WEEKEND+ for Thursday 12/16 to Wednesday 12/22

THE HOLIDAY ISSUE |  The Season’s Best | Senior Focus | On Stage |  Chicagoland Events   |  Holiday Happenings  |   Improve School Performance  |  Fitness Race Events   |  See You Outside  | Dining Out

GO TO   Suburban Family’s “HOLIDAY ISSUE” issue.

The Season’s Best…

(Updated for this week…12/16 to 12/22)

Sonny Acres Farm
Santa’s Workshop has moved from the North Pole to West Chicago! Sonny Acres Farm is open for their annual Winter Wonderland Experience goes through December 19. Fun for all ages, holiday happenings include a lights experience, horse drawn carriage rides, visits with Santa, fresh Christmas trees, gifts, sweets, handmade custom wreaths and more. Located at 29W310 North Avenue, West Chicago, IL. 630-231-3859. For a full lineup of events, hours and activities, visit www.sonnyacres.com.

A Magical Winter in Downtown Aurora
Have a ball in downtown Aurora this winter. It’s A Magical Winter with “Cinderella” at Paramount Theatre. Other magical events: Holiday Art and Market from 9 a.m. to noon at Society 57 on December 18. Santa will visit Millennium Plaza for free photos at the gazebo from 1 to 3 p.m. the first three Saturdays in December. Aurora Downtown on Facebook. www.auroradowntown.org

Naper Settlement, Holly Jolly Days
December 17, 20, 21, 22 & 23. 1 to 7 pm

Naper Settlement invites you to join us for Holly Jolly Days. Enjoy a relaxing time with family and friends at the museum. Guests can visit the Blacksmith Shop for Reindeer Shoes – a special holiday story told by our blacksmith while making reindeer shoes at the forge. Listen to Christmas stories in the Schoolhouse and write a letter to Santa!  523 S. Webster Street, Naperville. Tickets are $5/person, free for children under 4. For tickets and more information, visit. www.napersettlement.org/HollyJollyDays

Volo Museum
The Volo Museum is SO much more than cars! The roars of our dinosaurs at Jurassic Gardens, the sweet sounds of the happiest music on earth in our carousel room and the “oohs and ahhs” of our Disney and Movie Car displays – to just name a few! Don’t Miss Out on the Fun! Open daily 10a to 5p. And, treat your family to a ‘Christmas Vacation’ they won’t forget ! National Lampoon’s film tribute on view through Jan. 2, 2022. Visit us at www.volocars.com for more information. Volo Museum, 27582 Volo Village Road, Volo, IL.

Lighting Up Lemont
Come brighten up your holiday season in Lemont and stroll all around our historic downtown during “Lighting Up Lemont.”  Our dazzling illuminating holiday displays are nestled throughout our quaint, family-owned shops, restaurants, taverns, and brewery. It’s the perfect place to capture your holiday photos and magical moments. We can’t wait to see you in Lemont this holiday season! “Lighting Up Lemont” is sponsored by our Main Event Sponsor Citgo, the Downtown Merchants Association and the Village of Lemont.  www.lemont.il.us/Holiday | @lemontdowntown | www.lemontdowntown.com

Village of Arlington Heights
The Holiday Season is Wonderful in Arlington Heights! Arlington Heights is the perfect holiday destination for your family. With great shopping, entertainment, and events, Arlington Heights is the place to be this holiday season! For more information, please visit www.DiscoverArlington.com!

Water Street Naperville
NaperLights will make the season bright along Water Street and the Riverwalk in Downtown Naperville from Thanksgiving through New Year’s. Lights are synced to music for walking or drive-through. The display, from the Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise, features 150,000 lights. Santa holds socially distanced chats with children by the Great Tree on most Friday and Saturday evenings. While they last, holographic glasses for kids on weekends. Donations for Sunrise Rotary charities are welcomed. www.naperlights.com

Apple Holler
Pick your own memories at Apple Holler orchard and family farm offering pick your own apples, peaches, and pears. Visit the Red Barn Cafe and Cider Bar, bakery, and gift shop. Visitors will enjoy four seasons of family fun and activities including; Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides, orchard and farm tours, school field trips, hayrides, barnyard animals and outdoor play areas. Apple Holler is located between Racine and Kenosha, WI at exit 337 off I-94 (5006 S. Sylvania Ave. Sturtevant, WI 53177) Call (262) 884-7100, or visit www.appleholler.com, for further information.

