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Kind in Chi-Town



6 great kids


Steal the look Home for the holidays

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Nov. 30 – Jan. 6 The most wonderful time of the Pier is here. This holiday season, there’s no better place to make warm family memories than at the Fifth Third Bank Winter WonderFest. With indoor wall climbing, inflatable sledding hills, a huge indoor skating rink and tons of other rides and games, it’s a jolly time for the whole family.

SAVE WHEN YOU BUY TICKETS ONLINE Centennial Wheel ticket included with each ticket purchase at navypier.org ChicagoParent.com December 2018 1

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Early Childhood Education and Preschool Infant through Pre-K

Best Preschools in Chicago


Rated top 17 out of 583 schools

Immediate Openings Available!

*Enroll at Little Green Tree House today!*

Lakeview 3111 N. Ashland, Chicago IL 60657 West Loop 118 S. Ashland, Chicago IL 60607 Lincoln Park 1929 N. Halsted, Chicago IL 60614 Evanston p en! O w No 2814 Central Street, Evanston 60201

2 December 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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Your child is our mission. Apply by December 10 for: Pre-Kindergarten and Junior Kindergarten 2019-20 Senior Kindergarten Regular Decision 2019-20 Senior Kindergarten Early Decision 2020-21 Sacred Heart is a Catholic, independent, PK-8 school that warmly welcomes children of all faiths. Inspired teaching, personalized learning, and a supportive community ensure that our students thrive academically and grow in goodness, self-knowledge, and service to others.

Join us for an Admissions Coffee November 30, December 12, 9:15-11 am Preschool Information Session to follow, 11-11:45 am To register, call 773.681.8418 or admissions@shschicago.org 6250 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL 60660 | www.shschicago.org ChicagoParent.com December 2018 3

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C E L E B R AT E T H E 5 0 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y O F T H E H I S T O R I C A P O L L O 8 M I S S I O N W I T H O U T- O F -T H I S -W O R L D E V E N T S A N D P R O G R A M S AT M S I MOON ROOM 1968



Open daily Dec. 6 – Jan. 6

Dec. 22, 5 – 9 p.m.

Dec. 6, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Take a step into the wayback

Celebrate 2018’s last full moon

a living room straight from ‘60s!

during the Museum’s extended

as you enjoy midcentury photo

in our night sky through telescopes,

and visit an exclusive store filled

space patterns, learn how to make

machine and be transported into

with a nighttime, all-ages festival

Watch the Apollo 8 mission live

hours. Gaze at the brightest object

ops, create your own telegram,

get your face painted with sparkling

with retro goods.

galaxy slime, see special live

Free with Museum Entry.

performances and more! Free with Museum Entry.

The Revival Theater, 1160 E 55th St.

Who said the Earth was flat? Did

the Moon landing really happen?

Be a part of a provocative discussion with scientists and experts exploring the science behind how conspiracy

theories form, and how their appeal can shape mass opinion. $10 per person.

Learn more and buy tickets: msichicago.org/moon

4 December 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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contents EDITOR

Tamara L. O’Shaughnessy MANAGING EDITOR


Katina Beniaris ART DIRECTOR


Jacquinete Baldwin, Javier Govea IT AND DIGITAL DEVELOPER


Matt Boresi, Megan Murray Elsener, Keely Flynn, Julie Gentile, Cheryl Leahy, Lori Orlinsky, Marianne Walsh DISPLAY ADVERTISING SALES

Annette Coffee, Christine Griffith, Lourdes Nicholls, Karen Skinner



Philip Soell


Andrew Mead


Debbie Becker, Mark Moroney CIRCULATION MANAGER

Jill Wagner

DECEMBER 2018 | VOLUME 34 | NO. 12


Wakeelah Cocroft-Aldridge



Carmen Rivera


HOLIDAYS Tips from Chicago influencers (and moms!) on styling your home for the season


These six Chicago area kids make the world a better place

WAYS 28 SIMPLE TO LIVE WELL Self-care to make your spirit bright


FAVORITE THINGS Five things we love this month that we think you will, too



Joyce Minich PUBLISHER

Dan Haley












Kind in Chi-Town

Natalie Goodman, Carolyn Jacobs

HOW TO REACH US 141 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, IL 60302 (708) 386-5555 ChicagoParent.com EDITORS

chiparent@chicagoparent.com DECEMBER 2018




6 great kids


Steal the look Home for the holidays

Cover kid: Sisters Giada Marie Buffone, 5, and Luccia Jade Buffone, 2, New Lenox

circulation@chicagoparent.com ADVERTISING


Photography: Thomas Kubik Cover Design: Claire Innes

Clothing provided by UNIQLO, with its flagship Chicago store on the Magnificent Mile and a new store at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg. UNIQLO is committed to creating, high-quality yet affordable clothing that meets the needs of everyone’s daily lifestyle.

Chicago Parent is published monthly by Wednesday Journal, Inc. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Chicago Parent, 141 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, IL, 60302. © 2018 Wednesday Journal, Inc. All rights reserved.

ChicagoParent.com December 2018 5

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Tall as a tree Some of the biggest living things in our world are trees. Many trees grow higher than houses. Why do those trees grow so tall? They are growing toward the sun. Like all plants, trees use the sun’s energy, along with air and water, to make food in their leaves. A tree needs many leaves to collect enough sunlight, and it has to get them up high where the sun will shine on them. If trees are growing together in the woods or the forest, they may cast each other’s leaves into the shade. Then each tree must try to grow taller than its neighbors, so it can lift its leaves up into the sun. Over the years, as they compete, all the trees get taller. It’s like a race for sunshine. Most of the big trees we see in our yards and along our streets are kinds that naturally grow tall, so they get big even though they aren’t growing in the forest. But many other kinds of trees aren’t very big. If a tree naturally grows where there are not a lot of other trees around it, it can afford to stay shorter and still get plenty of sunshine. Just like people, trees are all different. Some are tall and some are small, and they are all beautiful.

What you can do Over the past year, we’ve heard and seen a lot about a nation divided and a ramping up of disrespect and meanness that can feel hopeless to fight. I’ve found myself so swept up in it that I have trouble thinking about anything else some days. I fret every moment about my kids when they are out of TAMARA L. my sight and get angry when I see O’SHAUGHNESSY people putting others’ needs and safety behind their own. Accepting that this is just the way the world has become is not a good way to live. It’s better to remember that while our social media feeds seem to share so much of the negative, there are so many more people doing awesome things for others. That includes right here in Chicagoland. In what has become as much a tradition at Chicago Parent as 24/7 Christmas music on 93.9 FM, we are featuring six kids who are making a difference and changing the world in their own ways. I hope you love their stories as much as I do. We’ve also done something neat this month to help you make your own difference for those around you: We’ve compiled a huge list of places where you can volunteer as a family. You can download it right into your in-box to keep handy should all the negative floating around start to get you down. Helping others is a perfect fix for that. I hope you’ll find something that inspires you and the kids. I know I did. Find it at ChicagoParent.com/ VolunteerGuide. I want to wish you a very happy holiday season filled with love and kindness. I am thankful we are on this wonderful parenting journey together.

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MAGIC!” –UrbanMatter




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Holiday happenings at ChicagoParent.com There’s no place like home We’re so lucky that Chicago has so many things to do during the holidays from local traditions to family-friendly events. You can find everything you need for a jolly good time at ChicagoParent.com/HappyHolidays. Still need to squeeze in some holiday shopping? Get some holiday gift ideas (including our big toy guide!) at ChicagoParent.com/HolidayGifts.


Winter break survival guide

The kids are out of school…now what? To keep you sane, we’ve got some great ideas to keep them busy and you might make a few nice family memories along the way. Start planning at ChicagoParent.com/WinterBreak.

Enter to win ®


We’re giving away some awesome prizes at ChicagoParent.com/Contests this month including a family pack of tickets to Paw Patrol Live! “Race to the Rescue,” Disney on Ice Presents Mickey’s Search Party and American Girl Live! Plus, enter for your chance to win tickets to “Mary Poppins Returns” from Classic Cinemas.

Listen in

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Our Masters in Parenting podcast is celebrating the holidays, too! Listen to some fun family traditions and stories from locals. Our host, Hillary Bird, also talks to an expert on how you can survive the holidays as a parent. Listen to all of our latest episodes at ChicagoParent.com/Podcast.

8 December 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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BOOK SMART & LIFE SMART From preschool through 8th grade our engaged students learn to make good decisions. Nurtured in a climate of creativity and computational thinking, they explore problem solving in fresh and useful ways. They graduate as empathetic, culturally competent students able to confidently adapt to an ever-changing world.

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Preschool through 8th Grade Located in Chicago’s Old Town 226 West Schiller--2 miles from the loop 312.266.3381

ChicagoParent.com December 2018 9

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Marie Tillmaan

u Founder and d CE C O of the childreen’ss cllot othhingg su in subs bscr crip ipti tion on boxx Maac & Mi Mia, a,, fou ound nder nd er and CEO off thee Pat a Tilllm lman an Foundation, a non np ofit npro th hat a pro rovi vide dess ac acad ad adem dem emic ic sch sc holaarshi hips ps for veetterran anss an nd th heiir sp spou ouse sees u Sp pou ouse se:: Joee Sh henttoon

Love and balance


ow did you find love after such a public loss? (Her first husband, former NFL player Pat Tillman, was killed while serving in Afghanistan in 2004.) I tried to stay open to life and love, which was really difficult at times. I wasn’t really looking for love, but love found me, and I am grateful every day for second chances.

How do you balance five kids and a demanding career? Balance—that’s the illusive thing we are all searching for that we

never quite get! Trust me, it is a daily struggle to figure out what takes priority each day. I’ve found that the key is to stop looking for balance and realize you can’t do it all. Instead of trying to squeeze everything in, I try to focus on the most essential things each day, which means some stuff doesn’t get done. I’m learning to be OK with that. What’s your parenting style? Our kids have such different personalities and needs that my

style may change depending on the kid and the situation. If I had to describe my style it would be “learn as you go.” What are your family’s favorite holiday traditions? Baking cookies, decorating the tree and Christmas PJs. How does your latest venture, Mac & Mia, help busy moms? We create a virtual shopping experience that’s so much easier and more convenient than

Life in Chi

u Chil Chil Ch i dren en n: Jo Joey ey, 17 7, John, 1 Jo 15 5, Sa Sam, m 13 m, 3,, Mac ac, 6, and 6, d Fra r nk nkie ie, e, 4

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u Favorite places to go with kids: Maggie Daley Park and Lake Michigan u Best parenting hacks: Instacart, Amazon, takeout food and a great group of friends to turn to for help

dragging your kids to the store and having them try on clothes there. Our stylists create personalized relationships and work one-on-one with parents to pick the perfect styles for all seasons and occasions. Do you have any words of wisdom for other moms out there just trying to hold it all together? The days are long, but the years are short. Enjoy every minute, which is sometimes easier said than done! Lori Orlinsky

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Toddler • Preschool • Kindergarten Spanish Immersion programs now available. 12 December 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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No ‘Bah, Humbugs’ here Need some good cheer this holiday season? Both picks this month include joy, joy and more joy. (Enough to take you well into January.) KEELY FLYNN

Hanukkah musical fun

Celebrate the Jewish festival of lights with a spirited Hanukkah Concert at the Chicago Botanic Garden, courtesy of the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band. Curious as to what, exactly, is klezmer? A Hebrew word combining “kley” (vessel) and “zemer” (melody), it’s a musical style dating back to the Middle Ages—and no one does it better than the Midwest’s most popular Klezmer band, named for Chicago’s old Sunday morning Jewish marketplace. (The band, known for their warmth and humor in concert, has toured Europe and even performed in a little ol’ place called Carnegie Hall.) Before (or after!) you’ve danced up a storm, make time for the Wonderland Express, included in your concert ticket. A wintry exhibit like no other, this glittering (indoor!) snow-filled extravaganza features model trains galore (keep an eye out for Thomas the Tank Engine) and a plethora of miniature Chicago landmarks, nestled amidst gorgeous seasonal horticultural displays. Make sure to bundle up for the impressive ice carvings, and keep that voice nice and warm for caroling, too. 11 a.m. or 1 p.m., Dec. 9, Chicago Botanic Garden (Alsdorf Auditorium), 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe; chicagobotanic.org

