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Holiday happenings in the area

The following events are taking place in and around McHenry County for the holidays.

McHENRY COUNTY

Dec. 20

BREAKFAST OR LUNCH WITH SANTA, 9:30 to 11 a.m. or noon to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 20, McHenry Municipal Center, 333 S. Green St., McHenry. For children ages 1 to 5 with adults sponsored by the McHenry Parks & Recreation Department. Sing songs, make an ornament, listen to a story, visit with Santa and eat breakfast or lunch. Cost: $10 per child, adults free. Registration and information: 815-363-2160 or www.ci.mchenry.il.us.

Dec. 21
HOLIDAY TASTY TREATS
, 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 21 or Dec. 22, Lakeland Park Community Center, 1717 N. Sunset Ave., McHenry. For children ages 8 to 12. Sponsor: McHenry Parks & Recreation Department. Learn to make gingerbread houses or holiday cookies. Cost: $27 residents, $37 nonresidents. Registration and information: 815-363-2160 or www.ci.mchenry.il.us.

Dec. 22

HOLIDAY LUNCHEON FOR AREA SENIORS, noon Dec. 22, Village of Hearthstone Communities, 840 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock. Lunch followed by entertainment fit for the holidays. Sponsor: Hearthstone Communities. Registration and information: 815-338-2110.

LAST-MINUTE GIFT WORKSHOP, 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 22, McHenry Public Library, 809 N. Front St., McHenry. Children in grades 6 through 12 will create a variety of gifts to make, wrap and give this holiday season. Registration and information: 815-385-0036 or www.mchenrylibrary.org.

Dec. 30

BRYAN WHITE, 7 p.m. Dec. 30, Woodstock Opera House, 121 Van Buren St., Woodstock. "A White Christmas" concert with special guest Anna Johnson. Tickets: $33 all seats at 815-338-5300 or www.woodstockoperahouse.com.

REGIONAL

Ongoing

SANTA'S SILVER AND GOLD GROVE, through Dec. 18, Steel Beam Theatre, 111 W. Main St., St. Charles. Interactive musical. The story is set at Santa's private Pine Grove estate where Mrs. Claus and the elves are planning a surprise party for Santa. Schedule: 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $14 adults, $10 children 16 and younger at 630-587-8521 or www.steelbeamtheatre.com.

SCROOGE THE MUSICAL, through Dec. 23, Steel Beam Theatre, 111 W. Main St., St. Charles. An upbeat musical version of "Scrooge" adapted from the 1970 Academy Award-winning movie based on Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." Schedule: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22; and 3 p.m. Saturdays. Tickets: $25 adults, $23 seniors and students age 16 and younger, $22 groups of 10 or more at 630-587-8521 or www.steelbeamtheatre.com.

SING ALONG WITH SANTA, 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 23, Steel Beam Theatre, 111 W. Main St., St. Charles. Holiday extravaganza featuring friendly costumed characters, improv-based skits by Steel Beam Children's Theatre cast, sing-along Christmas favorites, and goody bag from Santa and photos with Santa. Tickets: $14 adults, $10 students age 16 and younger at 630-587-8521 or www.steelbeamtheatre.com.

Nov. 25

A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Nov. 25 through Dec. 20, Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. Charles Dickens' classic presented by Drury Lane Children's Theatre. Story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly old man who receives a Christmas Eve visit from the ghost of his old business partner warning him to men his ways. Various performance times. Tickets: $12 adults and children show only. Breakfast with Santa tickets: $25 adults, $22 children 12 and younger at 630-530-0111; www.ticketmaster.com or www.drurylaneoakbrook.com.

WONDERLAND EXPRESS, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 25 through Jan. 1, Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe. Winter wonderland of twinkling lights, garden-scale trains, miniature Chicago landmarks, beautiful horticulture displays and indoor snowfall. Closed 3 p.m. Dec. 1, 24 and all day Dec. 25. Tickets: $10 adults ($8 Garden members), $8 seniors and children ages 3-12 ($6 members); free admission on Tuesdays (limit four tickets per transaction). Parking: $20 per car. Information: 847-835-5440 or www.chicagobotanic.org/wonderland.

Dec. 2
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
, 9:45 a.m. and noon Dec. 2; 3 and 6 p.m. Dec. 3, Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symhpony Way, Elgin. Charles Dickens' classic holiday tale about the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge. Tickets: $7 all seats at 847-931-5900 or www.hemmens.org.

BABES IN TOYLAND, 7 p.m. Dec. 2; 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 3; 2 p.m. Dec. 4, 19th Century Club, 178 Forest Ave., Oak Park. Chicago Folks Operetta presentation. An operetta for all ages. The story follows the adventures of two orphans, Jane and Alan, who are trying to escape their evil Uncle Barnaby's clutches. Tickets: $15 adults, $12 seniors, $10 children at 708-383-2742 or www.chicagofolksoperetta.org.

