Friday, Dec. 5 through Sunday, Dec. 7
Food drive and holiday open house on the Avenue
Some shops on Oak Park Avenue from Pleasant to Ontario and on Lake from Grove to Euclid will be rewarding food donations with savings. Drop off food donations at Ananas, At the Gallery, Botanica, Chameleon, Filoni, Fly Bird, Garland Flowers, Geppetto’s Toy Box, The Great Frame Up, Great Harvest Bread Co., The Irish Shop, Kabloom, K-9 Cookie Company, Madly Pop’n, The Magic Tree Bookstore, Nora’s Shoe Shop, Olive & Well, Starbucks and Wolf Camera.

3 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5
Animal Care League Holiday Bazaar
Your dog or cat is welcome to shop with you as you look for holiday gifts. Annual fundraiser for Oak Park’s shelter continues on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., when Santa will be on treat duty. At 809 S. Oak Park Ave., the building a few doors north of the Avenue Ale House., 848-8155

6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5
Forest Park’s Holiday Walk and Festival of Windows

Annual celebration along Madison Street includes horse-drawn sleigh rides, marshmallow roasting, Santa and his reindeer, and shows of merchants’ creativity in window displays. From Marengo to DesPlaines., 366-2543

6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5
Holiday Housewalk

Tour six spectacular homes in Oak Park’s historic estate district and help the Children’s Clinic at the same time. $40, adults; $20, students; buy at Pick up tickets and maps at the Oak Park Art League, 720 Chicago Ave., Oak Park.

7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5
Mrs. Coney, a holiday show and benefit

Oak Park Festival Theatre presents Mrs. Coney: A Tale at Christmas, the award-winning memory play penned by Oak Parker Belinda Bremner. Tickets, which are $15 ($10 for students and seniors), will be available only at the door. Second performance at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6. Both performances are a benefit for the Walk-In Ministry, a referral program at First United Church of Oak Park that guides people facing losses to social service agencies that can help them. At First United Church, 848 Lake, Oak Park. If you can’t attend, but still would like to help the ministry, call 445-4440.

7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5
“Jimi Hendrix of the violin” at Dominican University

Eileen Ivers, a hip violinist whom The New York Times compared to Jimi Hendrix, brings her signature blue violin to town for a concert called An Nollaig: An Irish Christmas. $28-$35. Lund Auditorium, Dominican University Performing Arts Center. 7900 W. Division, River Forest.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6
Green Holiday Bazaar

Oak Park’s first seasonal fair that’s all Earth-friendly shopping for the holidays. Sponsored by the Green Community Center of Oak Park at New Spirit Community Church of Oak Park, 542 S. Scoville Ave.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6
WinterFest in downtown Oak Park

Family-friendly fun along Marion and Lake streets with a multicultural vibe: diverse line-up of entertainers and an international cookie walk. Free hot chocolate and coffee at a warming tent near carolers and ice sculptors. Check out details at

11:30 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6
Lunch or tea with Santa at Cheney Mansion

Breakfast is sold out, so reserve fast for one of the other dining options with the lead elf. $18. Reserve through with code 461155-02 for lunch and 461155-03 for tea. There will be live music, a model train to check out, and photo ops will elves big and small. There also will be collection bins for donations of new toys. For details, call 383-0002. Cheney Mansion is at 220 N. Euclid in Oak Park.

2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6
Meet creator of Ulysses Grove at Centuries & Sleuths
Mystery writer Jay Bonansinga will be introducing and signing copies of his new psychodrama, Perfect Victim, which is the fourth mystery in his series with the character of FBI profiler Ulysses Grove. Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore, 7419 W. Madison, Forest Park. 771-7243,

7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6
Hogwarts Yule Ball

The Magic Tree Bookstore is hosting a Harry Potter costume party for the release of J.K. Rowling’s latest book: The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Dessert buffet presented by house-elves at Winberie’s. $30-$35 gets you a copy of the book and two tickets to the ball. 141 N. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park. For tickets, call 848-0770 or e-mail

Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7
Holiday open house and craft fair at Oak Park Conservatory

Invest in paper white narcissus and in handmade and home-baked goods for holiday giving. Enjoy seasonal sounds by the St. Giles Handbell Choir. Oak Park Conservatory is at 615 Garfield., 386-4700

Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7
Holiday open house at Pleasant Home
Live harp music, paper crafts for children, house decorations by Illinois Prairie Painters and Fairy Godmothers, treats for local favorite caterers and Todd & Holland’s holiday tea.¬† 217 Home Ave., Oak Park., 383-2654

2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7
Seymour’s Big Band at the Oak Park Arms

Remember Pearl Harbor Day with music from the era. Free. 408 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park., 386-4040

3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7
Singalong for the Christmas Cheer Foundation

Let your holiday spirit ring out as your giving spirit rings in at Dominican University. Donations of $5 or $20 per family with help provide neighbors in need with food and other necessities. At Priory Auditorium, 7200 W. Division, River Forest., 383-0661