Items for the Community Calendar may be emailed to jill.ritchie@examiner.net or mailed to: The Examiner, 410 S. Liberty St., Independence, MO 64050, attention Jill Ritchie. Also, check the calendar online at examiner.net. 

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 30

• Brunch with Santa planned for Dec. 10, 10 a.m. to noon, Vesper Hall, 400 N.W. Vesper St., Blue Springs. Enjoy a festive holiday brunch with family, friends and Santa. Parents, you'll need to bring a small, wrapped $5 give prior to the event for your child to receive from Santa. Kids will also create a simple craft and receive a small gift bag. Cost, $8 per person; children under 1 are free. Registration deadline: Nov. 30. Call 228-0137 to register.

• American Conversations: U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson, 6 to 8 p.m., Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, 500 W. U.S. 24, Independence. During the launch of a new series of conversations, Truman Library Director Kurt Graham sits down with Senator Simpson and discusses his public service, his insights on America's strengths and the pathway forward to safeguarding our democracy. This event is free and open to the public. For questions, call 268-8200.

• Drumm Farm Market, 4 to 7 p.m., Drumm Farm, 3210 Lee's Summit Road, Independence. Like them at www.Facebook.com/Drummforkids. For questions, call 373-3434.

• Drop-In Table Tennis, 9 a.m. to noon, Truman Memorial Building, 416 W. Maple Ave., Independence. Cost, $2. 325-7843.

• Blue Springs Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution plan Dec. 10 meeting/luncheon, hospitality, 9:30-10 a.m.; meeting and luncheon, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Dec. 10, at the Adams Pointe Golf Club, 1601 R.D. Mize Road, Blue Springs. Cost: $21. Cookie exchange. Reservations due by Nov. 30. Contact Phyllis Wilkins at 229-0742 or pwilk@aol.com.

• Lions Club meeting, 7 a.m., Englewood Cafe, 10904 E. Winner Road, Independence.

• Buckner VFW Post 8101 Bingo, 7 p.m., 95 Baker Street, Buckner. There is a $15 cost and a sliding scale for payouts that depends on the number of players.

• Al-Anon meeting, 10 a.m., Blue Ridge Trinity Lutheran Church, 5757 Blue Ridge Blvd., Raytown. Come to lower level back door, there is parking at the back. 353-5446. 

DEC. 1

• Independence Young Matrons Holly and Mistletoe Tour, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Homes include: Charles and Sally Baldwin, 1303 S.W. Winport Drive, Blue Springs; Matthew and Angie Judy, 702 N. Union, Independence; Sean Clinefelter and Mike Favreau, 1728 N.E. Aberdeen Drive, and Kirk and Angela Grego, 1712 N.E. Lashbrook, of Lee's Summit. The Sweet Shop is at the North Independence Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library, 317 W. U.S. 24. Tickets are $12 in advance; $15 at the door. For ticket locations, visit independenceyoungmatrons.org.

• Pancake Day, presented by the Independence Host Lions Club, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Westminster Hall, Lexington Avenue and Pleasant Street, Independence. The menu includes pancakes, sausage, and biscuits and gravy. The cost is $6, with proceeds benefiting local sight, hearing and youth projects in our community.

• “The Happy Elf,” presented by Blue Springs City Theatre, 7:30 p.m., Blue Springs Civic Center on the campus of Blue Springs High School, 2000 N.W. Ashton Drive, Blue Springs. Admission, $10; $8 for ages 12 and under and 60 and older. For tickets, visit www.bluespringscitytheatre.com/tickets.

• Essential Oil Make and Take planned for Dec. 3, Studio on Main, 123 S. Main St., Independence. Enjoy a fun afternoon of friends, oils, conversation, and snacks. We will be using Young Living essential oils to make some unique gifts such as: Bath salts, roller bottles, and room/body sprays. Are you new to oils or curious about how to use them to support wellness, health, and self care, this is the perfect opportunity to learn about oils and ask questions. Cost is $25. All supplies provided. Pre-register by calling 836-8139.

• Christmas in the West, 2 p.m., National Frontier Trails Museum, 318 W. Pacific Ave., Independence. Learn more about how pioneers commemorated the holiday season in this 30-minute guided tour. Regular admission applies, $6 for adults; $5 for ages 62 and older; $3 for ages 6 to 17. 325-7575.