Goodman Graphic Design

‘A Christmas Carol’—and one very special Tiny Tim Four decades in, the people know what they want. And, overwhelmingly, the Christmas performance worth its weight in sleigh bells is the Goodman’s take on the Charles Dickens classic. And with good reason, too: the rich performances and gorgeously spooky ambiance make this show one to revisit year after year. Need more reasons to love this trip to Victorian-era London? Not only is it an accessible show (specific enhanced performances include ASL interpreted, audio described, open captioned, Spanish captioned and sensory-friendly), but it’s a gender nonconforming one as well. Any Chicagoland youth would consider themselves lucky to tread Chicago Botanic Garden the boards at the Goodman. But diminutive, 11-year-old Paris Strickland also happens to be a pioneer. Last year marked the first time that

the Goodman cast a female in the role of Tiny Tim (“I feel proud to play a boy role to show that girls can do anything,” she says), and one with such an inspiring story at that. Diagnosed with neuroblastoma when she was only days old, Strickland was born to be a fighter—and has more than a little in common with Dickens’ Tiny Tim. “We both have families that love and support us,” she told me. “We both are children that inspire people and we both have the power to change people’s way of thinking.” Paris, who shares the role this year with 9-year-old Henry Lombardo (she’ll be Tim every weekend as well as during the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas), has a few ideas why families return year after year to this holiday tradition. “Sometimes people forget, but it’s important to remember what Christmas is all about, giving to others and being kind, and I think my character Tiny Tim helps people remember that.” Through Dec. 30, at the Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago; goodmantheatre.org

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School spent


As we get deeper into another school year, there are several recurring themes in my life. First up: I suck at homework. Remember when we were kids and couldn’t conceive of a more heinous punishment than diagramming sentences?

Hold my beer, Punky Brewster. In teaching my boys this new form of math steeped in the absurd, I have officially become the ferryman of Hades. Every basic rule has been tossed. I feel deceived! Misled! Don’t even get me started on the great Metric System Lie. Last month, my youngest delivered a list of after-school activities. I immediately honed in on “Homework Club.” Sweet Jesus, there was outsourcing for this! I picked three slots a week. Then I received a nice little note from the assistant principal gently pointing out that I was to select ONE post-school activity, not three. I returned to my weekly spot in the kayak to hell trying to understand Common Core math. The only thing contributing more to my premature death than homework? School attendance offices. For 10 years, I have followed the rules. I submitted the doctor notes. I made the phone calls. And my kids have about 150 unexcused absences. These so-called “attendance offices” clearly exist only in the realm of unicorns and the Loch Ness Monster. The educational system underestimated people

Early Intervention Program 2-5 yrs old

like me when they started putting this all online. In the 1980s, if an absence was marked “unexcused,” our overwrought mothers wracked their brains but typically forfeited the fight. Now? I can obsess DAILY. I stalk the attendance offices harder than I stalk Kohl’s for 30 percent off coupons. School is stressful for parents, and previous generations got off easy. Report cards were dropped on our parents without warning. Dad would lose his mind over a bad grade or two, but everybody moved on to watch The Love Boat by 7 p.m. All was forgiven and quickly forgotten. Nowadays, we suffer from information overload with the expectation of doing something with it. There is no winning. There is no safe spot between being disengaged and being fanatical. It makes me wish I could have parented in a completely different era. I bet the property taxes on Little House on the Prairie were awesome.

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In December of 1989, society was introduced to two Christmas decoration obsessives—Clark Griswold in “Christmas Vacation” and Ned Flanders in the Christmas special that served as “The Simpsons” first full episode. Both men had hundreds of twinkle lights and attendant frippery on their roofs and in their MATT BORESI yards. How we laughed at their obsessiveness and their excess! None of US would ever spend that kind of time and money on decorations! Fast forward nearly 30 years, and the lowered costs of string lights, extension cords, animatronic reindeer and the advent of (ugh) those enormous inflatable decorations means we can all be Ned on a Homer budget. Decades of home shows and Martha Stewart publications and Pottery Barn catalogs mean we’ve all been trained to be good little consumers who decorate our homes inside and out for every holiday. And it’s not just about decking the halls with whimsical St. Nicks either—every kitchen towel, every candle, every centerpiece and plate has to be swapped out. My daughter, Viva, would be heartbroken if the dining room centerpiece didn’t change from garish Halloween pumpkin to tasteful wicker Thanksgiving pumpkin to festive bowl of red glass baubles over the course of two months time. One of her first hobbies as a toddler was dragging our clinquant knick knacks from room to room, and she still expects plenty of yuletide gimcracks to arrange and rearrange. City living doesn’t always allow for glaring roof illumination or kitschy Nativities, but there’s still plenty of


room for glittery holiday bric-a-brac. Head to Pier One near Valentine’s Day and you can fill your trunk with enough discount Christmas falderal to positively clutter your home with blown glass elves and ceramic gingerbread man spoon rests the following year. While I’m embarrassed that I’ve become such a materialist rube, it’s certainly fun to stack glazed Christmas tree measuring cups with my daughter, and trade our November flannel pajamas for our candy cane print flannel pajamas. For us, home for the holidays means being trapped in a Pinterest spread. Viva Decorations. Viva Viva. Viva Daddy. Viva is 7 years old. Daddy is about 6x that age. They live happily with Mommy in Chicago.

16 December 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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Photo courtesy of Second City Mom

Home for the


Tips from Chicago influencers (and moms!) on styling your home for the season BY MEGAN MURRAY ELSENER


hether you go all out like Clark Griswold and deck your home from top to bottom, or prefer a more subtle holiday decor, the spirit of the season is most often felt right inside your home. As you prepare to decorate your house for the holidays, we consulted some of Chicago’s most popular bloggers and social media influencers for their own personal decorating tips and styling advice to create a festive feel at home.


Stick to a theme! In our case, it’s Eiffel Tower ornaments and ornaments from around the world. I’m a huge Francophile, so we collect Eiffel Tower ornaments to decorate the tree and even have an Eiffel Tower tree topper. Also we travel fairly often and try to buy ornaments from the places we’ve been to. It’s fun to talk about where some of the ornaments are from and what we remember from our trip there. Also, showcase your collection if you have one. I’ve collected nutcrackers throughout the years. We display the nutcrackers on our mantle and some key places around the house. Lighting is key. We have string lights and garlands with lights and hang them around the inside of the house, particularly the mantle and windows. The lighting makes the house look and feel festive in the evenings like you’re under the stars. Leyla Tran @secondcitymom secondcitymom.com

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Christmas is a time I want to feel relaxed, warm and cozy. I want to feel the opposite of the hustle and bustle of the season, so I make sure our home relays that when I’m decorating for the holiday. Always bring in greenery, whether it’s branches from a pine tree, sticks with holly berries on them, or my favorite, the large silver dollar eucalyptus. All of these options look great in a big glass jug, old milk jug or even an oversized vase on your entryway console, on your kitchen island or even as a coffee table centerpiece. Try incorporating eucalyptus pieces in your garland that’s draped over your fireplace mantle for a more updated look to the typical pine needle garland. Not only do all these greenery options smell amazing (and like the holidays), but it gives a modern, yet cozy vibe during the holiday season. You can even fill in those annoying open blank spaces in your Christmas tree with real pine needles, eucalyptus or berries. Then mix it up and instead of using a skirt around your Christmas tree, use a faux fur throws or a chunky cable knit throw to curl around the bottom of your tree. Or if you are looking for a more country-chic or modern farmhouse look, then use a basket or galvanized metal bucket for your Christmas tree base. Heidi Taylor @blackdovechicago blackdovelifestyle.com


We love whimsical holiday decorating, especially combining nontraditional decor with lots of color! You don’t need to go overboard and replace your everyday decor with holiday decor. Adding a colorful centerpiece and festive garland can go a long way. Personal touches like displaying your holiday cards in a creative way is festive and meaningful. We like ours tacked up with clothespins on evergreen garland in a doorway. Also table settings for family dinners can be a fun, easy way to bring the holiday cheer into your home. We like non-traditional elements like eucalyptus branches for a pop of green in lieu of a table runner. Paired with fun plates and unexpected centerpieces like vases of fruit can add color and whimsy without breaking the bank. We also love using vintage items like old skis and plaid blankets that have that winter vibe without being overtly Christmas-y. Mixing traditional red and green in with other bright, happy colors can really make for the perfect winter wonderland. Natalie Papier & Kim Daunis @home_ec_op homeecop.com CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

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At my house, we like to keep things to a minimum. In my opinion, keep it simple and less is always more. Select a color palette to start. Last year we went for silvers and blues for our Christmas tree. What I consider my styling secret is that I always try to purchase neutral colors. I like festive whites, blues and silvers. Our home has some of those colors and I find that it blends well. So try to look for decorations that will complement your home in terms of decor without it being too “holidayish.” I also tend to stay away from red and green. Most importantly, don’t forget to get the kids involved considering the holidays are all about family fun. Charlotte Betts @milknhonee milknhonee.com

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I love to decorate with natural greens, seasonal florals and natural elements. To keep things looking fresh and lively, I stay away from premade decorations such as signs or crafts. Instead poinsettias, green garland, boxwoods and handmade bows go along way and always look timeless. Also, I love pine needle garlands. I expect to clean up garland needles for months after the holiday, but the smell and look is amazing. I like to clip holiday cards to garland or vintage ornaments in doorways or on trim. Kaylan Kane @ olivejuicechicago olivejuicechicago.com

Megan Murray Elsener is a Chicago Parent contributor, freelance writer and mom of three.


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Kindness rules

These six Chicago area kids make the world a better place



n a world plagued with political disagreement, violence and bullying, it’s easy to lose sight of the good that exists. If you need a reminder, look no further than these six amazing kids, each of whom is doing his and her part in the community to make a difference in the world.

Beauty inside and out Seven-year-old Rosie Quinn wants to spread the message that bald is beautiful. At 2, the Chicago girl was diagnosed with Alopecia, an autoimmune disease that attacks hair follicles, causing hair loss. Growing up, Rosie and her family became desensitized to the stares she got from other children when she went

fund art therapy out in public. Innocently, nocently, proceeds fu programs at children’s strangers often cononprogram hospitals across the fused her hair loss ss hospi globe. with cancer, or glob thought she was ““I loved how the head scarf made a boy. he me feel when In an effort m to boost Rosie’s I needed it,” Rosie says. “They confidence, her R covered up a part mom, Paula, co got her daughter of my body that looked different. a one-of-a-kind loo Instead of seeing my headscarf made Inste Rosie Quinn bald he head, people saw from Rosie’s original inal artwork. When Rosie osie my art.” Rosie doesn’t looked in the mirror rror for Ironically, R her head any the first time, shee couldn’t stop wear scarves on he longer because she feels confident in her smiling. That’s when Coming Up Rosies appearance. was born. “As a parent, Rosie saying she doesn’t Coming Up Rosies is a charity with need to wear the head scarf is music one mission: to bring those same smiles to my ears,” Paula says. “I wish I had to children who have experienced hair her confidence. I wish everybody had loss. Coming Up Rosies sells preprinted Rosie’s confidence.” head scarves made from Rosie’s paintings as well as scarf making kits that let CONTINUED ON PAGE 24 kids create their own masterpieces. All ChicagoParent.com December 2018 23

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Healing art For the past year, 8-yearold Kevin Hunter III has been driving his mother, Shanee, crazy. But not for the reasons you’d think. The secondgrader from south suburban Alsip wanted to find a way to sell his original artwork collection and donate all of the money to charities that benefit children. Shanee and her husband, Kevin Jr., try to be honest with Kevin when he overhears news headlines on TV, or sees a commercial for an organization like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “We explain to him that he is very fortunate, and other children have different circumstances,” Shanee says. “We have instilled to him since a young age that he shouldn’t take anything for

granted. And he doesn’t. I’m really in awe of his heart and the maturity he’s shown.” Kevin has been drawing and painting since kindergarten, and his pieces range from nature scenes (his favorite) and robots to animals and characters. This summer, Shanee finally gave in, allowing Kevin to participate at a community-wide garage sale. His parents also set up a GoFundMe campaign on his behalf. Through both outlets, Kevin raised more than $600, which he hand delivered to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Ronald McDonald House Charities and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. “I feel proud of myself,” says Kevin, who is in the process of making more art to sell at local craft shows. “It feels good to help.”

