Page 1


Exploring Life in the Fox

Interview with Guinness World Record Holder and Master of Pastry and Sugar Artistry


Page 1

What’s inside... Dining & Cuisine


A decadent dish you can make many ways for the holidays – Sara Snelling


6 10

Want to spice up your holidays? – Becky Geisel

Featured Dishes

Must try appetizers, entrees, desserts or cocktails available at local Fox Valley restaurants.



22 FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / December 2017


Christmas and New Years Events


Naper Settlement Holiday Events


Neil Patrick Harris coming to Anderson Bookshop in Naperville




Interview with Guinness World Record Holder and Master of Pastry & Sugar Artistry Alain Roby


Arts & Entertainment


Arts and Entertainment around the Fox Valley




Celebrate the Holidays in Lake Geneva

Out & About



Faces and places from around The Fox

Fox Valley Magazine

Editor - Paul Stukel, Advertising - Kevin Ketchum,, 800-564-8024 x107 Production - NEXXUS Publishing, 524 W. State St., Suite E, Geneva, IL 60134, 800-564-8024

Page 3

dining & cuisine

Sara Snelling is an innovative, forward-thinking nutritionist with a food science, food service and food safety background. While earning her bachelor of science in nutrition and dietetics at Northern Illinois University, she did a variety of volunteer work within her community. This includes experience with teaching culinary classes, medical nutrition therapy instruction, public speaking and data analysis and research in nutrition across many demographics. Sara is a regular contributor to


Here’s a cozy, savory, easy homemade dish you can bring to any holiday party and it will be a guaranteed hit! Plus there are several ways you can use the main component!


The Star of the Show: VELVETY ROASTED GARLIC & BUTTERNUT SQUASH • 1 medium butternut squash (about 675 grams), peeled • 3 garlic cloves, skin on • 3 thyme sprigs, leaves removed • 1 tablespoon + 3 tablespoons sunflower oil, divided • 1 cup cooked chickpeas • juice of 1 lemon • ¼ cup tahini • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste Instructions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment and set aside. Scoop the seeds out of the butternut squash and dice into 1-inch pieces. Transfer the diced squash, garlic cloves, and thyme leaves to the baking sheet. Drizzle the squash mixture with 1 tablespoon of the sunflower oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and roast until squash is tender, about 35-40 minutes. Allow squash and garlic to cool slightly.

chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, salt and pepper. Run the food processor on high until you have a totally smooth and rich paste/dip. You may have to stop the motor and scrape the sides down a couple times. Adjust the dip for seasoning. Scrape the dip into a bowl and garnish with a drizzle of good olive oil, and the reserved roasted squash. What can you do with this tasty stuff?? Serve on warm crostini with goat cheese and balsamic drizzle (in chunks or as a puree), puree into a creamy soup and garnish with pepitas, fill pasta (shells, manicotti, ravioli, etc) with the puree and serve with sage leaves, sliced and sauteed in butter (add sliced apple chicken sausage if you’d like a meat to go with). Or try mixing it with Risotto and dried cranberries, topped with a dollop of goat cheese! Play with it- it’s very versatile!

Set up your food processor on the counter. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skins into the food processor, discarding the skins afterward. Transfer the roasted butternut squash to the food processor, along with the remaining 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil,

Page 5

dining & cuisine

Becky Geisel is a self-taught passionate chef who has developed and honed her techniques for over 25 years. Her culinary passion is rooted in development of learning the macrobiotic diet in the early 1990’s when her mother developed an aggressive breast cancer and quickly succumbed to the disease. This became the pivotal point for Becky on the journey to providing clean, fresh food to those in need and gaining an understanding of how food effects our overall health and lifestyle. With the seed planted, Becky began immersing herself into the food culture, working with well-established nutritionists, chefs and writers. Additionally, Becky continued to develop her love for good design and entrepreneurial knowledge while working for LVMH and DeBeers in early 2000’s. Becky remained resistant to committing to the food industry lifestyle but in 2006 she surrendered to her talent and passion for great food and design and began BEX kitchen.

Want to spice up your holidays? BY BECKY GEISEL

Ditch the hot chocolate and keep warm with the delicious Pumpkin Spice Latte. Created by Fell Stone Manor executive chef, Becky Geisel, a tasty, organic, and healthy fall treat is just what we’ve been waiting for. Made with a mixture of fresh and homemade ingredients, topped off with a sweet dollop of whipped cream and nutmeg, it’s safe to say your favorite fall indulgence is finally here! PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE Makes 2 cups Ingredients • 2 cups of 2% milk or homemade Almond Milk* • 3T of fresh Pumpkin Puree* • 2T maple syrup


• • • • • •

1 cinnamon stick ½ vanilla bean 1 1” ginger knob cut in half 2 whole cloves ¼ tsp of fresh nutmeg 2 shots of espresso (or strong coffee)

Instructions Add milk (your choice 2% or almond), homemade pumpkin puree, maple syrup, cinnamon stick, ginger, ½ vanilla bean, cloves + nutmeg to sauce pan. Bring to a simmer. DO NOT BOIL. Allow the milk and other ingredients to simmer for 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend together. Remove from heat and strain into another sauce pan. Discard solids. Bring milk back up to a simmer. Again do not boil or the milk will burn. Now with a balloon whisk, froth the milk on the stove. It usually takes me about 1-2 minutes of whisking to triple the volume of milk. It should triple in volume. Remove from heat. Make your espresso shot. Add your

espresso to your favorite mug. Top with your frothed spiced pumpkin deliciousness. Spoon the froth carefully into your mug and then top with a pinch of fresh nutmeg. Or if you would like to indulge add a dollop of whip cream. Makes 2 cups, Enjoy! *See our BONUS recipes for homemade Almond Milk and Pumpkin Puree* HOMEMADE ALMOND MILK Ingredients • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight in cool water (or 1-2 hours in very hot water) • 5 cups filtered water (less to thicken it, more to thin out) • ¼ tsp natural sea salt

Page 7

• Optional: to sweeten it add 2 dates pitted

until all of the liquid is extracted. Compost pulp (or save for baking).

Instructions Add your soaked almonds, water, salt and dates (if desired) to a highspeed blender (such as a Vita-Mixer). Blend until creamy and smooth, then run an extra 2 minutes to be sure it is well blended.

Transfer milk to a jar and refrigerate. It will keep for a few days. Shake well before drinking or using, as it tends to separate. HOMEMADE PUMPKIN PUREE Ingredients • 2-3 small sugar, cheese or baking pumpkins (about 2-3 lbs each)

Strain using a thin clean dish towel over a mixing bowl. Lay the towel over the mixing bowl, pour over the almond milk, carefully gather the corners and lift up. Then squeeze


Preparation Pre-heat oven to 350O F. Slice stem off the top of the pumpkin. Be sure to have good sharp knives. The

pumpkin skin can be tough. Then cut pumpkin in half. Remove the seeds and guts with a spoon. Place pumpkins onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Do not use oil. It will change the flavor of the pumpkin. Roast pumpkins for 45-50 minutes. You may remove them from the oven if they are fork tender. Meaning you can put a fork through the skin into the flesh of the pumpkin easily. Allow to cool. Remove the skin. Now you will have just the flesh of the pumpkin left. Place the cooled pumpkin flesh into a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth about 1-2 minutes. Rule of thumb, one two pound pumpkin yields about a 15oz can of puree. I like to roast off a few pumpkins and make extra puree that can be frozen. Just place in small quart size freezer bags, label + date and lay flat in freezer. They will last up to 6-8 months in the freezer. That way when you want a spiced pumpkin latte or pumpkin cookies the puree is ready for you.

Page 9

dining & cuisine

Featured Dishes Must try appetizers, entrees, desserts or cocktails available at local Fox Valley restaurants.

Spaghetti and Meatballs Chilean Sea Bass

Chilean Sea Bass with Hawaiian ginger scallion sauce. Catch 35 Naperville 35 S Washington St. Naperville, IL 60540 1-630-717-3500


“Spagetti tossed in our house made bolognese sauce, topped with fresh, homemade meatballs. Like all of our entree dishes, included is your choice of soup or salad and rolls. Come see us on Wednesday’s and enjoy for $6!” Chianti’s 201 S 3rd St. Geneva, IL 60134 1-630-232-0212

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Chef-inspired red and white Peruvian quinoa, topped with seasoned breakfast sausage, sauteed baby spinach, grilled portabella mushrooms, tomatoes, caramelized onions, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, and topped with two poached eggs. Colonial Café & Ice Cream 2 St. Charles locations Algonquin/ Aurora /Crystal Lake /Elgin/Naperville

Sloppy Joe Plus

Our Homemade Sloppy Joe, made even sloppier with EPH Cheese Sauce and Applewood Smoked Bacon. Elgin Public House 219 E. Chicago St. Elgin, IL 60120 1-847-468-8810

Wild Mushroom-Crusted Chicken Sweet Corn and Pea Risotto, Shiitake Mushroom, Spinach, Lemon Butter

“This dish is the ultimate in comfort food! For the crust we blend crimini, shiitake and porcini mushrooms with butter, bread crumbs, herbs and white truffle. It is then roasted over a chicken breast and served on a rich and creamy corn, mushroom and sweet pea risotto. The aromas that come from this dish are intoxicating!” – Chef Matt McMillin

Tenderloin Steak Medallions

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant 3710 E Main St. St Charles, IL 60174 1-630-940-1000

Fiora’s 317 S 3rd St. Geneva, IL 60134 1-630-262-1317

Medallions served with sherry wine peppercorn sauce, fresh broccoli, hollandaise garlic crumbs and whipped potatoes.