• Ballroom Dance Classes, for ages 13 and older, 7:15 to 8:45 p.m. Thursdays, Dec. 1 through 15, Vesper Hall, 400 N.W. Vesper St., Blue Springs. Cost, $21. Call 228-0137 to register.

• Truman Medical Center Healthy Harvest Mobile Market stops: Fairmount Community Center, 10:45 to 11:45 a.m., 217 Cedar Ave.; Fairmount Clinic, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., 606 S. Hardy Ave., both in Independence.

• Storytime with Santa and Mrs. Claus, for all ages, 6:30 p.m., Blue Springs South Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library, 2220 S. Missouri 7. Santa and Mrs. Claus are making a special trip from the North Pole to read a holiday story at the Library. After the story, sit on Santa’s lap to tell him what you want for Christmas. Parents, don’t forget your cameras! Free, but registration is required, call 229-3571.

• Easy-to-Make Holiday Drinks, for adults, 6:30 p.m., Grain Valley Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library, 101 S.W. Eagles Pkwy. From a creative spin on wassail to a quick and delicious coffee drink, barista Emily Duffey can help you create easy and mouthwatering holiday drinks that can be made kid-friendly or spiced up for more grown- up tastes. Recipes will be provided. Free, but registration is required, call 228-4020.

• Early Childhood Literacy Fair, for all ages, 5:30 p.m., North Independence Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library, 317 W. U.S. 24. Parents and caregivers, along with their children aged birth through age six, are invited to an Early Childhood Literacy Fair to promote pre-reading skills. Join us as we explore many of the Library’s early literacy resources and participate in a wide variety of activities including games, crafts, music, movements and more. Free, but registration is required, call 252-0950.

• Puppets and Pjs, for age 3 and older, 7 p.m., Colbern Road Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library, 1000 N.E. Colbern Road, Lee's Summit. Put on your pajamas and come enjoy a new tradition at Colbern Road – a bedtime puppet show! Fun for the whole family. Free, but registration is required, call 525-9924.

• Using Findmypast, for beginners, 10 a.m., Midwest Genealogy Center, 3440 S. Lee's Summit Road, Independence. Learn to search billions of records on Findmypast.com to find your ancestors from all over the world. Discover how to find articles using PERSI, an index to genealogy periodicals. This class will focus on searching tips, as well as the types of records that can be found in Findmypast.com. Free, but registration is required, call 252-7228.

• Drop-In Table Tennis, 9 to 11:45 a.m., Truman Memorial Building, 416 W. Maple Ave., Independence. Cost, $2. 325-7843.

• Independence Host Lions Club, noon, Lucky Buffet, 2931 S. Noland Road, Independence.

• Alpha Omega Master meeting, 7 p.m., at the home of Vicky Dunn, with co-hostess, April Milam, and program by Maggie Cruz. 229-5915. 

DEC. 2

• “Elf Jr. – The Musical,” presented by the Children's Performing Theatre, 7:30 p.m., Powerhouse Theatre inside the Sermon Center, Truman and Noland roads, Independence. Performances are by children ages 5 to 15. For reservations, call 325-7367.

• “The Happy Elf,” presented by Blue Springs City Theatre, 7:30 p.m., Blue Springs Civic Center on the campus of Blue Springs High School, 2000 N.W. Ashton Drive, Blue Springs. Admission, $10; $8 for ages 12 and under and 60 and older. For tickets, visit www.bluespringscitytheatre.com/tickets.

• Shepherds Center of Independence, for ages 55 and older, Christ United Methodist Church, 14506 E. 39th St., Independence. Registration and blood pressure checks start at 8:30 a.m. Beginning at 9 a.m., Bill Webb presents “Nativities from around the World”; at 10 a.m., Angie Hatly from Trails West Library brings special books for Christmas reading, also at 10 a.m., Tai Chi Master Konrad Smith will teach techniques of Tai Chi; at 11 a.m., the William Chrisman Chorale presents a musical program. Dominoes and Bridge are available from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Registration, $1. Lunch by reservation, $5. Call 350-4474 for information or reservations.

• Homeschoolers at the Library, for ages 7 and older, 2 p.m., North Independence Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library, 317 W. U.S. 24. Participants will explore a variety of topics with an emphasis on using library resources to satisfy their curiosities. Free, but registration is required, call 252-0950.

• Walkabout at MGC, for beginners, 10 a.m., Midwest Genealogy Center, 3440 S. Lee's Summit Road, Independence. Take a walk around MGC and see all the resources available for genealogy and history research. Free, but registration is required, call 252-7228.

