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Looking for fun things to do in the Peoria Area? We have you covered. Below you can explore a wide variety of events and activities happening in Peoria, IL.

Exhibit Opening: “The Art of Olof Krans: Painter of Bishop Hill”

November 29, 2014
Peoria Riverfront Museum
222 SW Washington St.
Peoria, IL 61602
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An exhibition celebrating the paintings of Illinois’ best-known folk artist, Olof Krans, who documented 19th century life in Bishop Hill, is opening to the public Oct. 11 at Peoria Riverfront Museum. “The Art of Olof Krans: Painter of Bishop Hill” was created in conjunction with the release of a new book on Krans and his work.
The show will feature more than 20 paintings, as well as several items of furniture and artifacts from the Bishop Hill Colony – some of which have never before been displayed in Peoria. Works include portraits of early settlers, views of the colony’s ocean voyage from Sweden, and scenes of early life in Bishop Hill.
Exhibited works come from the museum's permanent collection, a local private collection and the Bishop Hill Museum – which loaned two large-scale paintings including Krans’ famous self-portrait at age 70. The exhibition is curated by Kristan H. McKinsey.
The exhibit celebrates the release of a comprehensive survey – or catalogue raisonné – of Krans' work and his documentation of life in the Bishop Hill Colony. The fully illustrated hardcover book, The Art of Olof Krans: A Prairie Vision, 2014, is available for purchase in the museum store.
The book features essays on Krans’ legacy by Chicago art historian, Esther Sparks, and Martha Jane Downey, Superintendent of Bishop Hill State Historic Site.
It was published by Peoria Riverfront Museum and sponsored by Illinois folk art collector, Merle H. Glick, with additional funding from the American Folk Art Society and David Connor. Printing was made possibible by a grant from the Barbro Osher Pro Suesa Foundation of San Francisco, Calif.

Christmas Cookie Walk

November 29, 2014 - 09:00AM to 04:00PM
Bishop Hill Arts Council
P.O. Box 47
Bishop Hill, IL 61419
309-927-3899
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Held at the Colony School Friday and Saturday from 9am-4pm. Local elves make cookies that are sure to please everyone.

Wildlife Waddle

November 29, 2014 - 09:15AM to 03:00PM
Wildlife Prairie Park
3826 N. Taylor Rd.
Hanna City, IL 61536
309-676-0998
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Looking to walk off that Thanksgiving Turkey without having to endure the crowds at the mall? Join us at the Park for a day of waddling. We will have mapped out courses throughout the Park with various levels of intensity. We will also have guided tours of our animal trails!

This is your chance to walk off the turkey and learn all about our animals with your very own tour guide through the Park. Tours are free with your park admission, or free altogether for Park members. Tours will begin at 9:30am and the last tour will depart from the Visitor Center at 2:30pm.  Each tour will have a special animal enrichment program. No tour sees the same program making each tour uniquely fun!

Mike the Bison will also be moved up to the Pioneer area so all guests can have a better view of him. The first 100 guests to greet Mike will receive a free prize!

What if it’s cold? No worries at all! We will have a nice, toasty fire pit at the visitor center bricks area to warm you up.

General Park Admission for this event.

JULMARKNAD (Christmas Market)

November 29, 2014 - 10:00AM to 05:00PM
Bishop Hill Arts Council
Bishop Hill, IL 61419
309 927 3899
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Attractions include Swedish folk characters, traditional Swedish holiday decorations and Christmas gifts for sale.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 28 , 29 and 30. See Tomten, our Swedish elves, roam through the town, shaking hands with tourists, looking through windows, and peeking around corners in their red and grey outfit. A working model railroad and woodcarving demonstrations will be in the Steeple Building. At the Welcome Center, a Christmas tree display will be created that features the Bishop Hill Colony's Dairy Maids. This tree display was last shown in the Governor's Mansion. A multi-artist exhibit will also be located at VagnHall Galleri in the Prairie Arts. Center. Cookie baking will be done in the 1860's Bjorklund Hotel kitchen. Sample freshly baked cookies from 1 t0 3 p.m. on Nov.28 & 29. Old World Santa Claus will visit with children from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Welcome Center. Cameras are welcome.