Page 11

Angus Sliders

All natural angus beef topped with Irish Cheddar cheese. McNally’s Irish Pub 109 W. Main Street St. Charles, IL 60174 1-630-513-6300

Dark Chocolate Pot De Crème

Toasted Marshmallow, Callebaut Graham Cracker Niche 14 S. 3rd Street Geneva, IL 60134 1-630-262-1000

Smoked Pastrami

Our House-Smoked Pastrami on marble rye bread with special sauce and Gruyere cheese. The Grandstander 507 S. 3rd Street Geneva, IL 60134 1-331-248-0919

Warm Apple Pie

Apple pie with a buttery crust, ice cream, caramel sauce & whipped cream. The Office 201 E Main St,St. Charles, IL 60174 1-630-549-0287

Silver Dollar S’mores

Pumpkin Pie

Home made with vanilla whip, candied pecans, and salted caramel. The Finery & Blacksmith Bar 305 W. Main Street St Charles, IL 60174 1-630-940-2380


A trio of marshmallow-filled chocolate chip cookie sandwiches. Topgolf Naperville 3211 Odyssey Ct. Naperville, IL 60563 1-630-596-1000

Page 13

dining & cuisine

Breakfast with Santa


At Catch 35 Naperville Breakfast with Santa at Catch 35 Naperville! Saturday, December 16th & Saturday, December 23rd, Seatings available at 9am & 11am, Reserve your table today by calling 630-717-3500. Children 2 and under free, Children ages 3-12: $20, 13 and Older & Adults: $30 *Gratuity and tax are not included in the above prices* Catch 35’s Santa breakfast buffet includes coffee, tea, and soda. Saint Nick’s Scrambled Eggs, Yuletide Bacon & Sausage, Rudolph’s Breakfast Potatoes, Jack Frost’s Crab cake Benedict, Tiny Tim’s Mini yogurt parfaits, Mrs. Claus’ Cinnamon Swirl French Toast, Blitzen’s Apple Cinnamon Crepes, Prancer’s Smoked Salmon, Dasher’s Bagels & Cream Cheese, Kris Kringle’s Croissants, and Assorted Holiday Cookies by Santa’s Little Elves. Join us for some holiday revelry and meet Santa at Breakfast with Santa at Catch 35 Naperville! http://www. Catch 35 Naperville 35 S Washington St. Naperville, IL 60540 1-630-717-3500 FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / December 2017

At Hotel Baker St. Charles December 3rd, 10th and 17th, 8:30 am until 12:30 pm. The children will meet Santa Claus and receive a special treat from him. Holiday facepainting will also be available. So, come enjoy a scrumptious breakfast and feel the festive, holiday season at Hotel Baker! To make your reservations call 1-630-584-2100. Hotel Baker 100 W. Main Street St. Charles IL 60174 1-630-717-3500

At Prisco Community Center December 16 9:30-11:00 am Start a family tradition! Parents and children will enjoy breakfast, crafts and a visit from Santa. Register early online for this popular event! Don’t forget the camera! Prisco Community Center 50 W. Illinois Ave. Aurora, IL 60506 1-630-859-8606

Page 15

dining & cuisine

Breakfast with Santa


At St. Andrews Country Club Sunday, December 3, 2017 9:30am-9:45am–10:00am-10:15am 3 yrs. & under $4.95 4 – 11 yrs. old $9.95 12 yrs. & up $14.95 Santa will be available for pictures by the tree, so be sure to bring your camera! Reservations start Nov. 1st Call 630.231.3100 ext. 114

At Batavia Park District Ho, ho, ho! Here comes Santa Claus! Kids of all ages are invited to have breakfast with the big guy on Saturday, December 2 at the Batavia Park District’s popular Breakfast with Santa. The event will be held from 8:30-10:00 a.m. at the Eastside Community Center, 14 N. Van Buren St. The Batavia Lions Club will be cooking up a delicious breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, and sausage. Fruit and drinks will also be provided. Children can visit with Santa before the entertainment begins at 9:15 a.m. Don’t forget the camera! The cost is $14 for residents, $16 for Batavia non-residents or $18 for non-residents. Register as a family of four to receive a discount. For more information or to register, please call 630-879-5235 or visit


Page 17


Take a “Walk on the Wild Side” At DuPage Children’s Museum Buy New Year’s Eve Bubble Bash 2017 Tickets Now Ring in the New Year with the entire family at Bubble Bash 2017, an important fundraiser for DuPage Children’s Museum (DCM), on Sunday, December 31, from 9 a.m. - Noon. It is THE place for families to be on New Year’s Eve. This annual year-end celebration, now in its16th year, has become a holiday tradition for families to celebrate together. This year’s event theme is “Walk on the Wild Side.” Get ready for a WILD family adventure! Don a pith hat and make a vest to decorate with stickers as you travel through each station, weave a beautiful collaborative canopy, contribute to the firefly fluorescent sky, build a fort, construct a raft to float down the stream, move to the beat of African drums, let out a roar during the countdown to Noon confetti celebration, and more. No passports are needed for this exotic expedition!


Families will enjoy a special appearance for the anticipated and lively “Countdown to Noon� by Naperville Mayor, Steve Chirico. There will be a quiet countdown and quiet jungle room for more sensitive visitors to enjoy. Bubble Bash tickets are on sale now. Early Bird Savings through Monday, December 4: Tickets are $15.00 per person for Members and $20.00 for Nonmembers. After December 4: Tickets are $20.00 per person for Members and $25.00 for Nonmembers. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 630.637.8000, or in person at 301 N. Washington St., Naperville, IL. Bubble Bash 2017 tickets are nonrefundable. DCM thanks our Bubble Bash 2017 sponsors to date: Bosch, DuPage Medical Group, Sneakz Organic, Whole Foods Market. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Elaine Drikakis, Director of Development, DCM, or 630.637.8000 x1340. The Museum is located at 301 N. Washington Street in Naperville, Illinois, a quick walk from the Naperville Metra train station. Parking is free and the building is wheelchair accessible. For information, visit, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Page 19


Geneva Christmas Walk & Holiday House Tour Tradition and surprise. It wouldn’t be Christmas without them and Geneva’s Christmas Walk and House Tour offer both. Friday evening, December 1 at 6 pm begins with Graham’s Chocolates First Candy Cane of the season being presented with great fanfare followed by the arrival of Santa Lucia, the Swedish symbol of the season, who will offer Swedish cookies to merry-makers. The Great Tree on the Courthouse lawn is lit and then young and young at heart will wait with anticipation as Santa Claus arrives on a horse-drawn carriage. Santa and Mrs. Claus will then open their gingerbread home for visits from excited children. Serenaded by carolers, families stroll Geneva’s historic marketplace, nibbling on fresh-roasted chestnuts, and dodging into brightly lit shops and restaurants along the way. Those who aren’t downtown, might be touring holiday-decked homes. The Christmas House Tour (Dec. 1; 11 am-8 pm & Dec. 2; 11 am-5 pm) also another tradition, but thanks to the diversity of homes and the creativity of local designers, it’s filled with unexpected treats. Colonial Revival: Built in 1869, the home maintains a secluded feeling while situated on a bustling intersection. A wandering path bids welcome to visitors as the eye is swept up to the impressive balconies. This home has had three different addresses in Geneva. First built at the corner of First and Fulton streets then in 1900 moved north to First and Franklin streets. At this corner since 1920, stacked stone steps lead to the charming entrance FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / December 2017

bedecked with fresh greens and ribbons. Festively decorated by Gatherings By Design (630.880.8792) and Plandscape, Inc. (630.365.2558). French country cottage charmer: Built in 1931 by well-known builders August Wilson and Son, this picturesque French country cottage is reminiscent of times gone by. Little Traveler founder, Kate Raftery, purchased the land as part of her River Lane Beautification Project, and soon after, this Batavia quarry stone house became the new home of Robin’s Bookshop. Over the years carefully blended additions including a dining room, family room, master bath and laundry room have updated the house while maintaining its historic quality. Festively decorated by SG Geneva/ Scentimental Gardens (630.232.1303) and Plandscape, Inc. (630.365.2558) with contributor All Chocolate Kitchen (630.232.2395). Architectural beauty: Built in 2016, this French country home’s views from the windows are of a winter wonderland, while the interior brims with exquisite architectural detail, fresh greens and an abundance of holiday cheer. From individually designed cabinetry and lovely stained glass windows to flawless handcrafted woodworking, including intricate crown moldings and knotty alder doors, this home is a sight to behold. Festively decorated by bb Interiors (630.262.9400) and Avant Gardenia (630.999.3030) Comfortable Cape Cod: Built in 1982, this lovely 1.5 story Cape Cod intrigued the owners who purchased it in 2011 because of its character, location to downtown and fantastic yard. The main floor was redone by Havlicek Builders, which included an addition and a sunroom remodel. Evident in every room, the homeowner enjoys mixing old and new items, throughout the home, that have been acquired and refinished/repurposed. Festively decorated by Heinz Brothers Greenhouse Garden Center (630.377.6288).

