November-February kids activity calendar
The Polar Express
Nov 17-19, 24-26, Dec 1-3, 8-9. Read along with the story as the Polar Express train makes its round-trip journey to the North Pole. mrym.org. Monticello Railroad Museum, 992 Iron Horse Place, Monticello, 762-9011.
Holiday Market Cookie Walk
Nov 18, 8am-2pm. Annual event features gift items and holiday cookies. Hosted by the Springfield Ceramics and Crafts Club. springfieldceramicsandcraftsclub.org. Springfield Ceramics and Crafts Club, 2626 S. Pasfield St.
Santa Claus is Coming
Nov 18, 9am-12pm. Take family pictures with Santa and his sleigh and receive a complimentary digital photo. Plus holiday activities, refreshments and more. Free. Town and Country Bank, 3601 Wabash Ave., Springfield, 787-3100.
Memorial’s Festival of Trees
Nov 18-26, 10am-8pm Mon-Wed, 4-8pm Thu, 10am-8pm Fri-Sat, 10am-5pm Sun. Nine-day holiday event featuring more than 200 artistically decorated trees and wreaths; Little Elves Workshop, Snapshots with Santa, live entertainment and more. $5 adults, $3 ages 3-12, free to ages 2 and under. MemorialsFestivalofTrees.com. 788-4301. Orr Building, Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 Sangamon Ave., 725-8047.
An American Ice Princess and Her Doll
Nov 19, 11:45am-1:45pm. Fall skating event and tea party. Hosted by the Springfield Figure Skating Club. Preregister. $10 SFSC members; $15 non. sfsc4u.com. 753-2800. Nelson Center Ice Arena, Lincoln Park, 1601 N. Fifth St., 525-2589.
Youth Orchestras Fall Concert
Nov 20, 7pm. Concert by the Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony Junior Strings, Preparatory Orchestra and Sinfonia Orchestra. $10 adults, $5 students, free to ages 12 and under. Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 S. Sixth St., 523-2787.
Downtown Holiday Walks
Nov 25, 29, Dec 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 5-8pm. Featuring visits with Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides, History Comes Alive programming, shopping and more. downtownspringfield.org. Downtown Springfield.
Franciscan Nativity Festival
Dec 1-3, 2-7pm Fri, 12-4pm Sat-Sun. Display features more than 100 Nativity sets. Free. chiaracenter.org. Chiara Center, 4875 LaVerna Road, 523-0901.
Dec 2, 10am-4pm. Enjoy a children’s store, visits with Santa, face painting, Christmas caroling and more. clayville.org. Clayville, Route 125, Pleasant Plains, 572-4984.
Dec 2, 11am-3pm. Themed activities and crafts for ages 5+ and their families. illinoisstatemuseum.org. 782-0061. Illinois State Museum, 502 S. Spring St., 782-7386.
Dec 2, 1-3pm. Theme-related games, crafts, zoo discovery walk, and other fun learning activities for ages 5-6. Advance registration required. $13 resident, $15 non. springfieldparks.org. Henson Robinson Zoo, 1100 E. Lake Shore Dr., 585-1821.
Harry Potter Family Fest
Dec 2, 6-10pm. A night of fun for witches, wizards, muggles and squibs. $30 per ticket for ages 7 and up in advance; $40 at door. tinyurl.com/ydaamwyn. 331-2027. Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 745 Woodside Road, 585-9550.
Parents Night Out
Dec 2, 6-8:30pm. Kids age 6-12 play, swim, dance and enjoy story time. Bring your swim suit. Pajamas welcome. Pizza available $1 per slice. $10 members, $20 public. springfieldymca.org. Gus and Flora Kerasotes YMCA, 4550 West Iles Ave., 679-1625.
Junior and Senior Naturalists
Dec 2. Junior naturalists (ages 5-8) meet 9am-12pm. Senior naturalists (ages 9-12) meet 1-4pm. Registration required. All three sessions: $40 members; $45 non. One session: $15 members, $18 non. lincolnmemorialgarden.org. Lincoln Memorial Garden, 2301 E. Lake Shore Dr., 529-1111.