DUNDEE LIONS FESTIVAL OF TREES, Dec. 2-3, Grafleman Park, on Route 72, West Dundee. A Christmas tree decorating contest to take place during the annual Dickens in Dundee event. All Dundee Township schools, youth groups and other children in the community invited to participate. Each group may decorate one or two trees provided by the Lions Club with child-like ornaments. To participate, contact: Jim McClung, 847-567-7127 or jimbarbmcclung@wowway.com.

TWIST-A-CAROL II: MOBY-NICK, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2-3 and 3 p.m. Dec. 4, Elgin Art Showcase, 164 Division St., Elgin. New holiday show presented by Vex Theatre Company. Show features several short, quirky plays about the holidays, interspersed with live music. Tickets: $10. For information, visit: www.vextheatre.org.

Dec. 3

CHRISTMAS SWEETS & CRAFTS SHOP, third annual, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 3, First United Methodist Church of West Dundee, Fourth and Main streets, West Dundee. Offering seasonal favorite sweets, cookies, candy, bread, jams, pies, and a variety of Christmas crafts and decorations. Sweet rolls, coffee and hot chocolate, and hot chili lunch also available. Free admission. Information: 847-426-2113.

COOKIE WALK, BAZAAR & HOLIDAY BOUTIQUE, 11th annual, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 3, First Congregational Church of Dundee, 900 S. Eighth St., West Dundee. Homemade holiday cookies and candies, bazaar and boutique of holiday items for sale. Nativity Walk display. Free admission. Information: 847-426-2161, Ext. 210 or www.fccdundee.com.

DULCIMER  MUSIC & CANDLELIGHT AT THE INN, 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 3-4, Garfield Farm Museum, 3N016 Garfield Road, LaFox. Annual reception. Interpreters wearing period clothing will share what life was like for people during the height of the horse and wagon era. Free, but donations are welcome. Information: 630-584-8485 or www.garfieldfarm.org.
HOLIDAY MAGIC AT BROOKFIELD ZOO
, 30th annual, 4 to 9 p.m. Dec. 3-31, 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield. Featuring nearly one million twinkling lights, light show, ice-carving demonstrations, signing to the animals, live music and entertainment, magicians and more. Schedule: 4 to 9 p.m. Dec. 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 26-31. Admission: $13.50 adults, $9.50 seniors and children ages 3-11, free for children 2 and younger. Parking: $9 per car. Information: 708-688-8000 or www.brookfieldzoo.org.

Dec. 4

ANNUAL CHANUKAH BAZAAR, Dec. 4-14, 330 Division St., Elgin. Offering a wide selection of menorahs and candles, dreidles, decorations, toys, wrapping paper, traditional chocolate gelt and more. Hosted by The Sisterhood of Congregation Kneseth Israel. Schedule: 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 4; 7 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 6; 5 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 7; 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 11 and Dec. 14. Information: 847-741-5656 or www.ckielgin.org.
CHRISTMAS CAROL SING
, 3 p.m. Dec. 4, St. James Episcopal Church, 516 Washington St., West Dundee. The community event is part of the Dickens in Dundee celebration. Prelude music will include brass and organ music presented by the Crystal Brass Ensemble. The choir will be drawn from area churches to sing familiar carols of the Christmas season. A free-will offering will be taken for the Fish Food Pantry in Carpentersville. Information: 847-426-5612.
CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL OF SINGERS
, 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 4, 11 and 18, Villa Verone, 13 Douglas Ave., Elgin. Presented by Elgin Opera. Enjoy opera and musical theatre favorites as well as traditional holiday selections. Free admission, but reservations are recommended at 847-742-0263.

HOLIDAY JOY, 3 p.m. Dec. 4, First United Methodist Church, 216 E. Highland Ave., Elgin. Fox Valley Men of Harmony holiday show. Tickets: $10 adults, free for children age 5 and younger. Tickets available at the door. Information: 847-468-0916 or www.foxvalleymenofharmony.com.

Dec. 8

A CHRISTMAS CAROL, 10 a.m. Dec. 8; 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 9, Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. Join Ebenezer Scrooge as he is transported through past, present and future in a quest for the true meaning of Christmas. Tickets: $14-$37 at 630-896-6666 or www.paramountaurora.com.

Dec. 10
HOLIDAY POPS CONCERT: WINTER WONDERLAND
, 7 p.m. Dec. 10, Boutell Memorial Concert Hall at Northern Illinois University, 300 Lucinda Ave., DeKalb. Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra traditional family concert. Tickets: $15 adults, $10 seniors and students, $5 children younger than 12 at 815-756-3728 or www.kishorchestra.org.

LIVE NATIVITY WALK, third annual, 2 and 4 p.m. Dec. 10, Messiah Lutheran Church, 25225 W. Ivanhoe Road, Wauconda. There will be narration of the birth of Christ, singing by youth and teens, and live animals along the walk. After the walk there will be a hot chocolate and cookie reception in the gathering area. A free-will offering will be taken. Information: 847-526-7161.

