Holiday Happenings

Visits with Santa & Family Fun 

Christmas Trees at the Castle: Beverly Unitarian Church continues a long tradition selling Christmas trees the first two weekends in December. Sat., Dec. 1 and Sun., Dec. 2, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat., Dec. 8, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sun., Dec. 9, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.   

Polar Express Block Party hosted by the 103rd Street Businesses Longwood Drive to Wood Street, Sat., Dec. 1, 12 to 5 p.m., features visits with Santa, letters to Santa, kiddy train ride, movie, winter games and crafts, refreshments, live music, dance party and holiday shopping.  

Mount Greenwood Holiday Stroll, Fri., Dec. 7, 4 to 7 p.m., at participating businesses along 111th Street, Sacramento Avenue to Pulaski Road. Enjoy special sales, music, visits with holiday characters and live reindeer, raffles and more. Info: Mount Greenwood Community and Business Association, 773-881-0622 or 

For so many local families, it’s a holiday tradition to bring the kids for Breakfast with Santa at the Castle. This year the event will be held Sat., Dec. 8, 8 a.m. to noon, Beverly Unitarian Church, 10244 S. Longwood Dr. Enjoy a pancake breakfast as well as visit with Santa himself, $5 per person. Enter from parking lot on Seeley Avenue. Info: 773-233-7080.
BAPA’s Holiday Cookie Crawl will be bringing families who bought tins in advance to more than a dozen local businesses to collect cookies and holiday treats on Sat., Dec. 8. Pick up purchased tins 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Christkindl Market, Olivia’s Garden, 10730 S. Western. Tins are sold out. Tins are not available on the day of the event.  

St. Walter Parish Athletic Association invites area residents to the Christmas-themed, all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast Sun., Dec. 9, 7 a.m. to noon, Peterson Hall, 11741 S. Western. Enjoy pancakes, sausage, fruit, coffee, milk, juice, prize raffles, kids craft table and more. Adults, $7, seniors and children age 5 to 12, $5, and children age 4 and under, free.  

Christmas comes to life when graceful dancers perform in the windows at Dance Gallery, 10628 S. Western, during the open house, Sat., Dec. 8, 4 to 6 p.m. The audience can gather on the sidewalk for the magical display, then stop inside to see tap and jazz dancers performing in the studio and enjoy a meet-and-greet with Santa. Dance Gallery is a delicious stop on BAPA’s Holiday Cookie Crawl.  

19th Ward Skate With Santa, Sat., Dec. 8, 4:45 to 6:05 p.m., Morgan Park Sports Center, 11505 S. Western. Family and friends will skate to holiday music and visit the winter wonderland to decorate cookies. Adults and teens, $5; children age 12 and under, $4; seniors, $2. Skate rental, $3.  

Victorian Crafts, a program for children age 8 to 12 years, will be held Sun., Dec. 9, 2 p.m., Ridge Historical Society, 10621 S. Seeley. $5 person. Registration is required. 773-881-1675 or 

A holiday-themed program for all ages featuring stories, sing-a-long, dancing, crafts and a puppet play based on “The Nutcracker,” Wed., Dec. 19, 6:30 p.m., Beverly Library, 1962 W. 95th St. Call to register groups, 312-747-9673. 

Create a Holiday Storybook. Children are invited to make an illustrated book about the holidays. Register in advance to receive the storyboard, then jot down ideas and drawings and then bring your notes and ideas to create the book at a workshop, Fri., Dec. 28, 1 to 2:30 p.m., Beverly Branch Library, 1962 W. 95th St. Info and registration: 312-747-9753.  


Holiday Shopping Events 

Find unique holiday gifts from Ten Thousand Villages at the Fair Trade Holiday Festival, Sat., Dec. 8, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 9, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Christ the King Parish, 9235 S. Hamilton. Select from a wide variety of handmade, fair trade items and help artisans and farmers from around the world help themselves out of poverty. The festival is sponsored by the South Side Catholic Peace & Justice Committee.   

2nd Annual Christkindlmarket. Sat., Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Olivia’s Garden, 10730 S. Western, This day of shopping and fun includes pictures with Santa with Maplewood Photography, face painting by Mrs. Vee and live music by Whiskey & Harmony 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Shop for a wide range of holiday, gifts and specialty foods from a variety of vendors. Items include fresh baked bread, jewelry, handcrafted stationery, pottery, wreaths, home décor, ornaments and holiday décor, candles and more.
Thirty artists will offer high quality artisanal items, from jewelry and knitted items to photography and ceramics, for the perfect holiday gift or gift to self at the Uprising Handmade Holiday Market., Sun., Dec. 9, 12 to 5 p.m., Olivia’s Garden, 10730 S. Western. Event includes live music, raffled gift basket, Creme of the Crop food truck and festive cocktail creations by Lizzy Benner. Not your momma’s craft fair! $5 donation requested to support the Beverly Area Arts Alliance. 


