Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Historic Holidays in Springfield, Illinois

[Springfield, Ill.] - Make merry in historic Springfield, Illinois with candlelit seasonal events, festive restaurants and cozy accommodations. Many of the city’s historic sites offer special holiday decorations, tours and activities to help put you in a festive mood. 

The Lincoln Home National Historic Site will offer “Christmas with the Lincolns” daily from Dec. 3 – Jan. 2. Visit the only home that Lincoln ever owned, decorated with period holiday garlands, boughs and holly. See where the boys hung their stockings in anticipation of Father Christmas’ arrival and imagine the Lincoln family’s preparation for entertaining friends and family during the holiday season. Free admission tickets to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site are available at the site’s visitors center. 

Visit historic downtown Springfield for the Old Capitol Holiday Walks, Dec. 3, 4, 10 and 17 from 5:00 – 8:00 PM. Visit over 30 unique and local shops and restaurants, ride in a horse-drawn trolley and give Santa your wish-list at this festive event. The Old State Capitol will offer “Holiday Stories with the Lincolns” during the walks on the Dec. 3 and 4, a holiday concert with the Lincoln Land Community College Choir on Dec. 10 and “Caroling with the Lincolns” on Dec. 17. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Dana-Thomas House will offer evening tours on Holiday Walk evenings at 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM. The home’s Sumac gift shop will be open for shoppers.

Abraham Lincoln was a frequent visitor to the Elijah Iles House, the oldest home in Springfield. Take a candlelight tour of the home on Friday, Dec. 5 and Friday Dec. 20 from 5:00 – 8:00 PM. Donations accepted. 

Meet Illinois Artisans and see them demonstrate their work at the “Holiday Art Spree” at the Illinois State Museum Friday, Dec. 5, from 5:00 – 8:00 PM, Saturday Dec. 6, from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Sunday Dec. 7, from noon – 4:00 PM. Artwork will include ceramics, glass, jewelry, painting and wearable art. Free admission to both the Art Spree and the Illinois State Museum. 

Santa Claus is coming to town on Saturday, Dec. 6 for the 43rd Annual Springfield Christmas Parade. The theme this year is Christmas Comedy, and this downtown evening light parade is full of floats, Christmas characters and holiday fun.

On Dec. 6, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Oak Ridge Cemetery will be the site for the “Vietnam Christmas Remembrance” program from 1:00 - 3:00 PM for all Illinois Also on Dec. 6, visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum for “Holiday Story Time.” Join in the fun with stories, crafts and music. The Eddy Flute Choir will perform at 11:00 AM in the museum plaza. At 3:00 PM, Civil War Santa will arrive for story time, a craft and cookies. 

Celebrate Christmas at the Clayville Historic Site, a former tavern and inn along a stagecoach route between Springfield and Beardstown, Illinois at a holiday event on Dec. 6 from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM featuring carols, refreshments, children’s activities and visit from Santa Claus.  Admission. 

Mark the 100th anniversary of the 1914 WWI Christmas Truce at the Illinois State Military Museum’s program “Christmas at the Front: A Centennial Celebration,” on Dec. 13. Visitors can listen to brief talks, meet WWI soldier reenactors, enjoy hot drinks and cookies, and listen to carols by the Sweet Adelines Sound Celebration. The program begins at 2:00 pm and admission is free.

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