Click HERE to Register to Win a Holiday Gift Package from Echo Valley Meats worth $199.95, 4 Tickets to a Peoria Rivermen Game or 2 Tickets to An American Family Christmas by Peoria Area Civic Chorale!

Elf Jr. will be presented by Community Children’s Theatre at Peoria Players Theatre (located at 4300 N. University St. in Peoria) tonight (Thursday) – Saturday at 7 pm and on Saturday & Sunday at 1:30 pm. With a cast of over 60 students aged 8-18 from the Peoria area, this musical based on the classic movie tells the story of Buddy the Elf who brings his love of Christmas to all he encounters. Tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for senior citizens and kids ages 12 and under and are available at Peoria Park District’s Noble Center (located in Lakeview Park) or online at www.cctpeoria.org/tickets

Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat continues at Eastlight Theatre in the East Peoria High School Auditorium beginning at 7:30 pm tonight (Thursday), Friday & Saturday and at 2 pm on Sunday. The 27th annual production of the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice tells the story of Joseph and his eleven brothers, tickets are $20 and are available online at www.eastlighttheatre.com

Gifts of the Magi continues as part of Corn Stock Theatre’s Winter Season (Iocated in upper Bradley Park) beginning at 7:30 pm tonight (Thursday), Friday and Saturday and at 2:30 pm on Sunday. A musical based on a famous Christmas story by O. Henry and partially based on his other work entitled The Cop and the Anthem, it’s the story of Jim and Della Dillingham, an out of work and penniless couple trying to survive in New York City in 1905. The perfect family show for the Christmas season illustrating the consequences and significance of the act of giving, tickets are $20 for adults & $14 for students through high school and are available at the Corn Stock box office, by calling 309-676-2196 or online at www.CornStockTheatre.com

The 34th Annual Stocking Stuffer Store is currently running at Northwoods Mall & the Shoppes at Grand Prairie through December 17 where children ages 12 and under can shop (with the assistance of a volunteer) for holiday presents for parents, grandparents, siblings while parents relax in a seating area located outside the store. Gifts range from $1 – $15. Locations & hours are: Thursdays and Fridays from 4 – 8 pm, Saturdays from 10 am – 8 pm and Sundays from noon – 5 pm at Northwoods Mall and Saturdays & Sundays from noon – 5 pm at the Shoppes at Grand Prairie. All proceeds benefit Crittenton Centers. For more information, call 309-674-0105 or visit www.crittentoncenters.org

A Health Career Exploration Fair will take place at Illinois Central College’s Peoria campus (located at 5407 N. University Street in Peoria) tonight (Thursday) from 5:30 – 8:30 pm. Learn about two-year or four-year degree and beyond, discover career opportunities in the local healthcare industry and tour ICC’s new state-of-the-art digital and interdisciplinary simulation and skills labs. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.icc.edu

Winterfest featuring ice skating outside continues on the corner of Fulton St and Jefferson Ave. (adjacent to the Peoria Civic Center).  Admission is $10 with skate rental, $8 with your own skates, $5 for children 3 and under. For full details including hours and other special promotions, visit www.pncwinterfest.com

A Nature Art Show and Sale Open House continues at Forest Park Nature Center (located at 5809 N Forest Park Dr. in Peoria Heights) through New Year’s Eve weekdays and Saturdays from 9 am – 5 pm and Sundays from 1 – 5 pm (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day). Featuring a variety of media and unique artwork all created by local artists, items include original nature-related photographs, paintings, woodcarvings, handmade jewelry and more. For more information, visit www.peoriaparks.org

Folepi’s Winter Wonderland continues through New Year’s Eve at the VFW Post 2078 Park off Springfield Road (located at 123 Par 3 Lane in East Peoria). The drive-through electric park is the Festival of Lights’ signature event featuring the majority of the Parade of Lights floats and many other lighted displays. Hours are 5 – 9 pm Sundays through Thursdays and 5 – 11 pm on Fridays & Saturdays. Cost is $10 for all vehicles excepts full size buses, which are $150. For more information, visit www.folepi.org

The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged) will be performed in The Broadway Lounge at The Waterhouse (located at 316 SW Washington St. in Peoria) tonight (Thursday), Friday & Saturday with a dinner buffet beginning at 6:30 pm and show at 7:30 pm. Featuring festive, funny, physical, family fun as Three Wise Guys perform a variety show and Christmas pageant by themselves, dinner and the show is $40 for adults. For tickets and information, visit www.broadwaypeoria.com

