Archive for December, 2011

 Folepi’s Winter Wonderland (located at VFW Post 2078 Park off Springfield Road in East Peoria) will be open from 5 – 9 pm Sundays -Thursdays and from 5 – 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. Admission is $10 for cars and family vans, $20 for limos, extended vans, mini- or party-buses and RVs or $150 for full-size buses.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! at the Barn 2 Dinner Theatre in Goodfield runs tonight (Thursday) through New Year’s Day. On Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays, doors open at 6 pm, buffet is at 6:30 pm, and the show is at 8 pm.  Prices are $34 for Thursdays, $36 for Fridays and Sunday brunch and $38 for Saturdays. For more information, call 309-965-2545 or go to www.barn2.com

Jim Brickman’s “A Christmas Celebration” Holiday Concert will be held in the Peoria Civic Center Theater tonight (Thursday) beginning at 7 pm. Tickets are $27, $37, $47 and $67 and are on sale now at the Peoria Civic Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com The $67 tickets include a post-concert meet and greet.

Learn the significance of Mishumaa Saba and Zawadi at the Luthy Botanical Gardens Kwanzaa Display from 10 am – 5 pm through Saturday. Conservatory admission is waived during the holidays, although donations are always accepted.  Become educated about this cultural holiday and see a display of African plants.

Nick Griffin will perform at the Jukebox Comedy Club tonight (Thursday) and Friday at 8 pm and Saturday at 8 pm & 11 pm. Tickets are $12 for the tonight’s (Thursday’s) show, $15 for the Friday show and $21 or $20 with cash for the New Year’s Eve (Saturday) shows. The New Year’s Eve 8 pm show includes a hot & cold buffet beginning at 7 pm and the 11 pm show includes party favors & free champagne at midnight. For more information, call 309-673-5853 or visit www.jukeboxcomedy.com

Live at the Five Spot at the Contemporary Art Center featuring Change Up begins at 5:30 pm Friday. Admission: $7 for members or $10 for non-members, $6 for student & senior members and $9 for student & senior non-members.

The 26th Annual Peoria Youth Hockey Association’s Snowball Shootout will take place Friday, Saturday & Sunday at Owens Recreation Center (located at 1019 W. Lake Avenue in Peoria). This is a USA Hockey Sanctioned Tournament using USA Hockey rules. The Shootout features four different divisions and will welcome approximately thirty teams to the area. For more information, visit http://www.pyha.org

Julie K’s Noon Year’s Eve Celebration will take place on Saturday at Five Points Center (located at 360 Wilmor Road in Washington) beginning at 11 am. It will feature family friendly music. Tickets are $12 and $10 and are available at www.juliekmusic.com or www.fivepointswashington.org

Peoria Players Theatre will present Ring-a-Ding-Ding New Year beginning at 7:30 pm on Saturday & 2 pm on Sunday. Tickets are $15 for all ages and are available at the Peoria Players Box Office, by calling 309-688-4473 or online at www.peoriaplayers.org

The Rivermen take on the Rockford IceHogs in the Peoria Civic Center Arena on Saturday beginning at 6 pm. Tickets are $12.50, $17.50, $20, $22.50, $25 and $27.50 and are available at the Peoria Civic Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com

The Howlin’ on Water New Year’s Eve Bash will take place Saturday at the Waterhouse (located at 619 SW Water Street, 2nd floor, in Peoria) beginning at 7 pm. Admission is $75 per person and includes a two entree combination buffet, open bar, dueling pianos show, and the midnight champagne toast plus tax and processing fees. Pre-payment is required and can be made by calling 309-494-9100 or online at http://artstix.artspartners.net/ordertickets.asp?p=373&backurl=default.asp

A Special New Year’s Eve Salsa at the Contemporary Art Center will take place on Saturday featuring a dance lesson from 8:30 – 9:30 pm and open dancing from 9:30 pm – 12:30 am. A cash bar will be available. Admission is $3 for members or $6 for non-members. For more information, call 309-674-6877.

The Peoria Zoo will host a Zoo Snooze – New Years Eve Edition on Saturday from 6 pm – 8:30 am just for kids. There will be special Zoo tours, a pizza dinner and a light breakfast provided. Cost is $50 for Peoria Zoo members and $60 for non-members. Drop your kids off at 6 pm and pick them up at 8:30 am the next morning. Kids must be 6 or older to participate. Register by call 309-681-3513

A New Year’s Eve Party featuring the band Rachel’s Hippo will be held at Coyote Creek Golf Club (located at 8201 W. Lancaster Dr. in Bartonville) with doors opening at 7:30 pm and the band beginning at 8 pm. Included in the ticket price are hors d ‘oeuvres, unlimited draft beer & soda and a champagne toast at midnight. Admission is $45 in advance and $50 at the door. Reservations are recommended as space is limited. Call 309-323-1667 for more information and to make reservations.

