Holiday Happenings & Santa Sightings


There’s a lot happening in the neighborhood this month! Use this guide to plan all your holiday outings!

Breakfast with Santa at the Castle. Enjoy a pancake breakfast, visit with Santa and holiday shop Sat., Dec. 3, 8 a.m. to noon, Beverly Unitarian Church, 10244 S. Longwood Dr. Don’t forget to bring your camera! $5 per person. Info: Beverly

Christmas Tree Sale. Buy your fresh and fragrant fraser or douglas firs, 5 to 10 feet tall. Sat., Dec. 3, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun., Dec. 4. Sat., Dec. 10 and Sun., Dec. 11, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Beverly Unitarian Church parking lot, 103rd and Seeley. Your purchase helps support the Castle.

Santa’s Workshop. The Beverly Improvement Association hosts the 17th annual Santa’s Workshop, Sat., Dec. 3. Choose from two-hour sessions, 9:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m., $10 per child ($25 per family maximum), includes cookie-decorating, photos with Santa, reindeer food and  lots more, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 9401 S. Oakley.  Reservations required: 773-233-2924 or 773-779-7387.

Olivia’s Garden Markets. Shop for a variety of gifts, foods and more at the markets held on Saturdays until Dec. 17, Olivia’s Garden, 10730 S. Western. Vendors offer specialty foods, handcrafted gifts, artisan soaps and lots more. Details

Holiday Fun. Holiday fun is in store at Beverly Marketplace, 1809 W. 95th St. Meet the Brownsville Babies and new vendors at the MarketPlace, and enjoy complimentary cookies with every cookie jar purchase, Sat., Dec. 3, 12 to 7 p.m.; create holiday ornament or glassware at the paint-and-sip, Sat., Dec. 10, 12 to 7 p.m.; and bring the kids to visit Santa, take photos and more, Sat., Dec. 17, 12 to 7 p.m. 10% discounts on all purchases $25+ through Dec. 31. Info: 773-701-6674.

Christmas is for Kids Toy Drive. The 17th annual Kevin Dowling Christmas is for Kids toy drive will be held Sat., Dec. 3, 2 to 7 p.m., 115 Bourbon Street, 3359 W. 115th St., Merrionette Park. The event will feature food, drink, entertainment, crafts and Santa Claus. Admission is free but guests are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toys; monetary donations are accepted in lieu of toys. Toys and donations will benefit children in Chicago area hospitals. Info:

Art in Motion. While you’re out enjoying BAPA’s Cookie Crawl or shopping on Sat., Dec. 3, 4 to 6 p.m., stop over at Dance Gallery, 10628 S. Western to enjoy a holiday open house and see dance students in costume putting art into motion by dancing to “The Nutcracker” in the studio windows 4:30 to 5 p.m. Don’t miss this unique holiday experience!  Info: 773-445-8910 or

Community Tree Lighting. Everyone is invited to the community tree lighting Sat., Dec. 3, 5 p.m., King Lockhart Park, 106th and Western. Enjoy hot chocolate, treats and holiday music from Beverly Records hosted by BAPA, the 19th Ward Office and Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association.

Family Movie Night. “Elf” starring Will Farrell will be screened Sat., Dec, 3, 7:30 p.m., Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. This charming holiday movie is sure to make the whole family smile! Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children age 12 and under. Tickets/info:

Lyrics of Christmas. Celebrate the songs of St. Luke at Advent Sunday worship services, Dec, 4, 11 and 18, 10:30 a.m., Bethany Union Church, 1750 W. 103rd St. 773-779-0123.

Uprising Handmade Holiday Fair. Over thirty artists will offer handmade, one of a kind craft and artisanal items for the perfect holiday gift or gift to self at the Uprising Handmade Holiday Fair, Sun., Dec, 4, 12 to 5 p.m., Blue Island Beer Company, 13357 Olde Western Ave.  Event highlights feature the fabulous DJ Scary Lady Sarah, craft beer, and cuisine by Gotta B Crepes. This is not your momma’s craft fair! $5 entry fee includes raffle tickets to win a swag bag of items from participating sellers. Details: Facebook, Uprising handmade Holiday Market, Round 2.

