Get ready to deck the halls, because Champaign is bustling with holiday cheer! Here are five great events for your family and friends to consider as we enter the holiday season.



1. Visits with Santa at The Virginia Theatre

Bring the kids to visit Old Saint Nick at The Virginia Theatre in Downtown Champaign! On Wednesday, December 4, Thursday December 5, and Thursday, December 12 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., bring your cameras and wish lists to visit and take a photo with Santa! Hosted by the Champaign Center Partnership and the Champaign Park District and sponsored by Hickory Point Bank, don’t miss this chance to visit Kris Kringle himself in The Virginia Theatre’s beautiful Mezzanine lobby. All participating kids receive a free candy cane and cookie!




2. Hometown Holiday Shop & Stroll

Looking to do some last-minute holiday shopping and a festive hometown vibe? Join us in the heart of Champaign Center at the First Annual Hometown Holiday Shop & Stroll on Saturday, December 14 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Over fifteen shops will be opening their doors in Champaign’s Downtown, Midtown, and Campustown neighborhoods for an afternoon shopping event featuring fun sales, treats, gift wrapping, live music, and trolley rides. Promos include hot cocoa & coffee tastings, and a raffle entry to win a $50 gift card with any purchase at Ten Thousand Villages, 25% your purchase at Jane Addams Bookshop, Circles Boutique, Dandelion, and more! Don’t miss a chance to get out on the town and support local businesses. For more information, follow the Facebook event here.




3. Snow Globe at The Orpheum

Ever dreamed of what it’s like inside of a snow globe? Dream no more, because the Orpheum is hosting Snow Globe Saturdays this holiday season! This annual event features indoor sledding, holiday games, crafts, and treats – the perfect setting for an entertaining afternoon with the kids. Snow Globe Saturdays are happening on Saturday December 7, 14 and 21, from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Admission is $8 for individuals or $28 for a family of four and $3 for Orpheum Museum members. Discounts available for families whose income qualifies. For more information, contact The Orpheum at (217) 352-5895 or email info@orpheumkids.com.



4. Jolly Trolley Rides at The Orpheum

You’re bound to have a “holly jolly” Christmas on a Jolly Trolley Ride! Experience decorated storefronts and scenic city views aboard the Jolly Trolley. On Saturday, December 7 and Saturday, December 14 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m., the Jolly Trolley will take you on a 30-minute ride from The Orpheum Children’s Science Museum in downtown Champaign to Campustown and back, with complimentary hot cocoa from Bossa Nova Café! Purchase tickets that include both entry to the Snow Globe and a Trolley ride for only $13 per person for December 7 at tinyurl.com/trollydec7 or for December 14 at tinyurl.com/trollydec14.




5. A Magical Cirque Christmas at The Virginia Theatre

Celebrate the wonder of the season at a Magical Cirque Christmas at the Virginia Theatre! Bring the whole family on December 11 at 8:30 p.m. and prepare to be dazzled by this touring spectacle! Brought to you by the producers of Broadway’s smash hit The Illusionists, experience the magic of Christmas with world-class performers and breathtaking cirque artists from all corners of the world, accompanied by your favorite holiday music performed live! Don’t miss out on this one-night only event.


With these five fun events to choose from, the holidays are bound to be merry and filled with great fun. From everyone at the Champaign Center Partnership, we wish you and yours a very happy holiday season!

By Melinda Sevilla, Contributing Writer