Archive for Holidays

EPL: Chinese New Year Celebration Storytime – January 28

Saturday, January 28, 4-5:30 pm, Community Meeting Room, Main Library

Come bring the family and celebrate Chinese New Year in two languages! We will hear a Rooster story, enjoy making Year of the Rooster crafts and the children will march in a rooster-themed Lion Dance parade. Both Chinese and English speakers welcome.

Evanston Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – January 14


On Saturday, January 14, at noon, all are invited to the City’s “Day of Celebration Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center. The event will pay tribute to Dr. King through music, dance and excerpts from his speeches. Admission is free and open to the public. See the City’s website for more events celebrating Dr. King this month.

FREE New Year’s Eve Rides on the CTA and Pace








Let the CTA or Pace be your driver this New Year’s Eve. The Chicago Transit Authority and Pace Bus will provide free rides on all trains and buses from 10 p.m.on Saturday through 4 a.m. on Sunday. The Purple Line will also offer extended service.

For more information click here

Community Kwanzaa Celebration – December 26

kwanza1On Monday, December 26 at 11 a.m., join your friends and neighbors in celebrating the first day of Kwanzaa at Fountain Square, in the heart of downtown Evanston. Experience the traditional lighting of the Kinara and recitation of Nguzu Saba, the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa. For more information about Kwanzaa’s history, visit

Fountain Square is located at Davis Street between Orrington and Sherman Avenues.

Menorah Lighting Ceremony in Fountain Square – December 25

menirah1The entire community is invited to come together at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 25 to light the 10′ Menorah in Fountain Square. Mayor Elizabeth B. Tisdahl will offer greetings and help in the lighting of the Menorah with civic, business, community and religious leaders.

The ceremony will celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and freedom of conscience over oppression. A boys choir will perform, there will be live musical entertainment, free dreidels and refreshments (doughnuts). For more information, please call 847-866-2914.

Location: Fountain Square, intersection of Davis St., Sherman Ave. and Orrington Ave.
Date/Day/Time: Sun., Dec. 25, 5:30pm
Admission: Free

Ring in the New Year at First Night Evanston! – December 31st

Celebrate the New Year with First Night Evanston on Sat., Dec. 31! The family-friendly event will feature Grammy Award-winning entertainment, live music, poetry, dancing and much more at a variety of indoor venues surrounding Raymond Park. General admission wristbands may be purchased online and at locations throughout Evanston at a discounted price of $20 through December 25first-night-evanston






ROBERT CROWN CENTER – Winter Break Camps

free-snowman-clip-art-knmegh-clipartLooking for some fun over Winter Break?

There are still openings at the Winter Break Camp at Robert Crown Center!

We offer a fun filled camp over the winter break for children age 2-12!

Visit for more information, and  to register!

And/or call Tiffany, Program Coordinator, at 847-448-8258.

Childcare Network of Evanston: Still Time To Support a Family: Holiday Gift Drive

Still Time To brighten the holiday season

for our children and families.

Sign up as 2016 a sponsor today!

Dear friends,

Each year, we inspire our community of friends and donors to lighten our families’ burdens by sponsoring children through our Holiday Gift Drive.

Each family you sponsor will receive a gift card ($20) and their child will recieve 1 clothing item or 1 toy. Last year, we provided nearly 1,000 gifts to our families. Will you help us do it again?

Don’t have time to shop? Click here to give financially to CNE’s holiday gift drive and CNE will do the shopping for your family.

Sign up as a sponsor today by clicking the red button.

We’ll send more details and drop-off deadlines after  you have signed up.

Questions? Contact Andrea Densham via phone: (847) 475-2661

or email: 

Holiday Tree Lighting TODAY – Friday, December 9


Celebrate the holiday season at the Evanston Tree Lighting ceremony at Fountain Square. Join Santa and Mrs. Claus to enjoy an evening of musical performances, holiday cheer, hot chocolate, and watch the tree light up at 5:30pm. We’re also excited to announce that the Cubs mascot Clark and the White Sox mascot Southpaw will celebrate with the Evanston community! Look for them in the crowd!

Tree Lighting Program

5:00pm–Performance by Evanston Children’s Choir
5:15pm–Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive on a firetruck
5:30pm–Tree Lighting!
5:40pm–Performance by Northwestern University Waa-Mu
6:00pm–Tree Lighting program ends

Special thanks to the sponsors of the Tree Lighting: NorthShore University HealthSystem, Northwestern University, Lumen Optical, and Valli Produce.

