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JG-TC - May 2013

101 Things To Do With Your Summer


In many ways, today's kids have busier schedules than any previous generation of youngsters. Many extracurricular activities, including sports, require a nearly yearround commitment, and the dual-income household has landed many kids in afterschool programs where kids tend to their schoolwork or engage in various activities

that keep them from resting on their laurels. But those busy schedules get a lot less hectic when the school year ends. Once school is out, kids used to a full schedule might find themselves with lots of time on their hands. Though it's good for kids to squeeze in some rest and relaxation during their summer break, it's also important for kids to stay active so they don't develop poor habits as the summer goes on. In addition, the American Psychological Association notes that kids who are physically active are more capable of coping with stress and tend to have higher self-esteem than kids who do not include physical activity as part of their regular routines. The following are a few suggestions for parents looking for ways to keep their kids active throughout the summer while still allowing them to recharge their batteries after a long school year. • Plan an active vacation. Summer is when many families go on vacation, so why not choose a vacation that involves more than napping poolside? Though it's still good to leave some time for relaxation, find a locale where you can embrace activities like snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, or other adventures that get you and your youngsters off the poolside chaise and out exploring. Such a trip might inspire kids to embrace an activity


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more fully, getting them off the couch not only while they're on vacation but also when they return home for the rest of summer. • Teach kids to garden. Gardening might be seen as a peaceful and relaxing hobby, but it still requires a lot of elbow grease and hard work that pays physical dividends. A garden must be planted, hoed, weeded, and watered, and gardening gets kids out of the house to enjoy the great outdoors. When growing a vegetable garden, kids might embrace the chance to be directly involved in the foods that will eventually end up on their dinner tables. Parents can embrace this as an opportunity to teach the value of eating locally-produced foods and the positive impact such behavior has on the environment. * Go swimming. Few adults who work in offices haven't looked out their windows on a sunny summer day and thought how nice it would be to be spending that afternoon making a few laps in a lake, at the beach or in a pool. Kids have the same daydreams during the summer, so take a day off every so often and take the kids for an afternoon of swimming. Swimming is a great activity that exercises the entire body, including the shoulders, back, legs, hips, and abdominals. In addition, swimming helps kids and adults alike maintain a healthy weight while also improving their cardiovascular health. It's hard for some people to find a place to swim once the warm weather departs, so take advantage of the summer weather and go swimming as often as possible while the kids are not in school. • Limit how much time kids spend watching television, playing video games or surfing the Internet. Many of today's kids are as tech savvy as they are busy. But it's important that kids don't spend too much time online or on the couch watching television or playing video games. Such activities are largely sedentary, and they can set a bad precedent for the months ahead, even when the school year begins once again. Parents should limit how much time their youngsters spend in front of the television or the computer during summer vacation, keeping track and turning the TV or computer off if they suspect kids are spending too much time staring at the screen instead of being active. Kids might not love it when you turn their video games off or minimize their access to social media, but explain the limitations at the onset of summer and let kids know you expect them to be physically active even if it is summer vacation.

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101 Things To Do With Your Summer

JG-TC - May 2013



It can be difficult to envision warm summer days when the wind is blowing and the snow is falling. However, the winter months are a great time to explore summer camp options. In fact, many camps have strict enrollment timelines that require decisions to be made prior to spring. Attending summer camp has been a tradition in the United States for more than 150 years. Statistics indicate that around 30 million American kids attend summer camp each year. There are many benefits to summer camp. Camp enables children to stay engaged during the summer when there may be limited interaction with school friends. It also gives parents both a safe and viable daycare solution during the summer. Summer camp pulls together children from different neighborhoods, social classes and backgrounds, which can make it a good place to meet new people -- some of whom may become lifelong friends. Camps also provide a variety of activities that can challenge children to try new things that go beyond their comfort zones. Some children are very receptive

to the idea of attending summer camp. Others need a little coaxing. But summer camp should never be forced on a child who does not want to go. In such instances, consider local daytime programs that may fill the void instead of programs that require being away from home. Once the decision for summer camp is made, there are some questions to answer. * What are your finances like? Do you have a budget for summer camp? * What size camp do you desire? * Should the camp be co-ed or single sex? * How far do you want your child to travel for summer camp? What are the options in your area? * Are there any camps that have been recommended by friends or family members? * What kinds of activities do your children enjoy? These types of questions will help you narrow down your options. Then you can visit and interview camps to find one that is the best fit. When visiting camps, go armed with a checklist of questions. Some of these can include: * What is the philosophy of the camp? * Can you explain a typical day? * What are the types of activities and facilities offered? * What is the camper-to-counselor ratio? * What is the camp's drug/alcohol policy? * Does the camp have insurance and security personnel? * What percentage of staff return each year? How are staff selected and trained? * What kind of health care is provided?


* Can you tell me about the policy on phone calls and family visits? * What do you do in the event of emergencies? There are many different camps

available. Some offer a "little bit of everything." Others cater to academics, sports, specific hobbies or even religious preferences. Don't wait too long to research and sign

up for camps because many fill up quite early or have an extensive waiting list. That is why choosing a camp should be part of a winter todo list.




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JG-TC - May 2013

101 Things To Do With Your Summer


One of the easiest ways to quickly lower your score is to focus on your short game. This is an area where most amateurs can pick up a lot of strokes. One of my favorite shots is a little chip shot that stays really low to the ground and rolls very much like a putt — some people refer to it as a “bump and run.” I try to teach

all of my students this shot because it is easy to duplicate and very reliable. By keeping the ball low, you eliminate the worry about how much carry you need and are able to focus on distance and direction. And, if you watch your shot roll out, you can also learn what you might expect from your putt. A “bump and run” chip shot

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is one that will carry the ball just over the fringe, landing on the green about three feet from the edge and rolling the rest of the way to the hole. Allowing the ball to roll to the hole — and not fly all the way — is the primary consideration. A good rule of thumb for this shot is “minimum air time, maximum ground time.” Proper club selection depends on how much green is between your landing area and the hole, and whether you are playing uphill or downhill. Typically, this shot works best with a pitching wedge or sand wedge for shorter distances and a 7- or 8-iron when the hole is a little further away. After selecting a club, determine a target line and set your clubface square to this line. Sometimes the target line is directly toward the hole, other times you must accom-

modate a left or right break in the green. Be sure to consider break when planning how far the ball will roll. Keeping your clubface square to the target line, address the ball with your feet, knees, hips, and shoulders all slightly open to the target line. This open stance gets your lower body out of the way of the shot. Next, position the ball about two inches inside your front foot and place slightly more than half of your weight forward and grip the club with your forward wrist flat. With my right-handed players, I sometimes refer to this set up as the “Triple Left”— the ball is left, your weight is left and you strike the ball with your left hand. Lastly, make a short, smooth stroke back and through on the

target line, keeping the back of your front hand and wrist flat —almost like a putting stroke. The ball should fly very low to the ground, land about three feet onto the green and roll to the hole. Remember that backswing equals distance and follow through equals direction.A good habit to get into is to hold your finish position, with the club head pointing along the target line and your front wrist flat, until the ball has stopped moving. With a little practice you will soon be chipping closer to the hole and saving more pars with this simple, easy-to-learn shot!

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101 Things To Do With Your Summer

JG-TC - May 2013


VACATION: NO TIME TO GIVE UP GOLFING By Brian Nielsen Mattoon’s Michael Freesmeier, his caddy required and provided by the golf course, and Michael’s father, Don Freesmeier,pose at the famous Pinehurst No.2 during one of the Freesmeiers’ favorite vacations. Just as scores and handicaps vary, so do rules for a guys-only golf vacation. “In the early days, we used to have a consent slip for wives of things we can do,” Mike Metzger, a Charleston

