Zydeco? Frog-jumping? It's all in our Family Picks

Zydeco? Frog-jumping? It's all in our Family Picks

It's another swingin' musical weekend in C-U, but we also found some low-cost family fun in Paxton, Rantoul, Tuscola and Westville. And you can start your Saturday off with a bike tour around Urbana.

Let's take a look:

Cha-Cha! "Outside at the Research Park," 6:15 p.m., UI Research Park, 1816 S. Oak St., C. Free.

Bring your dancing shoes for Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-Chas, Southern Louisiana’s own brand of  "accordion-fueled, soulfully percussive, Creole-blooded dance music." The band will start at 7:30 p.m., and a local act will kick off the show at 6:15 p.m. The stage and seating area are just south of the Gateway Building at First Street and St. Mary's Road.

Ease on down: "The Wiz," 7 p.m. Friday, Parkland College Theater, 2400 W. Bradley Ave. C. Admission $7.

An urban take on Dorothy and her friends will be performed by the Champaign Park District Youth Theater. Tickets are available in advance at the Springer Cultural Center, 301 N. Randolph St., C, or at the door 30 minutes before the show.

For information: Call 398-2550 or visit www.champaignparkdistrict.com

Young musicians: Illinois Summer Youth Music 2010 Session III Final Concerts, 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Saturday, University of Illinois.

Catch up-and-coming stars as some of the state's finest young musicians (grades 7 to 12) perform on the UI campus after a month-long summer music camp. Here's the lineup:

-- Junior Jazz: 10 a.m., Tryon Festival Theater, Krannert Center;
-- Junior Chorus: 10 a.m.,  Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center;
-- Junior Piano: 10 a.m., Recital Hall, Smith Hall;
-- Junior Concert Band: 11:15 a.m., Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center;
-- Junior Symphonic Band: 12:30 p.m., Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center;
-- Senior Jazz: 12:30 p.m., Tryon Festival Theater, Krannert Center.

Bike it! Health and Wellness Family Bike Ride, 9 a.m. Saturday, beginning at Market at the Square, Lincoln Square Village, downtown Urbana. Free.

Self-guided tour begins at the C-U Safe Routes to School Bike Rodeo being held at the Market at the Square. It's designed to be short, fun and help families see that it's easy to bicycle to downtown Urbana, the Phillips Recreation Center, Urbana Free Library and local restaurants.

The library will have games and stories for kids outside, and a drawing for prizes will be held at 1 p.m. at the Common Ground Food Co-op at Lincoln Square.

For information: Register at www.champaigncountybikes.org

Tom Sawyer Day: Westville Public Library, 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, 233 S. State Westville. Free.

Dress up like Tom Sawyer or Becky Thatcher, enter the Frog Jumping Contest (bring your own frog if you can), compete in the watermelon seed-spitting contest and much more! Event will be canceled in inclement weather.

For information: Call 267-3170 or visit http://www.westvillepubliclibrarydistrict.org

Medieval Day: 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Rantoul Public Library, 106 W. Flessner, Rantoul. Free.

For one afternoon, you can be a knight or damsel of the Middle Ages.  Experience crafts, food, music and fun of this time period with seasoned re-enactors.

For information: Call 893-3955 or visit http://www.rantoul.lib.il.us

Free plane rides! Paxton Airport Fly-in and Drive-in, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Paxton Municipal Airport. Free.

Enjoy hot-air balloons, a car show, radio-controlled planes and free plane rides for children by the Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles program. Breakfast and lunch food will be available.

For information: Call 379-3642 or 386-2213.

More fun in Paxton: Paxton Kid's Day, noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Pells Park, Paxton. Free.
The Corn Belt Shrine Club will hold its annual Kid's Day, with go-kart rides, games, prizes, a cake walk, bouncy houses, concessions and the Shrine clowns.

Cars for cancer: "Thrills for the Mills" charity car show, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Tanger Outlet Center, Tuscola. $10 entry fee.

A benefit for the Mills Breast Cancer Institute in Urbana, the event will feature music, food, inflatables, a 50/50 raffle and more. Good excuse to get to the outlet mall for summer sales!

Concert in the park: Jim Markum Swing Band, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Hessel Park, Grandview Drive and Kirby Avenue, Champaign. Free.

For information: Call 398-2550 or visit www.champaignparkdistrict.com.

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.

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

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