Lunch with Santa on the Train
Dec 2-3. Enjoy a visit with Santa Claus while eating a kid-friendly sack lunch. Hosted by the Monticello Chamber of Commerce. mrym.org. Monticello Railroad Museum, 992 Iron Horse Place, Monticello, 762-9011.
The Harlem Globetrotters
Dec 8, 7pm. World-famous Harlem Globetrotters vs. the Washington Generals. $25.50+. harlemglobetrotters.com. Bank of Springfield Center, 1 Convention Center Plaza, 800-745-3000.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Dec 8-10, 15-17. Presented by the Hoogland Teens. hcfta.org. Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 S. Sixth St., 523-2787.
28th Annual Cookie Walk
Dec 9, 8am-12pm. Featuring dozens of homemade cookies and candy of countless varieties. douglasavenue.org. Douglas Avenue United Methodist Church, 501 S. Douglas Ave., 546-4631.
Dec 9, 1-3pm Sat. Program about animals and their ecosystems for children age 10-12 highlights owl-ology. $13 residents and members; $15 non. springfieldparks.org. Henson Robinson Zoo, 1100 E. Lake Shore Dr., 585-1821.
Photos with Santa
Dec 9-22, 5-8pm Mon-Fri, 11am-6pm Sat-Sun. Meet and have photos taken with Santa. Free admission. No charge for photos taken with own camera; $5 for souvenir photo. springfieldparks.org. Robin Roberts Stadium, 1415 N. Grand Ave. E., 753-0700.
Kids Night Out
Dec 9, 6:30-9:30pm. Activities include swimming, art, games dance and more. Bring your swim suit and money for concessions. $10 members, $20 pubic. springfieldymca.org. YMCA, 701 S. Fourth St., 544-9846.
Caroling at the Carillon
Dec 10, 4-5pm. Enjoy a roaring bonfire and sing carols accompanied by the carillon bells. Refreshments provided. Free. carillon-rees.org. Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon, 1740 W. Fayette Ave., 546-3853.
Gaslight Holiday Tour
Dec 13, 6-7pm. Tour Edwards Place, decked for the holidays, by gaslight and learn about mid-century Christmas celebrations. $10. Edwards Place, Springfield Art Association, 700 N. Fourth St., 523-2631.
Dec 16, 1-3pm. Theme-related games, crafts, zoo discovery walk, and other fun learning activities for ages 7-9. Advance registration required. $13 resident, $15 non. springfieldparks.org. Henson Robinson Zoo, 1100 E. Lake Shore Dr., 585-1821.
Victorian Holiday Tea
Dec 16, 2-3:30pm. Sing carols and learn about 19th-century holiday traditions over tasty tea and desserts. $25 SAA members; $30 non. edwardsplace.org. Edwards Place, Springfield Art Association, 700 N. Fourth St., 523-2631.
Dec 22, 26-29, Jan 2, 7am-5:30pm. A Mon-Fri daycare solution for working parents and their kids ages 5-12. No camp Dec 25 or Jan 1. $25 per day residents, $28 per day non. springfieldparks.org. 753-2800. Nelson Center, 1601 N. Fifth St., 525-2589.
First Night Springfield
Dec 31, 1-11:15pm. Afternoon free activities for kids at Springfield High School. Tickets shows feature evening music, dance and more at various downtown locations at night. Admission. springfieldartsco.org. 753-3519. Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 S. Sixth St., 523-2787.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Jan 12-14, 19-21. Presented by Springfield Theatre Centre. Directed by Bill Bauser, Jr. springfieldtheatrecentre.com. Hoogland Center for the Arts, 420 S. Sixth St., 523-2787.
A Night at the Movies Pops Concert
Feb 3, 7:30pm. Concert by the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. Tickets. ilsymphony.org. Sangamon Auditorium, UIS, 1 University Plaza, 206-6160.
PAW Patrol: Race to the Rescue
Feb 6-7, 6-8pm. Family-friendly live show featuring PAW Patrol. $19+. sangamonauditorium.org. Sangamon Auditorium, UIS, 1 University Plaza, 206-6160.