QUAD CITIES – Holiday markets, seasonal performances, and shadows of times gone by combine to make a day trip to the Quad Cities well worth the cost of gasoline.
A number of shopping opportunities present an excuse to get away from it all by the Mississippi River. Luring shoppers are:
n The German Christkindlmart Holiday Market, which is open through Dec. 23 at the German American Heritage Center, 712 W. Second St., Davenport, Iowa. Finds: Imported items from Germany.
n The annual Christmas Craft Show runs today through Sunday at the QCCA Expo Center, 2621 Sixth Ave., Rock Island. Finds: Hand-crafted merchandise from more than 180 vendors.
And then there are the fun and games:
n Keep winter in mind Dec. 15 for Frost Fest at Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., downtown Davenport. This is good for kids, with a chance to meet Santa Claus, play board games, work on crafts, and watch films.
náPosada Navide˝a at the Quad City Botanical Center, 2525 Fourth Ave., Rock Island, is a traditional Mexican holiday celebration. Plans for the day include food, hot chocolate, breaking pi˝atas, and music.
Visitors who prefer to relax might want to try one of the holiday shows. Here is a sampling:
n “A Christmas Story: The Musical” runs through Jan. 5 at Circa ‘21, 1828 Third Ave., Rock Island. Call 309-786-7733 for reservations.
ná“A Christmas Survival Guide” is Dec. 5 to 8:. This is a Quad City Music Guild show at Prospect Park Auditorium, Park 16th Street and 30th Avenue, Moline. Call 309-762-6610 for tickets.
náChristmas at Augustana is a musical treat Dec. 6 and 7. Performances are by six bands and choirs at Centennial Hall, 3703 Seventh Ave., Rock Island. Call 309-794-7306 for tickets.
n And there is the old favorite, “The Nutcracker,” Dec. 14 and 15 at the Adler Theatre, 136 E. Third St. in Davenport. Call 563-326-8500 for tickets.
Sometimes a look into the past is inviting. Visitors can check out a 19th-century Christmas at the Deer Family Homes. The doors will be open from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Expect to see carolers, Santa Claus and living-history volunteers. There also will be make-and-take home projects.
The Butterworth Center is at 1105 Eighth St., and the Deere-Wiman House is at 817 11th Ave. in Moline. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. The buildings will be decorated in the style of a Victorian Christmas.
Whether it’s theater, history, shopping or special events, those looking for something special can head south where the choices are numerous this time of year.