Fleetwood Roller Rink – Summit
Fleetwood Roller Rink (established 1957) is a family-owned business. Our venue hosts public skating, birthday parties (our specialty) privates and fundraisers. We promote family fun for all ages plus for “health sake, roller skate” Come visit us and join in our fun.  Instruction available every Saturday at 1 pm   Check for our ongoing specials and public skating times. Located at 7231 West Archer Ave., Summit. 708-458-0300. www.fleetwoodrollerrink.com

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
People of all ages enjoy this exceptional Museum dedicated to sharing the beauty of cut and polished stone, promoting lapidary artists and understanding rocks and minerals. Featuring a world-class collection of Chinese jade and hard stone carvings from around the world. Exhibits include stone mosaics, cameos, animal dioramas, mineral specimens, gemstones, fossils, meteorites and hands-on displays. Unique Museum Shop, ADA accessible and open year-round. 1220 Kensington Road, Oak Brook, IL  60523. Ph. 630-833-1616, info@lizzadromuseum.org Visit: www.lizzadromuseum.org

Visit Lake County
Nothing’s more “holiday” than enjoying the sights (and tastes) in Lake County, Illinois! Take a nearby “road trip” to Antioch’s FREE Kringle’s Christmas Village, an indoor holiday display of themed oversized shadowboxes (think Marshall Field’s window displays with a unique spin), to a brisk hike on the miles of trails throughout the county at the Lake County Forest Preserves. Cross-country skiing is available at select locations. Top it off with all-things “chocolate” at The Chocolate Sanctuary in Gurnee, delectable dishes infused with cocoa (not to mention the best hot chocolate!). Download a visitor map guide at visitlakecounty.org. 847-662-2700.

Winter Wonders – Boerner Bigger and Brighter
Carrying on the Holiday tradition, Boerner Botanical Gardens is enhancing the 2021 Holiday Light Show with new effects, bigger displays and new technology tricks that highlight the beauty and majesty of Wisconsin’s most beautiful botanical park  and surroundings. This year’s event runs from through January 2nd, every night including all the holidays. Hours are from 5:00PM till 10:00PM. The first cars can start lining up at 4:30PM. This year as an added attraction, Santa will be on site in a specially designed habitat to allow all the cars driving past to share his holiday wishes. Tickets for full carloads are $25.00 and there are also limited nightly skip the line tickets for $35.00. Tickets should be purchased in advance at www.winterwonders.org. All carloads will get a free gift bag with coupons, ornament, and other items on certain nights. Winter Wonders follows all Covid 19 safety guidelines.

Whether you’re planning your next family fun day, work outing, or holiday party, WhirlyBall Naperville has you covered for non-stop fun! In addition to WhirlyBall, there’s a multi-level lasertag arena, eight bowling lanes, a four-lane VIP private bowling suite, and HyperBowling. Offering a relaxed yet elevated dining experience featuring fresh takes on classic American fare, an expansive collection of 24 rotating craft beer selections, and refreshing signature cocktails. Reserve your space today! WHIRLYBALL NAPERVILLE, 3103 ODYSSEY CT, 630-932-4800, www.WhirlyBall.com/Naperville

Holidays in Naperville
It’s the time of year for gathering with friends and family, and Naperville is the city for the season! It’s easy to find accommodation with 17 amazing hotels to choose from. You’ll never be hungry thanks to 300 restaurants. From American to Asian, to Italian, to ice cream, any craving can be met. To find the best spots to celebrate with family and friends, go to www.VisitNaperville.com and www.DineNaperville.com!

