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Crowd Pleasers for Sept. 28, 2012

'Shallow Waters' by Eleanor Spiess Ferris

"Shallow Waters" by Eleanor Spiess Ferris

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‘NARRATIVE!’

To celebrate Chicago Artists Month, which honors the city’s art and artists, the Christopher Art Gallery at Prairie State College, 202 S. Halsted St., Chicago Heights, will feature the works of three prominent Chicago artists whose works have been shown and are owned by the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art and Museum of Modern Art in New York City, as well as other prominent museums and galleries.

The show, “Narrative!” will run Oct. 1-Nov. 1 and features artists Gladys Nilsson, Eleanor Spiess-Ferris and John Pitman Weber. An opening reception will take place from 4:30-8 p.m. Oct. 4.

Gallery director Beth Shadur said the artists “tell oblique narratives through their combination of images, both imaginary and observed. These painters use vivid color, intensely personal imagery and a combination of tender and challenging reflections on the human experience.”

Full biographies of the artists featured in the show are available at prairiestate.edu/artgallery. Information: (708) 709-3636 (PSC Foundation ).

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Updated: October 29, 2012 6:25AM



Here is a look at some crowd pleasers.

Events include Christopher Art Gallery’s “Narrative!” exhibit in Chicago Heights.

ART

THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO: 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, (312) 443-3600: Exhibits include “Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Japanese Art” through Oct. 28, “Film and Photo in New York” through Nov. 25, and “Rarely Seen Contemporary Works on Paper” through Jan. 13. *** Admission is free to Illinois residents on the first and second Wednesdays of the month.

BEVERLY ARTS CENTER: 2407 W. 111 Street, Chicago, (773) 445-3838: “Fulgent,” an exhibit of works by the BAC Young Adult Board, will be open through Oct. 14. An artists’ reception will take place from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 12. The exhibit features works by Amanda Kaliski-Alvarez, Dave Barista, Jo Beaudreau, Billy Bonner, Michael Donnelly, Scott Hermanson, Rachel Hewitt, Brendan McAlinden, Russell Meyer, Emily Range and Laura Slonskis. *** “Art 19” will be on display through Oct. 28. October is Chicago Artists Month, and this exhibit features 15 artists who live in Chicago’s 19th Ward. The show features works by Cecil McDonald, Dalton Brown, Brigit Scales Fennessy, Robert Workman, Raymond Broady, Danielle Principato, Audrius Plioplys, Sandra Leonard, John Colson, Brian Ritchard, Susannah Papish, Sal Campbell, Baird Campbell, Cathy Sorich and Jon Bakker.

ILLINOIS STATE MUSEUM LOCKPORT GALLERY: Norton Building, 201 W. 10th St., First Floor, Lockport, (815) 838-7400: “Focus 4: Four Solo Exhibitions,” which is on view through Oct. 4, features the work of Mario Trejo, Steven Robnett, Don Seiden and Rebecca Wolfram.

Trejo, whose compositions resonate between calm fluidity and struggling chaos, combines rigorous processes and acute attention to detail in the creation of black and white paintings and drawings. He forms small universes within drawings composed of hundreds of thousands of marks, each mark both a relic of the performance of creation and a test of the artist’s own endurance and stamina.

The resulting paintings and drawings reflect a quiet beauty with underlying layers of metaphors of time, space, personal experience and the universe.

Trejo lives and works in Troy, Ill., near St. Louis. He received his bachelor of fine arts degree from the School of the Art Institute and his master of fine arts from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Elgin artist Robnett narrates the human experience from multiple perspectives in tightly rendered paintings and compositions of charcoal, pastel and colored pencil.

Seiden is a Chicago-based painter, sculptor and art therapist with more than 50 years of experience. He explores life, art and the creative process utilizing mixed media.

Wolfram delves into the effects of culture, custom and tradition as they reflect and shape social behavior and society.

LEMONT PUBLIC LIBRARY’S ATHENS GALLERY: 50 E. Wend St., (630) 257-6541: The Lemont Artists Guild presents Tony Minard’s “Prairie Portals and Gateways” to Sept. 28. The 24 photos in the exhibit feature doors and windows of Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Oak Park; Springfield; Peoria; Deephaven, Minn.; Highland Park; River Forest and Chicago. Most of the photos are of homes, but also included are photos of the Unity Temple in Oak Park.

