Winter Wonderland, a two-day, free family festival, will be Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8, at the Frisbie Senior Center in Des Plaines.
The fest runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. both days and features free pictures with Santa; entertainment; kids' crafts, bingo, and face painting; a holiday bazaar; story time; food and hot cocoa; model train displays; and walk-around characters Ronald McDonald, Skates, Kiwi the Clown, and Jewels the Clown.
The event is sponsored by the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce, the Des Plaines Park District, and the Frisbie Senior Center.
"This is the perfect way to ring in a joyful holiday season," said Linda Traina, superintendent of recreation for the park district.
Saturday's entertainment includes: 11:30 a.m.: kids' entertainer, juggler, and unicycle rider Ken Schultz-The Flying Fool; 12:30 p.m.: folkloric ensemble Sol Azteca Dance Troupe; 2 p.m.: Des Plaines Park District's in-house dance company Artistry in Motion with highlights from their upcoming Winter Spectacular; 3 p.m.: Footnotes Theatre Troupe with selections from "Annie."
Sunday's entertainment includes: 10 a.m.: K-Hits Radio playing music and giving away prizes; 12:30 p.m.: Grammy-nominated children's singer-entertainer Dave Rudolf; 2 p.m.: O'Hare Irish dancers; 3 p.m.: Footnotes Theatre Troupe.
Both days feature balloon artist Matthew Scherer and Des Plaines Public Library story time from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Children can play bingo, make Santa and snowman ornaments, have their faces painted and play games.
Attendees are asked to bring in a nonperishable food item to benefit the Self Help Closet and Pantry of Des Plaines. "In exchange for a donation, the Cumberland Café will pour up a steaming up of coffee or hot chocolate," Traina said.
Admission is free, parking is free at the Frisbie Center and Lattof Y, and all entertainment, games, crafts, events, and photo opportunities are free. The Frisbie Senior Center is at 52 E. Northwest Hwy. For information, visit www.DPParks.org or call (847) 391-5700.