CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — The Christmas season is about to jump in, and Central Illinois is ready with various holiday events.
Here are some ideas on how to celebrate the season this weekend.
Meet Santa Claus
Nov. 26, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. | 201 Lincoln Square, Urbana
Visit Santa Claus and the giant tree at Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana.
Mattoon Holiday Artisan Market
Nov. 26, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Cross County Mall, 700 Broadway Avenue, Mattoon
The Mattoon Arts Council has great news for local artisans and holiday event shoppers. The annual holiday artisan market kicks off this Saturday at the Cross County Mall with longer hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. This growing event hosts over 50 local artisans with plenty of great Christmas gift ideas. Shoppers can expect to explore hand-made items and support local artists in a festive way.
Small Business Saturday: Sip & Stroll
Nov. 26, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Downtown Tuscola
A group of boutiques, home décor and local businesses are gathering together for the first Tuscola Small Business Saturday Sip and Stroll. Shoppers can stop by any participating business to pick up a passport. By collecting stamps at the stores, shoppers will have the opportunity to receive a prize of $50 or more at their final stop.
This year’s participating businesses include Downtown Design Studio, Shimmer and Sheek Boutique, Rally Point, Rainbows and Sunshine Boutique, Travel Simple 4 You and Savmor. Sip and Stroll call to “shop small, shop local and help support our local community.”
Meet Cocoa Santa
Nov. 26, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. | The Salvation Army, 229 West Main Street, Decatur
Kids can meet and greet with Santa this Saturday at The Salvation Army in Decatur. The first 250 children to visit Santa will receive a free cocoa cupcake from SugaFix Bakery.
Holiday Goat Photo Booth
Nov. 26, 1 – 4 p.m. | Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, 4410 N Lincoln Avenue, Champaign
Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery will host a Santa goat photo booth this Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. There will also be a local holiday shopping event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the farm. Treats of the day include gelato, goat milk, hot cocoa, hot cider, wine, beer, cheese boards and cheese spinach strata.
“Island of Misfit Toys” Champaign Center Parade of Lights
Nov. 26, 6 p.m. | Downtown Champaign
One of the biggest holiday events of the season is coming back to downtown Champaign, this Saturday. The Parade of Lights will feature lighted floats, marching bands, and live entertainment. Pre-parade programming begin at 3:00 p.m., including visits with Santa, horse and carriage rides and music.
Music @ the Library
Nov. 27, 2 – 3 p.m. | Mahomet Public Library, 1702 East Oak Street, Mahomet
A festive performance by the Mahomet-Seymour High School Madrigals kicks off the holiday season.
Twinkling Lights and Hot Cocoa
Nov. 27, 5 – 6:30 p.m. | Prairie Farm, 2202 West Kirby Avenue, Champaign
Prairie Farm will light up its holiday lights this Sunday night with a special evening of family-friendly fun and free cocoa. While strolling the twinkling lights, visitors can enjoy music from the student ensemble The Next Generation Singers. Multi-instrumentalist Benji Plays Harp will play holiday favorites and wintery tunes under the covered porch at Prairie Farm.
Knit at Night
Nov. 27, 5 – 7 p.m. | The Literary, 122 North Neil Street, Champaign
If you are bored with knitting at home alone, Knit at Night at the Literary is a place to go this Sunday. Knitters can pack their needles and join fellow knitters to enjoy the cozy space. All experience levels are welcome.
Lighting Up Paxton
Nov. 27, 5 p.m. | 332 West Patton Street, Paxton
The Johnson Family in Paxton is bringing their Christmas gift back to the community. The famous holiday lights display will illuminate Paxton on Sunday night for the first time since 2019. The family expects to have the lights on nightly from 5 – 10 p.m., Sunday to Thursday and 5 – 11 p,m., Friday to Saturday. They said the most loved songs from previous years will be included in this year’s show and there is more surprise coming along.