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GIVING BACK Humanitarian Cal’s Angels’ 12 Days of Christmas
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Cover product credits: Cincoro Blanco tequila from Binny’s, $70; Jo Malone London Midnight Musk and Amber Cologne from Nordstrom, $144; Equilibria Balance Bath Bombs, $45, and CBD relief cream, $45, from Peace; Pom beanie from Love Your Melon, $45; Molton Brown milk musk candle from Neiman Marcus, $50; Slate & Clove Matchsticks from Six + Cypress, $5; Super Sourdough from Anderson’s Bookshop, $30; Au Yeah Detrola watch from Shinola, $395; Architectural Digest at 100 from Pottery Barn, $100 COVER PHOTO BY OLIVIA KOHLER STYLING BY JESSICA MOAZAMI
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Naperville magazine (Vol. 16, No. 11, December 2020) is published monthly by Chicago magazine, 160 North Stetson Ave., 4th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60601, a division of Tribune Publishing. Unless otherwise requested, submitted materials become the property of Naperville. Statements, opinions and points of view expressed by the writers and advertisers are their own and do not necessarily represent those of the publishers. We cannot assume liability for any products or services advertised herein. Naperville magazine assumes no responsibility for the return of unsolicited materials. Printed in the USA. © 2020 Naperville magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without prior written permission is strictly prohibited.
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his issue contains one of the most thoughtful and beautiful gift guides we’ve published— thanks in large part to our talented stylist Jessica Moazami. Some products on our cover and feature pages (p. 42–51) are uniquely local and special, in many ways. The tequila on the cover? Michael Jordan is a co-owner of the brand. Beauty products from Equilibria, LVX, and Town & Anchor? Woman-owned vegan brands. Illinois is home base for Koval bourbon and State Optical, and the Moshi dog collar bow is made by local women exclusively for Two Bostons. Like these products, this holiday season will be unique in many ways. As the country transitions to 2021, thoughtful purchasing will offer hope to our local shop owners. Special moments during the holidays— whether spent carefully together or via screens—are certainly not canceled, and we hope this gift guide helps make the season brighter for others.
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The D r e a m Te a m
CHICAGOANS OF THE YEAR In an unprecedented year, these six honorees — from the doctors who guided us through the bleakest days to the organizer who became the face of a revolution — showed us that humanity and hope persist. Photography by MARCUS SMITH
C H I C AG O | D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 0
DREAM TEAM An excerpt from Aimee Levitt’s profile of Allison Arwady and Ngozi Ezike in “Chicagoans of the Year,” from the December issue of our sister publication, Chicago magazine
T Programs for all ages &
To view and register for our latest virtual offerings located in the Program Guide’s virtual section, visit napervilleparks.org/ programguides. NAPERVILLEPARKS.ORG
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here was probably no period of 2020 more chaotic than the second week of March. In a matter of days, COVID-19 went from an abstract threat to a very frightening reality that had already spread further in Chicago than we realized. On March 12, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced a ban on large gatherings. And then Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, stepped up to the podium, validated our bewilderment and fear, and delivered one clear, practical piece of advice she learned while on the ground in Liberia during the 2014 Ebola outbreak: Stop shaking hands. What followed was a rallying cry for the COVID age: “I ask you to be guided by the science. … It’s not a time for panic. It’s a time for planning.” A refrain throughout this year has been “Who could have predicted this?” But as Arwady told us during her first installment of “The Doc Is In: Ask Dr. Arwady” (her must-see Q&A series on social media), the emergency preparedness teams at both the city and state public health departments had made detailed plans for responding to a pandemic, from stockpiling PPE to handling food shortages, unemployment, and social unrest. And even though Arwady
had been on the job for only four days when the plans were put into effect in January, she and Ngozi Ezike, the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, knew exactly what to do. Public health workers usually remain in the background, but Arwady and Ezike became nearly as familiar as the mayor and the governor, appearing almost daily at press conferences and briefings and on social media, always ready to answer questions from officials, reporters, and ordinary Chicagoans. It’s an exhausting job with regular 17-hour days; Ezike has compared it to a marathon, with no time for rest or reflection. “It’s hard for people to understand that we can’t know everything about a brand-new virus right off the bat,” she says. “Even though it seems like a lifetime, we haven’t even known this virus for 10 months.” Their styles are complementary. Arwady is energetic and always positive, even when the news is bad. Ezike has a calm and reassuring presence and has spoken eloquently about the importance of self-care; bilingual in Spanish, she’s able to talk directly to Latino Illinoisans. With their guidance, the state, the city, and individuals all worked together to flatten the curve.
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INFLUENCERS, EVENTS AND ISSUES ON OUR WEST SUBURBAN RADAR medical background. Tim Kearney—a former firefighter and paramedic who is now off nine prescription medications because of cannabis—is a patient care specialist at Rise Naperville (a hybrid medical/recreational facility) who joined the industry to help others receive a quality-of-life improvement. Interviews with both have been edited for space and clarity. Why was the location near Route 59 chosen? DH The City of Aurora has been great, and the Route 59 retail corridor just made the most sense. We know what makes a store successful—hiring locally, having convenient access, great parking, and carrying premium products creates an elevated aesthetic.
DUELING DISPENSARIES Known for megamalls and serious truck traffic, now Route 59 is becoming a true “high” way By Michelle Dellinger
uburbanites have long traversed our north-south state highway in search of big-box everything at Costco, Home Depot, Fox Valley, and Best Buy. The area is so full of retail warehouses that Crate & Barrel even chose to put its Midwest distribution center smack dab in the middle of this suburban retail sprawl. With congestion reaching 25,000 to 40,000 vehicles a day, it’s no surprise that the first recreational cannabis dispensaries to open in Naperville and Aurora have tucked themselves into this chaos, perhaps hoping detractors wouldn’t notice.
12 DECEMBER 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
Rise in Naperville (1700 Quincy Ave.) and Zen Leaf in Aurora (740 Illinois Rte. 59) recently have opened within blocks of each other, straddling this both sides of bustling Route 59. (Zen Leaf has another Naperville location currently under construction on North Naper Boulevard). We talked with budtenders at each location to get their take on the first year of retail cannabis sales in Illinois and the growing industry in the west suburbs. Damar Hampton, assistant general manager of Zen Leaf (an adult recreational facility), came to the cannabis industry with a nursing and
What is the retail experience like for a first-time buyer? DH As a first-time buyer we think your cannabis journey is going to begin with your experience at Zen Leaf—this is why we’ve invested so much time in hiring a great staff and a great location. If you’re a regular consumer, what you’re looking for might change from week to week or month to month. We really try to get to know exactly what you as a customer need, and relating the products we have to that, which makes it less intimating and more relaxing and comfortable. TK I’ve noticed that there are three kinds of people: those with experience, who buy pretty frequently; those who use here and there, and ask some questions; and those who are first-time buyers. The day we opened we had an 88-year-old lady come in who had never used before. We want to make sure that people feel comfortable walking through the door—we understand that there are stigmas and myths that go along with
PHOTOS COURTESY RISE NAPERVILLE AND ZEN LEAF
TK We’ve been in that location since 2016. We’re able to accommodate parking and curbside pickup for medical patients. A lot went into the decision on the location.
