Family Picks: Are you ready for the pool?

Family Picks: Are you ready for the pool?

It sounds like (dare I say this? ) the weather may be improving and pools are opening this weekend, so jump in, hunt for some bargains, create art at the market, catch a big one or enjoy music from some up-and-coming bands!

Get stuff cheap! Champaign County Humane Society Giant Garage Sale, through 6 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, plus giveaway, 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, Kesler Hall, Champaign County Fairgrounds, Coler and Fairview avenues, Urbana. Free admission.

This is one for the mamas: Shop to your heart's content for bargains at this annual event, with everything from kids toys to lawn furniture. You may not want to bring the kids until later this afternoon or Saturday, as it tends to be a mob scene early. 

Don't miss the Bag Sale starting at 3 p.m. Saturday, where everything you can fit in a bag is $3. And the giveaway is from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday.

For information: Call 344-7297 or visit

Kung Fu 2! Wok and Roll Party, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Savoy 16 Theater, 232 W. Burwash Ave., Savoy. Free.

Are your kids anxious to see the new “Kung Fu Panda 2” movie? How about a picture with Po, free games, face-painting, poster giveaways, fortune cookies and martial arts demonstrations? It’s all at the Savoy 16, sponsored by Leaders for Life Martial Arts in Champaign.

For information: Visit the Savoy 16 website


Let's make magnets: Art at the Square, 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Urbana Market at the Square, southeast parking lot of Lincoln Square Village, Illinois and Vine streets, Urbana. Free.

The city's Public Arts Program will hold its first Art at the Market workshop, “Found Object Fridge Art: Upcycled Bottle Cap Magnets” with artist Traci Pines. You can create whimsical bottle cap magnets by collaging objects such as shells, beads, stamps and pictures.

Open to all ages, the series is offered by the city on the last Saturday of each month during the Market at the Square season. This year's theme is “Nontraditional Materials,” encouraging artistic expression through unexpected uses of recycled and everyday objects. Future dates are June 25, July 30, Aug. 27, Sept. 24, and Oct. 29.

For information: Visit or

Take Me Fishing: 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Activity Center, Middle Fork River Forest Preserve, 3485 County Road 2700 E, Penfield. Free.

Bring your family and friends to the forest preserve for some free fishing fun!  First-timers and experienced fishers are welcome, with kids' activities, prizes, and more! Basic fishing instruction will be available.

The Illinois fishing license requirement will be waived for this event. Fishing poles are available to borrow, but you are welcome to bring your own. Bait is provided. Adult supervision of children is required.

For Information: Call 896-2455 or visit /

Calling all artists! Art Lessons for Children , 2 to 2:45 p.m. Saturday, Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green St., U. Free.

Calling all artists! Join UIUC art education graduate student Lauren Niedergang to learn how Pablo Picasso incorporated lines and shapes from the guitar and violin in his artwork. Explore your creativity by assembling a Picasso-inspired collage using newspaper, wallpaper, cardboard, colored paper, charcoal, and pen. For children ages 5 years and up

For information: Call 367-4069 or visit

Just keep swimming... : Pools open Saturday in Champaign and  Rantoul, and on Monday in Monticello. (Champaign's Spalding Pool doesn't open until June 4.)

For information: Visit websites for the Sholem Aquatic Center, the Hap Parker Family Aquatic Center in Rantoul and the Monticello Family Aquatic Center for hours and prices.

(Please note: The Sholem Aquatic Center Pool Pass Party, originally scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, has been canceled because of the cool temperatures.)

Blastoff! Model rocket launch, 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Pick Dodds Park (by Parkland College), Champaign. Free.

Central Illinois Aerospace model rocket club welcomes fliers with rockets of all sizes. Spectators are invited.

For information: Call 359-8225 or visit or

C-U Theatre-sports! Family show, 7 p.m. Saturday, Class Act Interactive Education, 114 S. Neil St., C. Admission charge.

It’s Orange vs. Blue in a comedy improv showdown. Two teams of actors face off to be named grand champion of improv. Tickets are $5, online or at the door.

For information: Call 766-5964 or visit

Battle of the Bands: Hessel Park Concert, 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Hessel Park, Champaign. Free.

Music featuring the Battle of the Bands second- and third-place winners, Elephant in the Room and An Evening with Your Mother.

For information: Call 398-2550 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. To submit an item, e-mail me at, or use the calendar on the News-Gazette home page,

Photos:  A scene from "Kung Fu Panda 2," which opened Thursday, top. DreamWorks Animation/Paramount Pictures

At bottom, Sheldon Turner and son Mycal of Champaign, enjoy a pool party hosted by the Champaign Park District, the Champaign Police Department and the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club at Sholem pool in Champaign on  Aug. 12, 2010. Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette.



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