Be safe and have fun! Weekend Family Picks

Be safe and have fun! Weekend Family Picks

Kids can scramble on tractors, check out a mummy, catch a free flick and learn all about summer safety this weekend. Take a look:

Playing it Safe! The 14th annual safety fair at the Champaign County Fairgrounds, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Free.

Families can enjoy more than 40 interactive learning stations, including a build-your-own first aid kit, safety maze, bicycle rodeo, car safety seat checks, train rides and tours of a fire truck, ambulance and fire safety house. They can also learn about backpack safety, pet safety, sun safety. poison prevention and much more. Children can earn time on inflatable games by participating in safety activities.

Other features: the medical transport helicopter at Carle Foundation Hospital, a lunchtime puppet stage show by Urbana Fire Rescue, and the Illinois Child Identification Program, which gives parents a complete child ID package (a saliva DNA sample, color photograph, fingerprints and recorded video interview on a take-home CD).

Sponsored by Carle and Safe Kids Champaign County, the event and all activities are free. The first 1,500 people in line will also get a free lunch of hot dogs and chips between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

For information: Visit

Down on the farm: "Touch a Tractor," 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Prairie Farm, Centennial Park, Champaign. Free.

Celebrate the reopening of Prairie Farm and see lots of tractors up close! Welcome back the horses, pigs, and other Prairie Farm animals, and enjoy crafts, music and other children’s activities. (Event canceled in case of inclement weather.)

For information: Call 398-2550 or visit

Walk like an Egyptian: “Wrapped Up in Ancient Egypt,” 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, 600 S. Gregory, U. Admission charge.

Children ages 8 to 13 will visit hands-on stations that highlight the mummy-making process and head home with their own “tomb-to-go!”  Registration is $3; pre-registration is required, and space is limited.

For information: Call 244-3355 or visit

Fun in Monticello: Fun Night, 5:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, Courthouse Square, downtown Monticello. Free.
Kids can enjoy a free horse ride from the Piatt County Trailblazers starting at 5:30pm on Washington Street. A free movie, “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” will be shown at dusk. Hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, glass-bottled soda and cotton candy will be sold from a 1917 Model T Popcorn Truck at 6 p.m.

For information: Visit

Strawberry Jam: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, downtown Arthur.

Enjoy fresh strawberries, strawberry pies, strawberry-themed giveaways, craft show, children’s games, flea market, sidewalk sales and more at Arthur’s annual spring festival.

For information: Call 543-2242 or 800-722-6474, or visit

Family Movie Night: “Flushed Away,” 8 p.m. Saturday, First Presbyterian Church, 602 W. Green St., U. Free.

The First Presbyterian Church launches a Summer Family Movie Night series with “Flushed Away.” Movie will be shown in the Green street courtyard — with free popcorn.

Future Saturday night movie dates are: July 10, July 24, Aug.7 and Aug. 21.

For information: Call 367-8357 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: Alyssa Standifer, 8, and her sister, Shaelynn, 2, of Mahomet pretend to drive a Farmall tractor during the 2007 Touch-A-Tractor event at  Prairie Farm. News-Gazette file photo by Heather Coit


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