Illinois River Bluff Trail Hike

November 29, 2014 - 10:00AM to 12:00PM
Camp Wokanda
620 Boy Scout Rd.
Chillicothe, IL 61523
(309) 579-2157
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The Peoria Park District’s Camp Wokanda will host an Illinois River Bluff Trail Hike beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 29.
Come burn off some of that excess turkey with an extensive con-ditioning hike through the Illinois River Bluff Trail. The hike is free, but be sure to bring a sack lunch. No need to register, the group will meet at Camp Wokanda’s lower parking lot before 10 a.m., hike to Robinson Park for lunch, then return back to Camp.
For more information, call Camp Wokanda, (309) 579-2157, located at 620 Boy Scout Road in Chillicothe.

Exhibition opening: “Impressionism to Modernism: A Paradigm Shift in American Art”

November 29, 2014 - 10:00AM to 12:00PM
Peoria Riverfront Museum
222 SW Washington St.
Peoria, IL 61602
309-863-3006
Add to Itinerary

A new exhibit on the evolution of 20th century American art opens to the public at Peoria Riverfront Museum Sept. 27. “Impressionism into Modernism: A Paradigm Shift in American Art,” is a visual journey through the dramatic transformation of American art from the academic realism of the 1880s to the abstract expressionism of the 1940s and 50s.

Presented within the cultural and historical context of the time, the exhibit showcases modern art – mainly paintings, drawings and prints – made in the United States from 1880 to 1950 by American and foreign-born artists. The story focuses on artists working in Chicago, which became the cultural center for the Midwest following Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Accordingly, the exhibit draws from several Illinois art collections, including those of Dr. William H. and Nancy Marshall, Peoria; Illinois State Museum, Springfield; Richard Norton Gallery, Chicago; and Clifford Law Offices P.C., Chicago.

Among the works included in the exhibit are two paintings which have never before been on public display, on loan from the Clifford Law Offices.

Curated by Kristan H. McKinsey, the exhibit also traces the impact on American art of pivotal historical events, including two world wars and the Great Depression, cultural revolutions such as the 1913 Armory Show, the rapid growth of U.S. cities, scientific discoveries and new insight into human psychology.

New York replaced post-WWII Paris as the world’s cultural capital, and the exhibit also examines the dialogue between U.S. and European artists as they experimented with progressive styles and techniques.

A special interactive allows visitors to explore The Armory Show – the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art – the largest group of modern art ever amassed in one location. The show introduced Americans to the avant-garde art of Picasso and Duchamp. It also featured a small number of revolutionary works that shocked visitors and altered the course of modern art in America and Europe.

Impressionism to Modernism: A Paradigm Shift in American Art runs from Sept. 27, 2014 through Jan. 11, 2015. The museum thanks exhibit sponsors Rennie Atterbury, Thomas and Lois Mayer, and Terry Knueppel. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

The Peoria Riverfront Museum is the collaborative effort of eight organizations, with nearly 500 years of combined experience educating, entertaining, and supporting our diverse Peoria-area culture. Our mission is to inspire lifelong learning for all - connecting art, history, science, and achievement through collections, exhibitions, and programs. Visit PeoriaRiverfrontMuseum.org.

Festival of Lights East Peoria Folepi's Winter Wonderland

November 29, 2014 - 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
123 Par 3 Lane
East Peoria, IL 61611
309-676-0303
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OPENS THANKSGIVING NIGHT, NOV. 27, 2014!
RUNS NIGHTLY THROUGH DEC. 31

ADDRESS: 123 Par 3 Lane, East Peoria, IL  61611 (in VFW Post 2078 Park off Springfield Road)
ATTENTION GPS USERS: INPUT ADDRESS 801 SPRINGFIELD ROAD, WHICH IS LINCOLN SCHOOL. THE ENTRANCE TO WINTER WONDERLAND IS ABOUT ONE BLOCK PAST THE SCHOOL.
5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday 
All vehicles - $10, except for full-size charter buses which are $150 (cash, debit and credit cards accepted)

The drive-through electric park is the Festival of Lights' signature event! Folepi's Winter Wonderland features the majority of the Parade of Lights floats and many other lighted displays.

The Winter Wonderland entrance is off Springfield Road on Par 3 Lane. Tune your vehicle's radio to 107.9 for holiday music to accompany your drive!

The popular ski jumper display is featured in Winter Wonderland along with the Parade of Lights floats, and displays including lighted arches and circus animals, the Western town, Space Land, the Candy Cane Factory,Prehistoric Lane and more!

