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Thursday, January 20, 2022

A few happenings this week, now thru Dec. 19, in Naperville


Come on down to the heart of Naperville! This time of year, Santa’s helpers show up just about everywhere—even almost-in-clear view from the Riverwalk! Have you ever seen such a sight in your life as kayakers in Santa hats row-row-rowing on the DuPage River? Ho-ho-ho! And a little serendipity on a Sunday, too!

Click here for updated calendar posted Dec. 22, 2021.

This week through Dec. 19

***Date open and ongoing thru the holiday season…

Scenes of penguins are on display, sandwiched between local enterprise throughout downtown Naperville, pitching plaid tidings to you and your kin for shopping locally in support of small businesses. Plaid is the theme for the season to shop small!

***NOW / Downtown Naperville store windows are inviting with plaid tidings, elves hiding and penguins working, all signs that the colorful holiday shopping and dining season is here. Thanks for supporting local stores, banks, restaurants and other enterprise that contribute to local revenues right here at home.

Dec. 13-Dec. 15 / America’s heartland is hurting with heartbreaking news of devastation and deaths caused by severe storms and tornadoes that touched down in six states during Friday night storms, including Edwardsville, Illinois, as reported Saturday. God bless America’s resilience with can-do spirit and all first responders during this time of rescue and recovery. Update: The Naperville American Legion Post 43 sent out news late Dec. 12, 2021, regarding a Go Fund Me site dedicated to relief efforts to help Illinois and Kentucky. In addition, the Wheaton Memorial Post 2164 (VFW) and DuPage Honor Guard are collecting water, nonperishables, blankets, coats [all sizes] for individuals/families that lost everything in Kentucky and Illinois due to the ravaging tornadoes. The public is welcome to help. From now through Dec. 15, drop off much-needed supplies at the Wheaton VFW at 0N731 Papworth St, Wheaton, IL 60187. Thank you.

***NOW with Updates… 2021 U.S. tornadoes: Facts, FAQs, and how to help via World Vision. (Note also on Jan. 18, 2022, 100% of sales at Meson Sabika and Tapas Valenica (1530 State Street in Chicago) will be donated to World Vision and the American Red Cross for disaster relief. RSVP at (312) 842-4444.) 

With traumatic needs on our minds about destruction in southern Illinois, also noteworthy is that the City of Naperville is hosting a follow-up presentation about challenges of local residents who were victims of the ravaging EF-3 tornado that tore through Naperville on Father’s Day 2021.

Dec. 20 / Naperville felt the heartache created by a ravishing tornado late on Father’s Day 2021. On the six-month anniversary of the horrific weather event, from 6-8PM Mon., Dec. 20, 2021, impacted Naperville families are invited to attend an open house to help the community identify what unmet needs exist as long-term recovery continues. The open house will take place at the Ranch View Elementary School gym, 1651 Ranchview Drive, and is sponsored by the Naperville Long-Term Recovery Group, made up of Ranch View Area Community Assistance, the City of Naperville, Loaves & Fishes Community Services and other volunteers. 

***NOW and Every day! / Thanks for reading PN online (and in print) as part of your multi-media experience! Thanks for supporting local enterprise, charitable giving, public safety as well as the community’s can-do spirit whenever possible.

This post is chock full of photos that help depict a small sampling of community spirit. We like to think that our past gives richness to our present.

***NOW through a happy New Year / NaperLights – At dusk, bright holiday lights all along Water Street provide many colorful locations for family photos.

***NOW thru Dec. 31 / Cheers to Dean’s, now celebrating its first 62 years! – Stop by Dean’s Fine Clothing for Men & Women at 226 S. Main Street where they’re “mad about plaid” for the holidays! Closed Christmas Day. Discover all that’s new for the holidays whenever shopping and dining throughout downtown Naperville. Shop small!

For 26-plus years, Naperville Trolley & Tours has created memories for families and friends, especially during the holidays.

***NOW thru Dec. 28, 2021 / Holiday Light Trolley-La La La – La La La La Tours – (Closed on Christmas) Climb on board Naperville Trolley & Tours to share holiday cheer while discovering many of the bright spots of Naperville. Start and end at various locations North and South. Find dates, times and reservations at www.napervilletrolley.com. Ding! Ding! with caroling bells and a Ding Dong, too!

