As the state of Illinois remains under a stay-at-home-order due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many local organizations are turning to virtual events. Here are this week’s top picks.

Reconnect with M-NASR

Maine-Niles Assoc. of Special Recreation, Morton Grove

New May dates and times vary.

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M-NASR is offering virtual programming. See the link for a listing of the schedule and updated programs being offered for kids and teens teens. M-NASR Staff would love to virtually connect with you in a 1:1 video chat session.

45th Annual Mother's Day House "Walk-By"

Evanston History Center

Throughout month of May

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This year’s House Walk will be an exterior only, “Walk-By,” that people may safely walk, ride, or drive by.  Highlighted are the homes of Evanston women who fought for suffrage and those who served their community through elected office. Call EHC at 847-475-3410 or online to purchase tickets. Children 12 and over require a ticket. Tickets may be purchased online throughout the month of May.

Watch Now: Ken Burns films online

Niles-Maine District Library, Niles

Now until June 30, all day

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Select full-length films that will be added and available until June 30.

Virtual EWIB Evanston Women in Business Luncheon

Evanston Chamber of Commerce

May 14, 11:30 a.m. networking; noon-1 p.m. to Zoom

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Connect and collaborate like we always do. Register and you receive the Zoom invite immediately. For those who have not used Zoom, it is suggested that you download the app prior to the meeting time. Takes place Thursdays from now until June 4. 

Virtual Birthday Parties

Emily Oaks Nature Center, Skokie

Now until Aug. 31, from midnight to 11 p.m.

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$7-$12 per person; Flat fees from $113-$187. Emily Oaks Nature Center now offers virtual birthday parties. Make your child’s birthday extra special during stay-at-home time with a fun Zoom experience with friends. Simple materials are provided and a party leader guides the event. See party fees, details and other themes from the Skokie Park District at the link.

Easy Ways to Choose and Make Healthy Foods

Morton Grove Public Library

May 15, 1-2 p.m.

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Nutritional coach Ann Terry explains how to choose healthy food options that boost your brain and body health. Learn which foods to avoid, how to navigate a restaurant menu and the grocery store, and how to support a healthy lifestyle as you age. Instructions on how to join the class are emailed to registrants at 5 p.m. on May 14. For Zoom help call the Library at 847-965-4220.

VIRTUAL Historical Fact & Fiction Book Group

Glencoe Public Library

May 15, 2-3 p.m.

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Join us for a discussion of Stacy Schiff’s “Cleopatra” and Emily Holleman’s “The Drowning King.” The Zoom discussion is led by Ann Perks. This Historical Fact & Fiction virtual discussion program requires registration, as space is limited. 

Cash Flow Growth & Survival Tactics for COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

Wilmette/Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce

May 15, 2-3 pm.

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Free for members, $10 for non-members. Business Advisor David Hardin walks you through a cash flow management tool you can build right now. David shares tips and tactics on how to operate during this pandemic: from survival mode to growth mode and everything in between. 

Virtual: Inside the First Folio

Wilmette Public Library

May 16, 2-3:30 p.m.

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Join Peter Garino, Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Project of Chicago, in examining the First Folio. A must-see for Shakespeare aficionados or those who simply wish to broaden their understanding of Shakespeare.

Virtual Screenings: Lives Well Lived

Northbrook Public Library

May 16 or 17, at noon

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This 2018 documentary by Sky Bergman celebrates the incredible wit and wisdom of adults ages 75 to 100 years old who are living their lives to the fullest. In partnership with Covenant Living, this event will be screened through a Vimeo link. Register for one of the screenings.

Oil Lamp Online!

Oil Lamp Theater, Glenview

May 16, 7 p.m.

Free. Oil Lamp Online! is a free series of virtual readings and events presented by Oil Lamp Theater. Reserve Seats and more info

The Actors Gym Annual Spring Youth Circus

The Actors Gymnasium, Evanston 

May 16 and May 23 at 7:30 p.m.

The show has been devised by 28 youth performers, under the direction of Kasey Foster and Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi. The directors and cast have been rehearsing regularly via Zoom, getting creative, and using their acting, musical, and circus skills and everyday objects to create this theatrical endeavor. Anyone interested in receiving notification reminders for the event can sign up on the Gym’s Facebook page.

Imagine U Storytime

Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts at Northwestern University, Evanston

May 17, 6 p.m.

This weekly series continues with Northwestern theatre students, faculty and alums sharing stories on the Wirtz Center YouTube channel. New videos, each lasting 15 minutes, are posted Sundays at 6 p.m. and remain posted for streaming.

SCORE Small Business Counseling by phone

Park Ridge Public Library

May 18, all day

Take advantage of free business coaching sessions over the phone.  Counselors from the SCORE North Cook and Lake Counties Chapter #0726 are available to advise small business owners and start-ups with planning, marketing or financial solutions during this unprecedented time. To set up your appointment, email

You've Cleaned Out the Closets, Etc. Now What?

