In and Around Park Forest for the Week of December 10, 2017

Dulcimer concert at PF Library
(Source: Park Forest Library)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF) — You can enjoy some traditional holiday music performed by the South Suburban Dulcimer and Folk Music Society at the Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, on Thursday, December 14 at 10:30 a.m. Be sure to check out the ‘Holiday Events & Activities’ section for more things to do this holiday season as well as holiday gift ideas.  And don’t forget to shop locally.

Events and activities featured in ‘In and Around Park Forest’ take place in Park Forest, the surrounding suburbs and locations that are just a train ride away. If your club, organization or local business will be holding activities or events in the community that you would like published, please send an e-mail to [email protected] with the details no later than 5 p.m. on Friday.  Thank you.

Village of Park Forest Administration

Village Board Meeting – Monday, December 11

The Village of Park Forest Board will meet on Monday, December 11 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive.  Residents are encouraged to attend. Board meetings air live on cable access channels (Channel 4 for Comcast subscribers and Channel 99 for AT&T subscribers).

To view previously held Board Meetings, visit the Village’s web site here and click on the date of the meeting you wish to watch.

Village Commissions & Advisory Boards

The following Park Forest Commissions are scheduled to meet the week of December 10:

  • Tuesday, December 12 at 6:30 p.m. – Commission on Human Relations
  • Tuesday, December 12 at 7 p.m. – Youth Commission
  • Wednesday, December 13 at 7 p.m. – Economic Development Advisory Group

The meetings will be held at Park Forest Village Hall and residents are encouraged to attend.

Arts & Entertainment

Chicago Design Museum, 108 North State Street, Chicago

‘Hey! Play! Games in Modern Culture’ — Through Feb. 17, 2018

An interactive exhibition that encourages play and offers guests a look at the world of games beyond what’s found on Xbox or Steam is now open at the Chicago Design Museum. Co-curators Brian Schrank and LeAnne Wagner, both School of Design faculty members, created “Hey! Play! Games in Modern Culture,” with all ages and experience levels in mind. The exhibition features nine games that range across three big areas in gaming: high art, outsider art and indie games, said Schrank. High art games can help connect history and art and incorporate elements of graphic art, music or story. Outsider art involves individuals who aren’t necessarily trained in the arts and won’t be in the elite art galleries or museums, but involve art done out of obsessiveness. Small studios or independent artists who are blending art and commercialization make indie games. A few of the games on display and available to play at the exhibition include Robin Arnott’s “Sound-Self,” Feng Mengbo’s “Long March: Restart,” and Champlain College Emergent Media Center’s “Spacebox.”  The other games on display include “SuperBetter” by Jane McGonigal, “Slapsie” and “Parachute Game” by Bernie DeKoven, “Videoball” by Tim Rogers, “Untitled Game” by JODI, a collection of games by Anna Anthropy, and Terry Davis’s TempleOS operating system ready for play on a desktop computer. Founded in 2012, the Chicago Design Museum is located on the third floor of the Block Thirty-Seven mall at 108 N. State St. It’s open from noon to 7p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. “Hey! Play! Games in Modern Culture” runs through Feb. 17, 2018. Admission to the museum is free, but donations are encouraged. For additional information on the Chicago Design Museum is at https://chidm.com/.

Crete Public Library District, 1177 North Main Street

The following events are scheduled at the Crete Public Library District the week of December 10:

  • Monday, December 11 at 10 a.m. – Music & Movement – Drop in for dancing, singing, and rhythm.  For ages 0-5.
  • Monday, December 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – SNAP Help – Drop-in assistance with applying for Food Stamps or Link. For adults.
  • Monday, December 11 at 7 p.m. – Book Club – Discussion of Under the Banner of Heaven by John Krakauer. For adults.
  • Monday, December 11 at 7 p.m. – Knot Just for Knitters – Share camaraderie while working on knitting, crocheting or any other type of needlework project. For adults.
  • Tuesday, December 12 at 11 a.m. – Storytime at Aurelio’s – Drop-in for stories, songs, and fingerplays for ages birth-5.
  • Wednesday, December 13 at 4:45 p.m. – Art by Design – Learn the elements of design using a variety of art techniques. For ages 6-8. Register.
  • Wednesday, December 13 at 7 p.m. – Adulting 101: Eating Healthy for Cheap – Nutrition guidance from a certified dietitian. For teens and adults.
  • Thursday, December 14 at 6 p.m. –STEAM Junior – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math program. For ages 3-5. Register.
  • Thursday, December 14 at 7 p.m. – Knot Another Ball of Yarn! Crochet Group – For teens and adults.
  • Friday, December 15 at 10 a.m. – Babies & Books – Storytime for ages birth-24 months. Register.