Holiday Special Events with the Lombard Park District
Enjoy Lombard Park District’s annual holiday lights display in Lilacia Park! Charming holiday displays illuminate the park from 4:30-10pm each night with magical light shows, tree decorations, a gingerbread house and so much more.  December 2021. www.lombardparks.com/holiday

Downtown Elgin Holly Days
Look for 15 beautifully decorated windows featuring holiday artwork in downtown storefronts. Roaming entertainment, Santa and more are also in the works! Visit www.DowntownElgin.com/HollyDays.

Christ Community Church
It’s a season of great joy. And at Christ Community Church, there are so many ways to celebrate: 1) In-person Christmas Eve services on December 23 & 24 at campuses in Aurora, Dekalb, Huntley, St. Charles, and Streamwood. 2) Online services broadcast Dec 23, 24 & 25. 3) The Christ Community Church Christmas Eve special on CBS Channel 2! In Streamwood or DeKalb? Don’t miss some fun Christmas concerts. Learn more at www.ccclife.org/christmas.

Journey to Wellness, Inc.
Give Yourself and your oved ones the gift of message this holiday season! 20% off your first visit.Services Offered: Therapeutic Table Massage, Therapeutic Thai Massage, Workplace/Event Chair Massage, Massage Cupping, Acupressure, Reiki. Benefits Achieved: Decreased Pain / Tension, Decreased Anxiety / Stress, Improved Sleep, Increased Mobility, Injury Recovery. Jennifer Dexheimer BS, LMT | 1000 Grand Canyon Parkway, Suite 105, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169. 847-750-HEAL (4325) jen@gojourneytowellness.com, www.gojourneytowellness.com

Visit Kenosha 
Head north and enjoy Kenosha, Wisconsin this winter. From snow tubing and downhill skiing at Wilmot Mountain, to other outdoor adventures like fat tire biking, snowshoeing, and sledding at area parks, you can make the most of a snow day here. Or, warm up at one of our world-class museums, charming diners, or DIY art studios for more family fun. In fact, you may want to make plans for a weekend getaway with so much fun waiting to be discovered.  600 52nd Street Suite 140 Kenosha, WI 53140. 262-654-7307. www.VisitKenosha.com

Abbey Farms
Abbey Farms has everything you want for the holidays! Purchase a Pre-Cut tree, or cut your own! We have garland, swag and a host of greenery as well. Bring home an old-fashioned treat from our bakery – choose from pies, apple crisp or our award-winning donuts. Reserve a time to visit Santa, then stay to dine in The Emporium Cafe, either inside or on our patio by the fire! Or shop a wide range of gifts in our 6,000-square-foot farm store – from incredibly tasty specialty food items to unique home goods to one-of-a-kind vintage items and crafts. We’re dog-friendly, so bring ‘em along! Visit AbbeyFarms.org for all the details!

Creek Bend Nature Center Explore Galore!
Visit Creek Bend Nature Center for fun, interactive exhibits. There’s plenty to see and do – both inside and out! Learn all about oaks. See what the Fox River could look like below the surface. View bison in our prairie wild exhibit. Enjoy scavenger hunts, hikes and scheduled nature programs. At Creek Bend Nature Center, there are things to explore galore! Admission is always free. We’re open: Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday – Sunday: Noon – 4 p.m. LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve. 37W700 Dean St., St. Charles. www.kaneforest.com 630-444-3190.