Kevin Hunter

Helping voices be heard

determined to spread the message that everyone has a voice. She serves as the national youth director for Constituting America, a nonprofit that brings the Constitution to life in classrooms across the country. In September, Tova traveled to Washington, D.C., to deliver remarks alongside the deputy secretary of education on

From the day she was born, Tova Love Kaplan was destined to be extraordinary. Her name, which means “Good Love” in Hebrew, is reflective of how she lives. The 14-year-old freshman at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School is a social activist,

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causes. Constitution Day. The speech “Kids absolutely do have a was livestreamed to schools voice and if we speak loudly nationwide. and persistently, adults “The Constitution is a living, will listen to us,” Tova says. breathing document that “Although it’s hard sometimes, impacts us every day,” Tova we need to stand up and make says. “Even though we can’t our voices heard.” vote, students still have a right to this document. We can use it to change things for the better.” Tova stands by her words. In March, she was a lead student Growing up, Armando organizer of the March for Pizano struggled in school. Our Lives Walkout at Whitney The South Side boy from the Young, spearheading logistics Back of the Yards neighborof the day, including whose comuding hood, wh calling media, munity was often munit making signs, plagued by plag phone banking high levels of hi to legislators ccrime, gang and rallying vviolence the 2,000+ aand poverty, participants, needed more n megaphone in resources to re hand. help him excel. he This fall, It wasn’t until Armando Pizano she worked older sisters his old with Whitney Young oung stepped in to mentor administration to establish the him that Armando began to first student chapter of Bake thrive in school. With their Sale for Justice, a group that support, Armando entered sells baked goods and donates CONTINUED ON PAGE 26 all proceeds to social justice

Motivation to excel


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the selective enrollment high school, Jones College Prep, at the top of his class, just as many of his friends were dropping out. Though painful to watch, this motivated Armando to start The Bridge Tutoring Program his junior year. The largest student-run tutoring initiative, The Bridge Tutoring Program prepares elementary school students in under-resourced communities for high school and beyond through free weekly tutoring. The program is currently in five high schools and four elementary schools in Chicago’s South Side, and plans to expand to Albany Park in 2019. “What makes this program special is that the students are being mentored by high schoolers who grew up under very similar circumstances,” says Armando, now 18 and attending college at The

University of Chicago. “It is a good reminder for school-age kids that a successful future is within reach.” Armando was named the recipient of the 2018 Gloria Baron Prize for Young Heroes, which celebrates young people from across the U.S. and Canada who have made a significant positive difference. He plans to use part of his prize money to buy supplies for The Bridge Tutoring Program.

Much more than fun Three years ago, Byron Siragusa spent 27 long days at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago due to complications from a ruptured appendix. The then 6-year-old Chicago boy passed time by keeping up with the summer Olympics. While this started as a simple distraction, it led to a big idea:

Byron Siragusa Byron wanted to find a way for other kids to get through their hospital stays. “I created a game called Continent Race,” says Byron, now 9. “Being in the hospital is a scary thing, and I hope this game will take kids’ minds off of being in the hospital and make time go by faster for them.” With the help of his mom,

Trish, Byron launched a Kickstarter campaign that went viral, reaching his funding goal in just four days. On Kickstarter, backers could opt to buy a game for themselves, donate one to a hospital, or both. Continent Race is designed for two or more players, ages 7 and up. The game encourages children to learn the continents, countries and flags of the

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world. It’s a card game and a race to see who can collect the most countries from each continent first. By the end of the year, Byron will donate Continent Race to 50 children’s hospitals across the county. In the coming months, he plans to launch an educational video series in which he interviews interesting people who are doing great things. The hope is that the videos will be interactive and shown in patient rooms at children’s hospitals.

Florence to the rescue Flo Wisniewski isn’t used to hearing her given name— Florence—unless she’s in trouble for fighting with her siblings or not cleaning her room. But in September, the name Florence was all over the news, as Hurricane Florence swept through the Carolinas. When 5-year-old Flo, of

Flo Wisniewski Portage Park, found out she shared her name with the hurricane, she told her parents that as a fellow Florence, it was her duty to help. Flo and her father, Paul, created a poster of the hurricane’s

path superimposed with “the other Florence’s” face. They also set up a donation box at Flo’s preschool, asking for non-perishable food, formula, diapers, toiletries and bottled water. Flo rode around in a

wagon, going door-to-door in the neighborhood asking people to donate what they could. “I knew it was the right thing to do to help the people who needed help,” Flo says. After word spread on social media, the Wisniewskis’ home, garage and porch became filled to the brim with donated goods and Amazon packages sent by strangers. Inspired by her daughter’s passion, Flo’s mom, Tricia, partnered with a disaster relief group in Ohio that added Flo’s donations to a truck delivering supplies to the Carolinas. When they were picked up, Tricia estimates two-thirds of the truck was filled. In the midst of her donation drive, Flo turned 5. But the little girl put off the celebration. “My mommy bought me a packing tape dispenser so I could finish wrapping the boxes,” Flo says.

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Simple ways to live well Selfcare to make your spirit bright



is the season of giving to others, but have you ever thought about it in terms of giving to yourself in the form of self-care? As parents, we become masters at taking care of our children and other people and projects in our lives. Self-care is often the thing that keeps getting pushed down the to-do list. So how do you actually practice self-care—intentionally nourishing and nurturing your mind, body and spirit so that you can be and feel your best—when the reality is that it may feel like one more thing to add to your already jampacked schedule? I started to pay more attention to how I was actually caring for myself on a daily basis—from what I was eating to the quality of sleep I was getting to how I was handling stress and anxiety.

I began to notice little opportunities for more wellness throughout my day. Here are four self-care practices I incorporate in my own life that can help you live well, too.


Rest and reboot: If there is one self-care practice to prioritize throughout your life, it’s making sure you get enough sleep every night. So many parents are used to feeling tired, so drinking coffee while pushing past the fatigue becomes the norm. When I don’t sleep enough, I can tell (and so can my family). I have significantly less energy and patience than I do when I sleep well. Most adults need between seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every day. Depriving yourself of sleep night after night and year after year can lead to numerous health conditions, including diabetes and depression. Make your bedtime a


Julie preps parents for holiday stress on our podcast. priority by turning off the electronics and finding a quiet activity instead, such as reading a book. I’ve found that setting an alarm on my phone to remind me that it is time to wind down for the day helps initiate my bedtime. Also, go to bed at the same time every night to help your body stay on a schedule, so you’ll naturally be tired around the same time every day.

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Breathe and be: Meditation is as simple as breathing and being. A great practice any time of year, and especially during the holidays, meditation can help you let go of accumulated anxiety. A quick meditation practice you can do anywhere, anytime: Begin right where you are.


Stand and move more: As with lack of sleep, lack of exercise can lead to health conditions, including heart disease, obesity and more. In addition to finding exercises you truly look forward to—whether it’s taking a yoga or group fitness class, going for a walk or run, or strength

training—find pockets of time throughout your day when you can easily increase your physical activity. Instead of sitting at a desk, work at a standing workstation, take more trips to fill up your water bottle, stretch for a few minutes and take the stairs every opportunity you get. Every little movement adds up.


Write and create: Writing your thoughts in a journal every day can help inspire creativity and new ideas. Take a few minutes every morning before you begin your day or every night before you end your day to write. You can write about the holidays, the highlights of 2018, your intentions for 2019 or whatever is on your mind. When you give to yourself

Close your eyes and observe your breath going in and out through your nostrils. Notice if your breath is smooth and steady, rushed and rapid, or somewhere in between. Turn your attention to your thoughts and observe them coming and going. Let each thought float away. After a few more breaths, open your eyes.

with self-care, you can give more abundantly to the others in your life. Carry these practices with you into the new year to keep your mind, body and spirit bright in every season. Julie M. Gentile is a working mom, yoga teacher at the Bloomingdale Park District, author of the forthcoming book 108 Yoga and Self-Care Practices for Busy Mamas (MSI Press), and former copy editor at Chicago Parent. Learn about her self-care adventures at juliegtheyogi.com.

Cut your own tree this year at

BensTreeFarm.com • (630) 279-0216 7719 Ryan Rd., Harvard IL • Thousands of 6-14 ft. trees in 9 varieties of Firs, Spruces, & Pines • All trees organically grown • FREE Horse Drawn Wagon Rides, Santa, Farm Animals (see benstreefarm.com for schedule) • Complimentary Hot Cocoa in our Warming Barn • Handmade Wreaths & Garland • Open Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays between Thanksgiving and Christmas • Hours: 9am-4:30pm We will take you out to the fields, provide you with a saw, bring your tree back from the fields after you have cut it down, and even help with tying to your vehicle. You just need to bring yourselves for a nice day in the country. ChicagoParent.com December 2018 29

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5 favorite things

New Lexox family, Giada Marie Buffone, 5, Luccia Jade Buffone, 2, and Eliana Joy Buffone, 1, share a quiet moment with mom, Gina. Clothes provided by UNIQLO.


We fell in love with the simple, cozy clothes from Japanese fashion brand UNIQLO our cover family is sporting. UNIQLO, known for functional, basic clothes for everyone, opened a second Chicagoland store last month at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg. Its flagship can be found on the Magnificient Mile.

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Have you tried taffy grapes?! Fruit couldn’t get any sweeter when grapes are coated in candy and topped with nuts. Nadia’s Gourmet Grapes, 841 W. 103rd St., Chicago, has more than two dozen options for you to choose from. Other flavors include Strawberry Shorty, Cookies N’ Dream, Cinnamon Roll and Caramel Delight.

Even if our favorite holiday market, Christkindlemarket, is known for its souvenir boot mugs, we can’t help but love the heart-shaped mugs matching this year’s theme, “Ich liebe Christkindlmarket,” which translates to “I love Christkindlmarket.” Christkindlmarket Chicago runs through Dec. 24 and Naperville’s version runs on select days through Dec. 24. Don’t forget to sign up for the free Kinder Club that gives kids 14 and under special perks.


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We admit we love books and it’s always a highlight when the new books arrive weekly. We’re currently loving the screenfree fun in Fidget Busters, 50 Ways To Keep Kids Busy So You Can Get Things Done by Chicago Parent contributor and mom Donna Bozzo.

You know what they say about the mother of invention: Mom of two, Karen Smoots, has created TheEcoDryer, thegreenglovedryer.com, to quickly dry kids’ wet mittens. It sits on a floor heat register or attaches to a wall register. Plus, it has antimicrobial protection to stop bacteria and fungi growth.

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Jingle Bell, Jingle Buy - Gift Ideas // advertising Give the Gift of Kindness! “Be Like Happy” is a book that can help every child understand that true happiness comes from giving and what it means to be beautiful inside and out.

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Opera for the Whole Family! Chamber Opera Chicago’s hit of the season, Amahl and the Night Visitors, will be a hit with your whole family and opening with a prelude of holiday music and dance, in memory of Ruth Ann Koesun at The Athenaeum Theatre.

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Looking for that perfect gift for everybody on your list?

Give the gift of year round learning and fun Check an entire family off your holiday shopping list with a museum gift card - available in any amount for admissions, annual memberships, or birthday parties!

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A Natural Gift Share the gift of membership for the whole family! Explore nature through classes and active play year round with visits to the champion of trees.

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Bring the Family to MSI for Christmas Around The World

Downtown Oak Park gift certificates are sure to please! Good at over 70 shops and restaurants, purchase at Visit Oak Park (1010 Lake Street) or online at downtownoakpark.net/giftcertificates.

