Big Week | Dec. 23 - 30

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By Staff

Holiday Magic

Wednesdays through Sundays through December 20; Saturday through Thursday, December 26 to 31, 3 to 9 p.m., Brookfield Zoo

Visit "Chicagoland's largest and longest-running lights festival featuring over a million twinkling LED lights." The display includes a 600-foot-long tunnel with thousands of colored lights synchronized to music, a 20-foot-lit orb ideal for picture-taking, a 41-foot-tall tree and larger-than-life LED animal sculptures. Pose with a life-size cutout of Santa and at other selfie frames. Letters to Santa can be dropped off in a giant red box on the south mall. Also, participate in a gnome scavenger hunt and enjoy festive foods, such as hot chocolate, spiced wine and cinnamon sugar pretzels while strolling past the 660 decorated trees, many with homemade ornaments. The zoo is not open prior to 3 p.m. on Holiday Magic days. Advance admission and parking tickets are required to ensure social distancing. $17.95-$24.95. Tickets: More: 8400 31st St., Brookfield.


Holiday Housewalk for Healthy Kids

Anytime Dec. 4 through 30, Virtually with OPRF Infant Welfare Society Children's Clinic

Take a video tours of five Oak Park & River Forest homes, all dressed up for the holidays. View, one-of-a-kind, how-to holiday project videos showcasing local talent and merchants. And, enter

the Grand Raffle for a chance to win $10,000. $55, includes one raffle ticket. Tickets/more:


Handmade Jewelry Show and Beaded Snowflake Kits

Bead in Hand

Through Dec. 24, view and purchase jewelry designed and created by staff artists. And, throughout the season, create your own beaded snowflakes with metal forms available in kits to make several or just one. The store offers other DIY kits for ages 6 to adult and now virtual instructions for basic stringing and earring design. Items can be ordered online and picked up curbside or shipped. Or, shop in the store by appointment. Request items by phone or email: 708-848-1761, Hours: Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays, Noon to 5 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 to 5 p.m.; Wednesdays and Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m.; and Christmas Eve, 11 – 3. More: 145 Harrison St., Oak Park.


Library Buddies

Tuesday, Dec. 29, 11 a.m. to Noon, Zoom with the Oak Park Public Library

Stop by the virtual Children's Services desk to chat with library team members for 10 minutes. Options include hearing a story (or children can read to the librarian!), interacting with a puppet, sharing some jokes, or show and tell with pets. Also on January 5, 12, 19 and 26. Register:


Be Our Neighbor

Tuesday, Dec. 29, 4 to 5 p.m., Zoom with the Oak Park Public Library

Structured discussions and activities, paired with an episode of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, will help kids gain social-emotional skills that help prepare them for future success. Because children learn more when watching educational programming with their caregivers, adults are asked to stay and participate in viewing and discussions. Recommended for ages 3 to 6. Register:


Grief Journaling Workshop

Sunday, Dec. 27, 2 to 4 p.m., Zoom with the Oak Park Public Library

For those experiencing the loss of a loved one, you are invited to try journaling. Session begin with prompts followed by time to journal. At the end, there is time to share (optional). Resources for writing, grief, where to get help and more are provided. Feel free to attend any or all sessions. Next up: Jan. 31. Register:


Adult Improv

Tuesday, Dec. 29, 7 to 8 p.m., Zoom with the Oak Park Public Library

Join us for a night of spontaneous comedy. All skill levels welcome. Register:



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