All posts by Katy Williams

Geneseo creates nostalgia with Christmas at the Red Barn

It’s a beautiful time of year as we watch snow fall softly. The holiday lights twinkle in the dark skies and Christmas songs play in homes across the Quad Cities’ area. However, in an age of electronic devices, fast-paced lifestyles and brisk temperatures, it seems that many aging holiday traditions have become obsolete. This season Geneseo’s Red Barn recreates the dreams equated with Christmases past to create a winter wonderland perfect for all ages.

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Ho, ho, ho! Catch the Holiday Light Tour before it’s gone!

The hassle of putting up holiday lights can disguise itself as both a blessing and a curse. While the bright lights look beautiful as the twinkle in evening among the layers of Midwestern snow, being able to string the lights on a house with a working GFCI-grounded outlet can be a pain. Even my fiancé and I have settled with solar lights we can throw up quickly for just a bit of bright, cheery light. As an alternate, we’ve traded in the show at our own home for the show others throw around the Quad Cities area. Driving through local neighborhoods and seeing the beautiful lights has become quite a tradition not only in our area, but around the country. AltSTATES Travel has taken this concept to the next level this year with their three-hour Ho Ho Holiday Light Tour on the Iowa side of the Quad Cities.

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After school workout at Elevate Trampoline Park

While most of us want to get in a nap after work, the younger loved ones in our lives are still a bubbling and bursting ball of energy. A trip to the park or playing in the backyard works most of the time, but every so often a special trip is in order to bounce out the energy before and/or after homework and dinner time. Elevate Trampoline Park in Milan has just the right “after school energy burn” special that will delight children and their parents and guardians.

Opening late summer, Elevate Trampoline Park is one of the newest additions to popular trampoline park scene in the Quad Cities. Continue reading After school workout at Elevate Trampoline Park

Literary Heroines exhibit at The Putnam

Strong and independent women have graced literature for centuries, leading the way for so many modern-day women, including myself. Of course, my parents raised me to be an intelligent and strong-willed young woman, but Harper Lee’s Scout Finch and Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennett only led me to become a more academic, social-justice oriented, and empowered female.

These are the stories the Putnam Museum’s latest exhibit on literary heroines sets out to tell in their new exhibit.

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The Figge’s Dia de los Muertos event returns Oct. 28th

The beautiful blend of cultures is a quality that makes our great Quad Cities a wonderful place to live. The music, art, and heritage is high quality in our community, as we celebrate, honor, and delve into cultural appreciation. Local events are no exception, and the Figge Art Museum hosts a free Dia de los Muertos fiesta on Sunday, October 28 from 12-5 p.m. 

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Young learners can explore STEAM education through Bereskin Gallery’s latest program addition

Exploration and curiosity of learning are two of the most important parts of education. From the moment a child enters this world, their lives are often filled with crawling, walking, look, learning — the list is endless. It’s a natural inhibition to want to learn in a hands-on environment. Even reluctant learners can find something to pique their interest when they are immersed in a safe and relevant learning environment. It begs the question, how can we immerse our children in these programs outside of the classroom walls? To further their need to explore?

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Celebrate diversity with ¡VIVA! Quad Cities

Celebrating who we are as individuals is an important part of our lives.  Every day this semester I have planned on how best to teach my students about human rights.  The curriculum mandates several lessons on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  There are so many important aspects of that document, but the main item I want my students to take away is to be proud of who you are — your heritage, your language, your culture, and you as an individual. 

¡VIVA! Quad Cities allows that dream of being proud of who you are, and the family you come from to come true for many as they host their 25th annual ¡VIVA! Quad Cities Fiesta on Saturday, September 8.  It’s the Quad Cities largest celebration of Hispanic culture.

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QC take on the great Mississippi Valley Fair

The smell of fried food hits the Midwestern air, and you can’t help but think one thing — it’s fair season! That one time of year you ditch those healthy eating habits and spend all night singing along to catchy music. Add in some cool rides and livestock it’s the essence of the Midwest on a sole property. The Mississippi Valley Fair did what it does best once again — bringing the food and the fun all into one venue.
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The East Moline Paletero Project

As a teacher, pride for your students never ceases to fail. Whether a homework assignment, an extracurricular, a service activity, or something different altogether — it’s an indescribable feeling. It bubbles up inside of you, and you are bursting to the seams with joy. When they get the idea to start a business to make money for a school trip, so they can further their education, and manage to present their concepts in front of the Quad Cities Chamber, you can’t help but smile. This is exactly what my former students, Sergio Garcia, 12, and Jesús Gutierrez, 13, from my time student teaching 7th and 8th grade ESL English/Language Arts at Glenview have done to “keep their eyes on the prize” and succeed in furthering their education. 

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Come to the great Mississippi Valley Fair

The warm summer breeze, sand in your feet, a drink of choice in your hand, and your voice is hoarse after singing every known lyric as the sound of music devours the arena. But that concert wasn’t the start of all the fun, it was the second part of an evening first spent eating the best of fair foods, previewing livestock and adorable animals, and spinning round and round on rides where your legs shook for several minutes after it ended.

This scenario could be anywhere, but nothing quite fits it like the annual Mississippi Valley Fair. It’s one of the times that almost everyone in the Quad Cities finds themselves in the same place. With 6 concerts and admission to the fair itself, the $55-$60 Fun Card proves to be a smart and money-savvy opportunity to have a week’s worth of fun and entertainment.
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