THROUGH DEC 11 Be a Santa to a Senior Hobart: Brentwood at Hobart, 1420 St. Mary Cir. Merrillville: Brookdale Sterling House, 8253 Virginia St; Horizon Bank, 8590 Broadway; Towne Centre Senior Retirement Community, 7250 Arthur Blvd. Portage: Spring Mill Health Campus, 101 W 87th Ave. 219.793.9023. beasantatoasenior.com. Run by the local Home Instead Senior Care Center, this program ensures isolated seniors receive gifts and companionship during the holidays. The public is invited to select an ornament with a senior’s first name and gift requests from Christmas trees at participating retailers. Shoppers can return the gifts unwrapped to the store and gifts will be distributed by volunteers to the local senior.
THROUGH DEC 14 Holiday Hop & Shop, Crown Point: Barbara Jean’s Gifts and Gourmet, 105 S Court St. 219.661.1600. bjgiftsandgourmet.com; Blue Pear, 106 W Clark St. 219.779.9482; Old Green Shutters Antiques, 118 S Main St. 219.663.4425; Hammond: It’s Just Serendipity, 5630 Hohman Ave. 219.932.NEAT or 219.512.4298; itsjustserendipity.com; The Junk Fairy, 5213 Hohman Ave. 708.272.2011. thejunkfairy.net; Highland: The Comfy Couch, 2631 Hwy Ave. 219.513.9948. mycomfycouch.com; Flipside Clothing, 8905 Indianapolis Blvd. 219.595.0019; RSO Jewelry, 2647 Hwy Ave. 219.838.9335 or 219.201.3547. rsojewelry.com. Participating businesses invite shoppers to hop and shop local for unique and one-of-a-kind gifts for the holidays. Purchases of any amount are required at each shop to qualify to be entered into a special drawing for one of 8 fabulous prizes.
DEC 6 Mix, Mingle & Jingle Party, 6:30-10:30pm, Stardust Event Center, 777 Blue Chip Dr, Michigan City. 888.879.7711. ext. 2429. bluechipcasino.com. Friends and coworkers can network and dance the night away at this party featuring music by Libido Funk Circus and festive food stations.
DEC 6 Purdue Calumet Student Show and Hammond Art Center Open House, 6:30-8:30pm, Hammond Arts Center, 5832 Hohman Ave, Hammond. 219.937.6235. hammondartscenter.org. Students from the art classes held at the Hammond Art Center and creative students from Purdue Calumet team up for this student show and open house. The night features work from both groups and celebrates future artists of all ages.
DEC 6 VIP Actor’s Reception, 6:30-8:30pm, Indiana Welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Dr, Hammond. 800.255.5253. southshorecva.com/achristmasstory. The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority hosts this meet and greet with the actors who played bullies Scut Farkus and Grover Dill, little brother Randy Parker and Flick in the holiday classic, A Christmas Story. The event features an “Inside the Actor’s Studio” discussion, as well as a reception.
DEC 6 Crawpuppies Blue Chip Casino, 777 Blue Chip Dr, Michigan City. 219.879.7711. bluechipcasino.com. Local favorites the Crawpuppies perform music ranging from the Rolling Stones to The Black Crowes.
DEC 6 Bird Feeder Ornament Workshop 5-6pm, South Shore Arts Crown Point Branch, 123 N Main Street, Crown Point. southshoreartsonline.org. In this fun workshop students will have the opportunity to make a couple of different-shaped bird feeder ornaments to hang outside, keeping feathered friends happy during the winter months.
DEC 6 Holly Days, 5-7pm, Central Park Plaza, Lafayette & Indiana Sts, downtown Valparaiso. 219.464.8332. valparaisoevents.com. Downtown Valparaiso celebrates the most wonderful time of the year with holiday music, ice carvings, a holiday village market and a live nativity.
DEC 7 Hammond Holiday Parade, 10am, Gavit High School to 169th St, Hammond. gohammond.com. This annual parade kicks off the holiday season with the entrance from Santa himself.
DEC 7 Mistletoe Market, 9am-3pm, Westchester Intermediate School, 1050 S 5th St, Chesterton. 219.926.5513. chestertonseuropeanmarket.com. Chesterton European Market dresses up for the holidays with many of the merchants, artists and chefs from the summer market. This extraordinary shopping experience provides the perfect opportunity to gather together and browse market goodies for holiday gifting, listen to festive holiday music and take photos with Santa.
DEC 7 Uptown Christmas Bazaar, 2-5pm, Trinity Hall, 600 Franklin St, Michigan City. 219.331.5517. uptownartsdistrict.org. This indoor holiday market features more than 20 vendors of fine arts and crafts.