The Central Illinois Herpetological Society will meet at Forest Park Nature Center (located at 5809 N Forest Park Dr. in Peoria Heights) tonight (Thursday) at 7 pm featuring a speaker, raffles, announcements of trips and exhibits and opportunities for hobbyists to interact with one another. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.centralillinoisherp.com

Josh Wolf will perform at Jukebox Comedy Club (located at 3527 W Farmington Rd. in Peoria) tonight (Thursday) for $15 at 8 pm and Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm and 9:45 pm for $20. For tickets, call 309-673-5853 or visit www.jukeboxcomedy.com

Whisper & Shout will take place at the Contemporary Art Center tonight (Thursday) beginning at 8 pm. An open mic for sharing and inspiring poetry, admission is $4 for members or $8 for non-members.
Live at the Five Spot at the Contemporary Art Center will feature Bill Porter’s Time Machine on Friday from 5:30 – 8:30 pm. Admission is $8 for members, $12 for non-members, $7 for student & senior members and $11 for student & senior non-members. . For more information, call 309-674-6822 or visit www.peoriacac.org

Santa’s Wildlife Express will take place at Wildlife Prairie Park (located at 3826 N Taylor Rd. in Hanna City) Friday 4 – 8 pm, Saturday 2 – 8 pm and Sunday 2 – 7 pm. Ride the train through the decorated woods, enjoy a night with Santa and Mrs. Claus, decorate a holiday cookie to take home, watch the animals open their gifts, create holiday crafts and games or enjoy a snack, hot chocolate or a full meal. Cost is $11 for members and $13 for the public and reservations are required. To make reservations, call 309-676-0998 or visit www.wildlifeprairiepark.org

A Garden Christmas Party will be held at Luthy Botanical Garden (located at 2520 N Prospect Rd. in Peoria) on Friday and Saturday from 5 – 7:30 pm. Featuring the main poinsettia display, music, prizes, the Hall of Christmas trees, s’mores, a lighted fairy garden and more, admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children. For more information, visit www.peoriaparks.org

A Night in Bethlehem will take place at the Chillicothe Christian Church (located at 510 W. Frances St. in Chillicothe) on Friday from 5 – 8 pm. Experience entering the ancient city of Bethlehem, being counted in the census, exploring the Marketplace, taste authentic foods, make crafts and “visit” with Joseph & Mary as they hold their newborn baby. Admission is free, although non-perishable food items will be collected to donate to the local food pantry. For more information, visit www.chillicothechristian.net

Yuletide Homicide, a murder mystery dinner, will take place at Mackinaw Valley Vineyard (located at 33633 State Route 9 in Mackinaw) on Friday beginning at 5:30 pm with a wine tasting and cast mingle. Admission is $45 and includes 3 complimentary wine samples per guest plus a buffet dinner served after the first act. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 309-359-9463. For more information, visit www.mackinawvalleyvineyard.com

Howlin’ on Water Dueling Pianos will take place in the Broadway Lounge at the MAXAM Building (located at the corners of Liberty and Washington in Downtown Peoria) on Friday & Saturday with dinner seating beginning at 6 pm. Admission for the dinner & show is $40 per person. For information or reservations, call 309-494-9100 or visit www.broadwaypeoria.com

Experience a nighttime stroll on a forest path lit with luminaries at the Holiday Shop and Stroll at Forest Park Nature Center (located at 5809 N Forest Park Dr. in Peoria Heights) on Friday & Saturday from 6 – 8:30 pm. Featuring live holiday music, storytelling, caroling, wassail, goodies and more, admission is free however donations are appreciated. For more information, visit www.peoriaparks.org

The POPS Orchestra Christmas Concert will take place at Five Points Washington (located at 360 N. Wilmor Rd. in Washington) on Friday beginning at 7 pm. Enjoy classic Christmas favorites with guest soloists Nichole Fauser and Austin Shaw. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and $8 for students and groups of 10 or more and are available at www.fivepointswashington.org

The Peoria Rivermen will take on the Huntsville Havoc at the Peoria Civic Center Arena on Friday & Saturday beginning at 7:15 pm. Tickets are $18 and $21 for lower bowl tickets and $11 and $13 for upper bowl tickets in advance or $1 more the day of the game and are on sale now at the Peoria Civic Center, all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at 309-676-1040 or online at http://ticketmaster.com