Ring in the New Year with the Boat Drunks from 8 pm – 1 am Saturday at the The Gateway Building Grand Ballroom (located at 200 NE Water Street on Peoria’s RiverFront). Tickets are $50 per person and include access to the exclusive New Year’s Eve concert by The Boat Drunks, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and draft beer & wine. Select specialty & mixed drinks will also be available at the cash bar. This event is for ages 21 and over only. To purchase tickets, call 309-689-3019 or e-mail bmo@peoriaparks.org  Space is limited.

The Get Lit Fun Run will take place beginning at 11:50 pm Saturday at FOLEPI’s Winter Wonderland (locatd on Par Three Lane off Springfield Road in East Peoria). Cost to participate is $25. This is a fun way to “run” in the New Year and is open to men, women and children, this event is a non-competitive run/walk on a two-mile paved course through the FOLEPI’s Winter Wonderland drive-through display. For more information, call 309-253- 2420.

The 2012 East Peoria Boat Club Polar Ice Plunge will take place on New Year’s Day (Sunday) at the East Peoria Boat Club (located at 707 Collins Lane off Rt. 26 at the Tazewell/Woodford County Line in East Peoria). Registration is from 10 am – 1 pm and the Plunge ceremony begins at 1 pm. Cost is $20 to participate and includes a t-shirt. Proceeds will benefit local children’s charities. Visit http://www.eastpeoriaboatclub.com for a registration form or call 309-699-6655 for more information.

 Folepi’s Winter Wonderland (located at VFW Post 2078 Park off Springfield Road in East Peoria) opens from 5 – 9 pm Sundays -Thursdays and from 5 – 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. Admission is $10 for cars and family vans, $20 for limos, extended vans, mini- or party-buses and RVs or $150 for full-size buses.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! at the Barn 2 Dinner Theatre in Goodfield runs tonight (Thursday) through December 31st. On Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays, doors open at 6 pm, buffet is at 6:30 pm, and the show is at 8 pm. There is no show on Sunday (Christmas Day).  Prices are $34 for Thursdays, $36 for Fridays and Sunday brunch and $38 for Saturdays. For more information, call 309-965-2545 or go to www.barn2.com

The Peoria Journal Star Christmas Sing will take place in the Peoria Civic Center Great Hall tonight (Thursday) beginning at 6:30 pm. The event is free and open to the public. Former Mayor Jim Maloof will lead the singing of Christmas carols. There will also be free hot chocolate and cookies. For more information, call 309-686-3000.

Capture the Wonder Christmas 2011 will be performed at Northwoods Community Church (located at 10700 North Allen Road in Peoria) at 5 pm tonight (Thursday), at 5 pm & 7 pm on Friday and at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm on Saturday. Tickets are free and are available at the church or online at www.nwoods.org/wonder

Nick Vatterott will perform at the Jukebox Comedy Club tonight (Thursday) at 8 pm and Friday at 8 pm & 10:30 pm. Tickets are $10 for the Thursday show and $12 for the Friday shows. For more information, call 309-673-5853 or visit www.jukeboxcomedy.com

Live at the Five Spot at the Contemporary Art Center featuring Judy Page & Speak Easy begins at 5:30 pm Friday. Admission is $7 for members,  $10 for non-members, $6 for student & senior members and $9 for student & senior non-members.
Enjoy Swing Dance at the Contemporary Arts Center on Friday from 8:30 – 9:30 pm for the dance lesson and 9:30 pm – 12:30 am for open dancing. Admission is $3 for CAC Members and $6 for non-members. For more information, call 309-674-6822.

The Rivermen take on the Chicago Wolves in the Peoria Civic Center Arena on Monday beginning at 7 pm. Tickets are $12.50, $17.50, $20, $22.50, $25 and $27.50 and are available at the Peoria Civic Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com

Learn the significance of Mishumaa Saba and Zawadi at Luthy Botanical Gardens Kwanzaa Display which runs Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm. Become educated about this cultural holiday and see a display of African plants. Conservatory admission is waived during the holidays, although we donations are always accepted.

 Folepi’s Winter Wonderland (located at VFW Post 2078 Park off Springfield Road in East Peoria) opens from 5 – 9 pm Sundays -Thursdays and from 5 – 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. Admission is $10 for cars and family vans, $20 for limos, extended vans, mini- or party-buses and RVs or $150 for full-size buses.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! at the Barn 2 Dinner Theatre in Goodfield runs tonight (Thursday) through December 31st. On Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays, doors open at 6 pm, buffet is at 6:30 pm, and the show is at 8 pm. On Sundays, doors & the buffet open at noon, and the show is at 1:30 pm. Prices are $34 for Thursdays, $36 for Fridays and Sunday brunch and $38 for Saturdays. For more information, call 309-965-2545 or go to www.barn2.com

Children’s Community Theatre will present Disney’s My Son Pinocchio at Peoria Players Theatre with performances at 7 pm on Thursday – Saturday and at 1:30 pm on Saturday & Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for ages 12 & and seniors citizens and are available at the theatre one hour prior to performances.  For more information call 309-681-2861.

