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Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016 01:31 pm

Winter FUNderland

Celebrate the chilly months ahead with fun events, picked just for kids

Memorial Medical Center’s annual Festival of Trees features more than 200 artistically decorated trees and wreaths plus live entertainment, a Little Elves’ Workshop, visits with Santa and more. Festival of Trees runs Nov 19-27 in the Orr Bui


Woodhaven Hospice Festival of Trees
Nov 18-20, 5-8pm Fri, 9am-1pm Sat, 12-2:30pm Sun. Decorated trees, designer wreaths and swags, centerpieces, food and baked goods, music, entertainment, kids craft corner, more. $4 adults, $2 students, $1 ages 6 and under. Masonic Temple, 345 West College, Jacksonville, 243-5678.

Annual Cookie Walk and Craft Sale
Nov 19, 8am-3pm. Homemade cookies and candies along with fine art and handcrafted items. Free. Springfield Ceramics and Crafts Club, 2626 S. Pasfield St.

Memorial’s Festival of Trees
Nov 19-27, 10am-8pm Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm Sun. Open 4-8pm Thanksgiving Day. More than 200 artistically decorated trees and wreaths plus hand-crafted Gingerbread Village, Little Elves’ Workshop craft area, Santa, entertainment, more. $5 adults, $3 ages 3-12, free to ages 2 and under. 788-4301. Orr Building, Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 Sangamon Ave., 725-8047.

Remarkable Raptors Family Event
Nov 19, 11am-3pm. Educational games, activities and crafts for children in celebration of birds of prey. Live bird programs at 11:30am and 1:30pm. $5 adults, free to museum members and others. Illinois State Museum, 502 S. Spring St., 782-7386.

An American Ice Princess and Her Doll
Nov 20, 12-2pm. Fall skating event and tea party featuring tea, hot chocolate and elegant desserts. $15. Nelson Center Ice Arena, Lincoln Park, 1601 N. Fifth St., 525-2589.

The Legacy Theatre will host four Polar Express Pajama Parties Nov 25-27. The parties include a screening of The Polar Express, crafts and cocoa plus a special North Pole visitor.

Nature Buddies
Nov 20, 2pm. Children of all ages and their families spend time outside making a nature-themed arts and crafts project. Free. Henson Robinson Zoo, 1100 E. Lake Shore Dr., 585-1821.

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters
Nov 22, 7pm. A celebration of the mystery and splendor of Africa. Tale of Mufaro’s two daughters and the trials and tribulations the girls undergo on their journey to meet a great African king. Tickets. Sangamon Auditorium, UIS, 1 University Plaza, 206-6160.

Fun Frosty Friday
Nov 25, 10am-1pm. Life-size Candy Land activities include crafts, games, balloon art, face-painting, photos with a real-life princess and more. Free. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, 112 N. Sixth St., 558-8844.

The Polar Express Pajama Party
Nov 25-27, 5:30pm Fri, 1pm, 5:30pm Sat, 3pm Sun. Pre-show party features crafts and cocoa followed by screening of The Polar Express, with a special North Pole visitor afterward. Sensory-friendly party and showing Nov 26 at 1pm. $15 advance, $20 day of. The Legacy Theatre, 101 E. Lawrence, 800-838-3006.

Christmas Parade of Lights
Nov 26, 7:30-9:30pm. Holiday parade begins in Horace Mann parking lot and loops around the Old State Capitol on Fifth and Sixth streets. Hosted by the Springfield Jaycees. 341-2969. Free. Downtown Springfield.

Nativity Tour
Nov 27, 4-6pm. Largest nativity tour in Illinois features more than 500 displays plus live music and refreshments. Free. First Baptist Church Decatur, 1320 Arbor Dr., Decatur, 875-8034.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze
Nov 30, 7:30pm. New Cirque show, Broadway musical and family Christmas spectacular features more than 300 costumes, 20 acts and 30 artists from all over the world. Admission. Sangamon Auditorium, UIS, 1 University Plaza, 206-6160.

Cocoa and Cookies with Santa
Dec 2, 6-8pm. Preregistration required. Children’s Museum of Illinois, 55 South Country Club Road, Decatur, 423-KIDS.

Holiday Lights at the Zoo
Dec 2-4, 8-11, 15-23, 5-8pm. See the zoo as a winter wonderland. Thousands of lights, light displays, Santa Claus, hot chocolate, plus karaoke and bonfires on Saturdays. $3.75 adults, $2.50 children; free with Toys for Tots donation. Henson Robinson Zoo, 1100 E. Lake Shore Dr., 585-1821.

