Family Picks -- Memorial Day Edition

Family Picks -- Memorial Day Edition

It's a three-day weekend, so I know lots of you are headed out of town. But if you're staying put, the weather is supposed to be beautiful, pools are opening (though they may be chilly), and it's a perfect weekend to be outdoors with your kids. Check out these events:

Take Me Fishing: 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Middle Fork River Forest Preserve Activity Center, 3485 County Road 2700 E, Penfield. Free.

First-timers and experienced fishermen alike are welcome at this free event, which will feature kids' activities, prizes and more. Basic fishing instruction will be available. Bait will be provided, and you can bring your own pole or borrow one there. The Illinois fishing license requirement will be waived for this event. Adult supervision of children is required.

For more information:  Call 896-2455

Family fun in Mahomet: Family Fun Day, 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Barber Park, 703 S. McDougal Road, Mahomet.

Fisher National Bank, Walk Chiropractic & Acupuncture Center and Mahomet Parks and Recreation are sponsoring a Family Fun Day for the Mahomet community . A free sports clinic will focus on teamwork, physical fitness and fun, with flag football, soccer, ultimate Frisbee and more. Free watermelon and refreshments. For ages 5 to 12.

At 7 p.m., you can also attend a free showing of "Monsters Inc."  at the park. Fisher National Bank of Mahomet will provide the popcorn, cotton candy and drink. Please bring your own lawn chair or blanket.

For information: Visit

The big one: Champaign County Human Society GIANT Garage Sale, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Kesler Hall, Champaign County Fairgrounds, Coler and Fairview avenues, Urbana. Free (unless you buy something).

The annual event returns with clothing, jewelry, housewares, small appliances, toys, tools, gardening, holiday decorations, books, sports equipment, animal-care items and more, plus treasures in the Antiques/Uniques Boutique.

For information: Call 344-7297 or visit

Eat up! C-U Kiwanis All You Can Eat Pancake and Sausage Day, 7:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Bromley Hall, 910 S. Third St., C (Third and Chalmers). Admission charge.

Eat up to benefit Kiwanis youth programs in the community. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for ages 4-12. Ages 0-3 are free. Parking is free.

Summer Reading Kickoff: The Not-So-Scary Scary Animal Show, 2 to 2:45 p.m. Saturday, Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green St, C. Free.

Startle your way into the “Scare Up a Good Book” Summer Reading Game with a frightfully delightful  kick-off presented by the animal guys of Silly Safaris.While you’re there, sign up for the reading game, a fun way to keep kids reading this summer. The game officially starts June 1, and lasts through August 15.

For information: Call 403-2030 or visit

Rockin' at Hessel Park: Battle of the Bands, "I Like You" and "Brighten," 6:30 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Hessel Park, Champaign. Free.

Join the Champaign Park District at Hessel Park on Sundays this summer for an evening of great music. Upcoming concerts include:

June 20: Pearl Handle Band (Country)
June 27: Decatur Park Singers (Showtunes)
July 18: Jim Markum Swing Band (Swing)
July 25: The Shanties (Irish)
Aug. 1:  Boneyard Jazz (Quintet Jazz)
Aug. 8: Lonnie Lester (R&B/Soul)

For information: Call 398-2550 or visit

Check the Are We There Yet? blog every Thursday afternoon for upcoming family friendly events, pulled from our News-Gazette online calendar, e3 magazine and other sources. I’ll also do a quick radio update of our “Family Picks” at 4:50 p.m. every Thursday on WDWS-AM 1400.

Do you have an item you'd like to submit? Email me at, or use the N-G online calendar. Look for it on the upper right-hand side of the News-Gazette home page,

Photo:  Devante Hicks, 7, of Danville displayed the catfish he caught in a fishing derby at Kennekuk County Park during the 2006 Outdoor Youth Adventure sponsored by the Vermilion County Conservation District. File photo by  Wendy Lambert for The Vermilion Weekly Gazette.

Blog Photo

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