Costaki Economopoulus will perform at the Jukebox Comedy Club on Thursday at 8 pm and Friday & Saturday at 8 pm & 10:30 pm. Tickets are $12 for the Thursday and Friday 10:30 pm shows and $15 for the other shows. For more information, call 309-673-5853 or visit www.jukeboxcomedy.com

The Central Illinois Artists Organization (CIAO) Holiday Open Studios Tour will take place from 5 – 9 pm on Friday & from 10 am – 5 pm on Saturday at 10 locations throughout downtown Peoria featuring 40 artists displaying painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, fiber, photography, woodcrafting and more. For location details and more information, visit www.ciaopeoria.com

Live at the Five Spot at the Contemporary Art Center featuring Spring Creek Station (Contemporary Country) begins at 5:30 pm Friday. Admission: $7 for members or $10 for non-members, $6 for student & senior members and $9 for student & senior non-members.

The Annual Holiday Shop & Stroll takes place on Friday and Saturday from 6 – 8:30 pm at Forest Park Nature Center. This one-of-a-kind event has become a holiday tradition in central Illinois. Experience a nighttime stroll on a forest path lit with luminaries, live holiday music, storytelling and caroling, have a hot wassail and some homemade goodies, find unique nature-related artwork from the Nature Art Show & Sale and shop for eco-friendly, organic and Fair Trade items at the Trailhead Nature Store. Admission is free, however donations are requested.  For more information, call 309-686-3360.

Arc Light Productions will present a special edition of It’s a Wonderful Life at Coyote Creek Golf Course in Bartonville. Enjoy a full length production of the classic holiday film as well as a full dinner buffet catered by Cracked Pepper. Doors open at 5:30 pm with dinner beginning at 6 pm and the show at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $35 and are available by calling 309-455-4095.

The dinner concert “A Christmas Celebration with Rachel West Kramer” will be performed on Friday beginning at 6 pm at the Ashland House Ballroom (located at 201 E Ashland St. in Morton). Tickets are $35 for adults. Groups of 8 or more are $30 per ticket. For tickets or more information, call Hands of Love Ministry at 309-383-2828 or visit www.handsoflove.org

Peoria Area Civic Chorale will present it’s annual An American Family Christmas concert at Five Points Performing Arts Center (located at 316 Wilmor Road in Washington) beginning at 7:30 pm on Friday & Saturday and at 2:30 pm on Sunday. Tickets are $24 for adults, $12 for students and $20 each for groups of 10 or more and are available by calling 309-693-6725 or online at http://peoriacivicchorale.org

Candlelight Walks at Luthy Botanical Gardens will take place on Fridays and Saturday evenings from 7 – 9 pm through December 23. Visit the Poinsettia Show at night, under the warm glow of hundreds of candles, while enjoying live performances of holiday music. Admission is free.

The Temptations will be live at the Peoria Civic Center Theater on Friday night beginning at 8 pm. Tickets are $35, $45 and $55 and are on sale at the Peoria Civic Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com

The Stocking Stuffer Holiday Store where kids can do their holiday shopping with the help of a “personal shopper” will be held at the Shoppes at Grand Prairie on Saturdays & Sundays (Dec. 3 – 18) from Noon – 8 pm on Saturdays and Noon- 5 pm on Sundays and at Northwoods Mall (Dec. 2 – 20) on Mondays – Fridays from 4 – 8 pm, Saturdays from 10 am – 8 pm and Sundays from Noon – 5 pm. Special times are available for groups with a reservation. To schedule a private shopping time or sign up for volunteering, call 309-674-0105. Proceeds benefit the Crisis Nursery.

WEEK-TV Sports Director and author Lee Hall will speak about and sign his book Running for Their Lives, which tells the story of his 25 years of involvement with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the Memphis to Peoria Run at the Peoria Public Library North Branch on Saturday from 3 – 4 pm. The event is free and open to the public. Call 309-497-2143 for more information

Enjoy a Family Holiday Skate at Owens Center from 5 – 7 pm on Saturday and from 3 – 4:45 pm on Sunday. Admissions is $4 for adults 13 & up, $3 for ages 12 & under and senior citizens aged 65 and up. Skate rental is $2. Call 309-686-3368 for more information

Acaharmodies! will present “A Caroling We Go: Music and Christmas” at ICC Center for Performing Arts on Saturday beginning at 5:30 pm. Traditional Christmas carols will be given new meaning through new genres, vocal percussion, instrument mimicking, comedy and more. Tickets can be purchased for $10 at www.itickets.com

The Rivermen take on the Toronto Marlies in the Peoria Civic Center Arena on Saturday beginning at 7 pm. Tickets are $12.50, $17.50, $20, $22.50, $25 and $27.50 and are available at the Peoria Civic Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com