Historic gem: Built in 1851, this plaqued residence is one of the oldest, stateliest houses in Geneva. The Victorian Italianate has many elements original to the home, including the cupola grandly situated on top. Entering through the front door you will think you have stepped back in time. Festively decorated by The Little Traveler (630.232.4200). Tickets include a holiday tea and are available for $35. Proceeds are used to decorate Geneva for the holiday season. Purchase at the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, 8 South Third St. or at any of the locations listed below (in Geneva unless indicated otherwise). Call 630.232.6060 to order over the phone. 610 Home, 610 S. First St. – 630.262.3770 Anastazia - Treasures for the Home, 447 S. Third St. – 630.208.8048 bb Interiors, 600 S. First St. – 630.262.9400 CIRCA, 123 S. Third St. – 630.208.0013 City of Geneva, 22 S. First St. – 630.232.7494 Cocoon, 212 S. Third St. – 630.232.8340 Country Naturals, 316 Campbell St. – 630.232.1172 Dangles for Women, 12 S. Third St. – 630.232.9482 Heinz Brothers Greenhouse, 2010 E Main St., St. Charles – 630.377.6288 Nothing Bundt Cakes, 1086 Commons Dr. – 630.402.0311 Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, 1308 Commons Dr. – 630.208.1484 SG Geneva/Scentimental Gardens, 428 W. State St. – 630.232.1303 The Little Traveler (gift gallery), 404 S Third St. – 630.232.4200 Please note: the above locations accept cash and check (made payable to Geneva Chamber)

Page 21


Holiday Express lights up Blackberry Farm in December The Holiday Express train is welcoming all aboard during the first three weekends in December at Blackberry Farm for its Yuletide celebration, with thousands of glittering lights, festive activities throughout and the jolly presence of Santa and his elves. For eight days in December, the holiday spirit comes to life on Dec. 2-3, Dec. 8-10 and Dec. 15-17, when the decorated train will run continuously around sparkling Lake Gregory. Friday hours are 5 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 8 and 15; Saturday and Sunday hours for all other dates are 2 to 6 p.m. Advance tickets for specific dates are available online at and the Blackberry Farm Facebook events page to purchase tickets for specific dates. Please note the weekend of Dec. 2-3 is sold out. More than 60,000 Christmas lights (3½ miles worth) will illuminate the sparkling pioneer village, with shooting stars flashing above Blackberry Creek and holiday cartoon characters (Frosty, etc.) gracing the tour of Lake Gregory. “Thousands and thousands of twinkling lights – from the ticket window to the train depot and all along the walkways – turn Blackberry Farm into a winter wonderland,” said facility supervisor Sandie Gilmer. “It’s a holiday spectacle to be experienced, and a truly memorable outing.” Santa and his elves will be at Blackberry Farm each weekend, collecting children’s wish lists at the Early Streets Museum. There’s a sleigh full of other activities, including: • Huntoon House: See what a Victorian Christmas looks like – from décor to small


• • • • • • • •

antique toy displays Reindeer Food Bar: Mix up a snack bag and take it home to treat Santa’s reindeer on Christmas Eve North Pole Oasis (Carriage Museum): Enjoy crafts, music and a full menu of concessions available for purchase Candy Cane Village (Adventure Playground): Festively decorated and lit; the kids will love it! Little Elf Hobby Shoppe (Weaver’s Cabin): Create a commemorative bird feeder to help your feathered friends celebrate the holidays Sugar Plum Play Land: Enjoy winter-themed sensory tables and dive into the corn crib Gingerbread School House: Classic holiday stories read alongside the warmth of a wood-burning stove North Pole Barn: Visit Olivia, the friendly Potbelly Pig, as she helps Santa’s reindeer get in shape for Christmas Reindeer Training Facility (Pony Ring): See the ponies demonstrate what it takes to become a sled-pulling reindeer

Special activities are scheduled each weekend as well: • Dec. 3: Olaf Meet and Greet (sold out) • Dec. 9: Stories with Mrs. Claus • Dec. 16: The World’s Tallest Toy Soldier The Adventure Playground will be decorated and ready for action. Visitors can also enjoy hay wagon rides while being entertained by carolers and storytellers. Also, volunteer carolers (individual and group) are welcome; call 630-897-1550 to schedule. Advance tickets can be purchased online for all Holiday Express dates except Dec. 2 and 3, which are sold out. Concessions are available on-site, as well. View menu here. All-access admission to Holiday Express is just $5 per person (children under 2 free). Blackberry Farm is located at 100 S. Barnes Road in Aurora, just south of Galena Boulevard about one half mile west of Orchard Road. For more information, call 630-892-1550.

Page 23


Departure Location: Jon Duerr Forest Preserve, 35W003 Route 31, South Elgin, IL Chris Van Allsburg’s book The Polar Express comes to life when the train pulls out of the station with your family on board on November 19, 25, 26, December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, and 17, 2017, with departures at: 2:05, 3:15, 4:25, 5:35, 6:45, and 7:55 p.m. on selected evenings. The train will transport you to the “North Pole” where Santa will be waiting. Experience the joy of watching the children’s faces when the train arrives at the North Pole. At the North Pole, Santa will board the train, greet each child and hand them their own small gift. There will be caroling, sing-alongs with professional musicians, cookies and hot chocolate making this what will surely become an annual holiday tradition for the whole family. If you have additional questions regarding the Polar Express at the Fox River Trolley Museum, please contact us at: foxtrolleytickets@foxtrolley. org, or call 312-473-0993.


Page 25


Holiday Light Displays IN THE FOX VALLEY

HOLIDAY LIGHTS TROLLEY TOUR IN NAPERVILLE Ding! Ding! Naperville Trolley & Tours offers public Holiday Light tours of the highly decorated homes in the area during the month of December! (closed on 12/25) The Northern Tour begins and ends from Braconi’s Pizza - 796 Royal St. George, Naperville and is one hour in length. A reservation is required and can be made at under the “tickets” tab. $18 per person, all ages.! FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AT PHILLIPS PARK One of the largest free outdoor holiday light displays in Northern Illinois, the Festival of Lights, returns with dazzling displays that will delight both adults and children. Enjoy the magic! This signature winter event is a drive-through of more than one mile of spectacular lighted displays, many of which are animated, and are illuminated by tens of thousands of bulbs. Staged at Aurora’s gem, Phillips Park, the festival will be open from 5-9pm Sun-Thurs & 5-10pm Fri-Sat, from the day after Thanksgiving to the day after Christmas. Santa will be at the Visitors Center on selected dates and times. (See their web site for more information) Free: donations encouraged. Presented by the Aurora Rotary Club in partnership with the City of Aurora. Phillips Park 1000 Ray Moses Dr Aurora, IL 60505


HOLIDAY LIGHTS AT MOOSEHEART Holiday Lights at Mooseheart is one of Chicagoland’s largest light displays! The lighted route is approximately 1.8 miles and has more than 80 lighted displays to view! Features include: Santa visit, crafts, games, hot cocoa and cookies in the fieldhouse FREE for those who have paid the per car entrance fee. Don’t forget your camera! (More details available soon!) All proceeds will be directed to Mooseheart’s operation budget and provide for the high quality residential care and academic/ vocational training that their children need. Mooseheart Child City S. Lincolnway (Rt. 31) Mooseheart, IL 60539 1-630-966-2200

Page 27




December 3 - December 21 Montgomery Village Hall | 200 N. River St. | Montgomery, IL 60538 | 630.896.8080 The Village Hall will once again host a Festival of Trees that will turn all three levels of the Village Hall into a winter wonderland. Area businesses participate by decorating Christmas trees for everyone to enjoy, and visitors of all ages are invited to vote for their favorite tree. Some of the businesses will even be sponsoring fun raffles and prizes that evening. In addition, the Festival of Trees will continue for three weeks, so those unable to attend the kick-off event can still stop by to view the beautiful trees and vote for their favorite during business hours until December 22. Montgomery Village Hall 200 N. River St. Montgomery, IL 60538 1-630-896-8080


630-674-4808 Kelly Niemann Licensed Insurance Agent HealthMarkets Insurance Agency is the d/b/a, or assumed name, of Insphere Insurance Solutions, Inc. which is licensed as an insurance agency in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Not all agents are licensed to sell all products. Service and product availability varies by state. HMIA000589

Page 29

Santa Claus is coming to



FOX VALLEY MALL No holiday is complete without a visit with the star of the season. This year Santa will take residence in Center Court to welcome children of all ages, with events and festivities planned for a truly magical experience. Create keepsake memories with a professional photo, a variety of packages are offered with added surprises to enhance the value of your purchase. Delight someone special with a future phone call from Santa, or take advantage of digital downloads to personalize and share your photo. Whether you call him Jolly Old St. Nick, Santa Claus, or The Big Elf Himself, he’ll greet you with a twinkle in his eye and the merriest of smiles. Ho, Ho, Ho! SANTA PHOTOS Santa will be available for photos in Macy’s Court from November 10th December 24th. SANTA CARES Sunday, November 26th from 8 am – 10 am and Sunday, December 3rd from 9 am – 11 am in Macy’s Court. FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / December 2017

Children with sensory issues & other special needs visit and can take photos with Santa in a more soothing and sensory-friendly environment. *Please register PET PHOTOS WITH SANTA Thursdays, Dec. 7th, 14th and 21st from 7 pm – 9 pm We’ve reserved special times for your furry friends to take photos with Santa. So deck your hound in his holiday best and bark your calendars for a date with the man in red. Please use Entrance 1 between Macy’s and Carson’s. All pets must be leashed. FOX VALLEY MALL 195 Fox Valley Center, Aurora, IL 60504 1-630-851-7200

NORTH AURORA December 9 11am-3pm Bring the kids to visit Santa on Saturday, December 9th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the North Aurora Police station, 200 S. Lincolnway (in the community room). There is no charge and the kids can visit with Santa while you take your own pictures using your own camera. Light refreshments will also be served (while supplies last). North Aurora Police Station 200 S. Lincolnway North Aurora, IL 60542 ST. CHARLES Santa’s House is located on 1st Street Plaza in Downtown St. Charles. His doors are open Saturday and Sunday from 1-4pm starting November 25, 2017 until December 23, 2017. NAPERVILLE RIVERWALK Now in its 16th year, Santa House, presented in 2017 by Woody Buick GMC, is a favorite tradition in downtown Naperville, where the pavilion at the corner of Jackson Ave. and Webster Street is magically transformed into Santa’s Naperville headquarters, hosting visiting hours with Santa for children and families.