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cannabis, but we want to make people feel comfortable. People are blown away by the selection that we have—it’s not just traditional flower. Edibles, vape cartridges, concentrates, topicals—there are so many options. When they see the array, they quickly realize this is just a [typical] retail experience. We want to make people understand that although this is not for everyone, if it’s something they want to explore, we are there for them with no judgment. How has COVID impacted usage and the sales process? DH The safety of our customers is always our top priority. Customers want to spend less time in the store, so we set up a few things to make the purchase more convenient and move more briskly. We can fulfill a purchase online and have it ready for you to pick up. In conjunction with our online ordering, we also have cashless ATMs at the location [which allow patrons to make digital payments on site]. COVID also pushed us to change the layout of our store; instead of having display tables in the middle of the store, they were pushed to the outside to provide more space for people in the queue. No appointment is necessary, and you don’t need to make an online purchase first. TK We went to curbside-only in March, as cannabis is an essential business, and we stayed curbside through the renovations in September. On October 8 we opened to adult use, and our patients are very appreciative—they are amazed that we did a complete renovation. It’s extremely inviting. We still offer online ordering for anyone,
Mini Dog preroll pack from Rise Naperville, $32
14 DECEMBER 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
and we also offer curbside pickup for medical patients. If there is a need for a virtual waitlist, we can text them when their place in line comes up. Most recommended product? DH Our most popular product is one of our hybrid Verano flower strains, G6, which is great for daytime. My favorite is probably the Mag Landrace, a heavy indica strain (more body experience, less cerebral) with nice body relaxation—great after a long day of work and also good for getting a good night’s sleep. TK Right now it’s probably the Incredibles, our line of edibles. We also have a pumpkin pie bar and a black cherry bar. Edibles are great because you can microdose the amount you are consuming—you know the exact dosage. From there it’s probably our preroll joint packs (shown below). The Dogwalker line has preroll packs and Big Dog joints which are very convenient because people don’t have to roll their own. Most unusual product? DH Ours are probably more along the lines of unexpected. We carry Verano tablets that you put under your tongue and they dissolve—sublingual mints. We also carry candy and liquids, topical creams, lotions, balms, and Epsom salts (for a foot soak or body soak). TK We’re always seeing people want to get creative and make things their own. Right now I would definitely say our pumpkin pie bar with shortbread and white chocolate—it’s essentially a candy bar. How does one become a budtender? DH There are some states that are starting to get school programs going, but most people learn on the job. Zen Leaf does quite extensive training on product knowledge; we have quizzes and tests that we take on different products. When I initially entered I had a medical background and I think that got me to hone in on being more personable, and that was a big part of my training—being able to take the product knowledge and be able to apply that to a person and create an experience out of that. I was trained at the St. Charles location in preparation for Aurora’s opening.
Greg Zeman at the Rise Naperville grand opening
TK It first starts with the interest, then doing the work to find ways to get your foot in the door. For me, it was going to [Green Thumb’s] website and going through the interview process. The company offers budtender training, state compliance training, continuing product training—it’s kind of a continuous process. I’m seeing that once companies see that desire, the opportunities are endless right now. What is the vibe at your store? DH While our products are regulated, we don’t think your cannabis experience should be regular. Everyone here gets treated like family—that constant level of comfort—and it’s like stopping at your home away from home. A typical purchase can be anywhere from $15 to $60. We’ve just been open a week, but already we’re starting to see regulars. TK It’s casual, friendly, inviting, bright. It’s very clean and spaced out for everyone. We have three kiosks that have our menu of all the items we sell. People are able to browse there and place an order. We carry our own products, but we offer many other company’s brands as well. I think we’re starting to see a more creative marketing side to it, because there is more of an interest. That’s starting to become more common. We see the future of cannabis is interest in consumer packaged goods.
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The Arctic Fury
From Hang Time to Prime Time
By Greer Macallister (Sourcebooks) In 1853, experienced trail guide Virginia Reeve leads a party of 12 women into the wild Arctic to search for the lost Franklin Expedition. Eighteen months later Virginia is on trial when not all of the women return. The story is told in alternating timelines that follow both the sensational murder trial in Boston and the women’s expedition into the frozen North.
By Pete Croatto (Atria Books) The NBA has become an entertainment and pop culture juggernaut. From team logo merchandise to officially branded video games and players crossing over into reality television, film, fashion, and more, there is an inseparable line between sports and entertainment. But only four decades ago, this would have been unthinkable.
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By Kristen Willeumier (William Morrow) Your brain is the most essential organ in your body. Leading neuroscientist Willeumier reveals how you can change your brain by making simple and easy modifications to your lifestyle. Combining clinical experience with revolutionary science, she details how biohacking your brain can boost your cognitive performance and so much more.
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DISCOVER History Walk at Settlers’ Park
PLAINFIELD Mayor Michael Collins talks about the village’s storied past and exciting future By Lisa Arnett
18 DECEMBER 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
presidency. “He went by in a red convertible waving … on his way to the Plains Theater to give a speech,” he says. The mayor has fond memories of his mother dropping off him and his sister at the same theater to see movies, or at Electric Park roller rink to go skating. Though those two venues are no longer, Plainfield’s historic downtown, centered on Lockport Street between James Street and Route 59, is worth a visit. About $7 million in improvements over the years include flower beds and extended sidewalks to make the district more pedestrian friendly, and new infrastructure to serve downtown businesses, which include a yoga studio, dance and music schools, salons, and plentiful restaurants and retail. Collins says visitors to Plainfield should also make time to visit Settlers’ Park, which features a band shell and war monuments that serve as a centerpiece for annual Memorial Day ceremonies. Though Collins does not plan to seek reelection after his term ends in April 2021, he looks forward to watching Plainfield continue to evolve. He’s especially excited for the village’s plans to redevelop its riverfront along the DuPage River to include park space, a promenade, and a kayak launch.
QUICK FACTS Native lands The area that is now Plainfield was originally settled by the Potawatomi tribe. Worth preserving Plainfield’s Historic Downtown District is one of 22 Illinois downtowns on the National Register of Historic Places. Sweet origins Plainfield is the reported birthplace of the first ice cream sundae. Classic commerce Some of Plainfield’s earliest businesses in the 1830s include a gristmill, a cheese factory, and the John Bill Wagon Shop, which manufactured wagons.
PHOTO COURTESY GO PLAINFIELD
aperville’s southern neighbor, Plainfield, has undergone quite the transformation since Mayor Michael Collins grew up there. “Plainfield was just 1,800 people when I was a child. It was all farm fields,” he says. “We had one supermarket on Route 59 and that was the only one in the area.” Though farms still remain, the village is now home to 48,000 residents and countless businesses—the newest being Costco, which, as of presstime, was slated to open in mid-November on the site of a former truck stop at I-55 and U.S. 30. Collins, 74, grew up the oldest of nine children, and with the exception of the four years he left to serve in the U.S. Air Force, he’s lived in Plainfield his entire life. After serving in the military, he joined the Plainfield Police Department and then the Illinois State Police for 29 years. Collins retired from the police force and then became a volunteer firefighter and trustee for the Plainfield Fire Protection District. He served as trustee and on the Village Board for Plainfield before becoming mayor in 2009. Collins remembers the day John F. Kennedy came to Plainfield during his run for the
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BANDED BOOTY A 360 Studios trainer fires up those glutes By Joey Devick Sometimes getting the correct muscle to fire during a workout is hard, but you can train your glute muscles to truly fire during leg exercises. This workout uses a mini loop band during some focused booty work to activate the glute musclesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;which can help correct lower back pain when lifting. GOAL These exercises can be utilized as a warm-up to leg day, a workout all on its own, or even a pre-run workout. Depending on your intensity, the weight of your resistance loop, and how much time you have, this workout is a great way to focus on glute activation.
