There’s so much to do in our region! Here’s a look at upcoming lectures and educational enrichment.
Christmas at the Dole Gala
Dec. 1, 5:30-11 p.m. Celebrate the holidays in Roaring ’20s style at this fundraising gala to support art, education and history programs. Includes cocktails, appetizers, dinner and dessert, as well as a silent auction and entertainment. Lakeside Arts Park at the Dole, 401 Country Club Road, Crystal Lake, (815) 455-8000, lakesideartspark.org.
Dec. 1, 9 & 15, 9:30 a.m. or 1 p.m. A favorite holiday class where participants make, bake and decorate their gingerbread cookies and explore all the different plant parts needed to make this traditional winter sweet. Reg. online. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, (847) 835-5440, chicagobotanic.org.
The Making of “It’s a Wonderful Life”
Dec. 2, 2-3 p.m. Historian Leslie Goddard explores the creation of the classic holiday film, including how the script evolved, how the cast was chosen and technical challenges during production. Reg. at (630) 530-6879. Elmhurst History Museum, 120 E. Park Ave., Elmhurst, (630) 833-1457, elmhursthistory.org.
Dec. 5-6, 10 a.m. At this class, children ages 2-4 become junior paleontologists as they learn about dinosaurs and uncover fossils to take home. Reg. online. Oakwoods Lodge, Rt. 176 & 2nd St., Crystal Lake, (815) 459-0680, crystallakeparks.org.
Friends Book Sale
Dec. 8, 9:15 a.m.-4 p.m. Friends of the Batavia Library sponsor this sale, full of choices for readers of all ages. Batavia Public Library, 10 S. Batavia Ave., Batavia, (630) 879-1393, batavia.lib.il.us.
History Speaks: But Wait, There’s More!
Dec. 9, 4 p.m. Hear the history and stories behind those kitschy Popeil and Ronco products marketed on television from the 1950s to 1970s. Witness product demonstrations of inventions you never knew you needed. Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.org.
Dec. 11, 6-7 p.m. Do you have what it takes to survive in the wild? Learn skills such as fire building, first aid, shelter construction and more. Reg. online. Red Oak Nature Center, 2343 S. River St.., Batavia, (630) 897-1808, foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.
Holiday Movie with Mrs. Claus
Dec. 11, 7 p.m. Children mingle with Mrs. Claus as they read “The Snowman” and watch the short animated film. Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove Ave., Elgin, (847) 742-2411, gailborden.info.
Holiday Floral Design
Dec. 12, 6:30-8 p.m. Use a variety of conifer greens as well as fresh flowers to create your holiday arrangement in this floral design class. Bring a shallow tray, hand pruner and wire cutter. Reg. online. Cantigny, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
Family Craft Night
Dec. 14, 6 p.m. Children ages 6 and up make crafts out of natural items with their families. Reg. online. The Nature Center, 330 N. Main St., Crystal Lake, (815) 459-0680, crystallakeparks.org.
Dec. 14, 8-10 p.m. Learn about outer space, the sky and the universe with the Skokie Valley Astronomers. Join them for stargazing afterward, weather permitting. Ryerson Welcome Center, 21950 N. Riverwoods Road, Riverwoods, (847) 968-3321, lcfpd.org.
Holidays with the Housewives
Dec. 16, 5 p.m. Join TV’s Celebrity Housewives as they talk about their personal lives, their holiday traditions, their businesses and how fame has changed their lives. Arcada Theater, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 962-7000, arcadalive.com.
Dec. 18, 6-7:30 p.m. Use the technique of coiling and shaping narrow paper strips to create intricate Christmas ornaments. Reg. online. Woodstock Public Library, 7735 Main St., Woodstock, (770) 928-9945, woodstockpubliclibrary.org.
Victorian Christmas Traditions
Dec. 20, noon. Living history presenters Max and Donna Daniels visit as Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln to talk about Victorian Christmas traditions. Reg. online. Cantigny, Wheaton, (630) 668-5161, cantigny.org.
Projectiles and Strongholds
Dec. 21, 5 p.m. Children ages 5-7 use engineering ideas to build a stronghold of marshmallows and frosting, then make a paper stomp rocket to destroy the strongholds. Reg. online. The Nature Center, Crystal Lake, (815) 459-0680, crystallakeparks.org.
It’s Snow Fun
Jan. 2, 3 p.m. Learn how snow is made, how it forms individual flakes and melts, as well as what weather conditions produce a lot of snow; use simple science to make it yourself. Ages 8-14. Reg. online. The Nature Center, Crystal Lake, (815) 459-0680, crystallakeparks.org.
The Wedding Card
Jan. 5, 1 p.m. Create a wedding card and learn how to embellish it with calligraphy and Cricut accents. Reg. req. South Elgin Branch, Gail Borden Public Library, 127 S. McLean Blvd., Elgin, (847) 931-2090, gailborden.info.
Creative Living Series: Stumbling on History
Jan. 17, coffee and conversation 9 a.m., program 10 a.m. German artist Gunter Demnig has embedded more than 60,00 brass plaques in the sidewalks near Holocaust victims’ former homes, each bearing a victim’s name. Author Fern Schumer Chapmanand speaks about witnessing the installation of memorial stones for her family. Woodstock Opera House, 121 Van Buren St., Woodstock, (815) 338-5300, woodstockoperahouse.com.
3-D Printed Cellular Machines
Jan. 25, 8 p.m. Dr. Rashid Bashir of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign speaks about 3-D printed cellular machines for soft robotics and tissue engineering. Fermilab, Ramsey Auditorium, Kirk Road & Pine Street, Batavia, (630) 840-2787, fnal.gov/culture.
Walking Book Club
Jan. 30, 7 p.m. Join members of the club for a 45-minute walk followed by a 45-minute discussion on “The Great Alone,” by Kristin Hannah. Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, (847) 742-2411, gailborden.info.