Handel’s ’Messiah. Morgan Park Presbyterian Church, 110th Place and Longwood Drive, will hold its 15th performance of Handel’s “Messiah” Sun., Dec. 4, 3:30 p.m. $20. Light reception follows performance. Info: 773-779-3355.

Holidays with Grace. To show their gratitude as they say good-bye, The Blossom Boys, 9911 S. Walden Pkwy., is holding their own Giving Tuesdays. A percentage of Fair Trade giftware sales will be donated to a local charity: Tues., Dec. 6, Beacon Therapeutic School; Tues., Dec. 13, Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus; and Tues., Dec. 29, Green Sanctuary Group at The Castle.

Holiday Floral Arranging. The Platinum Adventures Club of Beverly Bank will host a make-and-take workshop on holiday floral arranging Thurs., Dec. 8, 3 p.m. at Steuber Florist and Greenhouse, 2654 W. 111th St. $20 for members or $25 for non-members, the event includes all supplies needed to make a centerpiece. Registration/info: Margie O’Connell, 773-239-2265.

Children’s Book Drive. Open Books and Ald, Matt O’Shea are holding a used children’s book collection through Dec. 9. Drop off gently used books for children of all ages to the 19th Ward Office, 10400 S. Western. Open Books is a not-for-profit venture that provides literary experiences for young readers, selling donated books to help fund programs. Info:

111th Street Holiday Stroll. Get your shopping list ready! The Mount Greenwood Community and Business Association will host the 4th annual Holiday Stroll along the 111th Street business corridor Fri., Dec. 9, 4 to 7 p.m. Enjoy holiday entertainment, activities, and crafts, carolers, real reindeer, visits with Santa, and special deals from 40 participating businesses. Maps will be available on the day afternoon of the event at Private Bank and St. Christina Church parking lot. Info: 773-881-0622 or

Christmas Breakfast. The Morgan Park United Methodist Men most their annual Chicken and Waffle or Sausage and Waffle Christmas Breakfast Sat., Dec. 10, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the church, 11030 S. Longwood Dr. Proceeds, benefit South Suburban PADS and local ministries. $10, adult tickets; $5, children age 6 to 12; free, children age 5 and under. Bring the kids to meet Santa!  Tickets/reservations: 773-238-2600.

Snowman’s Ball Luncheon. The 22nd District Police CAPS office will host the Snowman’s Ball Luncheon benefitting underprivileged youth Sat., Dec. 10. Persons wishing to donate toys, treats and personal hygiene items can drop them off before Dec. 10 to the CAPS office, 1900 W. Monterey. Volunteers are also needed. Info: 312-746-0650.

Toys for Tots Collection. Saint Xavier University (SXU) invites you to help spread a little holiday cheer by donating unwrapped toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program through Sat., Dec. 10 at multiple donation locations across its Chicago campus, 3700 W. 103rd St., including Warde Academic Center main entrance; Student Veteran Resource Center, Shannon Center and Gilhooley’s Grande Saloon. Since 1947, the U.S. Marine Corps annually collects toys at Christmas for less fortunate children in an effort to send them a message of hope that will help them grow into responsible, productive and patriotic citizens.

‘Mrs. Claus’ Outing. The Platinum Adventures Club of Beverly Bank hosts a family outing to see the Chicago Kids Company original musical “Mrs. Claus: A Holiday Musical,” Sun., Dec. 11, 12:30 p.m., Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. $8 for members or $10 for non-members. Reservations/info: Margie O’Connell, 773-239-2265.

Sunday with Santa. Santa will be making a stop at Barney Callaghan’s, 10618 S. Western, Sun., Dec. 11, 3 to 5 pm. Enjoy goodie bags, sweet table and photo ops with Santa.

‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever.’ BAC Professional Theatre Series present “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” a holiday classic for the whole family, Fri., Dec. 9 and Dec. 16, and Sat., Dec. 10 and 17, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 11, 3:30 p.m.; and Sun., Dec. 18, 3 p.m., Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. This event is hosted by 19th Ward elected officials and several partnering organizations. Info/tickets: 773-445-3838 or

Winter Wonderland. 19th Ward families are invited to enjoy Winter Wonderland, Sat., Dec. 10, 2 to 5 p.m., Mount Greenwood Park, 3721 W. 111th St. Event includes holiday activities, ice skating, carriage rides, Christmas cookies and tree lighting, plus photos with Santa. Info or to volunteer: 773-445-8128.