BANDED SIDE-TO-SIDE SQUAT
From standing position step left foot out and squat. Return to standing then step to the right side to squat. Return to standing. This time, transfer weight to be balanced while squatting. Repeat for 40 seconds.
PLAN You get to make some decisions: 10, 20, or 30 minutes, using timed intervals of 40 seconds on (work) and 20 seconds off (recover). Repeat the entire sequence once for a warm-up, or up to three times for a full booty workout. EQUIPMENT Resistance band, placed six inches above knees or ankles
SINGLE LEG ABDUCTION
Transferring all weight to a soft bent left leg, tap the toe of the right foot out to the side, tap back to start, tap back at a 45-degree angle, then tap back to start. Repeat for 40 seconds, then repeat on right side.
Standing with feet hip distance apart and toes pointing slightly out, sit into your hips and heels and push your legs open to create tension on the band. Squat and return to standing position. Repeat for 40 seconds.
Loop band around feet and grasp, then stand up with feet six to 10 inches apart. Hinge at the hips, pushing booty back, with flat back and soft bend in knees. Squeeze bum then stand straight up. Repeat for 40 seconds.
KNEELING HEEL DRIVE
Position yourself on forearms and knees, extending left leg behind with flexed foot, squeezing glutes and leg. Pull knee back to starting position. Repeat for 40 seconds and then repeat on the right side.
BANDED KICKBACKS BANDED SQUAT TO KNEE DRIVE
Loop band around arches of feet. Move left foot to squat out wide, then squat narrow, then stand and bring left knee into hip flexion. Hold for split second and then reset. Step right foot to wide squat, then narrow squat, then knee drive and hold. Reset and repeat for 40 seconds. 20 MONTH 2019 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM DECEMBER 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
Stand with feet six to 10 inches apart, tilted slightly forward. Pull abs in and lift left leg behind, with leg straight and foot flexed. Extend arms overhead with straight line from fingers to heel. Alternate legs for 40 seconds. ILLUSTRATIONS BY IEVGENII VOLYK
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CHRISTMAS ANGELS A St. Charles nonprofit makes the season bright for families battling childhood cancer By Julie Duffin
elebrating the holidays takes on a different feel when your child is battling cancer. Between countless doctors’ appointments, the rigors of treatment, and sheer emotional exhaustion, it’s nearly impossible for parents to think about planning a family Christmas celebration. Impossible, that is, without a little help from a few angels. Through its 12 Days of Christmas Program, Cal’s Angels enables families to focus on making precious memories during the holidays by taking care of their shopping needs. Cal’s Angels is a pediatric cancer foundation established in 2007 in 24 DECEMBER 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
memory of Cal Sutter, a 13-year-old who lost his battle with leukemia. Cal’s legacy of kindness and generosity lives on through the nonprofit’s mission of granting wishes, raising awareness, and funding pediatric cancer research. A couple of years after its founding, Cal’s Angels established the 12 Days of Christmas, a physician-referral-based program for children fighting cancer under special circumstances during the holiday season. “We created this program to help relieve the burden of holiday shopping so that families can focus on creating lasting memories,” explains Stacey
Wahlberg, president and cofounder of the St. Charles–based nonprofit. “It gives parents the opportunity to focus on the sick child and know the other family members are not going to be missing out. It’s an enormous relief.” As Cal’s stepmom, Wahlberg experienced firsthand the challenges of celebrating the holidays when he underwent treatment. She also witnessed his siblings feeling left out as Cal seemed to get all the attention and receive countless gifts from well-wishers. “We wanted to do something for families that also lifts up the siblings. They watch someone else get all the attention and they don’t understand it. And rightfully so—they are children.” Wahlberg points out that jealousy and animosity often ensue. “It’s something you don’t realize until you are going through it.” The holiday program provides gifts for each child in the family from their wish list. The family also receives a gift card for groceries or a catered holiday dinner, lots of baked goods, and even a gingerbread house that everyone can build together.
PHOTOS COURTESY CAL’S ANGELS
A local family supported by Cal’s Angels
“After my daughter’s relapse, I was so lost. I didn’t know if we were going to come home much less be able to plan for Christmas,” explains Esther, who wishes to use first names only for privacy purposes. “Thanks to Cal’s Angels, we came home to an amazing amount of love and support through gifts—not only for [our daughter] Ava, but for [siblings] Gwen and Jude, so they wouldn’t be forgotten either.” Cal’s Angels supports over 50 families and 150 children each holiday season. The nonprofit’s gift giving is not limited to the Christmas season. Cal’s Angels continually collects and distributes toys and gift cards for monthly parties hosted by the children’s hospitals. “We collect over 10,000 toys, which sounds like an enormous amount, but because we bring them to seven different locations, it gets weeded through pretty quickly,” Wahlberg points out. Ava, Gwen, and Jude
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The nonprofit also funds pediatric cancer research and clinical trials. Last year, Cal’s Angels donated $1 million to Lurie Children’s Hospital to help fund a robot that works 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to find new treatments for pediatric cancer patients. “Those of us who are healthy need to count our blessings,” says Wahlberg. “So many of our neighbors are dealing with something much larger and are just trying to get by. If you are able to reach out and donate within your own community, I think that’s huge.” For more information on Cal’s Angels, or to shop the wish list for the program, visit calsangels.org. NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / DECEMBER 2020 25
SHELTER PIVOTS Hesed House uses creative solutions to keep residents safe By Michelle Dellinger
1 Young Countryside/Buttonwood/West Winds subdivision residents Lucy and Charlotte did a neighborhood food drive in Naperville. 2 Trunk or Treat was a Halloween event for Hesed House families. 3 Watson & Associates of Downers Grove did a toiletry drive. 4 Ratna Kapur from KS Foundation provided pizzas and more to Hesed’s family shelter guests. 26 DECEMBER 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
Comprehensive Resource Center for adult overnight shelter guests
PHOTOS COURTESY HESED HOUSE
hen you’re the second-largest shelter in the state during a global pandemic, how do you continue to keep your doors open? With a little ingenuity and a lot of hard work— from both employees and volunteers. The staff at Aurora’s Hesed House, which has housed hundreds throughout the pandemic, converted warehouse space into a third shelter area filled with tents to give the residents privacy and social distancing. But the shelter reached a low point at the end of the spring when Health Department guidelines prohibited Hesed House from accepting new guests. “I never want to tell someone he or she cannot stay here again,” says managing director Joe Jackson. Thanks to a $1 million CARES Act grant allocated to the City of Aurora by DuPage County, Hesed House will be able to construct a permanent shelter by the end of the year to house up to 266 men, women, and children safely. The funds will not only cover the building costs, but the supplies and staffing needed for the added space. And although in-person volunteer programs were halted in March, groups and families have continued to bring needed meals and toiletries to the shelter’s residents. For a list of the current needs and drop-off hours for Hesed House, visit hesedhouse.org.