North Suburban YMCA, Northbrook

May 18, 9:30 a.m.

Free. Pamela Martin, founder of Long World Services for the Living, shares tips on managing belongings during a transition, especially while sheltering in place. Virtual Program available on or call 847-576-3011. Reach Karen Brownlee at

Power Vegetable Gardening

Northbrook Public Library

May 18, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Learn the basic techniques of vegetable gardening. This presentation covers site selection, soil preparation, and seed starting through fertilization, watering, pest control, and harvesting. This event will meet virtually on RingCentral Webinar, an online meeting platform. Register.

Virtual Film Series: The Thief of Bagdad

Eisenhower Public Library, Harwood Heights

May 18,  6-9 p.m.

Anyone can watch and comment on the videos at the same time to create a shared viewing experience. The movie for May 18 is “The Thief of Bagdad,” about a thief who vies with a duplicitous Mongol ruler for the hand of a beautiful princess. 

Teen Mental Health Happy Hour

Evanston Public Library

May 18, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

For those in grades 6th-12th to join LOFT staff Courtney and Library social worker Christina in this weekly check-in to share your stories, learn tips for self-care, and support each other. Have fun and stay positive with us. Bring a health snack to virtually share this week and come with art supplies for a guided art and journaling activity. Register. 

Virtual BAH Business After Hours

Evanston Chamber of Commerce

May 19, 4-5 p.m.

Free. Come decompress from the day together. Join the conversation at this Zoom Webinar. Register and you receive the Zoom invite immediately. For those who have not used Zoom, it is suggested that you download the app prior to the meeting time.

Kids Drama Club

Eisenhower Public Library, Harwood Heights

May 19, 6- 7 p.m.

All the world’s a stage … learn how to act in it. In each session ages 8-12 do voice acting and Improv scenes with fellow actors in a Zoom video chat.

The Pandemic of 1918--Fighting Influenza During the Great War

Wilmette Public Library

May 19, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Explore the timeline of the outbreak and hear tales of how the U.S. Army, Navy and civilian population centers tried desperately to combat the disease. Discover resources for tracing influenza victims through newspapers, government records, medical journals, hospital registers and more.

Blood Cancer Q&A

Leukemia Research Foundation, Northfield

May 19, 7-8 p.m.

Dr. Mehta answers your questions about treatment of hematologic malignancies, stem cell transplantation, and infection prevention precautions in immunocompromised patients (including COVID-19).Questions can be submitted ahead of time at registration (recommended) or live during the virtual event. Register today at the link. 

Levy Senior Center Foundation Virtual Spring Lecture Series

The Levy Senior Center, Evanston

May 20, 1 p.m.

Leslie Goddard brings historic women to life via Zoom. The award-winning historian, public speaker and author portrays: Jacqueline Kennedy (May 20) and Eleanor Roosevelt (May 26). Registration is required by visiting the link. Register, and receive an invitation to the Zoom webinar along with guidance about how to connect to Zoom.

Virtual Lecture & Screening: Much Ado About Nothing

Northbrook Public Library

May 20, 2-4:30 p.m.

Watch PBS’ Great Performances production which features a bold, modern interpretation of Shakespeare’s comedic masterpiece with actress Danielle Brooks and actor Grantham Coleman as the sparring lovers -- Beatrice and Benedick. This event uses an unlisted YouTube link. Register at the library’s website.

City Novels (Now on Zoom!)

Evanston Public Library

May 20 and May 27, 4-6 p.m.; times may change

Four important and well-known 19th-century city novels set in Paris, London, and Chicago will be examined to analyze and understand their socio-historical import. The instructor is Michal Peled Ginsburg, Professor Emerita of French and Comparative Literature at Northwestern. The exact time of the classes will be emailed closer to the date of the first class. Familiarity with the novels’ plots, such as can be gained from filmic adaptations, should enable you to follow the lectures without difficulty, if you do not have the time to read: Hugo’s “Les Misérables”; “Oliver Twist”; “Sister Carrie”; and Balzac’s “Old Goriot.”

Virtual: Becoming C.S. Lewis

Wilmette Public Library

May 20, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

C. S. Lewis expert, Dr. Harry Lee Poe, lectures and discusses remotely his new book, “Becoming C. S. Lewis,” a biography of the young Lewis. Poe discusses the content, research and writing process for his book.

Virtual Bus Trip: The Joffrey Ballet

Eisenhower Public Library, Harwood Heights

May 20, All Day

For all ages to explore virtually, as we visit The Joffrey, a world-class, Chicago-based ballet company and dance education organization. Watch and learn from this 2012 documentary from PBS American Masters, directed by Bob Hercules and narrated by Mandy Patinkin.

⁠To submit your own events, email