DEC 7 RailCats Yard Sale 9am-2pm, U. S. Steel Yard, One Stadium Plaza, Gary. railcatsbaseball.com. The Gary SouthShore RailCats annual yard sale is sure to be a home run. RailCats championship merchandise is available, along with several promotions. Spend $40 on merchandise to be eligible for the Buy One Get One Free Flex Tickets promotion. Take a Holiday photo with Trophy and Rusty. Food and drinks available.
DEC 7 Cookie Walk 10am-2pm, St. George Greek Orthodox Church Hall, 528 W 77th Ave, Schererville. St. George Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society will host its first Cookie Walk. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the St. Jude House family violence shelter in Crown Point. A variety of homemade cookies will be available by the pound, including many Greek cookies sold at the church's annual Greek Fest. A limited number of 8-by-8-inch pans of baklava will be available for $25. Baklava pre-orders will be accepted. Send order and payment to the St. George Ladies Philoptochos Society at the church address by Dec 1.
DEC 7 Snow Ball 5:30-11pm, Woodland Park, Sycamore Hall, 2100 Willowcreek Road, Portage. bluemoondance.net. Make reservations by Dec. 2 for a dinner dance for any level of ballroom dancer, featuring shows at 6:30 and 9pm. There will be a group class, buffet dinner, general dancing, Santa gift, door prizes, raffle prizes and snowball fight during the event.
DEC 7 'Break the Cycle' Luncheon/Fashion Show 11am-3pm, Avalon Manor, 3550 E US 30, Hobart. promisingfuturesinc.org. Tickets $35 per adult, $20 ages 3-11. Join Promising Futures Inc. for a luncheon, fashion show, guest speaker, entertainment, vendor booths, award presentations, raffles and much more. Promising Futures Inc. is dedicated to breaking the cycle and the silence of domestic violence.
DEC 7 Elaine's Dolls Annual Christmas Open House 9am-4pm, Elaine's Dolls, 9005 Idlewild Drive, Highland. Elaine's Dolls of Highland is having its Christmas Open House to benefit orphans in Sierra Leone, Africa. Thirty percent of the proceeds will be going to The Savior of the World children's home in Sierra Leone.
DEC 7 Mommy’s Little Piggy Mashed Potato Eating Contest, 10am-1pm, Indiana Welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Drive, Hammond. achristmasstorycomeshome.com. See who can eat the most mashed potatoes in the Mommy’s Little Piggy Mashed Potato Eating Contest! There are four age categories: 4-7, 8-12, 13-17, and 18 and over. Participants will compete against their peers to win prizes valued from $50-$100. Please bring in canned food/non-perishables as an entry fee. Items go to the Northwest Indiana Food Bank.
DEC 7 Holiday Jam Craft and Vendor Fundraiser 10am-4pm, Hobart Elks Lodge, 3580 East 61st Avenue, Hobart. 219.455.9725. Admission: $1. Complete your holiday shopping and support a cause! The first 100 shoppers will receive a free gift bag, plus there will be raffles, concessions, music, photo booth, and face painting. All admission, raffles and donations will be gifted to Toys For Tots in their efforts to bring holiday cheer to children and families in need. Bring your toy donations to the event.
DEC 7 Tree Decorating Naturally, 1-3pm, Gibson Woods Nature Preserve, 6201 Parrish Avenue, Hammond. 219.844.3188. lakecountyparks.com. Decorating the Gibson Woods holiday tree with “natural” ornaments has been a tradition for many years. Many unique decorations can be made out of simple items found in nature. Acorns, pinecones, seedpods, and other dried materials will be available and you are welcome to bring your own to share. Make an ornament for the Gibson Woods tree and another to take home. Enjoy holiday music and stop by the “Bird Room” to see who’s visiting the feeders.
DEC 7 Zodiac At Pioneer Tap 10pm-2am, Pioneer Tap, 6826 Kennedy Avenue, Hammond. zodiac69.com. Female fronted Zodiac taps into decades of the best party rock covers, including Journey, AC/DC, Maroon 5, P!NK, Def Leppard, Grace Potter, REO Speedwagon, No Doubt, and much more.
DEC 7-8 Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair 9am-4pm, Munster High School, 8808 Columbia Avenue, Munster. munster.org. Looking for something special for the holidays? You'll find everything you need for your home, gifts for your friends, family, and co-workers and enjoy the holiday spirit and concessions as this favorite regional fair, held at Munster High School. Some items include personalized ornaments, florals, soaps, framed sports art, game boards, furniture, glassware, vintage jewelry, deco mesh wreaths, mittens & scarves, doll clothes and furniture, embroidered tablecloths, fresh greenery, belts, and designer women’s and children’s clothing as well as homemade candies, toffee, caramel items, gourmet dips, cheese chips, nut rolls and more. Free admission and parking. Concessions available for purchase from the Munster Band Backers.
