendar – December / January 2023
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-4:30pm, Sa 9am-2pm, free admission, 217-423-3189.
Christmas Card Lane – through December 30
Preston Jackson Park, 337 N. Water St. Annual outdoor exhibit/competition comprised of larger-than-life greeting cards created by local artists and community groups, open 24/7, free, 217-423-3189.
Christmas Tree Lighting – November 26
Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plz. Annual lighting of the 25 ft. live Christmas tree, visit from Santa, live reindeer, music, write a letter to Santa, hot cocoa and cookies, collection of new unwrapped toys for local foster children, 6-8pm, free, 217-422-7300.
A Winter Wonderland Holiday Gala – December 2
Country Club of Decatur, 135 N. Country Club Rd. Symphony Orchestra Guild of Decatur’s gala dinner with auction, live music and dancing, formal attire optional, adults only, funds raised benefit the Decatur Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, 6pm, $, reservations required, 217-423-3189.
The Nutcracker Ballet – December 2
Shilling Auditorium, Richland Community College. Annual production presented by Decatur Community Dance and Mid-Summer Moon Productions featuring all local talent and held in the new school theater. 7pm, reserved seating tickets: decaturcommunity.dance/nutcracker or at the door.
A Very Loft-y Christmas! – December 3
Madden Arts Center, 3rd floor, 125 N. Water St. Local musicians play holiday tunes, guests invited to sing Christmas Karaoke with the in-house piano man, visual arts for sale, must be 21 and older, 7-10pm, free with donation suggested, 217-423-3189.
Decatur Christmas Parade – December 3
Downtown Decatur, parade route. Annual Nighttime Lighted Christmas Parade with floats, music, local celebrities, candy and Santa’s arrival, $ prize for best float, entry proceeds benefit Project read Plus, parade line up 2:30pm, judging 3:30pm, parade 4:30pm, free admission, $ to enter floats, 217-872-3566.
Visit with Santa – December 3 – 23
Central Park Transfer House. Santa and Mrs. Claus will take up residency in the Transfer House for the holidays. Bring letters for Santa’s mailbox. Hours: decaturcvb.com
Richland Holiday Market – December 3
Richland Community College, Horticulture Building, 1 College Park Dr. Greenhouse open with house plants, vendors on site with baked goods, soaps, lotions, jewelry, candles and more, 8am-12pm, free admission, $ for goods, 217-875-7211 ext. 6442.
The Nutcracker – December 3-4
Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plz. The traditional family story presented by the Springfield Ballet Company, Sa 2 & 7pm, Su 2 & 6pm, $, 217-422-7300.
Vespers – December 3-4
Millikin University, Kirkland Fine Arts Center, 1184 W. Main St. Millikin’s 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 4
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.
Santa Shuffle – December 4
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 2-10, 3:30-5:30pm, $, reservations required, 217-422-5911.
Downtown Christmas Walk – December 7
Downtown Decatur. Festive family evening of holiday shopping and merrymaking, live entertainment, trolley rides, holiday treats and Santa Claus, 5-8pm, free, 217-423-3189.
Trees on the Tees – December 8-11 & 14-18
Hickory Point Golf Course, 727 W. Weaver Rd., Forsyth, IL. Travel through a path of beautifully decorated trees after dark on foot or aboard a golf cart, afterward make s’mores and sip hot cocoa, walkers 5-5:20pm, cart riders 6-8:50pm, $, reservations required, 217-422-5911.
Holiday Big Band Jazz – December 10
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, performance 7:30pm, $, reservations required, 217-429-4200.
PJ Party with Santa at the Zoo – December 10
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 3-10, 1-3pm or 5-7pm, $, reservations required, 217-422-5911.
Twelve Bars of Christmas – December 10
Grab a team of four to compete playing minute-to-win-it Christmas games at bars throughout Decatur, prizes and highest point winners awarded. Registration starts at Doherty’s at 10am. Post Party at The Hall at Five-Twenty with The Sushi Roll Band. Proceeds benefit local charities.
?Jingle Jam – December 11
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1 Bachrach Ct. Bring the whole family to enjoy holiday stations set up for decorating cookies, creating Christmas cards, ornament making, inflatables and reindeer games. Jingle Jam service with live music and engaging Christmas message. 9:15am-11:30am. 217-423-6955.