Charity Drives 

The 19th annual Kevin Dowling Christmas is for Kids Toy Drive will be held Sun., Dec, 2, 2 to 7 p.m. 115 Bourbon Street, 3359 W. 115th St. Admission is a new toy or donation to benefit children in area hospitals. Toys must be unwrapped. The event features food, entertainment, children’s activities and a visit from Santa. If you are unable to attend and would like to arrange for toy pick-up, contact Jim McKeever, 773-972-6264, Info:  

Ald. Matt O’Shea is collecting used children’s books through Dec. 10 at the 19th Ward Office, 10400 S. Western. Books will be donated to Open Books, a not-for-profit organization that sells them and uses the funds to provide literacy programs. While children’s books are in the highest demand, especially during the holidays, Open Books will accept any gently used books. Info: 

The 22nd District CAPS Office will host the Snowman’s Ball Luncheon for underprivileged youth Sat., Dec. 15, and is reaching out to the community for donations of stocking stuffers, toys, family games, gift cards, hats, gloves and scarves for boys age 2 to 16 and girls age 3 to 16. Also needed are holiday gift sets for Moms and volunteers to help on the day of the luncheon. Bring items to the 22nd District Police Station, 1900 W. Monterey Ave. before Dec. 15. Info: 312-745-0620.  

Beverly Hills Junior Woman’s Club is helping to restock the “boutique” at Harvester Place, a memory care community, by collecting costume jewelry and scarves.  The boutique enables residents to dress up and connect with others in a positive way. Donations are being accepted through Dec. 20 at Christ the King Parish, 9235 S. Hamilton Ave., and BAPA, 1987 W. 111th St.  Info: Carla Herr, 312-593-1129 or   

Stop by the Starbuck’s at 103rd and Longwood Drive to support the Turpin Cares 2nd Annual Holiday Drive collecting items for homeless Chicagoans. The drive collects specific pantry and personal hygiene items, and all donations must be dropped off to the Starbucks by Dec. 24 for distribution.   


Holiday Concerts  

Get into the holiday spirit at the Handel’s “Messiah” concert,” a community musical tradition,” Sun., Dec. 2, 3:30 p.m., Morgan Park Presbyterian Church, 2017 W. 110th Pl. The performance features soloists, mass choir and orchestra with Charles T. Hayes, conductor. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, and free for children under age 10 at Info and tickets via phone: 773-779-3355. 

Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus performs the 35th Anniversary Holiday Hullabaloo, Sun., Dec. 2, 7 p.m., Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. The chorus will be joined by 11 Chicago-based LGBTQ+ performing arts organizations for a concert of 22 musical numbers featuring 150 singing voices and 20 dancers. $28 at 

The Southwest Symphony Orchestra, composed of performers from south side communities, presents Holiday Cheer with Old Friends, Fri., Dec, 7, 7:30 p.m., St. Michael’s Church, 14327 Highland Ave, Orland Park, and Sun., Dec. 9, 4 p.m., St. Francis of Assisi, 15050 Wolf Rd, Orland Park. $20/ adults and seniors, $7/students, and free/age 10 and under. Info or 708-802-0686.  

Family-friendly Christmas jazz concert for the community featuring the nationally recognized LowDown Brass Band Fri., Dec. 14, 7 p.m., Morgan Park Presbyterian Church, 2017 W. 110th Pl. The band creates stellar original arrangements of Christmas classics like “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” “Silent Night,” “Jingle Bells” and” O Come All Ye Faithful” plus a Duke Ellington arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s Overture from “The Nutcracker” and a great original song, “Chicago’s Where I Wanna Be.” 

Free will offering. Info 

Anisha Hill and the Music Scene will present Gifts of the Season – Remembering what we are thankful for, Sat., Dec. 15, 2 p.m.  Bethany Union Church, 1750 W. 103rd St. Donations: $10 adults and seniors; $5 students. Bethany Union members will be performing; all are welcome.  