Minard has 17 years of experience as a photographer. His interest in Wright goes back to grade-school years when Minard saw commemorative postage stamps of Wright on family letters. Minard began visiting Wright homes in the 1990s but did not start photographing them until 2004, some years after a visit to Wright’s home and studio.

Minard has won many awards for his photographs in five county fairs. These honors include two first places at the Sandwich County Fair in 2005 and 2006. Information: tonyminardpics.com.

PRAIRIE STATE COLLEGE’S CHRISTOPHER ART GALLERY: 202 S. Halsted St., Chicago Heights, (708) 709-3636 (PSC Foundation): The “Photographer of the Year” and “2012 Annual Student Exhibition” continues to Sept. 30. The exhibits include drawings, paintings, photographs and mixed media works that were produced by PSC students in the 2011-12 academic year.

Featured during the exhibits will be the work of this year’s photographer of the year, student Beth Schimanski, a resident of Crete. Additional student artists represented in the exhibit are Norman Harris and David Koenig, of Beecher; Adrian Andrade, Karina Corona, Reginald Gale, Miriam Meade, Antoine Merrick and Jackie Reyna, of Chicago Heights; Patrick Van Zyl, of Crete; Emily Schranz, of Glenwood; Kailah Armand and William Moser, of Homewood; Carla Banuelos and Norman Harris, of Lynwood; William Billingsly and Gwen Desvignes, of Matteson; Natalie Pesick, of Olympia Fields; Amber Peoples, of Richton Park; and Tenyiah Simmons, of Steger.

ST. XAVIER UNIVERSITY GALLERY: Warde Academic Center, 3700 W. 103rd St., Chicago, (773) 298-3081: “I is the Grandson,” an art exhibit featuring the work of Jim Zimpel, will be on display through Oct. 19. An artist’s lecture and reception will take place at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 3. Zimpel’s sculptures explore memories such as a meaningful fishing experience, a trip to a natural wonder and a project built together in the garage shop behind the house. Zimpel is an adjunct professor at Columbia College Chicago’s Art and Design Department.

UNION STREET GALLERY: 1527 Otto Blvd., Chicago Heights, (708) 754-2601: The fall national juried exhibit titled “Wanna Play?” will continue to Oct. 27. An artists reception, which will be open to the public, will take place from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 28, and many of the artists will be traveling to the Southland to engage the public during the opening reception.

After 72 artists from 21 states across America submitted 165 entries for this show, juror David van Alphen selected 49 pieces. Those works on exhibit will represent painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, digital art, mixed media and sculpture.

“Wanna Play?” is a playful, clever and whimsical exhibit of art that is inspired by toys, games and the act of play. The artwork represents a range of interpretations of the title. Many of the pieces depict real or invented toys or games, the industry, consumer culture or the roles of toys and games in modern-day Western society.

Some pieces take the form of actual 3-D constructions. There are works of art in “Wanna Play?” that represent the innocence of play and include imagery of childhood relics that invoke nostalgia. There are also works of art that have a dark and whimsical twist depicting toy mutations or portraying fabricated scenes in which the toys take on a life of their own.

Alphen, the judge for “Wanna Play?” is a professional artist and curator for the Rotofugi Gallery in Chicago.

Three cash awards of $500, $350 and $150 will be awarded to artists chosen by the juror at the reception on Sept. 28.

Artists chosen for the exhibit include Jennifer Bittner, Peter Cales, Keri Joy Colestock, Larry Raymond Crist, Jessica Damen, Joe Casey Doyle, Lauren Dunning, Pam Eberlin, Stephanie Evans, Sarah Fagan, Kathi Flood, Jessica Freudenberg-Segal, Jonathan Frey, David Galalis, Irene Ganas, Lea Goldman, Brenda R. Gregory, Liz Heller and Seana Higgins.

Shelly Hokanson, Melissa Huang, Bruce Humphries, Carol Kazwick, Alish Koyanis, Chris Maker, Christine McCullough, Barbara McIntyre, Joe Milosevich, Mic Muhlbauer, Rebecca Mushtare, John Nieman, Michael Pohlman, Randy L. Purcell, Ryan Schultz, Priscilla Ann Smith, Miho Suzuki, Jim Wright and Jave Yoshimoto also are displaying pieces in “Wanna Play?”