The Santa Cause 5K will begin and end at the Limelight Eventplex (located at 8102 N University St. in Peoria) on Saturday at 8 am. Proceeds benefit Neighborhood House. Registration is $40 for a standard sized Santa suit, $35 for a kids sized suit and $50 for a plus-sized suit and also includes a souvenir finisher ornament, a sponsor swag bag, on-site Christmas goodies and 1 free beer. The Kids 1 Mile Reindeer run is $20. For more details and to register, visit www.peoria.org/santa5k

The 11th Annual Midwest Open Indoor Archery Tournament will take place at the Peoria Civic Center Exhibit Hall on Saturday from 8 am – 5 pm. Admission is free for spectators. For more information, click HERE

The 10th Annual Santa Train will take place  on Saturday featuring Santa Claus who will make six stops along the railroad line to visit children, provide railroad safety demonstrations and to confirm their Christmas lists. Admission is free. The schedule includes Mapleton at Mapleton Road – 8:30 am arrival, Glasford at Oak Street (near City park) – 9:35 am arrival, Breeds at Co. Road 23 – 11:20 am arrival, Canton at 2nd Avenue (near former TP&W Railroad Office) – 1:30 pm arrival, Cuba at 3rd Street – 3:45 pm arrival and Smithfield at Main and Front Street – 5:15 pm arrival. Santa will arrive at each location by train and will visit with the children aboard his holiday caboose. For more information, visit www.pioneer-railcorp.com

The Gifting Hope Market will take place at Life Together Center (located at 3625 N. Sheridan Rd. in Peoria) on Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm. An alternative of gifting, you can select from 25 nonprofit organizations where the item/gift you purchase is given in honor of a loved one. Instead of purchasing a tangible gift, their donation will be used to fund a specific need of the nonprofit such as a week’s worth of food for a family living in a shelter. Upon purchase of the gift, the recipient will receive a card describing the gift and charity to which it was given signed by the shopper. For more information, call 309-691-6322.

Experience a bit of Old World Christmas Magic at the 8th Annual Kristkindlmarkt which will take place at the Lindenhof (located at 7601 N. Harker Drive in Peoria) from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday and from 11 am to 5 pm on Sunday. Featuring over 25 area vendors offering a variety of arts and crafts perfect for Holiday gift giving as well as baked goods plus imported items from Germany and Austria and a visit from Kristkindl (Santa Claus). Hosted by the Harmonie-Concordia Singers of the Peoria German-American Society, there will be live entertainment plus food available typical of the Kristkindlmarkts such as bratwurst, weinerschnitzel, homemade strudel, glühwein, hot chocolate, Bavarian pretzels, and German beer. For more information, visit www.peoriagermans.com

Christmas on the Ghost Front will take place at Sommer Park (located at 6329 N. Koerner Rd. in Edwards) on Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm. See how American and German soldiers lived on the Belgium front during a cold December in 1944. Admission is free. For more information, visit http://centralilww2.com

The 2nd Annual Outdoor Holiday Market will take place at One World (located at 1245 W Main St. in Peoria) on Saturday from 10 am – 6 pm. Inspired by outdoor European holiday markets, you’ll find mulled wine, hot spiced cider, and hot chocolate and handmade holiday gifts and art from local artists.

A Holiday Porch Pot Demonstration will take place at Green View Garden Center (located at 2700 W Cedar Hills Dr. in Dunlap) on Saturday from 10 am -11:30 am. Watch the demonstration and create your own porch pot using supplies provided by the garden center. Cost for materials used in creating a porch pot will vary based upon materials. For more information, call 309-243-7761.

A Holiday Lunch Show Cruise will take place on the Spirit of Peoria from Noon – 2:30 pm on Saturday featuring Barry Cloyd and Brian “Fox” Ellis from Prairie Folklore Theatre. Tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for children 4 – 15.  Reservations are required.  To reserve your spot and for more information, call 309-637-8000 or visit www.spiritofpeoria.com
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Lightwire Theater: A Very Electric Christmas will be presented at the ICC Performing Arts Center (located at 1 College Drive in East Peoria) on Saturday beginning at 1 pm and 4 pm. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students and are available at the ICC box office, by calling 309-694-5136 or online at www.artsaticc.com