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certified public accountant, said. “I called it “Application for Trip for the Boys.’ A girlfriend or wife would have to sign a slip saying what they could and couldn’t do.” Steve Matheny’s wife has a different standard. “She’s just glad to get rid of me,” the Mattoon Realtor said with a laugh. Metzger is part of a group that’s played 67 courses in Florida and South Carolina over 20 years. Almost 30 people have made up the groups ranging from four to 12; Metzger records everyon’e best round and money winnings. “You don’t want anyone who is really good to go on the trip and you don’t want anyone who is really bad either,” Met-

zger said. Mattoon chiropractor Don Freesmeier has played with his son Michael at Pinehurts, with its PGA tradition, and son Andrew at Kohler, Wis., site of Blackwolf and Whistling Straits. On his list for a future trip is Greenbrier, W.Va., where a fabulous hotel is among the attractions. “I’m planning on losing a few golf balls there,” Freesmier said. Inidanapolis and St. Louis also offer plenty of courses. “Chicago has a lot of good courses but it’s crowded,” Freesmeier said. “There’s a lot of golfers.” Myrtle Beach Heritage and Barefoot Resort are among

favorites for Metzger’s golfing group. “In Florida, we like the Brooksville, Fla., area, about an hour and a half north of Tampa,” Metzger said. “It’s in kind of aremote area so not a lot of traffic.” Shine Doughty, pastor at Mattoon Apostolic Center, has three golf trips each year – one in the first week of January near Sarasota, FL., before rates jump Jan. 15; one in the second week of May with a group of 28 in Tennesse; and one the first week of October with a smaller family group in Phoenix. “When I go on these trips, I usually take nonstop flights,” Doughty said. “If you don’t, a flight can be late and you miss connections and your tee time, or they lose your golf clubs. I do nonstop from now on. You might pay a little more, but you will pay a lot if you miss your tee time or you have to use

rented clubs.” Matheny has enjoyed trips south to Hot Springs, Ark.; north to Michigan; or to the St. Louis area and Rend Lake. The idea is to find somewhere where several courses are available. “I like to go one place and find courses about 30 miles from there,” Matheny said. “I don’t like packing up and moving somewhere else.” Some other hints: • Have someone in charge of finding the best plane fares or hotel rates • A decent hotel works, because you usually aren’t in the room that long. • Down South, rates are usually good toward the end of a hurricane season. November is usually a good time. • Weather usually is better in April but bring clothes for different temptations. • Bring your own golf balls.

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JG-TC - May 2013

101 Things To Do With Your Summer

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SUGGESTIONS TO MAKE KIDS' BIRTHDAY PARTIES FUN FOR ALL A birthday is one of the most special days of the year for children. On their birthdays, kids get to be the center of attention and the recipient of well-wishes, gifts and praise. Parents work hard to create memorable birthday party experiences for their children. But faced with the planning process year after year, throwing a memorable birthday bash can be challenging. This year, take much of the work out of the party process by following these tips for success. • Combine the fun. Parents of school-aged children know how often birthday party invitations arrive in the mail. Take notice of the other students in your child's grade who share a birthday around the same time and contact fellow parents to determine if any would be interested in having a combined birthday party to share the planning and costs. This opens up the guest list to a greater number of kids for more fun, plus other kids' parents may appreciate a one-stop-shopping type of birthday event, particularly when calendars are already filled with plenty of other extracurricular activities. Roller rinks and bowling alleys often give group rates for larger parties. • Change the menu. What is the food staple at kids' birthday parties? You guessed it: pizza. Even though children may have less sophisticated palates than adults, that doesn't mean they will be content to settle with pizza at each and every party. To make your child's party even more memorable, serve equally portable but different foods, like chicken nuggets, mozzarella sticks, corn dogs, pigs in a blanket, chicken wings and drumsticks or even hamburgers. If you will be sticking to a theme, give the meal a fun name, such as "dinosaur burgers" or "neanderthal nuggets." • Save money on accessories. Television characters and toys are all the rage. Many children request their birthday party theme fit with a certain interest. Once you find a party store that carries the dishes and cups that match your theme, you may discover that these items can be quite expensive. To save money, purchase a tablecloth or a wall decoration in the particular licensed theme pattern, then coordinate plates, napkins, cups and even goodie bags with solid-colored, generic alternatives that are less expensive. You will still have the feel of the theme without breaking the bank. Plus, the kids probably will not notice the difference. • Longer isn't necessarily better. Timing the party correctly can mean the difference between children who have a good time and those who may get bored and become rambunctious. A party that lasts no more than two hours should suffice for getting in a few games, having food and enjoying dessert. • Limit the guest list. Give your child ample time to enjoy spending time with friends by keeping the party intimate. You may want to invite everyone in class, but that can be expensive and guests will not have the chance for one-on-one time with the birthday boy or girl. Only inviting a handful of children makes for an easier party and personalized attention. Ask your son or daughter if he or she may actually prefer taking out one or two friends for lunch and a movie instead of inviting their entire class. • Keep kids occupied. Age-appropriate activities will help focus kids' attention and reduce the chances for mayhem. A scavenger hunt might work well for an outdoor party, keeping children entertained as they seek out each clue. Hands-on parties, where children get to make their own crafts or food, also focus energy on a specific task. Make sure to supervise children so they don't get into trouble. Simple activities with moments for downtime will be the most successful. Birthdays are a big day in many a child's life. Parents can make their children's parties 101 West Sale St. Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. special by keeping things simTuscola, IL 61953 Sunday Noon-5 p.m. ple and following a few guidePhone (217) 253-3753 lines. Fax (217) 253-4655

101 Things To Do With Your Summer

AREA ZOOS By Allison Petty H&R Staff Writer

Three years after fundraising efforts began, a group of warm-weather penguins is set to find a home at Scovill Zoo this year. The birds will arrive in late summer or early fall. The exhibit is being built where guinea pigs, barn owls, box turtles and crowned crane had been housed. The crane will move to a new exhibit. Some box turtles went to the Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington, while the guinea pigs and barn owls will remain off exhibit until zoo staff can find another place to display them. It will have room for 15 birds, though the zoo will start with 10, Scovill Zoo director Dave Webster said. They will come from zoos across the country: Seattle; Santa Barbara, Calif.; Syracuse, N.Y.; St. Louis; Philadelphia; and Wichita, Kan. Penguins cannot be moved during the summer, Webster said, because that is when they undergo the stressful process of molting. After losing all their feathers, the penguins do not enter water, and in the wild do not eat until their feathers grow

back again. “Our No. 1 thing is we want to make sure that we get them in here, get them healthy and keep them healthy. We don’t want to do anything that’s going to jeopardize that,” Webster said.|(217) 421-6986 CENTRAL ILLINOIS ZOOS Animals can be entertaining. They can also be a great way to sneak in some education. Check out Central Illinois zoos highlighting native and tropical animals with indoor and outdoor exhibits. Many offer additional fun, such as train rides, carousels and food. BLOOMINGTON Miller Park Zoo 1020 S. Morris Ave. (309) 434-2250 Prices: $5.95 for adults; $3.95 for children and seniors Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Highlights include bears, reindeer, sea lions, bald eagles and more. Other exhibits include a tropical rainforest, Animals of Asia and a Zoolab. DECATUR Scovill Zoo 71 S. Country Club Road (217) 421-7435; www.decatur-


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JG-TC - May 2013


Miller Park Zoo, Bloomington. (The Pantagraph/LORI ANN COOK-NEISLER)

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JG-TC - May 2013

101 Things To Do With Your Summer

CALENDAR MAY 2013 3-5 | New Car Show, Cross County Mall, Mattoon 4 & 5 | 90 Miles of Family Fun on Route 66! 13 towns along Route 66 celebrate the Mother Road. In Pontiac, Chinese artist Tang Dongbai will be painting a new mural on the sidewalk in downtown. An art show featuring the works of regional artists will be held on the square. Touch-A-Truck for Kids will be held at the Pontiac Recreation Center on Sunday morning, and there will be yard and garage sales city-wide all weekend. 18 | Pontiac Cruise Night, Pontiac; Bring your antique, classic or new car to downtown Pontiac and enjoy the fellowship of hundreds of other automobile enthusiasts. The small registration fee is used to support local charities. 18 | Chet Kingery Memorial Bluegrass Festival, Rockome Gardens, 125 N. County Road 425 E., Arcola. Afternoon and even blues concerts. $15. 25 | Pre-War Festival, Pontiac; Downtown Pontiac will step back into time with antique autos, high wheel bicycles, old time music, period games and more. THe Pre-War Festival focuses on life in the United States prior to 1942. Get your vintage clothes out and join us for a great weekend of fun.