For more information or to register for a program, please call the Crete Public Library at 708-672-8017 or visit www.cretelibrary.org.

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

The following events are scheduled at the Park Forest Library the week of December 10:

  • Monday, December 11 at 11 a.m. – Sunrise Story Time — Join us for a delightful morning of stories! For ages 12 and under.
  • Monday, December 11 at 3:30 p.m. – Art in the Afternoon — Unleash your inner artist. Drop in to create a seasonal masterpiece that will be displayed on the wall in kids’ zone. For ages 12 and under.
  • Tuesday, December 12 at 3:30 p.m. – Art Studio — Drop in and discover your inner artist with one of our guided projects. For ages 12 and under.
  • Tuesday, December 12 at 4 p.m. – Color-Rama Coloring Circle — Take a load off after school! Learn different media of art and show your creativity with other teens!
  • Tuesday, December 12 at 6:30 p.m. – Night Time Story Time – Jam out in your PJ’s with stories, crafts, music and more! For ages 12 and under.
  • Wednesday, December 13 at 11 a.m. – Lap-Sit Story Time — Join us for a weekly story-time designed exactly for your baby. Parents or caregivers are invited to read, sing and grow. This program is geared toward babies 0 – 36 months with an accompanying adult.
  • Wednesday, December 13 at 8 p.m. — Youth Astro Net —  Youth ages 9-12 are invited to register for an awesome opportunity to remotely access Harvard telescopes, request images of celestial objects and process images using the same software astronomers use. Registration is limited and parental consent is required!
  • Wednesday, December 13 at 3:30 p.m. – Color Me Happy for Kids — Travel to a world of relaxation and endless creativity. Color yourself happy in our kids’ coloring circle.
  • Wednesday, December 13 at 4 p.m. – Color Me Happy for Adults — Our grown-up coloring circle is the perfect way to step back from the stress of everyday life and enjoy some relaxation! All supplies will be provided.
  • Wednesday, December 13 at 4 p.m. – Drop In Crafts — Take a break from schoolwork for a fun, spur-of-the-moment activity in Teen Tech Zone.
  • Wednesday, December 13 at 6:30 p.m. – Movie Night for Adults – ‘Elf’
  • Wednesday, December 13 at 6:30 p.m. – Writers’ Workshop — Want to improve your skills as a writer? Interested in sharing your ideas or written work with others? Come to the Park Forest Library and join other creators in our bi-monthly writers’ group, led by James Pressler, for all your writing wishes. Writers of all skill levels are welcomed.
  • Thursday, December 14 at 11 a.m. – Toddler Art — Bring your imagination and creativity to bring out your inner Picasso through art projects and more… Some projects may involve paint. Ages 3-5.
  • Thursday, December 14 at 3:30 p.m. – Drawing Theory — Do you enjoy Drawing and Sketching? Learn how to draw your favorite animations and more. For ages 12 and under.
  • Friday, December 15 at 3:30 p.m. – Teen Game Day — Show off your competitive side with your friends! From board games to video games, there will be plenty of fun!

For additional information, or to register for an event call 708-748-3731 or visit www.pfpl.org.

Rich Township Senior Center, 297 Liberty Drive, Park Forest

Lunch at the Senior Center – Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays

The Rich Township Senior Center will be serving lunch at 12 Noon, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Rich Township School District 227 is preparing delicious meals for a cost of $3.00. You MUST make your reservation two days in advance by stopping in, or calling 708-748-5454. Lunch Menu examples: Chicken, Hamburger, Turkey Sandwich, all served with Soup & Chips.  Also we have Pasta dishes, side salads, desserts. Optional: Chef Salad. All served with Lemonade.

Unitarian Universalist Community Church (UUCC), 70 Sycamore Drive, Park Forest

Rainbow Café – Friday, December 15

On Friday, December 15 at 6:30 p.m., the Rainbow Café will feature the movie ‘Shared Rooms.” The Rainbow Café is held at UUCC. In this romantic holiday comedy, married Lasko and Cal take in a gay teen relative who has been kicked out of his home.  Side and Gray have a casual online hook-up which unexpectedly deepens, and Julian and Dylan confront their secret mutual attraction when forced to share a bed for a week.  Their inter-twining stories come together at a gay New Year’s Eve party.  Rainbow Café is a social event that provides a safe and welcoming environment for single or partnered gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender adults and their allies, by creating a space where they are able to socialize outside of the usual bars.  The Café is open every 3rd Friday of the month from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. For additional information, call 708-481-5339 or visit www.uuccpf.org.