The Park District will host special evenings at Santa House by reservation only, including: Special Needs Nights, in partnership with WDSRA on Dec. 4-6 and Dec. 14, Pet Night on Dec. 11 and Military and First Responders Night on Dec. 12. Pet Night and Military and First Responders Night are completely booked; reservations for Special Needs Nights may be made online at Admission to Santa House is free, with the option of purchasing photos with Santa for $8 each or two for $15. Santa House is made possible by community volunteers and sponsors, including presenting sponsor Woody Buick GMC and the following event sponsors: Rocket Ice, Buffalo Wild

Wings, Living Well Dental, elisa and lynne homes, Shotokan Karate, Pump It Up, Dark Horse Pastries, 2 Toots Grill, 1 Vet at a Time, Prairie Path Foot and Ankle Centers, College Nannies and Tutors, Coldwell Banker - The Real Estate Group Naperville, Houlihan’s, Layer 3 TV, DeEtta’s Bakery and Dog Patch Pet and Feed.

Volunteer positions are still open for Santa House and other holiday events. For more information or to volunteer, check the volunteer page at .

Santa House opens to the public on Friday, December 1. Weekend hours of operation for Santa House are Fridays 4:00-8:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays 12:00-6:00 p.m. through Dec. 23. Santa House also will be open from 4:00-8:00 p.m. on Tues., Dec. 19, Wed., Dec. 20 and Thurs., Dec. 21.

Page 31


Family New Year’s Eve Fun at FUNWAY! December 31 5:00 pm -1:30 am Bowl: Early Bird Bowling Party! Join us for 2 hours of bowling, food, fun and games! Also an early countdown and balloon drop for the little ones! (5-7pm) Skate: Bring your friends and family out for a night full of skating, games, a countdown and balloon drop! Noise makers, glow sticks and party hats will get you ready for the epic balloon and confetti drop! (6-9:30pm) Late: Ring in the New Year the Funway! Enjoy everything Funway has to offer with this party package, from bowling to skating, to laser tag! You won’t want to miss the countdown and balloon drop at midnight! (10pm-1:30am) Funway Entertainment Center 1335 S. River St. Batavia, IL 60510 1-630-879-8717



Family New Year’s Eve Party December 31 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Families and children can start their New Year’s Eve activities early with a celebration from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 31. The Family New Year’s Eve Party will ring in the New Year with a variety of festivities. Kids and adults can get energetic while climbing and bouncing on giant inflatables, playing interactive games, competing in hula hoop contests and dancing to the latest tunes with a live DJ. Popular features also include the “Active Toddler Zone,” a “Meetand-Greet” with favorite characters including Spider-Man, Tinkerbell, Storm Trooper, Elsa, Cinderella and others and the traditional New Year’s countdown featuring a colossal balloon drop at noon. Guests are encouraged to preregister to guarantee admission, party favors, activities and snack. Vaughan Athletic Center 2121 W. Indian Trail Aurora, IL 60506 1-630-907-9600

Page 33


Yule Log Bonfire

at Red Oak Nature Center December 21 5:30 - 7:30 pm Celebrate the season on the shortest day of the year. Learn how ancient cultures celebrated the solstice, make some New Year’s wishes and enjoy some winter snacks around a cozy family fire. Register early for this family event. Adults must accompany children. All must register. Red Oak Nature Center 1385 N. River Rd. North Aurora, IL 60542 1-630-897-1808


Page 35


Come see Santa on Broadway in downtown Aurora this December. Santa is stopping by shops along Broadway on the first three Saturdays of the month. Children can enjoy a visit and pictures with Santa from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A variety of activities will also be offered at the different locations that Santa will be visiting. On Saturday, Dec. 2, Santa will visit the old tavern at 24 N. Broadway. Children can complete holiday coloring pages, and enjoy light refreshments courtesy of La Quinta de Los Reyes. On Saturday, Dec. 9, Santa will stop by PME Cake Decorating, 35 N. Broadway. Visit Santa at the corner of New York St. and Broadway for a cookie decorating party. Each child gets one free cookie donated by La France Bakery and La Central. While supplies last. On Saturday, Dec. 16, Santa will be at SeguroMex Insurance, 31 S. Broadway. An optional make and take ornament for $7 per child will be offered. The event is free. It is sponsored by Broadway business owners with assistance from Aurora alderpersons and Aurora Downtown, a non profit organization of business and property owners in downtown. Families are encouraged to bring their camera or phone for photos with Santa. Children will also receive a free candy cane. For more information, visit FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / December 2017

(630) 584-7710 Contact Us for a FREE Estimate!

Aluminum / Wood / Vinyl / Wrought Iron / Ornamental Steel / Chain Link Slide & Swing Gates / Guard Rails / Electronic Operators & Controls / Repairs & Fabrication

ActiveYards™ aluminum and vinyl fencing gives you peace of mind. Feel confident in your fencing choice with industry leading durability backed by our transferable Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Prepare for the season change with Peerless Fence. We provide prompt, expert year-round service and installation. Contact us today!

Page 37


Naper Settlement 2017 Holiday Events and Programs Home for the Holidays: Christmas in the Fabulous 1950s Exhibit Explore mid-century modern traditions and fun fads in Naper Settlement’s holiday-themed, post-World War II exhibit, Home for the Holidays: Christmas in the Fabulous 1950s. This temporary exhibit highlights a time when the U.S. government began tracking Santa Claus’ sleigh via radar, aluminum trees were the latest trend, and Napervillians started to enthusiastically adorn their homes with plastic decorations. This exhibit is located at 523 S. Webster St. Naperville and will be on view from Nov. 14 to Dec. 24. The exhibit will be open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibit will also be open and free during Christkindlmarket hours, but will close one hour prior to the market closing. Please see below for Christkindlmarket hours. UnFOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / December 2017

derwritten by Ronald & Claudia Stenger. Visit for more information. Santa @ the Settlement Get in the spirit this holiday season by visiting Mr. and Mrs. Claus at Santa @ the Settlement taking place on Saturdays, Nov. 25 and Dec. 2, 9 and 16 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Visitors will be able to share their wishes in their letter to Santa, craft two ornaments in Santa’s Workshop and prepare a magical treat for Santa’s reindeer in the Reindeer Food Factory. Be sure to visit Mrs. Claus’ Bakery to help her decorate cookies, then gather around for story time. Bring your cameras for a special photo with Santa. Admission is $15 per person and $13 per member. Children under 1 year old are free. Registration is required. To register or for more information, call 630.420.6010. Naper Settlement’s winter programming is provided by The Stenger Devermann Group at Morgan Stanley. History Speaks Lecture Series: An Old-Fashioned Christmas Historian and author Rochelle Pennington invites audiences to take a nostalgic glance back to bygone Christmases between 1930 and 1960 at Naper Settlement’s History Speaks Lecture Series: An Old-Fashioned Christmas on Dec. 10 from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Meeting House. Visitors will learn about a time when holiday feasts were prepared from canned jars and holiday shopping began with a Sears & Roebuck catalog. Pennington’s program, filled with humor and historic trivia, will also feature items from her antique toy collection. Admission is $10 for adults and $9 for youth (4-12) and students. Admission for members is $8 for adults and $7 for youth. Reservations are recommended. For more information, visit our website at

and Sundays from 4 to 6 p.m. from Nov. 24 to Dec. 17. Guests will also be able to enjoy Naper Lights from Dec. 18 to 23 Sunday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The lights will be viewable from outside of Naper Settlement from Dec. 24-26. Admission is free. Visit www. Christkindlmarket The Christkindlmarket Naperville brings a cherished German and European tradition with international flair and local charm to Naperville. Experience an outdoor German holiday season market with all of the sights, sounds and magic as well as delicious smells and treats, wonderful handmade ornaments and gifts. Be sure to stop by Naper Settlement’s booth and purchase delicious hot cider, cider gift sets and money-saving coupon books to benefit the museum’s education and preservation programs. Christkindlmarket Naperville will be open Thursdays through Sundays, from Nov. 24 to Dec. 17, on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Christkindlmarket will also be open Monday through Thursday, Dec. 18-21 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday through Saturday, Dec. 22-23 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Learn more at

Naper Lights Stroll the museum grounds and experience a magical holiday lights celebration! Naper Lights, presented by The Sunrise Rotary Club of Naperville, will be open Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 4 to 9 p.m.

Page 39


Neil Patrick Harris coming to Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville

The magic unfolds this December when Neil Patrick Harris, the award-winning actor of stage and screen, arrives in Naperville for a very special Anderson’s Bookshop event. In addition to his wonderful acting talent, Harris is also widely known for his abilities as an accomplished magician! In fact, his new children’s book series has magic at its heart. The Magic Misfits, launches as Book #1 in a highly anticipated new series for middle-grade readers. And Anderson’s Bookshop – abracadabra - is thrilled to make Harris appear! Fans of all ages can help conjure up this rare opportunity on Friday, December 8. The program and booksigning takes place at 7:00 p.m. at Bobak’s Signature FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / December 2017

Events located at 6440 Double Eagle Drive, in Woodridge. This special event is presented by Anderson’s Bookshop, 123 W. Jefferson Ave. Tickets are available exclusively at Demand should be high for this event, so please act quickly. Don’t let this chance go poof! For additional details, please contact Anderson’s Bookshop at 630-355-2665 or visit online, About the Book: From beloved award-winning actor, Neil Patrick Harris, comes the magical first book in a new series with plenty of tricks up its sleeve. When street magician Carter runs away, he never expects to find friends and magic in a sleepy New England town. But like any good trick, things change instantly as greedy B.B. Bosso and his crew of crooked carnies arrive

to steal anything and everything they can get their sticky fingers on. After a fateful encounter with the local purveyor of illusion, Dante Vernon, Carter teams up with five other like-minded kids. Together, using both teamwork and magic, they’ll set out to save the town of Mineral Wells from Bosso’s villainous clutches. These six Magic Misfits will soon discover adventure, friendship, and their own self-worth in this delightful new series. About the Author: Neil Patrick Harris is an accomplished actor, producer, director, host, author, husband, and a father of magical twins. Harris also served as President of the Academy of Magical Arts from 2011-2014. His memoir, Choose Your Own Autobiography was a New York Times Bestseller. The Magic Misfits is his middle grade debut.

