There’s so much to do in our region! Here’s a look at upcoming lectures and educational enrichment.
Ellwood House Holiday Traditions
Through Dec. 6, Sat.-Sun. Tour the beautifully decorated mansion and listen to volunteers relate the history of the house and generations of Ellwood family members. Holiday open house special events Dec. 4-6. Ellwood House Museum, 509 N. 1st St., DeKalb. Info: (815) 756-4609, ellwoodhouse.org.
Giving Trees & 18th Century Creche Display
Through Dec. 23, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. A gallery of Christmas trees decorated by local charities and an 18th-century Creche, a historic nativity scene originally displayed at The Little Traveler. Geneva History Center, 113 S. 3rd St., Geneva, (630) 232-4951, genevahistorycenter.org.
Festival of Trees
Dec. 1-31, regular museum hours. See more than 20 trees decorated by businesses and nonprofit groups for the holidays. Special events all month; check website for full list. Midwest Museum of Natural History, 425 W. State St., Sycamore, (815) 895-9777, mmnh.org.
Christmas Memories House Tours
Dec. 3-4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Costumed interpreters demonstrate and talk about past holiday traditions. Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road, West Chicago, (630) 876-5900, dupageforest.com.
Candlelight at the Inn
Dec. 5-6, 3-7 p.m. Experience the tradition of winter visits as practiced by families like the Garfields in their 1846 Brick Inn. Garfield Farm Museum, 3N016 Garfield Road, LaFox. Info: (630) 584-8485, garfieldfarm.org.
Christmas on the Farm
Dec. 5, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Celebrate a Victorian Christmas inside the farmhouse. Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road, West Chicago. Info: (630) 876-5900, dupageforest.com.
Dec. 5, 1-3 p.m. An annual tradition, this year featuring Leslie Goddard on the history of Marshall Field’s. Elgin Area Historical Museum, 360 Park St., Elgin. Info: (847) 742-4248, elginhistory.org.
Victorian Holiday Traditions
Dec. 5, 3-5 p.m. Tour the mansion, decorated by the Naperville Garden Club in a 1915 holiday theme, followed by an informative presentation on Victorian holiday customs. Martin Mitchell Mansion, Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.org
7th Annual Snowflake Shuffle
Dec. 5, 7 a.m. registration. TriCity Family Services 5K Run, Walk Course is USATF-certified. Proceeds benefit TriCity Family Services. Mill Creek Golf Club & Subdivision, 39W525 Herrington Dr., Geneva, tricityfamilyservices.org.
Dec. 12-13, 2-6 p.m. A 19th-century Christmas, with crackling fire, fragrant evergreen, twinkling candles, costumed interpreters, holiday music and treats. Durant House, LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, 37W584 Dean St., St. Charles, (630) 377-6424, ppfv.org/durant.
Kiwanis Santa Run for Kids
Dec. 7, 9 a.m. 5K run/walk; participants receive a Santa suit. Benefits local organizations. 1-mile run/walk; kids get reindeer antlers. Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake, (815) 459-1773, rauecenter.org.
Geneva Steeple Walk
Dec. 6, 2-4:30 p.m. Hear holiday music at four historic churches: United Methodist Church, 211 Hamilton St.; Geneva Lutheran, 301 S. 3rd St.; Unitarian Universalist Society, 2nd St.; First Church of Christ, 2nd St. Tickets at participating churches, Geneva Chamber of Commerce or geneva.il.us.
Victorian Holiday Tea
Dec. 13, 12:30 p.m. & 3 p.m. Enjoy tea and finger sandwiches in the grand parlor while learning about holiday traditions from the 1800s. Colonel Palmer House, 660 E. Terra Cotta Ave., Crystal Lake. Info: (815) 477-5873, crystallakeparks.org.
The Legend of St. Nicholas
Dec. 13, 4-5 p.m. Terry Lynch of HFK Presents explains the influence the 4th-century Bishop had on many traditions of the holiday season throughout the world, both religious and secular. Century Memorial Chapel, Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.org.
Legendary Docent Tours
Dec. 19, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sakina Bharani highlights the figures, facts and mysteries that surround the famous stones featured in the Legendary Diamonds exhibit. Elmhurst Historical Museum, 120 E. Park Ave., Elmhurst, (630) 833-1457, elmhursthistory.org.
Moon Gazing on the Winter Solstice
Dec. 22, 6-7 p.m. A special night of moon viewing, storytelling and hot chocolate. See the solstice and planets through a telescope. Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove Ave., Elgin, (847) 742-2411, gailborden.info.
Deirdre Marie Capone: Uncle Al Capone
Jan. 10, 3 p.m. Hear from Al Capone’s grandniece, the last living member of the Capone family, about her latest book on the family’s secrets. Raue Center For The Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake, (815) 356-9212, rauecenter.org.
Bette Davis, A Living History Portrayal
Jan. 10, 4-5 p.m. Leslie Goddard details Bette Davis’ riveting personality, which made the actress a star in Hollywood’s golden age. Naper Settlement, Naperville, (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.org.
Candice Millard: “Destiny of the Republic”
Jan. 21, 10 a.m. In her account of James Garfield’s life, this author brings a forgotten chapter of U.S. history to life. Creative Living Series. Woodstock Opera House, 121 Van Buren St., Woodstock, (815) 338-5300, woodstockoperahouse.com.
The Brain Scoop
Jan. 15, 8 p.m. Emily Graslie discusses how The Field Museum in Chicago uses new digital media to expand the outreach and impact of its scientists’ ongoing research. Fermilab, Kirk Road & Pine Street, Batavia, (630) 840-2787, fnal.gov/culture.
Jan. 29, 7-8:30 p.m. Learn how to identify major constellations and listen to the stories behind them. Dress for the weather. Prairie Education Center, Crystal Lake. Info: (815) 479-5779, mccdistrict.org.