JUNE 2013 Fridays | Municipal Band Concerts, Pontiac; Join us for lively music and good family fun at the band concerts. Most concerts held on the courhosue lawn. Bring your own lawn chairs. 1 | Summer Showcase, Little Theatre, Sullivan 1 | “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” Car Show, Pontiac; Benefits the Lenore Weiss and Betty Estes Cancer Fund 5 | Budding Naturalist, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 10 am - 11 am, Ages 2-4 with adult, $10, Sing and dance, craft and play; learn about living things every day! 5-16 | Fiddler on the Roof, Little Theatre, Sullivan 6 | Fire Foods, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 5 pm - 7 pm, Ages 815 with adult, $10, Become a chef as you learn to build a campfire, prepare foods, master recipes, and create a three course meal to enjoy. New! 6 | Budding Naturalist, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 10 am - 11 am, Ages 2-4 with adult, $10, Sing and dance, craft and play; learn about living things every day! 6-9 | Moweaqua Pow Wow Days, Central Park. Come see the Decatur Park Singers first performance of the season. The festival will have a carnival, food and raffles. 7, 7/5, 8/9 | Animal Apprentice, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 9 am - 5 pm, Ages 8-15 with adult, $75, Interested in learning how to care for animals? This year’s learning experience are all new and include a behind the scnes tour of Scovill Zoo and a trip to a local wildlife rehabilitator. 7,8,11,13,14,15 | The Pinocchio Show, Little Theatre, Sullivan 8 | Explorer’s Club, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 9 am - Noon, Ages 9-17 with adult, $95, Camp includes off site explorations including a day at American Obstacle for a ropes course. New! 9 | Summer Start Up! Community Festival, St. Charles Borromeo Church, 921 Madison Ave. Charleston, Activities include games, raffles, crafts, pork chop dinner and live music. For more information, 10-21 | Broadway Boot Camp, Little Theatre, Sullivan, Call 217-728-2065 for more details 10 | Explorer’s Club, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 9 am - Noon, Ages 9-17 with adult, $95, Camp includes off site explorations including a day at American Obstacle for a ropes

course. New! 10-14, 7/1,3,5, 7/29-8/2 | Storytime Safari, DouglasHart Nature Center, 9 am - Noon, Ages 5-7, $75, Every day will be a new adventure as books are a jumping off point for exploration, songs and crafts. 10-14 | Eww Gross, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 10 am - 2 pm, Ages 7-9, $30, The camp title says it all! Bring a sack lunch each day, except Friday for a Gross-tacular campfire lunch. 10-14 | Treasure Quest, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 2 pm - 6 pm, Ages 8-13, $28, Every day is a geocaching, letterboxing or questing mystery. 11 & 13 | DU. E-L, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 5 pm - 7 pm, Ages 5-13, $12, This is a buddy camp: siblings, cousins, best friends, etc. will go head to head in competitions, games and challenges. 13-16 | Vermillion Players Summer Theatre, Pontiac; “South Pacific” 13-16 | Tate & Lyle Players Championship, Hickory Point Golf Course, 272 Weaver Road. Players from around the U.S. and around the world compete earn a spot of the LPGA Tour. For more information, 14 | SNAP IT!, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 3 pm - 6 pm, Ages 7-15, $7, Frame it, zoom it, snap it! Join our resident photographer Miss Dakota as we explore natural beauty and seek the perfect photo opportunity. Bring your own digital camera to class. 14 | Twilight, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 7 pm - 9 pm, Ages 712, $10, Stay out late?! Astronomy? Bats? Lightning Bugs? Flashlight Tag? Campfire? Owls? – I’m there!!! 14-15 | Carro Gordo Fat Hill Fest, Downtown. Decatur 15 | Pontiac Cruise Night, Pontiac; Bring your antique, classic or new car to downtown Pontiac and enjoy the fellowship of hundreds of other automobile enthusiasts. The small registration fee is used to support local charities. 17, 19, 21, 7/15, 17, 19 | Sense-Ational Safari, DouglasHart Nature Center, 10 am - Noon, Ages 4-6, $16, Can you taste like a snake? Let’s use our five senses to see, hear, touch, smell and even taste our way into nature. This camp is a great introductory class for little ones just starting out into summer camps. 17-21 | Camp Rock, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 9 am - Noon, Ages 8-12, $35, Calling all rock buffs! We’ll work on a rock collection, crush geodes, and erupt a volcano. Camp includes field trip to rock quarry. 17-21 | Can U Dig It?, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 1 pm - 4 pm, Ages 8-12, $28, Dinosaurs, trilobites, tully monsters! We’ll dig our way into fossil fun! 17-21 | Camp Rock/Can U Dig It? COMBO, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 9 am - 4 pm, Ages 8-12, $60, Save money, don’t worry about mid-day pick up, and we’ll watch over the lunch hour for you! Please send a sack lunch each day. 18 | Juneteenth ‘National Freedom Day’ Celebration, Central Park, downtown Decatur. 19-30 | A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Little Theatre, Sullivan 22 | Daisy Girl Scout Camp, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 9 am Noon, Daisies, $8, Daisy Girl Scouts can work on their Rosie and Clover Petal. Camp includes crafts and hands on activities. 24-28, 7/8-12 | Nature Nuts, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 9 am - 5 pm, Ages 7-11, $75, A week long full day of play! Crafts, games, snacks and secret mysteries await our day campers. Please send a sack lunch each day.

24-28 | Boy Scout Camp, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 10 am 2 pm, Boy Scouts, $32, Geocaching, Environmental Science and Nature. 24-28 | Little Tike Hike, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 5:30 pm 7:30 pm, Ages 5-7, $20, Every day is a hike in search of birds, snakes, frogs & bugs! 25 & 27 | Imagine That, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 1 pm - 3 pm, Ages 4-6, $12, Let’s spark imagination as we wonder what it would be like to be a floating cloud in the sky or shrunk down to the size of a bug! 28-30 | Summer Flea Market, Cross County Mall, Mattoon 29 | Arthur Freedom Celebration Fireworks, Jurgens Park, Illinois 133. The event will feature an air show with World War II aircrafts, helicopter rides and skydivers.

JULY 2013 Fridays | Municipal Band Concerts, Pontiac; Join us for lively music and good family fun at the band concerts. Most concerts held on the courhosue lawn. Bring your own lawn chairs. 1-3 | Wilderness Wise, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 9 am Noon, Ages 7-12, $22, Building fires, edible plants and navigation – learn to suvive the elements of nature! 3-14 | Anything Goes, Little Theatre, Sullivan 4 | Red, White and Blue Days, Morton Park, Division Street and Lincoln Avenue, Charleston. Events begin at 1 pm July 3 with vendors and activities. Other events will include live music, Farm of the Year contest and Little Mr. and Miss contests. For more information, call 345-7691 or 5,6,9,11,12,13 | Dora’s Pirate Adventure, Little Theatre, Sullivan 8-12 | Hungry Hungry Critters, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 3 pm - 5 pm, Ages 5-7, $22, What’s munching munching and won’t stop crunching? Explores the lives of hungry hungry critters at D-HNC. 8-12 | Wild Things, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 10 am - 2 pm, Ages 7-9, $25, Come exploring because... “Inisde all of us is a wild thing!” 10 | Budding Naturalist, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 10 am - 11 am, Ages 2-4 with adult, $10, Sing and dance, craft and play; learn about living things every day! 11 | Fire Foods, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 5 pm - 7 pm, Ages 8-15 with adult, $10, Become a chef as you learn to build a campfire, prepare foods, master recipes, and create a three course meal to enjoy. New! 11 | Budding Naturalist, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 10 am - 11 am, Ages 2-4 with adult, $10, Sing and dance, craft and play; learn about living things every day! 11-14 | Vermillion Players Summer Theatre, Pontiac; “TBA” 12 | Twilight, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 7 pm - 9 pm, Ages 712, $10, Stay out late?! Astronomy? Bats? Lightning Bugs? Flashlight Tag? Campfire? Owls? – I’m there!!! 12 | Green Thumbs, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 9 am - Noon, Ages 5-9, $7, How do you earn a green thumb? Tending a garden? Talking to ant? Composting? 13 | Explorer’s Club, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 9 am - Noon, Ages 9-17 with adult, $95, Camp includes off site explorations including a day at American Obstacle for a ropes course. New! 15-19 | Girl Scouts, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 10 am - 3 pm, Brownie & Juniors, $40, Visit to see what each level of girl scouts will earn.