Find jewelry, ornaments, greeting cards, photography and other one-of-a-kind original art, perfect for holiday gifts, on display at the Naperville Art League. The gallery is located off Fifth Avenue at 508 N. Center Street.

***NOW and All through the year! / Naperville Art Gallery of Gifts – 10AM to 5PM Tuesday through Friday, located at 508 North Center Street. The Gallery also is open Saturday from 10AM until 4PM. For information about Naperville Art League membership, classes, rotating displays, art competitions or the Riverwalk Fine Art Fair, call (630) 355-2530. Original art available for sale makes a great gift. Thanks for supporting local artisans. 

Serendipity is open Monday through Saturday. The best days to donate quality items are Mondays and Thursdays, but any day is OK.

***NOW and all year! / Serendipity Resale Shop / Find Little Friends Serendipity Resale Shop open 10AM to 5PM Mon. through Sat., now located at the Aurora Marketplace Shopping Center, 461 S. Route 59 at 75th Street. All support and sales benefit the needs and programs at Little Friends.



Reindeer Road surrounds a spacious parking lot at Highpoint Church. Take the tour through colorful dancing lights, greeted by characters decked out for the holiday season and a 40′ tall reindeer, billed as the “tallest reindeer in the world”!

***Dec. 15 to Dec. 25 – Open Wednesdays, Thursday, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays thru Christmas / Reindeer Road Drive-Thru – Now open at 6:30PM every evening Wednesday through Sunday until 10PM (Last vehicle tour begins at 9:30PM) through Christmas at Highpoint Church, located at 1805 High Point Drive. The giant reindeer can be seen fully illuminated and looking down on by passers-by on I-88 near Naperville Road. The new charitable event will benefit KidsMatter and The Alive Center. Admission for the drive-thru attraction is only $10 per carload, not per person, so carpooling with family and friends is encouraged.  For information on ticket presale, dates and times, sponsorship and vendor opportunities, and all event details, visit ReindeerRoad.com. Remember! Reindeer Road is dark every Monday and Tuesday.

Sookie is the official greeter at The Boxes in Cress Creek Shopping Center and she welcomes visitors Monday thru Saturday.
***NOW / Pack & Ship via The Boxes– Hours are 9AM to 6:30PM Monday thru Friday and 9AM to 3PM on Saturday. (Packages needed to wrapped and sent by Dec. 15, 2021, in order for Christmas arrivals.) The Boxes, closed Christmas Day and Sundays, is located at 790 Royal St. George in the Cress Creek Shopping Center. Every day, a wide selection of greeting cards is available along with many other last-minute gift ideas. Be sure to say “hello” to Sookie, the quiet and friendly greeter at The Boxes.

***NOW / Little Friends Giving Tree & Essential NeedsClick here for everything to know about the annual Holiday Giving Tree Program and other programs throughout the year that benefit Little Friends. Thank you.

During the 2021 REFUEL onstage at the Yellow Box, Amy Purdy shared an amazing story about her accomplishing extraordinary things, despite fighting for her life and losing both of her legs below the knees to Bacterial Meningitis at the age of 19. The best-selling author of On My Own Two Feet also was a star on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars. Her inspiring story of resilience, including how she’s faced challenges and obstacles, received a standing ovation. (PN Photo, Dec. 15, 2021)

Dec. 15 / REFUEL – 1-5PM Wed., Dec. 15 / REFUEL is a FREE one-day, virtual and in-person event featuring world-class speakers. Attendees must pre-register at www.DealerInspire.com/REFUEL. REFUEL 2021 will center around a day of reflection and the chance to recharge looking toward 2022. Presenters include Jocko Willink, Cal Fussman, Angela Manuel Davis, Jim Kwik and Amy Purdy. Cars.com is donating $100,000 ($25,000 to each of four selected charities) in support of Naperville’s Loaves and Fishes; Girls Who Code; Clean Air Task Force, and My Block My Hood My City. Attendees also will have the opportunity to contribute along with Cars.com to help reach a $200,000 goal for giving, organizers said.