The Peoria Ballet will present the Nutcracker Ballet at the Peoria Civic Center Theater at 2 pm and 7:30 pm on Saturday and at 2 pm on Sunday. Featuring a live performance of the classic music by the Heartland Festival Orchestra, tickets range from $9 – $39 and are available at the box office by calling 800-745-3000 or online at http://ticketmaster.com  For more information, call 309-690-7990 or visit www.peoriaballet.org

This Christmastide: A Service of Lessons & Carols will take place at the First United Methodist Church of Peoria (located at 116 NE Perry Ave. in Peoria at 6 pm on Saturday (Spanish translation available) and at 11 am on Sunday. Celebrate the Christmas Season with the Sanctuary Choir, the Bells of Praise, the Festival Orchestra and a host of readers. Admission is free. For more information, call 309-673-3641 or visit www.MusicatFirst.com

The 8th Annual Apollo Christmas Carol Songfest will take place at the Apollo Theatre (located at 311 Main St. in Peoria) on Saturday beginning at 6:30 pm. Live music performed by Edith Barnard and Wes Sedrel will precede a showing of Jimmy Stewart’s “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Admission is $5 and includes holiday treats. For more information, call 309-673-4343.

Enjoy Live Music at the Rhythm Kitchen (located at 305 SW Water Street in Peoria) on Friday and Saturday night beginning at 7 pm. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.rhythmkitchenmusiccafe.biz

An Open House for the exhibit, “Journey through Advent with Rolan Johnson” will take place at First United Methodist Church (located at 116 NE Perry Ave. in Peoria) on Saturday beginning at 7:30 pm. Featuring a collection of mosaic prints by the celebrated Peoria printer, Rolan Johnson, the prints were created with a silk-screen process of forcing paint through cut out parts of a stencil on a fabric screen onto the paper, hot cider and cookies will be provided. Admission is free. The exhibit continues through the end of December. For more information, call 309-673-3641 ext 130 or visit www.fumcpeoria.org/fostergallery

GWAR will perform its the Blood Of Gods Tour Limelight Eventplex (located at 8102 N University St. in Peoria) on Saturday beginning at 8 pm. Advanced general admission tickets are $20 and $25 for Party Pit tickets and are available at www.limelighteventplex.com

Breakfast with Santa will take place at Wildlife Prairie Park on Sunday from 10 am – 1 pm. Featuring a buffet breakfast brunch, the cost is $14.95 for adults, $9.95 for children ages 3-12 and free for ages 2 and under and includes admission for the day. Reservations may be made by calling 309-676-0998 ext. 200. For more information, visit www.wildlifeprairiepark.org

The Annual Peoria Sing-It-Yourself Messiah will take place at First Federated Church (located at 3601 N Sheridan Rd. in Peoria) on Sunday beginning at 2:30 pm. Dr. John Jost of Bradley University returns to conduct the full orchestra as well as the soloists and choir. Admission is free and no vocal experience necessary. For more information, visit www.ffcpeoria.com

What the Dickens will be performed by Doug Day at the Grand Army of the Republic Hall (located at 416 Hamilton Blvd. in downtown Peoria) on Sunday at 3 pm. Actor Doug Day will read selected portions of the novel, accompanied by Charles Killen, Jeff Sloter, Keri Rae, Cheri Beever and Charles Brown with a high tea served during intermission with recorder music. A fundraiser for the GAR Hall, donations will be accepted at the door. For more information, call 309-694-1767.

The Harlem Globetrotters will take on the Washington Generals at the Peoria Civic Center Arena on Sunday beginning at 3 pm. Tickets range from $15 to $93 and are available at the Peoria Civic Center, by calling 800-745-3000 or online at http://ticketmaster.com

An Old Time Folk and Country Jam will take place at Forest Park Nature Center (located at 5809 N Forest Park Dr. in Peoria Heights) on Sunday from 3:30 – 5:00 pm. Bring your guitar, fiddle, banjo or other acoustic instrument for a jam session.  Admission is free, however donations are requested. For more information, visit www.peoriaparks.org

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols will be presented at Westminster Presbyterian Church (located at 1420 W. Moss Ave. in Peoria) on Sunday beginning at 4 pm. Admission is free: a goodwill offering will be collected. For more information, call 309-673-8501.

The Prairie Wind Ensemble Winter Concert will be performed at Five Points Washington (located at 360 N. Wilmor Rd. in Washington) on Sunday beginning at 4 pm. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students and senior citizens and free for kids aged 12 & under and are available at the door. For more information, visit www.prairiewindensemble.com

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