Join us as we enter Our 111th Year! We welcome you to browse through our beautiful presentation of handcrafted jewelry from designers all over America and Europe.
EVERYTHING IN OUR STORE THRU DECEMBER!
Plus, 50% OFF Select Items
Harry W. Yaseen Jewelers 226 S. Washington St., Naperville, IL 630-357-0660 Please help support your local Naperville businesses! Sale applies to all in stock items. Special orders and loose diamonds excluded. Sale ends December 31, 2020.
A gift you truly deserve!
We install all winter or you can still save and get installation this spring!
% OFF LABOR
Window Works showed us what a 5-star experience can be.
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PAYMENTS OR INTEREST UNTIL
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mywindowworks.com 4 LOCATIONS FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE: NAPERVILLE • ORLAND PARK • BOLINGBROOK • ADDISON
$99 per month based on $10,000 purchase, 20% dow wn payment, 6.9 99%, 120 month term, approved credit by third party lender required. Interest free loans must be paid in full by the end of the term with month payments or rate converts to 24.99%. Other programs available. Cannot be combined with other offers. Most jobs installed in one day. Restrictions apply. Sale ends 12/31/20
H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S P R O FI L E S 2021 This January, Naperville magazine invites you to participate in our Health and Wellness guide! Whether you are a physician, dentist, personal trainer, physical therapist, med spa, or cosmetic surgeon this is your opportunity to showcase your practice and expertise in a special advertising feature that includes a custom photography session!
Don’t miss out on getting your practice in front of over 217,000+ readers of Naperville magazine. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Patty Brand firstname.lastname@example.org Jenni Price email@example.com
28 DECEMBER 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
TRENDS SHOP Page 30
PHOTO COURTESY KING ARTHUR BAKING
Snowflake cake and shortbread pan from King Arthur Baking NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / DECEMBER / MONTH2020 2019 29
Wyckwood House Wheaton
Aurora’s Wyckwood House brings its locally made gift items, clothing, and jewelry to Wheaton By Emma Jackson
n 2017 Shannon Gutierrez was ready for something new in her career path when she built a five-year plan for a business mentoring group she had joined. She wrote that she wanted to open a store, and eventually a second location. Gutierrez had no entrepreneurial or retail experience, but was a really great shopper, she laughs, and was a natural when it came to picking out home decor. Less than five years later, she now owns a successful boutique clothing and home decor store in downtown Aurora (14 W. Downer Pl.), and opened a second location in her hometown of Wheaton (126 N. Hale St.) in late October. Wyckwood House carries an array of gift items like candles, jewelry, cloth30 DECEMBER 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
ing, and more made by over 50 local artisans. Before opening it, Gutierrez was working as a children’s director at a local church and always wanted to have her own store. She enrolled in a six-week business planning group that SCORE mentoring group was putting on, dreamed up a five-year plan and began hosting markets out of her home in Aurora. She had a lot of friends who already sold handmade items on Etsy join her for the first market, and eventually she turned that into a weekend experience with eight artisans, live music, and food. Marissa Amoni attended one of the markets and asked Gutierrez if she would consider opening a shop in downtown Aurora, where Amoni plans events like First Fridays.
PHOTOS COURTESY WYCKWOOD HOUSE
As the holidays approached and Gutierrez was planning a December 2017 market, she realized it fell on the same weekend as downtown Aurora’s First Fridays event, where local artists and musicians do pop-up events at businesses and venues the first Friday of each month. She found a space she could borrow for the weekend and had 18 artisans come in for her pop-up market. She did so well at First Fridays that she signed a lease for the same space and quit her full-time job to open Wyckwood House in July 2018. “It’s just amazing how naturally it all played out,” she says. “We have over 50 artisans
Winter candles, $22
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that we work with currently at the shop, and it’s really cool to be able to provide a space for people to share what they make and are passionate about.” The stores currently carry four clothing lines curated by local women, plus locally made items like unique jewelry by Hazelry in Lockport and Natalie Clare Collections in Batavia. Gutierrez also supports local makers by using many of their products for her stores themselves, like Send Me a Dream who built Wyckwood House’s website and sells fun statement mugs and totes. The Knotted Table, a husband-and-wife team that sells home decor signs and furniture, built Wyckwood’s checkout station and display tables, and Real Happy Space, a handmade wooden home decor company, provided displays and shelving for both stores. “It’s a special thing that we get to work with so many creative types and it makes me feel like I’m not doing this alone,” Gutierrez says. Before the pandemic, Gutierrez used the shop to support other small business owners and create a community with events like calligraphy workshops, whiskey tastings, and Boss Babes—a weekly women’s networking group cohosted with Aurora Downtown. She hopes to host similar events in Wheaton in the future, too. “It’s more than just shopping—I want it to be an experience for people to come and touch, feel, and smell, but also connect with each other,” Gutierrez says. “I feel like that’s something we’re missing these days, even before COVID. I just wanted to create a space where people want to connect and maybe find something cool to take home, too.”
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Cookie cutter set from Wilton, $5
Don your apron and preheat the oven—it’s the most won-dough-ful time of the year
Baking mat, $20, and cookie scoop, $15, from the Container Store
100 Cookies by Sarah Kieffer, $28
Rolling pin from Williams Sonoma, $40 Sugar shaker from Sur La Table, $10
Sweet Snack Turn to p. 40 for an award-winning local chocolate chip cookie recipe
Cookie stamp cutouts from Marcel’s Culinary Experience, $39
Metallic drizzle from Sur La Table, $17 Cookie mix and snowflake pan set from King Arthur Baking, $39
Holiday WISH LIST 2020
NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / DECEMBER 2020 33
S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G FE AT U R E
SNOWMAN ORNAMENT BOUQUET DELUXE Say “Season’s Greetings” to all with this cheery bouquet of fresh holiday blooms nestled in a keepsake snowman ornament bowl that will be enjoyed for years to come. Item #0X40B. Local and nationwide delivery by Phillip’s Flowers in Naperville, Elmhurst, Hinsdale, LaGrange, Westmont, and Wheaton. Phillip’s Flowers & Gifts 1007 E. Ogden Ave., Naperville, IL 630.719.5200 | phillips-flowers.com
THE GIFT OF TIME Assembled by hand in the US and powered by a Swiss movement, the Seaplane Automatic from Elmhurst based Farr + Swit is meticulously designed and made with the highest quality materials. Use code NAPERVILLE100 to save $100 at checkout. Farr + Swit Watch Company Elmhurst, IL | farrandswit.com
HAND-CRAFTED LOCAL TREATS Perfect for gifting a foodie friend! A LA FOLIE authentic French macarons are crafted locally in Naperville by a worldrenowned pastry chef. Not only are they gorgeous in their chic luxury packaging, they are delicious and priced just right. A La Folie 2728 Forgue Dr., Unit 108, Naperville, IL 60564 630.857.9944 | alafolieco.com
PAINT AT HOME Give the gift of FUN this Holiday Season. Pinot's Palette offers Live, Virtual Painting Classes, In-Studio Events, and Virtual Private Parties. Our Paint at Home Kits include everything you need to complete your masterpiece including Video Tutorials or written self-guided instructions. No art experience necessary. Gift Certificates available! Pinot’s Palette-Naperville 175 W. Jackson Ave., Suite 123, Naperville, IL 331.457.5440 | pinotspalette.com 34 DECEMBER 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G FE AT U R E
BE THE MOST POPULAR GIFT-GIVER Find your one-of a-kind holiday gift treasure in the NEWLY OPENED Antiques of Naperville! Genuine, Unique Articles, Antiques, Furniture, Primitives, Signage, Glassware, Jewelry and more… Local Treasures Galore! Antiques of Naperville Downtown in the Historic Beidelman Furniture Building 239 S. Washington St. | 630.730.4473 (call or text) firstname.lastname@example.org
FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE OF A $100 GIFT CARD Indulge at Blue Seas Med Spa. Give the gift of glowing skin this Holiday! With the purchase of a $100 gift card you receive a complimentary Café Dulce Cleansing Scrub ($45 value). Gently exfoliates, cleanses, and hydrates for glowing skin.
