Written by News Bulletin News Sources
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:00
Your guide to Christmas and holiday season events throughout the region
Children who want to give their holiday wish list to Santa Claus in person can visit jolly St. Nick in December at the David and Karen Stover Visitors Center at Aurora’s Phillips Park, 1000 Ray Moses Drive. Santa will be available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 7 to 8, 14 to 15 and 21 to 22. Parents are encouraged to bring their cameras. The free event is sponsored by the Friends of Phillips Park, a non-profit group that has been working behind the scenes to help preserve, restore and promote park amenities and programs since 1985. For more information on the Friends of Phillips Park, call the Visitors Center at (630) 256-3750.
The Polar Express train is welcoming all aboard during the first three weekends in December at Blackberry Farm for its annual Yuletide celebration amid thousands of glittering lights and festive activities. The holiday spirit comes to life from 2 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22 when the decorated train will run continuously around sparkling Lake Gregory. Classic holiday music favorites play in the background throughout the event. The famous book ‘The Polar Express’ will be read by storytellers at the historic one-room school house, and Santa Claus will delight young visitors at the Early Streets Museum. Admission is $5 per person. For more information, call 630-892-1550.
A Nutcracker with a different sort of holiday cheer has set up shop in downtown Aurora as the The Second City's Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue - a live comedy revue that aims The Second City's usual brand of brash and irreverent humor for its annual run at the 216-seat Copley Theatre, 8 E. Galena Blvd., through Dec. 22. Tickets are $35. For tickets and information, go to ParamountAurora.com, call the Paramount Theatre box office, (630) 896-6666, or visit the Paramount box office (located directly across the street from the Copley, at 23 E. Galena Blvd.)
Waubonsee Community College will offer an abundance of live concerts in December – and no tickets will be required. Through Dec. 15, Waubonsee will host its annual series of five live winter musical performances in an assortment of musical genres. All shows will be free and open to the public, and will be performed in the Waubonsee Auditorium, on Waubonsee’s Sugar Grove Campus, Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive, unless otherwise noted. The Waubonsee Jazz Ensemble will perform on Friday, Dec. 13, at 7:30 p.m., and the Waubonsee Rock Band will follow with a show on Saturday, Dec. 14, also at 7:30 p.m. A General Student Recital will cap off the month of free music on Sunday, Dec. 15, at 1 p.m. in Von Ohlen Hall, Room 114. For more information, contact Music Professor Gib Monokoski at (630) 466-7900, ext. 2500.
Montgomery’s Festival of Trees continues through Dec. 31 at City Hall, 200 N. River St. Visitors can view dozens of decorated Christmas trees and vote for a favorite. Call (630) 896-8080 for more information.
The Elgin Community College Jazz Ensembles, under the direction of Mark Bettcher, will perform selections from the Duke Ellington Library and a wide variety of jazz styles from swing to Latin and contemporary. The ensembles are extremely excited to feature the uniquely brilliant Grammy Award-winner harmonica artist Howard Levy as the guest artist for this performance. The ECC Jazz Ensemble will perform one of Levy’s original compositions featuring his virtuoso artistry on both Harmonica and piano. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $11 for adults, $9 for students and seniors.
Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening. It is sure to be a magical afternoon with entertainment provided by the Fox Valley Concert Band jazz group, Zazz. Enjoy a delicious family style dinner of salad, rigatoni pasta, roasted chicken breast and roasted potatoes. Coffee, tea and soda will be served as well as cream puffs filled with vanilla gelato & topped with chocolate sauce for dessert. Cash bar will be available and a raffle drawing will feature a variety of spectacular prizes. This year’s event will be held at Francesca’s by the River, 200 South 2nd Street, on Friday, Dec.13 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fee is $29 for St. Charles Park District Adult Activity Center members and $43.50 for nonmembers. For more information, call Meghan at 630-513-4324.
North Central College’s Theater at Meiley-Swallow — the former Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church — hosts “Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol" from Dec. 12-14 at 7:30 p.m. The funny and moving work brings the ghost of Jacob Marley out of the shadows and into the spotlight and tells his version of the Dickens classic. Written by award-winning playwright, actor and director Tom Mula, this fanciful tour of Marley's afterlife and his assignment to redeem Scrooge and himself is a delightful holiday show. Chicago's famed Organic Theater Company takes you on this unusual voyage through a familiar tale. This performance may not be suitable for young audiences. Tickest are $30 for adults and $20 for seniors.
Escape the cold weather for a cozy afternoon of decorating cookies and watching “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” There will be popcorn, snacks and slushies to snack on while decorating. The event will take place on Friday, Dec. 13 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Naperville’s 95th Street Library, 3015 Cedar Glade Drive. For more information, visit www.naperville-lib.org.