COMEDY

DAN D JAC’S: 9358 W. 171st St., Orland Hills, (708) 460-8773: Ray Fischer performs at an open mike comedy show, which begins at 8 p.m. Wednesdays. Admission is free, but there is a two-drink minimum.

RIDDLES COMEDY CLUB: 5055 W. 111th St., Alsip, (708) 422-5055: Derick Lengwenus, who’s performed at the Montreal Comedy Festival and Just for Laughs, will perform two shows each on Sept. 28- 29.

MUSEUMS

ADLER PLANETARIUM: 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, (312) 922-7827: “The Universe: A Walk Through Space and Time” recently debuted. Other exhibits include “Our Solar System,” “Collecting Memories: The Webster Story,” “Planet Explorers” for families with ages 3-8, “Telescopes: Through the Looking Glass,” and “Shoot for the Moon.”

THE FIELD MUSEUM: 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, (312) 922-9410: “Fashion and the Field Museum Collection: Maria Pinto” recently opened and will run to June 16. Other exhibits include “The Romance of Ants” through Oct. 28; “Nature’s Toolbox: Biodiversity, Art, and Invention” through Dec. 2; “Extreme Mammals” through Jan. 6; and “Images of the Afterlife” through June 9.

MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY: 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, (773) 684-1414: Exhibits include “Life in Space?” through Sept. 30, “Smart Home: Green + Wired” through Jan. 6 and “Science Storms.” The Omnimax Theater is showing “Tornado Alley” through Oct. 1 and “Born To Be Wild” through March 1. *** Free general admission to Illinois residents (with proof of address) is available every weekday in September. It’s a chance to experience permanent exhibits like “YOU! The Experience” as well as classics from “The Great Train Story” to the Baby Chick Hatchery and daily, live science demonstrations like the chemistry show “Bangs, Flashes and Fire.” Omnimax films, U-505 Submarine on-board tour, WOW! Tour, “Smart Home: Green + Wired” and Coal Mine are not included in general admission.

1950S PARK FOREST HOUSE MUSEUM: 141 Forest Blvd. (Forest Boulevard and Fir Street), Park Forest, (708) 305-3308 (Mike Gans): “Step Back into a 1950s Halloween” with vintage Halloween decorations that are on display through Oct. 31. Display items include a collection of Gurley Halloween candles, die-cut decorations and a boxed costume with mask. The museum is open from 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturdays and Wednesday or for groups by appointment. Admission donation is $5 for adults and free for ages 12 and younger with an adult.

SHEDD AQUARIUM: 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, (312) 939-2438: The 10th annual Sea Otter Awareness Week See will feature the chance to see six of Shedd’s sea otters. In honor of Shedd’s furry friends, the first 100 guests to the aquarium from through Sept. 29 will receive free general admission when they purchase their tickets at the aquarium. In addition, guests will get an inside look at the care of Shedd’s sea otters through habitat chats near the two-level exhibit in the Abbott Oceanarium. Tots will especially enjoy the otters at the underwater viewing area of the habitat in Polar Play Zone, a permanent exhibit just for kids. Visitors should stop by and see the newest otter, Cayucos, a rescued pup from California. Cayucos joined five adult otters that are native to Alaskan waters. *** Exhibits include “Jellies,” which has been extended through 2013, “Waters of the World,” “Caribbean Reef,” “Amazon Rising” and “Wild Reef.” Attractions include the Shedd’s aquatic show.

THEATER

“GRIMM’S GRIMMEST”: Norton Building, 201 W. 10th St., First Floor, Lockport, (815) 838-7400: What really happens after Sleeping Beauty is awakened by the Prince’s kiss? What brutal fate awaits greedy relatives? Find out as the Illinois State Museum Lockport Gallery presents “Grimm’s Grimmest: The Darker Side of Fairy Tales” from 2-3 p.m. Sept. 30.

Professional storyteller Judith Heineman and musician Daniel Marcotte will offer a dramatic performance of several Grimm tales, some set to music, as they were originally intended for adults. This program, part of the continuing Sunday Series,” is free and open to the public though the stories are recommended for ages 10 and older. Reservations are not required, but seating is limited.