MERRY AND BRIGHT NEW THINGS Luxurious and statement-making, these teardrop earrings add the perfect touch of elegance to any look. Features a luminous SWAROVSKI pearl nestled between rich SWAROVSKI rhinestone baguette crystals. Fastens with an 18k gold-plated sterling silver post and push-back clip closure.
Blue Seas Med Spa 1220 Hobson Rd., #216, Naperville, IL 60540 630.369.2767 blueseasmedspa.com
Lauren Rae 14 Jackson Ave., Naperville, IL 630.717.1111 | shoplaurenrae.com
GIVE THE GIFT OF LOCAL, CRAFT COFFEE! Two Brothers Coffee Roasters is a local familyowned artisan coffee company, producing specialty-grade coffee with captivating flavor profiles, made from the best ingredients from around the world. Two Brothers coffees are small-batch roasted right at its Warrenville brewery to ensure the freshness and quality. Two Brothers Coffee Roasters 30W315 Calumet Ave. Warrenville, IL 60555 | 630.393.4800 twobrotherscoffeeroasters.com
THOMAS KINKADE HERO’S WELCOME Share the magic of the season with this radiant holiday centerpiece featuring a new hand-painted Kinkade collectible that lights up from within and celebrates our heroes. Item #0X200. Local and nationwide delivery by Phillip’s Flowers in Naperville, Elmhurst, Hinsdale, LaGrange, Westmont, and Wheaton. Phillip’s Flowers & Gifts 1007 E. Ogden Ave., Naperville, IL 630.719.5200 | phillips-flowers.com NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / DECEMBER 2020 35
36 DECEMBER 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
NAPERVILLE MAGAZINEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S CULINARY GUIDE
DINE TABLE FOR TWO Page 38
RECIPE Page 40
PHOTO COURTESY TAPVILLE
Arugula salad at Tapville in Naperville NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / DECEMBER / MONTH2020 2019 37
TABLE FOR TWO Brunch with mimosa flight
Tapville Social embraces a DIY service model By Mark Loehrke
t may be harder than ever these days to find someone of a certain age who can claim a personal recollection of the dearly departed automat—the “futuristic” self-serve restaurant concept consisting of a roomful of coin-operated, food-dispensing vending machines that thrived among urban curiosity seekers until the mid-’90s. But almost everyone heading into the third decade of the 2000s can identify with the concept of self-service. From the growing proliferation of cashierless checkout lanes at the grocery store to the near-universal expectation of self-service gas pumps, the DIY model is well baked into the modern retail firmament. Any gas station employee tapping on a driver’s window to ask “Regular or premium?” these days would likely be met with a panicked response, rather than a smile and a cash gratuity. Given this general societal acceptance of self-service, then, the notion behind a place like Tapville Social should come 38 DECEMBER 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
as no surprise. A rebrand of the former Red Arrow Tap Room that occupied the same downtown Naperville location for the past few years, Tapville Social (216 S. Washington, Naperville, 630.536.8739, tapvillesocial.com) not only embraces, but doubles down on the concept of self-serve craft libations—adding wine, cider, and whiskey options to an already robust beer selection among its 48 self-pour taps, all while adding a more ambitious slate of food offerings to the mix. From bites and shareables to greens and sweets, classic menu items are approachable. “Tapville Social is about spending time with friends and family without the distractions of a contemporary restaurant,” says CEO Joseph Tota, who continues to run a Red Arrow outlet in Elmhurst and has recently expanded the Tapville brand to a number of franchise outlets across the country. “Tapville provides a one-of-akind guest experience. We see it as the model of the future.”
Pork chop with apple compote PHOTOS COURTESY TAPVILLE
BYOB (BE YOUR OWN BARTENDER) That model will seem fairly straightforward to anyone who has spent time in a modern arcade or the slot room of a casino. Rather than placing an order with a waiter or waitress, Tapville patrons can help themselves to anything from a wee nip to a full glass of their favorite craft beverage, including local beer options from the likes of Solemn Oath, Metal Monkey, and Pollyanna, among others—or even build their own flight of samples—by swiping their prepaid “pour card” at one of the self-serve taps that line the room. When it comes time to eat, everything from shareable appetizers to full entrées can be ordered from the comfort of one’s table using a similar self-select system or mobile app. (Table service is available upon request.) While such a setup tends to cut down on the human interaction with the staff at Tapville, Tota says the restaurant
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lives up to the “social” in its name by not only allowing families and friends to spend more time focusing on and interacting with one another, but also by hosting more programmed communal events such as special wine and beer dinners and trivia nights. DON’T FORGET TO EAT From the name to the rows of taps, the spotlight at Tapville may shine largely on the patron-curated beverage program, but there’s more than a little to be said for executive chef Jacob Smith’s kitchen as well. We started with an order of the garlic-herb cheese curds, here served with a roasted tomato-butter sauce in lieu of the traditional ranch dip. For the entrée course, we traded bites of the well-prepared pork chop, which came topped with a wonderful apple compote and accompanied by two cheddar-scallion grit cakes and a generous helping of Brussels sprouts (a side order of the roasted potatoes proved a worthy complement). On Tota’s recommendation, we also sampled the fried chicken sandwich, served with honey butter and green goddess slaw on a fluffy brioche bun (still emblazoned with the old Red Arrow logo). The bread pudding with apple bourbon sauce, meanwhile, was the smarter play from the short dessert list, far outshining the better-in-concept-than-execution cookie dough egg rolls. Can the Tapville Social concept last longer than the automat did? Well, the year 2020 has certainly forced many of us to become more self-sufficient. But compared with having to teach the kids in the living room or hazard a bathroom-mirror haircut, pouring oneself a beer doesn’t sound like the worst selfserve idea in the world.
