Big Week: December 26-January 2

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By Staff

Celebrate with The King

North Riverside Public Library, 2400 Desplaines Ave., celebrates the birthday of Elvis Presley by featuring one his films as its Wednesday Movie Matinee on Jan. 2 at 2 p.m.

The King stars as Spec. 5 Tulsa McLean, who likes to sing when he's not manning a tank, in G.I Blues. The film also stars Juliet Prowse. Drop-in only.

Escape Room in Reverse

North Riverside Public Library, 2400 Desplaines Ave., invites families for an Escape Room in Reverse challenge, which will take place throughout the day on Saturday, Dec. 29.

Can you solve clues to help Lizzy the Librarian get into the box containing her New Year's kazoo? Sign up (time slots for teams of up to four people) by calling 708-447-0869 or stopping in at the library.

Ring in the New Year

Kids in Riverside and North Riverside are invited to ring in the New Year at a pair of special events in the coming week.

On Friday, Dec. 28 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., kids ages 4-9 are invited to Kids New Year's Eve at Noon at the North Riverside Village Commons, 2401 Desplaines Ave.

There will be games, activities, treats and more before a countdown on the Big Screen. The fee is $12 ($15 non-resident). Call 708-442-5515 for more information.

If you can't make it that day, on Monday, Dec. 31 you can head over to the Scout Cabin, 417 Fairbank Road in Riverside, for a Kiddie New Year's Party from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Loads of fun for kids ages 5-8 will precede a countdown at noon. The fee is $15 ($20 non-resident). Register online (program No. 314315A) at 446/Register-Online. Call 708-442-7025 for more info.

Holly-Day Camp

North Riverside Parks and Rec invites kids ages 3-12 to participate in its Holly-Day Camp from Dec. 26-28 and Jan. 2-4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Come to the Village Commons, 2401 Desplaines Ave., and enjoy sports and games, arts and crafts, sweets and treats and music. There will be outdoor activities as well, so dress accordingly.

Register for one or more dates. The cost is $25 ($27 non-resident) per day. Call 708-442-5515 for more info.

Zoo Year's Eve

Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Road in Brookfield, puts a bow on its Holiday Magic festival of lights with a special Zoo Year's Eve event on Monday, Dec. 31.

The family friendly event will take start at 6 p.m. inside the Holly Jolly Theater, which will be rocking with music, fun, games, party favors, prizes and more. Families with younger children can head over to the Hamill Family Play Zoo, where kids can make noisemakers.

Both locations will host an early countdown to the New Year at 8 p.m.

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

And more

  Hitzeman Funeral Home, 9445 31st St. in Brookfield, will host the next of its monthly grief support gatherings on Jan. 8 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The theme of the gathering will be "Coping with Loss in the New Year." Seats are limited. RSVP by Jan. 4 to or call 708-485-2000.

  The Riverside Township Lions Club is collecting unwanted Christmas lights for recycling. Lights can be dropped off at the Riverside Public Library, 1 Burling Road, or the North Riverside Public Library, 2400 Desplaines Ave., during normal business hours through Jan. 15.

  Holiday 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 or call 708-688-8000.

  Compassion Factory Art Gallery and Studio, 9210 Broadway Ave. in Brookfield, presents artwork by Heather Kadlec Stock and Don Mendenhall through Dec. 29. 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 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 through Jan. 5, and "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.

  North Riverside Public Library, 2400 Desplaines Ave., hosts a Senior Drop-in on Dec. 28 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Meeting Room. Play cards and socialize every Friday.

For kids, there's Lapsit Storytime (through age 5) on Dec. 27 at 10:30 a.m.; Winter Break Field Days (grades 1+) on Dec. 27 at 3:30 p.m.; and Winter Break Fun Days (all ages) from Jan. 2-4. Lots of fun activities for brain and body, all day. 

  The community is invited through March 22, 2019, 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.

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