Page 41

feature a&e

Interview with Guinness World Record Holder and Master of Pastry & Sugar Artistry

Alain Roby

Three-time Guinness World Record holder Chef Alain Roby, a certified master Chef of Pastry and Sugar Artistry, is internationally known for his talent in creating sugar and chocolate masterpieces. His famous, out-of-this-world chocolate sculptures include the Tallest Chocolate Tower 2,600-pounds, the 650-pound life-size Chicago Blackhawks player, and a 23-foot tall, 1,200-pounds enchanted chocolate tree, among many other breathtaking works of art all featured on many of The Food Network specials. Chef Roby recently celebrated the seventh anniversary of his All Chocolate Kitchen (A.C.K.), located in downtown Geneva IL., as well as the first anniversary of PRIMO, most deserving of every accolade received, is a sophisticated dining experience located next door to the All Chocolate Kitchen. Guests from all over the world have flocked to A.C.K. to see Chef Roby in action, as his guest spots on the Food Network and The Martha Stewart Show and various other television appearances have garnered Roby and his restaurant much well-deserved (and delicious) attention. Chef Roby studied and learned his culinary art in Paris from the world famous Pastry Chef Lenotre. He is the only pastry chef in the world to hold three Guinness World Records: “World’s Tallest Cooked Sugar Building”, “World’s Tallest Chocolate Sculpture”, and “World’s Longest Candy Cane”. Chef Roby’s work has been featured in numerous print and television media from Food & Wine FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / December 2017

magazine to Unwrapped with Marc Summers. He has served as a celebrity chef during the Celebrity Chef Tour in Chicago and has been the head pastry chef at the NFL Commissioner’s Super Bowl Party for the past 19 years. Chef Roby was named twice Pastry Chef of the Year by Chicago Culinary Museum and by Pastry Art & Design and Chocolatier Magazine Pastry Hall of Fame. Chef Roby created the towering wedding cake for the nuptials of celebrities Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg, that was highly publicized by US Weekly, People Magazine and Entertainment Tonight. Before opening All Chocolate Kitchen, Chef Roby worked as the Corporate Executive Pastry Chef for a major hotel corporation for 24 years. He is the author of the first and second editions of his cookbook, “Alain Roby’s American Classics: Casual and Elegant Desserts,” an editor’s top ten pick by the Food Channel. These achievements are a prominent recognition of Alain’s contributions to the pastry industry. You can view some of Chef’s amazing work on his website at www. Fox Valley Magazine: Where did you grow up in France? Chef Alain Roby: Montpellier in Southern France Fox Valley Magazine: At what age did you know you wanted to be a chef, and why a pastry chef? Chef Alain Roby: I started to study to be an attorney but decided to follow my passion for the culinary arts. I had the Honor to study the art of pastry making, under Gaston Lenôtre himself, who was none other than a culinary legend. I found my calling and started my career

Page 43

that eventually brought me to work & travel around the world and eventually brought me to the United States. Fox Valley Magazine: You have held some prestigious positions such as Private Pastry Chef for the Shah of Iran, Private Pastry Chef for the Admiral of the Joan of Arc (the flagship of the French Navy), Pastry Chef at Windows on the World restaurant, for a major hotel chain and Head Pastry Chef for the NFL Commissioner’s Super Bowl Party. You could live and work anywhere so how did you decide that Geneva IL is where you wanted to open All Chocolate Kitchen Store? Chef Alain Roby: So quaint and charming, we fell in love with Geneva and raised our family in this beautiful town. Fox Valley Magazine: What is your inspiration for All Chocolate Kitchen Store’s PRIMO restaurant’s menu? Chef Alain Roby: My Mother and Grandmother were amazing cooks. I always enjoy watching and learning from their cooking and when I happen to find an old recipe book, I wanted to bring back the goodness of this amazing comfort French food with a sophisticated twist. We also included some of my wife Esther’s authentic Italian recipes, including some American as well. Fox Valley Magazine: Please tell us about the new drink menu featuring a variety of cocktails that you along with your wife Esther and son Adrian Roby, have added at PRIMO. Chef Alain Roby: Yes, they have been a great success! Our son Adrian is the mixologist and he is also following his passion for the inFOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / December 2017

dustry. PRIMO POP Cocktails has been very popular: featuring a blueberry gin ice pop immersed in a glass of Prosecco! A must try. Fox Valley Magazine: A portion of all proceeds from All Chocolate Kitchen Store benefit The Saving Tiny Hearts Society, an entirely volunteer-based organization that was formed for the sole purpose of raising funds for con-

genital heart defect research. Why this charity? Chef Alain Roby: This charity is dear to us, as they are an amazing organization dedicated to eliminating congenital heart disease as a major health concerns by funding revolutionary life saving research for the #1 birth defect worldwide. Fox Valley Magazine: You are a 3 Time Guinness World Record holder, what drives you to challenge yourself to attempt these records? Chef Alain Roby: To always better and challenge myself, always go for the next step, setting the bar higher than the one before. Don’t limit your challenges - challenge your limits! Fox Valley Magazine: Will you be trying for a fourth? Chef Alain Roby: If the opportunity presents itself I will certainly accept the challenge. Fox Valley Magazine: What is your favorite meal? Chef Alain Roby: Authentic Thai Food Fox Valley Magazine: What can we expect at All Chocolate Kitchen this holiday season? Chef Alain Roby: We will introduce High Tea at PRIMO, for the Holiday Season starting Dec.4 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm reservations recommended. Enjoy a selection of delicious afternoon Tea treats, perfect to get together, parties and celebrations. We will have more information on PRIMO soon.

Page 45


North Central College - December Through Jan. 3, Art exhibit: North Central College presents artwork by Ramon Nayar, who uses a combination of creative writing, photography and film to unlock storytelling in new ways. Nayar’s work is on display through Jan. 3 in the College’s Oesterle Library Gallery, 420 E. School St. Call 630-637-5700 for gallery hours and more information. Dec. 1-Jan. 14, Art exhibit: North Central College will showcase works from all artist levels in its first juried show, “Winter Wonderland,” Dec. 1-Jan. 14, in Schoenherr Gallery at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. For more information contact Nickole Lanham at 630-637-5375. Dec. 1, Transfer information session: North Central College will host an information session Friday, Dec. 1, for transfer students. Visitors can learn about academic choices, transFOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / December 2017

fer admission process, scholarships and financial aid. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. in Smith Hall at Old Main, 30 N. Brainard St., and concludes with a walking tour of campus at 10:45 a.m. For more information or to register call 630-637-5800 or visit Dec. 1, Theatre: AlphaBet Soup Productions will present “Christmas Toy Shop” at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 1, in North Central College’s Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave. This kid-friendly show follows a group of life-sized toys that set out to rescue Santa and save Christmas from the clutches of the formerly sweet Toymaker. For tickets and more information visit Dec. 1, Holiday market: The Naperville Garden Club invites the public

to its Cup of Cheer Holiday Market from noon to 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, in North Central College’s Harold and Eva White Activities Center, 325 E. Benton Ave. No tickets are required during these hours; for more information visit Dec. 2-3, Music: The Naperville Chorus will present two performances of “A Swingin’ Christmas” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, in North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. Accompanied by the Pete Ellman Big Band, the chorus will perform holiday classics and has partnered with Toys for Tots. For more information and tickets visit

Dec. 8-10, Ballet: Naperville’s DanceWest Ballet Company will stage four performances of “The Nutcracker” at 7 p.m. Dec. 8, at 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 9, and at 1 p.m. Dec. 10. Presented in its entirety, this production will be held in North Central College’s Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave. Tickets are $33/person; call 630637-SHOW (7469) or visit northcentralcollege. edu/showtix.

Dec. 7-10, Theatre: Chicago’s Organic Theater Company returns to North Central College to stage five performances of “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7-9 and at 2 p.m. Dec. 9-10 in the College’s theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St. This heartwarming comedy explores how Ebeneezer Scrooge’s late business partner Jacob Marley discovers his own heart before helping Scrooge find his. Tickets are $30 and $20; call 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit showtix. Dec. 8, Music: North Central College presents its 5th annual Jazz Faculty Christmas Concert at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, in Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. This popular concert will feature a collection of well-known holiday favorites with a jazz twist performed by North Central’s acclaimed jazz faculty, including vocalist Janice Borla, Mitch Paliga on saxophone, Art Davis on trumpet, Tim Coffman on trombone, Brad Stirtz on vibraphone, Chris White on piano, Kelly Sill on bass and Jack Mouse on drums. Tickets are $25/adults and $20/students and seniors; call 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit

Dec. 9, Music: North Central College presents Grammy-nominated pop pianist Jim Brickman in “A Joyful Christmas” performance at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, in the College’s Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. This holiday concert will feature both classic and original songs that celebrate the season of faith, love and togetherness. Tickets are $45 and $35; call 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit Dec. 10, Music: The DuPage Symphony Orchestra presents two matinee performances of its family concert “Yuletide Joy” at 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, in North Central College’s

Page 47 Dec. 16, Children’s theatre: North Central College will host two performances by Hot Peas ‘N Butter for its show, “Holidays From Around the World,” at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, in the College’s Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave. This family-friendly show will feature songs in a variety of languages and explore the differences and similarities of holidays. Tickets are $12/adults and $6/children; call 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit northcentralcollege. edu/showtix. Dec. 17, Music: The Naperville Municipal Band presents its Holiday Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17, in North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. For tickets and more information visit Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. Tickets range from $18 to $8; call 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit Dec. 15, Music: North Central College presents Canadian super group The Tenors in a holiday concert at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, in the College’s Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave. This award-winning and multiplatinum band blends classical music and contemporary pop. The Tenors have performed for the last four U.S. presidents and the Queen of England for her 90th birthday party, and in nearly 1,000 shows on five continents. Tickets are $85, $75 and $65; call 630-637SHOW (7469) or visit northcentralcollege. edu/showtix. Dec. 15, Music: The Naperville Youth Symphony Orchestra will present its “Classics Along the River” concert at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, in North Central College’s Wentz Convert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave. For more information visit FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / December 2017

Dec. 21-27, College closed: North Central College will be closed Dec. 21-27 in observance of the Christmas holiday. These upcoming events are among many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. North Central offers a variety of venues accommodating a rich range of local and world-class events, performances and space needs for the public. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical and dance productions, art exhibits and lectures, visit northcentralcollege. edu/performance or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).


