Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jan. 11: Family tree how-to in Monty

Free Seminar--How to Trace Your Family Tree

A free seminar on How to Trace Your Family Tree—Part 2 will be offered at the Montgomery Village Hall at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 11, 2011. This is a follow-up to a presentation given last September on how to start a family tree. The January seminar will focus on how to use government records, such as censuses and vital records, to trace your family’s history. The emphasis will be on how to locate these records and evaluate the information they contain. Debbie Buchanan, an accredited genealogist with 40 years of experience, will present this topic.

This seminar is sponsored by Montgomery’s Historic Preservation Commission. There is no charge and the event is handicapped accessible.

For additional information on these activities, please call the Montgomery Village Hall at (630) 896-8080 ext. 1114.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dec. Xmas Break: Lots of Free Stuff!

Wondering what to do with the family? Puleeeeezzz...stop! Free Things did the work for you. And if you'd like a more expansive Fox Valley list of fun holiday activities, then check out our favorite local mom blog: Go West Young Mom. Now here's your Free list to keep boredom far away this Christmas break:

All Free and in Aurora unless otherwise noted:

1) Play in the snow
2) Holiday Stories @ Aurora Public Library - West Branch. All ages. 4-5 p.m. Thurs. Dec. 23. No reg. needed.
3) Visit Santa @ Phillips Park - Visitor Center. Noon-4 p.m. thru Wed. Dec. 22.
4) Load the family up and drive through Phillips Park to see the Aurora Festival of Lights.
5) Sled down the hill at Lincoln Park on Aurora's West Side (near Holy Angels)
6) Munch on sample bagels on the counter at Jake's Bagels @ 22o N. Broadway across from the Aurora Transportation Center (open til 1 p.m. on Xmas Eve)
7) View decorated Christmas trees @ Aurora Public Library - West Branch. 35th annual Holiday Celebrations in Many Lands during library hours.
8) Drop-in Crafts @ Aurora Public Library - Main. All ages. 1-4 p.m. Tues. and Wed. Dec. 28 & 29. No reg. needed.
9) Drive through Lehnertz Avenue on Aurora's East Side. 5-10 p.m. everyday.
10) Hang out with your neighbors and have some of their hot chocolate or eggnog.

*11) Get your art and groove on @ Water Street Studios in Batavia. Holiday concert featuring Electric String Quartet with Flo Kat and Choral Chamber Group. 5:30-8 p.m. Thurs. Dec. 23.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dec. 9: Free Diapers, etc.

AURORA — The Walter and Connie Payton Foundation will hand out free diapers and personal feminine products from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday at Dominick’s at 3025 E. New York St. in Aurora.

“Diaper Day” is open to the public, and all items distributed are free.

The items — distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis — were donated to the foundation by Kimberley-Clark, the maker of Huggies, Kleenex and other brands. Transportation for the distribution of the items was donated by Custom Company Inc.

The Walter and Connie Payton Foundation assists neglected, abused and underprivileged children. Call 847-605-0034 or visit: www.payton34.com.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dec. 9 & 16: Free Simmons M.S. music concerts


(Aurora)- The Simmons Middle School Music Department invites the East Aurora community to enjoy the sounds of the holiday season with two holiday concerts.

On Thursday, December 9 at 4:30 p.m., the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade bands will host their annual Band Concert. The bands are directed by Kevin Kaisershot.

On Thursday, December 16 at 4:30 p.m., the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade choirs will host their annual Choir Concert. The choirs are directed by Lisa Gawlik.

The concerts, which will be held in the auditorium, are free and open to the public.

For more information, please call 630.299. 4178.

Dec. 17: Art opening at the DLP in downtown Aurora


The artistic talents of Aurora students will be on display during the Aurora Public Art Commission’s 13th annual “Winter Garden of Youth Art.”

Children from kindergarten through high school will have their artwork showcased from Friday, Dec. 17, through Friday, Jan. 14, at the Art Commission Gallery, 20 E Downer Place. The gallery will kick-off with an opening reception scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 17.

The presentation features a variety of mediums including paintings, drawings, printmaking, photography, sculpture, collage, computer arts, jewelry and ceramics. All works in the display will have been selected by art teachers or other school faculty members.

Participating schools are Aurora Christian Elementary and High School, East Aurora High School, McCarty Elementary School, McCleery Elementary School, Jewel Middle School, Marmion Academy, Metea Valley High School, Simmons Middle School, Rosary High School, St. Joseph Catholic School, St. Peter’s Catholic School, St. Rita’s of Cascia School, Waldo Middle School, Washington Middle School, Waubonsie Valley High School and West Aurora High School.

The gallery, which has free admission during the reception and regular hours, will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 22 to 30 and from Jan. 5 to 14.

The Aurora Public Art Commission is a civic organization dedicated to the preservation of public art in all of its forms. For more information on the Commission or the gallery, visit the City of Aurora’s website at www.aurora-il.org.

