Hear stories of American soldiers who took part in Western Europe’s largest battle of WWII, the Battle of the Bulge, on Dec. 17 at Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin.

Events @ a Glance: Mind & Spirit Calendar

There’s so much to do in our region! Here’s a look at upcoming lectures and educational enrichment.

Hear stories of American soldiers who took part in Western Europe’s largest battle of WWII, the Battle of the Bulge, on Dec. 17 at Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin.
Hear stories of American soldiers who took part in Western Europe’s largest battle of WWII, the Battle of the Bulge, on Dec. 17 at Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin.


Through Jan. 3, 5-9:30 p.m. The grounds glow with dazzling LED lights and trees that respond to touch and sound. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Rt. 53, Lisle, (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.

Festival of Trees
Dec. 1-31, regular museum hours. Special events all month; check website for full list. Midwest Museum of Natural History, 425 W. State St., Sycamore, (815) 895-9777, mmnh.org.  

A LEGO Exhibit: Art + Science = Architecture
Dec. 1-Jan. 31, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Chicago skyscrapers and worldwide structures on two floors. Gail Borden Public Library (GBPL), 270 N. Grove, Elgin, (847) 742-2411, gailborden.info.

Christmas Memories House Tours
Dec. 4-Jan. 5, Th.-Mon. 10-11 a.m. Costumed interpreters demonstrate and talk about past holiday traditions. Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road, West Chicago, (630) 876-5900, dupageforest.com.

6th Annual Snowflake Shuffle
Dec. 6, 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.

Christmas on the Prairie
Dec. 6-7, 2-6 p.m. A 19th century Christmas, with crackling fire, fragrant evergreen, twinkling candles, costumed interpreters, holiday music, treats. Durant House, LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, 37W584 Dean St., St. Charles, (630) 377-6424, ppfv.org/durant.

Candlelight Tours
Dec. 6-7, 3-7 p.m. Learn about winter traditions of families like the Garfields. Food, music, bake sale. Garfield Farm Museum, 3N016 Garfield Road, LaFox, (630) 584-8485, garfieldfarm.org.

Carriage Rides in DeKalb
Dec. 6-20, Sat. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy a carriage ride in Downtown DeKalb during the holiday season. Info: dekalb.org.

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. Race Day: 5K $40; 1 mile $20. Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams, Crystal Lake, (815) 459-1773, rauecenter.org.

Geneva Steeple Walk
Dec. 7, 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. $12. Tickets at participating churches, Geneva Chamber of Commerce or geneva.il.us.

Authors on the Fox: Adam Reed Tucker
Dec. 9, 7 p.m. Creator of “Architecture: A LEGO Exhibit,” currently on display at the library, discusses his book LEGO Architecture: The Visual Guide. GBPL, Elgin, (847) 742-2411, gailborden.info.

Christmas Bedtime Stories
Dec. 9-19, Tues & Thu. 7-8 p.m. Kids should wear PJs & bring their favorite blanket and stuffed animal. Juice, milk, cookies, St. Nick. Colonel Palmer House, 660 E. Terra Cotta Ave., Crystal Lake, (815) 459-0680, crystallakeparks.org.

Season’s Readings
Dec. 10, 7 p.m. Give everyone on your list the perfect book, as Readers Services Librarian Tish Calhamer unwraps the newest, most appealing titles just in time for your holiday shopping. Please register. GBPL, Elgin, gailborden.info.

Creche Luncheon
Dec. 11 & 13, 12:45-3 p.m. A celebration of the 18th century Neapolitan nativity displayed at The Little Traveler each Christmas since 1930. Local celebrity waiters, Christmas carols, raffle. Benefit for History Center. Geneva History Center, 113 S. 3rd St., Geneva, (630) 232-4951, genevahistorycenter.org.

Read To Rover
Dec. 13, 10-11:30 a.m. 15-minute sessions. School-aged kids may practice their reading skills by reading aloud to a fully trained and certified therapy dog. GBPL, Elgin, gailborden.info.

World War I Christmas Miracle
Dec. 14, 4-5 p.m. From written accounts of WWI soldiers, the extraordinary circumstances which led to the widespread, unofficial ceasefires on Christmas 1914. Presented by Rochelle Pennington, author of Christmas Gifts: 10 of the Greatest Ever Given. Century Memorial Chapel, Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville, (630) 420-6010 napersettlement.org.

Battle of the Bulge: The Forgotten Heroes
Dec. 17, 7 p.m. In Western Europe’s largest battle of WWII, German plans were defeated by small groups of American soldiers in the right place at the right time, often making the ultimate sacrifice. Hear their stories. GBPL, Elgin, gailborden.info.

Ancient Cultural Traditions and the Solstice
Dec. 21, 6:30-8 p.m. Hear about the Druid Oak King, the Holly Queen, long-gone cultures and the astronomical significance of the winter solstice. Warm cider, campfire treats. $3/$5 nonmembers. Elgin Public Museum, 225 Grand Blvd., Elgin, (847) 741-6655, elginpublicmuseum.org.


Jane Austen and Her Women
Jan. 11, 4-5 p.m. Leslie Goddard portrays the author, discussing the women in her novels, in honor of the 200th anniversaries of Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma. No Austen knowledge required. Naper Settlement, Naperville, napersettlement.org.

Mark Hirsch: That Tree
Jan. 15, 10 a.m. During a year recovering from a near-fatal accident, the photojournalist healed emotionally by taking photos daily of a bur oak near his rural Wisconsin home. Creative Living Series. Woodstock Opera House, 121 Van Buren St., Woodstock, (815) 338-5300, woodstockoperahouse.com.

Revealing the Nature of Dark Matter
Jan. 16, 8 p.m. Fermilab theoretical astrophysicist Dan Hooper, on his research of the interface between particle physics and astrophysics, and questions related to dark matter. Fermilab, Kirk Road & Pine Street, Batavia, (630) 840-2787, fnal.gov/culture.

Dr. Temple Grandin: Thinking in Pictures
Jan. 19, 10 a.m. At age 2, she was unable to speak and believed to be autistic. Now one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people, she shares how her ability to “think in pictures” helps her to solve problems neuro-typical brains might miss. Creative Living Series. Woodstock Opera House, (815) 338-5300.