15-19 | Tribal Camp, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 9 am - 5 pm, Ages 7-15, $75, Team and individual competitions rule this camp. Capture the flag, game show callenges, and more! This is a summer favorite! 16 & 17 | Beautiful Bagel Baby Contest 6:30 pm, Cross County Mall, Mattoon 17-20 | Bagelfest, Peterson Park, Mattoon, 500 Broadway Ave., Bagelfest kicks off with the carnival on July 17. The weekend will continue with the Miss Bagelfest and Beautiful Baby Contest, food vendors, local and national music, bingo and a parade. 17-28 | The Will Rogers Follies, Little Theatre, Sullivan 20 | Pontiac Cruise Night, Pontiac; Bring your antique, classic or new car to downtown Pontiac and enjoy the fellowship of hundreds of other automobile enthusiasts. The small registration fee is used to support local charities. 22-26 | Bug A Boo, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 1 pm - 4pm, Ages 5-7, $22, Every day is a bug hunt! Ants, bees, grasshoppers and more! Plus crafts, games, songs and books. 22 & 24 | Cub Scout Camp, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 9 am - Noon, $20, Cub Scouts of any level can work toward their “Outdoor Activity Award.” Tigers and Wolves will complete teh award in camp. Bears and Webelos will get all but one requrement complete. 22 & 26 | Animal Athletes, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 9 am Noon, Ages 7-12, $25, Jump run, leap – a camp for the very active! 22 & 26 | Animal Athletes/Myths & Legends Combo, DouglasHart Nature Center, 9 am - 5 pm, Ages 7-12, $50, Please send a sack lunch each day. 22 - 26 | Myths & Legends Combo, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 1 pm - 5 pm, Ages 7-12, $27 29 - August 2 | Wade Into Water, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 9 am - Noon, Ages 7-11, $27, If you like to get wet – this is your camp! Come dressed for the water every day for games, exploration and learning! 29 | Hooray for Herps, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 1 pm - 5 pm, Ages 7-11, $25, Slick and slimy, slinky and scaly...dive into the world of amphibians and reptiles – frogs, snakes, turtles and more! 29 - August 2 | Hooray for Herps/Wade Into The Water Combo, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 9 am - 5 pm, Ages 711, $50, Save money, don’t worry about mid-day pick up, and we’ll watch over lunch hour for you! Please send a sack lunch each day. 29, 31, August 2 | Welcome to the Jungle, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 9 am - Noon, Ages 7-12, $20, Join us as we explore the island country of Madagascar! We’ll compare it to our own backyard learning about conservation. 31-August 11 | Monty Phython’s Spamalot, Little Theatre, Sullivan

AUGUST 2013 1 | Budding Naturalist, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 10 am - 11 am, Ages 2-4 with adult, $10, Sing and dance, craft and play; learn about living things every day! 2,3,6,8,9,10 | Snow White, The Classic Fairy Tale, Little Theatre, Sullivan 2-4 | Antique Show, Cross County Mall, Mattoon 2-4 | Decatur Celebration, downtown. The Midwest’s most exciting street festival wtih 10 show stages featuring national and emerging music artists, carnival, arts and crafts, over 60 unique food vendors and the Razzle Dazzle Godtimes Parade. For more information, call 423-4222 or

101 Things To Do With Your Summer

JG-TC - May 2013


OF EVENTS 3 | Explorer’s Club, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 9 am - 5 pm, Ages 9-17 with adult, $95, Camp includes off site explorations including a day at American Obstacle for a ropes course. New! 5 | Budding Naturalist, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 10 am - 11 am, Ages 2-4 with adult, $10, Sing and dance, craft and play; learn about living things every day! 5-9 | Bugs N Slugs, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 9 am - Noon, Ages 7-12, $24, Bugs! Gross! Slugs! Explore the world of creepy crawly bugs! 5-9 | Creative Creations, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 9 am Noon, Ages 8-12, $26, We’ll use nature as our inspiration to paint, draw and make special crafts. Must be comfortable to use a hot glue gun. 5-9 | Animal Artists, Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 1 pm - 3 pm, Ages 5-8, $24, If you like to craft, this is the camp for you. We’ll use nature as our inspiration to paint, draw and make special crafts. 8-10 | Blue Mound Fall Festival, Wise Park. The event will have a Cruise-In Car Show, entertainment, carnival, food and 5K or 1-mile run. For more information, call (217) 8231406 or (217) 823-2188. 8-11 | Vermillion Players Summer Theatre, Pontiac; “TBA”‘ 9 | Dance and Drama Regustration for the 2013-2014 School Year for The Little Theatre On The Square, Little Theatre, Sullivan 4-6:30 pm 15-18 | Apple Dumpling Festival, downtown Atwood. For more information, call 578-2512. 17 | Pontiac Cruise Night, Pontiac; Bring your antique, classic or new car to downtown Pontiac and enjoy the fellowship of hundreds of other automobile enthusiasts. The small registra-

tion fee is used to support local charities. 17-18 | Bluegrass in the Gardens, Rockome Gardens, Arcola. Bluegrass music from regional bands. $15; $25 for both days; children 7-18, $8; children 6 and under, free. 23-25 | Summer Flea Market, Cross County Mall, Mattoon 23-25 | Lincoln Art and Balloon Festival, Logan County Airport. A community-wide event with art a barbeque contest, music wine tasting, car show and hot air balloons. 27 | Farm Progress Show, Progress City, Decatur, 4275 E. Mound Road. Admission: $15 adults and $8 ages 13-17. For more information, 29-September 2 | The Nation’s second oldest gathering of antique and heritage steam and gasoline powered farm equipment. Horse shows, tractor pulls, live entertainment, daily parade of power, and lots of things for the kids. This year will feature Case and Caterpillar manufactured tractors. 31-September 2 | Arthur Cheese Festival, downtown. The event will have a tractor pull, parade, National Cheese Eating Contest. Free cheese will also be available. 31-September 2 | Casey Popcorn Festival, Fairview Park. The event offer 1,500 pounds of free popcorn, carnival, crafts and music.

SEPTEMBER 2013 6-8 | Arcola Broom Corn Festival, Main Street downtown. The event will have broom activities, food, a parade with the Lawn Rangers and more. For more information, 217-2684530 or 9 | Dance and Drama Classes start, Little Theatre, Sullivan 13-15 | Sports Card Show, Cross County Mall, Mattoon

14-15 | Prairie Celebration, Rock Springs Conservation Area, 3939 Nearing Lane. Re-enactors dressed in 19th century attire demonstrate trades and skills of the time. For more information, call (217) 423-7708. 19-21 | 20th Annual Thresermen’s Bluegrass Festival, Pontiac; Held each year at Threshermen’s Park a few miles out of the city, this festival celebrates all things bluegrass. Nationally known entertainers, dancers and festival food. Bring your lawn chair, settle in and enjoy the music! 20-21 | Monticillo Celebration, Main Street. (217) 762-9318. 20-22 | Arts in Central Park, Central Park, downtown Decatur. Artists from all over the country display works such as paintings, photography, jewelry and sculptures. Music and Food will also be available. For more information, 20-22 | Abraham Lincoln National Railsplitting Festival, Logan County Fairgrounds. Events include 18th century games, stew and butter making, tug-of-war, lawn mower races and more. 22 | GTO Car Show, Pontiac; Come be a part of an all Pontiac car show sponsored by the GTO Association of America and its St. Louis & Springfield Chapters. 27-29 | New Car Show, Cross County Mall, Mattoon 28-29 | Apple N’ Pork Festival, 219 E. Woodlawn. Clinton. Tram and bus transportation available.

merchants as they celebrate all things chocolate! Great sales, great sweets and great fun! 18-27 | Nunsense, Little Theatre, Sullivan 25-27 | Fall Flea Market, Cross County Mall, Mattoon 31 | Trick or Treat 6 pm – 8 pm, Cross County Mall, Mattoon


7 | Christmas in the Heart of Charleston, Courthouse Square. Hours: 5 to 7 pm Holiday parade, carriage rides, refreshments, window displays and entertainment are planned. (217) 348-0430. 7 | Big Brothers/Big Sisters Auction, Cross County Mall, Mattoon

3 | Mattoon Chamber Expo, Cross County Mall, Mattoon 5 | Dalton City Fall Festival 5 | Scarecrow Daze, Forest Park, Shelbyville. 11-12 | Chocolate Fall Fantasy, Pontiac; Join the downtown

NOVEMBER 2013 1-3 | Sport Card Show, Cross County Mall, Mattoon 7-12 | Jolly Trolley Open Houses, Pontiac; An annual event highlighted by fantastic deals offered by downtown merchants. A great way to start the holiday season. The Pontiac Jolly Trolley gives free tours of historic Pontiac. 8-10 | Christmas Craft Show, Cross County Mall, Mattoon 19 | Fall Harvest Festival, Rock Springs Conversation Area, 3939 Nearing Lane. Children are invited to celebrate the season with a custome contest, trick-or-treating and a scavenger hunt. (217)423-7708. 22-23 | Festival of Trees, Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System Health Education Center, Coles County, Christmas trees, wreaths and centerpieces decorate the Lumpkin Family Center of Health Education. Call (217) 238-4765 or 22-24 | You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Little Theatre, Sullivan