Please note that Sherman Ave. between Church and Grove will be closed from 3:00 to 6:30pm and Davis St. between Chicago and Benson Ave. will be closed from 4:30 to 6:00pm.   

Gather – Holiday Events

Gather for the Holidays


Gingerbread House Decorating
Monday, December 12th, 5:30-6:30pm

Don’t miss this holiday favorite with your little one! Come create a sweet centerpiece for your home. Cost $35 for one adult & one child. We only have 3 spots left. Please register by calling 847-859-2312 to save your space today.

gather_stompHootenanny with Cassie of Stomp and Shout
Thursday, December 15th, 10:30-11:15am

Come create some music and fun while you explore using your big, beautiful imagination. It is going to be a hoot!



Annual Holiday Party
Saturday, December 17th, 9:30am-noon

Join us for a musical petting zoo and concert by students and faculty of etc. Music School. Enjoy festive holiday snacks, creative play, create a special art project to gift to a loved one and take home a gift bag for your little one. $25 event ticket includes admission for three individuals (children or adults). $10 for each additional family member (siblings under 9 months are free). Space is limited so please call 847-859-2312 or follow the link to register.

Register here

Spice It or Spike It – Evanston Warm Bevvy Walk – December 8


Come Sip and Shop your way through Downtown Evanston during our 2nd Annual Warm Bevvy Walk on Thursday, December 8th. 21 businesses in Downtown Evanston will welcome visitors for a sample of a warm beverage from 5-8pm. This event is FREE and open to all ages.

Where: Downtown Evanston and Main Dempster Mile
When: Thursday, December 8th from 5-8pm
For more information on participating businesses and to REGISTER, click here

Downtown Evanston Holiday Tree Lighting – December 9


Join Mayor Tisdahl and Santa and Mrs. Clause to light the tree on Friday, December 9th at 5:30pm! The Evanston Childrens’ Choir and Northwestern University Wamuu will perform before and after the tree lighting. Hot cocoa locations and visits with Santa and Mrs. Clause too! More details coming shortly.

Where: Fountain Square
When: Friday, December 9th

Holiday Food & Toy Drive

Help make the holiday season joyful for as many needy Evanston families as possible.


Be a part of the annual Holiday Food & Toy Drive sponsored by Mayor Tisdahl and local community organizations.

Donate online quickly and securely using our Holiday Drive payment site.(Visa, MasterCard, American Express, & Discover accepted)

please bring new, unwrapped toys and/or non-perishable food items to the lobby of one of our convenient Evanston drop-off sites starting Monday, Nov. 3 through Friday, Dec. 9.  See locations below.
The City is seeking donations of staple food items for holiday meals, including: stuffing, green beans, yams, mac and cheese, corn and corn bread mix (PLEASE CHECK EXPIRATION DATE).
  • Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave.  Mon.-Fri., 7am-9pm
  • Main Library, 1703 Orrington Ave. Sun., Noon-6pm; Mon.-Thurs., 9am-9pm; Fri. and Sat., 9am-6pm
  • North branch library, 2026 Central St. Mon., 10am-8pm; Tues.-Wed., 10am-6pm; and Sat., 10am-5pm
  • Chicago Ave./Main St. branch library, 900 Chicago Ave., Suite 102, Tues., Wed., Fri., Sat, 10am-6pm; Mon., 10am-8pm
  • Robert Crown Center, 1701 Main St. Mon., 9am-6pm; Tues.-Thurs., 9am-8pm; Fri., 9am-9pm; Sat., 8am-9pm; Sun., Noon-4pm
  • Chandler-Newberger Center, 1028 Central St. Mon.-Fri., 9am-7pm; Sat., 9am-4pm
  • Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd. Mon.-Fri., 8:30am-5pm; Sat., 9am-4:30pm
  • Fleetwood-Jourdain Center, 1655 Foster St. Mon.-Fri., 9:30am-9pm; Sat., 9am-3pm
  • Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Ave. Mon.-Fri., 8:30am-5pm; Sat. and Sun., 9am-3pm
  • Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St. Mon.-Fri., 8:30am-5pm
  • Gibbs-Morrison Cultural Center, 1823 Church St. Mon.-Fri., 9am-6pm; Sat., 9am-6pm
  • All five Evanston Fire stations, locations here
  • Evanston Police Station, 1454 Elmwood Ave.