Now: Free home market report

Aurora Rocks! So you might want to move here or move to a different zip within our awesome city. Well, first check this free market report out: http://www.efoxvalleyhomes.com/home-values.asp It's a great free guide to assess your home's value or get some current listings. Thanks to Fox Valley Home Team for sharing.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Now: Warming centers, winter safety


Now that winter weather has moved into area, the City of Aurora is reminding residents that six warming centers are available for their use. They include:

· Salvation Army, 437 E. Galena Blvd., hours 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday;

· Prisco Community Center, 150 W. Illinois Ave., hours are 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday;

· Aurora Public Library Main Branch, 1 E. Benton St.; East Branch, 555 S. Eola Road; and West Branch, 233 S. Constitution Drive; hours 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday; and

· Senior Services Inc., 900 N. Lake St., Aurora Township, hours 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday;

In addition, residents are asked to watch out for the needs of children, seniors, people with special needs and pets during the cold winter months.

When driving on ice and snow, it is essential for motorists to reduce their speed, especially on bridges, overpasses and intersections.

Residents are required to move their car off streets and alleys after a snowfall of two inches or more. Failure to comply can lead to a ticket and vehicle tow that will cost a minimum of $150 plus applicable storage and release fees, depending on the time of the infraction.

Winter weather also tends to spike the number of cars that are stolen while left running unattended. The Aurora Police Department asks residents to use common sense to not leave cars running unattended − whether or not the doors are locked – because they are easy targets for thieves. Police also can issue citations if they come across an unattended, running vehicle on public property.

For more information on warming centers and winter weather preparedness, visit the City’s website at www.aurora-il.org.

Now: Free Paramount gift certificate w/ purchase

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dec. 4/5 & 11/12: Visit Santa at Phillips Park & more

Holiday Activities Shine at Phillips Park

By Kevin Stahr

Whether taking time to visit Santa Claus or driving through a sea of festive seasonal lights, the holiday spirit will be alive at Phillips Park in Aurora.

Carloads of families will be entertained by more than a mile of lighted holiday displays starting Friday, Nov. 26, with the Festival of Lights. The lights will shine nightly from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday through Dec. 26 at the park, 1000 Ray Moses Drive.

Admission is free for the fourth annual event, which is sponsored by The Rotary Club of Aurora and the City of Aurora. Donations will be accepted to raise money for local charities.

Event organizers expect more than 40,000 people will visit this year’s Festival of Lights featuring Santa Claus, reindeer, candy canes, Old Man Winter, Santa’s Toy Shop, hundreds of lighted trees and more.

“The event is for children of all ages,” said Rotary Club of Aurora President Charlie Zine. “Our goal is to spread cheer to thousands of visitors during the holidays, while providing support to needy charities.”

Visitors looking for directions or more information on the event should visit www.aurorafestivaloflights.com.

Aurora children who want to give their Christmas wish list to Santa Claus in person can visit jolly St. Nick in December at the Phillips Park Visitor’s Center. Santa will be available from noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 4-5 and 11-12, as well as Saturday to Wednesday, Dec. 18 to 22.

The free event is sponsored by the Friends of Phillips Park. Parents are encouraged to bring their cameras. For more information, call the Phillips Park Visitor’s Center at (630) 256-3750 or visit the City’s website at www.aurora-il.org.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Dec. 5: West Branch holiday open house

Residents are invited to the Aurora Public Library’s 35th annual “Holiday Celebrations in Many Lands” exhibit this month at the West Branch, 233 S. Constitution Drive.

An open house with the theme “Gingerbread Holidays” is set for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Open house events include:

1:30 p.m. – Puppet show

2 p.m. – Visit from Santa Claus on the Bookmobile

2:30 p.m. – Suenos Latin Jazz Quartet




The “Holiday Celebrations in Many Lands” exhibit includes multicultural displays and more than 25 trees decorated in the traditions of countries around the world. The exhibit runs through Dec. 31. Both the exhibit and the open house are free.

Click on this Beacon-News story for more information.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Now: Free guide to local holiday fun!

The 'Go West' Guide to Holiday Fun

‘Tis the season. And Go West Young Mom has a guide to help your family make the most of this magical season. It will help inspire you to take a break from the shopping and the cooking and the decorating to enjoy a movie or theatrical production with your family, visit Santa at one of the charming “Santa Houses” we have in the suburbs or take a peaceful drive through a mile of holiday lights.

Fun & free things are easily found in this great online guide such as the Festival of Lights & Trees in Wheaton and the Holiday Lights at Mooseheart, to name just two.

Please check back often to see what’s been added! Visit www.gowestyoungmom.com and go have fun this winter!

Happy Holidays!

Dec. 1-31: Free coffee at Pockets

Visit Pockets at 1330 N. Orchard Rd. in Aurora and receive free coffee the entire month of December. Pockets is celebrating their new breakfast offerings with free Papa Nicholas coffee. Come on in and get warm!