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light. Nov. 15-Jan. 6, 2019. And have your picture taken with Santa on select weekends.

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Have an adventure at Emerald City Theatre Give the gift of a winter break adventure with Emerald City Theatre’s Winter Camp 2018 for ages 3.5 – 10! Wintry titles include “Frozen Fairytales,” “Winter Luau,” and “Holiday at Hogwarts!” All camps take place at ECT’s Athenaeum Campus in Lakeview and include a performance for family & friends!

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Goodman Theatre is an ideal gift this Holiday Season Receive a FREE $20 gift certificate for every $100 Goodman gift certificate purchased through December 25.

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Enjoy an unforgettable American Girl Live show! Experience American Girl in an all-new musical, December 21-23! American Girl Live is a premiere stage production, featuring all-original songs and unforgettable experiences.

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Fun for everyone with The Playground Games Looking for a great gift idea this year? How about a Bubble Soccer, NERF, or GLOW birthday party? Mention HOLIDAY18 and receive 10% off.

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There’s no place like the Paramount Theatre for the Wizard of Oz Follow the yellow brick road to The Wizard of Oz. There’s no place like Paramount to make memories with your little munchkins this holiday season.

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calendar DECEMBER


Trying to avoid the cold? The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has the answer to warm your hands inside the Symphony Center. First, the orchestra presents its Once Upon a Symphony series with “The Ugly Duckling,” recommended for ages 3-5 as an intro to music performances. For an older crowd, the symphony will play along the score to “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” while the movie plays on screen. Check website for ticket details. Ugly Duckling, two shows Dec. 8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Dec. 7-8. Chicago Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. (800) 223-7114, cso.org.

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After the 15th viewing of “The Sound of Music,” your kids know all the words to every song and have already picked out a favorite Von Trapp family singer. The Music Box Theatre has the outlet, and in case of emergency, the words to all of the songs during “The Sound of Music Sing-A-Long.” Singing—whether in-tune or trying to be—is encouraged during the production. If you just can’t get enough of songs in a group setting, head back to Music Box throughout the month for the “White Christmas” sing-along feature. Dec. 1-2, Sound of Music; Dec. 7-24, White Christmas. Music Box Theater, 3733 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. (773) 871-6604, musicboxtheatre.com.

Trees that talk, millions of lights and animals waiting to be discovered in the dark? The Brookfield Zoo turns on the Holiday Magic during the weekends in December, beginning Dec. 1 and running through the end of the month. This year, the weather won’t stop the winter wonder as the zoo introduces its Glice rink, a skating surface without the ice. The largest lights festival in our area, keep an eye out for communitytrimmed trees, animal-themed displays and the North Pole’s favorite resident. Head to the zoo early to see the animals, then stay for the lights. Free with zoo admission. SaturdaysSundays, Dec. 1-23 & daily Dec. 26-31. Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield. czs.org.

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Britten’s iconic introduction to the orchestra pays tribute to Henry Purcell, one of England’s greatest composers. Recommended for 5 and up. $6-$45. 11 a.m. & 12:45 p.m. Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. (800) 223-7114, cso.org.

Sup pe er He Hero r Nig ghtt att Chica ago Wol o ve ves s

THE SOUND OF MUSIC SINGA-LONG. The lyrics will appear on

screen for anyone who doesn’t know all the words to the iconic songs. The fun starts with a vocal warm-up and complimentary Fun Packs, filled with props to use at strategic points throughout the film. Dress up as your favorite character for a chance to win prizes. $13, $9 kids. 11:30 a.m. Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave. (773) 871-6604, musicboxtheatre.com. KIDS COOKIE CAMP. The

Fairmont Chicago has joined forces with the experts at Sitter Studio for the perfect holiday night out for your little ones. Kids enjoy dinner, cookie baking with the Fairmont Pastry Team, movies, crafts, games and more. Children 6-12. $90+. Dropoff begins at 5 p.m. The Fairmont Chicago, 200 N. Columbus Drive. fairmont.com.

Seee De Dec. c. 29

Community Center, 814 Hart Road, Round Lake. rlapd.org. DIVE IN MOVIE SERIES. Enjoy

floating in the pool while watching a family-friendly movie on the first Saturday of each month. $7, $5 resident. 4-6 p.m. Today’s movie: The Polar Express. Inwood Park, 3000 W. Jefferson St., Joliet. (815) 741-7275, jolietpark.org.



MOVIE SCIENCE: BIG HERO 6. Eat pizza and bring the movie


Big Hero 6 to life by using motors, simple circuits and friction to design and make robotic creations. Recommended for kids 5-12. $40, $20 members. 6:15-9 p.m. The Laboratory Chicago, 2349 W. North Ave. (630) 880-6458, thelaboratorychi.org.

celebrate the 200th anniversary of Illinois’ recognition as the 21st state of the Union. The theme of the year-long Bicentennial Celebration will showcase the people, places and things that have been Born, Built and Grown in Illinois. $50$75. 7:30-9:30 p.m. United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago. illinois200.com.


Bring your walking shoes for photos with Santa, sleigh rides, holiday lights walk and more. Grab your camera and stop by for some holiday cheer. 4-6 p.m. Robert W. Rolek

5 | WEDNESDAY SPECIAL KIDS HOLIDAY PARTY. Annual party for children

with disabilities and their families in an environment planned for the

unique needs of special kids. Face painting, balloon sculpting, arts & craft projects, a Lego room, live music, storytelling, homemade cookies and even a quiet room. 3:30-8 p.m. Wilder Mansion, 211 Prospect Ave., Elmhurst. (630) 993-8900, specialkidsday.org.

6 | THURSDAY TREE LIGHTING IN WILDER PARK. Features holiday entertain-

ment, a special visitor from the North Pole and children’s activities in Wilder Mansion. 5:30-8 p.m. Wilder Park, 175 S. Prospect Ave., Elmhurst. (630) 739-1071, epd.org.



Chicago Symphony Orchestra tells the adaptation of the classic tale by Hans Christian Andersen of a cygnet on an amazing journey of self-discovery. Recommended for ages 3-5. $17. 10 a.m. & 11:45 a.m. Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 220 S. Michigan Ave. (800) 223-7114, cso.org. HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS IN CONCERT. See Dec. 7.


LUMINARIA. Enjoy a walk

on the candle-lit trail, a wagon ride through the prairie and live music, kids’ crafts and refreshments. 6-9 p.m. Severson Dells Nature Center, 8786 Montague Road, Rockford. seversondells.com. HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS IN CONCERT. This concert features

“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” on a giant screen, while members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra perform John Williams’ score. $50+. 7 p.m. Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. (800) 2237114, cso.org.


Guests can enjoy the Lego Train Show without lines and meet the creative builders from the Northern Illinois Lego Train Club. Free with $5 parking; parking is free with new unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. (630) 6685161, cantigny.org. ‘A CHRISTMAS STORY’ CELEBRITY GUEST. Meet Scott

Schwartz, who played “Flick” in the 1983 movie “A Christmas Story.” The actor will sign autographs, take pictures and answer questions before each screening of the movie. $6

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CALENDAR children, $8 adults. Noon, 3 p.m. & 6 p.m. Hollywood Boulevard Cinema, 1001 W. 75th St., Woodridge. (630) 427-1880, atriptothemovies.com.

Park Place Café. 4:30-9 p.m. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago. (312) 742-2000, lpzoo.org.



Kids 8-16 will make their own gemstone jewelry. $12, reservations required. 1:30 p.m. Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art, 220 Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst. (630) 833-1616, lizzadromuseum.org.


SUBURBS NATURAL HOME DECOR. Enjoy a crafty afternoon making a dazzling decoration out of natural materials. Supplies provided, registration required. Recommended for ages 6-13. $5 resident; $7 non-resident. 1-2 p.m. Round Lake Area Park District Aquatics Center, 860 Hart Road, Round Lake. (847) 740-9823, rlapd.org. LEGO TRAIN SHOW PARTY. See

Dec. 8. Today’s schedule: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

10 | MONDAY ZOOLIGHTS FAMILY NIGHTS. In addition to seeing all

of the ZooLights attractions, ride the Lionel Train Adventure, ATT Endangered Species Carousel and Holiday Wagon for free. Plus, receive a complimentary kids’ meal with the purchase of an adult meal at


Works opens early for kids up to 8 with special needs. $5 per person. 9-10 a.m. Wonder Works Children’s Museum, 6445 W. North Ave., Oak Park. wonder-works.org. NIGHT OWLS: TWINKLE, TWINKLE. Bring your little night

owls to the Children’s Neighborhood Museum for an evening of seasonally themed fun and share the twinkle of holiday magic. Recommended for ages 2-6. $10 resident, $11 nonresident. 6-7 p.m. Robert W. Rolek Community Center, 814 Hart Road, Round Lake. rlapd.org.


and imagine, create, calculate and design your own unique scented products perfect for giving this holiday season. Recommended for ages 5-12. $40, $20 members. 6:15-9 p.m. The Laboratory Chicago, 2349 W. North Ave. (630) 880-6458, thelaboratorychi.org.

, s

Itty Bitty New Year Entertainers, balloon artists, games, prizes, New Year crafts, and a noon balloon drop!

Monday, December 31, 10 a.m. to noon

4701 Oakton St., Skokie (847) 674-1500, ext. 2700



naturalist will provide step-by-step instructions during this hands-on

About the calendar The deadline for submitting listings for the January issue is Nov. 26. All events are subject to change. Please call the event sponsor at the number listed to confirm before you go. Events taking place on four or more dates during the month are listed in Ongoing Events, beginning on page 42.

Searchable listings updated daily ChicagoParent.com/calendar

Ellis Illusions works to craft unique and flawlessly executed events for all of Chicagoland. With a focus on creativity, flexibility, and attention to detail, we help our clients plan events that consistently exceed expectations. Pick a theme and leave the detail to us.

BALLOON DESIGN | TREAT TABLES | ALL OCCASIONS ChicagoParent.com December 2018 37

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CALENDAR more. $15. 5-8 p.m. Rosedale Park. 6312 W. Rosedale Ave., Chicago. chicagoparkdistrict.com



Dec. 10.


Mike DiDomenico’s show will please the entire family with cutting-edge magical illusions, exotic animals and fun. All ages welcome. 2-3 p.m. Morton Grove Public Library, 6140 Lincoln Ave., Morton Grove. (847) 929-5102, mgpl.org. NEW YEAR’S PARTY AT ROSEDALE. Kids can ring in the

New Year at a count down with balloon drop at the end of the celebration. There will be inflatables, music, arts and craft, food, and

SUBURBS GREAT TRAIN SHOW. The nation’s only coast-to-coast model train show and appeals to hobbyists and modelers as well as families. $10 Saturday, kids free. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Lake County Fairgrounds, 1060 E. Peterson Road, Grayslake. (847) 680-7200, greattrainshow.com.



you and your fellow Avengers dress up as a crew. Ticket prices vary, visit event website. 7 p.m. Chicago Wolves, 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont. (800) THE-WOLVES, chicagowolves.com.

“noon year” with a party with balloons, music and crafts. The whole family is welcome. 10:30 a.m.-noon. Lincoln Park Cultural Center, 2045 N. Lincoln Park West, Chicago. chicagoparkdistrict.com.



SUBURBS GREAT TRAIN SHOW. See Dec. 29. Today’s times: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.




games, make crafts and a balloon drop are all part of the fun. Appropriate for ages 1-5 years. $7 resident/ $9 non-resident before Dec. 26; $11 resident/$14 nonresident. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Simkus Recreation Center, 849 W. Lies Road, Carol Stream. (630) 7846100. csparks.org.

kids and join in New Year festivities including games, music, massive balloon drop and sparkling grape juice toast. $2 per person, preregistration required. 10:15 A.M.12:15 p.m. Wheeling Community Recreation Center, 100 Community Blvd., Wheeling. (847) 465-3333, wheelingparkdistrict.com



The University of Minnesota is seeking women who are currently less than 20 weeks pregnant to participate in a research study examining the effect of exercise and wellness on mood following childbirth.