The Beverly Neighborhood Choir of the Chicago Children’s Choir presents a community concert Tues., Dec. 18, 7 p.m., Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School, 3737 W. 99th St. The children will perform variety of music from the Choir’s repertoire. Free tickets available an hour before the concert on a first come, first served basis. Info 



Holiday Shows 

Chicago Kids Company Theater for Children presents “Mrs. Claus: A Holiday Musical,” selected weekdays at 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m.; Saturdays Dec. 15 and 22, 1 p.m.; and. Sun., Dec. 23, 1 p.m. Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. Geared to children age 2 to 10 years, the one-hour, interactive show follows the antics of Mrs. Claus and the Elf Class of 2018 as they track down Santa’s missing Christmas list.  Tickets: $14 to $18 per person; groups of 30 or more, $8; children under age 2 sitting on lap, free. Box office: 773-205-9600. Info: or 

The BAC Professional Theatre Series presents “Winter Wonderettes,” a delightful musical set at a small business’s holiday party in 1968 that finds four female performers swinging into song when Santa doesn’t arrive with the employees’ bonus checks, Fri., Dec. 7 and 14, Sat., Dec. 8 and 15, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 9 and 16, 2:30 p.m., Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111. St., Chicago.  The family-friendly show includes Sixties style tunes that range from “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” to “Jingle Bell Rock.” $22 ($20/BAC members). 773-445-3838 or   

Filled Irreverent improv and colorful comedy set the tone for The Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue, Sat., Dec. 29, 8 p.m., Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., Chicago.  $30 ($27/BAC members). 773-445-3838 or   

Laugh in the New Year with Pat Tomasulo and Friends, New Year’s Eve, Mon., Dec. 31, 8 p.m., Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., Chicago.   When he’s not reporting as the WGN Morning News sports anchor or hosting “Man of the People,” Tomasulo performs hilarious stand-up comedy shows. $40 ($36). 773-445-3838 or 



Holiday Movies 

Two holiday movies have been selected for BACinema screenings this month at Beverly Arts Center (BAC), 2407 W. 111th St. On Wed., Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m., bring the family to see “A Christmas Story,” a 1980s holiday favorite filled with fun and misadventures.  On Fri., Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m., Chicago Council of Gold Star Mothers will co-present the moving drama, “Joyeux Noel,” as part of the WWI Film Festival commemorating the end of the first World War. The film is set on Christmas Eve 1914, when soldiers on the Western Front call an informal and unauthorized truce to set aside their conflict and meet in No Man’s Land to share some precious peace.  Admission:  $6 ($5 for BAC members) plus $2 popcorn.  Info 773-445-3838 or   

11th Annual 19th Ward Children’s Film Festival features “Incredibles 2” at 10 a.m. and “Wrinkle in Time” at 2 p.m., Fri., Dec, 28, Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. Admission is $1 at the door, first come/first serve basis.  



For the Grown Ups  

Platinum Adventures, Wintrust’s activity club for seniors, is offering holiday events that include: “T’was the Night Before Christmas,” the story behind the poem and the history of American Christmas traditions, Wed., Dec. 12, 2 p.m., First National Bank of Evergreen Park, 3960 W. 95th St., free; Holiday Flower Arranging, Thurs., Dec, 13, 3 p.m. Steuber Florist and Greenhouses, 2654 W. 111th St., $25 ($20/Platinum Adventures members); and “Miracle on 34th Street,” Wed., Dec. 19, trip to Theatre at the Center, Munster, Ind., departing 11 a.m. from Ridge Academy, 2501 W. 103rd St., $95 ($90/Platinum Adventures members.) Reservations required for all programs and events. Contact Margie O’Connell,, 773-298-4712.  

19th Ward Senior Citizen New Year’s Eve at Noon Party, Mon., Dec. 31, The Vineyard, 2125 S. 95th St. $5 per person includes fried chicken lunch. Reservations required, 773-238-8766.  



On the evening of the Winter Solstice, Dec. 21., at 7:30, Bethany Union Church, 1750 W. 103rd St.,  celebrates a Community Celtic Christmas Service using Celtic songs and music, readings, images, prayers, and the special message by Pastor Lawrence Cameron that is featured in his new book, “A Celtic Christmas Telling.” Worship on Sun., Dec. 23, 10:30 a.m. includes members of the choir and congregation participating in a Build-a-Manger Scene. The traditional Christmas Eve Candlelight Service will be held Mon., Dec. 24, 9 p.m. and the community is invited.  

Episcopal Church of the Holy Nativity, 1917 W. 93rd St., Mon., Dec. 24, 10:30 p.m. carols followed by the Christ Mass; Tues., Dec. 25, Christmas Day Mass, Sun., Dec. 30, first Sunday of Christmas, Tues., Jan. 1, Feast of the Holy Name, and Sun., Jan. 6, Feast of the Epiphany with the Blessing/Chalking of the Doors, all at 9:30 a.m.  


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