DEC 7-15 Santa's Candy Cane Express 12-5pm, Hesston Steam Museum, 1201 East 1000 North, LaPorte. Admission: Adults $5, Children $3. Take a ride on the Candy Cane Express and visit Santa in his railroad Caboose. Donate a new, unwrapped toy and receive one free train ride.
DEC 7 Lisa Lampanelli, Horseshoe Casino, 777 Casino Center Dr, Hammond. 866.711.7463. horseshoehammond.com. Known as comedy’s loveable Queen of Mean, Lisa Lampanelli brings her act to the Horseshoe Casino.
DEC 8 Live Nativity and Marketplace 4:30-8pm, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 8955 Columbia Avenue, Munster. 219.838.3131. wpcmunster.org. Westminster Presbyterian Church will offer a live Nativity and marketplace. Nativity performances at 5, 6 and 7pm. Come inside and shop the artisan booths and enjoy the many different vendors. Delicious food, hot drinks and desserts will be available for purchase.
DEC 8 Holiday Brunch with Johnny V. 10am-Noon, Bartlett's Gourmet Grill & Tavern, 131 E Dunes Highway, Beverly Shores. 219.879.3081. Join Johnny V for a musical family brunch. Bring an unwrapped toy for Valparaiso's Hilltop Neighborhood House Charity and sing along to holiday favorites with Johnny V. Pancakes for the kids, Bloody Marys and Mimosas for the adults! Sure to be a fun time had by all. Reservations accepted for this sure to be sold out event.
DEC 9 Former Chicago Bears Quarterback Bob Avellini Appearance 7:30pm, Bridges Scoreboard, 121 N Griffith Boulevard, Griffith. 219.924.2206. Chicago Bears former quarterback Bob Avellini will be appearing at Bridges during the Chicago Bears vs Dallas Cowboys Monday Night Football game. Avellini will be signing autographs and taking photos with fans. There is no charge for admission. Autographs are $10 each. Photos of Bob Avellini will be available at $10 each with no signing fee. Doors will open at 4pm.
DEC 10 The Sounds of Christmas 5:30-7:30pm, East Chicago Public Library, 2401 E Columbus Drive, East Chicago. ecpl.org. The East Chicago Public Library will usher in the holiday season with its annual Christmas event. The Sounds of Christmas promises to be alive with music, fun, and entertainment. Join us as we light Christmas trees representing some of the ethnic groups that make up the city. In addition, East Chicago service members and veterans who lost their lives while serving our country will receive special recognition at this year’s tree lighting ceremony with a dedicated Patriotic Tree decorated in red, white and blue with photographs of local soldiers, some who have lost their lives, retired service members and veterans of past wars.
DEC 12 Holiday Pops 7:30-9:30pm, Star Plaza Theatre, 800 E 81st Avenue, Merrillville. nisorchestra.com. Get into the spirit of the season with the festive Holiday Pops with a combination of contemporary and classic holiday music. The Eisenhauer Elementary School Choir of Crown Point is back by popular demand.
DEC 12 Rock Along with Santa 5:30-8pm, The View Restaurant, 1005 Centennial Drive, Munster. 219.836.6922. Admission: Munster resident couple $25, Non-resident couple $30, Additional child $15. Join Munster Parks and Recreation for a special holiday treat at the View Restaurant as we host Santa Claus. Start the evening with snacks, sandwiches, and activities, then join Santa as he reads "The Night Before Christmas" and then participate in a Santa sing-along as he plays his guitar. Bring your camera to capture the moment.
THROUGH FEB 23 Ice Plaza at Deep River Waterpark Thursdays 2-9pm, Fridays 2-10pm, Saturdays 12-10pm and Sundays 12-9pm, Deep River Waterpark, 9001 E US 30, Crown Point. 219.947.7850. Deep River Waterpark will be open for Ice Skating on the Friday after Thanksgiving day through the last Sunday in February.
DEC 7 Hobart Santa Walk and Run 9am, Hobart Community Center, 111 E Old Ridge Road, Hobart. A non-timed event for both athletes and non-athletes, the Santa Walk & Run is about spreading holiday cheer as Santas in full Santa outfits (or Santa hats or other holiday wear) walk or run through town.
DEC 13 Highland Santa Walk and Run 7pm, Wicker Park Social Center, 8554 Indianapolis Blvd, Highland. Highland's first ever nighttime Santa event! Come dressed in Christmas lights or red and green glow sticks! A head lamp or flashlight is required. This is a non-timed event for both athletes and non-athletes, the Santa Walk & Run is about spreading holiday cheer as Santas in full Santa outfits (or Santa hats or other holiday wear) walk or run through town.