University of Chicago Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, 915 East 60th Street, Chicago

‘Havana Case Study’ Exhibition – Through December 14

After the brutality of World War II, the United States sought to usher in a new era of optimism in the late 1940’s through an ambitious embassy program that called on some of the greatest architects of the century to design buildings that represented a new foreign policy of openness, dialogue and progress. Those efforts are now the central theme of the latest exhibition at the Neubauer Collegium entitled Havana Case Study, which runs now through December 15. The exhibit is free and open to the public. It is one of several programs that have been organized on campus this fall in conjunction with the Chicago Architecture Biennial.  The project is the second in a series of case studies by New York-based Canadian artist Terence Gower. Funded by a Guggenheim Fellowship, the series began in 2010 with a study of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. After several years of extensive research in Havana and U.S. archives, Gower’s new project explores the history and impact of the embassy, which opened its doors in Cuba in 1953. Gower said he was struck by the contrast between the older U.S. embassies, like the one in Havana, and the bunker-like embassies that became the reigning style in the 1980’s due to security concerns. That openness would be short-lived, as the embassy closed in 1961 following the end of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba. But the physical structure remains standing to this day, and Gower’s show attempts to capture both the early spirit of the embassy and the future uses of it for propaganda purposes following the Cuban revolution. The installation includes historic architectural models, as well as reprints of photographs and archival documents from 1958, prior to the revolution, overlaid with more recent photographs and newspaper clippings to show how the varied interpretations of the building played out through the century. The extensive archival research took Gower more than two and half years. For additional information, visit: http://neubauercollegium.uchicago.edu/exhibitions/

University of Chicago Oriental Institute, 1155 East 58th Street, Chicago

Book of the Dead: Becoming God in Ancient Egypt – Through March 31, 2018

In ancient Egypt, you did not go to the afterlife empty-handed. The Book of the Dead, a collection of spells and charms, was there to guide you. Now through March 31, 2018, visitors to the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago will have a unique opportunity to peruse copies of the Book of the Dead: Two 2,200-year-old papyri, each more than 30 feet long and beautifully illustrated with texts and images. They are on display in their entirety for the first time at a museum, accompanied by the mummy of a woman who lived over 2,000 years ago, as well as statues, stelae, scarabs, magic bricks, ushabtis (small funerary figurines) and other artifacts. The exhibit presents 76 artifacts that demonstrate how religious beliefs shaped the lives and material culture in Egypt over a period of more than 2,000 years (from 2500 B.C. to 100 A.D). Most are from the permanent collection of the Oriental Institute, whose museum holds the Chicago area’s largest collection of Egyptian art and artifacts, as well as galleries devoted to the other cultures of the ancient Middle East. A central feature of the exhibit is an enclosure featuring the mummy of an ancient Egyptian woman from the city of Akhmim. In the display, she is surrounded by mortuary objects inscribed with Book of the Dead spells—typical for an Egyptian burial chamber, where multiple copies of the same spells could be found. Long strips of linen inscribed with Book of the Dead spells reveal how ancient Egyptian priests wrapped the Book of the Dead around the body to protect it within an amuletic cocoon of powerful religious texts. The two Book of the Dead papyri on display, from two different regions of Egypt, were painstakingly hand-produced by a team of skilled scribes and illustrators. Seeing the papyri laid out end-to-end makes their compilation starkly apparent, the curators said; each Book of the Dead papyrus is not a single book at all, but a collection of shorter spells compiled together in a single manuscript. The Field Museum of Natural History has loaned several rarely displayed objects, including several limestone blocks inscribed with large Book of the Dead spells from the tomb of a man named Bakenrenef, as well as a papyrus inscribed with a composition known as the First Book of Breathing. Over the course of the second and first centuries B.C., the Book of the Dead was largely abandoned in favor of the Books of Breathing; they represent the last documents in a tradition of funerary literature stretching back more than 2,500 years. A companion catalog contains essays by 13 prominent scholars with expertise in religion and the use of funerary literature in ancient Egypt. It includes complete photographic documentation of the two Book of the Dead papyri from the Oriental Institute in color for the first time. “Book of the Dead: Becoming God in Ancient Egypt” runs  through March 31, 2018 at the museum. Admission to the Oriental Institute is free, however, there is a suggested donation: $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for children under 12. For groups of 8 or more people visiting the museum, please register by completing and submitting the following form: Tour Reservation Form. Learn more about the Oriental Institute here. https://oi.uchicago.edu/

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Park Forest Community Oscar Awards – Nominations Accepted Through December 18

Nominees for Park Forest Community Oscar Awards are being accepted through Monday, December 18th at Park Forest Village Hall. We are venturing out and spreading the love amongst our community. We are looking for nominations for the best talent in the area, police officer, staff person, volunteer, fireman, most active church, you name it. We are looking for our community to get involved and make the nominations. No suggestion will go unnoticed, this event is to celebrate our local talent, historians, artists and much more. Stay tuned for the Oscar event in January. Reserve your spot early. This event will be a packed house. Grab your nomination form in the lobby of Village Hall. Questions? Call 708-283-5621 or email, [email protected].