JG-TC - May 2013

101 Things To Do With Your Summer

The hot summers and cold winters determine which varieties of grapes do well in this area. Wine made from grapes in the region have a unique taste, certainly different from wine made in California and New York. Varieties of grapes that thrive in this area of Illinois include Chambourcin, Rougon, Norton, Concord and Steuben, all good for making red wine; and Cayuga, Niagara, Vidal Blanc and Villard Blanc, each a grape used to make white wine. And all are able to prosper in Illinois’ up-and-down seasonal temperatures. “The 2012 growing season was good for grapes,” said Rob Morgan of Castle Wine lovers are the beneficiaries of the Finn Winery near Marshall in Clark County. “They dry weather in East Central Illinois last like dry ground. It was a very good year. The yields summer. were up, the sweetness levels were up. We had to Grapes love dry weather, several add less sugar.” local vintners said, meaning the grape “We had rain early,” said Dennis Vahling of crop in the area was excellent in 2012. Vahling Vineyards near Stewardson in Shelby The result will be some tasty wines in County. “It was great. From the end of June to the 2013 and beyond, produced by the end of August it was dry. By that time, the grapes wineries along the East Central Illinois are as big as they are going to get. They are just Wine Trail. producing sugar.” There are nine wineries on the East Dan Webb of Cameo Vineyards in Greenup in Central Illinois Wine Trail, with most Cumberland County said the increased sugar growing their own grapes to produce level due to the dry weather in 2012 will mean their unique Illinois wines. concentrated flavor in the wine to be made from that crop. 400 Mill Rd. Much of the white wine Greenup, IL 62428 served in 2013 will be from the (217) 923-9963 outstanding 2012 grape crop. Reds served this year most likely will be from 2011 or earlier. • We Grow Grapes The skin of most red grapes • Come Relax and is thicker so it takes a little Enjoy Tasting more aging to smooth out the Our Wines taste, Webb said. That bodes well for red wines released in 2014. Most area wineries offer about 15 different wines, ranging from fruit and sweet wines to whites and dry reds. Owner Dan Webb, pictured at the tasting counter at Cameo Vineyards in Greenup, Ill., on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. (Journal Gazette/ Times-Courier, Kevin Kilhoffer)

East Central Illinois Wine Trail By BILL LAIR, JG-TC

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101 Things To Do With Your Summer

If sweet wine is your favorite, you will fit right in with the wine lovers of the area. Morgan, Webb and Vahling all said sweet wines are their top sellers. “We sell more sweet wines,” Cameo’s Webb said. “The grapes that do well here lend themselves to sweet and semi-sweet wines.” And the grapes that grow in East Central Illinois also lend themselves to wines with such distinct local names as White Satin, Prairie White, Prairie Mist and Prairie Dawn, plus Red Brick Road, Blizzard Ford Blush, Grandview Nights, and Embarras Blush, Kissing Bridge and National Road Red. The Webbs, Morgans and Vahlings all are or were traditional Illinois farmers who enjoyed winemaking as a hobby before launching their wineries. Webb, one of the original members of the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association, began planting grapes in 1992. He and his wife, Sonya, opened Cameo Winery 10 years later, in March 2002. They experimented with about 40 varieties of grapes before narrowing their choice to five varieties on their seven acres of vineyards.

“We have sandy ground here that is very well-suited to grapes,” he said of Cameo’s hillside location above the Embarras River. “You often see vineyards and orchards on hills,” he said. “It makes for good water drainage and the air movement helps prevent the late spring and early fall frosts.” Vahling, a former hog farmer, first planted grapes in 1997 and also began selling wine in 2002. He enjoyed making wine for family and friends before starting his wine business. “I like making my own and sharing it with others,” he said. “It’s the joy of making your own product.” “I had been making wine for 15 years at home,” Castle Finn’s Morgan said. “Thatís where I got the passion and desire to open a winery.” Webb, at Cameo, also likes making wine from vine to bottle. “I’m very flattered when people compliment us or say our wine is consistent,” he said. “A lot of it has to do with us being in control of the raw product – our grapes. We control the quality of the grapes. This is what makes our wines special. We are interested in quality.” Morgan said his grapes

also are all local. “We crush them the same day they are picked, or close to it,” he said. “Sometimes we pick them in the morning and crush them in the evening.” Crushed grapes are fermented and sit in airtight vats for a year or more before being bottled. While sweet wines have been the top sellers at Vahling Vineyards, the owner senses a change. “Some who used to drink sweet wine are now switching to dry,” Vahling said. “Sales of dry wine is increasing. “Every winery has its own definition of what is sweet,” he said. “We usually recommend people who are tasting start with a semi-sweet and move from there.” Morgan’s Castle Finn Winery said about 80 percent of the folks who visit his winery prefer sweet wine. “Niagara is our best grower,” he said. “It just works in this soil and seems to thrive. Niagara makes a sweet white wine. Itís the best-selling grape wine we have.” The Niagara grape is used to make Moonlight Minuet, a full-flavor sweet white wine at Castle Finn. Castle Finn is one of the newest vineyards in the

JG-TC - May 2013

area. The vines are seven years old, while Castle Finn has been open about two and a-half years. Other wineries in the area include Tuscan Hills Winery in Effingham, Niemerg Family Winery in Findlay and Willow Ridge Vineyards & Winery west of Shelbyville. In addition, there are the Berryville Vineyards in Claremont in Lawrence County, Fox Creek Vineyards at Olney and Lasata Winery at Lawrenceville. Visitors can taste wines at the various wineries and purchase bottles of their favorites on site. The Cameo Winery overlooks acres of vineyards from the tasting room made from Webb’s grandfather’s barn. “We were ‘green’ and ‘repurposing’ before it was popular,” he said, smiling. The winery name also is repurposed. Webb had a favorite Chevrolet Cameo pickup truck when he was younger. When he opened the winery, that favorite pickup became the new name.


Morgan knows Castle Finn is “off the beaten path” but says that is by design. “Its got some ambience,” he said. “Some people want to get away and not hear the sounds of the city. It’s the novelty of being out in the country with just nature’s sounds.” Vahling has added a new offering at his winery. Vahling now grows his own shiitake mushrooms, to be eaten raw or fried like morels. “It’s supposed to be the best cancer-fighting food on the market,” Vahling said. Right now, he is selling the shiitake mushrooms in 5pound boxes to restaurants and grocery stores or in 1pound boxes to individuals. Wherever you stop on the East Central Illinois Wine Trail, then local winemakers have good news, thanks to a great 2012 grape crop: “It should be excellent taste and the prices shouldn’t fluctuate much,” Morgan said.

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JG-TC - May 2013

101 Things To Do With Your Summer

GET READY FOR CAMPING SEASON Camping is a popular outdoor activity that attracts many enthusiasts year after year. Some people camp every month while others only have time for one great excursion into the wilderness each year. This year, millions of camping trips will take place across the country. Preparation is key to a successful camping trip. Whether campers plan to spend one night or several in the great outdoors, there are certain tips

to follow to ensure your trip is as fun and safe as possible. Gear In order to be comfortable, stock up on camping gear. Tents, sleeping bags and other gear need not be the most expensive. Quality, moderately priced gear works well, too. With care and maintenance, camping gear can last for several years. A tent will be your first line of defense against the out-


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doors. Although plenty of people prefer to sleep out under the stars, a tent is a place to avoid inclement weather and insects and have a little privacy. Your tent need not be too big, unless you plan to share it with many of your fellow campers. Since you will be spending the majority of your time outdoors, don't feel pressured to buy the tent equivalent of a three-room suite. A good tent should be sturdy, weather-resistant and large enough to fit the people who will be sleeping in it during your trip. Invest in a pad to place on the floor of the tent to shield you from the hard ground. The pad will make sleeping more comfortable. If you will be sleeping during warm-weather months, you don't have to worry about an expensive sleeping bag. An averageweight one will be just fine. Don't forget to pack a pillow. A cooler filled with foods and drinks will tide you over for the trip. If you plan to cook, you will need to bring the ingredients for meals. Otherwise sandwiches should suffice. Some campgrounds have grills and picnic tables available. Otherwise, you can cook hot dogs right over your open campfire. Where to camp Campsites may be public or private. Public campgrounds are generally funded by tax dollars and maintained by parks departments or government offices. They may be free to enter or charge a nominal fee for use. Because of the low cost involved, they may be quite popular and crowded during peak camping season. Private campsites are run by private companies or individuals and may also feature RV hookups. In many

instances, private campsites sell memberships to interested parties, which gives access to certain private areas. They may have more amenities than public campsites. Private sites also may employ security personnel and maintenance crews to ensure the areas are clean and safe and to enforce campground rules. This may not be the case at public campsites, where conditions may be inconsistent from site to site. An online search of both public and private campsites nearby can help you determine which option best suits you. Consider national parks, national forests and even the Army Corps of Engineers, which manages many recreational areas. Avoid critters Animals and insects are part of the camping experience. While they are unavoidable, there are some measures you can take to reduce the propensity for bothersome bug bites or clever critters raiding the cooler. Keeping a clean campsite is perhaps the most effective animal and insect deterrent. Ants and animals are attracted to food bits scattered around the site, so be sure to gather trash and dispose of it properly each day. Try not to store food on the ground. Whenever possible, keep food locked away in an airtight cooler or other container. Dry foods can be stored under lock and key in the car. Racoons, squirrels, birds, and skunks all have been known to patrol campgrounds for an easy meal. Also, you don't want to lure in larger predators, such as bears or wild cats. To avoid insects, steer clear of perfumed products. Keep lights dim at night, as bright