Enjoy the classic “White Christmas” starring Bing Crosby and dinner at the turn of the century Parkview Ballroom on Saturday beginning at 6 pm. Tickets are $16.95 for adults and $10.95 for kids and includes a dinner buffet of two entrees, two sides, salad, drinks and dessert served by Hick’ry Stick Catering. To purchase advance tickets, call 309-742-8900. For more information, visit www.hickrystick.com/elmwoodevents

Join Bradley Women’s Basketball when they host Iowa on Saturday beginning at 7 pm. It’s “Cram the Coliseum” night and all tickets are $1. Help the Braves set a new Renaissance Coliseum attendance record and stay after to meet the team and get autographs. Tickets are available in advance or on game day at the Renaissance Coliseum ticket office 309-677-2625.

The Evening of Winter Enchantment: Winter Ice Show will be held at Owens Center on Saturday beginning at 7 pm. Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for ages 5-12 and seniors and ages 4 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at Owens Center. For more information, call 309-681-0610.

The River City Blues Society Membership Appreciation Party will take place at Goodfellas Pizza & Pub on Saturday beginning at 7 pm. Entertainment will be provided by Victor Wainwright & The Wildroots from Memphis from 8 – 11 pm. Admission is $5 for non-members. Food and snacks are provided for all members. Join the River City Blues Society and get free food and snacks plus free admission. For more info, call 309-648-8510 or www.rivercityblues.com

Enjoy a Christian Christmas Concert featuring David Worth Hinton which will take place at the Gateway Building in downtown Peoria on Sunday beginning at 3 pm. Admission is free. For more information, call 309-297-0117

Folepi’s Winter Wonderland (located at VFW Post 2078 Park off Springfield Road in East Peoria) opens from 5 – 9 pm Sundays -Thursdays and from 5 – 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. Admission is $10 for cars and family vans, $20 for limos, extended vans, mini- or party-buses and RVs or $150 for full-size buses.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! at the Barn 2 Dinner Theatre in Goodfield runs tonight (Thursday) through December 31st. On Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays, doors open at 6 pm, buffet is at 6:30 pm, and the show is at 8 pm. On Sundays, doors & the buffet open at noon, and the show is at 1:30 pm. Prices are $34 for Thursdays, $36 for Fridays and Sunday brunch and $38 for Saturdays. For more information, call 309-965-2545 or go to www.barn2.com

Rapper Wiz Khalifa will perform tonight (Thursday) at the US Cellular Coliseum beginning at 7:30 pm. Special guests include Curren$y, Chevy Woods and Speedy Calhoun. Tickets are $39.50 and $29.50 plus a limited number of VIP General Admission Pit tickets are available at $59.50. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, including the U.S. Cellular Coliseum Box Office, www.ticketmaster.com, select Walmart locations or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will be presented by Eastlight Theatre beginning at 7:30 pm tonight (Thursday) Friday & Saturday and at 2 pm on Sunday in the East Peoria High School auditorium. Tickets are $17 per person and are available at the Eastlight Theatre Box Office, by calling 699-7469 or online at www.eastlighttheatre.com

Geoff Tate will perform at the Jukebox Comedy Club tonight  (Thursday) at 8 pm and Friday & Saturday at 8 pm & 10:30 pm. Tickets are $10 for the Thursday show and $12 for the Friday and Saturday shows. For more information, call 309-673-5853 or visit www.jukeboxcomedy.com

The Franciscan Sisters of John the Baptist will host their Third Annual Christmas Bake and Craft Sale at their convent (located at 1209 E. Lake Ave, Peoria Heights) on Friday – Sunday from 9 am – 6 pm each day. All items are hand made by the Sisters and include Christmas ornaments, cross stitch pillows and pictures, Christmas stockings, knitted baby blankets and scarves, Christmas centerpieces, aprons, jewelry, and more. All baked goods are home made from scratch. Proceeds support Sisters’ mission.

Discover the Dinosaurs will be held at the Peoria Civic Center on Friday from 12 – 9 pm, on Saturday from 10 am – 8 pm and on Sunday from 11 am – 6 pm. Admission is $12 for ages 12 – 65, $8 for ages 2 – 12 and free for ages under 2. For more information, visit discoverthedinosaurs.com

Common Place will hold a Scholastic Book Fair at the former Borders location in the Shoppes at Grand Prairie from 4:30 -7:30 pm on Friday and 11 am – 6 pm on Saturday & Sunday. Common Place will receive 40% of the proceeds for the first $2,000 raised, and half of proceeds for anything above $2,000. The funds raised will provide books for students and adults who use the organization’s tutoring and literacy programs.

