Franco Martorana

Santa rides through North Riverside

Santa will make his annual trip through North Riverside via fire engine on Saturday, Sept. 17, bringing holiday cheer to all good girls and boys.

The jolly old elf will make the following stops: 9:05 a.m., 23rd and Park; 9:20 a.m., 23rd and Hainsworth; 9:35 a.m., Traube and Hainsworth; 9:50 a.m., 25th and Burr Oak; 10:05 a.m., 25th and Forest; 10:20 a.m., 30th and Lincoln; 10:35 a.m., 24th St. and 4th Ave.; 10:50 a.m., 24th St. and 7th Ave.; 11:05 a.m., Komarek School; 11:20 a.m., 23rd St. and 15th Ave.

Santa’s last stop will be The Scottish Home, where he will visit residents. The trip is sponsored by the North Riverside Fire Department in cooperation with the village board. 

Celebrate the holidays in your PJs 

Celebrate the holiday season at the Brookfield Public Library, 3609 Grand Blvd., at the 15th Annual Holiday Family Pajama Extravaganza on Friday, Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m.

This special after-hours event features holiday-themed stories, crafts, music and games. Hot cocoa and cookies will be provided. Be sure to bring your wish list (and camera) because Santa will also be there. The event concludes with a sing-along.

The event is free to attend, but registration is required. Call 708-485-6917, ext. 140 or visit

Holiday Hideaway overnighter for teens

Kids 12 and older are invited to play laser tag, enjoy the open gym and stay overnight at the North Riverside Parks and Recreation Department’s “Holiday Hideaway” on Dec. 17-18 at the Village Commons, 2401 Desplaines Ave.

Drop-off is at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, with pick-up at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Dinner, a late-night snack and breakfast are included in the $45 fee ($30 if not staying overnight).

For info call 708-442-5515 or visit

An operatic holiday option

The Riverside Chapter of the Lyric Opera and the Pleasant Home Foundation present a Winter Holiday Celebration featuring cookies and carols, arias and appetizers and tours and tunes at Pleasant Home, 217 Home Ave. in Oak Park on Thursday, Dec. 15 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Tour the historic home and stay for arias sung by Chicago’s own tenor Franco Martorana, followed by seasonal songs by Jeff Schroeder.

Tickets at the door are $15. RSVP to Alice Stake at 708-447-7523 or

Radio Players holiday performance

Join the Riverside Township Radio Players on Friday, Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m., for their annual Christmas program, featuring recreations of three holiday-themed shows from radio’s golden age.

Classic shows to be performed are “Stranded by a Snowstorm” from Father Knows Best, “Miracle for Christmas” from Grand Central Station and “Christmas Eve” from The Bickersons.

Admission is free. For info call Ellie Babka at 708-442-8810 or visit

And more

• Mailboxes for letters to Santa are ready to receive children’s letters in both Riverside and North Riverside. In Riverside, the mailbox is located on the east side of the historic water tower, 10 Pine Ave. Letters received before Dec. 22 will get a note back from Santa.

In North Riverside, the mailbox is inside the Village Commons at 2401 Desplaines Ave. Deposit letters before Dec. 21 with a return address so Santa may respond.

• “Good Machines,” an art exhibition highlighting connections between humans and technology continues thru Jan. 7 at Riverside Arts Center, 32 E. Quincy St., Riverside. Free. Visit for gallery times.

 Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Road in Brookfield, continues Dec. 17-18 from 4 to 9 p.m. For more information visit or call 708-688-8000. Admission and parking fees apply.

• Riverside-Brookfield High School is looking for kids in fourth through eighth grades to audition to part of the orphan chorus in the school’s spring production of Annie: The Musical. Auditions are on Dec. 16 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Little Theater at RBHS, 160 Ridgewood Road in Riverside. Email Aubrey Dunham-Prince at with questions.

• North Riverside Parks and Recreation hosts a supervised open gym for teens every Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Village Commons, 2401 Desplaines Ave. Concession available. $5 fee at the door.

• Riverside Public Library, 1 Burling Road, hosts Make A Gift projects for grade 6 and up on Dec. 14 and 21 from 3:15 to 5 p.m. Make a special holiday gift for someone in your life. Drop in anytime during the program.

• Plymouth Place, 315 N. LaGrange Rd. in LaGrange Park, presents a West Suburban Band holiday concert in Dole Hall at 7:15 p.m. on Dec. 15; Jolly Boys Holiday Concert in Dole Hall on Dec. 17 at 7:15 p.m.; and Quest Theatre’s puppet performance of Blue Nativity in Dole Hall on Dec. 18 at 3 p.m.

• North Riverside Parks and Recreation continues its Popcorn and a Movie series with a screening of Burnt, starring Bradley Cooper, on Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. in the council room of the Village Commons, 2401 Desplaines Ave. Free. Register to attend by calling 708-442-5515.