lights attract mosquitoes and other biting bugs. Use appropriate insect repellents to help further repel bugs. Closer isn't always better Many new campers make the mistake of choosing campsites that are in close proximity to bathrooms and clubhouses and other reminders of civilization. But these areas tend to feature heavy foot and car traffic and can make for a noisy experience. To avoid the lights, sounds and bustle of too many people, stick with campsites farther off the beaten path. You may need to walk a little farther, but you will likely enjoy a more peaceful camping experience. Plan for the wetness Even if it doesn't rain, dew is an inevitable part of camping outdoors. Warm weather with high humidity can make dew even more plentiful. Use a shower curtain or another plastic impenetrable liner beneath your tent to reduce wetness and chilliness while you sleep. Be sure to bring in clothes and remove items from your clotheslines before you retire for the night if you don't want them damp the next morning. Use tarps to cover anything that should not get wet. Be sure to pack plenty of dry socks and changes of clothes and store them in zipper-top bags in the event clothing does get wet. Wet clothes can be uncomfortable and increase your risk for hypothermia. Carry in and carry out Part of the magic of camping is being able to enjoy nature and experience the great outdoors. It is crucial to protect natural landscapes as much as possible and to exercise caution around plant life. In addition, be mindful of animal habitats. What you bring to the campsite, including trash, should be removed when you are done. Do not leave a mess behind. Camping can be an enjoyable and inexpensive vacation option. Learning the ropes and heeding some advice can make camping an enjoyable getaway year after year.

101 Things To Do With Your Summer

JG-TC - May 2013


Route 66 Offers Great Road Food The old saying goes, “The easiest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” but

what about a woman’s? Through my work with the Illinois Route 66 Scenic

Byway I’ve fallen in love with Route 66 because of the wonderful “road food” I get to devour while exploring the history road. This is significant because I was born after the last sign for 66 was taken down, so everything is new to me. The people are the friendliest I’ve ever met and the living history is fascinating – but the food is heavenly. Traditionally, Americans are identified as having a car culture, but more and more we are gaining a reputation as foodies. With television shows like The Taste, Iron Chef, and Hell’s Kitchen gaining in popularity and television networks like the Food Network gaining viewers, why not? I could write a whole book about all the places to eat along Route 66 just in Illinois (who knows one day I might) and there are numerous books written about the iconic restaurants such as Lou Mitchellís Restaurant, White Fence Farm, Polk-a-Dot Café, and Cozy Dog. For me, half of the fun of exploring the road is discovering a hidden gem. For example, near Chicago in McCook, Ill., is a small chain of restaurants called Steak-n-Egger (8408 Joliet Road). From the outside, it looks like any other road house; on the inside, itís like stepping back in time to a shiny new 1950’s diner. While they do serve lunch and dinner, I have yet to make it past their omelettes. Heading south, you’ll eventually come upon Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket in

Willowbrook, Ill. (645 Joliet Road). It started out as a gas station in the 1930s, but thanks to two local farm women who donated their chicken recipe, the restaurant was born. Yes, the chicken is great. I especially like Photos by David Proeber/ The Pantagraph

the wings, but more and more I find myself ordering nothing more than the jalapeño and bacon mac ‘n cheese. It has been described to me as a lava flow of cheese and I can’t agree more. Hands down the best mac ‘n cheese I’ve ever had (sorry mom.) I usually get a deep fried slice of pie to go because I can’t resist. Further south, in Atlanta, Ill. about 20 miles south of Bloomington-Normal, there is a hidden little gem called the Palm’s Grill (110 SW Arch St.). It’s a 1930s diner

that has been painstakingly restored. It also has the most amazing apple pie. Lumi Bekteshi, the head waitress, has become famous statewide for her delicious pies. I like to wash my slice down with a Route 66 Cream Soda, but other more conventional beverages are offered as well. Across the street is a huge statue of Paul Bunyan holding a hotdog, which makes a great photo opp to commemorate your gastronomic adventure. Hallie’s Restaurant (111 South Kickapoo) in Lincoln, Ill., serves up UFO-sized schnitzel – no really, it is that big. Even the sliders are huge. The family recipe for the schnitzel and the special sauce has been handed down for generations and is out of this world. The family who owns and operates Hallie’s owned The Mill Restaurant, an iconic Route 66 destination back in the day. While walking back to your car, see if you can spot the phone booth on the roof of city hall. Finally, there’s Vic’s Pizza (2025 N. Peoria Road) in Springfield, home to the Route 66 Shaped Pizza, which is fantastic. But I go for the chili – not too much tomato or spice, and refreshing even on the warmest of days. While there, stop by a few doors down to visit the Bill Shea Gas Station Museum (2075 N. Peoria Road). He is one of the most recognizable Route 66 icons and has amazing stories of Route 66 to share. His museum is a “pickers” dream and is filled with gas and oil memorabilia. While traveling Route 66, it doesn’t matter when or how much you’ve eaten, there is always room for road food. So hop in the car and grab a bite and enjoy the “new” American culture – automobile cuisine. – Conn is project administrator for the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway.


JG-TC - May 2013

101 Things To Do With Your Summer


Mattoon’s only Ceramic Painting Studio. We have several items ready to paint, can take requests for special items, and bring back to life distressed ceramic yard ornaments. Remember to visit our Gift Shop next door for Bingo Bags, Used & Repurposed Furniture, Embroidered Shirts, Quilts, Candles, and Antiques. 1516A Lake Land Blvd (next to Family Dollar / B&D Grocery) (217) 235-5150 •

Did you ever want to find something to do as a family, where there are no distractions and you can actually spend quality time together? Ceramic studios offer that type of atmosphere. Whether you are an experienced painter, just like to paint and be creative, or have never picked up a brush in your life, you can always find something that fits your comfort level. All studios offer what is called Bisque, which is the fired item that is ready to paint or glaze. The difference between paint and glaze is that paint is applied to the ceramic item and can be taken home the same day the person completes the piece. Items that are painted are not suitable for use on items that will contain food or drink, such as a plate or cup, nor is it as durable as glaze for items placed outside. Glaze is fired onto the ceramic piece once the person has completed applying the glaze and becomes part of the piece.

Glazed items can be used for cups and plates, as it is 100% food grade. It will also make your lawn or garden ornaments last a lifetime. Since the glaze has to be fired onto the ceramic piece, it is usually available for pick-up around 1 week after the person has finished applying the glaze. Depending on the firing schedule of your local ceramic studio, the piece may be available in less than 1 week. Some studios offer Green Ware as well, which is the hardened clay that has not been fired. Some people like to start with the Green Ware, as it allows them to make changes to the final piece, such as making holes for light to come through or carving out a name of a favorite team. Since the Green Ware has not been fired, it is very brittle and easily broken if not handled gently. Ceramic painting also allows you to make a one-of-a-

something truly memorable and it will be something the person will cherish for the rest of their life. Most ceramic studios also have party rooms available for Birthday Parties, Bridal Showers, Church Events, or any other group you may want to bring and have a room all to yourselves to paint and socialize. You may also be able to bring in your own food and drink, but check with your Ceramic Studio first to make sure there are no issues with you bringing in snacks. When you visit your local Ceramic Studio to paint your unique work of art, make sure you leave plenty of time in your schedule. Most people come in and think they will be done in 30 minutes or so. This is true for the toddlers, but adults should take a little longer to make sure their piece comes out looking the best it can. For true vibrant colors, 3 coats of glaze should be applied. The first coat dries within 5 min-

kind gift for someone special. Whether it is a birthday present, mother’s / father’s day gift, wedding present, Christmas present, or just something to let the person know you are thinking of them, a gift made by you means a lot more than something purchased. It shows you care enough to invest your time to make

utes. The second coat may take around 10 minutes to dry and the third coat around 10 15 minutes. The time spent while the glaze dries can be used to socialize with the people you came with, or just relax. One of the comments most people give when it comes to painting ceramics is how relaxing it is. The only schedule you have to follow is your own. The next time you are looking for something to do by yourself, with a group or organization, or with friends and family, consider visiting your local ceramic studio. It is the only place around that will allow you to create an item that could one day become a family heirloom and be passed down to future generations.

