November 30, 2012 5:00PM
Using the intercom aboard the Lisle Polar Express Metra train, Mrs. Claus (a.k.a. Melissa Cobb of Lombard) reads aloud "The Polar Express" to the passengers. Holding the book for Mrs. Claus is Sarah Nock (right) of Naperville. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Ti
Updated: January 3, 2013 6:21AM
Polar Express: The ever-popular Santa Train runs from the Lisle Metra Station to Chicago and back for a 75-minute ride with Santa and his helpers reminiscent of the Caldecott award-winning children’s book and movie, “The Polar Express.” Advanced tickets are required for either the 9:45 a.m. or 1:45 p.m. rides. Tickets are $16 per person. Contact the Lisle Convention & Visitors Bureau at 630-769-1000/800-733-9811 or visit www.StayInLisle.com.
Make Your Own Nature Ornaments: Families with children ages 2 to 10 are invited to use natural materials to create magical treasures to take home from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 2 and 9 at the Outpost at the Morton Arboretum. Register at www.mortonarb.org, at the visitor center, or by calling 630-719-2468 during business hours. Cost: $10 member, $17 non-member.
Chamber Concert: Ring in the holidays with the of Trevor Stephenson, fortepiano, and Anna Steinhoff, cello, from 2:15 to 4:15 p.m. at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. After the concert, gather to sample wines and “meet and greet” the artists in the historic Founder’s Room. Performances are in the Arbor Room in the Thornhill Education Center. Purchase tickets at www.mortonarb.org, in the visitor center, or by calling 630-725-2066. Cost is $23 members, $28 nonmembers.
NAHS holiday bazaar: The Naperville Area Humane Society will host the open house from noon to 3 p.m. at 1620 W. Diehl Road, Naperville. Hand-crafted gifts will be available for purchase. The NAHS 2013 Pet Calendar will be for sale for $15 along with NAHS holiday cards. Also buy raffle tickets. Visit www.NapervilleAreaHumaneSociety.org.
Breakfast with Santa: Tickets are on sale for the breakfast in the Ginkgo Restaurant at the Morton Arboretum. All children 12 years or younger will receive a gift from Santa. From 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 21, 22 or 23. Purchase tickets at www.mortonarb.org, in the visitor center, or by calling 630-725-2066. Tickets range from $23 to $29.
Naperville Municipal Band: The community band will perform a Christmas concert at 3 p.m. at Wentz Concert Hall on the campus of North Central College, 171 E. Chicago Ave. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Naperville Community Television, Channel 17, will videotape the concert for broadcast throughout the holiday season. Visit www.napervilleband.org or www.nctv17.com.
Welcome coffee: The Naperville Newcomers and Neighbors Club will meet at 10:30 a.m. at the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St., lower level. Children are welcome. Call at Sue at 630-904-5629 or visit www. NapervilleNewcomersandNeighborsClub.com.
Off-leash dog permits: The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s annual off-leash dog area, private boating and model-craft permits for next year go on sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 3 at the visitor services office, 3s580 Naperville Road in Danada Forest Preserve in Wheaton. Visit dupageforest.org for applications. Call 630-933-7248.
Blood drive: Donate from 3:30 to 7 p.m. at Midwest Fit Club, 5019 Ace Lane, suite 135, Naperville. Sign up online at www. heartlandbc.org or call 630-922-1000. Walk-ins also welcome.
Naperville Park District Polar Express: Take an imaginary ride on the Polar Express and experience this beloved tale through a variety of themed activities at 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 4 and 13 at The Barn, 421 W. Martin Ave.. Children ages 3 to 5 are encouraged to bring their favorite teddy bear to share in the experience. A copy of “The Polar Express” book will be given to each child.
Remodeling lesson: The free seminar will focus on helping homeowners understand insurance, subcontractors, general contractors, materials and the differences in price quotes. Presented by Seabreeze West Remodeling Inc., the workshop will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4 Main Street Promenade, 55 S. Main St., Naperville. Refreshments served at 5:30 p.m. and the seminar begins at 6 p.m. To learn more, call 630-585-0123 or visit www.naperville.net.
City Council: 7 p.m. Tuesday, council chambers of the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St.
Forest Preserve District of DuPage County Board of Commissioners: 9 a.m. Tuesday, Forest Preserve District headquarters, 3s580 Naperville Road, Wheaton.
Gingerbread Houses: Design and decorate a gingerbread house from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Barn Recreation Center, room C, 421 W. Martin Ave. Cost is $37 resident/$56 nonresident family; registration code 108335. Designed for children ages 3-10. Registration required. Visit www.napervilleparks.org or call 630-848-5000.
Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville: The bi-monthly reading series dedicated to romantic fiction will be at 7 p.m. at Le Chocolat du Bouchard, second floor, 129 S. Washington St., Naperville Featured authors Jennifer Ann Coffeen, Beth Kery, Paul Calhoun and Sherrill Bodine will read excerpts from their novels. Event admission is $5 or one gently used paperback romance novel. Visit LadyJanesSalonNaperville.com.
Wednesday, Dec. 5
Daddy/daughter holiday bling boutique: Experience a memorable evening of necklace and bracelet gift making for dads and their daughters ages 3 to 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center, 305 W. Jackson Ave. Visit www.napervilleparks.com.
Santa House: Military and First Responders Night will be from 5 to 8 p.m. at Santa House on the Riverwalk. Advance registration is required at www.napervilleparks.org.
Music of ’60s and ’70s: Listen to Chicago author and musician Dean Milano talk about the scene at 7 p.m. at the 95th Street Library, 3015 Cedar Glade Drive.
Women In Business breakfast: Richard J. Hill IV, Gabriel Consulting Group, will discuss What the “World Needs Now: Is the feminine spirit alive and well in today’s leadership?” from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Dec. 5 at Hilton Lisle/Naperville, 3003 Corporate West Drive, Lisle. The cost is $25 for Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce members and $35 for nonmembers. Add $5 if you pay at the door. Register online at www.naperville.net.
Advisory Commission on Disabilities: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, meeting room A of the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St.
Sister Cities Commission: 7 p.m. Wednesday, in the mayor’s conference room of the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St.
Meet chamber CEO: The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will host an introductory reception for Mike Evans, the new president and CEO, from 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, Hilton Lisle/Naperville , 3003 Corporate West Drive, Lisle. Light hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served. Reservations are requested by calling 630-355-4141.
Naperville Woman’s Club: The club’s December meeting is at 11:30 a.m. at the Old Stone Church, 14 S. Washington St. There will be a luncheon, followed by a short business meeting and a program of holiday music by “Friends in Harmony.” Guests and new members are welcome. Call Julie Ulaszek at 630-698-1595.
Santa House: Pet Night will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6 at Santa House on the Riverwalk. Advance registration is required at www.napervilleparks.org.
Beer & Baubles: The traditional holiday event is from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Enjoy shopping, live music, a tasty beer from Two Brothers Brewery (for adults 21+), and appetizers while supporting the arboretum. A cash bar and tapas menu will be available. Free admission is available after 4 p.m. for holiday shoppers through Dec. 23.
Blood drive: Donate from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Northwestern College, 1809 N. Mill St., suite L. All donors will receive a free T-shirt. Sign up online at www.heartlandbc.org or call Lynette Montalto at 630-753-9091, ext. 2744. Walk-ins also welcome.
Cup of Cheer exhibit: Naper Settlement and Naperville Bank & Trust, a Wintrust Community Bank, are partnering to showcase the Settlement’s Cup of Cheer tea cup and saucer collection. The Cup of Cheer Holiday House Walk is the Naperville Garden Club’s annual fundraiser, which is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7 Naperville Bank & Trust, 5 S. Washington Ave., is one of the ticket locations for the event and will have the Cup of Cheer exhibit on display through January.
Indoor Mini-Golf Challenge: The Dziedzic community room at Nichols Library, 200 W. Jefferson Ave., will be transformed into an exciting mini-golf course from 4 to 8 pm. Visit www.naperville-lib.org or call 630-961-4100.
Election Commission: 9:30 a.m. Friday, Jack T. Knuepfer Administration Building, Election Commission board room, 421 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton.
Free gift cards: Shop downtown Saturdays, Dec. 8, 15 and 22, and you might be stopped by a snowman who will be giving away downtown Naperville gift cards and other goodies.
Bark For Books: Read to a certified therapy dog and handler from a local organization. This program for readers in grades 1 through 5 is from 11:30 am to 12:30 p.m. at Nichols Library, 200 W. Jefferson Ave. Visit www.naperville-lib.org or call 630-961-4100.
Kids Night out: Benedictine University will provide area children with a variety of activities that promote fitness and fun while offering their parents a break with its “Kids Nite Out” program from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturdays, Dec. 8, Jan. 19, Feb. 2 and March 2 in the campus’ Dan and Ada Rice Center. Open to boys or girls ages 4 through 12, the fee is $15 per child per date. Each child must be registered by a parent at the door on each night of the program. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. and children must be picked up promptly at 9 p.m. Call Kate Heidkamp at 630-829-6149.
Blood drive: Donate from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Shell Gas Station, 1295 Rickert Drive, Naperville. All donors have a chance to win a $25 gas card. Sign up online at www.heartlandbc.org or call Kelly at 630-723-2582. Walk-ins also welcome.
Lego Train Show: Cantigny Park’s annual holiday tradition returns from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, and Sunday, Dec. 9. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-12 and free for kids 2 and younger. Purchase at Cantigny.org, at the park in the Cantigny Shoppe or by phone at 630-260-8162.