Decatur Big Band Christmas Show – December 17
The Wagon Restaurant, 3190 N. Woodford St. Holiday favorites performed by 16 Central Illinois contemporary jazz musicians who have been entertaining jazz enthusiasts for over 40 years, food and beverages available for $, 4-6pm, no cover charge, 217-429-2260.
Gingerbread Workshop – December 17, 20
Children’s Museum of Illinois, 55 S. Country Club Rd. Decorate a built-to-last cardboard gingerbread house with icing and candy, Christmas cookies to eat, 1 to 3 people per house, 10am or 1pm, $, reservations required, 217-423-5437.
Advent with Millikin-Decatur Chamber Orchestra – December 18
Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. Advent services featuring the MDCO, 8 & 10:30am, free, 217-428-4336.
Christmas Eve Harp Concert – December 24
Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. Julia Jamieson performs followed by the traditional Christmas Eve worship service, concert 6:30pm, followed by Christmas Eve worship service 7pm, free, 217-428-4336.
Happy Noon Year – December 31
Children’s Museum of Illinois, 55 S. Country Club Rd. Ring in the New Year 12 hours early, lots of family fun, balloon drop at noon, 10am-2pm, $, reservations required, 217-423-5437.
New Years’ Eve Pops – December 31
Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. New Year’s Eve program titled A Musical New Year featuring Christine and Harrison Wades’ piano and vocal concert, 7pm, free with donations accepted, 217-428-4336.
New Year’s Eve Skate – December 31
Decatur Civic Center Arena, 1 Gary Anderson Plz. Lace up your skates and ring in the new year on the ice, 10pm-12:30am, $, 217-422-7300.
Nativity Exhibit at the Homestead – January 8
James Millikin Homestead, 125 an. Pine St. Tour the historic Victorian Millikin Homestead and also see a wide variety of nativity sets on display from many area families, 1-3pm, $, 217-422-9003.
Cancer Care Center Art Exhibits – December & January
210 W. McKinley Ave., center’s open hours, free, 217-422-1509.
December – Alison Huckstep
January – Steve Stoerger
Decatur Airport Exhibits – December & January
Main Terminal, Lobby Gallery, 910 S. Airport Rd., airport open hours, free, 217-422-1509.
December – Tracey Maras
January – Sue Goodpaster
Decatur Public Library Exhibit – December & January
130 N. Franklin St., library open hours, free, 217-422-1509.
December – Sue Goodpaster
January – Annette Russo
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 mixed media/Decatur Camera Club nature photographs
January – Decatur Camera Club nature photographs/Melody Arnold, nature photographs
Gallery 510 Exhibits – December & January
160 E. Main St. First Friday Artists’ Receptions 12/2 & 1/6, 5-7pm, free. Exhibit hours Tu-F 11am-5pm, Sa 11am-3pm, free, 217-422-1509. December – Annette Russo/January – Area Arts Teachers
2022 Creative Media Expo – December 6
Millikin University, University Commons, Banquet Room A & B, 1184 W. Main St. View students’ creative projects and student-run business exhibits, varied media, 4-6pm, 217-424-6227.
Young Artists Showcase 2023 – January 6-26
Madden Arts Center, Anne Lloyd Gallery, 125 N. Water St. Annual juried exhibit featuring exemplary artwork by Decatur area students in grades 5-8, presented by Gallery 510, Reception 1/6, 5-7pm, general exhibit viewing M-F 8:30-5:30, Sa 10am-2pm, free, 217-423-3189.
CONCERTS & LIVE MUSIC
JACKYL Live – November 20
Lincoln Square Theater, 141 N. Main St. ACKYL live in concert with special guests Jonny Vodka, doors open 6pm, concert 7pm, $, limited tickets sold, 217-454-4583.
Opus 24 Fall Concert – November 20
St. Patrick Catholic Church, 407 E. Eldorado. Seasonal choral music welcoming Opus’s new conductor Ted Hesse, 3pm, $, 217-454-8709.
Decatur Youth Symphony Orchestra – November 21
Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. Concert by the talented Decatur area youth, 7pm, free, 217-428-4336.
