FRIDAY, December 1st

Mistletoe Market, Urbana Civic Center, 4 to 8 p.m., free admission

Check out the Mistletoe Market at the Urbana Civic Center. The market will feature several local artists, craftsmen, and makers with lots of holiday cheer. There’ll even be cocktails for you to sip on as you browse the many potentials gifts for family and friends alike. (KF) 

CU Ballet's The Nutcracker, Krannert Center for Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m., $21-45

Trying to get into the holiday spirit despite the unusually warm weather? Champaign Urbana Ballet’s The Nutcracker might do the trick. It’s their 20th anniversary of spreading some holiday cheer and exposing local kids to the classical art of ballet. They started as a few dancers in the lobby of the library, but have grown to be a full ballet with over 100 dancers over two weekends. If you’ve seen it in years past, go again! They’re always adding new sets and costumes to keep it fresh and new. If you’ve never been, maybe it’s time for a new holiday tradition. Photo by Darrell Hoemann (KF) 

The Room, the Art Theater Co-op, 10 p.m., $8

The Room returns to the Art! Go see the best worst movie of all time. You won't regret it (yes, you will). Make sure to pack a box of plastic spoons and a football. Just trust me. Anyway, how's your sex life? (DT)


The Flaming Churros, Memphis on Main ($3), 9 p.m.

I'm always a fan of bands performing at Memphis on Main, it's a nice little intimate setting and the bands are always pretty enthusiastic about the performance, which is nice. Plus most of their drinks come in 32 oz form, which I am a fan of. (DS)

SATURDAY, December 2nd

Experience a small town holiday, free, times vary

Want to experience that small town, Norman Rockwell-ish Christmas vibe? Both Mahomet and Homer are offering up that chance this weekend. Horse-drawn carriages, cookies, Santa, crafts vendors, and local store specials. Check out their event pages for more details on times and specific offerings. (JM)

Watch some U of I students pretend to be ninja warriors, Kenney Gym and Annex (1406 W Springfield, Urbana), 2 to 4 p.m., free 

The men’s and women’s gymnastics teams are hosting a Ninja Warrior obstacle course, in which students “will be able to test their skills.” If you’ve seen American Ninja Warrior, or the original Japanese series, Sasuke, you’ll know what’s in store. If not, picture a bunch of very fit people trying (and usually failing) to perform strange obstacle course tasks like animal-human hybrids with very strong grip strength and cat-like reflexes. Hopefully no one will get hurt. If you’d like to participate, check out the event on Facebook. Photo from Facebook (JH)

Parents' Night Out, the Leonhard Center, 5 to 9 p.m., $15 or $22.50

Parents of K–4 kids, you can leave your kids at the Leonhard Center on the cheap and go on a date! The Leonhard Center staff will keep your kids engaged without a TV for a full four hours; you just need to leave them with a sack lunch (dinner) with no peanut products in it. You can go see a movie, grab dinner, do some shopping, take a nap—the possibilities are endless (but limited to a four-hour window)! (DT)


Enjoy 12 Beers of Christmas, Esquire Lounge, 5 to 9 p.m., $20 in advance, $25 at the door

This annual beer tasting event is presented by CU DIVAS and Esquire, and is a fundraiser for Operation Santa. Money raised is used to purchase holiday gifts for families at Champaign Crisis Nursery and Parent Wonders of Rantoul. It’s a nice way to taste some brews, hang out at Esquire, and give a little to make the holidays easier for those who don’t have quite as much. Photo from Facebook (JH) 

Waka Flocka Flame, Foellinger Auditorium, $15 students/$22 public, 7:30 p.m.

Although this is probably the worst environment for this sorta show — there's a pretty popular rapper heading to Foellinger for the next Star Course show: Waka Flocka Flame. (PS)


Watch a Christmas movie?Virginia Theatre, $5, 7 p.m.

I'm more of a traditionalist when it comes to Christmas movies...White Christmas, Elf, Christmas Vacation...but I know many folks who claim Die Hard as their favorite holiday offering. Is it a part of your yearly tradition? If so, here's a chance to see it on the big screen. (JM)

A night of short films, Urbana-Champaign IMC, 8-10 p.m., free

There's a handful of shorts that will be showed at the IMC on Saturday night: Writers' Block, The Double MachineSuper Amazing Man vs. Dr. Evil, a corner for august, and Words. They'll host a Q&A session afterwards if you're interested in asking questions about the films that were shown. (PS)


Urbanite XX, The Canopy Club, 10 p.m., $13 advance/$18 door

Urbanite is a high-energy dance showcase that is held every so often in Champaign-Urbana, and this is the 20th installment of this night. It'll be held at the Canopy Club, and typically these things move tickets pretty quickly, so if you're looking for a fun thing to do on Saturday night this weekend, I'd recommend Urbanite. Some of the performances you see there are pretty mindblowing — these dancers have some serious talent. (PS)

SUNDAY, December 3rd

Jess McIntosh & Dan Andree, Champaign Public Library, 2 p.m. 

I'm always going to be a fan of the violin, but throw into that it's happening at the Champaign Public Library and you've got yourself a deal. Post brunch violins are the best violins. (DS)




All event information is accurate to the best of our abilities, but sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes event information, times, prices, etc., change after we look them up. Whenever possible, we've provided a link to the original event page; you should always double-check the source before you make any firm plans. Thanks for your understanding.