MAGAZINE.COM NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / DECEMBER 2020 39
Batch Baking Turn to p. 32 for more holiday cookie ideas
BEST-EVER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature ¾ cup sugar ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla 1 tablespoon hazelnut liqueur (such as Frangelico) 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur 2 large eggs 2½ cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 bag (12 ounces) milk chocolate chips 1 bag (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips 1 cup chopped walnuts ½ cup chopped pecans ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and both liqueurs in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
For more award-winning holiday cookie and brownie recipes, purchase Holiday Cookies: Prize-Winning Family Recipes ($25) at store.chicagotribune.com.
Add eggs to the mixture and beat well until combined.
Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Mix into batter.
40 DECEMBER 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
4 Stir in chocolate chips and all the chopped nuts. 5
Drop batter by ¼-cup portions onto an ungreased cookie sheets, spacing apart.
6 Bake until cookies are golden brown, about 16 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool.
For nearly three decades, the Chicago Tribune has run its annual Holiday Cookie Contest, asking readers to submit recipes that are both unique and meaningful to them. Each recipe is accompanied by a brief description or story explaining why the cookie is special to the reader and their family. This 2019 award-winning recipe from Marybeth Apolzan of Oswego includes two kinds of chocolate chips, two kinds of liqueur, and three kinds of nuts.
PHOTO BY E. JASON WAMBSGANS/CHICAGO TRIBUNE
Yield: 28 cookies
MEAT TO ORDER How would you like your steak … delivered? By Michelle Dellinger
PHOTOS COURTESY GIBSONS STEAK AND NAPERVILLE MEATS
s the local restaurant industry scrambles to offset revenue lost by mandated shutdowns, two big names on the local scene are cooking up fresh streams of business. Gibsons and Allgauer’s have recently launched new offerings—and they are a meat lover’s dream. The online retail store of Oakbrook’s Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse now ships fresh Australian grassfed beef straight to a home chef ’s front door. According to the company, Gibsons Grassfed Australian is sourced from the top five percent of grassfed cattle (in terms of marbling, flavor, and animal welfare) in southeast Australia. In addition to burgers, Gibsons Steak (gibsonssteak.com) offers New York strips, rib eyes, and fillets ($28–$98), as well as five box combinations ($110– $225) that include a variety of packages, plus a bottle of seasoning salt— “The perfect gift,” says Gibsons’ director of marketing Liz Lombardo. “We have curated a mix of different steak cuts, ground steak, and steakhouse burgers, so all you need to do is choose the box with all your favorites.” For those nervous about replicating the pro prep, don’t despair: Corporate executive chef Daniel Huebschmann has created a video to show how to
Kurt Allgauer at Naperville Meats
New York strip from Gibsons Steak
prepare, season, and grill a Chicago cut rib eye—all from his home kitchen and balcony. Tips on the website include how-to’s for the perfect sear and indirect grilling, plus slicing and serving. Those who like the at-home concept, but want more variety, can try Naperville Meats (napervillemeats.com). The business was launched by Kurt Allgauer, whose family has been in the restaurant business for 70 years. His uncle owned four hotels, including the Lisle location whose restaurant bore the family name until being sold to Hilton. Allgauer leveraged a relationship with a Chicago meatpacking company to convince them to work with him to supply homes in the west suburbs. “This meat company is over a hundred years old,” says Allgauer. “They are used to shipping bulk orders to big kitchens. To get them to put family-size orders together really took a while.” But the concept is working. Naperville Meats delivers fresh (not frozen) beef, pork, poultry, lamb, and seafood next-day for free to customers in 24 of Chicago’s west suburbs for a minimum order of $95. The food comes from restaurant producers like Greater Omaha beef, Compart Duroc pork, and Shenandoah Valley organic chicken.
“If you order at 8:30 at night, at 5 a.m. [the next day] the meat will be cut specifically for you and delivered to your door that afternoon,” Allgauer explains. In addition to this unique quality and customer service, Naperville Meats carries items not found at retail grocers. “We have an airline chicken breast [with the drumette attached] that you can’t get at the store,” he says. “And the Compart Family Farms Duroc pork that used to be sold at Standard Market? I deliver it now.” Several local organizations have also signed up for the company’s fundraising program, which supports community groups. “I’ve taken that same concept and a school, club, or team will promote my website and products. Every time their supporter buys from me, a bit of money goes back to that organization,” says Allgauer. “What’s really nice about it is that people are appreciating the home delivery and being able to stay out of the grocery store—which helped my business get off to a good start.” Naperville Meats will soon offer a line of sous vide products that are flash-frozen, ready to reheat and eat. The choices will include osso buco, pork shank, duck, lamb chops, veal medallions, and pork shoulder prepared with prime glosses and fresh herbs and spices. NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / DECEMBER 2020 41
Holiday Hues Styling by Jessica Moazami
Photography by Olivia Kohler
COLOR YOURSELF HAPPY WITH THESE VIBRANT GIFT IDEAS
Dolce & Gabbana men’s K eau de parfum from Macy’s, $115; LVX nail varnish from Generation Bliss, $18; hoop earrings from Banana Republic, $38; Wonder Woman Pom baby beanie from Love Your Melon, $45
42 DECEMBER 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
Elsa Peretti small bone cuff from Tiffany & Co., $475; Saint Laurent micro crossbody bag from Nordstrom, $725
Xoopar Mini XBoy Bluetooth speaker from Nieman Marcus, $42; moisturizing blue oil from Volto Urbano, $60
Vans Old Skool sneakers from Tillyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, $60; Fresh Lotus youth preserve dream night cream from Bluemercury, $48
NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / DECEMBER 2020 43
Hand Luggage Heroes set from Crabtree & Evelyn, $54; Ada sunglasses, $95+, and Parker case, $15, from Warby Parker
Flyway hair shampoo bars from Lush, $14; Sparrow green mug from Crate & Barrel, $13; Nugget station necklace from Ann Taylor, $60
44 DECEMBER 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
Valentino Garavani shoulder bag from Neiman Marcus, $1,995; Charbonnel et Walker dark chocolate mint thins from Williams Sonoma, $28
Roxanne semiprecious double-drop earrings from Tory Burch, $228
Charlotteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hollywood mini brush set from Nordstrom, $65
NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / DECEMBER 2020 45
Converse toddler Chuck Taylor high-top sneaker from Macy’s, $35; Aviation American gin from Mariano’s, $33
4-in-1 foundation AirMist device from Mineral Air, $150; Sylvie 1969 small shoulder bag from Gucci, $5,900
46 DECEMBER 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
Icons by Oscar from Anthropologie, $35; Roxanne wrapped door knocker earrings from Tory Burch, $198; Ray Gun Bible of Music & Style from Anderson’s Bookshop, $65
Town & Anchor restoring face oil from Hearth and Hammer, $39; electric toothbrush from Brüush, $79;
NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / DECEMBER 2020 47
Lee Radziwill leather cutout bag from Tory Burch, $698; Gucci Bloom Profumo di Fiori from Sephora, $130; 18k white gold precious topaz and diamond drop earrings from Costello Jewelry, $16,500
Slate & Clove warm amber candle from Six + Cypress, $27; Moshi bow collar accessory from Two Bostons, $10
48 DECEMBER 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