• Drop-In Table Tennis, 9 a.m. to noon, Truman Memorial Building, 416 W. Maple Ave., Independence. Cost, $2. 325-7843.

• Friday Night Specials, 6 to 9 p.m., Memorial Post 3976, 12810 Kentucky Road, Sugar Creek. All welcome. 461-2636.

• Encore Theatre meeting, 1:30 p.m., Sermon Center, Truman and Noland roads, Independence. Adults 50 and older are invited to join this fun-loving group who are interested in all aspects of theatre. 

DEC. 3

• Mayor's Christmas Carnival, 9 a.m. to noon, Sermon Center, Truman and Noland roads, Independence. This free event features balloon creations, face painting, carnival games, prizes and snacks. Bring your camera and get a picture with Santa. For questions, call 325-7370.

• “Elf Jr. – The Musical,” presented by the Children's Performing Theatre, 7:30 p.m., Powerhouse Theatre inside the Sermon Center, Truman and Noland roads, Independence. Performances are by children ages 5 to 15. For reservations, call 325-7367.

• Champagne and Chandeliers: A Victorian Mystery Masquerade, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Vaile Mansion, 1500 N. Liberty St., Independence. The evening includes fun and frivolity, food, games and prizes, champagne and an all-around jolly good time. Costumes are encouraged, but not required. Cost, $40. For reservations, call Peggy Meyer at 796-6322.

• “The Happy Elf,” presented by Blue Springs City Theatre, 7:30 p.m., Blue Springs Civic Center on the campus of Blue Springs High School, 2000 N.W. Ashton Drive, Blue Springs. Admission, $10; $8 for ages 12 and under and 60 and older. For tickets, visit www.bluespringscitytheatre.com/tickets.

• Christmas in the County Homes Tour, presented by the Grain Valley Historical Society, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The tour includes the Historical Society building, 506 Main St., and four homes: The Ahren residence, 30207 E. 38th St., the Coulson Home, 508 Front St., the Burkett Home, 604 Nelson Drive, all in Grain Valley, and the House Home, 32910 Hammond Road, Lone Jack. Tickets may be purchased for $8 in advance at the Bank of Grain Valley in Grain Valley; and $10 the day of the tour, and may be purchased at any of the tour homes or the society building. For questions, call Marty Napier at 847-5673 or 686-7582.

• Pancake breakfast with Santa, 9 a.m. to noon, Colonial Hills Community of Christ, 3539 S.W. Missouri 7, Blue Springs. The pancake breakfast is free and photos with Santa are $1, or bring your own camera. You'll be able to shop for the whole family at the Christmas Shoppe. All items are $1.50 each and gift wrapping is free. There will also be prize drawings. Visit www.colonial-hills.org or call 229-9344.

• Breakfast with Santa, 8:30 to 11 a.m., Trinity Presbyterian Church, 1400 W. Sheley Road, Independence. Pancakes will be served along with juice, milk and coffee. You may also get your picture taken with Santa, the first picture is free and additional pictures are $1 each. Donations will be accepted for breakfast. For questions, call 252-5893.

• Essential Oil Make and Take, Studio on Main, 123 S. Main St., Independence. Enjoy a fun afternoon of friends, oils, conversation, and snacks. We will be using Young Living essential oils to make some unique gifts such as: Bath salts, roller bottles, and room/body sprays. Are you new to oils or curious about how to use them to support wellness, health, and self care, this is the perfect opportunity to learn about oils and ask questions. Cost is $25. All supplies provided. Pre-register by calling 836-8139.

• Looking for American Indians on the Trails, 1 to 3 p.m., National Frontier Trails Museum, 318 W. Pacific Ave., Independence. Using written clues and artifacts in the gallery, you'll discover how various American Indians lived, worked and played. Free with regular admission, $6 for adults; $5 for ages 62 and older; $3 for ages 6 to 17. For questions, call 325-7575.

• Free Health Screenings, 9 a.m. to noon, Glenwood Park Methodist Church, 10000 E. 23rd St., Independence. Screenings include glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure and body mass index testing. 254-5116.

• Holiday Nature Crafts: Smokey Bear Photos, for all ages, Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, 1401 N.W. Park Road, Blue Springs. Craft up some fun using nature-made materials Come anytime between 9 a.m. and noon to complete two on-your-own crafts. Pose with Smokey Bear for a holiday photo and we'll print one free for you (one per household.) Walk-ins welcome. 228-3766.