Say Goodbye to COLD and SNOW…

Holiday Happenings…

(Updated for this week…12/16 to 12/22)

  • Pizza with Santa – 12/17. Pizza, soda, craft, games, bounce house. Children of all ages with an adult. Register by 12/10. 6-7PM. Darien. Darienparks.com.
  • Grinchmas – 12/18. Take a walk through outdoor Whoville and get a picture with Santa and the Grinch. Coyote Crossing Mini Golf. Register by 12/16. 5-7PM.Carol Stream.  Csparks.com.
  • Iceland Santa Skate – 12/19. Enjoy a family skate with Santa and his elves to holiday music. 2:30–4PM. Iceland, Niles. niles-parks.org.
  • Parkie’s Reindeer Games – 12/18. Swimming in a pool with melted snowmen and pics with Parkie. Arts, crafts and games. Pelican Harbor Indoor Aquatic Park. 9-11:30AM. Bolingbrook. Bolingbrookparks.org.
  • Flashlight Candy Cane Hunt – 12/20. Ages 1-14 years. Search for a dozen candy canes, some with a special note to exchange for a prize. 6-6:30PM. Itasca. Itascaparkdistrict.com

On Stage

(Updated for this week…12/16 to 12/22)

Paramount Theatre – Aurora
Presents “Cinderella”  Now thru Jan. 9
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Due to Covid 19 Cinderella shows scheduled for Fri evening 12.17 thru  Sun 12.19 have been cancelled. For more information or to reschedule please contact the Box Office at 630-896-6666. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Paramount Theatre presents Cinderella, with all of the spectacle and splendor audiences have come to expect. Pumpkins will transform into horse-drawn carriages, right before your eyes. Jaws will drop as tattered rags magically become a beautiful gown. By the end of the show, young and old alike will wish fairy godmothers and glass slippers weren’t just for fairy tales. After all, you’re never too young for a little magic. And never too old to believe. Completing the experience, Paramount’s Grand Gallery will be fit for a royal ball, with a giant two-story Christmas tree and all the trimmings, make it the ideal backdrop for annual family photos. 23 E. Galena Blvd, Aurora. https://paramountaurora.com/

Rialto Square Theatre – Joliet
A Very Rialto Christmas

Make yourself at home this holiday season at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet, IL. The “Home for the Holidays” celebration lineup includes family-friendly shows and holiday favorites.

Holiday Favorites

No matter how you choose to celebrate the Holidays, you can find a home at the Rialto Square Theatre with its heartwarming events that allow you to create memories with your children or allow you to relive your childhood memories. Visit https://rialtosquare.com/holidays/ to learn more about their lineup.

  • Joliet American Legion Band Concert – 12.19


Arcada Theatre Complex – St. Charles
Get festive at the newly renovated Arcada Theatre Complex in St. Charles!  We have the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season with your family in our intimate Club Arcada Speakeasy & Restaurant.  In addition to our holiday events, we also have over 100 concerts now on sale.  Visit www.oshows.com.

  • Breakfast with Santa – 12/19
  • Princess Holiday High Tea – 12/18


James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts – Grayslake
Ruth Page’s “The Nutcracker”
returns to the mainstage of the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts at the College of Lake County on Saturday, December 18, at 1 and 5 p.m. Originally presented at Chicago’s Arie Crown Theatre from 1965-1997, this production is the Ruth Page Center for the Arts’ 50th Anniversary Presentation. This beloved, full-length staging is engaging entertainment for young and old alike!

Come early for a “Behind the Curtain” pre-show lecture to learn more about the history of this iconic production from the creative team, at noon and 4 p.m. Lecture is free with ticket purchase, but reservations are required.

Ticket prices: Adult: $25; Seniors 65+: $22; Student/Teen: $15; Children up to age 12: $10. Special rates available for groups of six or more. To purchase tickets, call the JLC Box Office at (847) 543-2300 or send an email to clcboxoffice@clcillinois.edu. Print-at-home tickets no longer available. JLC Box Office hours are Monday-Friday, noon to 5 p.m. The JLC is located at 19351 West Washington, Grayslake. Visit www.clcillinois.edu/tickets.

Masks are required for everyone at CLC and the JLC. Performers onstage will be unmasked. Audience and venue support (backstage and front of house) will remain masked inside.

Overshadowed Theatrical Productions – Medinah
The Christmas Schooner

We are so excited to bring back the tradition of our annual Christmas show after being closed during Christmas of 2020! Join us this year, through December 18,  as we share the tale of the legendary Christmas tree ships that traversed Lake Michigan in the treacherous winter months to deliver Christmas trees to immigrant families in Chicago. Based on a true story this tale includes all the elements that make a fabulous show including music, history, love and loss.