The performance will include the story of Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty), “The Juniper Tree,” “Bearskin” and more. Marcotte has set two stories to 16th century ballads and plays them on a Renaissance lute and other instruments. Marcotte also created original “Bloody Choruses” for the stories told by Heineman, and the audience is invited to join in.

Heineman is also a producer and teacher. She holds a master of arts degree in English and is the founder of the Chicago Storytelling Guild.

Marcotte specializes in Renaissance and medieval music and instruments including the gittern, tin whistle and Irish bodhran (drum). He holds a bachelor of music degree in voice performance and a master’s degree in Renaissance and medieval music.

Their CD “Grimm’s Grimmest: The Darker Side of Fairy Tales” has won the National Parenting Honors Award (2010) and the Parent’s Choice Gold Award (2011, Storytelling), among others.

This performance of “Grimm’s Grimmest: The Darker Side of Fairy Tales” is made possible in part by an award from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Illinois General Assembly.

Grimm’s Fairy Tales are German folk tales gathered and published by brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the early 1800s. Though referred to as “children’s tales,” they were not suitable for children and were highly criticized.

Over time, the original stories were rewritten and softened, focusing on the “moral,” and have had a wide influence on children’s literature and cinema such as in the Disney versions of Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty.

“THE MOUSETRAP”: South Suburban College’s Kindig Performing Arts Center on the main campus, 15800 State St. (between Sibley Boulevard and 159th Street), South Holland, (708) 210-5741: The PAC Rats Theatre Company of SSC present “The Mousetrap” by Agatha Christie, whom many consider the master of British murder mysteries, at 8 p.m. Sept. 28, 2 and 8 p.m. Sept. 29 and 2 p.m. Sept. 30.

This classic theatrical murder mystery is now in its 60th anniversary year. The play was originally written for the BBC as a short story titled “Three Blind Mice” for Queen Mary’s 80th birthday as she’d asked for a new Agatha Christie.

Christie adapted it for the stage and “The Mousetrap” opened in London’s West End in 1952. The show was an immediate sellout hit and is now the longest continuously running stage show, a position it has held for 53 years.

A host of actors and actresses, more than 400 in all, have played the eight characters in the show. Most notable were Richard Attenborough and his film star wife, Sheila Sim, in the original cast.

“That ‘The Mousetrap’ has run continuously for so long is testament to Christie’s writing skills,” said Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen, producer of the London production. “She creates wonderful and varied characters and then she fills them with subtle nuances and storytelling elements that set our imaginations racing.”

To celebrate the show’s anniversary, performance rights were granted to 60 production companies, with the PAC Rats Theatre Company of SSC being one.

The story begins with a group of strangers who are stranded in a boarding house during a snowstorm. One of the strangers is a murderer.

The suspects include the newly married Mollie and Giles Ralston (Cathy Hundt, of Thornton, and Charlie Furtek, of Lansing) who run the house, and the suspicions that are in their minds nearly wreck their perfect marriage.

Others are Miss Casewell, a spinster with a curious background (Shontanice Miller, of Harvey); Christopher Wren, an architect who seems better equipped to be a chef (Brandon Smelko, of Munster, Ind.); retired Army officer Maj. Metcalf (James Walters, of South Chicago Heights); Mr. Paravicini, a strange little man who claims his car has overturned in a drift (Pat Nevins, of Homewood); and Mrs. Boyle who makes life miserable for everyone (Betty Owens, of Glenwood).

The next day brings the arrival of Detective Sgt. Trotter (Carlos Laffitte, of South Holland), on skis, who has come to discuss the recent murder. Sgt. Trotter has reason to believe that someone in the manor has a connection with the crime. The murderer is perhaps even among them.

After the initial questioning reveals no solid alibis for anyone, suspicions begin to rise. Everyone starts to suspect each other. Who will be next?

These are questions that audiences have pondered for more than six decades. One may arrive thinking he or she may know what to expect, but in no time at all, he or she will be involved in a tale where each and every character could be the killer.

Albert Clark, of Oak Lawn, takes on the role of director.

Anne Begora, of Chicago, is the set designer with Lydia Bellamy-Palma and JoAnna Tassin, both of Park Forest, designing lights and costumes respectively.

Angela Martin, of Midlothian, is the stage manager. Eric Pradelski, of South Holland, is her assistant.