95th Street Center opening: The Naperville Park District will host a grand opening of its newly renovated recreation space at the 95th Street Center from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on the second and third floors of the center, 2244 W. 95th St., Naperville.
Tuba Christmas: All euphonium, baritone and tuba players from sixth grade to adult are invited to help celebrate Tuba Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 8. Performances will be at 11 a.m. at U.S. Bank on the northeast corner of Jefferson Avenue and Washington Street and at 12:30 p.m. at Westfield Fox Valley Mall in Aurora in the food court. Contact Ron Keller at 630-961-0908 or visit www.napervilleband.org.
Blood drive: Donate from noon to 2 p.m. at Grace For Life Bible Church, 7s201 S. River Road. Sign up online at www.heartlandbc.org or call Tim at 630-606-5200. Walk-ins welcome.
Holiday concert: The Fox Valley Festival Chorus, directed by Naperville resident Mary Beth McCarthy, will present its annual holiday concert at 3 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 10 N. Edgelawn, Aurora. Ticket prices are adults $12, seniors 65-plus $10, children 12 and younger $5. Visit www.foxvalleyfc.org and email@example.com.
Santa House: Special Needs Nights will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 10-12 at Santa House on the Riverwalk. Advance registration is required at www.napervilleparks.org.
Blood drive: Donate between 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church, 300 E. Gartner Road. Sign up online at www.heartlandbc.org or call Pam Riley or the church office at 630-355-1748. Walk-ins welcome.
Blood drive: Donate from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Book Road Baptist Church, 2012 Wicklow Roa. Sign up online at www.heartlandbc.org or call 630-904-4900. Walk-ins welcome.
Help choose playground equipment: The open house for playground renovations at Crestview Knoll and River Run Park and for the new playground at Ashwood Park will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the second floor lobby of the Park District’s 95th Street Center, 2244 W. 95th St.
AAUW holiday party with a purpose: Shop for holiday gifts made by rescued and at-risk women around the world from the nonprofit WAR Chest Boutique while enjoying holiday music, drinks and hors d’oeuvres by Belgios from 7 to 9 p.m. at Naper Settlement Pre-Emption House Tavern, 523 S. Webster St. Cost is $23. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help choose playground equipment: The open house for playground renovations at Country Commons, Huntington Commons and Olesen Farm Park will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Park District’s planning office, 425 W. Jackson Ave.
Helping Hand Open House: WEBIT will again mark the holiday season with an open house from 4 to 8 p.m. at 600 N. Commons Drive, Suite 107, Aurora, to benefit Loaves & Fishes. WEBIT staff, vendors, clients and friends will raise food and funds for the Naperville-based nonprofit. Community members should register by Dec. 10 at http://helpinghand2012.eventbrite.com/ or call 630-870-1088, ext. 309. While there is no cover charge, donations of food or monetary support are encouraged. Visit www.webitservices.com.
Park District Master Plan: The community is invited to an open house from 6 to 7 p.m. immediately before the Park Board meeting to speak with staff and commissioners about the draft Master Plan in the lobby of the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St.
Yard waste collection ends: Weekly bag or bundled yard waste collection ends for the year on December 14.Yard waste collection will begin again March 18, 2013, and a yard waste sticker will be required on all bags and bundles.
Rachel Ray visits: The celebrity chef will visit at 6 p.m. at Naperville North High School, 899 N. Mill St., Naperville. Ray visits to present her book, “My Year in Meals.” Ray will give about an hour-long program, to be followed by a Q & A session for audience questions. Admission is included with the purchase of the book from Anderson’s Bookshop. Calling 630-355-2665 or visit www.andersonsbookshop.com.
Holiday seminars: Want to learn how to make the best cup of hot chocolate, learn great holiday appetizer recipes, how to tie the best bows? A schedule of complimentary quick-and-easy holiday seminars will be unveiled Dec. 15. Visit www.downtownnaperville.com for updates.
Special needs giving: The Autism Family Foundation is hosting Tis the Season for Special Needs Giving, a free holiday celebration Dec. 15 at Stonebridge Country Club in Aurora. The nonprofit will provide 250 special needs kids and siblings with a visit with Santa and each child will go home with a toy. Families of children with special needs must RSVP at www.autismfamilyfoundation.net.
Breakfast with Santa: Benedictine University’s Student Senate is sponsoring Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus for children of all ages from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, December 15 in the main dining room of the Krasa Student Center. The event features breakfast with an all-you-can-eat buffet of pancakes and sausages. Each child can have their picture taken with Santa. Mrs. Claus will read her favorite Christmas story, and Ernie the Elf will help children make decorations. There will also be holiday movies, children’s games, prizes and a raffle. The cost is $12 per person. Children age 2 and younger eat free. To register, call 630-829-6617 or visit www.ben.edu/SantaBreakfast.