‘Home for the Holidivas.’ The Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus presents “Home for the Holidivas” Tues., Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m., Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. Opera singer Cynthia Clarey joins the chorus for a performance of traditional and original holiday songs. $28;

Cheers for Charity. The 8th annual Cheers for Charity party will be held Thurs., Dec. 15, 7 to 10 p.m., Cork and Kerry, 10614 S. Western. A minimum donation of $40 includes open bar; proceeds will donated to two local charities that will make the holidays brighter for local families. This event is hosted by the Winters Family.

Christmas Concert. The Beverly/Morgan Park Community Choir directed by Lance Loiselle, Classic Act Chorale Ensemble, and Chatham Chorale Ensemble will present a Christmas Concert Fri., Dec. 16, 7 p.m., Morgan Park Presbyterian Church, 110th Place and Longwood Drive. Audience members will be invited to sing along on favorite carols. Free will offering will be collected. Hot chocolate/cookie reception follows concert. Info: 773-779-3355.

‘Beyond the Nutcracker.’ Local students from Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts will perform in “Beyond the Nutcracker,” Sat., De. 17, 2 and 7 p.m., and Sun., Dec. 18, 3 p.m., Lockport East High School, Advance tickets: or 708-329-8773

Skate with Santa.  Skate with Santa along to holiday music, decorate cookies and try your luck at winning Blackhawks tickets in a raffle benefitting Special Olympics Chicago, Sun., Dec. 18, 3:30 to 4:50 p.m., Morgan Park Sports Center, 11505 S. Western. Adults/teens: $5; children 12 and under, $4; seniors, $2. Skate rental: $3.

Holiday Dodge Ball Tournament.  Register by Dec. 20 to participate in Ald. Matt O’Shea’s holiday Dodge Ball Tournament for 19th Ward elementary school students, taking place on Dec. 26 and 27, Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, 3857 W. 111th St. $1 per player. Info: 773-238-8766. Registration:

Holiday Stories and Songs. Folksinger Anna Stange invites families to join in a program of holiday stories and songs, Wed., Dec. 21, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Beverly Branch Library, 1962 W. 95th St. Dancing will be encouraged! No registration needed.

Christmas Week Services. Three services celebrate Christmas at Bethany Union Church, 1750 W. 103rd St. “This is Christmas” is a candlelight service focusing on the holy nativity story, Thurs., Dec. 22, 8 p.m.; “Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect” is the theme for the Christmas Eve candlelight service, Sat., Dec. 24, 9 p.m.; add “The Holy Nativity” will be celebrated Sun., Dec. 25, 10:30 a.m. 773-779-0123,

Christmas Worship. Morgan Park Presbyterian Church, 110th Place and Longwood Drive, will hold a candle-light Christmas Eve service Sat., Dec. 24, 7 p.m., and Christmas Day worship Sun., Dec. 25, 10:30 a.m. All are welcome.

19th Ward Children’s Film Festival. The 19th Ward Youth Foundation presents the 8th annual Children’s Film Festival, Wed., Dec. 28 at the Beverly Arts Center. Screenings: “The Secret Life of Pets,” 10 a.m. and “Pete’s Dragon,” 2 p.m. Admission: $1 per person per film. No presales; first come, first served.

Senior Citizen New Year’s Eve Party. 19th Ward seniors are invited to the New Year’s Eve at Noon Party, Sat., Dec. 31, 11:30 a.m., Beverly Woods Restaurant, 11532 S. Western. $5 per person includes lunch. Reservations required: 773-238-8766. This event is hosted by Ald. Matt O’Shea, Sen. Bill Cunningham, Rep. Fran Hurley, Smith Village and Beverly Woods.

‘Crazy’ Fun Gift Idea. For the friend who doesn’t need another trinket but would love to do something fun, why not consider tickets to see Gershwin’s  “Crazy for You” at the Drury Lane Oak Brook through the Platinum Adventures Club of Beverly Bank? The outing date is Wed., Jan. 4, leaving from Ridge Academy at 10:30 a.m. $85 for members or $95 for non-members includes transportation. Reservations/info: Margie O’Connell, 773-239-2265.




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