THE NUTCRACKER, 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 10; and 3 p.m. Dec. 11, Elgin Community College Arts Center, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. Civic Ballet of Chicago production of Clara's journey to a magical land. Tickets: $27 adults, $13 children age 12 and younger at 847-622-0300 or www.elgin.edu/arts.
SECOND CITY'S DYSFUNCTIONAL HOLIDAY REVUE
, 8 p.m. Dec. 10, Ramsey Auditorium in Wilson Hall at Fermilab, Pine Street at Kirk Road, Batavia. Need a bit of humor in your holiday festivities? Someone to commiserate with about all that goes unspoken at family holiday celebrations? Come see Second City's comedy revue. Tickets: $22 adults, $11 ages 18 and younger at 630-840-2787 or www.fnal.gov/culture.

Dec. 11

THE LEGEND OF ST. NICHOLAS, 2:30 to 5 p.m. Dec. 11, Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. Tour of the Martin Mitchell Mansion bedecked in Victorian holiday splendor, holiday refreshments and children's activities followed by The Legend of St. Nicholas presentation. Tickets: $10 adults, $8 children ages 4-17, $5 members at 630-420-6010 or www.napersettlement.museum.

Dec. 13

KENNY ROGERS CHRISTMAS & HITS TOUR, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13, Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan. Celebrate the 30th anniversary of his tour featuring a live performance of holiday classics and his biggest hits. Tickets: $39.50-$79.50 at 800-982-2787 all Ticketmaster locations or www.ticketmaster.com.

Dec. 16

A CHRISTMAS CAROL, 8 p.m. Dec. 16; 2, 7:30 and 9 p.m. Dec. 17; and 2 p.m. Dec. 18, Improv Playhouse Theater, 735 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyvillle. The 1939 Orson Welle's classic staged script of Charles Dickens' story will be re-enacted by the actors of Improv Playhouse in cooperation with The GreenStick Theater Company. Advance tickets: $12.50 adults, $7.50 seniors, students and military. At the door: $15 adults, $10 seniors, students and military. Tickets and information: 847-968-4529 or www.improvplayhouse.com.

Dec. 17

THE NUTCRACKER, 7 p.m. Dec. 17 and 2 p.m. Dec. 18, Norris Cultural Arts Center, 1040 Dunham Road, St. Charles. Tchaikovsky holiday classic presented by State Street Dance Studio of Geneva. Tickets: $22-$27 at 630-232-0444 or www.statestreetdancestudio.com.

CHICAGO

Nov. 25

ZOOLIGHTS, through Jan. 1, Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago. Holiday classic winter wonderland featuring more than two millions lights and free seasonal festivities. Schedule: weekends Nov. 25-27; Dec. 2-4; Dec. 9-11; and nightly Dec. 16 through Jan. 1 (closed Dec. 24-25). Regular zoo hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. During ZooLights festivities the zoo is open until 9 p.m. Free admission. Paid parking available: $17-$19. Information: 312-742-2000 or www.lpzoo.org.

Nov. 26

BUDWEISER CLYDESDALES & SANTA CLAUS, Nov. 26, Navy pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. Schedule: noon to 2 p.m. Budweiser Clydesdales will parade down Dock Street for photo opportunities, weather permitting; 5 p.m. Santa Claus arrives by board aboard Shoreline Sightseeing. The boat will dock by Navy Pier's grand staircase, outdoors near the Ferris wheel. Information: 312-595-7437 or www.navypier.com.

Dec. 2

WINTER WONDERFEST, 11th annual, Dec. 2 through Jan. 8, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. Holiday festival featuring holiday decor, music, entertainment, Chicago Blackhawks Indoor Ice Skating Rink, inflatable slides, rides and activities for all ages. Visit the website for hours and event details. Free admission. Rides and ice skating activity wristbands: $15 regular, $18 premium (includes ice skating). Information: 312-595-7437, www.navypier.com or www.winterwonderfest.com.

Dec. 3

SANTA HUSTLE 5K, third annual, 9 a.m. Dec. 3, Montrose Harbor, 4400 Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. Holiday-themed run and walk presented by Adrenaline Sports Management. Participants receive a free Santa hat, a beard and long-sleeve Dri-Fit Santa shirt to wear during the race. There is a party after the race and ceremony. Open to the public. For registration, visit: www.santahustle.com.

Dec. 6

DONNIE & MARIE – CHRISTMAS IN CHICAGO, Dec. 6-24, Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., Chicago. Holiday production starring Donny and Marie Osmond. Schedule: 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays (no performance Dec. 13); 2 & 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays (no matinee Dec. 7, no evening performance Dec. 14); 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 2 & 8 p.m. Saturdays (no evening performance Dec. 24); 2 p.m. Sundays. There will be a 7:30 p.m. performance Dec. 19. Tickets: $37-$100 at 800-745-3000, all Ticketmaster locations or www.ticketmaster.com.

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