Liz Chilsen, “Messenger (Wildwing),” smoke-fired high-fired stoneware on found and altered wooden base.

Riverside Arts Center opens new shows Dec. 3

Riverside Arts Center, 32 E. Quincy St., welcomes visitors to enjoy new shows in the Freeark, FlexSpace and Sculpture Garden galleries, including “Messengers” featuring the art of Liz Chilsen and “Obstacles and Intimacies” by Stephanie Brooks. Both shows are part of the RAC Spotlight Exhibition series, which highlight artists who are part of the RAC community. The shows continue through Jan. 8.

There’s also the show “Vessels,” which continues through Dec. 31 and features the art of Tulika Ladsariya, Melissa Zeigler Monroe and Shawn Vincent. All are ceramic artists exploring multiple meanings of the vessel form.

Gallery hours are Thursday-Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. or by appointment. Visit for more.

‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ radio play at LTHS

The Lyons Township High School Theatre Board presents “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” by Joe Landry on Thursday, Dec. 10 and Friday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 12, at 3 p.m. All shows are in the North Campus Reber Center, 100 S. Brainard Ave., LaGrange.

Audiences will be taken back to Christmas Eve 1945 to a soundstage in Manhattan for a live radio broadcast of Capra’s iconic film. This adaptation tells the heartwarming story of George Bailey’s encounter with the Clarence, an angel attempting to finally get his wings, told as a classic 1940s live radio play.

Tickets are $10, $5 for students and senior citizens, and free with LTHS student ID. The theatre opens 30 minutes before the show starts.

Magic show, free movie at North Riverside Mall

North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, presents the Tricky Max Comedy Magic Show, an interactive family event featuring magic, puppetry and comedy on Saturday, Dec. 11 from 9 to 10 a.m. Face masks required. Special appearance by Santa Claus.

The Classic Cinemas’ North Riverside Luxury 6 invites families to a free screening of “The Grinch” on Sunday, Dec. 12 at 10 a.m. Tickets are free but registration is required. Tickets must be picked up prior to the show. Seating is limited. First come, first served. The box office is open daily from noon to 8 p.m. Visit online to register.

Artist talks Lustrons at library presentation

Riverside Public Library, 1 Burling Road, in partnership with Riverside Arts Center, hosts an artist talk with Dirk Fletcher on his exhibition “Porcelain Utopia: Mid-Century Lustron Home in Illinois and Beyond,” featuring photos of some of the more than 350 Lustron homes Fletcher has photographed.

Dirk Fletcher

The talk is in the library’s Community Room on Sunday, Dec. 12 at 3 p.m. Register by visiting the Riverside library’s online calendar events.

Fletcher’s exhibition of photos is on display at the Riverside Township Hall, 27 Riverside Road, through Dec. 31.

Explore Europe’s castles

The Linda Sokol Francis Brookfield Library invites you to join traveler and librarian Faye Levin-O’Leary for “Castles of Europe” via Zoom on Monday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m.

Levin-O’Leary explores of the castles that they not only visited but also worked and lived in.

Register online to attend or by calling 708-485-6917, ext. 130.

Get your shopping done sans kids

Need to get your holiday shopping done but don’t want to drag along the kids? North Riverside Parks & Rec invites you to let them to the babysitting during Holiday Shop & Drop for kids 4-12 years old on Dec. 10 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Drop off your children for fun, games and pizza while you shop to your heart’s content. The fee is $20 per child. Call 708-442-5515 or visit the North Riverside Parks & Recreation facebook page for more info.

And more

  • Brookfield Zoo’s 40th Annual Holiday Magic festival of lights continues through the end of the year on the following dates: Dec. 8-12, 15-19 and 26-31 from 3 to 9 p.m. each day. Reserved-time admission (available in 20-minute increments) and parking tickets must be purchased online prior to arrival. For tickets visit online.
  • Riverside Parks and Recreation invites kids to write letters to Santa and place them in a special mailbox that’s been located on the east side of the historic water tower, 10 Pine Ave. Letters received by Dec. 18 will get a note back from Santa.
  • Kuratko-Nosek Funeral Home, 2447 Desplaines Ave. in North Riverside, invites you to send troops and local veterans a taste of home for the holidays by participating in their Christmas Stockings for Soldiers & Veterans drive through Dec. 17. Stop in at the funeral home Monday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and pick up a free stocking to take home, decorate and stuff with Christmas cheer. Bring the filled stocking back for delivery to troops abroad and veterans at home. Call 708-447-2500.
  • Visit Santa Claus in the lower level center court of North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, through Christmas Eve on the following dates: Dec. 8-17 from noon to 7 p.m.; Dec. 18-23 from noon to 8 p.m.; and Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visits are free, photo packages available for purchase.
  • North Riverside Public Library, 2400 Desplaines Ave., invites you to drop in and join the Classic Games Club on Dec. 8 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; There’s also Crafternoons: Gingerbread Terra Cotta via Zoom on Dec. 11 at 1:30 p.m. and a Telephone Book Club discussion of “Mr. Dickens and his Carol” by Samantha Silva via conference call (800-747-5150, code 1453322) on Dec. 14 at 6:45 p.m.

Kids ages 4-up can choose either in-person or Zoom attendance for Lapsit Storytime on Dec. 9 at 10:30 a.m.; After School Art Escape on Dec. 9 at 3:30 p.m.; ABCs and 123s on Dec. 13 at 10:30 a.m.; Every Child a Reader on Dec. 13 at 5 p.m.; Story Safari on Dec. 15 at 10:30 a.m.; and Silly Science, Crazy Construction & Stuff (in-person only) on Dec. 15 at 4 p.m.

Register for programs at the North Riverside library’s online calendar events.

  • Linda Sokol Francis Brookfield Library, 3541 Park Ave., invites you to Chair Yoga via Zoom on Dec. 9 at 11 a.m.; a Holiday Card Workshop in the Maker Studio on Dec. 10 from 4-6 p.m.; and Genealogy Club: Giving the Gift of History in Meeting Room 1 on Dec. 14 at 4 p.m. Visit to register for programs.
  • Riverside Public Library, 1 Burling Road, will pass out RB Finals Brain Break Kits, treats high school students can pick up and take home Dec. 12-16 at the CYS desk.

For kids there’s Holiday Storytime in the Community Room on Dec. 10 at 9:30 and 11 a.m.; Friday Flix for teens on Dec. 10 at 3:30 p.m.; and After School DIY on Dec. 15 at 3:30 p.m. Registration required.

Visit the Riverside library’s online event calendar to register for programs.

  • Riverside Chess Club, open to anyone age 5 through adult, meets in person each Wednesday at 5 p.m. in Room 30 of the Riverside Township Hall, 27 Riverside Road. Players of all levels welcome. Children under 7 require caregiver over 13. Email for more info.
  • Through March 25, 2022 the Lyons Township High School South Campus Fieldhouse indoor track, 4900 S. Willow Springs Road in Western Springs, will be open to the public from 6 to 7 a.m. on days LTHS is in session. There is no admission charge or fee to use the track. Please bring an ID and be prepared to sign in.
  • The Brookfield Elks Lodge, 9022 31st St., hosts bingo the second Sunday of every month. Doors open at 1 p.m. and games start at 2 p.m. with cash payouts. Next bingo night is Dec. 12.