Naper Settlement: Take a guided tour of the Martin Mitchell Mansion at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, and at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. Tickets are $7 per person; $5 for Naperville Heritage Society Sustaining Members. Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door of the Mansion, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville.
Farrier Demonstrations: See the farrier tend to Danada’s herd of horses and exhibit the tools and techniques of the trade. Free demonstrations are ongoing from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Danada Equestrian Center, 3S507 Naperville Road in Wheaton. Dates and times subject to change. All ages. Registration is not required. Call 630-668-6012.
Blood drive: Donate from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at St. Raphael Catholic Church, 1215 Modaff Road. Every donor receives a free hooded sweatshirt. Sign up online at www.heartlandbc.org or call Jeff Craney at 419-376-9495. Walk-ins welcome after 9 a.m.
Family Gingerbread House Contest: Make and decorate a gingerbread house as a family activity. Drop your creation off at a library building between 9 and 10 a.m. and it will be on public display from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Certificates for various categories will be awarded. Photos of the gingerbread houses will be posted to the Library’s Facebook page. This activity is part of the Winter Family Read Aloud Program.
Christmas Tree Ship: The History Speaks Lecture Series at Naper Settlement will present The Christmas Tree Ship from 4 to 5 p.m. Author Rochelle Pennington will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ship’s mysterious disappearance Nov. 22, 1912, with original photographs, artifacts and underwater photos. Advance tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for students, youth and Naperville Heritage Society sustaining members. Tickets on the day of the presentation are $7 for adults, $6 for sustaining members, students and youth. For tickets, call 630-420-6010.
Make a snake ornament: Meet a snake and make a colorful ornament. The free activities are ongoing from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at Willowbrook Wildlife Center, 525 S. Park Blvd., Glen Ellyn. All ages; younger than 14 with an adult. Registration is not required. Call 630-942-6200.
Finals week at library: To kick off finals week, the 95th Street Library will be open on from 8 to 10:30 p.m. just for high school students. Then, for three nights in a row, the Dziedzic Community Room at the Nichols Library will also be available for cram sessions from 4 to 8:30 p.m. Tables will be set up for group study, free Wi-Fi and reference help. Board games and snacks also will be available for brains that need a break.
Santa supper and holiday shopping: Enjoy supper with Santa at the Morton Arboretum and then do holiday nature crafts and visit the trains display. Supper with Santa is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20,in the Ginkgo Restaurant. The arboretum store will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. Each purchase qualifies for an entry to win a gift basket of Frasier Fir home fragrance items. The Enchanted Railroad will extend its hours until 5:30 p.m. Purchase tickets at www.mortonarb.org, in the visitor center, or by calling 630-725-2066 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Ticket prices are $26 member adults, $32 nonmember adults, $22 member child (2-12), or $26 nonmember child (2-12). Prices do not include state sales tax or an 18 percent service fee. Free entry to the arboretum after 4 p.m. for those wishing only to shop.
Winter Solstice Walk: On the first night of winter, one of the longest nights of the year, the Morton Arboretum will celebrate the winter solstice from 6 to 7 p.m. Dec. 21. Join the Solstice King and Queen on their grand procession around Meadow Lake complete with story-telling. Join in a ceremony to bring back the sun. Meet in Arbor Court. Free with admission.
Blood drive: Donate from 3 to 7 p.m. at Community United Methodist Church, 20 N. Center St. Signup online at www.heartlandbc.org or call Joan Uebele at 630-983-1857 or Audrey Bueche at 630-355-6925. Walk-ins also welcome.
Hunt for the Yule Log: Take part in the 35th annual Hunt for the Yule Log from 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 30 at Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Receive a list of clues leading to various parts of the arboretum to find the Yule Log. Once found, join in a log-sawing celebration, bonfire, caroling by the Frozen Robins singers, and wassail. Meet in the visitor center. Free with admission.
Yule Twig Hunt: Little ones are invited to take part in the pint-sized “Yule Twig Hunt” from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 30 in the Children’s Garden at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. This event sends our smaller adventurers to find a Yule Log that is just their size. Free with admission.
Daytime countdown: Ring in the new year with a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration from noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 31 for downtown shopping and dinging, and then count down the new year for an early ringing in of the at the base of the Carillon at Rotary Hill. Visit www.downtownnaperville.com
Special Holiday Carillon Concert: A New Year’s Eve concert will take place at the Millennium Carillon at the base of Rotary Hill, north of Aurora Avenue and west of Eagle Street. At 5:30 p.m., music will play before a family countdown to 2013. At 11:15 p.m., carillon duets in the Viennese tradition will play with a countdown to midnight. Visit www.naperville-carillon.org.