A Storybook Christmas
Dec 2-3, 5-9pm Fri, 8am-2pm Sat. Beloved characters from Christmas stories fill the streets of Hillsboro. Christmas parade at 6pm Friday, tree lightning at 7pm Friday, live entertainment, hot food and drinks, more. Hosted by Imagine Hillsboro. Free. 313-9962. Downtown Hillsboro.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze is a family Christmas spectacular featuring more than 300 costumes, 20 acts and 30 artists from around the world. The performance will occur on Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m., at Sangamon Auditorium.

Pancakes, Paws and Santa Claus
Dec 3, 8:30-10:30am. Enjoy breakfast alongside a visit with Santa and the zoo’s animals. Preregistration required. Residents: $12 adults, $10 children. Non: $13 adult, $11 child. Henson Robinson Zoo, 1100 E. Lake Shore Dr., 585-1821.

Junior Naturalists
Dec 3, 9am-12pm. Children ages 5-8 explore the garden while focusing on a “Winter Wonders” theme. $15 members, $18 non. Registration. Lincoln Memorial Garden, 2301 E. Lake Shore Dr., 529-1111.

Caring Santa
Dec 4, 8-9am. A carefully managed Santa photo experience for children with special needs and their families. Free. Registration, White Oaks Mall, 2501 Wabash Ave., Springfield, 787-8560.

Angel of Hope Candlelight Remembrance
Dec 6, 7pm. Ceremony at Angel of Hope statue for families to honor and remember children they’ve lost. Free. Washington Park Botanical Garden, 1740 W. Fayette Ave., 546-4116.

The Nutcracker
Dec 10-11, 2pm Sat-Sun, 8pm Sat. Springfield Ballet Company presents a timeless holiday classic. $18-30. Sangamon Auditorium, UIS, 1 University Plaza, 206-6160.

White Oaks Mall will host a “Caring Santa” event on Dec. 4 from 8-9 a.m. The carefully managed Santa event is open exclusively to special needs children and their families. Register online at

Busy Elves Workshop
Dec 10, 10-11:30am. Ages 3-5 play games, create a Christmas craft and make a treat. Preregistration: $25 resident, $35 non. Washington Park Pavilion, 1400 Williams Blvd, 544-1751.

Photos with Santa
Dec 10-23, 5-8pm Mon-Fri, 12-5pm Sat-Sun. Meet and have photos taken with Santa. Free. $5 for photo with magnetic frame. Robin Roberts Stadium, 1415 N. Grand Ave. E., 753-0700.
Caroling at the Carillon
Dec 11, 4-4:30pm. Enjoy a roaring bonfire and sing carols accompanied by the carillon bells. Complimentary hot cocoa and cookies. Free. Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon, 1740 W. Fayette Ave., 546-3853.
Gingerbread Workshop
Dec 18, 1-3pm. Create a large gingerbread house with two of your family members or friends. Preregistration required. $15 museum members, $20 general public. Children’s Museum of Illinois, 55 South Country Club Road, Decatur, 423-KIDS.

First Night
Dec 31, 1-4pm and 5-11:15pm. Afternoon free activities for kids at Springfield High School. Evening music, dance and more at various downtown locations. Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 S. Sixth St., Springfield, 523-2787.

The Harlem Globetrotters
Jan 1, 7pm. Exhibition basketball team combines athleticism, theater and comedy. Admission. Prairie Capital Convention Center, 1 Convention Center Plaza, 800-745-3000.

Jan 18, 7:30pm. High-flying, death-defying Broadway musical full of acrobatics, magic and songs from the composer of Wicked. Winner of four 2013 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival. Admission. Sangamon Auditorium, UIS, 1 University Plaza, 206-6160.

The Lion King Jr.
Jan 27-29, 7pm Fri; 4pm, 7pm Sat; 2pm, 5pm Sun. The Hoogland Kids, Teens and Juniors present a stage adaptation of the Academy Award-winning 1994 Disney film The Lion King. Admission. Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 S. Sixth St., 523-2787.

Into the Woods Jr.
Feb 10-12, 17-19, 7pm Fri-Sat, 2pm Sun. Springfield Theatre Centre presents the Tony Award-winning musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. Admission. Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 S. Sixth St., 523-2787.

Junie B’s Essential Survival Guide to School
Feb 17, 7pm. Musical based on the books by Barbara Park. Junie B. Jones offers tips and tricks for surviving and thriving at school. Admission. Sangamon Auditorium, UIS, 1 University Plaza, 206-6160.

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