Manse appeal

The annual holiday tour of B-N's manse country, Christmas at the Mansions, is back, featuring self-guided tours of a trio of historic edifices — two of them known; one of them a “mystery mansion” that won't be unveiled until the day of, which is Saturday, when there'll be two ticketed time slots: 2 to 5 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. The known entities are Bloomington's David Davis Mansion and Ewing Manor. Tickets are $15 in advance via the Davis Mansion, Casey's Garden Shop, The Garlic Press, Hy-Vee Market and Schnuck's; and $18 the day of, available then only at the Davis manse. More details: 309-828-1084 or

Fun(d) raisers

Two weekend shows in Bloomington's Castle Theatre will not only provide fun for concertgoers but also funds for two local charities. At 7 p.m. Friday, it's the Christmas Concert for Home Sweet Home, a benefit for Home Sweet Home Ministries featuring local rockers Heroso and singer-songwriter Sara Quah. Tickets are $15. The following night, 7 p.m. Dec. 9, it's the annual Silver Ball, a Toys for Tots of McLean County fundraiser, this year with a British Invasion theme featuring Chicago's Steepwater Band channeling the Rolling Stones and Jack Dupp & The Empty Bottles going all Fab Four on us. Tickets: $12-$15.

The art of giving

Student/faculty art from various sectors of Illinois State University’s School of Art will be offered for purchase at a series of displays around the ISU campus Friday and Saturday. The annual Printmakers Sale and Exhibition will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday in room 123 of the Center for the Visual Arts. Works from ISU’s ceramics program will be displayed for a Ceramics Sale, same day and hours, in the "airport lounge" area of Centennial West. Last but not least, the annual Glass House Holiday Art Sale is set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in the ISU Glass House, at the northwest corner of Willow and Main streets.