Members of the internationally acclaimed North Central College Jazz faculty will perform holiday classics at a special concert Dec. 13. The performance begins at 8 p.m. in the College’s Madden Theatre at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. Tickets are $25/adults and $20/students and senior citizens; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit northcentralcollege.edu/showtix. The concert will feature vocalist Janice Borla, trumpeter Art Davis, vibraphonist Brad Stirtz, pianist Chris White, bassist Jim Cox, drummer Jack Mouse and other members of the North Central College jazz faculty.
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County invites holiday shoppers to find unique handmade gifts for their family and friends at Mayslake Peabody Estate at 1717 W. 31st Street in Oak Brook at the annual “Holiday Art and Craft Market” on Friday, Dec. 13 from 11 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dozens of vendors, will offer an assortment of jewelry, tableware, artisan foods, decorative home goods, original artwork and more. A few of the many handcrafted items that shoppers will discover are fused glass bowls from PM Glass, mosaics from Incite Gallery and sweets from Rebecca’s Handmade Toffee. See a full list of vendors at dupageforest.org/market. Shoppers are also invited to purchase tickets for a raffle for a collection of wine. Tickets are $5 each or $20 for five tickets, and proceeds support First Folio Theatre, Mayslake’s resident performance troupe, and the Mayslake Hall Restoration Society.
Santa Claus is coming to St. Charles’ Hickory Knolls Discover Center, 3795 Campton Hills Road, on Saturday Dec. 13 with his team of sled dogs. Watch Santa arrive pulled by his dashing huskies at 8:45 a.m. then spend some time helping him get ready for his big day. Write a letter to Santa, make an ornament and have your picture taken with the Big Guy, himself! Festivities take place from 8:30 to 10am. Fee is $10 for residents and $15 for nonresidents per child with adult. Ages 1 and under are free. Breakfast snacks included. Advance registration is required at stcnature.org.
Aurora’s Paramount Theater will present shows by Mannheim Steamroller on Saturday, Dec. 14. at 4 and 8 p.m. In 1984 Mannheim Steamroller released Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, an album that revolutionized the holiday music industry. Already a multi-platinum recording artist through its Fresh Aire series, founder Chip Davis decided to record an album of Christmas music combining the group's signature mix of renaissance instruments with rock 'n' roll beats. The resulting album was a runaway hit and propelled Mannheim Steamroller to become the #1 Christmas music artist in history. Tickets are $59 and $69.
“The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t” will provide a special behind-the-scenes peek at the hustle, bustle, and near disasters of the Christmas season in a Dec. 14 performance at North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall. Adapted entirely from stories written by children, audiences will see "Dinky, The Dancing Reindeer," a story about a reindeer who can't decide if she wants to be a dancer or a member of the sleigh team, almost stopping Santa from getting off the ground. In "How Santa Got Well," an illness keeps Santa at home on Christmas Eve until a cure appears from the most unlikely of places. And, in "Santa and the Witch," Santa falls under a sleeping spell by a witch whose heart has turned to ice. It will take a special toy made by the elves to make her change her mind about Christmas before it's too late. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for children under age 12.
Elgin’s Side Street Studio Arts, 15 Ziegler Ct., presents an inaugural holiday event fashioned after the age-old tradition of Krampus lore in northern Europe. The month-long exhibition, running Dec. 24, features Krampus-inspired works, historical artifacts and stories, international Krampus and Santa Claus costumes, as well as live entertainment.
Children from kindergarten through high school will have their artwork showcased from Friday, Dec. 13 through Friday, Jan. 24 at the Art Commission Gallery at the David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Place. The exhibit will kick-off with an opening reception scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 13. The presentation features a total of 130 pieces of art from 26 schools, including a variety of mediums such as paintings, drawings, printmaking, photography, sculpture, collage, computer arts, jewelry and ceramics. All works in the display have been selected by art teachers or other school faculty members. Admission to the reception and gallery exhibit is free. The gallery will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 14 and 18-21; and Jan. 2-3, 8-10, 15-17 and 22-24.
Escape the cold weather for a cozy afternoon of decorating cookies and watching “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at the Naperville Public Library’s 95th St. facility, 3015 Cedar Glade Drive, from 4-6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13. Visit www.naperville-library.org for more information.
Experience the magic of the holiday season with the DanceWest Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” Performances will be held at Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E Benton Ave. on Friday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 14 at 1 and 5 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call (630) 637-7469 or visit http://tickets.noctrl.edu.
Members of the North Central College Jazz Faculty will performing jazz renditions of the holiday repertoire at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, in the College's Madden Theatre at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. Tickets are $25/adults and $20/students and seniors; call 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit northcentralcollege.edu/showtix.
