Holiday happenings

n Santa’s Mailbox

Through Dec. 8

(630) 789-7090

Children of Hinsdale residents may write a letter to Santa, drop it in the mailbox at village hall, 19 E. Chicago Ave., and receive a personal letter back in seven to 10 business days. Be sure to include the parent form available on the website listed above under Special Events > Santa’s Mailbox. Questions? Call the number listed above or send an email to [email protected].

n ‘The Nutcracker’

Dec. 8

The Community House

415 W. Eighth St., Hinsdale

Enjoy an intimate performance of the ballet by West Suburban Ballet Conservatory. Santa will greet families, snacks and crafts will be offered, and kids will have a chance to dance on stage with performers following the show as adults enjoy live music and cocktails. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Time: 6 p.m. Tickets: $55 for adults, $15 for children.

n Holiday Favorites with the Jolly Boys

Dec. 9

Hinsdale Public Library

20 E. Maple St.

(630) 986-1976

Enjoy this performance of holiday favorites with Hinsdale’s own Jolly Boys and embrace the season. Hot chocolate will be provided. Time: 3 to 4 p.m. RR

n Holiday Concert

Dec. 9

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

1310 Shepherd Drive, Naperville

(630) 476-9072

The New Horizons Band of DuPage will perform selections of holiday favorites. The concert will include sing-alongs, the New Horizons Concert Band, Brass Choir, German Band, Jazz Band and Woodwind Consort. New Horizons consists of musicians from Chicago and the surrounding suburbs under the direction of Maryann Flock. Light refreshments will follow the concert. Time: 3 p.m. Admission is free; donations will be accepted.

n ‘What the Elf’

Dec. 9

McAninch Arts Center

College of DuPage

421 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn

(630) 942-4000

The Second City returns to deliver a heaping serving of seasonal satire in this show, which is the perfect alternative to those same old holiday performances. Nothing is off limits in this fast-paced, interactive, comedy revue filled with style, wit and plenty of that famous (and festive) Second City improv. The show may contain adult language and themes. Time: 5 and 8 p.m. Tickets: $30-$48.

n Sounds of the Season

Dec. 9

Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church

149 W. Brush Hill Road

The Agape Ringers, Chicago’s premier handbell ensemble, and guitarist Jeff Kust will perform a variety of holiday music familiar and exotic, including arrangements of “I Wonder As I Wander,” “Brazilian Sleigh Bells,” and “Winter Wonderland,” as well as original compositions and other favorites arranged for bells. Kust will feature on the Puerto Rican cuatro. Time: 4 p.m. Tickets: $27-$36.

n Holiday Art and Craft Market

Dec. 9 & 10

Mayslake Peabody Estate

1717 W. 31st St., Oak Brook

(630) 206-9566

Shop for quality artisan holiday gifts for family and friends. All ages are welcome; those under 18 must be with an adult. Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 10.

n Hinsdale for the Holidays

Dec. 9 & 16

Burlington Park

30 E. Chicago Ave.

Celebrate the holidays by decorating gingerbread cookies, taking a horse-drawn carriage ride and visiting Santa. Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

n Victorian Holiday

Dec. 9 & 16

Hinsdale History Museum

15 S. Clay St.

Experience a Victorian-era celebration by touring the museum. Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

n Allegrezza Holiday Spectacular

Dec. 10

Union Church of Hinsdale

137 S. Garfield Ave.

The 10th anniversary holiday concert features a full orchestra and chorus and a special appearance by Santa Claus. The program includes the world premier of Gary Fry’s “A Very Animated Christmas” written especially for Allegrezza and a host of Christmas classics. Time: 3 to 5 p.m. Tickets: $25-$40.

n Voctave

Dec. 10

McAninch Arts Center

College of DuPage

421 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn

(630) 942-4000

This a cappella sensation will leave audiences feeling merry and bright with a program packed with holiday favorites. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets: $65-$75.

n Christmas Classics

Dec. 15

Union Church of Hinsdale

137 S. Garfield Ave.

Join the Ostrega Uhl Project in its Christmas festival performance of its second season. The concert will open with traditional favorites, starting with a unique arrangement of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” for violin, harp and piano, featuring guest harpist Nichole Young. Enjoy music from Christmases long, long ago to beautiful themes and melodies from favorite Christmas and holiday themed movies of today, culminating in a sing-along at the end of the concert. Time: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets: $25 for adults, free for kids 12 and younger.

n Breakfast with Santa

Dec. 16

The Community House

415 W. Eighth St.

(630) 323-7500

Bring the family together for a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, French toast, hash browns, pancakes, pastries, juice and coffee and, of course, pictures with Santa. Time: 9 to 10:15 a.m. Cost: $35, free for babies under 1.

n ‘Nutcracker’ storytime

Dec. 16

Hinsdale Public Library

20 W. Maple St.

(630) 986-1976

Listen and watch as the Hinsdale Dance Academy takes over Saturday storytime. Time: 10 to 11 a.m.

n ‘Nutcracker’ virtual screening

Dec. 16-17

(630) 986-1976

The library is excited to provide access to a stage recording of “The Nutcracker” by The Royal Ballet that Hinsdaleans can watch at home. Time: all day. RR

n ‘Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley’