J.K. Williams Distilling Tour and Tastings

November 29, 2014 - Saturdays from 12-5pm, Sundays from 12-4pm
J.K. Williams Distilling, LLC
526 High Point Lane
East Peoria, IL 61611
309-839-0591
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J.K Williams is a family distillery producing high-quality craft whiskey and bourbon in the tradition of our bootlegging great-great grandpa, J.K. Williams.  Stop by for an educational tour and samples of our products Saturdays: 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Sundays: 12 pm to 4 pm. Tours every 30 minutes.

Rounding Third

November 29, 2014 - 7:30pm, Friday, November 28th 7:30pm, Saturday, November 29th 7:30pm, Friday, December 5th 2:00pm, Saturday, December 6th 7:30pm, Saturday, December 6th
Festival 56
316 S. Main Street
Princeton, IL 61356
(815) 879-5656
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by Richard Dresser

Directed by Kody C. Jones

November 28th through December 6th, 2014
Grace Performing Arts Center

The tumultuous journey of two Little League coaches through an entire season, from their first tentative meeting to the climactic championship game. Don is the tough, blue-collar, win-at-all-costs veteran coach whose son is the star pitcher. Michael is a corporate executive who's new to baseball. Despite their differences, Michael and Don form an uneasy alliance for the benefit of the team. And over the course of exhilarating victories, heartbreaking defeats, and interminable rain-outs, the two men battle over how to lead the team.

Individual Show Times & Dates

7:30pm, Friday, November 28th
7:30pm, Saturday, November 29th
7:30pm, Friday, December 5th
2:00pm, Saturday, December 6th
7:30pm, Saturday, December 6th

Cast Members

Don - Robert Tobin
Michael- Patrick Doolin

5th Annual Kristkindlmarkt

November 29, 2014 - Sat., Nov. 29th: 10 am to 5 pm Sun., Nov. 30th: 11am to 5 pm And Sat., Dec. 13th: 10 am to 5 pm Sun., Dec. 14th: 11am to 5 pm
7601 N Harker Dr
Peoria, IL 61615
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Please Join Us At Our
German Christmas Market at the
Lindenhof in Peoria!
Various Vendors will be showcasing various Arts,
Crafts, Jewelry, Toys, Clothing, Collectables,
Woodworking Items, Christmas Cards,
Ornaments, House Hold Items, and Fashion
Accessories Perfect for Gift Giving!
Food and Beverages will be available for
purchase, including Wiener Schnitzel, Bratwurst,
Bavarian Pretzels, Glühwein, German Beer, Hot
Chocolate and more!

Christmastime GospelFest

November 29, 2014 - Doors open at 6:15pm, Show at 7:00pm
Five Points Washington
360 N Wilmor Rd
Washington, IL 61571
(309) 678-7399
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The 10th Annual “Christmastime GospelFest” is a fantastic way to kick off your Christmas celebration with traditional music that celebrates the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Shawn Degenhart and the GospelFest Singers will be presenting the “best of the best” Christmas songs from their concerts through these past 10 years. This annual Christmas concert has become a holiday tradition for hundreds of families throughout central Illinois. Go to www.gospelfestministries.com for more information.

Christmas Lunch Cruise

November 29, 2014 - Boarding at Noon Lunch at 12:30pm with show following
Spirit of Peoria
100 N. E. Water Street
Peoria, IL 61602
800-676-8988
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Join Barry Cloyd and Brian “Fox” Ellis as Prairie Folklore Theatre celebrates the Spirit of the Holidays on the Spirit of Peoria with “A Prairie Christmas.” Celebrate love, family and friends with songs and stories from not so long ago, and not so far away. In this toe-tapping tour of an old-fashioned Christmas you can sing-a-long with your favorite carols and explore the stories behind the songs and traditions. Blending tales from pioneer days with local history and Old English carols, we rejoice in the true meaning of the holiest of seasons

Nov 29, Dec 3, 5, 8, 10, 12

It's an Old Fashioned Christmas

November 29, 2014 - Evening Performances Doors Open 6:00 P.M. Buffet 6:30 - 7:30 P.M. Show Starts 8:00 P.M. Sunday Brunch Performances Doors Open 12:00 Noon Buffet 12:00 - 1:00 P.M. Show Starts 1:30 P.M.
Conklin's Barn II Dinner Theatre
1451 Timberline Rd.
Goodfield, IL 61742
(309) 965-2545
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We're journeying back to the good old days in an all-new edition of our annual revue of holiday music, comedy and hilarious audience participation that will send your holiday spirit soaring, get your toes tapping and your belly shaking like a bowl full of jelly. Our multi-talented cast will make your spirit bright throughout the whole season! This year's edition takes us "down home" for an old-fashioned and hilarious country Christmas and then takes us back to the WWII era with a USA show for the troops. Our most popular show of the year, seats always fill up quickly, so book early for this perfect outing for family, friends and company parties! A guaranteed good time for all!  Wednesday evenings are added during December. No performance on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve or  Christmas Day.
November 6-December 31, 2014