La Universidad de Minnesota está buscando mujeres con menos de 20 semanas de embarazo para participar en el estudio de investigación que examina los efectos del ejercicio y la salud del estado de ánimo posterior al parto

• Program delivered to you via the mail and phone • Must be 18 years of age or older • Must not currently exercise regularly • Must not take antidepressants • You will receive $100 & a FitBit for your time (you will be allowed to keep the FitBit after the study is over) • Program can be delivered in English or Spanish • Must be considered low-income, defined as: -Enrollment in any government assisted program (e.g., WIC, SNAP) AND/OR -Annual income that is considered low (less than $45,510 for a family of four, less than $30,044 for a family of two, and less than

• Programa ejecutado vía correo o teléfono • Debe ser mayor o igual a 18 años de edad • No debe hacer ejercicio regularmente • No debe tomar antidepresivos • Debe considerarse de bajos ingresos, lo cual se define como: -Inscripta en cualquier programa asistencial del gobierno (por ejemplo, WIC, SNAP) y / o - Ingresos anuales considerados como bajos (menos de $ 45,510 para una familia de cuatro, menos de $ 30,044 para una familia de dos y menos de $ 22,311 si es soltera). • Usted recibirá $100 y un FitBit por su tiempo (será permitido quedarse con el FitBit después de la culminación del estudio)

To see if you qualify for this research study: English Speaking: Call or TEXT to 612-345-0325 or mompro@umn.edu.

Llama al 612-237-1004, envía la palabra “TEXTO” al 612-237-1004, o un email mompro@umn.edu para ver si califica para éste estudio

Learn how to make a cupcake and count down to “noon.” This class is designed for kids 2-8 and parents to cook together. $30 per child with one caregiver included; registration is required. 11 a.m.-noon. Taste Buds Kitchen, 2521 Waukegan Road, Bannockburn. (847) 230-0330, tastebudskitchen.com/bannockburn. COUNTDOWN TO FUN! Design

your own party hat, craft a noise maker and get ready to be showered with confetti. Free with museum admission. Noon-4 p.m. Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford. (815) 963-6769, discoverycentermuseum.org.

Coming in January


workshop. All materials provided. $28 resident, $35 non-resident. 3-4:30 p.m. Emily Oaks Nature Center, 4650 Brummel St., Skokie. (847) 677-7001, skokieparks.org

Your best guide to CHICAGOLAND schools Learning gets personal

The perfect fit: The right questions to ask

Tech and the 21st century student P L U S i nf o you need about . . . P r eschool s, El ement ar y, H i gh School s, Enr i chment , Tut or i ng Ser vi ces and mor e


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12/9/17 1:30 PM

For more information, call (708) 3865555 or visit ChicagoParent.com

38 December 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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Enjoy our new exhibit through Jan 13! THE PLACE WHERE AWESOME LIVES

CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM. Text copyright © 1989 by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault. Illustrations copyright© 1989 by Lois Ehlert. Used by permission of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon &Schuster Children’s Publishing Division. All rights reserved. Peter Rabbit™ © Frederick Warne & Co., 2011. Spot © Eric Hill/ Salspot Ltd.,2011. IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE. © 2000 by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. © 2012 Minnesota Children’s Museum. All rights reserved. Storyland: A Trip Through Childhood Favorites™ was created by Minnesota Children’s Museum. This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

FLUENT IN THE POWER OF PLAY. Explore your favorite stories throughout

Storyland! From the gardens of The Tale of Peter Rabbit to the urban snowscape of The Snowy Day, discover why we’re The Place Where Awesome Lives!


2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview • (847) 832-6600 • www. kcmgc.org

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Beyond The Nutcracker Photo by Lana Kozol


Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair with Christopher Wheeldon’s holiday masterpiece. Magic is on the horizon for young Marie and her mother, a sculptress creating the iconic Statue of the Republic. As they prepare for their annual holiday celebration, a visit from the charming but mysterious Great Impresario sets off a Christmas Eve dream of whirlwind romance and adventure. Through Dec. 30. The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago, auditoriumtheatre.org.

Joffrey Studio Company, Alexei Kremnev and Anna Reznik, in affiliation with the western suburbs’ highly-regarded School of Performing Arts. $30 and up. 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 1; 2 p.m. Dec. 2. Studebaker Theater, 410 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. studebakertheater.com. THE NUTCRACKER. The House’s ballet-free version of this holiday classic centers on young Clara’s journey to save Christmas. With the help of a magical nutcracker, this brave little girl will fight the Rat King and save her family! This modern holiday production weaves together riveting dialogue, astonishing puppetry, original song and spellbinding spectacle to tell a heartwarming, darkly moving story of magic and hope. $15-$45. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays; 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays; 3 and 7 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 30. Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St., Chicago. (773) 278-1500, chopintheatre.com.


Featuring talented young dancers from A&A Ballet’s Conservatory and Youth Company, and guest artists from the San Francisco Ballet Conservatory, Kremnev’s Nutcracker is set in 1920s America and is a fresh, albeit more traditional take on the beloved holiday staple. A&A Ballet is led by world-renowned artists and former founding artistic directors of The Joffrey Academy and


Page Civic Ballet recreates Ruth Page’s beloved original full-length staging. Exquisite dancing, stunning costumes and magical settings in the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of the Sweets, “The Nutcracker” promises holiday joy for children of all ages. $25, $20 kids. 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 1; 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 2.

Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave., Chicago. ruthpage.org. THE NUTCRACKER. Schaumburg Dance Ensemble’s vibrantly costumed and staged production of Tchaikovsky’s magical holiday ballet has enchanted audiences of all ages for nearly a quarter of a century. Featuring professional dancers and a cast of more than 100 area student and adult performers, The Nutcracker brings to life a fantasy world of dancing snowflakes, leaping Russians, and battling mice. $18-$28. 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 1 p.m. & 5 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays through Dec. 9. Prairie Center for the Arts, 210 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg. (847) 895-3600, prairiecenter.org.


featuring Tchaikovsky’s enchanting score, a brand new set & costumes– along with waltzing flowers, giant mice and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Plus, take photos with Santa at 3 p.m. $28-$43, $18 ages 16 and under. 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 8. Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University, 1 University Parkway, University Park. (708) 235-2222, centertickets.net. NORTH SHORE SCHOOL OF DANCE: THE NUTCRACKER. The

story of Clara and her Nutcracker prince as they fight the Mice King and journey through the snow to the Land of Sweets, told by ballet dancers. A portion of the proceeds are donated to organizations and charity groups. $24, $18 kids 12 and under


holiday mash-up that re-imagines Tchaikovsky’s classic score through explosive hip hop choreography. A dozen all-star dancers, on-stage DJ and an electric violinist will bring the traditional Nutcracker story to life in contemporary New York City. This show celebrates love, community and the magic of the holiday season. $25-$75. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1. Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont. (847) 6715100, rosemonttheatre.com.

Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker Photo by Cherly Mann

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The Art Deco Nutcracker

Mice and more. $7. 10 a.m. & noon Dec. 15. Lake Forest Academy, 1500 W. Kennedy Road, Lake Forest. (847) 615-3267, northshore dance.com. THE NUTCRACKER AND PRE-BALLET HOLIDAY SHOW. Hyde Park School


of Dance presents its annual performances featuring more than 175 dancers. The 90-minute narrated production follows Clara, Fritz and the mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer from the family holiday party and the midnight battle with the Mouse Queen and her troops through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets. Prior to each performance, the Pre-Ballet Holiday Show showcases 70 of HPSD’s youngest ballet students in performance. The Hyde Park School of Dance Holiday Bazaar offers an opportunity to meet characters from The Nutcracker, finish holiday shopping from the wares of local vendors and indulge in a hot chocolate bar and other treats. The Holiday Bazaar takes place noon-6 p.m. Dec. 15 and noon-5 p.m. Dec. 16. $25, $10 kids 6-18, free kids 5 and under. 7 p.m. Dec. 14; 1 and 6 p.m. Dec. 15; 2 p.m. Dec. 16. Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th St., Chicago. hydeparkdance.org.

showcase for the “pre-” classes at the North Shore School of Dance. Routines include dancers of Tapping Soldiers, Baby Snowflakes, Little

THE NUTCRACKER. Join Clara on her daring adventure with the Nutcracker Prince through The Land

The Hip Hop Nutcracker

3 p.m. Dec. 8; 1 p.m. & 4 p.m. Dec. 9. Lake Forest Academy, 1500 W. Kennedy Road, Lake Forest. (847) 615-3267, northshoredance.com. VON HEIDECKE CHICAGO FESTIVAL BALLET: THE NUTCRACKER. Von Heidecke

Chicago Festival Ballet’s gorgeous staging of this classic ballet danced to Tchaikovsky beloved score performed by New Philharmonic is sure to be a highlight of the holiday season. $44; $34 kids. 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 15; 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 16. McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. (630) 942-4000, atthemac.org.

of Snow and The Land of Sweets. This production is in conjunction with The Berkshire Ballet Theatre. $25 and up. 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 15; 1 p.m. Dec. 16. Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. (815) 356-9212, rauecenter.org. BEYOND THE NUTCRACKER.

Beyond the Nutcracker mirrors many aspects of the traditional Nutcracker ballet, including Tchaikovsky’s renowned score. It also invites reflection on the story of the first Christmas–the Nativity–and its impact on our world today. The performance features a cast of 100 dancers from Ballet 5:8’s classical ballet training programs. $18, $10 kids 12 and under 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 15; 3 p.m. Dec. 16. Lincoln-Way West High School, 21701 S. Gougar Road, New Lenox. (815) 717-3500, ballet58.org. THE NUTCRACKER. Take an unforgettable journey with Ballet Chicago as Marie travels from her home to the Kingdom of Snow and Land of the Sweets. $17-$47. 7 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. SaturdaysSundays, Dec. 7-16. Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. balletchicago.org.

Ruth Page Civic Ballet Nutcracker Photo by Robert LaPenna


Ballet Chicago teaches basic ballet positions and movements. Then audience members are encouraged to wear their tutus and dance alongside professional dancers from Ballet Chicago. 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. Dec. 2. Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago. balletchicago.org. DO-IT-YOURSELF NUTCRACKER. Wear your tights,

slippers and holiday best for this interactive presentation of the holiday classic where the audience joins the dancers on stage. 1-2 p.m. Dec. 1. Indian Boundary Park & Cultural Center, 2500 W. Lunt Ave., Chicago. chicagoparkdistrict. com.

House Theater Nutcracker

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Immerse yourself in the history of Chicago blues of the 1960s and experience the blues by playing guitar, designing an album cover and singing karaoke. Free with admission, free 18 and under Illinois residents. Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago. (312) 642-4600, chicagohistory.org. ART ON THEMART. A first-of-its-kind, curated digital art installation. For the holidays, there will be six winter images that will each animate for a minute and a half throughout the two-hour program. 7 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays. The Merchandise Mart, 222 W. Merchandise Mart, Plaza #470, Chicago. artonthemart.com. ART IS INSTRUMENTAL.

Activities include building a musical sculpture out of household items, creating a still-life out of musical instruments, playing a tune on a PVC pipe organ and conducting an “orchestra.” Free with museum admission. DuPage Children’s Museum, 301 N. Washington St., Naperville. (630) 637-8000, dupagechildrensmuseum.org. DORA AND DIEGO – LET’S EXPLORE! In this interactive

exhibit, children learn how to solve problems, be a good friend and care for animals and the environment. Free with museum admission. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago. (773) 7555100, naturemuseum.org. FREDERICK DOUGLASS AGITATOR. Highlights excerpts

from speeches and writings, some recorded by students from Young Chicago Authors. Free with museum admission. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. TuesdaysWednesdays and Fridays-Sundays; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursdays. American Writers Museum, 180 N. Michigan, 2nd Floor, Chicago. (312) 374-8790, americanwritersmuseum.org.

