Holiday events for the whole family in Central Illinois



There are a lot of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy during the holidays that are free or affordable throughout Central Illinois, and here are just a few.  


Illinois Local Small Business Saturday Holiday Market 

Saturday, November 25 

Exposition Building, Illinois State Fairgrounds 

9 am to 4 pm 

Entry is $3, 12 and under FREE. 


Christmas Tree Lighting 

Old State Capitol Plaza 

Downtown Springfield 

Saturday, November 25, 7:30 pm 


Old Capitol Holiday Walks 

Wednesdays and Saturdays, November 26 to December 21

The whole family can enjoy special events in downtown Springfield through the holiday season. 

Enjoy a free, 10-minute wagon ride around the Old State Capitol on Wednesdays from 4 pm to 7 pm and Saturdays from 3 pm to 5 pm. 

Children’s arts and crafts at the Illinois State Museum on Wednesdays 4 pm to 7 pm and Saturdays 10 am to 7 pm 


Illinois Products Holiday Market

Downtown Springfield

Friday, December 1, 4 pm to 9 pm

Saturday, December 2, 11 am to 6 pm

Sunday, December 3, 11 am to 4 pm

Vendors offering a variety of Illinois Products perfect for gift giving, stocking stuffing or something for yourself.

Children's activities, sleigh selfie station, live music performances.


Holiday Craft Fair 

Jubilee Farm, Springfield 

December 1 through December 3, 10 am to 3 pm 

Admittance FREE 

Enjoy a variety of sewing, knitted, and crochet items, pottery, gift baskets, bead work, Christmas decorations, and more. 

Homemade baked goods are available beginning December 1 until sold out. 

Cash or check only.


Springfield Youth Performance Group 

The Nutcracker 

Sacred Heart-Griffin High School 

Saturday, December 2, 2 pm and 6 pm  

Sunday, December 3, 2 pm 

Tickets are $15 per child, $25 per adult. 


Holiday Lights Parade 

Saturday, December 2 

Downtown Springfield

Hosted by the Springfield Jaycees, the parade begins at dusk and runs from Jefferson Street to Fifth Street to Monroe Street to Sixth Street. 


Clayville Candlelight Christmas 

Friday, December 8, 5 pm to 9 pm

Saturday, December 9, 3:30 pm to 9 pm 

Tour the Broadwell Inn and Tavern, Batterton Cabin, Cunningham Barn, blacksmith shop, schoolhouse, and agriculture museum, all decked out for Christmas and lit with candles. Donations accepted. Coffee, hot chocolate, and light snacks are available to purchase. 


Caroling at the Carillon & Jingle Bells Spectacular 

Washington Park, Springfield 

December 10, 3 pm to 5:30 pm 

Gather around a roaring bonfire and sing Christmas carols accompanied by the Carillon. 

Kid-friendly activities, including arts, crafts, photo ops, and Santa. Complimentary snacks and drinks, including apple cider and apple cider doughnuts courtesy of the Apple Barn, with cookies and hot chocolate courtesy of Meijer. 

The Jingle Bells Spectacular begins at 3 pm, caroling at 4 pm, and Christmas tree lights 5:20 pm.

FREE. Donations are welcome. 


Treat Tree Workshop 

December 21, 9 am to 11 am 

Washington Park Botanical Garden, Springfield 

Get messy and make wildlife-friendly ornaments for your trees. Participants ages 5 to 9 will make ornaments from birdseed, spices, and fruits. 

$35 to $40 


We appreciate our communities and are excited for a busy holiday season.