Posted Online: Nov. 28, 2012, 1:58 pm

Family fun: Find it in the Q-C this weekend

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By John Marx, jmarx@qconline.com

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Photo: John Greenwood / staff
A driver with Armstrong Carriages & Stables, East Moline, leaves the front of Hauberg Civic Center to take a group on a carriage ride during the Hauberg Winter in Bloom Open House, held Sunday afternoon, Dec. 4, 2011.
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Photo: John Greenwood / staff
As the Slide Trombone Quartet performed at the Deere-Wiman House in Moline on Dec. 4, 2011, Jayde Hull and Sydney Newberry were invited up to play bells during a song. The event was part of 19th-Century Christmas at Butterworth Center and the Deere-Wiman House. The Rock Island County Historical Society also hosted a Christmas open house.
Photo: Submitted
Quad City Music Guild's 'It's a Wonderful Life' features, clockwise from top, Nathan Bates, Nelson Lindmark, Amira Siddique, Jennifer Sondgeroth, Livia Dodd and Aidan Perry.
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Photo: Paul Colletti
Niabi Zoo elephants Babe and Sophie walk around their enclosure in Coal Valley on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011. On Thursday the zoo announced the start of the Business Friends of Niabi Zoo campaign in order to raise money for renovations of the elephant habitat.
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Photo: John Greenwood
During the first game of the Rock Island-Milan Booster Club Thanksgiving Classic Wednesday evening, Rocky's Brian Richardson soars up for a lay-up in the first half of action as Richwoods Christian Johnson (5) and Javeer Ross defend.
Tonight I'm booked.

Family time -- and it can be a battle to make enough of it -- wins out. Tonight we are in lockdown at my house.

Friday

Friday, though, is a different story. But I know my idea of the perfect night of entertainment likely will be different than yours.

I dig watching high school basketball. It's entertaining. It only costs me $5 to get in ($4 for my son), and I get to see young people giving it their all in an athletic setting. I don't need to pay $250 to watch spoiled NBA millionaires make a mockery of the game's fundamentals.

Tonight I'll catch Alleman playing host to Rock Island at 7:30 at Augustana College in Rock Island. This game pits two tremendous coaches and outstanding players doing their best at representing their schools.I'll enjoy a bag of popcorn and do some armchair coaching.

A variety of local games are on tap. Moline will play host to Galesburg at the best prep gym in America, Wharton Field House. Just down Avenue of the Cities, United Township will play host to Quincy.

-- A "Wonderful" idea: If you don't like basektball, I suggest you catch Quad-City Music Guild's "It's a Wonderful Life'' at Prospect Park Theater, 1584 34th Ave., Moline. The curtain will rise at 7:30 p.m. today through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15, $10 for ages 11 and under. Last year, Music Guild was masterful in its presentation of "White Christmas,'' and I'm expecting the same from "It's a Wonderful Life.''

-- Walk a "Stairway to Heaven": Also on Friday, the National Geographic Giant Screen Theater at the Putnam Museum in Davenport will show "Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day" at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $11; $10 for seniors, students, and members of the military; $8 for ages 3-12. How can any child of the 1970s not want to catch this glimpse into the musical world of Led Zeppelin?

Saturday

-- Great day at the zoo:Talk about a children's delight!Breakfast With the Animals will be held from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley. It includes a hot breakfast buffet and up-close encounters with animals. Also, Santa Claus will pose for photos. Afterward, guests can go behind the scenes with elephants Babe and Sophie and watch them paint. You can even order a custom elephant painting. Admission is $20 or $15 for zoo members. Advance purchase of tickets is required.

--A barbershop Christmas:The fourth annual Chordbuster Christmas Show will beginat 2 p.m. Saturday at the Second Baptist Church, 919 6th Ave., Rock Island. Admission is $5, free for ages 12 and younger. This is a first-rate, barbershop-style show. If you are not a fan, you will be after you make this part of your Saturday itinerary.