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

Online Educational Resources

Online college programs are a great way for today’s busy people to complete or earn a degree. To find an online college program in Illinois, visit http://www.onlineschools.org/guides/Illinois/ where you will find a compilation of every college program offered online in Illinois offered on a full or part-time basis.

Park Forest Fire Department, 200 Lakewood Boulevard

Applications Being Accepted for Officer Tim Jones Scholarship – Due January 5, 2018

Applications are now being accepted for the Officer Timothy Jones Scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded to one Park Forest high school senior to use when attending college in the 2018-19 school year.

Scholarship applicants must:

  • Reside in Park Forest,
  • Be high school seniors,
  • Have a grade point average of at least 2.75,
  • Have had no significant negative contact with law enforcement,
  • Have had no significant school disciplinary records,
  • Must declare criminal justice as their college major, and
  • Must attend college courses in the 2018-19 school year at any accredited college or university.

Interested applicants should complete the required application along with a minimum 400 word essay describing what the student plans to accomplish with their degree in Criminal Justice. Applications are available here. Completed applications and essays should be submitted no later than January 5, 2018 to [email protected] or mailed to:

Officer Timothy Jones Scholarship
Park Forest Police Department
200 Lakewood Blvd.
Park Forest, IL 60466

Learn more about the Jones Scholarship

Top U.S. Universities

Choosing what college or university to attend can be a very daunting experience. With educational costs continually increasing, it’s more important than ever to choose a university that meets your specific educational needs. At http://www.topschools.com/, you will find a comprehensive resource that ranks each university throughout the nation by size, degrees offered, tuition costs, admission, graduation and retention rates.

Green Events

Sauk-Calumet Group of Illinois Sierra Club

Exploring Newfoundland Presentation – Monday, December 11

The Sauk-Calumet Group of the Illinois Sierra Club will hold its regular monthly meeting on Monday, December 11th, at 7:15 p.m. at the Frankfort Public Library, 21119 Pfeiffer Rd. Gregg Ott and Christy Mazrimas Ott will tell tales and show slides of their adventures on Newfoundland, a remote Canadian island, known for puffins, caribou, icebergs, black bears, and humpback whales! After the meeting, some of the group will meet at Durbin’s for pizza and conversation. Sierra Club meetings are free and open to the public.  People interested in nature and the outdoors, or preserving the environment are encouraged to attend.  For more info, contact Patrick Coffey at – [email protected].

Thorn Creek Audubon Society, Park Forest

Nature Education Programs at Thorn Creek Nature Center

Calling all schools, home school groups, day cares, preschools, youth, adult and family groups! Nature Education Programs are offered at Thorn Creek Nature Center throughout the year where your group can discover the plants and animals of Thorn Creek Woods. These Nature Education Programs are sponsored by the Thorn Creek Audubon Society. The Audubon Society and the Thorn Creek Nature Center announce their new Partnership for Programming to further the Society’s environmental education mission and give valuable assistance to Thorn Creek Nature Center in providing nature programming for groups of area children and adults. Some of the nature education programs offered this year include Birding by Sight and Sound, Creek Walk (the world of aquatic insects and metamorphosis), Trees Big and Small (identification by leaves and bark), Insects (what makes an insect unique), the Web of Life (interdependence of producers, consumers, predators and decomposers), Soils Hike (how soil fuels and supports life), and Night Hikes. On the Fall Color Hike learn why leaves change colors and what trees do to prepare for the long months of winter. Discover clues to wild animals’ identities and behavior by trails and trails in Wild Animal Tracks. Make your own track replica. On Vixen’s Trek you are the fox following your daily routines on Thorn Creek trails. Or visit the Historic Farm in the woods to explore an early 1900’s woodland farm. Groups can also arrange for a naturalist to come to your location for programs such as Wild Animal Tracks, Web of Life, Woodland Wildflowers, Soils, History of Thorn Creek Woods, and the like. The new partnership has already collaborated in sponsoring three programs: the Learn 70 Birds by Spring class, which runs from January through March; the Great Backyard Bird Count Open House that was held in February; and the Build a Gourd Birdhouse sessions to be held in March.  For information about Thorn Creek Audubon Society membership, events and projects: Thorn Creek Audubon Society, P. O. Box 895, Park Forest, Il 60466, or www.thorncreekaudubonsociety.org.

Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Become a ‘Friend of Thorn Creek’

Friends of Thorn Creek Woods is the citizen activist group responsible in very large part for preserving and securing the dedication of the Thorn Creek Woods as an Illinois Nature Preserve.  Friends’ volunteers continue to provide support in so many ways: staff the nature center on weekends; trail work; displays; leading hikes; special events; cleaning; pruning; artwork; music; research; and so on.  Friends is a voice for the Woods and preservation values, donates funds for equipment and sponsors an annual meeting, Garlic Fest and Earth Day.  Members receive a quarterly newsletter.  Annual membership in Friends is $10.  For additional information, call 708-747-6320 or visit www.tcwoods.org.

Experience the Thorn Creek Nature Center

Thorn Creek Nature Center is housed in a historic building, originally Immanuel Lutheran Church of Matteson, Illinois built in 1862, and later Village Bible Church of Park Forest. A gothic frame country church, its notable architectural features include curved ceiling, tongue-and-groove paneling and a raised pulpit. Its current attractions are displays of the preserve’s flora and fauna, a bird feeder viewing area, Eugene E. Schwartz reference library and an expanded children’s section. The Nature Center is open Friday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Trails are open daily year-round, dawn to dusk. For additional information, call 708-747-6320 or visit www.tcwoods.org.

Will County Green, 58 East Clinton Street, Joliet

Recycling in the South Suburbs — Ongoing

Have old electronics, TVs or computer monitors sitting around your house gathering dust? Want to get rid of them for free? There are places in Will County where you can properly dispose of them. Each recycling location will accept only 2 televisions per vehicle. ID will be required to prove that you are a Will County resident. However, Park Forest residents residing in either Will OR Cook Counties may participate.

Recycling Locations

Richton Park Donation Drop Spot Peotone Police Department New Lenox Township
Richton Park Village Hall 208 E. Main Street 1100 S. Cedar Road
4455 Sauk Trail (Located along Latonia Lane) 1st & 3rd Wednesdays 2nd & 4th Wednesdays
7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (lines will be cut off at 7 p.m.) 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (lines will be cut off at 7 p.m.
7 days a week Closed on Holidays Closed on Holidays

For additional information, visit www.countygreen.com.

Healthy Living

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway, University Park

Free Psychotherapy Available from GSU’s Psychology Program

GSU’s Psychology Department is offering free psychotherapy services to members of the community. Conversations with a psychotherapist can help people cope with depression, anxiety, relationship issues, stress, and life transition problems. Confidential, one-on-one sessions are held with a GSU graduate student in psychology under the supervision of a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Individuals and couples, 18 years and older, are eligible. All sessions are conducted in Matteson, IL. The number of sessions is determined by the client’s needs. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, call 708-235-2841.

Park Forest Fire Department, 156 Indianwood Boulevard, Park Forest

CPR Classes

CPR classes are available at the Park Forest Fire Department. Click on the following link for more details: http://pffd.vopf.com/cpr-classes.html

Park Forest Health Department, 350 Victory Drive

Flu Shots Now Available

Flu shots are available now at the Park Forest Health Department Nurses Plus. The cost is $30 for those ages 19 through 64, $20 for those 18 years and under, and free for Medicare Part B recipients (must bring copy of card).  No appointment is necessary. Shots are available Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Park Forest Health Department Nurses Plus, located in the lower level of Village Hall. For additional information, call 708-748-1118.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)

Assistance With Medications & Health Services

If you, or someone you know, are struggling to pay for medications every month, they may be able to get the medicines they need for free or almost free through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. If you live in Illinois, you can get access to more than 475 public and private program available to help you pay for your medicines. Simply visit http://www.pparx.org/en/click_illinois to find out if you can apply to any of these great programs and to get connected with 10,000 free clinics and doctors.

Sertoma Centre, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip

Free Community Education and Prevention Programs about Mental Health

Sertoma Centre’s Mental Health Services facility is offering community mental health seminars, free of charge to community groups, schools, law enforcement agencies, religious organizations, and other community groups at their location in Matteson or facility. Education Programs will include: Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) which increases public awareness of suicide and improves one’s ability to identify and refer those at risk for suicide. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a public education course that helps participants identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance disorders. Also included is Mental Health First Aid for Youth and Anxiety/Depression Screenings. Thanks to a grant, these educational opportunities are available at no cost to you or your organization. To arrange a free educational opportunity for your club, group, workplace, organization, or church, call Gia Washington at 708-748-1951, Ext. 418 or email at [email protected].