The Spirit of Peoria Holiday Lunch Cruise on the Spirit of Peoria on Friday & Saturday with boarding at Noon and the cruise from 12:30 – 2:30 pm. Including a full buffet lunch, admission is $36 for adults, $18 for kids aged 4 – 12 and free for infants. The dinner cruise on Friday & Saturday boards at 6:30 pm and cruises from 7 – 9 pm. Including a full buffet, admission for the dinner cruise is $40 for adults, $20 for ages 4-12 and free for infants.  Join Barry Cloyd and Brian “Fox” Ellis as Prairie Folklore Theatre celebrates the Spirit of the Holidays on the Spirit of Peoria with “A Celtic Christmas” connecting the ancient tales and songs of Old Ireland with today’s joyous Christmas Traditions. To make reservations (required), call 800-676-8988 or visit www.spiritofpeoria.com

The Christmas on Court Luminary Walk will take place on Friday in downtown Pekin from 5 – 8 pm featuring strolling carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides, outdoor theatre and photos with Santa. For more information, call 309-353-3100 or visit www.pekinmainstreet.com

Bring the kids to the Polar Express Experience at Wildlife Prairie State Park from 4:30 – 9 pm on Friday & Saturday and from 11:30 am – 4 pm on Sunday. Admission is $17 per for ages 1-13 or $15 for members aged 1-13 and $6.50 for ages 15 and up or $5 for members aged 15 and up and free for under 1. Reservations are recommended as seating will be limited: call 676-0998. On Friday and Saturday, the last train runs at 8 pm and on Sunday, the last train runs at 3 pm.

The Central Illinois Artists Organization (CIAO) Holiday Open Studios Tour will take place from 5 – 9 pm on Friday & from 10 am – 5 pm on Saturday at 10 locations throughout downtown Peoria featuring 40 artists displaying painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, fiber, photography, woodcrafting and more. For location details and more information, visit www.ciaopeoria.com

Live at the Five Spot at the Contemporary Art Center featuring Dorann & the Soul Mystics begins at 5:30 pm on Friday. Admission: $7 for members or $10 for non-members, $6 for student & senior members and $9 for student & senior non-members.

The Annual Holiday Shop & Stroll takes place on Friday from 6 – 8:30 pm at Forest Park Nature Center. This one-of-a-kind event has become a holiday tradition in central Illinois. Experience a nighttime stroll on a forest path lit with luminaries, live holiday music, storytelling and caroling, have a hot wassail and some homemade goodies, find unique nature-related artwork from the Nature Art Show & Sale and shop for eco-friendly, organic and Fair Trade items at the Trailhead Nature Store. Admission is free, however donations are requested.  For more information, call 309-686-3360.

Howlin’ on Water Dueling Pianos will take place at the Waterhouse on Friday and Saturday beginning at 6 pm. Dinner and the show is $37 per person including tax. Seating is limited: reservations are required and can be made by calling 309-494-9100 or online at http://artstix.artspartners.net/eventperformances.asp?evt=19

The Peoria Historical Society will host Holiday Candlelight Tours at their Pettengill-Morron House Museum from 6 – 8 pm on Friday & Saturday and from 2 – 4 pm on Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults & $3 for children aged 5 – 12 at the door.

Candlelight Walks at Luthy Botanical Gardens will take place on Fridays and Saturday evenings from 7 – 9 pm through December 23. Visit the Poinsettia Show at night, under the warm glow of hundreds of candles, while enjoying live performances of holiday music. Admission is free.

Christmastime Gospelfest featuring Shawn Degenhart and the Gospelfest Singers will perform in concert at the Five Points Washington Performing Arts Center on Friday beginning at 7 pm. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door and may be purchased at the Berean Bookstore, at the front desk at Five Points Washington, by calling 309-472-0027. Group rates are available.

Plaza Suite by Neil Simon will be presented by the Corn Stock Theatre Winter Playhouse at the Corn Stock Theatre Center beginning at 7:30 pm on Friday & Saturday. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and are available at the Corn Stock Box Office, by calling 676-2196 or online at www.cornstocktheatre.com

The Prairie Wind Ensemble will perform in concert on Friday at the ICC Performing Arts Center (located at 1 College Drive in East Peoria) beginning at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students and are available at the ICC Box Office or by calling 309-694-5136

Enjoy Breakfast with Santa at Jillian’s Grille in the Shoppes at Grand Prairie on Saturday beginning at 9 am featuring Santa & Mrs. Claus too. Breakfast includes a buffet-style breakfast with pancakes, eggs and bacon, a $5 Jillian’s Game Card, balloon art and a visit with Santa. Cost is $10 for ages over 2, $12 for adults. There is no charge for children under 2. Tickets are $15 at the door. Call 309-740-0149 to reserve your spot.