The Albright Theatre Company Dec 8, 2017-Dec 17, 2017 Based on the Much-loved classic film, join Ralphie as he pines for his Red Ryder, decodes secret messages, witnesses the feared triple-dog dare, and tries to make it to Christmas with the help of his oddball but loving family. (Performances Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 2:30pm & 7:30pm, Sundays at 2:30pm. Tickets $20/$15)

Page 49


Christmastime at Fine Line ARTISAN GIFT SALE This is the best place to begin your holiday shopping! With over 60 artists work on sale you are sure to find something for everyone, even that really difficult family member – we all have one! All the items for sale are locally handcrafted by local working artists. They take their time to produce these pieces to ensure the buyer gets a quality item, and they take pride in what they create. There will be jewelry, ceramics, scarfs, soaps, hats, mittens, cheese boards and Christmas decorations and ornaments to name but a few. All displayed in the Kavanagh Building during this week long event. Opening night, which is on December 1st this year, is always a spectacular event; much more than the usual shopping experience. Luminaria light your way to the beautifully decorated Building. As part of this event, there is an array of delicious nibbles and hot cider for you to enjoy, in a fun and party filled atmosphere. If you can’t make it opening night, there will be plenty of time in the coming days to stop by to purchase that perfect little/big gift or stocking stuffer for someone special. This year the Fine Line doors will also be open on the Sunday following opening night (December 3), giving you even more chances to stop out and see/purchase hand crafted pieces by local artists. CREATE. EXPLORE 2018 Are you thinking about New Year’s resolutions? Do you plan to try something new this coming year? Maybe you never thought of yourself as artistic, or maybe you used to do follow artistic pursuits but then life got in the way. Why not aim to Create. Yourself in 2018, beginning with a day of fun on January 6 at Fine Line Creative Arts Center of St Charles Located on Bolcum Road St. Charles, Fine Line Creative Arts Center has been teaching and inspiring adults for over 30 years. Create. Explore is a one day event that gives adults the opportunity to try their hand at something different with an artistic vent. The day runs from 9.00 am – 4.00 pm, and at the end of the day you will have completed 4 sessions and in most cases (ceramic sessions have to be kiln fired after), will be leaving with 4


Opening Night Friday, December December 1, 1, 2017 2017 Friday, from 66 –– 99 pm pm from

Dates December 22 –– December December 99 December

December 1 – December 9

Hours Saturday December December 22 Saturday Sunday December December 33 Sunday Monday –– Friday Friday Dec. Dec. 4-8 4-8 Monday Saturday December December 99 Saturday

10 -- 55 pm pm 10 10 -- 33 pm pm 10 10 -- 88 pm pm 10 10 -- 22 pm pm 10

newly created items. You do not need to have any prior artistic experience to enjoy this day, Fine Line instructors are amazing at taking you through the creative process in an exciting non-intimating way. Some of the options available to try this year are hand building ceramics, watercolor and metal clay. Lunch and all materials are included in the price of 65.00. It’s a great start to the year and an opportunity to meet up with like-minded people in a fun easy going atmosphere Pre-registration is recommended as there is a limited number of seats. Sign up today. See website for more info or call 630-584-9443

Page 51


Christmas Concerts at The Arcada? The Letterman Christmas Show! The letter sweaters may only make a brief appearance at each Lettermen performance, but The Lettermen harmony is nonstop. From their first hit in 1961 “The Way You Look Tonight” through current hits of today, the sound is undeniably Lettermen. 18 Gold Albums worldwide and scores of top singles attest to a popularity that has endured through several generations. Sunday, December 10th 5:00 PM

For tickets, call 630-962-7000 or visit FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / December 2017

Melissa Etheridge: Merry Christmas, Baby Melissa Etheridge is one of rock music’s great female icons. Her critically acclaimed eponymous debut album was certified double platinum. Etheridge’s popularity built around such memorable songs as “Bring Me Some Water,” “No Souvenirs” and “Ain’t It Heavy” for which she won her first Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal. Sunday, December 10th 8:00 PM

Bret Michaels Christmas Show!

As a rock star, reality star, spokesperson, businessman, and philanthropist, Bret Michaels does more jobs in a single day than most people do in an entire lifetime. Depending on the hour of the day he’s a cultural icon, a rock god, an entrepreneur, a TV star, a father, the face of the American Diabetes Association, a supercross enthusiast, solo artist, Poison frontman, and a generous donor to a myriad of charitable causes. Friday, December 22nd 8:00 PM

Page 53


It’s A Wonderful Life Radio Play December 16 at 8:00 pm It’s Christmas Eve in 1945, and only a handful of WVL Radio’s actors have braved the blizzard to perform that evening’s broadcast of It’s a Wonderful Life and keep the station afloat. This clever stage adaptation breathes new life into the poignant story of George Bailey and Bedford Falls. The circumstances are eerily familiar, and over 60 years later, this story remains as fresh and relevant as ever. Its message of hope and optimism is the perfect antidote to holiday cynicism. This fresh new adaptation of the film is set in the fictional studio of WVL Radio Theatre on a cold, snowy winter night. Due to the blizzard, the professional voice actors are unable to get through, but the show must go on — so a small but intrepid band of employees manage to create the dozens of movie characters and scenes using just their voices and a sound effects table. With surprisingly simple technical requirements and adaptable staging needs, this exquisitely detailed production fits a variety of venue settings, large and small, and is an uplifting story of struggle and triumph, and of the power of a community to weather financial storms. Nominated for five Academy Awards, Frank Capra’s beloved film is an undisputed holiday treasure, ranked #11 in the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 best American films ever made — and also their #1 most inspirational American film of all time. FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / December 2017

a&e WATER STREET STUDIOS 160 S. WATER ST. BATAVIA, IL 60510 1-630-761-9977

Winterfest Art Market December 8 - 10 Water Street Studios’ Winterfest Art Market features many local and regional artists and artisans displaying unique gift choices to fit every style, taste and budget—including handcrafted jewelry, stoneware, glassworks, functional and decorative wood objects, photographs, cards, imaginative craft items, and plenty of paintings, drawings, prints and other original artworks. Friday 1-9pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am-4pm.

Page 55



Embrace Your Inner Elf At Paramount Theatre’s Elf The Musical A Hilarious Holiday Comedy For The Entire Family

Everybody’s favorite overgrown elf, Buddy, will be making mischief and Christmas cheer this holiday season when Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora, presents Elf The Musical, November 22, 2017-January 7, 2018. Based on the hilarious 2003 Will Ferrell movie, Elf is one of those rare holiday shows that will have both kids and adults laughing, humming tunes like “A Christmas Song” and “Sparklejollytwinklejingley” for days and rediscovering what it means to be a family. Director Amber Mak is back to direct and choreograph Paramount’s big, brassy staging of this hilarious fish-out-ofwater holiday comedy, her third Paramount musical following her memorable stagings of Disney’s The Little Mermaid last season and Hairspray - The Broadway Musical in 2016. And with a two-story Christmas tree in the center of Paramount’s lobby, thousands of sparkling lights adorning the banisters and carolers filling the air with song, Paramount has become the place where families head for unforgettable holiday experiences. So join the Paramount family this holiday season for the perfect feel-good FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / December 2017

show that will turn even the grumpiest of grinches into a happy-go-lucky bearer of Christmas cheer, singing loud for all to hear. Previews start November 22. Press opening: Sunday, November 26 at 5:30 p.m. Performances continue through January 7: Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Thursday at 7 p.m.; Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Exceptions: There are four added performances during the run: Thursday, November 30 at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, December 12 at 7 p.m., Friday, December 22 at 1:30 p.m., and Thursday, January 4 at noon. Show time for the evening performance on January 4 is 5 p.m. rather than 7 p.m. No matinee Wednesday, November 22. No show Thursday, November 23 (Thanksgiving). No 5:30 p.m. show Sunday, December 24 (Christmas Eve). Elf The Musical is rated G. Single tickets are $36 to $74. The Paramount Theatre is surrounded by affordable parking and a variety of restaurants for pre- or post-show dining. For subscriptions and single tickets, visit, call (630) 8966666, or stop by the Paramount box office Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and two hours prior to evening performances. Behind the scenes of Paramount’s Elf The Musical If you’ve ever felt like you don’t belong, just be glad you’re not William “Buddy” Hobbes. When he was a baby, Buddy crawled into Santa’s sack of presents and was whisked away to the North Pole, where he lived as an elf for years. Buddy took joy in doing elf things, like making toys. But there was always something off. He towered over his fellow elves and just didn’t get cobbling. When Buddy learns he’s human, he goes in search of his father, a workaholic New York City publisher. Imagine Buddy’s horror when he finds out his real dad couldn’t care less about Christmas. But that won’t deter the