Koval bourbon whiskey from Trader Joe’s, $50; Seeing from Anderson’s Bookshop, $40; State Optical aviator sunglasses from Seven Bridges Eyecare, $429
Leather baseball from Shinola, $40; Jayla leather belt from J.McLaughlin, $89
NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / DECEMBER 2020 49
New England five-spice mixed nuts from Hearth & Hammer, $10; Tom Ford eye quad and lip set from Neiman Marcus, $88
Urban Decay 24/7 glide-on eye pencil from Sephora, $22; Smith & Cult Locked & Lit CBD lip balm from Ulta, $21
Jellycat bashful bunny from M and Emâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, $16 50 DECEMBER 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
Bow keyring from H&M, $5; Denik journal from Urban Outfitters, $8; Seattle Chocolate dark origin truffle bar from Standard Market, $5
Classic patch baseball cap from Vans, $26; Ultimate Ears Boom 3 wireless speaker from Best Buy, $150
Fresh Sugar velvet tinted lip treatment from Sephora, $24; Pat McGrath Labs lip fetish Divinyl lip shine from Sephora, $36 NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / DECEMBER 2020 51
TO-DO LIST SEASONAL
SANTA’S MAILBOX Santa is very eager to receive the holiday wish lists of kids—find the painted Santa Mailbox near Main Street and Van Buren (across from Giordano’s). Drop in your letter including your wish list and Santa’s magic elves will fasttrack letters right to Santa Claus for review. Best of all, kids will receive a personalized note in the mail—no postage required or cost; just remember to include your return address. Free. Near the Van Buren Parking Lot, Naperville. downtownnaperville.com Through December 23 SEASONAL
CHRISTMAS AT ABBEY FARMS Join in the tradition of hunting for your very own Abbey Farms–grown Christmas tree, or select a fresh precut fir tree from Father Andrews’s family in upper Michigan. Whether it’s Christmas trees, the Pine Tree Cafe, the yummy bakery, or a tractor ride, Abbey Farms grows memories and traditions. Check
the website for times and other special events. Abbey Farms, 2855 Hart Rd., Aurora. abbeyfarms.org Through December 23 SEASONAL
FIND THE ELVES Come find all of Santa’s magic elves hiding out in downtown shops. They may be hiding in store windows or inside the business. Children of all ages are invited to print off a list of where the elves may be found from downtownnaperville.com. There will be chances to win prizes if all are found. Free. Various locations, downtown Naperville. downtownnaperville.com Through December 24 CHARITABLE
INFANT WELFARE LUMINARIA As the sun sets on Christmas Eve, neighborhoods are transformed into wonderlands of soft, glowing candlelight flowing in unbroken chains along curb sides and walkways. The Wheaton-Naperville Infant Welfare Society invites you to “Light a Candle for a
Child” this Christmas Eve. Proceeds from the sale of luminaria help the Infant Welfare Society bring the gift of good health to disadvantaged children. Visit the website for purchase locations or to order online. $6/set of five candles and bags. Wheaton/Naperville. wheatoninfantwelfare.org Through December 26 SEASONAL
FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS One of the largest free outdoor drivethrough holiday lights displays in Northern Illinois, the Aurora Festival of Lights returns for its 14th year with even more dazzling displays that will delight both adults and children. See the new dancing arcs and the expanded ice rink, and enjoy Santa’s Toy Factory, Old Man Winter, elves and reindeer, holiday trains, gigantic snowflakes, beautiful lighted swags on the fence line surrounding the zoo and other seasonal favorites. 5 to 9 p.m. Free; donations encouraged. Phillips Park, 1000 Ray Moses Dr., Aurora. aurorafestivaloflights.com
Addresses in event listings are located in Naperville unless otherwise noted. Please verify event details with sponsor organizations; events are subject to change after the press deadline. Email your event for consideration, 45 days in advance, to email@example.com, subject line: calendar. 52 DECEMBER 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
PHOTOS BY AMY NELSON (COCOA NON-CRAWL); WHEATON PARK DISTRICT (FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS)
Through December 20
Through December 30
Through January 3
FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AND TREE SALE Cosley Zoo has more than 2,400 trees in four varieties ranging from three to 12 feet. Wreaths, greens, and garlands are also available for purchase. All proceeds from this event benefit Cosley Zoo. Free. 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily; lights come on at 3 p.m. Cosley Zoo, 1356 N. Gary Ave., Wheaton. cosleyzoo.org Through December 31 SEASONAL
NAPER LIGHTS Naperville Sunrise Rotary, in partnership with the Water Street Downtown Naperville, Marquette and Ryan Hill Group presents the eighth annual Naper Lights event located along Water Street, overlooking the south side of Naperville’s Riverwalk. Water Street will be converted into a winter wonderland, with a combination of holiday displays and music. Free. Donations encouraged. 4 to 9 p.m. Water St. naperlights.com Through December 31 SEASONAL
BROOKFIELD ZOO’S HOLIDAY MAGIC Visit Chicagoland’s 39th annual largest and longest-running lights festival, with over a million twinkling LED lights, a 41-foot-tall tree, and largerthan-life LED animal sculptures, all at Brookfield Zoo. Saturdays and Sundays through December 31. Included in admission. $18–$25/person. Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Rd., Brookfield. czs.org
ILLUMINATION: TREE LIGHTS Returning for its eighth year as a reimagined driving experience, the 2020 Illumination exhibit allows visitors to remain in the warmth of their vehicles while viewing. Guests can tune in to a customized musical soundtrack on their radios while driving. The new paved route will take guests deeper into the Arboretum woods than ever before, and features five new visual exhibits. Illumination will be open holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas, in addition to New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. $29 to $49 per vehicle. Various times. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Rte. 53, Lisle. mortonarb.org December 3 MUSIC
DUPAGE COMMUNITY JAZZ ENSEMBLE This ensemble, under the direction of Matt Shevitz, performs dances and concert programs during the academic year as well as numerous off-campus performances. Its repertoire spans more than a century of large jazz ensemble compositions, including original work from members of the ensemble. The ensemble is a frequent presence at the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival, has performed at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago, and in 2004 was recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives for its work on behalf of the Armed Forces Children’s Education Fund. $7. 7:30 p.m. Online. atthemac.org
FRESH AIR FRIDAY Breathe deep on a guided walk through the forest preserve. Participants must bring a mask that covers their nose and mouth and wear it if there’s less than six feet between them and other visitors. Ages 18 and up. Register online or by calling 630.580.7025. $5/person. Noon to 1 p.m. St. James Farm, 2S541 Winfield Rd, Warrenville. dupageforest.org December 4–20 SEASONAL
CHRISTMAS WALK WEEKENDS ’Tis the season to be jolly … especially in downtown Geneva. A reimagined festival for 2020 includes traditions both old and new, including roasted chestnuts, carols and music, and horse-drawn carriage rides, as well as a Cocoa Crawl. Santa will be outdoors, taking photos with children who register for $10/family. Visit the website to register and for more details. Saturdays and Sundays. Downtown Geneva. genevachamber.com December 1 SPECIAL EVENT
COCOA NON-CRAWL Celebrate the winter season with toasty hot cocoa, as several participating venues fill up your exclusive Cocoa Crawl mug. Buy a mug kit (with recipe card and $1 off coupon) to use at participating downtown locations for the month of December. And submit a hot cocoa recipe for inclusion in the 2020 Cocoa Crawl Cookbook; see website for instructions. auroradowntown.org December 5 SEASONAL