D ra and Do n Die ego – Let’ Le t’s t’ s Ex Expl plor pl o e! or Seee th Se this iss pag agee

GREAT BALLS OF FIRE. Climb into a “spaceship” and blast off to the asteroid belt and Jupiter on a mission to gather data about asteroids and comets. Free with museum admission. Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford. (815) 963-6769, discoverycentermuseum.org. ILLUMINATION: TREE LIGHTS.

Illumination brings lights and nature together to transform a wintertime walk in the woods into an aweinspiring experience. Visit the trees that are saturated in light and color in a way that makes it seem they’re breathing. $12-$23 4:30-9:30 p.m. The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org. KUNGSHOLM MINIATURE GRAND OPERA. Puppets, ornate

sets and costumes, and related paraphernalia from the 1940s opera puppet theater will be on display. Free with museum admission. Swedish American Museum & Brunk Children’s Museum of Immigration, 5211 N. Clark St., Chicago. (773) 728-8111, swedishamericanmuseum.org. MUMMIES. The exhibit uses

modern technologies to take an

unparalleled look at the remains of the ancient people within the wrappings. With the help of CT scanners and 3D imaging, scientists can explore what these people’s lives may have been like and even what they looked like when they were alive. Visitors will be able to explore mummies and artifacts with touch tables and see full-sized dioramas of what burials looked like. Included with a Discovery or All-Access pass. The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. (312) 9229410, fieldmuseum.org. REMEMBERING DR. KING: 1929-1968. The exhibition invites

visitors to walk through a winding gallery that features more than 25 photographs depicting key moments in Dr. King’s work and the Civil Rights movement, with a special focus on his time in Chicago. A reflection space prompts visitors to reflect on King’s impact and how his work for equality remains relevant today. Free with museum admission. Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago. (312) 642-4600, chicagohistory.org. THE SCIENCE BEHIND PIXAR.

Get a unique look into the Pixar process and explore the science and technology behind beloved

animated characters. This exhibit, with more than 40 interactive elements, showcases how STEM concepts bring the films to the big screen. Requires a timed-entry ticket. Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. (773) 684-1414, msichicago.org. STORYLAND: A TRIP THROUGH CHILDHOOD FAVORITES. Allows

kids to immerse themselves in the life-sized worlds of award-winning children’s books through imaginative, interactive experiences and dramatic play. Free with museum admission. Kohl Children’s Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview. (847) 832-6600, kcmgc.org. TROLL HUNT. Visitors journey to

find the larger-than-life guardians of the forest. The 15- to 20-foottall trolls invite visitors to interact with them, while elements of the exhibition encourage visitors to consider their personal responsibility as stewards of our environment. Free with arboretum admission. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org. UNDERWATER BEAUTY. Get a

glimpse of the grandeur beneath the

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ONGOING EVENTS waves as 100 species from around the world come together. Free with admission. Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. (312) 939-2438, sheddaquarium.org. WINTER WONDERFEST. Indoor

ice skating, entertainment, rides and inflatable slides. There are also thousands of glistening lights, plush holiday décor, and holiday trees. $20, $10 guests 36-42 inches and seniors 65 and up, free infants. Dec. 1-Jan. 8. Check website for schedule. Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. navypier.com.


Interactive story time and fun crafts indoors before heading out on the grounds for an adventure walk. Themes change each week. $5. 1111:45 a.m. Wednesdays & Fridays. The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.


An exciting adventure into story and legend with Bill, the museum’s story time expert, and his trusty sidekick who puts on an amazingly shadowy performance. Free with museum admission 11:30 a.m. Mondays & Fridays. Wonder Works, 6445 W. North Ave., Oak Park. (708) 3834815, wonder-works.org.

Parents are welcome to bring snacks and juiceboxes. 11-11:45 a.m. cityofchicago.org/specialevents. LITTLE SQUIRRELS STORYTIME.

Stories and songs celebrating classic literature for preschool-age kids. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Saturdays. American Writers Museum, 180 N. Michigan, 2nd Floor, Chicago. (312) 374-8790, americanwritersmuseum.org.


Discovery Center Chicago opens early on the second floor exclusively for kids 5 and under and their parents. $7 in advance; $9 at door; free kids 2 and under. 10 a.m.-noon Tuesdays. Legoland Discovery Center, 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg. (847) 592-9700, legolanddiscoverycenter.com/chicago. JUICEBOX. A music and performance series for the stroller set. Performances are on the first and third Friday at the Chicago Cultural Center and first and third Saturday at Garfield Park Conservatory.


Artists Conservatory’s Symphony Orchestra and VocalPoint ensembles perform holiday favorites along with a North Pole sing-along interwoven with a fun story that explores Christmas, Hanukkah and family. The concert includes a special visit from Santa Claus. 2 p.m. & 4 p.m., Dec. 16. Bennett Gordon Hall, 201 St. Johns Ave., Highland Park. mya.org.


hot cocoa with Chicago Children Theatre’s favorite friends from the English Lake District. Then, spend an enchanting hour with Peter Rabbit and other beloved Beatrix Potter puppet characters in this highly interactive trunk and puppet show. The tea party continues after the show, when guests exit to find the lobby transformed into a Victorianstyle dining hall where they will enjoy cocoa and cookies, beautiful holiday decor, and the opportunity to meet and pose for photos with the cast. Best for ages 2-6. $20-$45. 11:30 a.m. & 2 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays, Dec. 8-23 and Dec. 24. The Station, 100 S. Racine Ave., Chicago. chicagochildrenstheatre.org. BROOKFIELD ZOO ANNUAL HOLIDAY MAGIC. The zoo will

be lit with more than one million twinkling LED lights as guests enjoy caroling to the animals, professional ice carving demonstrations,

Forget ABout Assigned Seating. In Fact, Forget ABout Sitting at All.

Join now to see the wonderful impact The Little Gym can have on your child!

The Little Gym of Chicago www.TheLittleGym.com/ChicagoIL (773) 525-5750

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Th T he Be Bea attri rix xP Po otttte err Ho H oliida day T Te ea Pa Partty Seee ppaage ge 43

light shows, and special visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus (through Dec. 17). Music and live entertainment, a magic show and costumed characters will add to the magical ambiance. Free with zoo admission. 4 p.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays, Dec. 1-23; Wednesday-Monday, Dec. 26-31. Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield. (708) 688-8000, czs. org/brookfield-zoo. BREAKFAST WITH SANTA. Enjoy

a buffet breakfast while carolers entertain, and all children have the opportunity to meet with Santa and have photos taken with him. The event concludes with a performance by “Those Funny Little People.” Visit event website for ticket information. 10 a.m.-noon, Dec. 8. Chevy Chase Country Club, 1000 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling. (847) 465.2305, chevychasecountryclub.com. BREAKFAST WITH SANTA. Enjoy

quality family time with the big man in red during a delicious seasonal breakfast with complimentary cookie decorating for kids. Views include the zoo’s Nature Boardwalk. $20 ages 1-12, $45 ages 13 and older, free 12 months and younger. 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon, Dec. 16. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago. (312) 7422000, lpzoo.org. BRUNCH WITH SANTA. Enjoy a

special holiday buffet and meet Mr. Claus. Highlights include a photo with Santa, balloon artist and face

painters. $38, $33 kids 4-11, $5 kids 3 and under. 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Dec. 2 & 16. Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org. BRUNCH WITH THE GRINCH.

Enjoy a special holiday brunch with the Grinch. Feast on a Grinch-themed buffet along with a viewing of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” The Grinch will make an appearance. $38 adults, $33 ages 4-11, $5 3 and under. 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Dec. 8 & 15. Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org. CAROL OF THE KING, THE IRISH DANCE CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR. Led by a former

lead dancer from “Lord of the Dance,” a combination of Irish dance and Christmas turn an age-old tradition into a holiday spectacular. $25-$75. 2 p.m., Dec. 9. Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont. (847) 671-5100, rosemonttheatre.com. CAROLING AT CLOUD GATE—MILLENNIUM PARK.

Hear a variety of choral groups and join them in a holiday sing-along at “The Bean” in Millennium Park. Santa arrives at 5 p.m. and caroling starts at 6 p.m. Fridays through Dec. 14. Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Monroe streets, Chicago. (312) 744-3316, millenniumpark.org.

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Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer makes their annual visit to Chicago with their program “A Chanticleer Christmas” featuring familiar and new seasonal pieces in a cappella arrangements. $39+. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4-5. Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut St., Chicago. cso.org. CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD AND HOLIDAYS OF LIGHT. This Chicago tradition

began in 1942. MSI’s 45-foot tall Grand Tree takes center stage in the Rotunda, surrounded by more than 50 smaller trees decorated by volunteers from Chicago’s ethnic communities to represent their various cultures and holiday traditions. School choral groups perform during the week, and ethnic song and dance performances take place on the weekends. Free with museum admission. 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. daily; extended hours on select days. Museum of Science

and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. (773) 684-1414, msichicago.org. CHRISTMAS TOWN AT SUMMERFIELD ZOO. Check out

Santa’s Reindeer Barn with Santa’s entire sleigh team of reindeer, then visit with Santa Claus. Kids will earn a “stable elf” diploma and take part in baby reindeer flight school training sessions. $10. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursdays, 3 p.m.-8 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays, Dec. 1-Dec. 23; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 24; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 26-28. Summerfield Farm & Zoo, 3088 Flora Road, Belvidere. summerfieldfarmandzoo.com.


centuries-old holiday market in the heart of downtown Chicago. Christkindlmarket features German and international vendors who display hand-crafted ornaments, toys and unique gifts as well as traditional German foods, sweets and beverages. School groups, professional singers and dance groups perform. Special events include appearances by the Christkind and the annual Children’s Lantern Parade, which celebrates St. Martin’s Day. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago. christkindlmarket.com.


Children will make and glaze unique Christmas projects using wet clay, clay tools, cookie cutters and stamps. $35 per child. 1-2:30 p.m. Dec. 9. Kids Clay Room, 2646 N. Halsted Ave., Chicago. (773) 4164511, kidsclayroom.com.

Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.org. CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE.

Set in a multi-million-dollar wonderland of season’s dreams and holiday pageantry, audiences will celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with eye-popping performances, more than 300 costumes, 20 jaw-dropping acts, talented singers, original music and seasonal favorites. $25 and up. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12-15, 11 a.m. & 3 p.m. Dec. 15, 1 p.m. & 5 p.m. Dec. 16. Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago. (312) 462-6350, thechicagotheatre.com. DICKENS OF A CHRISTMAS. Carriage rides and


suburban edition of the Chicago German-American Holiday Market. Includes hot beverages, German food, and gift shopping—just like at Daley Plaza. Thursdays-Sundays.

visits with Santa are every Saturday through Dec. 23. Fees for some activities. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. visits with Santa; noon-3 p.m. carriage rides. 108 E. Wesley St., Wheaton. (630) 682-0633, downtownwheaton.com.


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20,000 twinkling lights and handdecorated trees transform Cosley Zoo into a fairy tale winter wonderland. Daily 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Cosley Zoo, 1356 Gary Ave., Wheaton. (630) 665-5534, cosleyzoo.org. GINGERBREAD HOUSES FOR PRESCHOOLERS. Parent and child

pairs work together to design and decorate their Gingerbread House. Recommended for children 2 and up. $40 per parent/child pair, registration is required. 9-10 a.m. Dec. 1, 8, 9, 16, 22, 23; 11 a.m.-noon Dec. 23; 4-5 p.m. Dec. 16; and 5-6 p.m. Dec. 7, 15. Taste Buds Kitchen, 2521 Waukegan Road, Bannockburn. (847-230-0330, tastebudskitchen. com/bannockburn. HOLIDAY HOOPLA. Discovery Center’s lunchroom transforms into holiday headquarters that merges hands-on arts and crafts with amazing math and science. Free with admission. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Dec. 26-30. Discovery Center Museum, 711 N.