Bring your family out for a day in Amish Country

Join us every Friday at Dusk for Family Movie Night! May 31 - August 9 (No movie during Bagelfest) Brought to you by: Mattoon Public Library • The Arts Council The Mattoon Township Park District

• Dinners in My Home by Reservation • Catering for large Wedding Receptions, Reunions, Business or Social Event • Baked Goods (call to order) • Cookbooks • Fruitcakes (all year) • Meat, Fruit, Vegetable & Breakfast Pizzas • Cheese and Meal Trays • Holiday Baskets • Fruit and Vegetable Trays • Holiday Dinners • Be sure to Visit Our Gift Shop On Premise • Country Tours • Buses Welcome

Call for reservations to our all you can eat buffet 2060 CR 1700 E • Arthur, IL 61911 1 mile west of Arthur on Route 133 to Road 1700E. then south 3/8 mile

(217) 543-3409


101 Things To Do With Your Summer

JG-TC - May 2013


Museums Highlight Central IL

By Tony ReidH&R Staff Writer dog and a suspicious-looking cat, had shamelessly stolen DECATUR | With the a gift that wasnít theirs. upper level of the Children’s All of the teachers for Museum of Illinois the scene Family Science Sunday are of multiple crime scenes, the faculty members from game was afoot. Decatur’s Richland And, as luck would have Community College, and it, the Decatur museum was Sunday’s visiting expert was also host to a whole Tod Treat. He’s actually vice Scotland Yard full of young president of student and detectives more than 30, academic services at the plus moms and dads who set college but is a chemist by about tracking down the bad training and developed a guys. forensic science course at The occasion for this his previous college before frenzy of crime and detection coming to Richland. was a new program called Family Science Sunday is Family Science Sunday. The funded through a second Sunday of each sponsorship deal with Archer month in 2013 will be given Daniels Midland Co. and over to exploring a scientific several other corporate topic pitched to appeal to backers, and this allows the audiences age 3 to 12 and museum to stage the events the first subject in the series, without extra charge. which kicked off in January, was called, not surprisingly, (217) 421-7977 “Whodunit?” The aim was to teach kids Central Illinois the basics of forensic science in a relaxed, nonMuseums gory atmosphere that was kind of like Sesame Street From industry to history, a meets CSI. The young tourist in Central Illinois may detectives used everything choose from a variety of from microscopes and hair museums and historic sites and fingerprint analysis to to suit their interest. find which among a motley Not into history? Donít worry. crew of suspects, including a These sites also have many

exhibits that focus on the present and future, as well. Altamont Dr. Charles M. Wright House Corner of North Main Street and Jackson Avenue (618) 483-6397; Hours: 2 to 4 p.m. Sundays Prices: $5 adults, $1 children The house is on the National Register of Historic Places. Arcola Illinois Amish Museum Rockome Gardens 125 N. County Road 425E (217) 268-4106;

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Prices: $10 adults, $8 seniors, $6 children Visitors can also tour Rockome Gardens stores, take a train or buggy ride and walk through gardens. Atwood Harris Agricultural Museum 521 N. Illinois St. (217) 578-3040; sMuseum.htm

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday Free. Exhibits include agriculture displays such as a Model “T” Ford grain truck, early grain elevator office and farming exhibits.

noon to 4 p.m. Saturday Free. Visitors can experience educational programs, exhibits and area festivals.

Free. Memorabilia from throughout the county is studied, interpreted and exhibited for visitors.

McLean County Museum of History 200 N. Main St. (309) 827-0428;

Krannert Art Museum 500 E. Peabody Dr. (217) 244-0516;

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday Prices: $5 adults, $4 seniors, children free The museum houses exhibits, programs and photos, as well as archived historical material.

Orpheum Children’s Science Museum 346 N. Neil St. (217) 352-5895;

Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; noon to 4 p.m. Sunday Prices: $5 adults, $2 ages 6 to 11, Free age 5 and younger. Visitors are encouraged to touch the displays and aircrafts while visiting with members of the aviation community.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday Prices: $4 adults, $3 children The museum is designed to educate and inspire children through science and the arts.

Champaign Champaign County Historical Museum 102 E. University Ave. (217) 356-1010;

Hours: noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Paddy Wagon Antiques Route 36 & Main Street • Tuscola, IL 61953 217-253-9150

“Antiques, Primitives & Collectibles”

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. Prices: $4 adults, $2 children. David Davis was a judge whose influence on Abraham Lincoln’s career was fundamental to the future president’s success. McLean County Arts Center 601 N. East St. (309) 829-0011; Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday;

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday; 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday Free. Exhibits and collections from all over of the world are on display to encourage learning.

Prairie Aviation Museum 2929 E. Empire St. (309) 663-7632;

Bloomington David Davis Mansion 1000 Monroe Drive (309) 828-3493;

Herald & Review/Jim Bowling From left, engineer David Harp, student engineer Matthew Clayton and student engineer Alison McCrady observe a successful test run from a Garfield Montessori School teamís Rube Goldberg machine during the Rube Goldberg competition at the Childrenís Museum of Illinois Saturday.

William M. Staerkel Planetarium 2400 W. Bradley Ave. (217) 351-2568; Show hours: 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday Prices: $5 adults, $4 children and seniors The 50-foot dome is offers visitors the opportunity to view the stars, the sun and


JG-TC - May 2013

the moon, as well as views from any point on earth. Charleston Lincoln-Douglas Debate Museum Coles County Fairgrounds Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (217) 348-8043 Free. The museum is an exhibit documenting the 1858 debate between Illinois senators Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. Tarble Arts Museum On the campus of Eastern Illinois University, 600 Lincoln Ave. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. (217) 581-2787;

The Tarble Arts Museum offers a changing art exhibit, as well as educational programs, demonstrations, concerts and plays. Clinton C.H. Moore Homestead/DeWitt County Museum 219 W. Woodlawn St.

101 Things To Do With Your Summer

(217) 935-6066;

more than 200 years.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday Prices: $3 adults, $1 children ages 12-18, free for children 12 and younger. Clifton Haswell Moore was the first lawyer to practice in Clinton and a friend to Abraham Lincoln. Danville Vermilion County Museum 116 N. Gilbert St. (217) 442-2922;

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday Prices: $2.50 adults, $1 ages 13-17 Also available for tours is the 19th century Fithian Home, located in the back yard of the museum. Vermilion County War Museum 307 N. Vermilion St. (217) 431-0034; Hours: noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday Prices: $2 adults; $1 children The historic building houses artifacts from wars from

Decatur African-American Cultural and Genealogical Society of Illinois Museum 314 N. Main St. (217) 429-7458;

Hours: 1:30 to 5 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday Price: $2 adults, $1 students The museum provides visitors with resources of African American history through workshops, displays, contests and special events. Birks Museum Campus of Millikin University, 1184 W. Main St. (217) 424-6337 Hours: 1 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday Free. Located in the universityís historic Gorin Hall, the museum houses works of art and crafts. Chevrolet Hall of Fame Museum 3635 U.S. Route 36 East 1-888-926-9843;

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tuesday-Sunday Prices: $7 per person or $35 for season pass Children’s Museum of Illinois 55 S. Country Club Road (217) 423-5437; Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday Prices: $5 ages 2 and older The museum is an interactive experience for children of all ages. Through hands-on activities, visitors will try out experiments with science, arts and humanities. Hieronymus Mueller Museum 420 W. Eldorado St. (217) 423-6161;

Hours: 1 to 4 p.m. ThursdaySaturday Hieronymus Mueller was an immigrant from Germany who founded the Mueller Co. Find out the history of this famous inventor/innovator and his family. Macon County History Museum and Prairie Village 5580 N. Fork Road (217) 422-4919;

Hours: 1 to 4 p.m. TuesdaySaturday Prices: $2 adults, $1 children 12 and younger Visitors will experience life in the prairie during 1800s through interactive displays and exhibits. Effingham Cross at the Crossroads 1904 Pike Ave. (217) 347-2846; Hours: November through March, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily; April through October, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Volunteers are usually at the site during these hours, but call ahead to make sure. Travelers can visit the Midwest’s tallest cross, located near Interstates 57 and 70. Mid America Motorworks 17082 N. U.S. Highway 45 1-800-500-1500;

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday This collection of vehicles has been rated one of the top 50 in the country. Lerna Lincoln Log Cabin 402 S. Lincoln Highway (217) 345-1845;

Hours: November through March: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday; April and May: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday; Memorial Day through Labor Day: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week; September through October: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday The site offers visitors the experience of 19th century life. A short film about the life of the Lincolns precedes the tour. Lewistown Dickson Mounds Museum 10956 N. Dickson Mounds Road (309) 547-3721; ckson-mounds-museum-2

Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily Free As a unique archaeological museum, this museum offers visitors opportunities to explore the American Indian travels through the Illinois River Valley. Lincoln Heritage in Flight Museum 1351 Airport Road (217) 732-3333;

During World War II, Campus Ellis housed the barracks in the current museum. Military and aviation displays from all military wars and conflicts are shown along with various aviation artifacts. Call for hours of operation. Mahomet Museum of the Grand Prairie 950 N. Lombard (217) 586-2612;

Hours: March 1 to May 31: 1

to 5 p.m. daily; June 1 to Aug. 31: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday; Sept. 1 to Dec. 31: 1 to 5 p.m. daily. Free. Interactive stations, exhibits and educational programs are just a few programs visitors can experience while visiting this museum. Monticello Monticello Railway Museum 992 Iron Horse Place Opened weekends only from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. No holidays. (217) 762-9011; From May through October, the museum offers train rides at two locations, at the museum site and in

101 Things To Do With Your Summer

downtown Monticello. Visitors can walk through the railway cars and other exhibits. Special events are held throughout the year. For the train schedule or the list of events, call the museum or visit the website. Pana Carnegie-Schuyler Library 303 E. Second St. (217) 562-2326;

Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Friday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday The library was designed by Andrew Carnegie, but is still a current library with exhibits and programs. Pana History Museum 2nd and Oak streets (217) 820-1429 The museum houses many artifacts that show the impact of the city’s development such as the railroads, coal mines and greenhouses.

