Need to recycle? Got the holiday spirit? Check our Family Picks

Need to recycle? Got the holiday spirit? Check our Family Picks

We have an eclectic mix for you this weekend, whether you're in an outdoorsy, environmental mood or just have that holiday spirit! Not to mention a puppet show, the Harlem Wizards and National Gaming Day. Enjoy!

America Recycles Day! 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Urbana Park District's Anita Purves Nature Center, 1505 N. Broadway, U. Free.

This third annual events gives families a chance to drop off some of those hard-to-recycle items and teach their kids about composting and recycling.

The Illinois Natural History Survey’s Traveling Science Center van will be on hand with educational fun for kids, plus crafts and other activities.

You can learn about safe disposal methods, alternatives to trash, and ways to reduce waste, save money and create art from trash. Take a recycling pledge and enter to win prizes from Urbana’s U-Cycle!

The following items will be accepted for recycling:

— Batteries all sizes (not car batteries)
— Ink cartridges
— Cell phones
— Six pack rings
— Plastic bags
— Juice pouches

For information: Call 384-4062 or visit the park district's website

Holiday Market: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, Nov. 13 through Dec. 18, inside Lincoln Square Village, downtown Urbana. Free admission.

The Urbana Business Association offers holiday shoppers another year of local produce, arts and crafts and gifts galore from local vendors. The holiday tree will go up Nov. 20, and Santa Claus will be in attendance starting Nov. 27.

For information: Call 344-3872 or visit

Danville Festival of Trees: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, David S. Palmer Arena, Danville. Admission charge.

Enjoy decorated trees and wreaths, activities and entertainment for the whole family. Presented by Provena United Samaritans Medical Center Foundation, the event arises money for outreach programs that benefit the the Danville community.

General admission is $2 to $5, with children under 2 free. Sunday is Family Day, with $3 to $5 admission for adults and free for children, veterans and members of the military.

Highlights: Teddy Bear Breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Saturday ($7.50), Polar Bear Express at 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday ($12.50), Tons O’ Festival Fun Holiday Concert at 9 p.m. Saturday ($10), McDonald’s Happy Meal and a magic show at noon Sunday ($7.50).

The event continues into next week: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday. and Champaign’s Festival of Trees starts Thursday (Nov. 18).

For tickets or information: Call 877-772-5425 or visit

Ginger Lozar’s Puppets: Morgan & the Pot O’ Brains, 2 to 2:45 p.m. Saturday, Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green St., C. Free.

Based on a Welsh folktale, this puppet presentation is great for school-age kids: When young Morgan goes to a wise old woman to buy a pot of brains, he learns that two heads are better than one.

For information: Call 403-2030 or visit Ginger Lozar’s website

Games Galore! National Gaming Day, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Busey-Mills Reading Room, Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green St., U. Free.

To celebrate National Gaming Day, the library will unveil its new collection of board games for adults and families. They include old classics like “Go” and “Backgammon” as well as new favorites like deck-building “Dominion” and treasure-hunting “Tobago.” Staff and volunteers will be standing by show you how to play.

For information: Call 531-7074 or visit the library's Calendar

“Singin’ in the Rain”: 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Foellinger Auditorium, 709 S. Mathews Ave., U. Admission charge.

The story may be a bit too old for younger children, but you gotta love the title number. Presented by the Illini Union Board. Tickets are $11 to $13 and available at the Assembly Hall box office.

For information: Call 333-5000 or visit the Illini Union Board's website

Family Skywatch: Champaign-Urbana Astronomical Society, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, CUAS Observatory, rural Monticello. Free.

View the stars and planets through the society’s telescopes, weather-permitting.

Directions: Take Interstate 57 south to Monticello exit, go 1.4 miles west to 700 E, turn left on County Road 700 E. The dome is 0.8 mile to the south on the left.

For information: Call 351-2567 or visit

Harlem Wizards! “Tricks, Hoops & Alley-Oops,” 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Arcola High School gym, Arcola. Admission charge.

Featuring top basketball talent, the Harlem Wizards boasts players who have performed with the Harlem Globetrotters. Free autographs available after the game!

Tickets in advance are $8 for students (ages 4 to 18) or senior citizens and $10 for adults, available at the school, Slacks Publications in Arcola, or online at the school district’s website. Prices at the door are $10 to $12. All proceeds will benefit Arcola Elementary School.

For information: Call 268-4961 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.

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: At top, Claudia Bautista, Talan Smith, LaTrina King, Ava Greene and D'estiny Montgomery from Washington School Early Childhood Program paint a lid for a rycycling barrel at the Anita Purves Nature Center last April . Robert K. O'Daniell/The News-Gazette

At bottom, Trenton Callon carries his cousin, Natalie Byers, through the 22-foot-tall tree of stuffed animals during the 2009 Danville Festival of Trees. Rick Danzl/News-Gazette

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