The Stocking Stuffer Holiday Store where kids can do their holiday shopping with the help of a “personal shopper” will be held at the Shoppes at Grand Prairie on Saturdays & Sundays (Dec. 3 – 18) from Noon – 8 pm on Saturdays and Noon- 5 pm on Sundays or at Northwoods Mall (Dec. 2 – 20) on Mondays – Fridays from 4 – 8 pm, Saturdays from 10 am – 8 pm and Sundays from Noon – 5 pm. Special times are available for groups with a reservation. To schedule a private shopping time or sign up for volunteering, call 309-674-0105. Proceeds benefit the Crisis Nursery.

The Dax Locke Foundation will host a Heart of Christmas Event in the Peoria Civic Center Exhibit Hall A on Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm. There will be homemade crafts vendors on hand as well as crafts for kids to create, photos with Santa, raffles and homemade treats that make great holiday gifts. There will also be a collection of unwrapped, new presents for Santa to deliver to kids in the hospital. Admission is free. For more information, email juliealocke@yahoo.com

The Keokuk Junction Railway Co. will be operating its annual Santa Train on Saturday. Santa Claus will join Keokuk Junction Railway Co. and will make six stops along the KJRY’s railroad line to visit children, provide railroad safety demonstrations and to confirm their Christmas lists. Minimum donation is $10 per person:  a limited number of passenger tickets are available at the Salvation Army – Canton Corps (located at 176 S First Ave in Canton) or by calling 309-647-0732 or tickets can be purchased when boarding the train.  For full details of stops and times, visit http://www.pioneer-railcorp.com/santa train and visit.htm  All proceeds benefit the Salvation Army – Canton Corps.
Santa will be stopping by for a visit on Sunday at Pioneer Railcorp’s Corporate Headquarters (located at 1318 S. Johanson Road in Peoria off of Airport Road, across from CEFCU) from 1 – 4 pm. This event is free of charge. Children will have the opportunity to meet Santa aboard his stationary caboose.

The 2011 Artist’s Gift Show will be held at the Peoria Art Guild (located at 203 Harrison Street in downtown Peoria) on Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm. Featuring paintings, jewelry, pottery and photography and more created by local artists. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Peoria Art Guild. Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free. Call 309-637-2787 or visit www.peoriaartguild.org for more information

The Peoria Ballet will present The Nutcracker at the Peoria Civic Center Theater beginning at 7:30 pm on Saturday & 2 pm on Sunday. Tickets are $10 – $43 and are available at the Peoria Civic Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and onlne at Ticketmaster.com

The Body Fitness 7th Annual Christmas Gala will feature hors d’oeuvres & Dancing including swing, Latin, and ballroom on Saturday from 7 pm – Midnight. Admission is $12 per person or $20 per couple prepaid or $15 per person at the door. Attire is dressy. RSVP are required by calling 309-685-1950.

The Gateway Building Holiday Gift Sale will take place at the Gateway Building Grand Ballroom on Sunday from 9 am – 2 pm. It’s not too late to find the perfect gift for that special someone: you’ll find a wide assortment of gifts and products. Admission is free. Toys for Tots donations will be collected at the event also. For more information, call 309-494-6713.

The Philharmonic Chorale will present a concert at the ICC Performing Arts Center on Sunday beginning at 3 pm. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and senior citizens and are available at the ICC Box Office or by calling 309-694-5136. For more information, visit www.artsaticc.com

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will host their annual Sing It Yourself Messiah at the church (located at 3601 N. North Street in Peoria) on Sunday beginning at 2:30 pm. Conducted by Dr. John Jost, with the special Handel orchestra and Dr. J. Douglas McQueen at the cathedral organ, experience the beauty and emotion of this holiday tradition. A free-will offering will be taken to help defray the expenses. Refreshments will be served during intermission.

Morton Community Bank presents the 33rd annual Morton Community Christmas Sing tonight (Thursday) from 5:30 – 6:30 pm in their main branch (located at 721 W. Jackson St. in Morton). Enjoy cookies, coffee, and punch beginning at 5 pm. Dana Taufer will lead the group in caroling for the 33rd year and the John Phillips Oompah Band will provide musical accompaniment.

Enjoy the classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring Jimmy Stewart and dinner at the turn of the century Hick’ry Stick Ballroom (located at 118 E. Main Street in Elmwood) tonight (Thursday) beginning at 6 pm. Tickets are $16.95 for adults and $10.95 for kids and includes a dinner buffet of two entrees, two sides, salad, drinks plus dessert which is served during intermission. Dinner is served from 6 – 6:45 pm and the movie begins at 6:30 pm. To purchase advance tickets, call 309-742-8900. For more information, visit www.hickrystick.com/elmwoodevents

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! at the Barn 2 Dinner Theatre in Goodfield runs tonight (Thursday) through December 31st. On Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays, doors open at 6 pm, buffet is at 6:30 pm, and the show is at 8 pm. On Sundays, doors & the buffet open at noon, and the show is at 1:30 pm. Prices are $34 for Thursdays, $36 for Fridays and Sunday brunch and $38 for Saturdays. For more information, call 309-965-2545 or go to www.barn2.com

Jinglin’ Jazz at Luthy Botanical combines cool jazz tunes and the festive holiday setting of the Luthy Botanical Garden Conservatory and their candlelight pointsettia show plus a selection of delicious hors d’oeuvres and specialty wines to make a fun holiday evening. Beginning tonight (Thursday) at 6:30 pm, advance tickets are required. Admission is $25 in advance for Garden Members and $30 in advance for non-members and includes hors d’oeuvres. A cash bar will also be available. Call 309-681-3506 to purchase tickets over the phone.

