7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25
Out of rationalizations for shoe shopping? We’re here for you. Tonight, at the new shoe boutique on Oak Park Avenue, you can score a 20-percent savings on a new pair if you bring in an old pair. Nora’s Shoe Shop is collecting footwear to benefit Soles4Souls, an international charity that makes one person’s past-season castoffs another person’s frontline defense against cuts to the extremities. Adding to the thematic fun will be chocolate treats shaped like pumps and complimentary foot massages. 103 N. Oak Park Ave., 524-5740
8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25
A release party for Oak Parker’s ‘Local Wonders’
Oak Park guitarist, vocalist and all-around theater guy Paul Amandes will be a headliner at FitzGerald’s main room along with Anne Hills, one of his longtime collaborators. In the first set, Amandes, who is a tenured member of the Columbia College Chicago theater department, will share the stage with Hills, a singer and banjo player, to introduce their CD Local Wonders, which Amandes calls a play with songs in it. Then Hills and Amandes will each perform separately; they’ll be joined by James Robinson-Parran, a young pianist and vocalist who is an alum of Oak Park and River Forest High School. 6615 Roosevelt Road, Berwyn. 788-2118, www.fitzgeraldsnightclub.com. $15
8 to 11 p.m Thursday, Sept. 25
Barn dancing 101
String bands will be at the Nineteenth Century Club on Thursday night as Big Bill Sudkamp calls Southern, Western, and New England contra, circle and square dances. For these old-fashioned barn dances, you won’t need a costume or a partner-just energy and an open mind. 178 Forest. Oak Park, 386-2729. $8, free parking
6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26
All Oak Park and River Forest High School band classes, orchestra and choir ensembles and small student groups will be performing. The evening’s proceeds will benefit the school’s music activities. $5 for adults. $3 for students. Tickets at the door. 201 N. Scoville, Oak Park. 383-0700, www.oprfhs.org
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26
Got clothes that are dated or just don’t fit right? Bring them to one of two Marion Street shops, hand them in for charity donations and then save 20 percent on what’s in stock. The shops are Bottega M, for women’s apparel and accessories, and Vestio, for men’s apparel and accessories. The traded-in clothes will go to the Economy Shop of Oak Park, which helps local social service agencies. Bottega M is at 106 N. Marion, 848-0100. Vestio is at 106 N. Marion, 660-8378. The trade-in is going on for three days this weekend, starting on Thursday. Both shops are open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Both shops are closed Sunday.
3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27
Wine and cheese tasting
To benefit the Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory, Marion Street Cheese Market is hosting Fruit of the Land, a 10 tasting-station intro to wine, artisanal beers and local cheeses. Other nourishment will be provided by La Bella restaurant. $35 in advance ($5 for children), at the market, the conservatory or by calling 725-2460. ($40 at the gate) Flash wristbands from the event afterward at local restaurants for related treats.
6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26
Prep for the coming high holidays: Learning what wine to serve. HouseRed, 7403 Madison, Forest Park. 771-7733.
Saturday, Sept. 27
The great paint exchange
Through Oak Park Public Works, you can get rid of paint you don’t need and pick up paint you do need. Bring half-to-full cans of latex paint to the Public Works Center, 201 South Blvd., from 9 to 11 a.m. A little later, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., the folks at Public Works will turn around and give those paint cans away. For other details, call 358-5700 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27
Cooking class with Chef Gaetano
This month’s class with Forest Park’s celeb chef and restaurateur Gaetano di Benedetto is on side dishes: risotto, polenta, pasta and veggies. Chef Gaetano also takes requests – and serves up wine with every dish. $60. Gaetano’s, 7636 Madison, Forest Park. 366-4010, www.gaetanos.us
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28
Cake decorating for beginners
A six-hour hands-on class with pastry expert Laurie Boger. She’ll cover filling, frosting and writing. And you’ll get to take your learning material home. $140. Flavour Cooking School, 7401 Madison, Forest Park. 488-0808, www.flavourcookingschool.com
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28
Arts Fest in Forest Park
The annual weekend show of fine art, craft and design starts on Saturday, during the same hours. Live music and kids’ activities, too. On the 7300 and 7400 blocks of Madison Street and Constitution Court. 771-4777, www.exploreforestpark.com
1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28
Children’s Day at Pleasant Home
A kid-friendly tour and a photo exhibit to see how children lived in this landmark mansion in Oak Park during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At neighboring Mills Park, kids can try such chores as carpet beating and such games as hoop rolling. Free, with lemonade and popcorn, all thanks to a grant from the Illinois Arts Council. Presented by Pleasant Home Foundation, the Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest, Wonder Works Children’s Museum and the Park District of Oak Park. At 217 Home Ave. 383-2654 or 848-6755.
3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28
Performers from local theater companies-16th Street Theater, Village Players, Open Door Repertory Company and Oak Park Festival Theatre-will do scenes, monologues and songs (including an appearance by nationally recognized theatre artist and musician John Herrera). Free, with a reception to follow. Village Players Performing Arts Center, 1010 Madison, Oak Park. 312-749-7400