Monday, November 28, 2011

Drop and Shop at The Orpheum Children's Science Museum

December 3rd, 10th, and 17th from 9-11 a.m.

Let us entertain your children with games and activities while you finish up your holiday shopping and errands. Children will make gifts for the loved ones of their choice including coasters for dad, bath fizzies for mom, and fancy kaleidoscopes for a sibling. Registration required. For ages 4+. $14 nonmembers ($12 additional siblings) $12 members ($10 siblings). Registration is required.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Experience the Snow Globe in the Orpheum Theatre!

The event's grand opening is November 26th after the Parade of Lights!
Sponsored by Chesser Financial
Activities include indoor sledding, ice fishing with prizes, story telling, snowball throwing, snowman making, storytelling, treats, and holiday crafts!

After the Parade of Lights, come to the Orpheum where the merriment of storytelling, sledding, and crafting continues! Spend an enchanted time in a winter wonderland featuring indoor sledding, snowman making, snow ball throwing, and ice fishing. Sounds of the season will float through the air from DJ Diane Ducey. After a couple of runs down the sledding hill, enjoy hot chocolate, treats, and crafts throughout the Museum. $5 admission.

Snow Globe Saturdays

December 3rd, 10th, 17th, 2-5 p.m. $8 nonmembers, $5 members

Friday, November 18, 2011

Coffee and Tea, Cups and dessert: A Parkland Art Gallery Benefit

Thursday, December 8, 2011

From 4 to 7 p.m.

In the Art Gallery Lounge

At Parkland College

A $30 donation allows you to choose from among dozens of creative handmade cups donated by Parkland College Ceramics program faculty and students as well as enjoy tasty desserts provided by Great Harvest Bread Company and coffee provided by Herriott’s Columbia Street Roastery. Tea will also be served. Guests will appreciate the soothing sounds of Guitar Army while they visit the "State of the Art 2011-2012: National Biennial Ceramics Invitational" exhibit, curated by Suze Lindsay. This exhibit, which runs through February 4, features the work of 10 artists from across the U.S. Many of these works will be available for sale during the event. To round out the evening’s festivities there will also be a silent auction of both student and faculty ceramic work.

Tickets to the gallery benefit are available for advance purchase; cups will be chosen on a first come first serve basis. All proceeds will support Parkland Art Gallery exhibition. Tickets may be purchased in the Art Gallery, through the Fine and Applied Arts office in C120a, or through the Art Gallery office by calling 217/351-2485 or emailing

State of the Art 2011-2012: National Biennial Ceramics Invitational

Suze Lindsay curates this year’s 13th National Biennial Ceramics Invitational. Suze Lindsay has been a professional potter for over 20 years and is a practicing artist in North Carolina. She was at Penland School of Crafts on a two year fellowship from 1987-89, and subsequently received her MFA from Louisiana State University. Lindsay has selected ceramacists for this exhibition who were former classmates from these institutions and who possess proficient skill in the diverse realm of pottery − some addressing pottery's straightforward utility, others using it as a springborad to produce conceptuaol vessels and other works of art. Participating artists Margaret Bohls, Jim Brashear, Kathryn Finnerty, Douglas Herren, Maren Kloppmann, Neil Patterson, Jenny Lou Sherburne, Jane Shellenbarger, Janice Strawder and Holly Walker. An acccompanying catalogue for the exhibition will be available .

Reception and Curatorial talk December 1st from 6-8pm with music by

Parkland Guitar Ensemble.

Additional curatorial talk December 1st from 1:15pm in Room S119.

Parkland Art Gallery Hours: Mon - Thur 10am-7pm, Fri 10am-3pm

and Sat. 12n-2pm. Gallery will be closed on the following dates: Thanksgiving holiday - November 23rd at 5pm through Sunday November 27th, Winter break, Friday, December 22nd at 3pm through Monday, January 2nd, 2012 and Martin Luther King day, Monday, January 16, 2012


phone: 217-351-2485

e-mail: Lisa Costello, Director at lcostello@parkland.

BioBus Returns to the Orpheum Children's Science Museum!

November 22nd, from 3-5 p.m.

The Cell Motion BioBus is a mobile science laboratory. Kids will explore the world around them with research-grade microscopes, and make their own discoveries under the guidance of professional scientists. This event is being sponsored by the event is the Center for the Physics of Living Cells.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Out with the Old, In with the New!

