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Illinois Country Living

Previous Datebook Months: October 2008November 2008

Christmas Ornament

6-7, Christmas Trees at Dr. Wright’s House in Altamont. Walk through the 18-room historic Dr. Charles M. Wright house and view a Christmas tree in each room. Trees provided by Altamont Chamber of Commerce businesses. Musicians and choirs sharing Christmas music enhance the holiday setting. The 1889 home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 1-4 p.m. Adults $6, students $1. 618-483-6397 or

December 2008

1, Christmas in the Heart of Charleston at the Historic Downtown Charleston Courthouse Square. A celebration of the old-fashioned Christmas on Charleston’s historic downtown square. Holiday parade, carriage rides, live reindeer, refreshments, entertainment and Santa! 217-348-0430 or

5, Come Home for Christmas Holiday Celebration in Downtown Clinton. Events include a free wine and cheese sampling, extended shopping hours, free carriage rides, holiday carolers and more! 217-935-3364.

5, 12 and 19, Holly Jolly Jasper County Christmas on the square in Newton. A Christmas celebration to honor Jasper County-born Burl Ives. Shops will stay open later, Santa and characters from the cartoon “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” will visit with families on the square Friday nights during the celebration. Entertainment provided by local churches and clubs, horse and buggy rides, free weekly giveaways and more.

5-6, Star Light, Star Bright; Stockton Christmas Walk in Stockton. Themed decorations, Christmas tree lighting on Friday night, caroling, bell ringers, horse-drawn wagon rides, a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, refreshments and shopping specials. 815-947-2878 or

5-6, The 12th Annual Taking Tea in Taylorville. This event is noted for its opulent table settings and delicious sweets! Each guest will enjoy the lavish menu that evokes tearoom recipes from around the world, as well as a glittery vintage fashion show, collectible event cookbook and door prizes. Call for ticket prices and reservations. 217-824-9447.

5-6, Glaze and Graze workshop at the Artists’ Annex and The Great Galena Cookery in Galena. A two-evening workshop glazing a dinnerware set, preparing a gourmet meal and dining on your newly created dishes. The theme is Holiday Appetizer Buffet. Reservations required. 815-777-0354, 815-777-1556 or

5-6, Christmas in Virginia. Friday: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Activities Friday – indoor craft and food vendors, musical entertainment, a cookie walk, a silent auction and more. Activities Saturday – children can make ornaments in the library and enjoy the Santa parade to Log Cabins at 9:45 a.m. 217-452-7786 or

5-6, Christmas Drive Thru 2008 in Effingham. 6 – 9 p.m. The “Drive Thru” will depict the life of Christ from His birth to His resurrection and concluding with an Angel Choir. There will be five scenes, one of which will include a Live Nativity. Free.

5-7, Annual Christmas Market in Downtown Carlinville. Central Illinois’ most festive holiday celebration features fine arts and crafts, entertainment, shopping and more. Make your way through the large tents with artisans and food vendors. Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride, tours of historic sites and more! Trolley available. 217-854-3552 or

5-31, East Peoria Festival of Lights. One of the largest lighted nighttime festivals in the nation. 309-698-5437 or

6, Christmas Walk and Tour of Homes in Mt. Carroll. Merchants ring in the festive holiday season. Enjoy pictures with Santa, stories with Father Christmas, caroling, horse-drawn wagon rides, refreshments, special Christmas sales, lunch at Campbell Center and a grand tour of Homes., 815-244-CALL (2255) or

6, Alton Symphony Orchestra - Holiday Concert at Lewis & Clark Community College in Godfrey. A treat you won’t want to miss. The concert will feature an array of holiday season favorites, featuring pianist Lewis Black. 618-467-2326.

6, The 27th Annual Mistletoe Ball: A Victorian Dinner and Dance at Turner Hall in Galena. A resplendent holiday feast and dancing to an 11-piece orchestra. Period dress and holiday attire both appropriate. 815-777-9129 or

6, Holiday House Walk in Galena. Tour five privately owned homes beautifully decorated for the holiday season. Tickets available at the Property Owners’ Club. Light Holiday refreshments. Raffle. 815-777-2000 or

6, Red Hill Winter Craft Show at the Lawrence County 4-H Center in Sumner. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. More than 70 crafters will show their creations and home cooked food will be available. 618-943-5018 or

6, Andover Christmas Walk. Andover Lake Park will glow with decorations. Stroll on walkways marked by luminaries or ride in a horse-drawn wagon. See Santa and have a barbecue supper at the American Legion Building with carolers singing. Visit candle-lit Jenny Lind Chapel. 309-476-8228.

6-7, Chocolate Weekend in Downtown Sycamore. Spend a nostalgic weekend holiday shopping through the quaint shops in downtown Sycamore. Enjoy complimentary chocolate and other holiday specialties courtesy of Discover Sycamore. Come experience Sycamore and find out how sweet a small town can be. 815-895-3456 or

18-21, Snowbiz: A Cool Yule at Turner Hall in Galena. A spectacular Christmas variety show. A veritable parade of Kringleistas with incredible vocals and an outstanding six-piece orchestra. Fried Green Tomatoes caters this fun-filled event with reserved table seating on the main floor and general admission in the balcony. Reservations required. 815-777-3938 or

20, Christmas at the Mansions in Bloomington/Normal. 4 – 9 p.m. An evening tour of three historic houses; the Vrooman Mansion, the Broadview Mansion (Immanuel Bible Foundation) and the David Davis Mansion. An exciting addition to the tour this year will be a “mystery mansion,” with historic ties to the community. 309-828-1084.

21, Reindeer Encounters at Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington. 2 p.m. Come visit “Rika” and “Ealu“ - Miller Park Zoo’s reindeer. They will be available for visitors to see all through their favorite holiday season, Christmas.


To be considered for inclusion, please submit events in the format used above. Preference is given to events sponsored by non-profit entities. Submitting an event is not a guarantee of publication. Photos are welcome, but will not be returned unless a self-addressed and stamped envelope is provided. Events are subject to change, so please contact the event sponsor for confirmation.

Deadlines: October 15 for January Events, November 15 for February Events

Mail to: Illinois Datebook, PO Box 3787, Springfield, IL 62708

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