Main St., Rockford. (815) 963-6769, discoverycentermuseum.org. HOLIDAY LIGHTS TOUR. Festively named trolleys transport passengers through a lightly narrated 2½-hour tour showcasing the Magnificent Mile, Macy’s Holiday Windows, State Street and Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest. In addition, the Holiday Lights Tour makes stops at two of Chicago’s favorite holiday spectacles—the Christkindlmarket and Lincoln Park’s Zoo Lights. $20 ages 3-15, $32 adults. 5:30, 6 and 6:30 p.m. Nov. 30-Dec. 2; Dec. 7-23. Various pick-up and drop-off spots around Chicago by Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Bus Company, Chicago. (773) 6485000, chicagotrolley.com. HOLIDAY LIGHTS IN HOMEWOOD. The evening features

a tree lighting ceremony, outdoor marketplace, ice sculpture carvings, brass ensemble, live reindeer petting zoo, antique car parade, the arrival of Santa and his friends on the

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Homewood fire truck, musical trolley rides and more. The Homewood Science Center is open for a STEAMinspired Santa’s Workshop activity. 5-9 p.m. Dec. 7. Homewood. homesweethomewood.com.

HOLIDAY MOVIES. Catch a holiday movie at Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field. Movies are part of the indoor/outdoor winter festivities. 6 p.m. Movie schedule includes A Christmas Story, Dec. 14, and



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ONGOING EVENTS National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Dec. 21. Gallagher Way, 3637 N. Clark St., Chicago. gallagherway.com.

6:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 14. Fountain View Recreation Center, 910 N. Gary Ave., Carol Stream. csparks.org. HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.

HOLIDAY TEA. The French-

inspired holiday tea experience includes Vanille’s signature pastries, scones, finger sandwiches and the finest of Benjamin’s Tea. $49. Noon, 2 and 4 p.m. Seatings daily through Jan. 6. Vanille, 2108. N. Clark St. (Lincoln Park), Chicago. vanillepatisserie.com. HOLIDAY TROLLEY EXPRESS.

Take a festive trolley ride to see beautiful holiday lights. Hear the story of the Polar Express and sing a few carols. Enjoy refreshments, holiday-themed games, and make a special craft inside Fountain View Recreation Center. Visit with Santa while he gives each child a special holiday keepsake. Pre-registration by Dec. 12 required. Fee is per person. An adult must accompany children. $14 resident/$21 non-resident.

Enjoy a tour of Wright’s Oak Park Home, decked for the holidays with a tree, poinsettias, fresh flowers, evergreens and wreaths in keeping with the Wright family tradition. Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies, family craft projects in Wright’s Studio. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 1. Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, 951 Chicago Ave., Oak Park. (312) 9944000, flwright.org. HOMETOWN HOLIDAY: IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE IN ELMHURST. Experience the

nostalgia and sentiment of the classic holiday film though Richard Goodson’s private collection of rare memorabilia including vintage movie posters, photographs and more. 1-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays & Sundays; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays. Elmhurst History Museum, 120 E.

Park Ave., Elmhurst. (630) 8331457, elmhursthistory.org.

Muppet Christmas Carol, 7 p.m. Elf, 9:15 p.m. The Muppet Christmas Carol. Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. (773) 8716604, musicboxtheatre.com.


holiday movies, concerts and plays, including “A Magical Cirque Christmas” at 8 p.m. on Dec. 7. Cost varies. Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago St., Joliet. (815) 726-6600, rialtosquare.com. JINGLEFEST. Enjoy balloon twisting, photos with Santa, letters to Santa and holiday gifts and dishes from 30+ vendors. 12:30-2:30 p.m. Dec. 15. Chicago French Market, 131 N. Clinton St., Chicago. (312) 5750306, chicagofrenchmarket.com. JOLLY HOLIDAYS DOUBLE FEATURE. Family holiday double

feature of Elf and The Muppet Christmas Carol. Watch one or both at the Music Box Theatre. $11. Event schedule: Dec. 12: 4:45 p.m. Elf, 7 p.m. The Muppet Christmas Carol, 9 p.m. Elf. Dec. 13: 5 p.m. The

KID ROCK HOLIDAY SPARKLE. A music and movement parent-child event for kids 1-5. Songs and musical activities feature a fun holiday theme and plenty of props. $12, free parking. 10-10:45 a.m. Dec. 4. Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road. Wheaton. (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org. KRIS KRINGLE MARKET.

Children’s activities and holiday crafts are included as well as a visit from Santa. Crafters and vendors will sell their wares in time for the holidays inside a heated tent. 1-7 p.m. Dec. 1. Municipal Parking Lot, 12217 S. Harlem Ave., Palos Heights. palosheights.org. LIGHTS OF LISLE. Shop the Holiday Market, ride the trolley,


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ONGOING EVENTS and visit downtown shops. “Once Upon a Christmas,” an annual event held at the Museums of Station Park campus, features children’s crafts, brick oven baking and blacksmithing. The annual Tree Lighting Ceremony is at 6 p.m. at Village Hall. 3-8 p.m. Dec. 1-2. Downtown Lisle. (630) 769-1000, stayinlisle.com. LONG GROVE HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES. See Victorian build-

ings trimmed in lights, a covered bridge and cobblestone walkways lined in luminaries. There will be costumed carolers, strolling musicians and Santa and Mrs. Claus on weekends. Free horse-drawn carriage rides on Sundays. Check website for costs and schedule. 308 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove. (847) 634-0888, longgrove.org. NAPER LIGHTS. Experience a magical holiday lights celebration. 4-7 p.m. Thursdays, 4-6 p.m. Sundays, and 4-9 p.m. FridaysSaturdays. Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.org. THE POLAR EXPRESS. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers on the Amtrak train will relive the magic of the classic story as they are whisked away on The Polar Express for a magical one-hour trip through the tunnels, rail yards and neighborhoods along the Chicago River. Santa and his helpers give each guest the first gift of Christmas—a silver sleigh bell. Through Jan. 1. Union Station, 210 S. Canal St., Chicago. chicagothepolarexpress ride.com. THE POLAR EXPRESS. Chris Van Allsberg’s best-selling book comes alive, including a visit from Santa and a small present for all aboard. Trains board from the Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve picnic grove, on Route 31. $35, advance purchase required. 2:05 p.m., 3:15 p.m., 4:25 p.m., 5:35 p.m., 6:45 p.m. weekends. Fox River Trolley Museum, 361 S. LaFox St. (Ill. 31), South Elgin. (847) 697-4676, foxtrolley.org.


Visitors decorate cookies in Mrs. Claus’ Bakery, prepare a magical treat to summon Santa’s reindeer in the Reindeer Food Factory, and craft two ornaments in Santa’s Workshop. Bring cameras for photos with Santa. $15, $13 members; free kids 1 and under. 9-11 a.m. Saturdays through Dec. 15. Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.org. SANTA SUITE. The five-room Presidential Suite transforms into a whimsical hideaway suitable for the Man of the Season. Tours of the Santa Suite are conducted by Santa’s certified elves, a letterwriting station for leaving holiday wish lists, complimentary treats, and a keepsake gift for all children on the “nice list.” A portion of ticket sales will be donated to SOS Children’s Villages Illinois. $15-$40. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 1-2, 8-9 and 15-16. Swissotel, 323 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago. (888) 73-SWISS, swissotelchicago.com. SANTA HQ AT FASHION OUTLETS OF CHICAGO.

Experience the wonder of Santa’s workshop in the digital and social media age. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. MondaysThursdays; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. FridaysSaturdays; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 24. Fashion Outlets of Chicago, 5220 Fashion Outlets Way, Rosemont. (847) 928-7500, fashionoutletsofchicago.com. SANTA’S SECRET WORKSHOP. Santa’s Workshop is a

special place just for children where they can buy inexpensive holiday gifts for those they love. Santa’s Workshop will be stocked with great gifts for Mom, Dad and more. 2-5 p.m. Dec. 8. Wilder Mansion, 211 Prospect Ave., Elmhurst. (630) 9938900, epd.org. SANTA’S WINTER FESTIVAL. Visit with Santa and

Mrs. Claus, plus face painting, balloon twisting, pony rides and more. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 8. Burr Ridge Village Center, 701

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Village Center Drive, Burr Ridge. shopburrridge.com.

Rockton Road, Caledonia. (815) 389-8455, learngrowconnect.org.


WONDERLAND EXPRESS. Enjoy indoor and outdoor lighted displays, designer wreaths and trees, and garden-scale trains that wind their way over bridges and through tunnels, and past more than 80 miniature versions of Chicago landmarks, all handcrafted with natural materials. $13, $10 kids. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe. (847) 835-5440, chicagobotanic.org.

can skate with Santa on Thursday nights at Gallagher Way. $5 over 13, free 12 and under. $10 skate rental. 4:30-6:30 p.m. through Dec. 20. Gallagher Way, 3637 N. Clark St., Chicago. gallagherway.com. WHITE CHRISTMAS/IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE SING-ALONG. Sing with Santa and with

fellow movie-goers with a holiday viewing of “White Christmas” or stay to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.” $10-$15 kids 13 and under; $13.50$20 adults. 6:30 p.m. & 9:45 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, noon & 3:15 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays, Dec. 7-23 and noon & 3:15 p.m. Dec. 24. Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. (773) 871-6604, musicboxtheatre.com. WINTER WONDER: FARM HOLIDAY SLEEPOVER. As part

of the overnight event, make apple-clove pomanders to take home, then roast a holiday treat by the fire. At night, families will make reindeer treats to guide Rudolf’s goat cousins down the candlelit path. $45-$125 11 a.m. Dec. 8 to 2 p.m. Dec. 9. Angelic Organics Learning Center, 1547

WONDERLAND TEA. The tea includes sandwiches, scones and desserts. $80. 1-5 p.m. MondaysWednesdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays through Jan. 6. The Langham, 330 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago. (312) 923-9988, chicago. langhamhotels.com. ZOOLIGHTS. ZooLights celebrates wintertime fun with more than two million lights to illuminate the zoo. This free event transitions Lincoln Park Zoo into a twinkling winter wonderland. The event is complete with visits from Santa himself, ice sculptors, holiday crafts and activities, and sweet treats. 4:30-9 p.m. Dec. 1-2, 8-23, 26-31. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago. (312) 742-2000, lpzoo.org.

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THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD. A corrupt sheriff plagues

M. Schulz’s story of the spirit of Christmas, the production features the music of Vince Guaraldi, as well as a concert of holiday carols performed by the Peanuts characters. $25-$65. 1 p.m. & 5 p.m. Dec. 22. Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont. (847) 671-5100, rosemonttheatre.com.

the commoners of Nottingham. Who will stand up to the injustices? Robin Hood and his Merry Men. This medieval legend with a modern twist places a cast of three at the center of the story, reimagining the tale with enthusiasm, tenacity and vigor. $7-$17. 4 p.m. Saturdays. Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St., Chicago. (773) 342-4141, vittumtheater.org.


Ebenezer Scrooge as he journeys through his past, present and future to discover the importance of friendship and love—with plenty of jubilant musical numbers, spectacular costumes and hilarious “Bah Humbugs!” along the way! $25-$102. Call or check website for times. Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. (312) 4433800, goodmantheatre.org. A DICKENS CAROL. An all-new holiday tradition that re-imagines the story of Scrooge from Dickens’ point of view and real-life events. $15-$35. 8 p.m. ThursdaysSaturdays; 3 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays, Dec. 14-30. Oak Park Festival Theatre, 167 Forest Ave., Oak Park. (708) 445-4440, oakparkfestival.com.


own Evan Tyrone Martin sings the songs of Nat King Cole. Martin intimately relates Cole’s personal journey, while presenting a festive cocktail of hits. $55. 3 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Dec. 18. Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. (847) 634-0200, marriotttheatre.com. CHICAGO KIDS COMPANY PRESENTS MRS. CLAUS! A HOLIDAY MUSICAL. Join the new

Elf Class of 2018 as they team up with Mrs. Claus to try to find the missing “list” in time for Santa’s long journey. Recommended for ages 2-10. $14-$18. 10:30 a.m. most Tuesdays-Fridays, Dec. 4-21; 1

p.m. Dec. 22. Stahl Family Theater, 5900 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 286-8470, stpatrick.org. 10:30 a.m. most Tuesdays-Fridays, Nov. 29-Dec. 23; 1 p.m. Dec. 15, 22, 23. Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., Chicago. (773) 4453838, beverlyartcenter.org. CINDERELLA. The beloved tale

of Cinderella (Cendrillon) meets operatic delight in this bubbling Massenet premiere, in French with English subtitles. Running time is 2 hours, 45 minutes with an intermission. $69 and up. Check website for schedule; runs through Dec. 8. Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago. (312) 827-5912, lyricopera.org. EVANSTON DANCE ENSEMBLE: MOVING ON. The Evanston Dance

Ensemble has taken the concept of Moving On to new places, transitions, experiences, endings and beginnings. To open its 22nd season, the ensemble will dance to a trio of pieces in a performance recommended for ages 8 and up. $20, $12 children. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14, 4 p.m. & 7 p.m. Dec. 15-16. Studio5 Performing Arts Center, 1934 W. Dempster, Evanston. movingon. brownpapertickets.com.