Rounding out the production staff are Sandra Wagner, of Lansing, as the sound designer and Kim DeCarlo, of Chicago, as the prop mistress.

“Come out to SSC to celebrate the ultimate murder mystery masterpiece that started it all, but don’t give away the ending,” officials said.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for ages 55 or older, students and ages 12 and younger. Group rates also are available.

VARIETY

“ACROSS THE CHICAGO PORTAGE AND THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE”: Public Landing Restaurant, 200 W. 8th St., Lockport, (815) 223-1851 (reservations): Dave Dolak, Columbia College Chicago professor of geology and environmental sciences, will discuss how the geology of Northeastern Illinois created the water link used by the voyageurs and later the Illinois & Michigan Canal to develop Chicago into the dominant city in the mid-continent of North America. “Across the Chicago Portage and the Continental Divide: A Story of Glaciers, Geography and Destiny” will take place Oct. 4 with cocktails at 6 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. The Canal Corridor Association’s dinner lecture costs $20 (plus tip and tax) for members and $25 (plus tip and tax) for nonmembers. Reservations are required.

BACINEMA SCREENING OF “FRED WON’T MOVE OUT”: Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., Chicago, (773) 445-3838: The weekly film series continues at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3 with this , which won Best of the Fest at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2012. Elliott Gould stars as one in a pair of aging parents whose children struggle to decide whether Mom and Dad should stay in the house where they have lived for 50 years. “Fred Won’t Move Out” was filmed with both humor and heartbreak, officials said. Not rated, this film runs for 1 hour and 14 minutes. Tickets are $7.50, or $5.50 for center members.

“CHICAGO’S ONLY CASTLE”: Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St., Chicago, (773) 445-3838: Why on earth were medieval-style knights in armor to be found skirting the castle on horseback in 1909? Those who want to see those knights again and learn about their story can attend the encore screening of “Chicago’s Only Castle: The History of Givins’ Irish Castle and Its Keepers” at 3 p.m. Sept. 30. Tickets are available in advance from beverlyartcenter.org.

The film, produced by Errol Magidson and directed by Josh Van Tuyl and Magidson, captures the tale of this distinctive and historic structure, which was completed as a private residence in 1887, as well as the stories of its five castle keepers, those most responsible for its care.

The sagas of three dynamic families, one prestigious finishing school for girls and a groundbreaking church unfold against the backdrop the Great Chicago Fire, the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, the cable-car era, the dawn of the automobile and the 1933 Century of Progress International Exposition. Footage includes two-thirds of the 1897 historic 12-second first film ever made in Chicago (produced by the Thomas A. Edison Co.) as well as film and other images of early automobiles and of the two World’s Fairs that took place in Chicago as well as countless items of local interest.

This feature-length film received a $10,000 arts grant from Chicago philanthropist Richard H. Driehaus and premiered at the Beverly Arts Center in September 2011. The film was further honored by being shown at the Chicago History Museum in March. Magidson was interviewed on WGN-TV (Channel 9)’s “Around Town” and WTTW-TV (Channel 11)’s Chicago Tonight programs, and SouthtownStar columnist Phil Kadner wrote an article about the documentary.

The film’s music was arranged by and performed by harpist Renee Wilson with her husband, Peter Jirousek, a French horn musician.

The associate producer of the film was Linda Lamberty, former historian of the Ridge Historical Society.

The filmmakers will be on hand for a question-and-answer session, and DVD copies will be available for sale.

DINE OUT FOR NO KID HUNGRY: Participating restaurants, which can be found at DineOutForNoKidHungry.org: Every September, Share Our Strength’s Dine Out For No Kid Hungry brings together thousands of restaurants and their customers to raise funds for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. Southland restaurants to choose from include Arby’s in Hickory Hills, Oak Lawn and Tinley Park; Corner Bakery Cafe in Oak Lawn and Orland Park; Denny’s in Calumet City, Hickory Hills, Oak Lawn and Mokena; Fuddruckers in Calumet City and Matteson; Public Landings Restaurant in Lockport; and Qdoba Mexican Grill in Oak Lawn and Orland Park. The funds raised through Share Our Strength’s Dine Out For No Kid Hungry support the campaign to end childhood hunger in the United States by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need every day, and the campaign’s work connecting kids in need with nutritious food and teaching their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals.