Through Dec. 17

McAninch Arts Center

College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn

(630) 942-4000

Two years after the end of “Pride and Prejudice,” the Bennet family is spending Christmas at Pemberley when an unexpected guest joins the festivities in this romantic comedy, rooted in the complications and joys of being part of a spirited family. The show contains adult themes and language. A pre-show talk with the director and designers will be held at 6:45 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16; a post-show talk with the director and actors will be held Friday, Nov. 24. Times: 8 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25; no show on Thanksgiving. Tickets: $44, $42 for seniors.

n Two Piano Christmas Concert

Dec. 23

Hinsdale Seventh-day Adventist Church

201 N. Oak St.

Justin Gjata and Victor Moreno will entertain guests at this special holiday concert. A free will offering will be collection. Time: 6 p.m.

n Christmas at Cantigny

Through Dec. 23


1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton

Visitors to this inaugural event are in for a special holiday treat, including McCormick House walk-throughs, ice skating and dazzling light installations. Hundreds of fresh poinsettias from Cantigny’s own greenhouse will be on display throughout the home. Outside, a 100-by-40-foot ice rink will add some wintery magic to the scene. Skaters can rent blades or bring their own. Spectators and skaters taking a break can enjoy a warm holiday treat in the heated hospitality tent overlooking the rink. Visitors can also reserve a private “Cocoa Cabana,” perfect for families and friend groups. Enjoy creative lighting displays, pop-up activities and more. Santa brunches are slated for Dec. 16-17 at the Cantigny Golf clubhouse. Hours: 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, with extended hours on weekends and for ice skating. Admission: $15, $5 for kids 4-15, free for 3 and younger plus $10 parking.

n ‘A Christmas Carol’

Through Dec. 30

Drury Lane Theatre

100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace

(630) 530-0111

Continue a tradition or start a new one by gathering the whole family for this heartwarming 30th anniversary production of Dickens’ Christmas classic. Complete with falling snow, magical illusions and special effects, the play is a visually-stunning experience, and at one hour long, perfect for children of all ages. On select performance dates, families will have the opportunity to have breakfast or dinner with Santa Claus in Drury Lane’s elegantly decorated dining room. Time: 10 a.m., noon and 7 p.m. performances offered on various dates.

n New Year’s Eve concerts

Dec. 31

McAninch Arts Center

College of DuPage

421 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn

(630) 942-4000

New Philharmonic, under the direction of Kirk Muspratt, will perform three concerts to welcome 2024. All three performances will feature guest bass-baritone Richard Ollarsaba and include a highly entertaining program of waltzes, marches, polkas and light classical music, plus a champagne toast, party favors and more. Times: 1:30, 5 and 8:30 p.m. Tickets: $70-$80.

n Holiday Magic

Through Dec. 31

Brookfield Zoo

3400 31st St.

(630) 688-8400

Bright lights and magical nights await guests at the 42nd annual event. Visitors will enjoy more than 2 million twinkling LED lights, a 41-foot tall tree choreographed to seasonal tunes, photo opportunities in the ever-popular 20-foot-tall orb and 3D 16-foot-tall gingerbread house, a 600-foot-long “Tunnel of Lights” and more. Many of the zoo’s animal buildings will be open as well restaurants and gift shops offering an array of unique items. View more than 600 decorated community and corporate trees along the malls and around Roosevelt Fountain. Advanced registration and tickets are required. Times: 3 to 9 p.m. on weekends and other dates. Admission: $29.95 for adults, $20.95 for ages 3-11, $24.95 for seniors 65 and older plus $15 parking. RR, MD

n Winter Holidays in the 1890s

Through Dec. 31

Kline Creek Farm

1N600 County Farm Road, West Chicago

Enjoy a guided tour of the 1890s farmhouse focusing on winter holiday traditions. Learn how farm families decorated the tree, exchanged gifts, and prepared food for the holidays. Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays. Admission: Free, suggested donation of $5 per person ages 3 and up to enter the farm.

n Sparkle Light Festival

Through Dec. 31

Impact Field

Balmoral Avenue and Pearl Street, Rosemont

Guests will stroll through five illuminated villages, visit Santa Claus, ice skate with friends, enjoy free train rides on the Holly Trolly train and go tubing down the Alpine Slide. Festive food and beverage options will also be available. See full schedule at website listed above. Admission: $24, $18 for kids 2012, with premium tickets and add-on experiences available, plus $5 parking.

n Illumination

Through Jan. 6

Morton Arboretum

4100 Route 53, Lisle

(630) 725-2066

Celebrate the holidays and marvel at how light transforms a magnificent landscape at the arboretum’s 11th annual tree lights display. Journey along a 1-mile paved walking path amid festive music and lighting effects that highlight the beauty of trees in winter. Visitors can enjoy s’mores or stop in one of the concession tents for a snack and beverage. Choose the price, date and time to attend; the earlier the purchase, the cheaper the admission. Time: visit the website for availability. Tickets: $16-$41.75, with member discounts.