Stories with Santa

Saturday, Dec. 9, 10 a. m. to 3 p.m., River Forest Public Library: 

This holiday program for children from birth to 8 years features stories, crafts and visits with Santa upstairs by the fireplace. Pictures with Santa will be posted to the RFPL website and caregivers may take their own keepsake photos too. Free, drop-in program. Questions: 708-366-5205. 735 Lathrop Ave, River Forest 

Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol

Saturday, Dec. 9, 7 to 9 p.m., Lewis Lounge, Lewis Hall, Dominican University:

Illinois Storytelling presents a shared experience, and a timely and timeless message about redemption through this classic holiday tale by Charles Dickens told by storyteller Greg Weiss. Storytelling open mic 7 to 8 p.m. A Christmas Carol, 8:15 to 9 p.m. Free. Questions: 708-465-6305, , 7900 W. Division, River Forest.

Christmas at Marshall Field’s

Sunday, Dec.10, 2 to 3:30 p.m., River Forest Public Library:

For many Chicagoans, no Christmas season was complete without a visit to Marshall Field and Co. Reminisce about the store’s holiday traditions, including the Walnut Room Christmas tree, the window displays, the toy department and Christmas catalogs. Remember Uncle Mistletoe and Aunt Holly? Brought to you in partnership with River Forest Township. Questions: 708-366-5205. 735 Lathrop Ave, River Forest.

“Mrs. Coney: A Tale at Christmas

Sunday, Dec. 10, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., Show Lounge, Hamburger Mary’s: 

Come for Play + A Pint, a casual original play reading by Oak Park Festival Theatre. This month’s feature, by Belinda Bremner, is a humorous memory play. A writer recalls his boyhood when his family spent the hard-scrabble winter of 1934 in Kentucky. He looks for Christmas in the woods and finds a mysterious old woman. He responds to her bitterness with kindness and they exchange the real gifts of Christmas. $12 cover includes a complimentary drink ticket for OP Brewing Co. draft beer. Doors open 2 hours prior for early bird seating and dining. More:, 708-445-4440. 155 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park. 

Kwanzaa: A Celebration 

Tuesday, December 12, 3:30  to 4:30 p.m., Meeting Room, Dole Library: 

This Kwanzaa Celebration of Family, Community and Culture features storytellers D. Kucha Brownlee & Baba Tony Brown introducing the symbols and principles of Kwanzaa to learn about Nguzo Saba – unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility and more. There will also be African drumming, shekere playing and audience participation, including singing and playing instruments. All ages groups welcome. More: 708-386-9032, 255 Augusta, Oak Park. 

Garden Club Holiday Meeting and Boutique

Wednesday, Dec. 13, Noon, Cheney Mansion:

The gathering starts with social time and a shopping boutique. At 1:00, Ken Bensen, a certified landscape architect, presents “Go Green with Planters.” Containers will be planted as demonstrations and raffled to raise funds for scholarships and civic beautification projects sponsored by the Garden Club of Oak Park and River Forest. Free; all welcome. More: 220 N. Euclid, Oak Park.  

YMCA 45th Annual Christmas Tree Sale

Monday to Friday, 2 to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., West Cook YMCA:

Buy fresh trees, wreaths and evergreen garlands now through Christmas Eve. Purchases ensure every family, child or adult has access to West Cook YMCA programming – 100% of funds are used for scholarships. And, a portion of purchases are tax deductible. Bonus: buy a tree, join the Y with a $0 Joiner Fee! More: 225 S. Marion St., Oak Park.  

Ballet Légere’s Nutcracker 

Saturday, Dec. 9, 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 10, 2 p.m., Lund Auditorium, Dominican University: 

Local students of Légere Dance center in River Forest join professional adult dancers from The Cincinnati Ballet for the 33rd annual production of this holiday ballet. $32, premium seating; $27 premium children/senior or general seating; $22 children/seniors general seating. $6, backstage tour following the Saturday, 2 p.m. performance. Tickets:, 708-488-5000. 7900 W. Division St., River Forest.

Hephzibah Gift Donations 

Through Saturday, Dec. 16, Hephzibah Home: 

Help make the holidays merry for children. Donate a gift for any age child at Hephzibah Children’s Association. Wish List items include remote control toys, Transformer- and Frozen-themed items, LEGOs and craft kits. More:, 708-649-7100. Drop off by Dec 16 at 946 North Blvd., Oak Park. 

