Santa’s Mailbox in Riverside

Riverside Parks & Recreation invites kids to drop off a letter in Santa’s Mailbox, which is located near the water tower on Longcommon Road, by Dec. 20 and, as long as there’s a return address on your letter, you will receive a special note back from Santa.

Aging Care Connections launches Pride Café

Aging Care Connections is launching Pride Café, a new initiative aimed at connecting with LBGT+ older adults who are looking for a safe space to meet, learn and build community.

The organization will host an initial listening session, open to LGBT+ seniors, adult children of LGBT+ parents and seniors who want to learn more about the LGBT+ community, to help chart Pride Café’s course on Dec. 7 from 5 to 6 p.m.

You can attend in person at Aging Care Connections, 111 W. Harris Ave., LaGrange, or via Zoom. Email for a link.

Frozen house on the prairie

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Join author Cindy Wilson for “How the Hard Winter Became the ‘The Long Winter’” a look at the genesis of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s autobiographical novel on Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Meeting Room of the Linda Sokol Francis Brookfield Library, 3541 Park Ave.

Wilson uses historical documents and letters informed Wilder’s 1940 book about her experiences as a 14-year-old living in the Dakota Territory during the “hard winter” of 1880–81.

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

Triton lights up for the holidays

Triton College, 2000 5th Ave. in River Grove, kicks off the season with its drive-thru Holiday Festival of Trees from Dec. 9 through Jan. 2 on the campus’ Circle Drive.

Drive through the main entrance and experience rows of brightly lit trees. Selfies and family photos encouraged. The speed limit is 10 mph. Please use caution and watch for pedestrians.

Free gift-wrapping service

Linda Sokol Francis Brookfield Library, 3541 Park Ave., invites you to get your Christmas presents wrapped via its Friends & Foundation Holiday Gift Wrapping Service on Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Gift wrapping is free of charge, but donations to support the Friends & Foundation are welcome.

You can also pick up some literary gifts at the Mini Book Nook and have those wrapped as well. For more info, call 708-485-6917.

Super Smash Bros. tourney

North Riverside Public Library, 2400 Desplaines Ave., hosts a Video Game Tournament for kids in grades 6-12 on Dec. 10 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Who will be the best at Super Smash Bros.? You’ll have to play to find out. To participate register online.

Riverside Foods hosts Pack the Truck drive

Riverside Foods, 48 E. Burlington St. in Riverside, will host a Pack the Truck food drive from Dec. 12-18.

There will be a trailer in the store’s parking lot, and community members are being asked to fill it with as many non-perishable items as possible. Those items will be donated to the Riverside Township Food Pantry for distribution to those in need in the immediate area.

 Toiletries, canned foods, soups, pasta and pasta sauce and other non-perishable food items are most in need. Riverside Foods has assembled pre-made grocery bags and will have deeply discounted cases of products that can be purchased to facilitate the food drive.

Call 708-447-0324 with questions.

And more

  • Tallgrass Sudbury School, 87 Kimbark Road in Riverside, hosts a play day for children ages 2-6 on Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to noon. Parents are invited to take a break, run errands, enjoy coffee with friends or just hang around. RSVP required online.
  • The Prairie Trail Federation and the Greater LaGrange YMCA Men’s Club host a Christmas tree sale on weekdays from 5 to 8 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Dec. 15 (or until the last tree is sold) in Gordon Park, on Ogden Avenue near the Metra/BNSF overpass, in LaGrange. Proceeds benefit the organizations’ philanthropic activities.
  •  Brookfield Zoo hosts its 41st Annual Holiday Magic festival of lights on the following dates: Dec. 7-11, 14-18 and 26-31 from 3 to 9 p.m. Regular zoo admission and parking apply (advance reservation required for South Gate entry). Visit for more info.
  • Chef Shangri-La, 7930 26th St. in North Riverside, hosts live entertainment on weekends featuring performers impersonating rock ‘n’ roll’s classic stars. On Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. enjoy Chicks with Picks. There’s an Elton John impersonator on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.
  • North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, will hold a toy drive benefiting The Children’s Center of Cicero-Berwyn through Dec. 15. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to the customer service desk in the mall’s center court. The mall will deliver donations in time for Christmas. You can also bring the kids to visit Santa in his workshop located in the mall’s center court daily through Dec. 24. Visit online for details.
  • Kuratko-Nosek Funeral Home, 2447 Desplaines Ave. in North Riverside, invites you to fill a holiday stocking for troops overseas and veterans. Stop by Monday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and pick up a free stocking. Fill it up and return it through Dec. 16. Call 708-447-2500 for more.
  • Riverside Arts Center, 32 E. Quincy St. presents “Plot Structure,” featuring paintings by Matthew Girson; “Continue a Poem,” a group show featuring the work of Nicholas Frank, Lauren Fueyo and Nyeema Morgan; and “Dwell,” an installation of sculptures by Margie Glass Sula, through Dec. 30. Gallery hours are Thursday-Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m.

There’s also “The Art of Seeing,” featuring botanical boxes by Shilin Hora, at the Riverside Town Hall, 27 Riverside Road, through Dec. 31. Viewing hours are Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit for more.

  • North Riverside Public Library, 2400 Desplaines Ave., presents DIY No-Sew Tie Blanket (all ages) on Dec. 9 at 4:30 p.m., a Family Movie Matinee screening of “Ice Age” on Dec. 10 at 1 p.m., Crafternoons: Knitwear Tinsel on Dec. 10 at 1:30 p.m., Morning Munchkin Stories with Ms. Karen (child with adult) on Dec. 12 at 10:30 a.m., Story Safari (child with adult) on Dec. 14 at 10:30 a.m. and Preschool Yoga & Storytime (ages 2-5 with adult) on Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. Register for programs online.
  • Linda Sokol Francis Brookfield Library, 3541 Park Ave., presents Chair Yoga (virtual) on Dec. 8 at 11 a.m., Prevent Type 2 Diabetes with Alvio Medical Center on Dec. 9 in English at 10:30 a.m. and in Spanish at 11:30 a.m., Storytime Stars (ages 2-3 with caregiver) on Dec. 13 at 10:30 a.m. and Genealogy Club: National Archives and Records Administration on Dec. 13 at 4 p.m. Call 708-485-6917 or visit online to register for programs.
  • Riverside Public Library, 1 Burling Road, presents Drop-In Tech Help (call ahead 708-442-6366 and explain the help you need) on Dec. 8 from 2 to 3 p.m., CREATE: Glowforge Ornament on Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. and the Knitting, Crochet and Needlework Group on Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. To register for programs, visit online.
  •  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.