Best known for hits like "Bluer Than Blue" and “I Know This Night Won’t Last Forever,” Michael Johnson’s holiday performance at Elgin Community College’s SecondSpace Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. will leave
The Elgin Symphony Orchestra's holiday tradition returns with Magical Holiday Concerts that are perfect for the whole family. Resident conductor Stephen Squires and the ESO create a magical wonderland at the Hemmens Cultural Center, with beautiful staging and all of your holiday musical favorites. The Elgin Choral Union, Elgin Childrens Chorus, and Midwest Dance Collective join in the fun, along with a special surprise for the little ones. Tickets start at just $25.
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis lands at Aurora’s Paramount Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 14 for shows at 4 and 8 p.m. For over 25 years the American Christmas season has included the musical arrangements and uplifting harmonies of Mannheim Steamroller. They’re considered the premier choral interpreter of Yuletide standards, and this December you can experience this beloved act live with your whole family, led by group founder Chip Davis. Let Mannheim Steamroller get you in the holiday mood. Call (630) 896-6666 for more information. Tickets range from $59 to $69.
Santa Claus is coming to St. Charles’ Hickory Knolls Discover Center, 3795 Campton Hills Road, Saturday Dec. 14 with his team of sled dogs. Watch Santa arrive pulled by his dashing huskies at 8:45 a.m., then spend some time helping him get ready for his big day. Write a letter to Santa, make an ornament and have your picture taken with the Big Guy, himself. Festivities take place from 8:30 to 10am. Fee is $10 for residents and $15 for nonresidents per child with adult. Ages 1 and under are free. Breakfast snacks included. Advance registration is required at stcnature.org.
The Indian Prairie Educational Foundation (IPEF) and AlphaBetSoup Productions presents the children’s theater production “The Christmas Toy Shop” on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. at Metea Valley High School, 1801 N. Eola Road, Aurora. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit http://204foundation.org/pdf_files/christmastoyshop.pdf.
Steppin’ Out Dance Studio will perform “The Nutcracker” at 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15 at Aurora’s Prisco Center, 150 W. Illinois. “The Nutcracker,” a long-popular favorite, is an engaging, storytelling ballet that has been a holiday classic for generations. At a Christmas Eve party, Clara is given a nutcracker doll that transports her into a dream world after a fierce battle with the Mouse King, and the story ensues. Tickets are $10 and available online at www.seatyourself.biz/foxvalleyparkdistrict. For more information, call the Prisco Center at 630-859-8606.
Celebrate the season with a guided tour of the Naper Settlement’s Martin Mitchell Mansion, decorated in traditional Victorian holiday splendor from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Settlement, 523 S. Webster St. Tickets are $15 per person or $13 for Naperville Heritage Society Sustaining members. For more information, call (630) 420-6010.
Marianne Murphy Orland, Beckie Menzie and Laura Freeman will perform “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” at Madden Theatre, 171 E. Chicago Ave. in Naperville on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. For more information and tickets, visit http://tickets.noctrl.edu.
The Norris Cultural Arts Center in St. Charles presents an intimate recital of Christmas carols performed by the harp and clarinet duo of Katherine Cockle and Lacy Schroeder-Garbar on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. "Carols for Harp and Clarinet" is the first of a planned series of concerts presented in The Norris' art gallery, with seating limited to 150 attendees and no seat further than 35 feet from the stage. Admission s free, contributions to the production of future "Music in the Gallery" concerts, recitals, lectures and other events are welcome.
The Batavia United Methodist Church’s Christmas Cantata will be presented at 9 and 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 15. The Cantata is a musical exploration of the doctrine of the Incarnation. The musical score contains familiar hymns and Christmas carols along with new choral compositions. The church is located at 8 North Batavia Ave.
Christmas with the Celts features a high-energy, fast-dancing Christmas celebration with music from the green and rocky lands of Ireland and Scotland on Dec. 18 at the Paramount Theater. For over 15 years, the Celts have traveled the world playing the passionate songs of their homeland with a pop twist, including both fiery traditionals and the hits of beloved contemporary artists like Van Morrison and The Chieftains. Shows at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and $35. Call (630) 896-6666 for more information.
Country legend Kenny Rogers will perform “Christmas & Hits Through the Years” with special guest Linda Davis at North Central College’s Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave. on Saturday, December 21 at 8 p.m. For more information and tickets, visit http://tickets.noctrl.edu.
Elgin’s First Congregational Church presents “Joy to the World: A community Christmas Sing-a-long” at 4 p.m. on Dec. 21 and feature classic hymns and new favorites like with acoustic accompanists and song leaders. Call (847) 741-4045 for more information.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 11:17