Family Picks: Father’s Day Edition

Family Picks: Father’s Day Edition

Yes, we have lots of Dad-friendly activities on this busy weekend — everything from fishing and trains to music and free books for the Big Guy. Plus lots of other fun stuff!

Kids’ Fishing Derby: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Champaign Park District’s Kaufman Lake, West Springfield east of Duncan Road, Champaign. Free.

What better way to spend a summer afternoon with your dad (or mom) than the old fishing hole? Bait will be provided, but bring your own fishing tackle. Prizes will be awarded, and a free hot dog lunch will be served. Co-sponsored by the Optimist Club of Champaign-Urbana.

For information/registration: Call 398-2550 or visit

All aboard! Monticello Railway Museum Father’s Day Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, 992 Iron Horse Place, Monticello.

Dads ride free this weekend when accompanied by their children. Trains depart from the Main Museum site both days at 11 a.m. and 12:30, 2 and 3:30 p.m., and from the Wabash Depot in downtown Monticello at 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

For information or ticket info: Visit

Catch a movie together: “Up,” 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green St., C. Free.

In this touching animation adventure from Disney Pixar studios, a feisty senior citizen teams up with a fearless 8-year-old scout on a fantastic, balloon-powered voyage. Truly enjoyable for adults and kids (though my then-5-year-old thought it was a bit sad.)

For information: Call 403-2030 or visit

Free books! Father’s Day Book Giveaway, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green St., C.

Gentlemen, visit the library’s FriendShop for a free book in honor of Father’s Day! The LIbrary Friends will give every dad (or brother, uncle or grandpa) a book to take home from the used book shop.

For information: Call 403-5395 or visit

Country music: Champaign Park District Concert, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Hessel Park, Champaign. Free.

Your whole family will enjoy music from the Pearl Handle Band in this ongoing concert series at Hessel. Other dates are June 27, July 18, July 25 and Aug. 1.

For information: Call 398-2550 or visit

Ogden’s 140th Celebration: 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, 101 Main St., downtown Ogden.

Choose from games, food, entertainment, vendors, a flea market, car and motorcycle show - and a parade!

For information: Call the village office at 582-2520 or visit the event's Facebook page.

Sprouts at the Square:  Urbana Market, 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Lincoln Square Village, Urbana. Free.

Activities for kids ages 3 to 8 that teach them about the local and organic food at the market. They'll visit five tables in all, and those who finish will get a certificate they can use for a 15 percent discount at Art Mart Toys until 2 p.m. Saturday.

For information: visit

Juneteenth: Champaign Public Library’s ‘Juneteenth’ Emancipation Day Celebration, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Douglass Branch Library, 504 E. Grove St., C. Free.

Join in celebrating 145 years since the news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas and freed the last of the slaves. For all ages.

or information: Call 403-2090 or visit

Show your stuff: Kids’ Talent Show, 3 to 3:45 pm. Saturday, Urbana Free Library, address, U. Free.

Come show the world what you can do, or just watch what other kids do. Children ages 5 to 12 are invited to register for this free program by calling the Children’s Department at 367-4069.

For information: Call 367-4069 or visit

Sneak peek: Mahomet Public Library Sneak Peek Book Event, 5 to 7 p.m. Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, 1702 E. Oak St., Mahomet. Free.

Get a “Sneak Peek” inside the new Mahomet library, due to open in July, and help fill the shelves at a “Buy it and Leave it” event. Buy a book for $5 to $20 as a donation, and the library will add a bookplate with your name or the name of someone you’d like to honor. You don’t have to buy anything to get a sneak peak!

For information: Call 586-2611 or visit

Build it! LEGO Family Creation Challenge, noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Toys R Us, 40 E. Anthony Drive, C. Free.

Test your imagination, creativity and guessing skills, and build a cool creation that Dad will love! Prizes, giveaways and more while supplies last. For children ages 6 and up. Parental supervision required.

Summer Nature Break: 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, Anita Purves Nture Center, 1505 N. Broadway Ave., U. Free.

Take an afternoon break and learn about the center’s resident animals and Busey Woods. Activities at these free programs for all ages may include a guided hike, a handmade craft to take home, or meeting one of the center’s education animals.

For information: Call 384-4062 or visit

Check the Are We There Yet? blog every Friday 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: Benjamin Ravellette of Dalton Cit, hangs onto dad Shane Ravellette as the train goes by the station at the Monticello Railway Museum in May 2007. News-Gazette file photo by Robert K. O'Daniell

Blog Photo


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