Dec. 15 / Irish Sessions at Quigley’s – 7PM Wed., Dec. 15 / Musicians gather to play tunes for the casual listening enjoyment of patrons at Quigley’s Irish Pub, 43 E. Jefferson Avenue. (Click here for “Pictures with Santa” and other happenings this December at Quigley’s.)

This Weekend – Dec. 17, 18 & 19

Look for Santa by the Big Tree with many NaperLights, hosted by the Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise, just off Water Street.

Dec. 17 / Santa Claus continues his weekend visits at NaperLights – After dark Fridays and Saturdays, Santa will greet families and friends. Stroll through the colorful lights and the grand illumination of downtown Naperville. Though Santa will head back to the North Pole on weekdays to inspire his elves to keep busy making toys for good girls and boys during this joyous season of giving, NaperLights will shine every evening until the New Year. For more photos and activities of NaperLights, click here.

Chippy cheers for the Cardinals!
Dec. 17 / North Central College vs. Mary Hardin-Baylor vie for NCAA Division III Football Championship! – 6PM Fri., Dec. 17 / On Dec. 11, North Central College Cardinals met up with the University of Mount Union Purple Raiders in the semi-final NCAA Division III football playoff game at Mount Union Stadium at the University in Alliance, Ohio. North Central College was victorious, 26-13! This week the undefeated team (and 2019 NCAA Division III Football Champion) heads back to Ohio to Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton for the Stagg Bowl XLVIII to take on the undefeated Crusaders. Fans and friends are encouraged to gather for watch parties at a table near a big-screen TV at a local sports bar, including downtown locations such as Empire Burgers & Brew, Hizemans, Features and Quigley’s Irish Pub (no TV sound at Quigley’s due to previously booked band).
The championship game will be broadcast live on ESPNU at 6PM. Go, Cardinals! Update 9:30PM /  Final Score: North Central College Cardinals 24 to Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders 57.
Dec. 17 / Holly Jolly Days at Naper Settlement 1-7PM Fri., Dec. 17 / Naper Settlement is located at 523 South Webster St. Also visit Holly Jolly Days on December 20, 21, 22 and 23 for a relaxing joyful time with family and friends at the outdoor history museum. Admission is $5. Kids 4 and under are free.
Dec. 17 / ‘Journey to the Manger’ Christmas Luminary Drive-thru – 5:30 to 8PM Fri., Dec. 17 / Enjoy a peaceful sense of hope and love during the lighting of candles at Christmastime in a new way at the “Journey to the Manger” Christmas Luminary Drive-thru at Grace United Methodist Church, 300 East Gartner Road, Naperville, 60540. 

Dec. 17-Dec. 19 / Elise Flagg Academy of Dance Presents: The Naperville Nutcracker on stage at Pfeiffer Hall. 7PM Fri., Dec. 17 / 1PM & 5PM Sat., Dec. 18 / 1PM Sun., Dec. 19 / Elise Flagg Academy of Dance presents The Naperville Nutcracker! Set to the beloved score by Tchaikovsky and with beautiful costumes, gorgeous sets and impressive dancing, The Naperville Nutcracker aims to fill the audience with cheer and delight! TKTS: $27 to $37. Pfeiffer Hall is located at 310 E. Benton on the campus of North Central College.

Dec. 17, 18 & 19 / Miracle on 34th Street – 8PM Friday and Saturday, 2PM Saturday and Sunday – Final four performances this weekend. / TKTS: $28 – $33 / Presented by BrightSide Theatre at the Theater of Meiley Swallow Hall, 31 South Ellsworth Street, on the campus of North Central College.

The performances of “Nutcracker on Ice” are sanctioned by U.S. Figure Skating. (Photo courtesy of Whitney Robbins)

Dec. 18 & Dec. 19 / The Nutcracker “Live on Ice!” – 1PM and 7PM Sat., Dec. 18 / Creative Ice Theater and Seven Bridges are once again preparing local skaters to perform The Nutcracker on Ice during the 2021 holiday season. Performances will be held at 1PM and 7PM Sat., Dec. 18; and at 1PM Sun., Dec. 19. Seven Bridges Ice Arena is located at 6690 IL 53 in Woodridge, Illinois. Advance purchase tickets (ranging from $20 to $35) are available at www.creativeicetheatre.com. Masks required for all attendees.