ATTENTION:  Families who wish to participate in the Holiday Food & Toy Drive to receive toys and/or food items must register by calling 311 between Monday, November 28 and Friday, December 9.

CTA Holiday Train

CTA Holiday Bus2016 CTA Holiday Train & Bus

This year marks 25 years of the CTA Holiday Train – a holiday tradition unique to Chicago. In celebration of this milestone, this year we introduce and welcome you aboard the new Elves’ Workshop Train.
Just as dazzling and decked out as the Holiday Train, this six-car train will follow the Holiday Train on Saturdays, which are the busiest days, to help ensure everyone has an opportunity to experience this one-of-kind and joyful tradition.
Complementing these two festive trains is the CTA Holiday Bus, which brings the same holiday spirit and joy to bus riders as it travels throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Santa’s Magical Trolley Express at Little Beans Cafe

Santa’s Magical Trolley Express in Evanston is an enchanting 90 minute interactive holiday program that begins with an exciting trolley ride to Santa’s North Pole, where the adventure comes alive! Join us for a delightful visit to Santa’s polar workshop where the kids will get involved in whimsical games and lively music, get a picture with Santa, and finally will receive a special surprise!

Your Polar Adventure ticket also includes entry to Little Beans Cafe and their imaginative indoor playground. Plan your visit so your children can enjoy both their polar adventure as well as some time at their indoor attractions.

PLEASE NOTE! Each guest over the age of 12 months is required to have a ticket! Moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, and all children need to have their own ticket! Tickets are sold individually, per person, regardless of age (over 12 months). A single ticket does NOT allow for entry for a child AND her/his parent! Each guest must have their own ticket.

Evanston – Little Beans Cafe combines a family cafe with an imaginative indoor playground for kids. The cafe boasts a delicious assortment of drinks and snacks, where parents can enjoy the ambiance of a comfortable cafe with their children.

At the Evanston Little Beans Cafe, children ages 0-6 can play in the Little Beans Village, while children 5-12 years can explore Big Beans. For more information, please visit the Little Beans Website.

Share Your Table for Thanksgiving


Halloween Events & Trick or Treat Times



Halloween Trick or Treat
Official trick-or-treating hours for the City of Evanston are 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Mon., Oct. 31. Evanston children are encouraged to participate in the ELIMINATE Project, a partnership between the Kiwanis Club of Evanston and UNICEF looking to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus. When children trick or treat, they will be asking for change for their UNICEF partners. For more information, please contact Dr. Scott Hopf at 847-475-4270.

Halloween Carnival
Children of all ages can come experience a carnival themed Halloween event at the Robert Crown Community Center on Mon., Oct. 31 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.   Kids will enjoy games, face painting, and music.  Costumes are optional and admission to the program is free.

Halloween DJ Skate Party
Robert Crown Center will host their annual Halloween Skate on the Main Rink on Mon., Oct. 31 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission and skate rental are free when you come in a costume. The center is located at 1701 Main St. The event is free and open to the public.

Halloween Family Storytime and Craft!
Bring your trick or treater to the Barbara Friedberg Storytelling Room of the Main library at 6:30 p.m. for Halloween themed stories, songs and a craft! A lovely way to spend some family time together after all the candy excitement is over. Come in costume (or not: your choice.) Please visit their website for more information.

Día de los Muertos – Sun. Oct. 30

Community members are invited to celebrate Día de los Muertos with the Academy of Mexican Dance & Music(AMDM), the region’s premiere Mexican Folkloric performing ensemble. The event will take place at the Levy Center, located at 300 Dodge Ave., on Sunday, October 30, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free and the event is open to all ages.

In addition to the performance, the event will feature delicious Mexican food and drink available for purchase, free interactive arts stations where families can create ofrendas, and a costume parade.

Founded in 2011, AMDM is dedicated to providing high-quality instruction in all facets of Mexican folk dance and music. They are committed to providing a progressive, well-rounded education and appreciation of Mexican Folkloric dance.

For more information, please call/text 847-448-4311. For convenience, residents may simply dial 3-1-1 in Evanston.

Halloween Festivities Around Town

Halloween is the season for tricks and treats, candy and costumes, and pumpkins and pumpkin pie! In Evanston, your family can enjoy everything from a Fall Fest at the Farmers’ Market to a free Halloween Skate Party and more! Check out information here.

Cursed Costumes – Oct. 22-30