December 11, 2012 11:04PM
Anderson's Bookshop in downtown Naperville is pleased to present Rachael Ray-celebrity chef, TV personality, businesswoman and author-on Friday, December 14 at 6:00 p.m. at Naperville North High School, 899 N. Mill St., in Naperville. Ray visits to present her book, My Year in Meals. | Courtesy of Andrew Eccles
Updated: January 13, 2013 6:13AM
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.
Lisle Township Board: Meeting is at 7:30 p.m. at the Lisle Township office, 4711 Indiana Ave., Lisle.
Santa House: Special Needs Nights will be from 5 to 8 p.m. at Santa House on the Riverwalk. Advance registration is required at www.napervilleparks.org.
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.
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. 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.
Giant Menorah lighting: Chabad of Naperville will ignite a public 8-foot menorah erected at Naperville City Hall near the Riverwalk followed by a communitywide celebration on the second night of Chanukah. After the menorah lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m., enjoy music, hot latkes, hot drinks, children’s entertainment and more. Visit www.JewishNaperville.com.
Naperville Park District Board of Commissioners: The board will meet at 7 p.m. in council chambers at the Naperville Municipal Building, 400 S. Eagle St., Naperville. An open house is from 6 to 7 p.m. before the meeting about the draft Master Plan.
Student production: Students at Naperville Central High School will present “Back on My Feet” at 7:30 p.m Thursday, Dec. 13; 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14; and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 at the high school’s Black Box Theater. Tickets are $5. Call 630-420-3885.
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.
Rachael 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. Visit www.andersonsbookshop.com.
Insect Zoo: The experts from Anderson Pest Solutions will introduce children to nature’s Good Guy bugsfrom 10 a.m. to noon at the DuPage Children’s Museum, 301 N. Washington St., Naperville. Visit www.dupagechildrensmuseum.org or call 630-637-8000.
Ladies Night: Jenny Taylor Boudoirs will partner with Atia’s Project Ladybug Fun in collecting unwrapped toys during the Christmas party at 6:30 p.m. at the downtown studio. All of the toys will be donated to pediatric cancer patients at a local Chicago hospital. Visit www.jennytaylorboudoirsblog.net.
Santa House: It will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Dec. 23, on the Riverwalk at Jackson Avenue and Webster Street. Additionally, Santa House will remain open from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday the week before Christmas, Dec. 17-21. Santa House also is open to the public on from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14. Admission is free, with the option of purchasing photos for $8 each.
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. 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.
Free gift cards: Shop downtown Saturdays, Dec. 15 and 22, and you might be stopped by a snowman who will be giving away downtown Naperville gift cards and other goodies.
Breakfast with Santa: Santa Claus will return to Hotel Arista as a VIP guest from 9 a.m. to noon. Enjoy a buffet breakfast, holiday entertainment and a horse-drawn carriage ride, along with a free family photo. The cost is $21.95 for adults and $11.95 for children. Children younger than 5 eat free. For reservations call 630-579-4100 or email Santa@HotelArista.com.
Advent at the Abbey: Benedictine University and St. Procopius Abbey invite the public to attend “Advent at the Abbey” from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Contact Fr. Becket at 630-829-9253 or firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no fee, but a free-will offering will be taken.
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. 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.
Santa and his Reindogs: The holiday fun will include breakfast, photos , games, holiday shopping, face painting by Puzzletoe the Clown and refreshments for parents from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at Country Inns & Suites, 1827 Centre Point Circle, Naperville. All proceeds will help the homeless cats and dogs at ADOPT Pet Shelter, Naperville. To purchase tickets, which cost $25 each, visit adoptpetshelter.org, call 847-458-6366 or email email@example.com.
Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation: The group will discuss outdoor recreational opportunities at its for its December meeting in meeting rooms B&C of the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St. Coffee and networking is at 8 a.m., the meeting begins at 8:30 and adjourns by 10. Visit www.napervillehomeowners.com.
Library collecting toy donations: The Naperville Public Library is accepting donations for the Holiday Gift Program of Sharing Connections Furniture Bank. Residents are invited to bring in new toys to any of the three library buildings — Nichols Library, 200 W. Jefferson Ave.; Naper Boulevard Library, 2035 S. Naper Blvd.; and the 95th Street Library, 3015 Cedar Glade Drive. The drive will end Saturday, Dec. 15. For more information about the gift program, contact Sharing Connections Furniture Bank at 630-971-0565, ext. 225.
Kettle-feeding fan frenzy: A day before their favored teams go at it on the gridiron, Bears and Packers fans will compete to see who can raise the most money for The Salvation Army’s 2012 Red Kettle Campaign. Representatives will be posted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the north entrance to Macy’s at Westfield Fox Valley Mall, 195 Fox Valley Center in Aurora. For more information, call 630-897-7265.