Whisper & Shout at the Contemporary Art Center is an open mic for sharing and inspiring poetry tonight (Thursday) with doors opening at 7:30 pm and the show beginning at 8 pm. Admission is $4 for members or $7 for non-members.
Live at the Five Spot
at the Contemporary Art Center featuring Bill Porter begins at 5:30 pm on Friday. Admission is $7 for members, $10 for non-members, $6 for student & senior members and $9 for student & senior non-members.
Salsa at the Contemporary Art Center, also on Friday, will feature a dance lesson from 8:30 – 9:30 pm and open dancing from 9:30 pm – 12:30 am. A cash bar will be available. Admission is $3 for members or $6 for non-members. For more information, call 309-674-6877.

The 2011 Festival of Trees to benefit Crittenton Center will be held at Expo Gardens from 10 am – 8 pm on Friday and Saturday and from 10 am – 5 pm on Sunday. There will also be a kids PJ party with Santa from 5:30 – 8 pm on Saturday and a family lunch from 11 am – 1 pm on Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children & senior citizens and under 2 are free. For more information, call 309-674-0105.

The Spirit of Peoria Holiday Lunch Cruise on the Spirit of Peoria will board at Noon and cruise from 12:30 – 2:30 pm. Including a full buffet lunch, admission is $36 for adults, $18 for kids aged 4 – 12 and free for infants. The dinner cruise boards at 6:30 pm and cruises from 7 – 9 pm. Including a full buffet, admission for the dinner cruise is $40 for adults, $20 for ages 4-12 and free for infants.
Join Barry Cloyd and Brian “Fox” Ellis as Prairie Folklore Theatre celebrates the Spirit of the Holidays on the Spirit of Peoria with “A Celtic Christmas” connecting the ancient tales and songs of Old Ireland with today’s joyous Christmas Traditions. To make reservations (required), call 800-676-8988 or visit www.spiritofpeoria.com

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra will perform at the Peoria Civic Center Arena on Friday for performances at 4 pm & 8 pm. Tickets range in price from $28 to $56.50 and are on sale now at the Peoria Civic Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling 800-745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com

Folepi’s Winter Wonderland (located at VFW Post 2078 Park off Springfield Road in East Peoria) is open from 5 – 9 pm Sundays -Thursdays and from 5 – 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. Admission is $10 for cars and family vans, $20 for limos, extended vans, mini- or party-buses and RVs or $150 for full-size buses.

The Stocking Stuffer Holiday Store, where kids can do their holiday shopping with the help of a “personal shopper”, will be held at the Shoppes at Grand Prairie on Saturdays & Sundays (Dec. 3 – 18) from Noon – 8 pm on Saturdays and Noon- 5 pm on Sundays or at Northwoods Mall (Dec. 2 – 20) on Mondays – Fridays from 4 – 8 pm, Saturdays from 10 am – 8 pm and Sundays from Noon – 5 pm. Special times are available for groups with a reservation. To schedule a private shopping time or sign up for volunteering, call 309-674-0105. Proceeds benefit the Crisis Nursery.

The Central Illinois Artists Organization (CIAO) Holiday Open Studios Tour will take place from 5 – 9 pm on Friday & from 10 am – 5 pm on Saturday at 10 locations throughout downtown Peoria featuring 40 artists displaying painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, fiber, photography, woodcrafting and more. For location details and more information, visit www.ciaopeoria.com

The Annual Holiday Shop & Stroll takes place Friday from 6 – 8:30 pm at Forest Park Nature Center. This one-of-a-kind event has become a holiday tradition in central Illinois. Experience a nighttime stroll on a forest path lit with luminaries, live holiday music, storytelling and caroling, have a hot wassail and some homemade goodies, find unique nature-related artwork from the Nature Art Show & Sale and shop for eco-friendly, organic and Fair Trade items at the Trailhead Nature Store. Admission is free, however donations are requested.  For more information, call 309-686-3360.

Candlelight Walks at Luthy Botanical Gardens will take place on Fridays and Saturday evenings from 7 – 9 pm through December 23. Visit the Poinsettia Show at night, under the warm glow of hundreds of candles, while enjoying live performances of holiday music. Admission is free.

