A Holiday Note from the Huntley Area Public Library:
Farewell, Very Merry Huntley Holiday Open House, and welcome to new holiday opportunities!
Over 30 years ago, a small group of community members and library staff initiated a potluck dinner that transformed into one of Huntley’s most beloved holiday events. We are referring to the library’s Holiday Open House, which later became an integral part of the incredible 2-day celebration with our friends from the Village of Huntley. The event earned the name “Very Merry Huntley.” Each year (except during the Covid era), the library hosted over 1,000 residents for an evening of holiday celebration.
Highlights from this family event spanning over three decades included light refreshments, a photo opportunity with Santa, a scavenger hunt, hot cocoa, live reindeer, and more. Even when a pandemic struck, the library and other community partners made efforts to sustain the holiday spirit. What’s more, we hosted a virtual visit from Santa, featured music videos from a regular performer at our event, Mr. Andy Huber, and even created three holiday activity books to fill the void when we could not organize a live event.
When the new library’s construction reached completion, we were thrilled to reintroduce the event in 2022. It was an extraordinary evening, but it also brought to light some critical considerations. The Holiday Open House necessitates the involvement of all current staff and many volunteers to ensure its smooth operation. We could only accommodate 2.2% of the district’s population at the event, and furthermore, many individuals expressed disappointment at their inability to attend.
Time for a Change
After extensive deliberations, we recognized the need for change, and in 2023, we are embarking on a new endeavor in lieu of Very Merry Huntley. On Thursday, November 30, take a family photo with Santa for free. There will be six sessions for you to select from and registration is required.
At this event, we will also launch our 2023-24 Winter Reading Challenge, Everyone Read! Gnome Matter Who You Are. While waiting in line for your photo with Santa, you can enjoy holiday music, and we will provide coloring sheets for the kids.
In addition to the Winter Reading kickoff and photo session with Santa, our programming team has planned some wonderful winter events to keep everyone engaged throughout the remaining holiday season.
Take a look at these upcoming library events:
- Saturday, November 18 | 2:30 to 3:30 PM – Winter Birds of McHenry County (Ages 13 & up)
- Thursday, November 30 | (six sessions) 4, 4:30, 5, 6, 6:30 and 7 PM – Take a Photo with Santa (For Families)
- Monday, December 18 | 10 to 11 AM – Holiday Music – Home for the Holidays (Ages 18 & up)
- Saturday, December 9 | 2:30 to 3:30 PM – Winter Folktales from Around the World (Ages 10 & up)
- Monday, December 4 | 4:30 to 6 PM – Cocoa & Caring (All Ages)
- Tuesday, December 5 | 6 to 7:30 PM – Cocoa & Caring (All Ages)
- Saturday, December 9 | 10 to 11:30 AM – Cocoa & Caring (All Ages)
- Wednesday, December 13 | 4:15 to 5 PM – Make Your Own Slime: Snow Dough! (Grades K-3)
- Thursday, December 28 | 2 to 2:45 PM – Winter Critter Cootie Catcher (Grades 1-6)
We anticipate your participation in some of these events and extend warm holiday wishes to you and your family!
Be sure to enjoy the Village of Huntley’s Very Merry Huntley events on Saturday, December 2, 2023. Click here for complete details.