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.
Concert benefits Feed My Starving Children: Grace United Methodist Church in Naperville will present its second annual Gift of Love Christmas benefit concert from 4 to 7 p.m. in the church sanctuary, 300 E. Gartner Road, Naperville. Tickets are $20 adults, $18 seniors 65-plus, $10 students, with a $55 maximum per immediate family, at www.peopleofgrace.org/concerts. Contact Dan Wagner at 630-355-1748, ext. 232, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
International Holiday Gift Event: Z Fitness Zone and Woman 2 Woman Community Services Inc. will host the free event from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at 540 Industrial Drive, suite 555, Naperville. Proceeds from this event will be donated to Woman 2 Woman Community Services Inc. in support of victims of domestic violence and abuse. Call 630-904-8111
A Ralph Covert Holiday: In this family concert for the holidays, the DuPage Symphony Orchestra teams up with Ralph Covert, children’s rock star from the internationally acclaimed “Ralph’s World”, for a fun-filled concert featuring favorite seasonal songs from around the world. Two concerts will take place at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall in the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children younger than 12. For tickets, call 630-637-7469 or visit http://tickets.noctrl.edu.
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.
Tuesday, Dec. 18
Exam Cram: It’s finals week! For two nights in a row, the Nichols Library, 200 W. Jefferson Ave., will 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 for brains for those who need a break, too.
Great Books Discussion Group: Nadine Gordimer’s classic, “Which New Era Would That Be” will be discussed by the Great Books Reading and Discussion Group at 7 p.m. in the Naper Boulevard Library, 2035 S. Naper Blvd. The discussion follows the Great Books format and is facilitated by Jack Hatfield. Call Jack Hatfield, 630-375-0881 or email at email@example.com.
Wednesday, Dec. 19
Exam Cram: It’s finals week! The Nichols Library, 200 W. Jefferson Ave. will 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 for brains that need a break, too.
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.
Constant Readers: “Remarkable Creatures” by well-known author Tracy Chevalier, will be discussed by Constant Readers, a Naperville Public Library Book Club. No registration is required for this program at 7 p.m. at the Nichols Library, 200 W. Jefferson Ave. Call 630-961-4100, ext. 6311 or www.naperville-lib.org.
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.
Oak Ridge Boys holiday concert: The Oak Ridge Boys celebrate the holiday season with the show “Christmas Time’s a Comin’” at North Central College. The performance begins at 8 p.m. in Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave. Tickets are $60, $50 and $45. Call 630-637-7469 or visit www.northcentralcollege.edu/showtix.
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.
Finger Knitting: Children’s in grades 3 to 5, learn the super-fun and super-easy method of finger knitting, and before you know it, you’ll have a great handmade creation right at your fingertips! No knitting needles—or experience—needed! After Session 1 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Nichols Library, 200 W. Jefferson Ave., you’ll take home a finished scarf. The next week, Jan. 3, for Session 2, please bring in a completed length of finger knitting from home and create one of the suggested projects. Yarn will be provided for Session 1 only. For more information visit the library’s website, www.naperville-lib.org or call 630-961-4100.
Old School Game Day: Teens, we’re breaking out the old school board games for an afternoon of fun and competition from 2 to 4 p.m. at the 95th Street Library, 3015 Cedar Glade Dr. We’ll have everything from checkers and chess to Pictionary™, Apples-to-Apples™, Trivial Pursuit™ and more! Enjoy snacks and homemade slushies. For more information visit the library’s website, www.naperville-lib.org or call 630-961-4100.
Dance Into The New Year: Put on your dancing shoes and join us for a New Year’s Eve Party from 11:15 a.m. to 12:05 p.m., Nichols Library, 200 W. Jefferson Ave. We will do the Hokey Pokey, Chicken Mack, YMCA and other favorite dances. Then at 12 o’clock noon, we will celebrate with noise and fun to ring in 2013! For more information visit the library’s website, www.naperville-lib.org or call 630-961-4100.
TDIY(Teens Do-It-Yourself) Craft Series - Book Safes: Some things aren’t always what they seem! Join us as we use old hardcover books and turn them into book safes! They’ll pass for plain old books on the shelf, but inside you’ll have a place to store your valuables from prying eyes! We’ll provide all the materials needed to leave with your finished book safe. Registration is required at www.naperville-lib.org for this program from 2 to 4:30 p.m., Nichols Library, 200 W. Jefferson Ave. For more information visit the library’s website, www.naperville-lib.org or call 630-961-4100.
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.
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.