From autumn through springtime, the Naperville Municipal Band performs indoors, mostly on stage at the Wentz Concert Hall in the North Central College Fine Arts Center. Next up the Holiday Concert is set for 3PM Sun., Dec. 19, 2021.

Dec. 19 / Naperville Municipal Band Holiday Concert at The Wentz – 3PM Sun., Dec. 19. The 60-minute concert includes an audience sing-along. Santa is expected to make a special appearance. Public welcome! Free of admission charge. Kindly arrive in advance of 3PM. Local protocols apply. The Wentz Concert Hall is in the North Central College Fine Arts Center, located at 171 E. Chicago Avenue, just steps from downtown Naperville.

***NOW And when you’re out and about after dark…

Holiday lights illuminate homes all along Williamsburg Drive with good cheer…

Click here / Community Events Calendar

Think dinner & the show!

Think dinner and the show and combine a gift certificate/card to a restaurant and theater tickets to performances on stage at North Central College. Perhaps give memberships to places such as Naperville Art League, Naper Settlement or DuPage Children’s Museum. The Naperville Art League also has one-of-a-kind art for sale in its Gallery.

‘Tis the season to give DNA gift cards or to create an experience in 2021 or 2022. Downtown Naperville Gift Cards make great gifts for teachers, coaches, graduates and anyone. With a Downtown Naperville gift card, the recipient can find a new outfit, indulge in a relaxing spa treatment, take a fitness class, pick up a pair of new running shoes, discover a great new book or enjoy a wonderful meal among so many choices.

Or sponsor a donation of special gift certificates that includes for a pair of tickets or an entire table to some other charity gala or golf outing this year. 

Find more things to do under ‘Upcoming Events’ in the column to the right…

Take a break! Dine Around Naperville!

From Catch 35* to Meson Sabika* and many destinations N.E.W. and S, discover more than 260 delicious places to dine in or take out, and find some with a heated patio at www.dinenaperville.com

Note that 40-plus eateries are located throughout downtown Naperville where there are plenty of shopping opportunities in between meals. Cheers to all that’s new and coming soon!

Thanks for supporting live music such as the sounds of bands at Quigley’s Irish Pub* (Most Thursdays Fridays & Saturdays). No cover.  

In addition to lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, Meson Sabika provides a lovely setting for holiday dinners and New Year’s Eve celebrations with family, friends and neighbors. Looking forward to all seasons, the historic site is a place for outdoor weddings and other special occasions inside the mansion, outside on the patio or in the spacious Pavilion. The beautiful mansion with intimate private rooms also provides a romantic setting for date nights. Meson Sabika is located at 1025 Aurora Ave. 

Hospitality shows and matters in Naperville

For a listing of all 17 lodging choices in Naperville, offering more than 2,500 rooms, visit visitnaperville.com. Whether planning a wedding, corporate or sporting event; special meeting; family reunion or an extended stay while home construction is temporarily in progress, Naperville can put guests up for a night or a month or more.

Shop, bank & entertain locally, too!

Economic development and tourism go hand in hand. Thanks for supporting the local economy by planning a “staycation” itinerary here and inviting friends and family to come discover Naperville this winter, spring, summer or next fall.

From art exhibits at North Central College to outdoor art in public places called Century Walk, from the DuPage Children’s Museum to Naper Settlement, from the Riverwalk and Central Park in downtown Naperville to more than 100 neighborhood parks throughout the city, and from Naperville Crossings at 95th Street to shopping destinations dotting the landscape here and there, check out everything this community has to offer north, east, west and south.

Everybody is welcome to enjoy the charm, culture, rich history and sporting events that are homegrown and treasured in this vibrant community every day.

Think Dinner & the Show at North Central College

And there’s more latest news…

Look forward with photo-enhanced stories every day on PN’s Latest NewsIn addition to events and other happenings, find public meeting notices scheduled at the Naperville Municipal Center.

Check out PN’s Events Calendar for other events as well as to help plan next week and upcoming weekends.

PN’s Event Calendar features Things to Do, too!

Thanks for visiting this website! Thanks for reading PN in print & online!

Posted Dec. 13, 2021 / Last Updated, Dec. 17, 2021

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