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Best bets for November

Children including Lauren Hurley of Romeoville visit with Santa during the holiday event Symphony In Lights held at the Promenade in Bolingbrook Saturday November 12, 2011. Staff photo by Erica Benson

Time to give thanks for fun and thoughtful events in November.

Who feels lucky? If you’re looking for something fun to do on Friday nights, the Oakbrook Terrace Park District is hosting “The Lucky Entertainment Series” through December. Entertainment ranges from singers, dancers, magicians and more. Events will take place at the Mario Parente Theater inside the Heritage Center. WHERE Oakbrook Terrace Park District, 1S325 Ardmore Ave., Villa Park WHEN 7:30 to 9 p.m. Fridays through Dec. 21 COST $10 per person MORE INFO; (630) 627-6100

Ready to grapple Grappling is the act of gripping or seizing in wrestling. Get an up-close look at some of the best in the sport when the North American Grappling Association Midwest Championship Tournament comes to town. The event features top athletes, ranging from kids and teens to adults. WHERE Odeum Sports and Expo Center, 2011 N. Villa Ave., Villa Park WHEN 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4 COST $10 per car per day or $15 per car for weekend pass MORE INFO (630) 941-9292;

Handmade market No need to travel cross the Atlantic for those special handmade gifts and items. The Jul Market is bringing the crafts of Norway and Sweden to Geneva. Grab handcrafted ornaments, plates and jewelry boxes. WHERE Geneva History Center, 113 South Third St., Geneva WHEN 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 COST Free for entry CONTACT (262) 767-2857

Ballet grand opening Calling all dance enthusiasts: the Fox Ballet will be opening the doors of its brand-new facility and is inviting the public to join. Saturday’s open house will feature entertainment and a performance showcase. The next day, there will be free master classes and a performance showcase. Dance classes include ballet and point, jazz, tap, yoga and much more. WHERE Fox Ballet, 3720 Illinois St., St. Charles WHEN 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3; 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4 COST Free MORE INFO, (630) 444-1464

Culture fest Experience a variety of cultures at the Cultural Festival 2012 at the Arcada Theatre. Three award-winning folkloric groups will be performing, including Ballet Folklorico Quetzalcoatl, Back of the Yards Neighborhood Folkloric Ballet and Soul & Duende Flamenco. WHERE Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles WHEN 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4 COST $10-$20 MORE INFO; (630) 962-7000

Toy soldier show Enjoy a mix of history and art at the 13th annual Toy Soldier Show at Cantigny. Around 20 dealers will be on site to display and sell products that include toy figures, both military and civilian. WHERE Cantigny Park, 151 1 South Winfield Road, Wheaton WHEN 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4 COST Admission is free with $5 per vehicle entry MORE INFO

Turkey Bowl Battle for a bird in Carol Stream Park District’s second annual Turkey Bowl Tournament. All flag football teams will compete in a double-elimination format, complete with flags, at Glenbard North High School. Register for the event by Monday, Nov. 5.   WHERE Glenbard North High School, 990 Kuhn Road, Carol Stream WHEN Friday, Nov. 9 and Saturday Nov. 10 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 22 COST $300 per team MORE INFO; (630) 784-6100
Early holiday shopping
Here’s a change of pace from shopping at the mall. The Wilder Mansion Holiday Market will be hosting a holiday shopping event with a wide variety of gifts and knickknacks. WHERE Wilder Mansion, 211 S. Prospect Ave., Elmhurst WHEN 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 COST Free entry MORE INFO (630) 993-8900;

Sights & sounds Kick off the holiday season at the Bolingbrook Promenade’s Holiday Festival and Symphony in Lights Show premiere. Events include the lighting of the Promenade’s Christmas tree, horse and carriage rides, Santa tent, gingerbread contest, crafts, ice sculptures, and of course, the first Symphony in Lights Show of 2012. WHERE The Promenade Bolingbrook, 631 E. Boughton Road, Bolingbrook WHEN 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 COST Free MORE INFO (630) 296-8340;

Turkey shoot Enjoy a new take on shooting turkeys at the Twin Lakes Golf Club. Rather than taking on the feathered birds, you’ll be taking on opponents at the golf course in various contests. Entry fee includes greens fee, pop, beer, wine, coffee and a hot dog. WHERE Twin Lakes Golf Club, 400 W. 59th St., Westmont WHEN Saturday, Nov. 10 COST $35 MORE INFO (630) 852-7167

Clean-up crew Make a Difference Day is calling for volunteers to help clean up one of DuPage County’s “hidden” treasures with a workday at Hidden Lake Forest Preserve. The event is open to all ages; children under 14 need to be accompanied by an adult. WHERE Hidden Lake Forest Preserve in Downers Grove; entrance on Route 53, a quarter mile south of Butterfield Road WHEN 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 10 COST Free MORE INFO (630) 933-7681

Holiday bazaar Search through handmade ornaments, wreaths, stocking stuffers and more at the Museum Guild Holiday Bazaar. All sales from the event benefit the DuPage County Historical Museum. Don’t miss a performance by Beyond Glee, an adult chorus, from noon to 1 p.m. WHERE DuPage County Historical Museum, 102 E. Wesley Ave., Wheaton WHEN 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10 COST Free entry MORE INFO (630) 510-4941; email

