Veterans Day, turkeys and the upcoming holidays dominate November's fests

Nov. 2

The Great Pumpkin Roll: 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, at Central Park, 1510 Forest Gate Road, Oak Brook. Bring your pumpkin(s) to roll down the Sled Hill at Central Park. There will be judges to see whose pumpkin had the longest roll, shortest roll and messiest roll in each heat. The festivities continue at Central Park West with bowling, football obstacles and crafting bird seed feeders. $4-$16. Register

Nov. 5

Pumpkin Smash: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 5, at Ron Ory Community Garden Plots, 811 S. West St., Naperville. Free.

Champagne Walk and Brunch: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, in downtown Antioch. For ages 21 and older. Sample champagne and browse the shops in downtown Antioch.

Turkey Shoot: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at Bridges of Poplar Creek Country Club, 1400 Poplar Creek Drive, Hoffman Estates. 11 a.m. shotgun start. $150 entry fee per two-person team includes 18 holes of golf, cart, range balls, lunch and beverage ticket. Every paid participant receives a 10- to 14-pound turkey.

Nov. 6

Handmade Holiday Craft Fair: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, at Elara Convention Center, Holiday Inn Crystal Lake, 800 S. Illinois Route 31, Crystal Lake. Featuring the handmade works of 60-plus local artists, crafters, bakers and chefs. Free admission.

Handel's Messiah: 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, at Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin.

Nov. 11

Chicagoland Antique Advertising, Slot Machine & Jukebox Show: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11; 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12; and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, at the Lake County Fairgrounds & Event Center, 1060 E. Peterson Road, Grayslake. See a selection of antique slot machines, jukeboxes, advertising memorabilia, gumball and penny arcade machines, music boxes, pinball machines, antique video games, vinyl records and more. Saturday and Sunday admission is $8 per adult per day or $12 for both days; free for kids. Friday is an early buyer's show; $50 per adult for a three-day pass.

St. Charles Veterans Day Ceremony: 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at Fire Station 1, 112 N. Riverside Ave., St. Charles. The ceremony will begin with the singing of the national anthem, followed by a prayer, remarks, a closing prayer, gun salute and taps performance.

Elgin Veterans Day Ceremony: 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at Heritage Ballroom at Centre of Elgin, 100 Symphony Way, Elgin. The City of Elgin, in partnership with American Legion Post 57, honors veterans who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Seating will be provided. Parking is available in the Centre Parking deck located at the southwest corner of Symphony and Grove.

Veterans Day Celebration: Noon to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at Community Arts Center, 225 McHenry Road, Buffalo Grove. VFW Post 981 Color Guard will present and remove the Colors, and present a special Armed Services flag presentation. Speeches and military music will be included in the celebration. Lunch will be served before the program. Free.

Winterfest Art Market 2022: 6-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, at Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water St., Batavia. Features artwork in various media and gifts available to purchase, as well as holiday food and drink. Deadline for artists to apply is Oct. 16.

Handel Messiah Chicago: 7:30-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at St. James Cathedral, 65 E. Huron, Chicago. Handel's Messiah and the Hallelujah Chorus presented by the Camerata Chicago Chamber Orchestra and Choir is conducted by Drostan Hall.

Nov. 12

Tree Trim: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 12-13, at Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield. School groups, Scout troops, families and companies are welcome to participate in the Tree Trim for the 41st annual Holiday Magic.

Harvest Pow Wow: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, at the DuPage County Fairgrounds, 2015 Manchester Road, Wheaton. 26th annual Midwest SOARRING Foundation event features drum circles, arts and crafts, dances, food and vendors. Grand Entry at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. $15; $10 for 62 and older, $7 for kids 3-12; weekend pass $30.

Nov. 17

Bliss Holiday Boutique & Luncheon: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, at Makray Memorial Golf Club, 1010 S. Northwest Hwy., Barrington. The $45 ticket includes shopping, entertainment and lunch.

Girls' Night Out: 5-9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, in downtown Antioch. Women ages 21 and older can take part in holiday activities throughout downtown including the Tipsy Elf Scavenger Hunt. Finish the evening with an after-party at Rivalry Alehouse. Register online. $22.

Nov. 18

It's Thanksgiving Downers Grove: 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, at Lincoln Center, 917 Maple Ave., Downers Grove. Kids 3-9 can watch a Thanksgiving special, visit with a special character, enjoy snacks and create festive crafts. Registration is per child. An adult must stay to supervise. $20-$30.

Nov. 19

Illuminations: Nov. 19-Jan. 7 at Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. The 10th annual walking tour featuring new sights, including a special Human+Nature display and an experience featuring 150 colorful lanterns. Tickets go on sale Oct. 1. $7-$19 for members and $13-$24 for nonmembers.

Reindeer Run: Saturday, Nov. 19, at Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield. Be the first to see the lights of Holiday Magic during the two-mile course, which is entirely within Brookfield Zoo.

Christmas on the Fox Arts & Crafts Show: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 19-20, at Prairie Events Center, Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles. All items are handmade by the exhibiting artist. Items for sale include Christmas floral and candies, jewelry, unique photography, paper crafts, wearing apparel, accessories, whimsical folk art with holiday themes, homemade soup and dip mixes, handmade soap, wood signs and knitting. There will be Holiday greens for sale from Heinz Brothers Greenhouse.

