North Riverside Public Library, 2400 Desplaines Ave., continues its Wednesday Movie Matinee series with the 1947 holiday favorite "The Bishop's Wife," starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven, on Dec. 5 at 2 p.m.

Spotlight Exhibition at RAC

Riverside Arts Center, 32 E. Quincy St., presents “While Here,” a solo exhibition of work by painter Kim Piotrowski as part of its Spotlight Exhibition series highlighting artists who are part of the RAC community.

An abstract painter, Piotrowski’s work combines intimacy with the monumental baroque. Mass spirals and space unfolds into painted worlds that are both tangible and enigmatic.

Every year of Piotrowski’s 16 years of life in Riverside will be represented in an installation that will fill the entire Freeark Gallery as well as the FlexSpace. Old and new work will hang together.

The show runs from Dec. 2 through Jan. 5 with a free opening reception on Dec. 2 from 3 to 6 p.m. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m., except for major holidays when the gallery is closed.

St. Mary Art & Craft Show

Get into the holiday spirit at the St. Mary Mingle Jingle Art & Craft Show on Friday, Nov. 30 from 5 to 9 p.m. in the parish center, 97 Herrick Road in Riverside.

The free event features hand-crafted items, a Secret Santa Shop for kids, a one-of-a-kind raffle table, Elves’ Café, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus and more.

Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo

A beloved holiday tradition returns this weekend through the month of December when Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Road in Brookfield, flips the switch on Holiday Magic, the festival of lights that takes place on Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16 and 22-23 as well as Wednesday through Monday, Dec. 26-31.

The zoo is open each day of the event from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Come early and stay later for the festivities, which begin at 4 p.m.

Each night will feature music and live entertainment, ice carving demonstrations, magic shows and more, including an opportunity to takes a few turns around the new ice rink.

Guests should park in the north lot. Regular admission and parking fees apply. Ice rink is extra. For more, visit or call 708-688-8000. 

Santa Write Night at LTHS

Lyons Township High School invites kids in grades K through 3 to its annual Write Night, where children can write letters to Santa on computers and receive immediate responses from the North Pole.

“A Nutcracker Christmas” is the theme for this year’s event, which will be held in the South Campus Discovery Center and surrounding classrooms, 4900 S. Willow Springs Road in Western Springs, on Tuesday, Dec. 4 from 4 to 6 p.m.

There is no charge to attend and families can drop in at any time, but families are asked to bring one non-perishable food item, which will be donated to a local food pantry. 

Register to attend by Dec. 2 online at or by calling 708-579-7433 or 708-579-7436 or by emailing Belinda Salutric at

The Mob in the ‘burbs

John J. Binder, author of “The Chicago Outfit” and “Al Capone’s Beer Wars” will discuss the history of organized crime in Riverside and surrounding suburbs during “The Mafia in the Western Suburbs” on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Great Room of the Riverside Public Library, 1 Burling Road.

His talk will cover the Mob’s influence on local businesses and politics, as well as notorious violent incidents and well-known resident criminals. Co-sponsored by the Frederick Law Olmsted Society.

Holiday flick at North Riverside Library

North Riverside Public Library, 2400 Desplaines Ave., continues its Wednesday Movie Matinee series with the 1947 holiday favorite “The Bishop’s Wife,” starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven, on Dec. 5 at 2 p.m.

The movie is free to attend. Just drop in.

And more

  Santa’s mail box has been posted in front of the water tower, 10 Pine Ave., in downtown Riverside, which means it’s time for local children to write their lists and pop them in the mail box, so Santa receives them in time. Letters received by noon on Dec. 20 are guaranteed a response.

  Brookfield Zoo hosts Lights and Lagers, a beer-tasting event on Nov. 30 from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $45 and includes parking in the north lot, 8400 31st St., samplings from participating breweries and a tasting glass. 21-over only. For more info, see 

  Artwork by Lyons Township High School student artists representing virtually every medium are on display at the Thomas Ford Library, 800 Chestnut St., Western Springs, throughout the month of November, during regular library hours. Free and open to the public.

 Compassion Factory Art Gallery and Studio, 9210 Broadway Ave. in Brookfield, presents “In Our Family” featuring work in a variety of media, which were submitted for review during an open call last month. The theme of the show revolves around family – what it looks like and what it means to the artists. The exhibit runs through Dec. 1. Admission is free. Open Thursdays from 4 to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and first Fridays from 7 to 10 p.m.

  Riverside-Brookfield High School, 160 Ridgewood Road in Riverside, hosts Water Exercise Techniques (WET), an adult level fitness class on Wednesday nights through Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. No swimming involved. $36 for six classes. Email Noelle at for info.

  Riverside Arts Center, 32 E. Quincy St., hosts “We Are Beasts” featuring the work of Sarah and Joseph Belknap in the outdoor sculpture garden through December. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m.

  Riverside Public Library, 1 Burling Road, hosts the Wonderful World of Family Search with Maureen Brady on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Public Meeting Room and Knitting and Needle Work Drop-in on Mondays through Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Quiet Reading Room.

  North Riverside Public Library, 2400 Desplaines Ave., hosts a Senior Drop-in on Nov. 30 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Meeting Room. Play cards and socialize every Friday.

For adults there’s Ins and Outs of the Job Search with the Community Career Center on Nov. 29 at 4 p.m. To RSVP call 708-447-0869 or see

For kids, there’s Lapsit Storytime (toddlers thru 5) on Nov. 29 at 10:30 a.m.; I Spy: The Game Show (grades K+) on Nov. 29 at 3:45 p.m.; DIY Craft Hour (grades 2 ) on Nov. 30 at 4 p.m.; Messy Mornings for Munchkins (ages 2-5) on Dec. 4 at 10:30 a.m.; Bilingual Storytime (ages 2-5) on Dec. 5 at 10:30 a.m.; and a Holiday Balloon Spectacular and Santa Claus on Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m.

  The community is invited to jog, walk or run inside on the indoor track at the Lyons Township High School South Campus fieldhouse, 4900 S. Willow Springs Road in Western Springs, from 6 to 7 a.m. on days when school is in session. Free.

  The Brookfield Elks Lodge, 9022 31st St., hosts bingo every Monday night. Doors open at 5 p.m. and games start at 7 p.m. minimum cash payout of $2,275 a night, plus pull tabs, lightning, tic-tac and raffles.