THROUGH DEC 15 E. John Walford Exhibit, Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University Center for the Arts, 1709 Chapel Drive, Valparaiso. valpo.edu/artmuseum. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday; noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; closed Monday. The permanent collection and E. John Walford exhibitions at the Brauer Museum of Art are on display through Dec. 15. The permanent collection exhibition highlights the many first rate works that belong to the Brauer. Visitors can see in seven galleries fine examples of major movements in American art from the early 19th century to the present. E. John Walford's exhibition of digital collages are the artist's interpretation of biblical stories.
THROUGH DEC 21 Holiday Lights—A Winter Celebration of Solar, 4-7pm, Taltree Arboretum & Gardens, 450 W 100 N, Valparaiso. 219.462.0025. taltree.org. The prairie comes to life each night with LED and fiber optics create grass and prairie flowers blowing sweetly in the breeze. The display begins with luminaries on the mounds and concludes with the magnificent tree all aglow.
THROUGH JAN 3 "A Christmas Story" Comes Home Indiana Welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Drive, Hammond. 800.255.5253. The "A Christmas Story" Comes Home exhibit centers around 6 animatronic window displays from Macy's Department Store in New York featuring different scenes from "A Christmas Story". There are also a variety of events and activities going on - visit the website for more information. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, stop in Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 4pm to get your photo taken with Santa for only $5.
THROUGH FEB 8 We are Porter County, Porter County Museum of History, 153 Franklin St, Valparaiso. 219.465.3595. This interactive and engaging exhibit highlights the formation of the county from its founding in 1836 to present day and visitors can learn about the transformation of the county from frontier to modern landscape.
THROUGH FEB 9 Citizen ★ Soldier ★ Citizen, Lubeznik Center for the Arts, 101 W Second St, Michigan City. 219.874.4900. lubeznikcenter.org. Contemporary works by military combat veterans will be on display at this exhibition honors those who have fought for freedom and those fighting to reintegrate into society after their war experiences. Also, Through Feb 24: Theater of Conflict.
Through DEC 1 Play, Pretend and Dream, The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago. 312.629.6635. artic.edu/aic. This exhibition of Caldecott Medal and Honor Books and artwork brings visitors back to the joys of childhood imagination. Also, through Jan 5: New Views—The Rendered Image in Architecture; through Jan 12: Isaac Julien—The Long Road to Mazatlán; through Jan 12: Japanese Art of the 1960s—The Challenge of Tradition; Through Jan 5: Shomei Tomatsu—Island Life; Through Jan 5: 3 in 1—Contemporary Explorations in Architecture and Design; Through Jan 5: Max Kozloff—Critic and Photographer; Through Jan 12: Amar Kanwar—The Lightning Testimonies; Through Jan 9: Violence and Virtue—Artemisia Gentileschi’s Judith Slaying Holofernes; Through Feb 16: Dreams and Echoes—Drawings and Sculpture in the David and Celia Hilliard Collection; Through Jan 26: focus—Monika Baer; Through Jul 27: When the Greeks Ruled—Egypt after Alexander Great; Through Apr 14: Ugo Rondinone—we run through the desert on burning feet, all of us are glowing our faces look twisted; Through Jan 27: Art and Appetite—American Painting, Culture and Cuisine.
Through Jan 5 Creatures of Light—Nature’s Bioluminescence, The Field Museum, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago. 312.922.9410. fieldmuseum.org. From glowworms to deep-sea fishes, this exhibit features the mysterious and magical world of bioluminescence. Visitors can discover the thousands of living organisms that blink, glow, flash and flicker. Also, through Jan 20: Fractured—North Dakota’s Oil Boom.
Through Feb 2 80 at 80, Museum of Science and Industry, 57th St and Lake Shore Dr, Chicago. 773.947.3133. msichicago.org. Commemorating the museum’s 800th anniversary, this exhibit features 80 rarely displayed artifacts from the museum’s extensive collection. Many of these items will ignite visitors’ memories from past exhibits—such as a gigantic Paul Bunyan statue and TAM, the Transparent Anatomical Manikin—while some are cutting-edge innovations. Ongoing: The Art of the Bicycle.
Through Jun 15 MCA DNA—Warhol and Marisol, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago. 312.280.2660. mcachicago.org. Inspired by the multi-faceted relationship of Andy Warhol and Marisol, this exhibit compares and contrasts Warhol’s silk screen printings and Marisol’s wood sculptures side-by-side. Also, through Dec 3: José Lerma; through Jan 5: Paul Sietsema; Through Mar 9: The Way of the Shovel—Art as Archaeology; Nov 29-Apr 13: CITY SELF.