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. The Tony Award-winning story of Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his Jewish religious and cultural traditions as outside influences encroach upon the family’s lives. $25+ 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays & Sundays; 2 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and select Wednesdays; 8 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 18-Jan. 6. Visit event website for ticket information. Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago. (312) 977-1700, broadwayinchicago.com. HOGWASH: AN IMPROVISED TALL TALE. Hogwash is an impro-

vised children’s show full of music, art, laughs and audience participation. It was created for kids 3-12, but we can’t tell who has more fun, the kids or adults. 10:30 a.m. Saturdays through Dec. 31. $10 kids, adults free. Bughouse Theater, 1910 W. Irving Park, Chicago. bughousetheater.com. HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! THE MUSICAL.

Max the Dog serves as the story’s narrator as the scheming Grinch plans to steal Christmas from The Whos, the loveable characters that understand and embrace the true

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PERFORMANCES meaning of the holiday. The stage adaptation will feature the hit songs, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas,” both from the original animated television special. $35 and up. See website for schedule. Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago. (312) 902-1500, thechicagotheatre.com. JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT. In

its 50th year on the stage, the play is a reimagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, 11 brothers and the coat of many colors in a musical extravaganza. $20. Check website for schedule, runs through Dec. 23. Citadel Theatre, 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest. (847) 735-8554, citadeltheatre.org. JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT.

BrightSide Theatre presents Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical based on the “coat of many colors” story of Joseph from the Bible. $25-$30. 8 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays, 3 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays through Dec. 9. Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall at North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth St., Naperville. brightsidetheatre.com. JUNIE B. JONES IN JINGLE BELLS, BATMAN SMELLS. It’s

holiday time and everyone’s favorite first-grader is back to celebrate! All of the students in Room One are happily creating the perfect holiday

party. Except how is Junie B. supposed to enjoy anything when she has drawn the name of her arch nemesis, Tattletale May, for her Secret Santa Gift? But wait, the Secret Santa gift is the perfect opportunity to give May exactly what she deserves. Maybe. Holiday fun with a lesson about giving. $6-$12. 2 p.m. & 4 p.m. Dec. 1. Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton, Naperville. (630) 637-SHOW, finearts.northcentralcollege.edu. KEN LUDWIG’S ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS.

Kick off the yuletide season with this comic take on the classic poem. When Santa’s Naughty or Nice list has gone missing, it’s up to a pair of dancing mice, a spunky girl and an Elf-B-I agent to solve the mystery before Santa boards his sleigh. Recommended for families with kids 3-13. $16 and up. 10 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 30, and Dec. 19-24 & 26-30. Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut St., Chicago. (800) 7752000, broadwayinchicago.com. LEO LIONNI’S FREDERICK.

A musical based on the beloved author’s Caldecott Award-winning book about Frederick the mouse. While other mice are working hard gathering food for the winter, Frederick is daydreaming. But when dreary weather comes, it is Frederick who has stored up something special to help his companions survive.

Th he A Ad dve vent n ures off Ro ob bin in Hood See page 50

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PERFORMANCES Recommended for all ages. $20-$45. 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 1. The Station, 100 S. Racine Ave., Chicago. chicagochildrenstheatre.org. MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER CHRISTMAS. Features classic

Christmas hits as well as a selection of Fresh Aire compositions from Mannheim Steamroller, along with dazzling multimedia effects. $39-$95. 8 p.m. Dec. 15. Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont. (847) 671-5100, rosemonttheatre.com. MERRY, MERRY CHICAGO!

Members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Children’s Choir perform a holiday concert filled with treasured carols, a sing-along of festive favorites and a special guest from the North Pole. $50+. 7 p.m. Dec. 14, 21 and 23; 3 p.m. Dec. 15 and 22; 1 and 4:30 p.m. Dec. 16. Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 220 S. Michigan Ave.,

Chicago. (800) 223-7114, cso.org. RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER: THE MUSICAL. The

longest-running and highest-rated television special comes to life, featuring the world’s most famous reindeer and a holly jolly cast of iconic characters. $25-$75 7 p.m. Dec. 7, 11 a.m. & 3 p.m. Dec. 8. Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont. (847) 671-5100. rosemonttheatre.com.

Ru R udo dolp ph tth he Re R edd-No No N ose sed Rein Re indee err: Th e The Musical Mu


on the Oscar-winning film, the musical is a Tony Award-winning fairy tale adventure. Characters will be available for photos following each performance. $18.23. 10 a.m. most Wednesdays through Sundays through Dec. 30. Occasional 12:30 p.m. performances; see website. Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. (847) 634-0200, marriotttheatre.com. STOMP. A unique combination of

See th Se this is pag age

percussion, movement and visual comedy, STOMP has created its own inimitable, contemporary form of rhythmic expression: both household and industrial objects find new life as musical instruments in the hands of an idiosyncratic band of percussionists. $36+. Dec. 5-30. Broadway Playhouse at

Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut St., Chicago. (800) 775-2000. broadwayinchicago.com. STORYTOWN. The weekly shows

encourage the audience to take the lead and shape the story. As well as providing the plot and developing the characters, children help

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PERFORMANCES to design the backdrop, and can even become a part of the action themselves. Recommended for families with kids 3-10. $10. 10:30 a.m. Saturdays. Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 327-5252, stage773.com. THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA: RINGS IN THE HOLIDAYS. Barrel

of Monkeys’ beloved holiday special returns with a mix of classic stories from the That’s Weird, Grandma repertoire alongside brand new sketches and songs. $5-$25. 8 p.m. Dec. 10, 17, 20-22. Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. barrelofmonkeys.org.

That Th at’s Weiird rd, d, Gran Gr and dm ma: a Rin ings gs in n the he Hol o id day ays SSeee th thiis is pag agee

WITCH. When the emotionally

conflicted son of the local lord and an ambitious newcomer come into conflict, help presents itself to both of them in the same guise— as the Devil himself. The Writers Theatre presents the play with a contemporary lens. $35-$80. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays,

3 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. & 6 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 16. Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. (847) 242-6000, writerstheatre.org.


adventures to the land of Oz in the telling of the classic story. Theater lobby will be decked out for Christmas, with a two-story

tree and a fully decorated facade. $36-$69. Through Jan. 6, 2019. Paramount Arts Centre and Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. (630) 896-6666, paramountaurora.com.



Tickets are on sale now!

Call 773.871.3000 or visit EmeraldCityTheatre.com

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Let the bells ring in at noon Families can enjoy 2019 with all ages parties


elebrations for the New Year can still include a little bubbly, even if your bubbly comes sans the Jan. 1 hangover. Parties for young merrymakers are popping up all over, making sure families and kids can enjoy alcohol-free celebrations, ring in 2019 and still make bedtime.


Lil’ Kickers and Chicago Parent have you covered for a Noon Year’s Eve countdown across the city and suburbs. With locations in Roscoe Village, the West Loop, Northbrook and Vernon Hills, families can play soccer, enjoy inflatables and count down the celebration with kids from 18 months to 6 years old. $5, 9 a.m.-noon, Dec. 31. Locations vary, lksoccer.com. Prep yourself for what the New Year celebrations are all about with an “early” countdown on Dec. 28 at Rosedale Park near Edgebrook. Festivities include inflatables, arts and crafts, food and a balloon drop at 8 p.m. $15, 5-8 p.m. Dec. 28, Rosedale Park, 6312 W. Rosedale Ave., Chicago. chicagoparkdistrict.com. If you can’t stay up that late, the Chicago Park District has you covered on New Year’s Eve with a shindig slated to end at noon in Lincoln Park. Think music, fun, crafts and a chance to ring in the fun even before naptime. Free, 10:30 a.m.-noon Dec. 31, Lincoln Park Cultural Center, 2045 N. Lincoln Park West, Chicago. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

North Suburbs

The party at Discovery Center in Rockford includes tracking of New Year parties across the globe. There’s a chance to craft a noisemaker, which will come in handy when the countdown concludes. Free with museum admission. Noon-4 p.m. Dec. 31. Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford. discoverycentermuseum.org. The New Year becomes the “Noon Year” at the celebration in Wheeling, where kids will be served a sparking grape juice toast to ring in the balloon drop at noon. Glow-stick necklaces,

party hats and noisemakers provided. $2, pre-registration required. 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Wheeling Community Recreation Center, 100 Community Blvd., Wheeling. wheelingparkdistrict.com. Activities for ages 1-15 are on tap at the Itty Bitty New Year in Skokie, a celebration with games, a DJ, prizes, Exploritorium play and family entertainment. The noon balloon drop will ring in 2019 a little early. $14-$16 up to 15, $3 16 and older, pre-registration required. Oakton Community Center, 4701 Oakton St., Skokie. register. skokieparks.org.

Western Suburbs

South Suburbs

For your littlest partiers, a balloon drop, food and crafts are on tap in Carol Stream, where the New Year’s party— dubbed Teenie Weenie New Year’s Eve Ball—comes on the weekend and not during the day when parents might work. The teenie weenie fun is designed for 1 to 5 year olds, and includes dancing and games. $7-$14. 10:30 a.m.12:30 p.m. Dec. 29. Simkus Recreation Center, 849 W. Lies Road, Carol Stream. csparks.org.

Bowling, face painting, characters and even pizza headline the daytime party at Burr Oak Bowl. Wonder Woman and Elaina of Avalor are slated to appear, with a chance for cosmic bowling, a balloon drop countdown and early exits for young revelers. $19.99 per person. 2:30-5 p.m. Dec. 31. Burr Oak Bowl, 3030 Burr Oak Ave., Blue Island. (708) 389-2800, burroakbowl.com. Hillary Bird

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It’s beginning to smell like Xmas Make homemade cinnamon ornaments STORY AND PHOTOS BY MEGAN MURRAY ELSENER


ring the smells of the holidays into your ornament crafting! These homemade cinnamon ornaments smell as good as they look and are great for all ages. They are the perfect gift for teachers or neighbors and work well as gift toppers. Or just hang them on your own Christmas tree and enjoy the warm, aromatic smell. Note: These aren’t edible due to the glue!



Mix together the applesauce, cinnamon and glue until well combined. Knead with your hands until smooth and form a soft dough. If dough is too sticky, add more cinnamon.


With a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about ½ inch thick. Shake on a little cinnamon to rolling pin or dough if it’s sticking. Cut dough with desired cookie cutter.

3 4 5

Move cut shapes with spatula carefully onto a cookie sheet. With a straw or pencil, cut a hole near the top for a ribbon to be strung.

Materials: u 4 oz. ground cinnamon u 1 cup applesauce u 2 Tbsp. Elmer’s glue u Cookie cutters u Rolling pin u Bowl

Bake at 200 degrees for two to three hours. Or alternately, set them out to air dry for three to four days and flip once a day.


Once baked or dried, insert a ribbon through the hole and tie a knot. Optional: use acrylic paint to decorate the ornament.

u Straw or pencil

Megan Murray Elsener is a Chicago Parent

u Ribbon

contributor and mom of three.

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Profile for Chicago Parent

Chicago Parent December 2018  

Chicago Parent December 2018