As winter approaches, Naper Settlement will begin operating on reduced hours, but don’t let that fool you: for the next two months the living history museum will kick into high gear with seasonal activities that will delight all ages.
Christkindlmarket returns for its third year and promises to be bigger and better than ever. Over 40 vendors will transform the Settlement’s village square into a traditional German holiday market. Guests will discover the magic of the past while they browse through handmade gifts and ornaments and witness live performances designed to spread the joy of the season. Stop in a warming cabin for a Gluhwein (hot spiced wine) served in a collectible souvenir mug. Add a bratwurst, some sauerkraut, and a dessert for a full cultural experience.
Hardy shoppers who spend the day will get an added treat. At 4PM, Naper Lights will brighten the landscape with a captivating light show. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise, this free exhibition adds another dimension to the Settlement’s festive environment.
Guests are encouraged to come on Saturdays to see the Father of Christmas himself. Yes, Santa will be waiting with a listening ear and a list of activities for his young visitors. Attendees can craft ornaments, prepare energy-inducing treats for the reindeer, and help Mrs. Claus in her bakery. All will be invited to stay for story time and embrace the yuletide wonders.
Sounds like a lot going on, but wait – there’s more! “… And It Makes a Great Christmas Gift: The History of Popeil and Ronco,” a nostalgic and entertaining interactive exhibit featuring crazy, kitschy products created by inventor-pitchman-catch-phrase-generator, and marketing genius, Ron Popeil, will be on display. Hawking his wares on Maxwell Street at age 16, Popeil went on to become king of the commercial air waves from the 50s through the 70s. Credited with being the founder of the infomercial, he introduced audiences to the Chop-O-Matic, Mr. Microphone, the Buttoneer, the Pocket Fisherman, and more. If you are still hungry for those items “you didn’t know you needed,” the History Speaks Lecture Series will present “But Wait, There’s More!” on Dec. 9.