Unitarian Universalist Community Church (UUCC), 70 Sycamore Drive, Park Forest

Yoga Classes by Karen Nielsen – Mondays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays

Yoga classes by Karen Nielsen are available at UUCC on Mondays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Wednesday evenings from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  No reservations needed.  Drop-in fee is $10 per class and the 6th one is free.  For additional information, call 708-755-3577 or visit www.uuccpf.org.

Holiday Events & Activities

Attorney General Lisa Madigan, 100 West Randolph Street, Chicago

10th Anniversary Guide Details Dangerous Children’s Products of 2017

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has released her 10th Anniversary Safe Shopping Guide. The Guide highlights hazardous toys, children’s products and household items that have been recalled over the past year to help Illinois families ensure a safe holiday shopping season. The 2017 Safe Shopping Guide includes detailed descriptions and photographs of children’s products recalled in the last year – from popular children’s toys and games that pose choking hazards to children’s furniture and playsets that pose entrapment or falling risks. Since January, there have been 68 recalls of children’s products by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. This easy-to-use resource can help families avoid recalled products on the second-hand market and items that may already be in their homes. Some of the toys that the Guide says that parents should watch out for include the very popular fidget spinners. The fidget spinners pose choking hazards for children. Also on the list of recalled products include:

  • jewelry with excessive levels of lead,
  • hoverboards that can overheat and catch on fire, and
  • infant clothing with snaps and buttons that can detach and pose a choking hazard.

Consumers can view and download the 2017 Safe Shopping Guide here.

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO), 377 Artists Walk, Park Forest

Holiday Pops – Movie Music Spectacular – Saturday, December 16

On Saturday, December 16 at 3 p.m. at the Ozinga Chapel at Trinity Christian College, 6601 West College Drive in Palos Heights, the IPO will present “Holiday Pops – Movie Music Spectacular. IPO friend and 2016 holiday concert guest conductor Fancesco Milioto returns to the IPO podium to lead the orchestra in some of the best of the best holiday classics for the young and young at heart. No doubt you’ll be smiling and humming along as the orchestra performs excerpts from: The Grinch, Frozen, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, and other seasonal favorites. This is sure to be a concert filled with good cheer, good will and holiday spirit along with a few special guest surprises. Tickets are $10 to $57 and can be purchased here. For additional information, call 708-481-7774 or visit www.ipomusic.org

Park Forest Historical Society, 227 Monee Road

‘Step Back into a 1950s Christmas’ – Through January 6

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum invites you to “Step Back into a 1950s Christmas” exhibit will run through January 6, 2018. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of 21st Century preparations to spend quality time getting a dose of Holiday Nostalgia. Vintage decorations are in every room. The museum features a musical, Black Forest green, aluminum, rotating tree–a Brillliant Noble Fir, made by the C. Sincere Company in Chicago, decorated with Mid-century modern ornaments. Gurley Candles and Rosbro plastic figurines, dolls, toys, and games will bring back memories to share. ‘Boomer Toys & Dolls’ is a special exhibit running through spring 2018.  Many toys, games and dolls played with in the 1950s through early 1970s are on display along with books explaining the history of many more. The museum also has a Hanukkah display, along with an exhibit on Jewish residents of Park Forest. The museum is a wonderful inter-generational experience.  Bring the kids, grandkids and grandparents. The museum is open Wednesdays and Saturdays 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.; appointments for small groups at other times can be arranged.  Admission/Donation is Adults $5.00; 12 and under free; one adult free with the purchase of a Marshall Field’s Brick. Parking is in the small lot by the flagpole.  Knock on the door next to the museum sign to be admitted.  Call Jane Nicoll, Museum Director, at 708-481-4252 to confirm opening in case of extreme bad weather. The museum is operated by the Park Forest Historical Society. Information and email inquiries are through the website www.parkforesthistory.org.

Marshall Field’s Park Forest Store Bricks – Makes a Unique Gift

The Park Forest Historical society is selling bricks from the Marshall Field’s Park Forest Store to support the museum and the mission of preserving and sharing Park Forest history. The Marshall Field’s Park Forest Store was the first to be in a shopping center, beginning the long association between Philip M. Klutznick and the Field’s company which led up to Water Tower Place. Bricks are 1 for $15; 2 for $25, and come with a Certificate of Authenticity and a history of the Marshall Field’s Park Forest Store. Shipping and handling for bricks is $12. For information on Marshall Field’s Bricks, contact the Society’s Business Manager, Mike Gans, at 708-305-3308. Bricks may also be purchased during open hours at the Recreation and Parks desk at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive.