Join us for a New Water Exhibit Grand Reopening Sponsored by the USGS

Saturday, November 19th, 1-3 p.m.

Celebrate one of the Orpheum's most popular exhibits with a grand reopening event! The USGS and the Orpheum are delighted to introduce a completely remodeled water flume exhibit. Adjustable wall panels allow children to change the direction of the river and control the water flow, speed, and velocity.

"The USGS is very excited about the new exhibit, as it fits nicely with our science mission. Giving the opportunity to teach kids about river forms and water flow is a very rewarding experience," said Ayla Ault, USGS IL WSC Outreach Coordinator. Learn about the purposes of dams and reservoirs and the types of river flow and river forms.

In addition to experiencing the new exhibit, enjoy the many other hands-on activities that will be available such as water tastings, river channel activities, and trying to move water uphill! Children will be able to take home a hand-made souvenir of their own.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

To Grandmother's House We Go!

At the Museum of the Grand Prairie we’ll be preparing for the holidays with a new version of our old standby, To Grandmother’s House we Go. Children will be allowed to make and take botanical, environmental and historical ornaments and gifts for family members. Make your own Christmas memory booklet, and join in a sing-along at the end of the program. Free. (217) 586-2612 or

To Grandmother's House We Go!

Saturday December 3, 2011
2:00-4:00 p.m.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

America Recycles Day at the Nature Center

America Recycles Day is a nationally recognized day dedicated to publicize and educate individuals and their communities about recycling in the United States. Since 1997, America Recycles Day has become more publically recognized and now has more than 1,700 pledges—those who pledge to recycle and be waste free. Take the Pledge

The Urbana Park District and The City of Urbana’s U-Cycle will be having their 4th annual America Recycles Day at the :

Anita Purves Nature Center on
Saturday, November 19th at

This year’s theme is “Waste Free Lunch’, hoping to educate others about ways to reduce lunch waste and how to be more eco-friendly. There will be information, presentations, and fun and creative activities during the event. Discover ways to reduce waste, create art from trash and save money!

Other local eco-encouraging organizations will be at the event. Activities include:

1. The I.D.E.A Store: Check out a “compost pile” made out of reusable materials available at their store. They will have information on the store, eco-craft workshops, and donations.

2. Market Sprouts Program- Discover the Sprouts Program- focused on educating kids about eating healthy food. Learn what makes a healthy lunch.

3. Common Ground- Play games with staff from Common Ground about filling lunches with healthy local foods. Learn the long journey of farm to table.

4. The City of Urbana: U-Cycle Program- Get information on lunch waste and easy ways to reduce it. Play recycling games and other sorting activities.

5. Urbana Park District- Create an eco-lunch container made out of milk jugs!

We will be accpeting limited recyclables at the event.  For a list and more information please call 384-4062 or visit the URbana Park District website.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Reading with Lincoln

On November 6, 2011 the Museum of the Grand Prairie hosted Bob Bray from Illinois Wesleyan University who spoke about the books that Lincoln read over the course of his lifetime. Did you know, for example, that Abraham Lincoln was fond of Aesop's fables? may have modeled the Gettysburg address on Thucydides Funeral Oration for Pericles? was ridiculed for his taste in Shakespeare by a major actor of his day? Seems like there is always more to know about Lincoln which is why....

We're looking forward to another great lineup next year so keep your eyes peeled for 2012! Look for "Daily Life in the Civil War" in April and our Fall Lincoln Lecture Series in Autumn 2012.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mummy News

Well, on November 2nd we had our mummy panel presentation at the Spurlock Museum. The researcher team did find out some very interesting new things about our ancient Egyptian mummy. For example, the mummified child is of West Asian or Middle Eastern heritage, which is a reflection of the cosmopolitan nature of Roman-era Egypt. Another indication of this time period is that the brain, lungs, and heart were all left inside the body. Also discussed was the significant damage seen in the pelvic bone and skull. The digital images of the mummy's reconstructed face are amazing. A real look into a face of past.

Was the mummy's gender determined? No. So we will have more years of not having all the answers for our visitors. But you know what? I can live with the mystery. I leaves something for future testing and inspiration to future generations.