infectiously cheerful wannabe elf from changing people’s hearts and minds. Based on the cherished 2003 New Line Cinema hit written by David Berenbaum, Elf The Musical features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway, The Wedding Singer), with a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone). Elf The Musical was originally produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures in association with Unique Features. It ran on Broadway in the Christmas seasons of 201011 and 2012-13 and toured the U.S. in 2012 and 2014. Paramount’s cast for Elf The Musical features Kyle Adams as Buddy, Samantha Pauly as Jovie, Michael Accardo as Walter Hobbs, Oliver Boomer as Michael Hobbs, Lara Filip as Emily Hobbs, Jonathan Butler- Duplessis as the Macy’s store manager, Rashada Dawan as Deb, George Keating as Mr. Greenway and Roger Mueller as Santa. The ensemble includes Emily Agy, Matt Casey, Danielle Davila, Gilbert Domally, Michael Ehlers, Megan E. Farley, Allyson Graves, Will Herndon, Colleen Johnson, Ashley Lanyon, Jake Morrissy, Zoe Nadal, Sara Reinecke, Elena Romanowski, Haley Jane Schafer, Charlie Ward, Danny Dwaine Wells II and J Tyler Whitmer. In addition, two ensembles of three young performers will alternate shows: Grier Burke, Sophie Kaegi and Harmonie Kalous, and Tova Love Kaplan, Spencer Moss and Theo Moss. Matthew Savas will be the Michael Hobbs understudy for select performances. Roles normally played by Jonathan Butler-Duplessis will be performed January 3-7 by James Earl Jones II. For tickets, subscriptions and more information, go to, call (630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in Aurora.

Page 57



A Holiday Tradition, the ESO Presents their Magical Holiday Concerts December 9 & 10


The Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) presents their annual magical holiday extravaganza, led by ESO Resident Conductor Stephen Squires, on Saturday, December 9 at 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm and on Sunday, December 10 at 2:30 pm at the Hemmens Cultural Center. In addition to the award-winning ESO, the concerts feature Leila Bowie, soprano, Joseph Shadday, tenor, the Elgin Master Chorale, and the Midwest Dance Collective performing familiar holiday favorites. The program also includes a sing-along and an appearance by a very special visitor from the North Pole. Enjoy convenient free parking or use the valet service. For tickets, which are only $30-$50, visit ElginSymphony.Org or call 847-888-4000. Stephen Squires is a musician with a career that blends his passions for conducting, teaching, and performing. He received his musical training at the Preparatory School of the Eastman School of Music and the Crane School of Music, in his home state of New York. Mr. Squires earned his Master’s degree in Instrumental Conducting/Trumpet Performance at California State University, Northridge. Further conducting studies were with Helmuth Rilling, Maurice Abravanel, Daniel Lewis, Tsung Yeh, and at the Aspen Music Festival. Mr. Squires is Professor of Conducting in the Music Conservatory of the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University. His current professional appointments include Resident Conductor of the Elgin (IL) Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra (Rockford, IL), Music Director of the Millar Brass (Evanston, IL), and Music Director of the Illinois Brass Band (Arlington Heights, IL). In addition, he is an accomplished recital accompanist, freelance trumpeter, and frequent guest conductor at educational festivals throughout the country. Soprano Leila Bowie, is quickly gathering acclaim for her “rich and warm soprano” (Times Argus Vermont) vocal ability intertwined with her “crisp diction and expressive passion” (Musical America Worldwide). One of Chicago’s emerging artists, Leila Bowie is the recipient of the 2011 Lynne FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / December 2017

Harvey Music Scholarship from the Musicians Club of Women. Most recently she made her Orchestra Hall debut as a soloist in “Beyond the Score: Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben” with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Also in 2011, Ms. Bowie was a finalist the Neue Stimmen International Singing Competition in Germany. For the last two seasons she performed as a Young Artist with Chicago Opera Theater. Her most recent operatic performances have included the role of Nérine in Charpentier’s Médée and the cover of Schumann’s Frauenliebe und Leben for Chicago Opera Theater, Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte for the Green Mountain Opera Festival in Vermont, and Beth in Adamo’s Little Women for Sugar Creek Symphony and Song. Some of her upcoming engagements include, the World Premiere of George Flynn’s Songs of Destruction in participation with New Music DePaul in Chicago, La Contessa in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with Candid Concert Opera in Madison, WI, and as a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra. In September 2012 she performed the role of First Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute for Chicago Opera Theater. Indianapolis native Joe Shadday, tenor, most recently appeared as Hoxton in the Lyric Opera of Chicago production of My Fair Lady. Mr. Shadday is a recent winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He is also a skilled crossover artist and has appeared as Enoch Snow in the Glimmerglass Festival production of Carousel. Additionally, Mr.

Shadday has performed with Santa Fe Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Indianapolis Opera, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Music Festival, Charlottesville Opera, Kentucky Opera, Pensacola Opera, and was a previous member of the Cantus vocal ensemble. He is currently a chorus member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He received his M.M. from the University of Maryland where he studied under Leon Major and his B.M. from DePauw University. In-residence at Elgin Community College, Elgin Master Chorale presents several concerts per year at the renowned Blizzard Theatre at the college, as well as the Hemmens Cultural Arts Center and other locations in the Chicago area. Under the direction of Maestro Andrew Lewis, Elgin Master Chorale is comprised of approximately 100 adult volunteer singers from across the Fox Valley communities. Proud of their rich history, dedicated singers, and drive to excel; Elgin Master Chorale has certainly grown from their valued roots as a ‘union’ of church choirs, and are dedicated to their mission of being the premiere vocal ensemble in the Fox Valley. Ellen Werksman, dancer, teacher, choreographer, is the founder of the Midwest Dance Collective (MDC), an auditionbased youth ensemble that connects young dancers to the professional world of dance. Ms. Werksman started MDC to give the young dancers at her Dancewerks studio performance opportunities. Ms. Werksman’s students often give their time by donating performances for local charitable organizations in Barrington and Chicago’s Northwest suburbs. The foundation of Dancewerks is built on limited class size in all classes and Werkshops, hands-on correction / personal classroom attention, instructors with professional, real life dance experience and technique-based classes. Ms. Werksman has been a source of inspiration for the thousands of dancers she has taught over the last 25 years. Her message of passion, commitment and integrity, along with her realistic sense of the dance business, are shared in every aspect of MDC and Dancewerks.

Page 59


FOR INFO: (630) 524-0001

December at Zanies


Dec. 1 & 2... Vince Maranto...a Zanies favorite. Has appeared on TBS, Comedy Central, NBC, ABC and can be heard regularly on WGN radio

Dec. 7-9... Sean Donnelly... has appeared on Letterman, Conan, NBC’s Last Comic Standing, CBS, Inside Amy Schumer, Showtime

Dec. 14-16... Nate Weatherup... was a finalist in the World Series of Comedy in Las Vegas, is the opener for Full House’s Dave Coulier

Dec. 29... Mike E. Winfield... was a recurring character on NBC’s The Office, Letterman, Arsenio Hall Show, Showtime & more

Dec. 30... Gina Brillon...has performed on Late Night with Seth Meyers, The View, Chelsea Lately & more

Dec. 21-25...Closed for the Holidays


Dec. 31...Julian McCullough...a Zanies favorite. Inside Amy Schumer, MTV’s Guy Code, Jimmy Fallon, host of TBS’s Very Funny News


Diva Montell & Jeorge Holmes Christmas Concert at Club Arcada Bring your friends and family to the gorgeous Club Arcada Speakeasy & Restaurant for an evening of Christmas songs of past & present with Diva Montell and Jeorge Holmes with special surprise guest appearances. Feel the warmth of the season and come away inspired by their heartfelt song style. This will be an evening to remember. Saturday, December 9th 8:00 pm $10 admission diva-montell-christmas-concert/

Page 61


“The Nutcracker” Returns to the Hemmens December 2-3, 2017

Chicago Ballet Conservatory, in collaboration with M3 Dance, a non-for-profit dance company, prepares for their upcoming production of “The Nutcracker” at the beautiful Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin. Shows are Saturday, December 2 at 2:00pm and Sunday, December 3 at 7:00pm. This year’s production, directed by Linda Cunningham, promises to be one of the most extravagant holiday suburban shows of the year featuring area dancers of all ages, as well as special international guest performers including Joaquin De Luz (principal with New York City Ballet), Abigail Simon (ABT and The Joffrey Ballet), Raoni Xavier (Bolshoi Brazil) and C5 Create With No Limits. This edition of the timeless ballet is certain to be unique and memorable. From the choir providing pre-show entertainment to the magical and mystical production elements, this show is perfect holiday entertainment for families of all ages. Information and tickets can be found at or by calling Chicago Ballet Conservatory at 630-893-1444. Group ticket sales are also available. FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / December 2017

Elgin Celebrates The Holidays Discover this city’s talented performing arts community while rejoicing in the season with Elgin Celebrates The Holidays on Sunday, December 17, 2017 at The Hemmens Cultural Center at 3 pm. This holiday variety show, a festival of dance, music, and seasonal cheer, will feature many of Elgin’s talented performing arts groups including Eastern Groove Studio, BFH (formerly Ballet Folklorico Huehuecoyotl), Children’s Theatre of Elgin, Elgin Master Chorale Children’s Chorus and the Integrity School of Dance Performance and Dance Companies. The Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Sterling Brass Quartet will provide walk-in music in the lobby prior to the performance and at intermission. Steve Thoren, an award winning announcer and Emcee will act as the master of ceremonies for the event. General admission tickets are $10 and can be purchased from participating groups or through The Hemmens Box Office in person, by phone at 847931-5900 or online at All proceeds from the event go to Elgin’s participating performing arts groups. The Hemmens Cultural Center, located at the corner of Symphony Way and North Grove Avenue in Elgin, IL, is easily accessible from I-90. Driving directions are available at Parking is free.