• Recycled Bird House, for all ages, 1 to 2:30 p.m., Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, 1401 N.W. Park Road, Blue Springs. Create a twig-embellished bird house from recycled materials for some feathered friends (wrens, chickadees, etc.) and learn how they raise their little flyers. Free, but registration is required, call 228-3766.

• Buffalo Soldiers, for families with children 7 and older, 2 p.m., Midwest Genealogy Center, 3440 S. Lee's Summit Road, Independence. Members of the all African American 10th Cavalry Regiment organized at Fort Leavenworth in 1866, the Buffalo Soldiers distinguished themselves with their exemplary service and selfless bravery from the American West to the battlefields of World War II. Discover the history of these unique soldiers, which included baseball great Jackie Robinson. Free, but registration is required, call 252-7228.

• Christmas Around the World, for all ages, 10 a.m., Blue Springs North Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library, 850 N.W. Hunter Drive. Storyteller Jo Ho celebrates the season of light with festive Christmas stories from around the world – guaranteed to brighten your holidays. Free, but registration is required, call 224-8772.

• Christmas with the Cool Cats, for all ages, 11 a.m., Raytown Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library, 6131 Raytown Road. Terry Bell and his band, the Cool Cats, squeeze the most out of all those holiday favorites in this fun-loving holiday accordion concert. Free, but registration is required, call 353-2052.

• Introduction to Crochet, for adults, 3 p.m. Dec. 3 and 10, North Independence Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library, 317 W. U.S. 24. Learn the basics of crochet during this two-session class, and create a unique mug rug that uses beginning stitches and techniques. A supply list is available at the branch and online. Free, but registration is required, call 252-0950.

• Kids Create, for ages 6 and older, 2 p.m., Blue Springs South Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library, 2220 S. Missouri 7. Dec. 3. Spark your imagination and express yourself through art and craft activities. Free, but registration is required, call 229-3571.

• Jackson County Genealogical Society meeting, 10:30 a.m., Trails West branch of the Kansas City Public Library, Room A, 11401 E. 23rd St., Independence. 252-8128. 

ONGOING EVENTS

• Independence historic sites open for Christmas – Vaile Mansion, 1500 N. Liberty St., Bingham-Waggoner Estate, 313 W. Pacific Ave., and 1859 Jail & Marshal's Home Museum, 217 N. Main St. (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays, through Dec. 30, closed Dec. 23-25, admission, $6; $3 for ages 6-16); Chicago & Alton Depot, 318 W. Pacific Ave. (9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sundays, through Dec. 18. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.) 

• Christmas in the Park, featuring more than 300,000 lights and 175 animated displays, through Dec. 31, Longview Lake Campgrounds, 1499 S.W. County Park Road, Lee's Summit. Hours: 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Sundays-Thursday, and 5:30 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is free, but donations benefiting more than 35 area charities will be accepted. 

• National Frontier Trails Museum, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sundays, 318 W. Pacific Ave., Independence. Admission: $6 for adults; $5 for ages 62 and older; $3 for ages 6 to 17. 325-7575. 

• Leila’s Hair Museum, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 1333 S. Noland Road, Independence. Admission: $15 for adults; $7.50 for ages 65 and older and children 12 and under. 833-2955. 

• Regional Animal Shelter, noon-8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday/Sunday, 21001 E. Hwy. 78, Independence. 621-7722. 

• Public Skate, Silverstein Eye Centers Arena, 19100 E. Valley View Pkwy., Independence. Public sessions are open to skaters of all ages and skill levels. These sessions take place at various times and are usually two hours long. Cost, $5; $3 for 12 and under and 55 and older, non-residents add $1 to each price. Skate rental, $2. For times, call the Skating Hotline: 795-7577. 

• Blue Springs Recycling, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, 2725 N.W. Park Road. For questions, call 228-0228 or visit www.bluespringsgov.com/recycling. 

• Independence Recycling, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays at 13600 E. 35th St.; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays at 875 Vista Ave. Sites accept newspaper, cardboard, magazines, office paper, junk mail, steel and aluminum cans, flashlight-type batteries, and No. 1 and 2 plastic bottles. A fee will be charged for non-flat-screen TVs, $20 for 27 inch and smaller and $40 for larger. 325-7623. 

– Jillayne Ritchie