-- Great times in Cambridge:Cambridge's Christmas on the Square will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, and will include Taste of Cambridge and horse-drawn carriage rides. On Sunday, activities will run from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. They will include the Festival of Gingerbread and the Main Street Tour of Homes ($6). Also, churches will have bake sales; Santa will visit at 4 p.m.; there will be a chili supper from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.; and the high-school jazz band will play. It's bound to be a great time in a comfortable setting.

-- Back the flock:The Quad City Mallards will play the Missouri Mavericks at 7 p.m. Saturday at the i wireless Center, 1201 River Drive, Moline. The hockey team is off to a middle-of-the-pack start, but improvement is promised. This is a great and affordable Saturday night out.

Sunday

-- The beauty of Butterworth: Experience a 19th-Century Christmas from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at the historic Butterworth Center and Deere-Wiman House, 1105 8th St., Moline. It will include music, children's crafts, a visit with Santa, a 1933 Lionel train set, videos, refreshments and tours. Admission is free. The vintage train is worth the trip!

-- History on your side: The Rock Island County Historical Society, 822 11th Ave., Moline, will host a Christmas open house from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. It will include exhibits on historical quilts, winter clothing, historical pastimes and kitchen tools. There also will be cookie decorating for kids. The Rock Island High School Choir will perform at 3 p.m. Refreshments will be served and admission is free.

-- Botanical beauty:The Quad City Botanical Center, 2525 4th Ave., Rock Island, will host a holiday open house from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday. It will include music, refreshments, crafts for all ages, a presentation by the Mississippi Valley Quilters Guild at 2 p.m. and a visit from Santa.

-- Hauberg for the holidays:The Hauberg Civic Center, 1300 24th St., Rock Island, will host the annual Winter in Bloom Holiday Open House from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. It will include horse-drawn carriage rides, children's games and crafts, music with Carlisle Evans Peck and Emma Evans Peck, weaving demonstrations, a visit with Santa, refreshments and mansion tours. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is free.

That's your guide for a great weekend. Now go and do.



The itinerary: Nov. 30-Dec. 2



-- Quad-City Music Guild's "It's a Wonderful Life": 7:30 p.m. today through Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Prospect Park Theater, 1584 34th Ave., Moline. $15, $10 for ages 11 and younger. (309) 762-6610, qcmusicguild.com.

-- Local prep basketball games: 7:30 p.m. Friday. Alleman vs. Rock Island at Augustana College. Moline vs. Galesburg at Moline. United Township vs. Quincy at UT.

-- "Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day": 6 and 8:30 p.m. Friday, Putnam Museum’s National Geographic Giant Screen Theater, 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport. $11, $10 for seniors, students, and members of the military; $8 for ages 3-12. (563) 324-1933, putnam.org.

-- Breakfast With the Animals: 8:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Niabi Zoo, 13010 Niabi Zoo Road, Coal Valley. $20, $15 for zoo members. Advance purchase of tickets is required. (309) 799-3482, niabizoo.com.

-- Chordbuster Christmas Show: 2 p.m. Saturday, Second Baptist Church, 919 6th Ave., Rock Island. $5, free for ages 12 and younger. (309) 788-0677.

-- Cambridge's Christmas on the Square: 5-8 p.m. Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. (309) 937-2633.

-- Quad City Mallards vs. Missouri Mavericks: 7 p.m. Saturday, i wireless Center, 1201 River Drive, Moline. $7-$25. (800) 745-3000, myqcmallards.com.

-- 19th-Century Christmas: Noon-5 p.m. Sunday, Butterworth Center and Deere-Wiman House, 1105 8th St., Moline. Free. (309) 743-2701, butterworthcenter.com.

-- Rock Island County Historical Society Christmas Open House: Noon-5 p.m. Sunday, 822 11th Ave., Moline. Free. (309) 764-8599, richs.cc.

-- Quad City Botanical Center Holiday Open House: Noon-3 p.m. Sunday, 2525 4th Ave., Rock Island. (309) 794-0991, qcgardens.com.

-- Winter in Bloom Holiday Open House: Noon-4 p.m. Sunday, Hauberg Civic Center, 1300 24th St., Rock Island. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Free. (309) 732-2132.