“A Dickens Carol”

Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 8 p.m., and Sundays, 3 p.m., through Dec 24, 

Madison Street Theatre:

Oak Park Festival Theatre re-imagines the story of Scrooge from Charles Dickens’ point of view and real-life events. Set in London in 1842, it’s a ghost story that promises to melt the heart of any Scrooge. Additional show at 3 p.m., Saturday, Dec.  23. Ages 10 .  $30; $25, seniors; $15, students. Tickets: 708-445-4440, 1010 Madison Street, Oak Park.

Cookie Walks Plus

Saturday, Dec. 9, 9 to 1 p.m., Irving School: 

Come to the Homemade Craft Fair and Cookie Crumble. More than thirty local crafters, including Irving students, sell homemade goods. At the Cookie Walk, fill up a box of homemade cookies for $10. Kid’s craft table for holiday card making and gift-wrapping station where kids can secretly wrap up their purchases. 1125 S. Cuyler, Oak Park.  

Saturday, Dec. 9, 9 to 11 a.m., Pilgrim Community Nursery School: 

Join the Cookie Walk by purchasing a box for $13 and filling it with home-baked cookies. Homemade specialty treats also available. Holiday and jazz music by the OPRFHS Jazz Combo and prize raffle. Questions:, 460 Lake St., Oak Park.

Saturday, Dec. 9, 10 a.m., United Lutheran Church: 

At the Cookie Walk buyers choose homemade cookies for $13. Gluten-free cookies, dog cookies, jams/jellies, Fair Trade items and raffle tickets also available. Benefitting Housing Forward and New Moms. 409 Greenfield St., Oak Park.

Holiday One Hundred

Opening Friday, Dec. 8, 7 to 9 p.m., continuing through Saturday, Dec. 23, Oak Park Art League:

Featuring original artwork by OPAL artist members, priced from $50 to $300. Find homemade gifts and fine art while supporting local artist and the Oak Park Art League, which is raising funds to celebrate its Centennial Anniversary. 

Info: 708-386-9853, 720 Chicago Ave.

Out of the Box Art Market 

Now through Dec. 24, Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., across from Scoville Park:

Shop creations from 19 local artists, including jewelry, ceramics, photography, textiles, crafts and gourmet chocolate sauce. 146 N. Oak Park Avenue.  

“It’s A Wonderful Life”

Saturday, Dec. 9, 10 a.m., Lake Theatre:

Jimmy Stewart’s character may not ever get out of the small town he grew up in, but his angel, Clarence, will show him that life is worth living, no matter where that might be. Prior to the show, pick up free tickets from Community Bank of OPRF at  7751 Lake St., River Forest.

“Home Alone”

Friday, Dec. 15, 6 to 8 p.m., Meeting Room, River Forest Public Library: 

Come and snack, prank and shout along with the characters at this interactive movie. Grades 5 to 12. Register:, 708-366-5205. 735 Lathrop Ave, River Forest.

“Miracle on 34th Street” 

Saturday, Dec. 16, 10 a.m., Lake Theatre:

Is Macy’s department store Santa  real? One young girl sets out to prove it in this Classic. Sponsored by Downtown Oak Park. 1022 Lake St., Oak Park.

“Holy Night/Holy Light

Friday, Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m., Good Shepherd Lutheran Church:

On the third Friday of each month, Good Shepherd treats jazz lovers to a themed concert. Preview music begins at 7:10 p.m.  Live jazz music and readings start at 7:30pm. Come reflect through spirited, soulful, jazz music and meditation. Free. 611 Randolph, Oak Park.  

Holiday Brass and Choral Concert

Thursday, Dec. 14, 8 p.m., Grace Lutheran Church:

Be swept away by the Music of the Baroque and their wide-ranging ancient, Baroque and contemporary sacred music. $39 – 64., 312-551-1414. 7300 Division St., River Forest.

Khanike Night

Thursday, Dec. 14, 6 to 9 p.m., Buzz Café:

It’s Mameloshn’s 20th year at the Buzz Café. There are two seatings for songs and latkes. First, 6:00 to 7:15 p.m., for children; second, 7:30 to 8:45 p.m., for teens and adults. Buzz provides latkes, salad and Mameloshn. Guest provide singing and freylach. $7.95 per person. Reservations: Questions: 905 S. Lombard Ave., Oak Park.

$5 Drop-in Holiday Beading Workshops

Friday, Dec. 15, 2 to 6 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 16, 2 to 5 p.m., Bead in Hand:

Make a button wreath ornament – simple to make, these wreaths easily adorn a tree or window or can be used as a pendant. 