Friends in Harmony will present their 6th annual Christmas concert “Comin’ Up Christmas Time” at 7 pm on Friday and at 3 pm on Saturday in the Hackler Theater at Washington Intermediate School (located at 501 Washington St. in Pekin). All net proceeds will benefit local charities. Tickets for the concert are $10 and may be purchased from any group member or by calling 309-346-1896.

Grace Presbyterian Church will present “Portraits of Christmas” at the church (located at 8607 N. State Route 91 in Peoria) at 7 pm on Friday, at 4 pm on Saturday and at 4 pm on Sunday. The performances feature a 100 voice choir with a 50 piece orchestra with soloists and ensembles. Tickets are $10 per person and are available at the church office or by calling 309-589-6436.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will be presented by Eastlight Theatre beginning at 7:30 pm on Friday & Saturday and at 2 pm on Sunday in the East Peoria High School auditorium. Tickets are $17 per person and are available at the Eastlight Theatre Box Office, by calling 309-699-7469 or online at www.eastlighttheatre.com

Plaza Suite by Neil Simon will be presented by the Corn Stock Theatre Winter Playhouse at the Corn Stock Theatre Center beginning at 7:30 pm on Friday & Saturday and at 2:30 pm on Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and are available at the Corn Stock Box Office, by calling 309-676-2196 or online at www.cornstocktheatre.com

TazWood Dance Company will present Dance Expressions at the ICC Performing Arts Center at 7:30 pm on Friday & Saturday and at 2:30 pm on Sunday. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens and are available at the ICC Box Office or by calling 309-694-5136. For more information, visit www.artsaticc.com

Caroline Rhea will perform at the Jukebox Comedy Club on Friday & Saturday at 8 pm & 10:30 pm. Tickets are $26 or $25 with cash except the Friday 10:30 pm show which are $21 or $20 with cash. For more information, call 309-673-5853 or visit www.jukeboxcomedy.com

Breakfast with Santa will take place at the Peoria Glen Oak Zoo from 9 – 11 am. There will be a light breakfast and crafts with Santa in the Zoo lodge. Then beginning at 9:30 am, the animals from meerkats to lions and tigers will receive special treats throughout the day. Admission is $5 for Zoo members and $10 for non-members. For more information, call 309-686-3365.

Experience World War II history at Sommer Park (located at 6329 N. Koerner Road in Edwards) during Christmas on the Ghost Front on Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm. Cost is $5 per vehicle. Come join World War II veterans, historians and re-enactors as the days leading up to the Battle of the Bulge are recreated at the Pioneer Homestead. Demonstrations will include soldier life, military vehicles, POW interrogation and a first aid station.

The Jingle Bell Run/Walk will begin on Saturday at 10 am from the RiverPlex located on the Peoria Riverfront with approximately 1,500 participants, volunteers, and spectators. For more information or to register yourself or a team visit www.jinglebellpeoria.com, call 309-682-6600.

The Peoria Humane Society is hosting a Howliday Boutique and Open House of Peoria County’s animal shelter on Saturday from 11 am – 3 pm. Visitors can shop for gifts for their pets, tour the shelter, and enter to win prizes. Donations for the shelter are also appreciated. For more information, call 309-682-9015 or visit www.peoriahs.org

Enjoy a Victorian Christmas Celebration hosted by the Junior League of Peoria with a tea at the Ballance-Herschel House (located at 256 NE. Randolph Ave. in Peoria) at either 11 am or 2 pm on Saturday. Admission is $18 per person. This historic home will be decorated for the holidays in an 1800′s setting. In addition, there will be vendors located upstairs for a holiday marketplace. Reservations are required: call 309-685-9312.

The Peoria Rivermen take on the Milwaukee Admirals in the Peoria Civic Center Arena beginning at 7 pm on Saturday.
The Rivermen also face the Rockford Ice Hogs on Sunday at 5 pm. Tickets are $12.50, $17.50, $20, $22.50, $25 and $27.50 and are available at the Peoria Civic Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com

Mike Epps & Friends will be live at the Peoria Civic Center Theater on Saturday beginning at 8 pm. Tickets are $41 and $46 and are available at the Peoria Civic Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com

The Wonders of Christmas with the Peoria Pops Orchestra will take place beginning at 1:30 pm on Sunday at Five Points Washington (located at 360 N. Wilmor Rd in Washington). Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens aged 62+ and youth aged 17 & under. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more: call 309-444-8222 for more information or to purchase tickets or visit fivepointswashington.org

The Orpheus Club Winter Concert will be held on Sunday at the United Presbyterian Church (located at 2400 W Northmoor Road in Peoria) including Christmas carols, songs and old-time favorites sung by an all male four-part harmony chorus beginning at 3 pm. Tickets are $5 and are available at the door.

Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles will be performed at the at US Cellular Coliseum beginning at 6 pm on Sunday. Tickets are $55, $42.50 and $29.50 and are available online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 800-745-3000, in person at U.S. Cellular Coliseum Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets.