Weekend Planner: Most Wonderful Time of the Year Edition

Have last-minute shopping to do? Or maybe you want to take a break and enjoy some holiday fun with the family. This may be the weekend you head out to check out the lights, perhaps even a special lighting ceremony at Urbana’s Candlestick Lane. Or a holiday chemistry show. Remember, this is the last weekend of the Holiday Market at Lincoln Square. Can’t find what you want? We have plenty more events listed over at our December Holiday Guide, including a live nativity, crafts, and much more. 

What: Merry & Bright Flashlight Candy Cane Hunt

Candy cane hunt Champaign Park district

Hunt for candy canes this weekend with the Champaign Park District, or enjoy one of the many Christmas events in Champaign-Urbana – many are free! Photo by Bunches and Bits on Flickr

When: Friday, Dec. 14, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Prairie Farm, 2202 W. Kirby, Champaign
How much: Free
Appropriate for: 3-10
Why you should go: Santa hid candy canes all over his reindeer’s favorite Park District place – Prairie Farm! So bundle up, grab your flashlights, and come on out to the farm to help us find them! We even hear that some rare and special candy canes have been sighted on the farm – and you’ll get prizes if you find them! Plus you’ll get to meet Santa himself and you’ll stay warm with as much hot chocolate as you can drink!

What: Elf on the Shelf Storytime at Barnes and Noble
Where: 65 E Marketview Dr., Champaign

Saturday, Dec. 15, 10:30 a.m.
How Much: Free
Appropriate For: anyone who loves Elf on the Shelf
Why You Should Go: Get in the holiday spirit with Barnes & Noble’s Story time & Adopt-an-Elf event for Crisis Nursery. The event will kick off with a reading of The Elf on the Shelf – A Christmas Tradition. There will be activities and holiday treats as well, and Crisis Nursery staff will be available to answer questions. The Elf on a Shelf Story time and Adopt-an-Elf event is free and open to the public.

What: Candlestick Lane Opening Ceremony
Where: Grant Place in Southeast Urbana
When: 6 PM  Saturday Dec. 15
How much: Free
Appropriate for: All ages
Why you should go: For many years, the decorated street of Grant Place in Southeast Urbana has been known as Candlestick Lane (see article from several years back). The annual lighting ceremony will take place at 6:00 p.m. The street will be closed off; parking is often difficult (Cottage Grove and Patton are good places to look for a spot). Candlestick Lane will be lit every evening from 5 to 10 p.m. through Christmas. Drive cautiously and turn off headlights to get the most enjoyment from the lights.

What: 2012 Holiday Magic Show Chemistry Demonstration
When: Sunday, Dec. 16; 2 p.m.
Where: 100 Noyes Lab, 505 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana.
How much: Free
Appropriate for: 3 and up
Why you should go: Here’s a refreshing take on the holidays — the magic behind it all! See demonstrations that cannot be done in a regular school classroom.  After the show, university science students will be outside the lecture hall to serve cookies and just visit with the kids. Free; seating is limited, so come early. Sponsored by School of Chemical Sciences and others.

What: UFLive! presents the New Orleans Jazz Machine 
2 -3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16
Urbana Free Library
How Much:
Appropriate For: 
all ages
Why You Should Go: 
Want to take a break from the holiday hoopla? Want to take a trip to New Orleans without leaving Champaign? Spend Sunday afternoon with the amazing local Dixieland sextet, the New Orleans Jazz Machine, led by clarinetist Carl Johnson. Your spirits will be lifted and your toes will be tapping as you listen to NOJM’s swinging New Orleans-style jazz. A perennial favorite!

Weekend Planner features only a few of the wonderful events happening in our area. For a full list, please visit our Events Calendar.

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