Friday, December 6, 2013

5 Holiday Season Events to Enjoy the City of Peoria

Peoria is one of the oldest settlements in Illinois making it one of the biggest on holiday traditions. Every year the community creates new traditions as well as embraces the old.

Peoria Illinois celebrates the holiday season big every year, from extravagant light shows to hilarious musicals that will have you laughing so hard you cry. The following five events and attractions in Peoria offer something the entire family can enjoy in Peoria.

Luthy Botanical Gardens Candlelight Walks

Every Friday and Saturday from November 11th through December 20th the botanical garden will host a holiday wonderland with live holiday music and a candlelight walk. It will be hosted at Luthy Botanical Gardens, 2520 N. Prospect Rd, Peoria.

Pekin Winter Wonderland

The Pekin winter Wonderland is a festival that hosts a number of events over several weeks. At the beginning of the festival there is a parade and fireworks. There are also horse drawn carriages, refreshments, and winter activities for all ages. This event is hosted annually in Pekin Illinois.

East Peoria Winter Wonderland

The East Peoria Winter Wonderland is the host of an amazing light show like no other. Visitors pay just $10 to enjoy a stunning electric park. Bring the whole family to enjoy the sparkling beauties of Peoria Illinois. You can find this winter wonderland at 123 Par 3 Lane, East Peoria, IL 61611.

Conklin's Barn II Dinner Theatre

A deck the halls musical where the audience participates. The talented cast is sure to make you tap your toes and sing along. Every year this cast has showed the residents and visitors of Peoria a good time. You can see this musical weekly at Conklin’s Barn II Dinner Theatre. Admission is $35.

Family Holiday Skate

On December 21 bring the kids down to skate with Santa. On December 22 bring the entire family in and start your own family tradition. This event is located at the Owens Center, 1019 W. lake Ave, Peoria IL 61614.

Peoria hosts many more holiday events yearly. This list is only meant to give you a few ideas about how to enjoy the city Peoria around the holiday season.

Other Notable Events in Peoria

Some other events worth looking into are the poinsettia show at Luthy Botanical Gardens, the Luthy Botanical Gardens Kwanza Display, the Washington Candlelight Stroll, the Holiday Dinner Show and Holiday Lunch Show at Spirit of Peoria, Santa’s Wildlife Express at the Wildlife Prairie, and Splendor of Christmas Past at the five historic homes on Glen Oak and Moss Avenues.

Also consider checking out the Holiday Extravaganza at the Proctor center. This event is free and offer giveaways, entertainment, and food. Another great event is the Holiday Gift Show hosted on December 14th from 9 am to 3 pm at the Avanti’s Dome. If you are a Nightmare before Christmas fan, then do not forget to stop by the Peoria Civic Center on December 14th at 5:30 pm to see the show you won’t forget.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Family Event: The Nutcracker Ballet in Morton

On Saturday, December 14, 2013 at the Berta Frank Performing Arts Center, you can treat your loved ones to the glittering, shimmering spectacle of the holiday cheer brought by the Nutcracker. Enchanting and lyrical, magical and mesmerizing, the Nutcracker Ballet in Morton is a holiday tradition honored by time that combines dance and music into a dreamy holiday show. As wonderful as the season of Christmas is, the Nutcracker truly is a real-life fairy tale.

This is the second annual production of the Nutcracker Ballet and will be performed by the Cornerstone Academy of Performing Arts in partnership with The Morton Fine Arts Association. So whether you're currently living in Morton, or just visiting during the holidays, the Nutcracker Ballet is wonderful event that's definitely worth seeing.

Under the Artistic Direction of Rebekah von Rathonyi, shows will be at 2pm and 7:30 pm on December 14 and at 2pm on December 15. The show features seventy members of the cast with kids from Bettendorf IA, Peoria, Monmouth, Galesburg, Morton, Pekin, Metamora and Eureka.

The Nutcracker tells the story of the Eve of Christmas at the Stahlbaum’s home. Decorated with ornaments for Christmas, including a majestic Christmas tree they home is also filled with mistletoe, stockings, wreathes and ornaments. With their children Fritz and Clara, the Stahlbaums are preparing for their yearly Christmas party. A dancing celebration happens when the guests finally arrive at the party.

The surprise arrival of the toymaker, Godfather Drosselmeyer frightens Fritz but not Clara. The toymaker gives all the children gifts but Clara receives the best gift of all, which is the Nutcracker. As the night goes on, you can then join Clara and her Prince Nutcracker as they travel through sugar plum fairies, dancing snowflakes, a winter wonderland and an epic battle between mischievous ice and heroic toy soldiers.

You can then follow Clara on her journey with the Nutcracker to the Land of Sweets from the family party. You will see dancing dolls, a lot of gorgeous Christmas scenes and stunning sets. With the music by Tchaikovsky, you may soon realize that Christmas would not be the same without the Nutcracker.

As one of the most premier events in Morton, the performance will also include three of New York’s Rochester City Ballet guest artists. Tickets are available at and start at $26. Seat options can range from the orchestra, mezzanine or grand tier.

A non-profit organization, Cornerstone Academy provides the highest level of dance and classical ballet training. This adheres to a curriculum that specifically stresses excellent standards while nurturing artistic expressions. In Central Illinois, Cornerstone Academy seeks to enrich the quality of life by providing community outreach opportunities, artistic collaborations and scholarship programs.