Free for veteran’s Veterans can enjoy their special day at the zoo, and for free. This Veteran’s Day, check out a memorial wreath at the fountain, vocal performances by The Arlingtones, and a performance by the Marie Sklodowska Curie Metropolitan High School color guard. Amongst all the excitement, don’t forget to see the animals. WHERE Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield WHEN 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11 COST $15; $10.50 for children/seniors MORE INFO (708) 688-8000;

Pet’s best friend Man’s best friend isn’t always reciprocated — there are a plethora of animals that don’t have a home or someone to love them. Be a best friend to a pet in need at the Chicago Pet Show. Rescues, shelters and humane societies will have dogs, cats and other animals for adoption at this event. WHERE Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles WHEN Saturday, Nov. 10-Sunday, Nov. 11 COST $7 adults, seniors and kids under 18 are free MORE INFO (630) 385-4000;

Golf fall fest Winter is approaching, which means green grass and golf playing is rapidly approaching hibernation. While there’s still time to enjoy the golf season, the Village Links of Glen Ellyn is offering special deals including half-price green fees on Monday and Tuesday, green fee happy hours, free driving range for juniors and much more. WHERE 485 Winchell Way, Glen Ellyn WHEN Tuesday, Nov. 13 COST Varies depending on event MORE INFO; (630) 469-8180

Shoot the turkey Okay, so you won’t actually be shooting a turkey. Rather, you’ll be duking it out on the basketball court for the La Grange Park District’s fourth annual turkey shoot. Participants ages 6-14 will have 90 seconds to shoot from designated spots on the court, and the winner will bring home a frozen Thanksgiving turkey feast. Registration ends Monday, Nov. 12. WHERE Park District of La Grange Recreation Center, 536 East Ave., La Grange WHEN 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16 COST $10 per participant MORE INFO

Robot surgeon See history in the making in the form of a robot at MacNeal Hospital. The robot enables precision beyond that of the human hand during surgery, which could be paving the way for surgical history. The robot, otherwise known as “da Vinci Si” will help gynecology and urology procedures. Get the chance to sit in the seat of a surgeon and experience da Vinci Si firsthand. WHERE MacNeal Hospital, 3249 Oak Park Ave., Berwyn WHEN 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14 COST Free MORE INFO (866) 622-6325 to register

Wonderland onstage The Fox Valley Repertory is kicking off the holiday season with “The Winter Wonderettes,” the nostalgic holiday musical from the 1960s. As a sequel to The Marvelous Wonderettes, this fun holiday-themed show follows Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy and Suzy as they have to put the merry back in Christmas when Santa goes missing. WHERE Pheasant Run Resort Mainstage, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles WHEN Select days from Thursday, Nov. 15-Sunday, Dec. 30 COST $32-$42 MORE INFO; (630) 584-6342

Fall flavor Munch on the last taste of fall at the Lake View Nature Center’s Fall Festival. Make a fall project, take a hike, enjoy snacks around the campfire and take a hayride around the lake. This fall open house is free to the public and will feature s’mores and hot apple cider for sale. WHERE Lake View Nature Center, 17W063 Hodges Road, Oakbrook Terrace WHEN Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 COST Free MORE INFO (630) 941-8747;

Turkey shoot It may vary a little bit from actually shooting turkeys, but it’s still a fun way to get some target practice around Thanksgiving. The Lombard Park District Turkey Shoot is a free-throw shooting contest for all ages where the winner will receive a turkey. Each participant gets 10 free throws. WHERE Pleasant Lane School, 401 N. Main St., Lombard WHEN 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 COST $3 per resident, $5 for non-resident MORE INFO (630) 627-1281; for details

Nutcracker now Holiday spirit has already arrived at the Tivoli Theatre. The Midwest Ballet Theatre kicks off its 19th season performing the Tchaikovsky classic “The Nutcracker” in Downers Grove. The dancers from the Midwest Ballet Theatre will be joined by April Daly and Mauro Villanueva, both of whom are principal dancers with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. WHERE Tivoli Theatre, 5021 Highland Ave., Downers Grove WHEN Through Sunday, Nov. 18 COST $14-$16 MORE INFO (630) 971-9751;

Feast for beasts Everyone has the right to enjoy a Thanksgiving feast — that means animals too. This Thanksgiving at noon, guests can give the Children’s Zoo animals at the Brookfield Zoo their very own feast before enjoying their own. Give the goats, cows, llamas and horses carrots, apples, corn, oranges and more. Guests can also watch zookeepers give the feistier animals treats too. WHERE Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield WHEN Noon Thursday, Nov. 22 COST Zoo admission MORE INFO; (708) 688-8000

Zoo lighting Be dazzled by more than 20,000 twinkling lights at this year’s Festival of Lights and Trees at the Cosley Zoo. You can also pick up a freshly cut Christmas tree or visit the new bobcat exhibit while enjoying the winter wonderland. WHERE Cosley Zoo, 1356 N. Gary Ave., Wheaton WHEN 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 27 through Tuesday, Jan. 1 COST Free zoo admission during the festival CONTACT (630) 665-5534;

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