Nov. 20

Turkey Shoot Free-Throw Contest: 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20, at Techny Prairie Activity Center, 180 Anets Drive, Northbrook. Register for the individual or team competition. Each participant shoots 15 free throws. In the team competition the scores are added up to determine the winners. First place in each division receives a turkey. Second place in each age division receives a pie. Participants will also compete for prizes in the vertical jump and shuttle run turkey dash.

Nov. 23

Thanksgiving Lego Party: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, at Leisure Center, 3323 Walters Ave., Northbrook. Create ships, UFOs, planes, cars and anything you can imagine with more than 100 pounds of Lego bricks and elements. Students will build themselves into a 6-foot tower of bricks. The party guide is Beth Weis. Bring a nut-free lunch and drink.

Nov. 25

Festival of Lights & Tree Sale: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., lights come on at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, through Dec. 30 at Cosley Zoo, 1356 N. Gary Ave., Wheaton. Cosley Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland with 20,000+ twinkling lights, a selection of Christmas trees, lighted animal figures, wreaths and greenery, hot chocolate and holiday gifts in the Wild Side Gift Shop. All proceeds benefit Cosley Zoo. On Christmas Eve & New Year's Eve, zoo hours are 9 a.m. to noon; closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Advanced reservations are not required. Zoo admission is free during the Festival of Lights and Tree Sale; donations are appreciated. Hot chocolate hours: 3-9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, and on Saturdays and Sundays.

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic: 3-9 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Nov. 25-27; Wednesday through Sunday, Nov. 30-Dec. 1-4, 7-11, 14-18; and Monday through Saturday, Dec. 26-31, at Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield. Now in its 41st year, get ready to visit the longest-running lights festival featuring over two million twinkling LED lights! Advance tickets will be required.

Grayslake Tree Lighting Festival: 3-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, in Grayslake. Annual Tree Lighting Festival with Santa, a parade and festival activities.

Turkey Dri Tri: 6 a.m. Friday, Nov. 25, at the Oak Brook Park District, 1450 Forest Gate Road, Oak Brook. This outdoor triathlon features: Row on Concept 2 Rowers (2000 meters), Cycle on Air Assault bikes (2.5 miles), Run/Walk (1.5 miles). Each participant will be assigned a heat based on his or her gender and age, and confirmations will be sent out the week before the event. Heats start every 30 minutes, beginning at 6 a.m., with seven participants per heat. All participants must start at the times indicated in their confirmation email. Age groups are: 12-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and older. Appropriate attire, including athletic shoes, are required for all events. All registrants will receive a T-shirt. The cost to participate is $25. Depending on the weather, the run portion may be

The entrance to Cosley Zoo is aglow with color during a previous Festival of Lights. This year's holiday light display opens Nov. 25 and runs through Dec. 30. Courtesy of Cosley Zoo

Nov. 26

Christmas in the Square: Saturday, Nov. 26, in Lockport.

Fox Lake Festival of Lights: 2-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, at Community Garden Green, 17 E. School Court, Fox Lake. Kringle Winter Market from 2-6 p.m. Parade at 5 p.m. at Grant Community High School. Immediately following the parade there will be the Annual Tree Lighting at Millennium Park and opening of the Santa Cottage.

Tree Lighting Ceremony: 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, at Festival Park, 132 S. Grove Ave., Elgin. Community event featuring the tree lighting.

Nov. 27

Christmas At The Farm: 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27 and Dec. 4, at Lyon Farm, 7935 Route 71, Yorkville. There will be crafts and goodies for the kids, a storyteller, chestnut roasting, cookie icing and a visit from Santa Claus. Admission is $4 per person; free for kids younger than 2. No debit or credit cards accepted. (630) 553-6777 or

Nov. 28

Santa's Naperville Workshop: Open daily Nov. 28 to Dec. 22 at the Riverwalk Cafe, 441 Aurora Ave., Naperville. Visits with Santa from 5-8 p.m. weekdays and noon to 8 p.m. weekends. Registration starts at noon Nov. 1 for residents and noon Nov. 3 for nonresidents. $10-$15. Register at

Dec. 2

Greater Elgin Sing-Along Messiah: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at the Elgin Community College Blizzard Theater, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. Sit on the main floor with those of your voice type or in the balcony with groups and family. Featuring Chamber Music on the Fox, Children's Theatre of Elgin, Elgin Master Chorale, Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, Judson's Demoss Center for Worship in the Performing Arts, Midwest Opera Theater and area church choruses. Free; donations welcome.

Dec. 3

A Victorian Christmas Dinner Celebration: 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at Stacy's Tavern Museum, 557 Geneva Road, Glen Ellyn. An old-fashioned Christmas as Stacy's Tavern Museum will be decorated with fresh greens and lighted by candlelight. It will be open for tours from 5-6 p.m. Hors d'oeuvres will be available at the History Center from 5-6 p.m. Starting at 6 p.m., a Victorian Christmas dinner will be served buffet-style in the History Center, as well as special treats and music. $100.

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