Candlelight Walks

November 29, 2014 - 06:00PM to 09:00PM
2520 N. Prospect Rd.
Peoria, IL 61603
309-686-3362
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Continue a holiday tradition...or start a new one! Visit Luthy Botanical Garden’s Poinsettia Show at night and enjoy live performances of holiday music while strolling through a candlelit wonderland.  As our gift to you, admission will be waived during the holidays, although donations are always appreciated.

The Princeton Coffeehouse Presents Bob Bovee & Pop Wagner in Concert

November 29, 2014 - Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Show time is 7:30 p.m.
The Princeton Coffeehouse
25 E. Marion St
Princeton , IL 61356
815-875-4555
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Bob Bovee and Pop Wagner will appear at The Princeton Coffeehouse on November 29th. Bovee is a Nebraska native, now living in southern Minnesota, who plays banjo, guitar and autoharp, has remarkable yodeling skills, and an encyclopedic knowledge of old-time music. Wagner is an authentic cowboy, raconteur, guitar picker, fiddler, and downright funny guy. The two have played at countless concerts and festivals throughout the country.

Exhibit Opening: “The Art of Olof Krans: Painter of Bishop Hill”

November 30, 2014
Peoria Riverfront Museum
222 SW Washington St.
Peoria, IL 61602
Add to Itinerary

An exhibition celebrating the paintings of Illinois’ best-known folk artist, Olof Krans, who documented 19th century life in Bishop Hill, is opening to the public Oct. 11 at Peoria Riverfront Museum. “The Art of Olof Krans: Painter of Bishop Hill” was created in conjunction with the release of a new book on Krans and his work.
The show will feature more than 20 paintings, as well as several items of furniture and artifacts from the Bishop Hill Colony – some of which have never before been displayed in Peoria. Works include portraits of early settlers, views of the colony’s ocean voyage from Sweden, and scenes of early life in Bishop Hill.
Exhibited works come from the museum's permanent collection, a local private collection and the Bishop Hill Museum – which loaned two large-scale paintings including Krans’ famous self-portrait at age 70. The exhibition is curated by Kristan H. McKinsey.
The exhibit celebrates the release of a comprehensive survey – or catalogue raisonné – of Krans' work and his documentation of life in the Bishop Hill Colony. The fully illustrated hardcover book, The Art of Olof Krans: A Prairie Vision, 2014, is available for purchase in the museum store.
The book features essays on Krans’ legacy by Chicago art historian, Esther Sparks, and Martha Jane Downey, Superintendent of Bishop Hill State Historic Site.
It was published by Peoria Riverfront Museum and sponsored by Illinois folk art collector, Merle H. Glick, with additional funding from the American Folk Art Society and David Connor. Printing was made possibible by a grant from the Barbro Osher Pro Suesa Foundation of San Francisco, Calif.

WeaverRidge Sunday Brunch

November 30, 2014 - 10:00AM to 02:00PM
WeaverRidge Golf Club
5100 N Weaverridge Blvd
Peoria, IL 61615
309-691-3344
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WeaverRidge Golf Club is open to the public. The Brunch features: Champagne, Mimosas, Made to order Omelettes, Belgian Waffles, Carving Station, full array of Breakfast items, Salad Bar, Lunch Entrees, Seafood Display, and a assortment of mouth watering Desserts. Served 10:00am-2:00pm. For reservations call 309-691-3344 x 3

JULMARKNAD (Christmas Market)

November 30, 2014 - 10:00AM to 05:00PM
Bishop Hill Arts Council
Bishop Hill, IL 61419
309 927 3899
Add to Itinerary

Attractions include Swedish folk characters, traditional Swedish holiday decorations and Christmas gifts for sale.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 28 , 29 and 30. See Tomten, our Swedish elves, roam through the town, shaking hands with tourists, looking through windows, and peeking around corners in their red and grey outfit. A working model railroad and woodcarving demonstrations will be in the Steeple Building. At the Welcome Center, a Christmas tree display will be created that features the Bishop Hill Colony's Dairy Maids. This tree display was last shown in the Governor's Mansion. A multi-artist exhibit will also be located at VagnHall Galleri in the Prairie Arts. Center. Cookie baking will be done in the 1860's Bjorklund Hotel kitchen. Sample freshly baked cookies from 1 t0 3 p.m. on Nov.28 & 29. Old World Santa Claus will visit with children from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Welcome Center. Cameras are welcome.

