Ring in 2020 at Zoo Year’s Eve and more

Looking for a family-friendly way to welcome the New Year? There are several local options on tap.

Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Road in Brookfield, hosts its annual Zoo Year’s Eve celebration on Tuesday, Dec. 31 as the capstone to its Holiday Magic festival of lights, which begins at 4 p.m. A DJ sets the party tone in the Holly Jolly Theater, where there will be games, party favors and an early countdown at 8 p.m.

A separate kid-friendly countdown at 8 p.m. will be held at the Hamill Family Play Zoo, especially god for kids 6-under. Regular zoo admission and parking rates apply. Visit CZS.org/ZooYearsEve or call 708-688-8000 for more info.

Riverside Public Library, 1 Burling Road, hosts a New Year’s Eve Dance Party for kids up to grade 2 on Monday, Dec. 30 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The event includes party snacks, music and photo ops.

Meanwhile, Riverside Parks and Rec will host a Kiddie New Year’s Eve Party on Tuesday, Dec. 31 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the water tower, 10 Pine Ave. in downtown Riverside.

For kids ages 5-8, the party features games and activities before a countdown at noon with noisemakers and treats. The fee is $15 ($20 non-residents). Call 708-442-7025. 

North Riverside Holly-Day Camp

School’s out for the holidays and the kids are bouncing off the walls. What’s a parent to do? Sign them up for North Riverside Parks and Rec’s Holly-Day Camp for kids ages 4-12 on Dec. 26, 27 and 30 and Jan. 2 and 3.

The camp goes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day (before and aftercare available) and features sports, games, arts and crafts, sweets and treats and music. Wear comfy clothes and gym shoes. Kids will also head outdoors, so plan accordingly. Campers should bring a lunch and beverage each day.

Register for one or more days at $25 ($27 non-residents) per day. Call 708-442-5515.

A Dressember to remember

Compassion Factory Art Gallery and Studio, 9210 Broadway Ave. in Brookfield, invites the women of the community to a Ladies Only Dressember Dance Party on Friday, Dec. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Hit the dance floor at this fundraiser for the Dressember Foundation, a 501c3 organization whose mission is to raise awareness and fight human trafficking.

Advance tickets are $25 and includes entry to the party, snacks and drinks, one raffle ticket (more available for purchase) and a song of your choice added to the playlist.

For tickets and information, contact Izzi Markus at 630-926-5210 or at izzi.aspire@att.net.

Seniors ring in the New Year

Aging Care Connections and the Congregate Meal Program invite area seniors to a special New Year’s Eve Party on Tuesday, Dec. 31 starting at 10 a.m. at Salerno’s Pizzeria and Sports Bar, 9301 W. 63rd St. in Hodgkins. 

There’s a $2.50 suggested donation. The event kicks off at 10 a.m. with bingo and a treat, with lunch served at 11:30 a.m. Welcome in the New Year slightly ahead of schedule at noon before another round of bingo, beginning at 12:45 p.m.

RSVP required by calling 708-354-1323.

And more

νHoliday Magic, the annual festival of lights at Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Road in Brookfield, returns 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. Guests should park in the north lot. Regular admission and parking fees apply. For more, visit CZS.org/Magic or call 708-688-8000.

νRiverside Arts Center, 32 E. Quincy St., presents a solo show featuring the work of artist Jennifer Oldis-Kryczka through Jan. 4. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. Free and open to the public.

νThe Riverside Township Lions Club is collecting unwanted Christmas lights for recycling. Working and non-working lights that are for indoor or outdoor use can be dropped off at the Riverside Public Library, 1 Burling Road, or the North Riverside Public Library, 2401 Desplaines Ave., during normal business hours through Jan. 15, 2020.

νLyons Township High School para-educators are holding a collection of new winter hats, scarves, gloves/mittens and socks for District 204 area children and adults in need. The drive continues through Jan. 14, 2020. Drop off items at the libraries/discovery centers at either the North Campus, 100 S. Brainard Ave. in LaGrange or South Campus, 4900 S. Willow Springs Road in Western Springs.

νRiverside Public Library, 1 Burling Road, hosts Book End Mini-Golf all day on Dec. 26 in the children’s area. Bring your family and friends and unwind with pint-sized mini-golf. Kids in grades 3+ can play Pokemon on Dec. 27 at 2 p.m. Not old enough? Come to Pokemon Jr. at 3 p.m. bring your cards.

νNorth Riverside Public Library, 2400 Desplaines Ave., hosts a Senior Drop-in on Dec. 27 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Meeting Room. Play cards and socialize.

For adults and seniors there’s Intro to Android on Dec. 27 at 6 p.m. To sign up for senior and adult events, call 708-447-0869 or visit www.northriversidelibrary.org/events.

For kids there’s a Holiday Pizza Lunch and Movie on Dec. 27 from noon to 2 p.m. and Virtual Reality (grades 5-12) on Dec. 28 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

νThe 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.

νThe 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 through March 20, 2020. Free.