FALL FEST: The Center, 12700 Southwest Highway, Palos Park, (708) 361-3650: Old-fashioned country fair fun for all ages will take place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 29. The Children’s Farm will host this 70th annual event featuring games, children’s crafts, prizes, farm tours, music, hayrack rides, horse rides, craft and flea markets, a farmers market, freshly picked pumpkins, pumpkin painting, scarecrow building, a bake sale, a popcorn wagon, a root beer saloon, hot dogs and hamburgers from the grills, and live entertainment by Deb Seitz and her Seitz and Sounds band. Festival admission is $4 per adult and $2 per child.

HISTORY MYSTERY BIKE TOUR: Starting and ending at Ridge Historical Society, 10621 S. Seeley Ave., Chicago, (773) 233-3100: The Beverly Area Planning Association will host this event from noon-5 p.m. Sept. 30. The family-friendly biking tour showcases the Beverly Hills and Morgan Park communities of Chicago as participants track down clues in architectural and historic details throughout the neighborhoods’ historic districts, competing for a chance to win a new bike. Activities include a festival with food, beverages and children’s games. Fees are $15 per person, $10 for students and seniors and $40 for families (two adults with children younger than age 16). Registration is via phone or at bapa.org.

ODYSSEY FUN FARM: 19111 Oak Park Ave, Tinley Park, (708) 429-3800: The gates for the 110-acre farm’s second year will open on Sept. 29. “The Fun Farm is bigger and better this year.” general manager Clint Paraday said. “We have added so many new attractions that will appeal to all ages and interests.”

The Fun Farm has 2011 attractions including the 13-acre pumpkin patch, the 15-acre corn maze, pig races, hayrides, inflatable kids zone and corn cannons. Many new attractions have been added as well.

For the fearless, Odyssey introduces the Zombie Safari Hay Ride, an Extreme Paintball Adventure. Those “who dare” are taken on a journey in the pitch-black and narrow path through the corn maze to hunt Zombies with paintball guns.

For the young and young at heart, new attractions include the Giant Inflatable Pillow Jumpy and the Bouncy Horses, on which contestants can embark on a clamor, bouncing around the track to the finish line.

Thrill seekers can try the Zip-Line and travel from 30 feet up, with a distance up to 130 feet long, and at speeds of 15 mph, or check out the Flashlight Maze and walk through the corn maze with only a flashlight.

Odyssey Fun Farm will be open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily from Sept. 29-Oct. 28. Admission is $10. Zip-Line is $9.

The Zombie Safari Hay Ride and Flashlight Maze will be open from 7 p.m.-midnight every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October. Zombie Safari Hay Ride is $15, and the Flashlight Maze is $6 plus $2 for a flashlight.

PUMPKIN PATCH: The Children’s Farm at the Center, 12700 Southwest Highway, Palos Park, (708) 361-3650: Pumpkin Days at the farm feature free admission to the pick-your-own-pumpkin patch along with a farm stand of gourds, mini pumpkins, straw bales, cornstalks and honey for sale. Each weekend also features complimentary hayrack rides and food concessions.

Pumpkin Playland is an interactive experience for children and adults, who are charged a fee to enter the animal farmyard and surrounding playland. The barns are open for visiting and petting the cows, sheep, donkeys, horses, pigs, goats, chickens, rabbits, ducks and geese.

A straw bale climber and giant corn box provide active enjoyment for children. The spooky woodshed provides a spooky Halloween experience for kids, and the Crazy Maze-y allows all guests to navigate their way through a tunnel of fall-themed and ghostly passageways.

The pumpkin patch, farmstand, food concessions, hayrides and Pumpkin Playland are open each October Saturday and Sunday and Columbus Day from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The pumpkin patch and farmstand also are open from 3-5 p.m. every weekday in October.

Farm program director Amy Didominicis said she is proud of the farm’s October motto: “We grow families in our pumpkin patch.”

Pumpkin patch admission is free, with the only cost being the price of the pumpkins selected. For guests who choose to enter the Pumpkin Playland to visit the animals and enjoy the playland activities, admission is $8. Children younger than 2 years old may attend for no charge.

Crowd Pleasers listings may be sent to jvirtusio@southtownstar.com with “Events” in the subject line. Items must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the desired Friday print date in order to be considered for publication.

More events can be found at the website for the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau, cscvb.com.



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