Friday, Dec. 22, 2 to 6 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 23, 2 to 5 p.m., Bead in Hand:   

Create angel earrings or ornaments; make a pair for a gift or for yourself. 

Tuesday, Dec. 26 through Saturday, Jan. 6, 2 to 6 p.m. daily, Bead in Hand:

Drop in and make a beaded snowflake ornament or memory wire bracelet. Info: 145 Harrison St., Oak Park.

Home for the Holidays

Saturday, Dec. 16, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Downtown Oak Park:

Holiday Movie, “Miracle on 34th Street,” at the Lake Theatre (10 a.m.)

Horse-drawn sleigh rides, boarding at 110 N. Marion.
 (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.)

Hot Chocolate at the Hospitality Tent
(11 a.m. – 3 p.m.)

Roaming Holiday Carolers (noon to 2 p.m.)

Santa Claus appearing on Marion St. (noon to 2 p.m.)

Free. On Marion St. between Lake St. and North Blvd.

Caroling with Santa

Saturday, Dec. 16, 11 a.m., Scoville Square:

Hear the Pro Musica Youth Chorus along with seeing everyone’s jolly old man in the red suit. Hosted by Magic Tree Bookstore and Scoville Square. 141 N. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park.

Holidays a cappella

Sunday, Dec. 17, 4 p.m. Pilgrim Congregational Church:

Experience familiar holiday songs in fresh new ways as Chicago a cappella performs solemn and holy pieces to the merry and bright. Hear carols, Chanukah melodies, spirituals and the U.S. premier of a composition by an award-winning Polish composer. $43, all preferred seating; $35, general seating; $30, seniors; $15, students. Tickets/more:, 773-281-7820.
460 Lake St., Oak Park.

Holiday event guide, part 2

Winter Solstice Craft

Wednesday, Dec. 20, 4 to 5 p.m. Meeting Room, Dole Library:

On this, the shortest day of the year, the whole family is invited for this craft celebrating the Winter Solstice. Ages 5 . Questions: 708-386-9032. 255 Augusta, Oak Park.

Tuba Christmas

Saturday, Dec. 23, 8:30 to 9:15 a.m. Various Locations:

See low-brass musicians from Oak Park & River High School, and Brooks and Julian Middle Schools play favorite Christmas songs on tubas, sousaphones and euphoniums as they work their way around Oak Park and River Forest. Starts at the Harlem/Lake Green Line station at 8:30 a.m. From there, the musicians go to area businesses such as Old Navy and The Gap, then on to River Forest to Starbucks and Whole Foods, wrapping by 9:15 a.m. Following this, they join 400 others for Tuba Christmas Chicago at the Palmer House Hilton.

Thank You Note Workshop

Wednesday, Dec. 27, 9 to 5 p.m., River Forest Public Library: 

Kids – don’t forget to be grateful for your holiday gifts. Drop by the Children’s Room to write your own personalized thank you cards. Supplies provided. Grades Kindergarten through 4. Questions: 708-366-5205. 735 Lathrop Ave., River Forest.

DIY Snowflakes

Thursday, Dec. 28, 1 to 4 p.m., River Forest Public Library:

Drop in and visit the Children’s Room to learn how to make your own snowflake. Supplies provided. Ages 3 to 10 with caregiver. Questions: 708-366-5205. 735 Lathrop Ave., River Forest 

Snowy Story Time and Craft

Friday, Dec. 29, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Meeting Room, Dole Library:

It’s a winter-themed story time. Share stories, songs and make a craft. Ages 3 to 5. Questions: 708-386-9032. 255 Augusta, Oak Park.

Countdown to New Year’s Eve

Friday, Dec. 29, 5 to 5:45 p.m. Veterans Room, Main Library:

Celebrate the coming of 2018 with catchy upbeat music by Wendy and DB. Free; all ages. Questions: 708-452-3420, 834 Lake St., Oak Park.

New Year’s Eve with Tributosaurus as Tom Petty

Saturday, Dec. 30, and Sunday, Dec. 31, 9 p.m., Wire:

Come celebrate the New Year while listening to the local band that morphs itself into a classic rocker for the holiday. Doors open at 8 p.m. 21 . $35, Saturday. $45, Sunday; $100 VIP Sunday. Tickets: 6815 W. Roosevelt Rd., Berwyn.

— Michelle Dybal

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