Annabelle Gould’s Print of Park Forest Plaza – For the Person Who Has Everything

Prints of Annabelle Gould’s vibrant watercolor showing the Park Forest Plaza and Holiday Theatre are on sale for $15.  Books and other items on Park Forest are available at the museum and in the online store, at www.parkforesthistory.org.  Shipping and handling for prints is $6.  Bricks may also be purchased during open hours at the Recreation and Parks desk at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive.

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

The following Holiday Events will take place at the Library the week of December 10:

  • Thursday, December 14 at 10:30 a.m. – Traditional Holiday Music — South Suburban Dulcimer and Folk Music Society
  • Friday, December 15 at 3:30 p.m. — Drop-In Hanukkah Craft — Holiday Hanukkah craft for kids’ enjoyment.
  • Saturday, December 16 at 1 p.m. — kids’ zone Winter Wonderland — Join us as we celebrate winter! We’re making Ornaments, Holiday pillows and more! All Materials Provided. While supplies last. All ages welcome.

For additional information, call 708-748-3731 or visit www.pfpl.org.

Friends of the Park Forest Library Pecan Sale – While Quantities Last

Friends of the Park Forest Library will once again be selling pecans. Available this year will be plain, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, cinnamon, glazed and caramel clusters. And while prices on everything else continue to rise, the Library’s pecans sill sell for only $10. Print the flyer that can be found online at the Library’s website for a free gift with purchase while quantities last. For additional information, call 708-748-3731 or visit www.pfpl.org.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

Gallery to Celebrate Holiday Season with Two Exhibits – Through January 6, 2018

Tall Grass Arts Association in DownTown Park Forest will celebrate the 2017 holiday season with two simultaneous exhibits. The two exhibits, ‘Great Gifts Galore’ and ‘Peace on Earth’ will offer artists’ fine art, craft items and art work interpreting the spirit of the holidays.  The exhibits will run through Saturday, January 6.  The exhibits and reception are free and open to the public. The ‘Peace on Earth’ exhibit will present works that symbolize or portray positive moments, acts and attitudes that illustrate kindness, empathy, respect- people helping others, caring about each other, reaching across barriers  to accept and appreciate others. ‘Peace on Earth’ will include drawings, paintings, collages, mixed media pieces, prints, photographs, digital images, fiber pieces, glass and relief from sculptures from the thirty-one participating artists. These works will uplift and remind visitors of the best reasons to celebrate the holiday season. ‘Great Gifts Galore’ will feature an extensive offering of artists’ reasonable-priced, high-quality, original fine art and crafts items for sale. In addition to the exhibits, the Tall Grass Gift Shop provides another great source for a wide range of one-of-a-kind, affordable gift items, such as notecards, paintings, photographs, mobiles, sculptures and books. Gallery Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday. The Gallery is closed on Sunday and Monday. For additional information, call 708-748-3377 or visit www.tallgrassarts.org.

Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

 ‘Prairie Chapel’ Print – Perfect Gift for Art and Nature Lovers

The perfect winter gift giving present for art lovers and for nature lovers is now available. Inspired by the Thorn Creek Nature Center, ‘Prairie Chapel,’ is an original graphite drawing by local artist Marikay Peter Witlock.  Through a generous donation by the artist, the Prairie Chapel print is available with a donation to Friends of Thorn Creek Woods of $75 or more.  100% of donated dollars will benefit Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve. The “Prairie Chapel” print is a limited edition of 300 signed and numbered prints, with image size of 13” x 17” and finished size of 18” x 21”.  It is printed on acid free 80 lb. paper.  Friends of Thorn Creek Woods is a tax-exempt 501(c) (3) organization.  Donations to Friends, over the value of the Prairie Chapel print (valued at $75) are tax-deductible.  To view a framed Prairie Chapel print, visit Thorn Creek Nature Center Friday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.  For more information about Prairie Chapel, please contact Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest, 708-747-6320 or [email protected].

Union Street Gallery (USG), 1527 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

2017 Handmade Market – Through Saturday, December 16

USG will host its 2017 Handmade Market through Saturday, December 16. The much anticipated 2017 Handmade Market will feature local and regional goods from over 30 artists. You’ll find something for everyone on your holiday shopping list.  And while you’re shopping, don’t forget to pick up something for yourself.

Special Holiday Hours

  • Thursday, December 14 – Noon to 4 p.m.
  • Friday, December 15 – Noon to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 16 – Noon to 4 p.m.

The Gallery will be open for limited hours between December 17 and January 3 because of the holidays and Gallery maintenance. Please contact the gallery in advance via email ([email protected]) to make an appointment.  For additional information, call 708-754-2601 or visit Website.