Page 63


Celebrate The Holidays in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin Celebrate the holidays with a getaway to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. With its small-town charm, twinkling light displays, boutique shopping, family friendly activities and events, wining, dining and entertainment opportunities, the holiday season shines bright in the historic Lake Geneva area. Here are some of the many options to consider. LIGHTS & PARADES Grand Geneva Resort & Spa Trolley Tour of Lights: November 20 - New Years Hop aboard the Grand Geneva trolley for a tour to see the resorts more than 2 million lights and holiday decorations throughout the property. The trolley is heated and enclosed. Tours available hourly at 5, 6, 7 and 8pm. Reservations required. Delavan Tree Lighting: November 24, 6:00 p.m. Head to Tower Park in downtown Delavan for the holiday tree lighting and carols sung by the Delavan-Darien High School choir and alumni. The event is topped off with a visit from Santa arriving by fire truck. Festival of Lights: December 2, 5:00 p.m. Experience the small-town joys of the holidays with Lake Geneva’s Annual Festival of Lights, held at the Lakefront Riviera. Cocoa and cookies served to enjoy during the reading of a Christmas story and awaiting a visit from Santa. There FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / December 2017

will also be an abundance of in-store events around town for shoppers. Electric Christmas Parade: December 2, 5:00 p.m. Promote your inner Jedi with the positive things in life and remember the force will always be with you at the “Christmas in the Stars” Lake Geneva Electric Christmas Parade. Family and friends of all ages will see amazing floats glide through Broad and Main Street into downtown Lake Geneva. SANTA SIGHTINGS Santa Cruise: Running November 24 – December 30 Take a boat trip to the North Pole on the Lake Geneva Cruise Line Santa Cruise. Families and friends are greeted by jolly elves as they step aboard the historic Grande Belle boat for their trip to Santa’s North Pole hideaway. Decked out with thousands of twinkling lights, the Grand Belle is enclosed and heated offering a cozy atmosphere for all to enjoy the story of Santa and the North Pole. Purchase tickets at

know what’s on their wish list and enjoy the Christmas carolers, a life-sized gingerbread house and holiday themed crafts. Reservations required. Call 262-725-9155. ENTERTAINMENT Miracle on 34th Street: November 2 – December 23 The Fireside Dinner Theatre captures the holiday season with an unforgettable musical version of the classic Christmas tale, Miracle on 34th Street. The complete Fireside experience includes dining, browsing the gift shops, and the professional Broadway musical. Christmas Remembered: November 16 – December 18 Celebrate the music and memories of the season with Christmas Remembered and fresh farm to table cuisine at Rosewood music theater. Sing along with your favorite holiday classics and discover gifts and treasures in Rosewoods shopping village.

Bradley’s of Delavan: November 25, December 9 & 11 Santa will be at Bradley’s of Delavan three dates (11am - 1pm). Be sure to stop by and let him know what’s on your holiday wish list. East Troy Railroad: November 25 – December 17 (Saturday’s and Sunday’s) Take your family on a magical train ride from the East Troy Depot to Santa’s Workshop at the Elegant Farmer, where children visit Santa, enjoy cookies and hot chocolate, and take home a small gift. This 10-mile round-trip takes 90 minutes and railroad cars are heated. Trains depart at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., Noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Breakfast with Santa: November 25 & December 16 Be sure to make advance reservations for Breakfast with Santa at Lake Lawn Resort. Children have the opportunity to let Santa

SPECIALTY SHOPPING Slow down and enjoy the benefits of small town shopping as one-of-a-kind home décor, jewelry, clothing, gift, food and wine shops, adorable antique shops, and amazing art galleries in Lake Geneva’s walkable downtown lure you in.

Page 65

Cornerstone Shop & Gallery Holiday Open House: November 4-5 & 11 & 12 Featuring special guests, holiday and tabletop decor tips, trunk shows, personalized gifts, drawings, vendor specials, and gift with purchase offers, the Holiday Open House at the Cornerstone Shop & Gallery is a holiday season must do. Downtown Delavan Holiday Open House: November 25 Find seasonal sales, demonstrations, and refreshments as you go from store to store looking for that perfect gift in downtown Delavan. Santa will be at Bradley’s of Delavan from 11 am - 1 pm. COZY PLACES TO WINE, DINE & STAY Take time to unwind after you have taken in sparkling lights, visits with Santa and more. Try Studio Winery for wine, music and art; Barrique Wine & Brew Bar for light fare, wine, craft beer and unobstructed views of the lake; or travel back in time at the Apothecary bar at Maxwell Mansion where drinks are served from Erlenmeyer flasks. For a casual meal, Oakfire is the place for wood-fired pizza and other Italian fare; Popeye’s is a Lake Geneva institution famous for its slow-roasted rotisserie chicken, pork, and lamb; and Champs Sports Bar & Grill is the perfect spot to take in some football and burgers. Finer dining is enjoyed at Crafted Americana at the Ridge Hotel, Frontier at Lake Lawn Resort, 240° West at the Abbey Resort and Ristorante Brissago at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa offer varying dining experiences and views Lake Geneva’s luxury resorts, boutique hotels, and B&Bs, many with crackling fireplaces to gather


February 3rd. The Riviera Marketplace, offering live music, food and more is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Voting for the People’s Choice Award” is from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with the award ceremony at 3:00 p.m. Other must do events and activities during the two-week festival include a Human Dog Sled Race, drinks at the Fire & Ice Lounge at Baker House 1885, live magic and illusion at the Tristan Crist Magic Theatre, helicopter rides, historic tours of Maxwell Mansion, a STAR Party at Yerkes Observatory, a chili cook-off and the Cocoa Crawl in downtown Lake Geneva. For more Winterfest details and special packages offered by area hotels and resorts, visit

around, are ready for holiday visitors. Be sure to inquire about special packages. LAKE GENEVA MUST DO WINTER EXPERIENCES Winter is officially here as of December 21st and will go by fast. So seize the snow and say no to hibernation this winter by taking advantage of these must do winter experiences in nearby Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

The Abominable Snow Race: January 27th The Abominable Snow Race at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa is a chance to stay active and have fun in the great outdoors of winter. Conquer the four to six mile course made up of 20 plus obstacles at The Mountain Top ski hill. Kids age 4 to 11 can take on the lil-yeti course made up of eight lil-yeti sized obstacles. After you dominate the course, head into the lodge

Winterfest & U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition: January 27th – February 4th Lake Geneva is where “Winter meets Art” every year when it hosts Winterfest, the home of the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition (taking place Jan 31st – Feb 3rd). Watch fifteen teams of the most talented sculptors and artists from across the country create works of art out of 8-foot wide by 9-foot tall snow blocks. The sculptors officially end their work at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday,

Page 67

and grab a craft brew, chill by the fire pit, chow down on food, cheer on your fellow racers, enjoy music and live games, dance with new friends, take pictures with yeti, and score great deals with on-site sponsors. Visit www. to register. Sky Circus on Ice: February 16th – 18th Marvel at dazzling skies, sculptures and surprises during Sky Circus on Ice held at Lake Lawn Resort. The three-day winter celebration will take over downtown Delavan and Lake Lawn Resort. See gigantic kite displays and airborne performances by world-class kite teams over Delavan Lake on Saturday and Sunday. At ground level, top regional artists will showcase ice and snow sculpting skills as they bring frozen forms to life. Hands-on kite making workshops, expert-led kite flying lessons and family winter activities will add to the fun throughout the weekend. The resort is offering special two and three night Sky Circus on Ice packages that include credit for use at their restaurants, gift shop, and Calladora Spa. FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / December 2017

Amsoil Championship Snocross National Tour: March 16th – 18th The top professional snocross racers and leading freestyle athletes will invade Grand Geneva Resort & Spa for Nielsen’s Grand Finale of the AMSOIL Championship Snocross Series March 16th to 18th. This event promises plenty of up close, high-flying snowmobile action. The track is laid out on Grand Geneva’s Mountain Top ski hill and allows for both indoor viewing and outdoor seating in the grandstands. All the major snowmobile manufacturers will have displays of the newest models and equipment. Cross-country skiing, hiking, snowmobiling and ice-skating Lake Geneva has many scenic trails and nature areas for cross-country skiing, hiking, snowmobiling and ice-skating. Downhill skiers and snowboarders should head to Mountain Top at Grand Geneva Resort or nearby Wilmot Mountain, which has invested $13 Million in ski area improvements. Ice skaters can enjoy daytime or moonlit fun at The Abbey

Resort. Ice-skating is also available at The Ridge Hotel, Lake Lawn Resort and Grand Geneva Resort. The best sledding hills are at Big Foot Beach State Park and near the parking lot at Sage and Mill Streets in downtown Lake Geneva. Sleigh rides, offered by Dan Patches Stables at the Grand Geneva Resort, take visitors through the rolling countryside and are followed by warm bonfires to chase away winter chills. Anglers will enjoy ice fishing on the both Geneva and Delavan Lakes. When it’s time for a break from the outdoors, take time to enjoy the shopping and dining in the quaint downtown area. A variety of one of a kind shops and restaurants will welcome you with warmth and friendly service. For help planning your winter getaway, call (800) 345-1020 or go to

Page 69

out & about Snapshots of what’s going on around The Fox.


Electric Christmas Parade Photos by by Laura Stoecker Photography LTD courtesy of the Downtown St. Charles Partnership

Page 71

Lighting of the Lights Ceremony Photos taken by Laura Stoecker Photography LTD courtesy of the Downtown St. Charles Partnership FOX VALLEY MAGAZINE / December 2017

Pete Miller’s Steak and Seafood in Naperville

Ribbon Cuttings

Just for Paws Boutique

5 Year Anniversary for Spotted Ale House in St. Charles IL

Page 73


Fox Valley Magazine - December 2017