Family Picks: Happy Thanksgiving!

Family Picks: Happy Thanksgiving!

In honor of the four-day holiday (for kids, at least), here’s an early look at the weekend festivities. Not sure what to do with the kids/relatives all weekend? Work off those calories with the Turkey Trot or some ice-skating, or visit a kid-friendly exhibit on ancient Egypt. And Santa arrives Saturday in Urbana!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey Trot 2010: One-mile run/walk, 9 a.m. Thursday, Crystal Lake Park, Urbana. Free.

Get some exercise with family and friends in anticipation of the big feast! Check in at the Lake House  starts at 8 a.m., and the run/walk begins at 9 a.m. Participant ribbons are awarded to the first 800 people to cross the finish line. Free hot chocolate and water is provided after the race, and WHMS 97.5 FM will be on hand to raffle off prizes and turkeys.

For information:

Turkey Skate: Public ice skating, University of Illinois Ice Arena, 406 E. Armory Drive, C. 1:30 to 4 p.m. and 7:30 to 9 p.m. Friday. Admission charge.

Lace up those skates and work off the gravy! Skating is free for UI students, Campus Recreation members, and children ages 3 and under; $4 for youths ages 4 to 12; and $5 for those 13 and older. Skate rental is $1 for students/Campus Rec members and $2 for the public. Or buy a $20 family pass, good for up to four 4 people, including skate rental.

Public skating is also available from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 7:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday.

For information: Call 333-2212 or visit the Ice Arena's website

Santa’s House: ‘Nostalgic Visit to Santa’s House,’ 12:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday, C.H. Moore Homestead and DeWitt County Museum, 219 E. Woodlawn St., Clinton. Free with museum admission.

Enjoy story time with Mrs. Claus at 12:30 p.m., with cookies and hot chocolate. Have your picture taken with Santa, who arrives by sleigh at 1 p.m. Or take a sleigh rides from 1:30 to 4 p.m. (sleighs equipped with wheels in case there’s no snow). Hand-carved wood ornaments, hand-painted glass ornaments and decorated fresh wreaths will also be sold.

Regular museum admission is $3 for adults, $1 for ages 12-18, free for 11 and under. All activities will be in the barn behind the mansion.

For information:  Call 935-6066 or visit

Holiday Shop: 18th annual Crisis Nursery Holiday Shop, starting Saturday through Dec. 12, Lincoln Square, Urbana. Free.

Children can shop for gifts for Mom Dad or other loved ones and support the Crisis Nursery of Champaign County at the same time. Children fill out a shopping list, and volunteers help them choose just the right gift for family and friends. Gifts are wrapped in bags decorated by children in the community. Best of all, they're all priced from $2 to $8.

Hours:10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 11; noon to 5 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 12; and 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2.

For information: Call 337- 2731 or visit the Crisis Nursery's website

Mummies!  Ancient Egypt exhibit, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Zahn Learning Center, Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, 600 S. Gregory St., U. Free.

Explore ancient Egypt with hands-on activities for all ages. Check out mummification materials, touch replica artifacts, get to know King Tut’s tomb!

Museum admission is free, with a suggested donation of $3.

For information: Visit the museum’s Facebook page

‘Santa’s Secret Star’: Children’s sky show, 7 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 18, William M. Staerkel Planetarium, Parkland College, 2400 W. Bradley Ave., C. Admission charge.

Santa has lost his compass and can’t find his way home? Can the stars help? Learn about the day and night sky and how the stars seem to make pictures in the sky in this holiday show for young stargazers. The show is newly remastered for the planetarium’s full dome system.

Admission is $3 to $5.

For information: Call 351-2568, 351-2446, or visit the planetarium's website

Santa Arrives! Holiday Market, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 18, inside Lincoln Square Village, downtown Urbana. Free admission.

Get your child’s picture taken with Santa, who arrives Saturday at the market. Shop for local produce, arts and crafts and gifts from local vendors — after all, Saturday is officially “Shop Local” day!

For information: Call 344-3872 or visit

And coming next week:

Holiday concert: Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert with the Central Illinois Children’s Chorus, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Foellinger Great Hall, Krannert Center, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., U. Admission charge.

Ring in the holidays with this extravaganza of seasonal classics and special musical guests. A Champaign-Urbana holiday tradition, The concert lasts about 1 hour and 45 minutes.Tickets are $5-$31.

For information: Call 333-6280 or visit Krannert's website

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, or use the new and improved N-G online calendar on the News-Gazette home page,


Photos: Bruce Boatz bought turkey hats for himself and daughter April for their first Turkey Trot in 2008, top. Darrell Hoemann/News-Gazette

At bottom, Brent DiPenta of Urbana is not happy about getting his picture taken with Santa during the 2003 holiday season at Lincoln Square, Urbana. John Dixon/News-Gazette

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