Polar Express Party

Riverside Public Library, 1 Burling Road, hosts a Polar Express Party on Dec. 23 from 10 to 11:45 a.m.

In addition to watching the classic animated children’s film “the Polar Express,” starring the voices of Tom Hanks, Nona Gaye and Daryl Sabara, families can enjoy cookies and hot chocolate in the lower-level Community Room.

Register online to attend.

North Riverside Library screens ‘The Wizard of Oz’

Kids of all ages are invited to attend Koko’s Film Club on Dec. 27 at 2 p.m. at the North Riverside Public Library, 25400 Desplaines Ave., for an in-person screening of the beloved 1939 classic film “The Wizard of Oz,” starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Frank Morgan and Margaret Hamilton.

Follow the yellow brick road and visit the Emerald City with Dorothy and her pals, who try to stay clear of the Wicked Witch of the West while Dorothy seeks the help of the Great Oz in returning home to Kansas.

Register by calling 708-447-0869, online or in person at the reference desk.

READ to the Dogs at LSF Brookfield Library

Join the Hinsdale Humane Society on Dec. 27 from 7 to 8 p.m. for a READ to the Dogs event at the Linda Sokol Francis Brookfield Library, 3541 Park Ave. The event is held in the library’s classroom space.

The humane society launched its READ Therapy Program in 2006, where trained volunteer owners of dogs read with children to promote literacy in a pressure-free environment.

Register for a time by visiting online.

Courtesy CZS/Brookfield Zoo

Last week for Holiday Magic

The 41st Annual Holiday Magic festival of lights at Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., enters its final week on Dec. 26 and will run through Dec. 31 daily from 3 to 9 p.m.

Walk through the 600-foot tunnel of lights and pose for photos in the illuminated gingerbread house or luminous 20-foot orb. The West Mall will be a two-mile Sea of Lights synchronized to music. A 41-foot-tall tree with lights “dancing” to choreographed music will be just inside the North Gate.

Several indoor and outdoor animal areas will be open, and you can take a spin on the skating rink ($7, skate rental extra). Restaurants, food stands and gift shops will also be open.

Regular zoo admission and parking apply (advance reservation required for South Gate entry). Visit CZS.org/HolidayMagic for more info.

And more

  • Chef Shangri-La, 7930 26th St. in North Riverside, hosts live entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. featuring performers impersonating rock ‘n’ roll’s classic stars. This week’s tribute is on Dec. 23 with Michael St. Angel as Elvis.
  • North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, invites kids to visit Santa in his workshop located in the mall’s center court daily through Dec. 24. Visit northriversideparkmall.com/santa-photos for details.
  • 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 riversideartscenter.com for more.

  • North Riverside Public Library, 2400 Desplaines Ave., presents iPhone and iPad Basics on Dec. 22 at 2 p.m., After School Art Escape (child with adult) on Dec. 22 at 4 p.m. and Story Safari (child with adult) on Dec. 28 at 10:30 a.m. Register for programs online.
  • Linda Sokol Francis Brookfield Library, 3541 Park Ave., presents Make a Candle in a Teacup on Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. in the Meeting Room, Winter Button Making on Dec. 26 at 5 p.m. in the Maker Studio, Board Game Club on Dec. 27 at 7 p.m. in Meeting Room 1 and a meeting of the Needle Guild on dec. 28 at 2 p.m. in the Maker Studio. Call 708-485-6917 or visit online to register for programs.
  • Riverside Public Library, 1 Burling Road, presents Family Playtime in the Program Room on Dec. 26 at 10 a.m., a Pokemon Meet Up (grades K-8) on Dec. 27 at 10 a.m. in the Program Room and a Chess Meet Up for kids in grades K-8 on Dec. 28 at 10 a.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.