If you’re looking for something besides a Super Bowl party this weekend — and really, that’s not ‘til Sunday afternoon — we’ve got a few ideas.
The kids can make a Valentine craft for someone special (or their favorite wildlife), wish our friend Abe an early Happy Birthday, learn how to grow and eat local foods — on a budget — hear a Native American storyteller, or have some fun with foam (really, it’s for science)! Or celebrate Chinese New Year! And there’s always Monster Trucks...
Have a heart: Kids building workshop, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Home Depot, 820 Bloomington Road, C. Free.
Build a heart shelf in celebration of Valentine's Day! This how-to workshop is designed for children ages 5 to 12.
For information: Call 356-2629
A squirrel Valentine? 10 a.m. to noon S, Illini FS Farmtown, 1509 E University Ave., U. Free.
Bring in the kids to build a special Valentine for local wildlife and find out some fun squirrel facts! Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please pre-register by calling Farmtown at 384-8308.
For information: Call 384-8308
Eating local: Foods Fest, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Robeson Pavilion Room C, Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green St., C. Free.
This event is geared toward adults, but if you’re taking the kids to the library drop in to hear any of three experts talk about eating and growing local foods.
At 10 a.m., Master Gardener Tom Seals will share his expertise on growing your own vegetables, just in time to plan your 2011 garden. At 11 a.m., Prairie Fruits Farm owner Leslie Cooperband will talk about operating a small farm and creamery. At noon, Jacqueline Hannah from Common Ground Food Coop will give a presentation about eating local and healthy on a budget.
For information: Call 403-2070 or visit www.champaignlibrary.org
Weekend Wizard: Fun with Foam, 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Orpheum Children’s Science Museum. 346 N. Neil St., C. Free with museum admission.
A do-it-yourself science experiment demonstration and craft, appropriate for ages 4-10 with parent assistance. Children can watch a demo to make crazy foam, aka elephant toothpaste, or make a "foam dragon" craft in honor of the Chinese New Year!
Participation is free with the $2 to $3 museum admission.
For information: Call 352-5895 or visit www.orpheumkids.com
Chinese New Year: 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green St., U. Free.
Mark the start of the year of the rabbit with the lion dance, yo-yo, Gongfu, Chinese music and other Chinese performing arts. Presenters include Chinese Heritage School students and teachers, Five Animals Kong Fu members, UI students and local artists.
For information: Call 367-4069 or visit www.urbanafreelibrary.org
Winter Tales: American Indian Storytelling Family Concert, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, 600 S. Gregory St., U.
Dovie Thomason, an award-winning teller, author and teacher of the Kiowa Apache and Lakota nations, returns for this annual family event. She has been a featured performer at the National Storytelling Festival and the National Museum of the American Indian.
Admission is $5. The concert, sponsored by an endowment from Reginald and Gladys Laubin, is part of the museum’s centennial celebration.
For information: Call 244-3355 or visit www.spurlock.illinois.edu
Monster Trucks!!! E-3 Spark Plugs Monster Truck Nationals, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, University of Illinois Assembly Hall, 1800 S. First St., C. Admission charge.
OK this isn’t really my thing, but I know it’s big. See the “Raminator,” “Ramunition,” “E3 Spark Plugs Bigfoot” and — new this year — “Crushtation (The Monstah-Lobstah).” The show will also feature Free Style Insanity MOTO X- Top FMX Stunt Riders, Porkchop the clown and more.
Come early (5:30 to 6:45 p.m.) for the Domino’s Pizza Pit Party/Driver Autograph Session to meet the drivers, get autographs and take photos of the drivers and their monsters.
Tickets are $23, $17, $10 in advance, and $2 more for A and B sections the day of the show. Discounts are available for UI students and groups of 10 or more. Tickets are required for ages 2 and up.
For information: Call 333-5000 or visit www.uofiassemblyhall.com
Happy Birthday Abe! Lincoln’s Birthday Open House. 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Vermilion County Museum and Fithian House, 116 N. Gilbert St., Danville. Free.
Tour the museum and the Fithian House, where Lincoln spoke from the balcony on Sept. 21, 1858. You can enjoy free birthday cake, and the Lincoln birthday card award presentations will be made at 3 p.m.
For information: Call 442-2922 or visit www.vermilioncountymuseum.org
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 email@example.com, or use the online calendar on the News-Gazette home page, www.news-gazette.com.
Photos: Derice Gill of Champaign carefully works on a Valentine's Day card for her mother at the Douglass Branch Library in Champaign in this 2004 file photo, top. Heather Coit/The News-Gazette
Members of the Chicago Seven Star Lion Dance Group perform the Lion Dance at a 2008 Champaign Public library Chinese New Year Celebration, bottom. Darrell Hoemann/News-Gazette