Exhibition opening: “Impressionism to Modernism: A Paradigm Shift in American Art”

November 30, 2014 - 10:00AM to 12:00PM
Peoria Riverfront Museum
222 SW Washington St.
Peoria, IL 61602
309-863-3006
Add to Itinerary

A new exhibit on the evolution of 20th century American art opens to the public at Peoria Riverfront Museum Sept. 27. “Impressionism into Modernism: A Paradigm Shift in American Art,” is a visual journey through the dramatic transformation of American art from the academic realism of the 1880s to the abstract expressionism of the 1940s and 50s.

Presented within the cultural and historical context of the time, the exhibit showcases modern art – mainly paintings, drawings and prints – made in the United States from 1880 to 1950 by American and foreign-born artists. The story focuses on artists working in Chicago, which became the cultural center for the Midwest following Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Accordingly, the exhibit draws from several Illinois art collections, including those of Dr. William H. and Nancy Marshall, Peoria; Illinois State Museum, Springfield; Richard Norton Gallery, Chicago; and Clifford Law Offices P.C., Chicago.

Among the works included in the exhibit are two paintings which have never before been on public display, on loan from the Clifford Law Offices.

Curated by Kristan H. McKinsey, the exhibit also traces the impact on American art of pivotal historical events, including two world wars and the Great Depression, cultural revolutions such as the 1913 Armory Show, the rapid growth of U.S. cities, scientific discoveries and new insight into human psychology.

New York replaced post-WWII Paris as the world’s cultural capital, and the exhibit also examines the dialogue between U.S. and European artists as they experimented with progressive styles and techniques.

A special interactive allows visitors to explore The Armory Show – the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art – the largest group of modern art ever amassed in one location. The show introduced Americans to the avant-garde art of Picasso and Duchamp. It also featured a small number of revolutionary works that shocked visitors and altered the course of modern art in America and Europe.

Impressionism to Modernism: A Paradigm Shift in American Art runs from Sept. 27, 2014 through Jan. 11, 2015. The museum thanks exhibit sponsors Rennie Atterbury, Thomas and Lois Mayer, and Terry Knueppel. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

The Peoria Riverfront Museum is the collaborative effort of eight organizations, with nearly 500 years of combined experience educating, entertaining, and supporting our diverse Peoria-area culture. Our mission is to inspire lifelong learning for all - connecting art, history, science, and achievement through collections, exhibitions, and programs. Visit PeoriaRiverfrontMuseum.org.

Festival of Lights East Peoria Folepi's Winter Wonderland

November 30, 2014 - 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
123 Par 3 Lane
East Peoria, IL 61611
309-676-0303
Add to Itinerary

OPENS THANKSGIVING NIGHT, NOV. 27, 2014!
RUNS NIGHTLY THROUGH DEC. 31

ADDRESS: 123 Par 3 Lane, East Peoria, IL  61611 (in VFW Post 2078 Park off Springfield Road)
ATTENTION GPS USERS: INPUT ADDRESS 801 SPRINGFIELD ROAD, WHICH IS LINCOLN SCHOOL. THE ENTRANCE TO WINTER WONDERLAND IS ABOUT ONE BLOCK PAST THE SCHOOL.
5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday 
All vehicles - $10, except for full-size charter buses which are $150 (cash, debit and credit cards accepted)

The drive-through electric park is the Festival of Lights' signature event! Folepi's Winter Wonderland features the majority of the Parade of Lights floats and many other lighted displays.

The Winter Wonderland entrance is off Springfield Road on Par 3 Lane. Tune your vehicle's radio to 107.9 for holiday music to accompany your drive!

The popular ski jumper display is featured in Winter Wonderland along with the Parade of Lights floats, and displays including lighted arches and circus animals, the Western town, Space Land, the Candy Cane Factory,Prehistoric Lane and more!

UPCOMING EVENTS


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