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Seminar on How to Keep Poinsettias Alive — Saturday, December 16

Thinking of getting more into the holiday spirit by adding some poinsettias around the house?  Learn how to keep them alive longer at this free seminar on Saturday, December 16 beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the Wetlands Discovery Center (inside the Park Forest Aqua Center) located at 30 N. Orchard Drive in Park Forest.

Shop Locally this Holiday Season

The 2017/2018 Park Forest Shopping & Services guide will help you to do as much shopping locally as possible. You can download the guide here.

This & That

Park Forest Historical Society, 227 Monee Road

Park Forest Hall of Fame Nominations — Accepted Through Friday, December 29

Nominations for the Park Forest Hall of Fame are now being accepted through Friday, December 29. Nominations must be submitted on the official form which must accompany nominations. The nomination form can be found here in the Historical Society’s November newsletter. Completed nominations may be mailed to the Park Forest House Museum, 227 Monee Road, or delivered in person to the Museum during regular hours (Wednesdays & Saturdays 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.). To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, persons nominated must have made substantial, beneficial, and consistent contributions to the life and well-being of Park Forest over a considerable span of time. Nominees do not currently have to live in Park Forest or can be deceased. Individuals as well as couples may be nominated. Nominations can be made by someone who does not live in Park Forest and does not have to be a member of the Historical Society. Individuals may only make one nomination each year. The official nomination form must be submitted along with separate sheet(s) of paper indicating why the person is being nominated and describing the nominee’s qualifications and contributions. Inductees will be chosen from the eligible nominees by the Park Forest Historical Society and announced in early 2018. An induction ceremony will be held at Freedom Hall on April 15, 2018. For additional information, call Jane Nicoll at 708-481-4252.

Park Forest Police Department, 200 Lakewood Boulevard

Park Forest Team Participating in Special Olympics Polar Plunge Seeking Support – Team Racing in Honor of Officer Tim Jones

The Law Enforcement Torch Run and GEICO’s 2018 Polar Plunge provides a unique opportunity to support Special Olympics athletes by taking a flying leap into the frigid waters of Manteno Lake located in Kankakee County. Each participant must raise $100 in donations from friends, family, neighbors and co-workers in exchange for jumping into the icy waters. The Park Forest Team will be taking the plunge in honor of Officer Tim Jones who suffered gunshot wounds in the line of duty in March of 2016 and is still recovering. The 2018 Polar Plunge is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 3 at the Manteno Sportsmen’s Club, 851 North Main Street in Manteno. Registration will take place at noon with the plunge at 2 p.m. Join the team by donating to a great cause and come out on March 3 and support Special Olympics Illinois!  Make a donation or register for the 2018 Polar Plunge here.

South Suburban College (SSC), 15800 South State Street, South Holland

Bulldog’s Baseball Program Catching Camp – Registration Required

SSC Head Baseball Coach Steve Ruzich will be directing a two-day Catching Camp on Tuesday, December 26th and Wednesday, December 27th from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Coach Ruzich has directed youth camps for the past 32 years and has taught baseball skills at many other baseball camps throughout the state. This clinic will provide catching instruction in the areas of blocking, calling a game, pick offs, pop throwing times, stance and footwork, drills for practice, pop ups, handling pitchers, and conditioning. In addition to Ruzich’s instruction, Bulldog baseball players will be on hand to help and develop skills. The players’ enthusiasm and expertise always adds to the camp’s success. The Catching Camp is open to boys ages 8-18. All players should bring their glove and gear. All participants should wear baseball or sweat pants and gym shoes, and boys must wear cups. Coach Ruzich was an All-American catcher at the College of St. Francis. He graduated in 1985 and was drafted by the Chicago White Sox. Coach Ruzich had a short stint as a pro catcher before coming to SSC as Head Baseball Coach in 1987, where he has compiled a winning record of 1112-654. The cost of the Catching Camp is $100, and checks should be made payable to SSC Bulldog Baseball. Enrollment is limited, so early registration is suggested. For more information contact Coach Ruzich at 708-225-5843.

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Business Attire Wanted – Collection Now in Progress

The Village of Park Forest is collecting gently used or new men and women business attire. Clean out your closet and contribute to a good cause.  This project will provide business attire for any constituent looking to dress professional for work or interviews. Donations may include:

  • Suits for men and women
  • Ties, belts and shoes
  • Blazers,
  • Dress pants,
  • Dress shirts
  • Blouses,
  • Dresses and skirts, and
  • Clothing Racks and Hangers

Drop off is by appointment only. For additional information or to schedule a drop-off appointment, call or email Evelyn Sterling at 708-283-5621 or [email protected].