Rooted deep in Chicago history, The Christmas Schooner is a well-known Chicagoland Christmas favorite. Perfect for all ages this is a show you will want to experience with your family and friends! We are excited to bring this show to the Overshadowed stage for the very first time! Located at 900 Foster Avenue in Medinah, Illinois. Get your tickets now at www.overshadowed.org or call 630.634.2100.

The Genesee Theatre – Waukegan
Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular

Looking for holiday fun for your family and friends?  The Genesee Theatre has holiday shows for all!  Enjoy Charlie Brown Christmas: everyone’s favorite classic on the Genesee’s stage, Cirque Musica; spellbinding acrobatics set to stunning symphonic music, The Magic of the Nutcracker: a lavish holiday tradition perfect for sharing. The Genesee Theatre is located at 203 N Genesee Street Waukegan, IL, and online at www.geneseetheatre.com. The Genesee Theatre’s box office can also be reached at (847) 263-6300.

  • The Magic of the Nutcracker – 12/21 + 22


Fine and Performing Arts Center
at Moraine Valley Community College – Palos Hills

Moraine Valley Community College’s Fine and Performing Arts Center, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills, offers performances for everyone, with reasonable ticket prices and free parking. Enjoy world-class entertainment at our beautiful venue, without the hassle of driving downtown. This season’s lineup includes dance ensembles, multicultural performers, The Second City comedy troupe, “The Pirates of Penzance” (1/29/22) musical, cabaret, concerts by our instrumental ensembles and chorale, Theater Department productions and more. In our 600-seat Dorothy Menker Theater and the intimate John and Angeline Oremus Theater, every seat is a good one. Memberships are available. Many ticket prices include discounts for active military and veterans, as well as free options for any student with an ID. See our website for details. If you have never been to our center, we invite you to join us this season and prepare to be amazed! View the complete season at www.morainevalley.edu/fpac.


Chicagoland Events…

(Updated for this week…12/16 to 12/22)


  • LECTURE ONLINE Elmhurst Greats and Grads – Available 11/4 – 1/2. Learn about the significant people who developed, attended and graduated from Elmhurst University during its 150-year history. Led by Dr. Robert Butler. Elmhursthistory.org.


  • EXHIBIT By All Accounts: The Story of Elmhurst – Experience Elmhurst through this award-winning exhibit about how the city grew and developed over the years at the Elmhurst History Museum. Elmhursthistory.org.
  • EXHIBIT Answering the Call – Naperville at War; 1941-1943. Thru Jan. 2022. Naper Settlement. 523 S. Webster Street, Naperville. For more information visit. NaperSettlement.org
  • EXHIBIT Science and You. Enter a child sized lab to explore how scientists impact your health and wellness. Explore machines, processes, and technology to demonstrate the role science plays to keep your body healthy. Kohls Children’s Museum. Glenview. kcmgc.org.
  • FAMILY Kohlights – Mesmertastic Holiday Lightacular returns to the Kohl Children’s Museum 11/26 thru 12/31.Glenview. kohlights.com.


  • NATURE Creek Bend Nature Center – Enjoy scavenger hunts, hikes and scheduled nature programs. Sat-Sun. times vary. LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, St. Charles. kaneforest.com.


  • ADULTS VFW Bingo – Play Wednesday night bingo with raffles and pull tabs. 18 and older. Proceeds benefit veterans. 7-11 PM. West Chicago VFW. wchicago.mhsoftware.com.
  • EXHIBIT Aurora Public Art Re-opening – The gallery will be re-opening to the public with a new exhibit schedule in the David L. Pierce Center. Shows take place Wednesday through Saturday, 12-4PM. For updates and schedule, visit Aurora Public Art’s social media pages on Facebook and Instagram. aurora-il.org



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