Over 100 Craft Beers & 30 Martinis to Choose From!

Daily Lunch Specials $4 Open 11:30am-1:00am Tuesday-Saturday 5:00pm-1:00am Sunday

Video Gaming Now Available 1414 Broadway • Mattoon


Paris Bicentennial Art Center and Museum 132 S. Central Ave. (217) 466-8130;

Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday Free. Abraham Lincoln and his rival, Stephan Douglas, were friends and visitors to this historic home’s original owner, Milton Alexander.

JG-TC - May 2013

Petersburg Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site 15588 History Lane (217) 632-4000;

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; closed Monday and Tuesday during the off season Free. The site portrays the lifestyle of Abraham Lincolnís life as a young adult. The park has a full restaurant, performance theater and walking trails. Pontiac Livingston County War Museum 321 N. Main St. (815) 842-0301 Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday; noon to 4 p.m., Sunday Free. The museum is staffed by military veterans and history buffs.

The former Chanute Air Force Base is home to military and civilian aviation and aerospace artifacts. Visitors can learn about air travel through flight simulators, exhibits, special air events and more. Springfield Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum 212 N. Sixth St. (217) 558-8934; Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Prices: $12 adults, $9 seniors and students, $7 active military, $6 children ages 5-15, free to children younger than 5 The museum chronicles the life and legacy of the United States 16th president with exhibits, performances and artifacts. The museum also hosts temporary exhibits throughout the year.

Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum 205 N. Mill St. (815) 842-2345;

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday Free. The largest collection of Pontiac and Oakland vehicles are housed at the museum, along with artifacts, maps and original designs. Route 66 Association Hall of Fame and Museum 110 W. Howard St. (815) 844-4566;

The Hall of Fame features memorabilia from the historic Mother Road. Rantoul Chanute Air Museum 1011 Pacesetter Drive Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Prices: $10 adults, $8 seniors and active or retired military, $5 students, Free to children ages 4 and younger (217) 893-1613 ext. 22;

Children line up on the Route 66 walking trail in Lexington for the Mother's Day Children's Parade Sunday afternoon May 8, 2011. (The Pantagraph/LORI ANN COOK-NEISLER) (May 8, 2011)


Air Combat Museum 835 S. Airport Road (217) 522-2181 Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April through September; 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. October through March Prices: $20 for a guided tour The museum displays combat aircraft and military vehicles. Dana-Thomas House 301 E. Lawrence Ave. (217) 782-6776 Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday Prices: $10 adults, $5 children, $15 families Frank Lloyd Wright designed the famous house for socialite Susan Lawrence Dana in 1902. The house has the largest collection of Wright art glass and furniture collection. Illinois State Fire Museum Illinois State Fairgrounds,


JG-TC - May 2013

101 Things To Do With Your Summer

Old Firehouse (217) 524-8754 Hours by appointment Free The museum houses several fire vehicles dating back to 1857, as well as exhibits and memorabilia. Illinois State Military Museum 1301 N. MacArthur Blvd. (217) 782-9365 Hours: 1 to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday Free The museum houses the history of the Illinois military through displays, unusual artifacts and stories. Illinois State Museum 502 S. Spring St. (217) 782-7386 or Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; noon to 5 p.m., Sunday. Free According to the website:

“The Illinois State Museum is a system of museums and galleries serving the people of Illinois. The Museums foster an appreciation of the living world, introduce the art of Illinois, open windows to education, and protect irreplaceable state treasures.” Illinois State Capitol Second and Capitol streets (217) 782-2099 Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free Visitors are allowed to watch when lawmakers are in session. The offices of the governor, secretary of state and other heads of state are housed in this building. Korean War National Museum 9 Old State Capital Plaza 1-888-419-5053 or

CLARK COUNTY PARK DISTRICT 20482 N. Park Entrance Rd. Marshall, IL 62441 Gatehouse: 217-889-3601 • Office: 217-889-3901 Check our website for more information



Old State Capitol Plaza, Sixth and Capitol streets (217) 785-7960 Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday From 1839 to 1876, the building housed the Illinois government during Lincolnís time as a politician.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday Free. According to the website: “The museum is far beyond a collection of war memorabilia and artifacts rather a collection of historically significant pieces and supporting stories that bring to life a conflict that partnered nations from around the world to combat the expansion of communism.”

* Minature Golf *Batting Cages *Slow Pitch Baseball *Fast Pitch Baseball *Slow Pitch Softball


to 4 p.m. Saturday; noon to 4 p.m. Sunday Free. Exhibits representing cultures from around the world can be view through five different galleries. The museum also offers tours, educational programs and events.

Teutopolis Teutopolis Monastery Museum St. Francis of Assisi Church, 110 S. Garrott St. (217) 857-3586 or

Vandalia Fayette County Museum 301 W. Main St. (618) 283-4866; ress/?page_id=173 html

Lincoln Home National Historic Site 413 S. Eighth St. Visitor Center, 426 S. Seventh St. (217) 391-3226; Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily Free, but a ticket is required from the Visitor Center. Visit the home of Abraham Lincoln and his family before he left for Washington D.C.

Hours: 12:30 to 4 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month, April through November Prices: $3 adults, $1 children Located on the second floor of the church, the museum has more than 30 rooms with articles, books and Bibles on display.

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday; 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday Free. Artifacts and memorabilia from Vandalia’s days as the state capitol are on display in the museum.

Tuscola Douglas County Museum 700 S. Main St. (217) 253-2535;

National Road Interpretive Center 106 S. Fifth St. (618) 283-9380;

Lincoln Tomb Oakridge Cemetery, 1500 Monument Ave. (217) 782-2717;

Hours: 4 to 8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday Free. The museum features exhibits, special events and programs.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday National Road was America’s first highway built by the federal government. Visitors will learn the story of the “Road that Built the Nation.”

Mill Creek

Hours: March through October: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; November through February: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The final resting place for the countryís 16th president is located in the Oakridge Cemetery, as well as war memorials honoring the troops sent from Illinois. Old State Capitol

Urbana Spurlock Museum On the University of Illinois campus, 600 S. Gregory St. (217) 333-2360;

Hours: noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 10 a.m.

Lunch & Dinner Buffet

Vandalia State House 315 W. Gallatin St. (618) 283-1161 Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday Free. Visitors can tour the oldest Illinois State Capitol building and view the historic structure. Watseka Old County Courthouse Museum 103 W. Cherry St. (815) 432-2215;

Sunday Brunch

3W Meats Welsh Farms - Locally raised pork and beef

125 N CR 425 E

Come In & Check Out Our Beef & Pork Specials ~Specials Change Weekly~

3809 Marshall Ave. • Mattoon, IL 61938 • (217) 258-6327 Hours: Thursday & Friday 10am - 5pm • Saturday 10am - 2pm

Wed-Thurs, 11-3 Fri-Sat, 11-7 • Sun, 10-2

Located at Rockome Gardens Arcola 217-268-4212 No Admission Fee to Restaurant

Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday Free. Prices: $10 per person or $15 per family The old courthouse houses exhibits dating back to the 1800s, as well as current exhibits.

101 Things To Do With Your Summer

JG-TC - May 2013


• Thursday July 18, at 8:00 p.m. on the main stage we have Contemporary Christian band Finding Favour-Free Concert • Friday July 19, at 8:00 p.m. on the main stage Country up n Comer, Victoria Ghost, Tickets $5

• Saturday July 20, at 8:00 p.m. on the main stage we have Country Star Joe Nichols Premium Seating Tickets $15 & Lawn Seating Tickets $12

Tickets on sale now! Online at or

call 800-500-6286

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101 Things To Do With Your Summer  
101 Things To Do With Your Summer  

This JG-TC special section featured in the newspaper will give you lists of area events for the year, area zoos & museums in Central Illinoi...