This weekend is all about recognizing and honoring our diverse world. There are multiple events celebrating Earth Day and Holocaust Remembrance Day – including two powerful musical performances, as well as a Cultural Faire. In addition, two author events will have readers of various ages and interests intrigued. But that’s not all!  Lambs Farm has an awesome Model Train Day event, Smelt-O-Rama is back again and the Wilmette Children’s Theatre begins its run of High School Musical Jr.!

Author Meet & Greet: Julia Donaldson
Apr. 21: 4 – 5 pm
The Book Stall, 811 Elm St., Winnetka 

Meet Julia Donaldson, author of beloved titles “The Gruffalo” and “Room on the Broom”, for an afternoon of story, song, and music. Julia’s new book is, “The Giant Jumperee!” Joining Julia from England for this rare U.S. appearance is her husband Malcolm, a musician and singer—and special guest star at the Gruffalo, in person! Laughter and delight is promised for ages 3 and up. For more info on this and other upcoming author events, click here.

Author Book Signing: AJ Mendez Brooks aka AJ Lee
Apr. 22: 2 – 3 pm
The Book Stall, 811 Elm St., Winnetka 


WWE star and Chicago author AJ Mendez Brooks (aka AJ Lee) will be signing copies of her new memoir, Crazy is My Superpower: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules. Brooks is a former WWE wrestler and three-time Diva Champion under the name AJ Lee. She is an animal rescue ambassador for the ASPCA and works with Girls Make Games, a program encouraging young women to pursue science and tech-based careers. This is a ticketed event, and the purchase of a copy of Crazy is My Superpower from The Book Stall is required to enter the signing line. Please call The Book Stall at 847-446-8880 to reserve your place in line.


High School Musical Jr.
Apr. 21 & 22: 7 pm; Apr. 23: 2 pm (Apr. 28 – 30 as well)
Wilmette Community Rec Center, 3000 Glenview Rd., Wilmette 

Enjoy this entertaining and energetic production of the modern high school experience by the Wilmette Children’s Theatre! Tickets: $9. To purchase, click here.


Model Train Day
Apr. 22: 10 am – 3 pm
Lambs Farm, 14245 W. Rockland Rd., Libertyville

Fun for all ages at the Model Train Day at Lambs Farm, Magnolia Cafe & Bakery and Visitors Center. Children of all ages can don their conductor’s hat and operate the model trains courtesy of Valley Model Railroad Club. The club’s portable layout features a CTC computerized signal system which will be in the Magnolia Cafe & Bakery. Admission is FREE! Nominal fees for some crafts, activities and fun pass apply. Plus, head over to the Visitors Center for some fun train related crafts and activities. Purchase a Fun Pass and chug to each Lambs Farm stop and collect a special treat at each. Stay afterwards or come before to eat at the Magnolia Cafe & Bakery, and visit the Farmyard and Attractions. Discounted rates for the Farmyard & Attractions will be available. For more info, click here.


Apr. 22: 7 - 10 pm
Forest Park Beach Boating Pavilion, Lake Forest Beach, 220 E. Deerpath Rd., Lake Forest

Don’t miss out on this FREE family event! Join the Lake Forest Recreation Department as they rediscover a Lake Michigan tradition. Osmerus mordax, otherwise known as smelt, return to our shores each spring to spawn in the warm water near piers and beaches. Seasoned anglers will be on hand to demonstrate the dip netting method. You will learn how to catch, clean and cook these tasty little critters! A limited number of nets will be provided. Please wear warm clothes and bring any smelting equipment you have on hand. Parents must supervise their children at this event. For more info, click here or call John Eldridge – 847-810-3940.


Earth Day Celebration
Apr. 23: 12 - 4 pm
Emily Oaks Nature Center, 4650 Brummel, Skokie 

Discover how different Skokie cultures recognize and celebrate Earth Day in their home countries, and join in Earth Day rituals, ceremonies and activities from around the world! Earth-friendly foods will be available for sale. The event includes games, activities, music, food and a native plant sale. For more info: 847-674-1500, ext. 2500.


Northshore Concert Band: Giving Voice to the Silenced
Apr. 23: 3 pm
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall (Northwestern University), 50 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston

This powerful musical program tells a story of vitality, loss, contemplation and possibility. The music of Jacques Press, Jack Stamp, John Williams, Francis McBeth, David Maslanka and Gustav Holst is combined to create a program that honors Holocaust Remembrance Day and Earth Day. Highlights include a specially constructed and memorable “Remembrance Suite” that includes John Williams’ Theme from Schindler’s List. Tickets: $10 - 20. For more info, click here.


The Salaam Shalom Music Project
Apr. 23: 1 pm (Doors open 12:30 pm)
SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston 

A Jew, a Muslim, and a Christian walk into a club…and fill the room with heart and soul. The Salaam-Shalom Music Project comprises artists from the Chicago Muslim music community and the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band. They have performed at mosques, synagogues, seminaries and colleges, and were recently featured on WBEZ’s “Worldview.” Enjoy an intimate musical experience exploring a fusion of different folk cultures with songs in Arabic, Urdu, French, Yiddish and Hebrew, and a message of good will. Tickets: $20 – 30. For more info, click here.


Celebration of Cultures Faire
Apr. 23: 2 – 4 pm
North Suburban YMCA, 2705 Techny Rd., Northbrook 


Organized by the Northbrook Community Relations Commission, this free family event will include dancing, singing, art, traditional costumes and tasty food representing diverse cultures. There will also be a gallery of personal immigration stories and photos contributed by individuals and families in the community. For more info, click here.


Holocaust Survivors Presentation
Apr. 23: 2 – 3:30 pm
Wilmette Public Library, 1242 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette  

Holocaust survivors and Wilmette residents Gitta Fajerstein and Sheila Gerber will share their first-hand memories of life during the Holocaust. Both women were children when they were sent into hiding. Their stories are included in the 2013 anthology, “Out of Chaos: Hidden Children Remember the Holocaust.” This event is part of One Book, Everybody Reads, the Library’s annual community reading and book discussion series, which features Affinity Konar’s Holocaust novel, “Mischling” this spring. Each year, residents are encouraged to read the selected title and participate in a series of events related to the book and its themes. For more info: 847-256-6930.


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