Champaign County, Ill. (WCIA)

It’s true when they say the holiday season starts immediately after Halloween! Our November calendar is set with activities and events to get us ready for the holidays, whether or not you’re ready for it! Visit Champaign County has the roundup.

Local Arts & Crafts Shopping
November is full of fairs to get you shopping local, supporting our artists and makers. One of the first stops you can hit is the Winter Farmers Market which kicks off this Saturday at Lincoln Square Mall. You’ll still be able to pick up seasonal ingredients from our area farmers plus plenty of gift items to start your holiday shopping. More opportunities open up every weekend this month with the 39th Annual Art Fair from the CU Craft League, November 12–13 at Savoy Rec Center with dozens of local artists with everything from pottery to jewelry to paintings! The following weekend, November 19–20, the massive Gifford Community Christmas Craft Show returns to Gordyville with everything you could possibly need. We’re also very excited to see the Christmas Market, a traditional German Market, return to Riggs Beer Company every weekend following Thanksgiving.

Holiday-Themed Events
Start in Arthur for their Christmas Open Houses happening November 11–12. Visit the many downtown businesses to start your holiday shopping. The Junior League of Champaign-Urbana is thrilled to bring back their Festival of Trees, November 19–20, at the Hilton Garden Inn. You can get inspired by the many trees and wreaths they’ll have on site which you can also bid on to take home. They’ll also have storytime with Santa & Mrs. Claus as well as photo opportunities. Finally, the big Parade of Lights returns to downtown Champaign on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Before the parade steps off at 6pm, you can enjoy a carriage ride around downtown and get pictures with Santa. Stay for the parade and the tree lighting at One Main Plaza!

Staying Active
If you’re at all like me, you enjoy a Christmas cookie or two this time of year so getting so exercise in is always a good thing this time of year. The Urbana Park District brings back their popular 55th Annual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. Head out to Crystal Lake Park for a one-mile run or walk before you settle in for turkey later in the day. Alternatively, head to Lake of the Woods for their Turkey Trot as a 5K or 1-mile fun run. The Champaign Park District opens their lighted walk at Prairie Farm Thanksgiving weekend. You can take part in Winter Nights at Prairie Farm every Thursday–Sunday from Thanksgiving through the end of the year with an accessible light display. Bring your own cocoa as you wander the area.

If you’re not in the holiday mood, there’s still plenty going on. With Illini Basketball back in action, you can get decked out in your orange & blue to cheer on our ranked team, and still support our bowl-eligible Football team.