Family Picks: Time to build something

Family Picks: Time to build something

Build your own creations, plant some seeds or go sailing, check out a bicycle rodeo, or kick off your summer plans at the Savoy Recreation Center! Lots more outdoor activities this weekend  ... so let’s all do the “No more rain” dance!

Build - and win a playhouse! 19th annual Kid’s Building Fair. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Orpheum Children’s Science Museum, 346 N. Neil St., C. Free.

Your budding carpenter will have a chance to build a new creation, plumb a water fountain or explore green energy. Activities sponsored by various building trades are aimed at children from preschool through middle school, but all ages can take part.

Participants can visit more than 20 “cities,” including a new Concrete City to investigate the science of concrete or the Brick and Mortar City to see why the smartest pig made a house out of bricks.

A playhouse built by Carpenter’s Local 44 will be raffled offm with proceeds benefiting museum programs. All activities will be set up in the parking lot in front of the museum. Admission will be charged for entrance to the museum itself.

For information: Call 352-5895 or visit

Sprouts! Sprouts at the Market, 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Urbana Market at the Square, southeast parking lot of Lincoln Square Village, Illinois and Vine streets, Urbana.

The monthly Sprouts event gives children ages 3 to 8 a chance to learn about eating seasonal, healthful foods. They will have a chance to meet farmers, get nutrition information and sample some of the fruits, vegetables, cheese, honey and other farm products available at the city's Market at the Square.

The first session on Saturday will be a seed-planting workshop co-sponsored by the Champaign County Extension Master Gardeners. Kids can learn about the life cycle of plants, examine several different kinds of seeds and plant a bush bean seed to take home.

Sprouts workshops in June, July, August and September will focus on summer and fall produce. Each participating child receives a certificate, and t-shirts will be available for purchase.

For information: Check the full blog post for all the details, or call 384-2319 or visit

Bicycle Rodeo: 9 a.m. to 11:30, Urbana Market at the Square, southeast parking lot of Lincoln Square Village, Illinois and Vine streets, Urbana. Free.

Your kids can practice bicycle safety at a free Bike Rodeo and helmet fitting hosted by the C-U Safe Routes to Schools Project. A bicycle obstacle course will help them practice skills to become better bicyclists and avoid typical crashes. And you get can a free bike safety check at one of the hands-on bicycle safety stations.

You can bring your own bikes and helmets, or some will be on-site to use. You can also buy a helmet for $10.

For information: Visit

Sail away: Sailboat Show and Clinton Lake Sailing Association open house, noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Clinton Lake Marina, end of Sailboat Drive, Clinton.

Learn more about sailing and take a free sailboat ride.  Association members provide rides and have a variety of sailboats on display. Food will also be provided.

For information: Call 377-0661 or visit

A Midsummer Knight’s Read: Summer reading kickoff, 2  to 2:45 p.m. Saturday, Robeson Pavilion Room A & B, Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green St., C. Free.

Begin your quest to enjoy a summer of reading, adventure and enchantment. Join us for face painting, games and activities as we kick off A Midsummer Knight’s Read, the library’s summer reading game for children (babies to fourth-grade graduates).

For information: Call 403-2030 or visit or

(Note: The Urbana Free Library's summer reading program kicks off Monday; for information, go to the library's website)

Summer Kickoff Sunday: 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Savoy Recreation Center, 402 W. Graham Drive, Savoy. Free.

Check out the Savoy Recreation Center's summer offerings at this free event, which will feature a bounce house, information on bicycle safety, carnival-type events, giveaways and raffles. The center's programs are open to all, not just Savoy residents, and this will be an opportunity to sign up before the summer starts.

If the weather holds, the event will also include the outdoor activities from the Savoy Play Day at Prairie Park that was canceled last weekend because of rain.

For information: visit

Artist reception: “Those Who Teach, Can,” 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Indi Go Artist Co-Op. 9 E. University Ave., C.

Closing reception for children and families to see a display of personal artwork by Champaign Unit 4 artists/teachers. Light refreshments will be provided. The exhibit is also open from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday.

For information:  Call 979-0920 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,

Photo: Anna Perez of Urbana checks out just a sample of Bonnie Vreeman’s Greener Giggles dolls at the 2008 Market at the Square in Urbana. Heather Coit/The News-Gazette

Asim Baraka, right, 5, of Champaign, builds a box for his toys with some help from his mother, Maryka Baraka, during the 18th Annual Kids' Building Fair in the parking lot of the Orpheum Children's Science Museum in Champaign, Ill on Saturday, May 15, 2010. This year's building fair featured plumbing and concrete stations for the first time. More construction equipment along with an expansion of alternative engergy stations were also featured. Heather Coit/The News-Gazette

Tristen Ting, 3, of Champaign, gets into his role as construction worker as he prepares to don a pair of safety goggles at the 18th Annual Kids' Building Fair in the parking lot of the Orpheum Children's Science Museum in Champaign, Ill on Saturday, May 15, 2010. Heather Coit/The News-Gazette




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