Rock U Final Show – December 3
Madden Arts Center, 3rd floor, 125 N. Water St. Live music at The Loft, final show of the semester, 1-3pm, free, 217-423-3189.
Highway 615 Christmas Concert – December 10
Lincoln Square Theater, 141 N. Main St. Performances by Highway 615, Revel in Red and Solid Gold, raffles prizes and silent auction, proceeds to the Salvation Army Angel Tree. 7pm, $, tickets lincolnsquaretheater.com
Acoustic Music Jams – December 11 & January 8
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.
A Family Affair Hotel Christmas Jam – December 16 – 17
Decatur Conference Center & Hotel, 4191 W US Hwy 36. Performances by Rumpke Mountain Boys, Sunshine Daydream, Grateful Dead Tribute Band and more. $. Tickets: afamilyaffair.ticketleap.com. Hotel Reservation: hoteldecatur.com
Winter Chorale Concert – January 14-15
Johns Hill Magnet School, 1025 E. Johns Ave. Greater Decatur Chorale presents “Love Will Keep Us Together” a concert of love, 2 & 7pm, $, reservations required, 217-422-5911.
Millikin University Choir Tour Finale – January 22 – 29
January 22 – St. Patrick Catholic Church, 407 E. Eldorado. 2pm, 217-454-8709.
January 23 – Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. 7:30pm, 217-428-4336.
January 29 – Central Christian Church, 650 W. William St. 2pm, 217-428-4336.
THEATRE & DANCE
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – November 18-20
Decatur Civic Center, 1 Gary K. Anderson Plz. Musical comedy based on the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, 11 brothers and the coat of many colors, presented by Decatur Underground Theater, F’s & Sa’s 7pm, Su’s 2pm, $, 217-620-2448.
Solstice: A Concert of Dance – December 8-10
Millikin University, Virginia Rogers Theatre, 1184 W. Main St. Annual concert of an eclectic range of themes, moods and styles of dance choreographed by Millikin University students and faculty, Th & F 7:30pm, Sa 2pm, $, 217-424-6318.
HISTORY & MUSEUMS
Governor Richard Oglesby Mansion Open House – November 27
421 W. William St. Visit the historic Decatur landmark and beautifully restored Victorian home of Illinois Governor Richard Oglesby, 2-4pm, $, 217-423-7708.
James Millikin Homestead Open House – December 4
125 N. Pine St. Tour the historic Victorian Millikin Homestead beautifully decorated for the holidays, 12:30-4:30pm, $, 217-422-9003.
NATURE & GARDENS
The Magic Stump – December 3
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Chicago filmmaker Bob Dolgan presents a showing of his new documentary film which tells the story of an Illinois tree stump that has attracted a phenomenal variety of wintering raptors through the years, refreshments provided, 2pm, free, 217-423-7708.
Winter Hikes, Walks & Programs – January
As noted at Rock Springs Conservation Area (RSCA), 3939 Nearing Ln. or Sand Creek Conservation Area (SCCA), S. Franklin St., dress for the weather, reservations required, 217-423-7708.
1/7 – Full Moon Hike, RSCA, 9pm, $
1/14 – Animal Signs Guided Walk, SCCA, 2pm, free
1/22 – Raccoon Candy Cane Hunt, RSCA, 2pm, free
1/29 – Winter Nature Journaling, RSCA, 2pm, $
EVENTS FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES
Princess Ball – January 28
Scovill Activity Center, 3909 W. Main St. For young ladies ages 5-12 and their dads and/or grandfathers (their “Prince Charmings”), dinner and dancing, presented by Decatur Park District, dinner 5-6pm, dancing 6-9pm, $, reservations required, 217-422-5911.
SPORTS, HEALTH & FITNESS
Turkey Trot – November 19
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 11/7 to guarantee long-sleeved shirt, check-in 6:30-7:15am, Tot Trot 7:30am, Race 8am, $, registration required, 217-429-3472.
69th 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.
Geminid Meteor Shower – December 10
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 by 12/9, 217-423-7708.
NASA and the Space Launch System – December 17
Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Ln. Guest speaker Scott Tashakkor, Decatur native and flight software lead at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, will discuss NASA, rocket launches and some basic space concepts, 10am, free, 217-423-7708.
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.