Festival of Lights and Tree Sale
CELEBRATE THE SEASON HOLIDAY FESTIVAL Families and children of all ages are invited to Cantigny Park to celebrate the season. The park will be decorated for the holidays, and an assortment of activities and offerings are planned to kick off the season in style. Visitors to the park are encouraged to bring a new and unwrapped toy for the Marine Toys for Tots drop boxes inside the Cantigny Visitors Center to receive free parking. 1 to 7 p.m. Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Rd., Wheaton. cantigny.org
NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / DECEMBER 2020 53
hot cocoa and cookies inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s interest in shapes, patterns, and nature for a memorable holiday-themed activity. Materials can be picked up at the Elmhurst Art Museum on December 10 and 11 from our Visitor Services desk, along with a link to the fun instructional video. A surprise guest will take a break from his busy North Pole headquarters to send a special message to participants. Noon to 5 p.m. Free for members, $10/nonmember. Online. elmhurstartmuseum.org December 12–13
Holiday Sing-Along with the Symphony
VANESSA WILLIAMS As one of the most respected and multifaceted performers in the entertainment industry today, Williams has sold millions of records worldwide and achieved numerous No. 1 and Top 10 hits on various Billboard album and singles charts. Single tickets are $30 for each livestream event. All tickets are sold one per household, and include access to the livestream performance, plus an additional 72 hours of on-demand viewing of a video recording of the livestream, available beginning one hour after live broadcast ends. Proceeds from tickets purchased through Northlight’s website will support Northlight Theatre. $30/event. 7 p.m. Online. northlight.org December 5–19
Batavia. This ultimate winter celebration and shopping experience features fine art, fine crafts, and fine food and drinks. Noon to midnight. Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water St., Batavia. waterstreetstudios.org December 12 SEASONAL
CANDY CANE HUNT Be sure to bring a basket as children hunt for candy canes by age group. Prizes will be given to those who find the special candy canes. A special visitor from the North Pole may stop by with other treats. Ages 10 and under; preregistration is suggested. $6/resident, $9/nonresident. $10/day of. 10 a.m. Community Park Bandshell, 1825 Short St., Lisle. lisleparkdistrict.org December 12 SEASONAL
VIRTUAL REINDEER RUN This winter 5K is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. Pick a route or jump on your treadmill in your best Santa hats or assortment of jingle bells, and Run, Run Rudolph to the finish line of your choice. Runners receive a long-sleeve tech T-shirt. A finisher certificate is available for download after the runner submits their time online. Sponsored by the Wheaton Lions Club. $35/person. Online. wheatonparkdistrict.com
COOKIES WITH MRS. CLAUS Join Mrs. Claus and her elves for a wonderful time. Sing Christmas songs, listen to “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” play Christmas games, decorate and eat cookies, and make an ornament to take home. Bring your wish list and Mrs. Claus will be sure to deliver it to Santa. Ages 3 to 6; register by Dec. 4. $35/resident, $50/ nonresident. 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Lisle Recreation Center, 1925 Ohio St., Lisle. lisleparkdistrict.org
THE WINTERFEST ART MARKET Enjoy a three-day art and fine craft sale in collaboration with Water Street Studios and Artisan Collective 54 DECEMBER 2020 / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT HOLIDAY ACTIVITY From the comfort and warmth of your own home, families can make
HOLIDAY SING-ALONG WITH THE SYMPHONY Welcome in the holiday season with the perfect event for the whole family—a concert full of the most festive carols, a Hanukkah medley, and orchestral seasonal favorites. Maestro Muspratt and the New Philharmonic will spark your sing-along spirit, and all ticket purchasers will receive a downloadable file of lyrics to ensure you don’t miss a beat. Get in the spirit of the season with a concert of holiday favorites. Make a batch of cookies, gather your family, and join us for this virtual holiday spectacular. Dec. 12 at 7 p.m.; Dec. 13 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. $40. Online. atthemac.org December 13 FAMILY
BREAKFAST WITH SANTA Enjoy Hotel Arista’s famous brunch along with family crafts and more. Each seating will be limited to 50 guests, offering a spacious and safe environment. Brunch includes server stations, kids’ buffet, desserts, and more. Santa will mingle among family craft tables where kids can dig into their complimentary gift bags to color, mix reindeer food, and decorate cookies and Christmas ornaments. Photos and balloons and more will be available as well as a working-model version of the Polar Express train. $69.95/adult, $39.95/ages 3 to 12. Seatings at 8:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m. Hotel Arista, 2139 City Gate Ln. hotelarista.com December 16 SEASONAL
HOLIDAY TEA Enjoy a delightful afternoon tea in the sitting room of the 1846 Blodgett
PHOTO BY JOHN CEBULA
House, a stopover point on the Underground Railroad and the third-oldest house in Downers Grove. Learn about early holiday traditions during a private tour of the holiday-decorated Victorian home. Tea and light snacks will be served following the tour. $16/resident, $21/nonresident. 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Downers Grove Museum, 831 Maple Ave., Downers Grove. dgparks.org
MILLION DOLLAR CHRISTMAS Presley, Perkins, Lewis & Cash are back to rock you around the Christmas tree in the comfort of your home. Enjoy the catalog of classic rock ‘n’ roll hits, plus a special selection of heartwarming holiday tunes, all done up in that unmistakable rockabilly style. 7:30 p.m. $50. Online. atthemac.org
NEW YEAR’S EVE CONCERT Ring in the new year with New Philharmonic. Hear your favorite Strauss waltzes and polkas, arias, light classical, pop tunes, and movie music. A duet of “Bless This House” reflects on the year past while the “Power of Love” propels us into the new year. 2, 5:30, and 8:30 p.m. $50. Online. atthemac.org
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JIM BRICKMAN The popular piano man’s annual holiday performance goes virtual to support performing arts centers Interview by Mark Loehrke
KEEPING THE TRADITION ALIVE We’ve been coming to the area for so many years—people really look forward to it, and I look forward to it. There’s nothing like getting together to celebrate the holidays, even if this year it has to be virtual.
A NEW PERSPECTIVE I think this is a really clever way to still be able to see the audience and have them see me, because we’re doing some Zoom performances as part of this whole experience. So I’ll actually be able to see people in their homes, which gives me a window into their holiday decorations and what they’re wearing and how they’re spending their Christmas. A lot of times on a concert tour I just see darkness when I look out into the audience. There’s a close-up aspect to these performances—you get to see my hands on the piano and we get to interact a little bit. It’s just a very different kind of feeling that I hope is going to be really special and memorable for everybody. Comfort & Joy at Home benefiting North Central College Fine & Performing Arts December 4 at 7 p.m. | Virtual Tickets: $40–$125 | jimbrickman.com/naperville
56 DECEMBER MAY 2019 / 2020 NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM / NAPERVILLEMAGAZINE.COM
PHOTO COURTESY JIM BRICKMAN
A LITTLE LIGHT IN A DARK YEAR To me it’s about making uplifting music. Especially this year, I think the tone of what I’m going to do has a very happy spirit. Of course, Christmas is a very emotional time as well, but for me the happiness and the cheer and the joy of Christmas is a very important message to bring this year.
Home for the Holidays
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