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. 

THURSDAY, DEC. 8

• 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.

• 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, for all ages, 10 a.m., South Independence Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library, 13700 E. 35th St. Santa is making a special trip to the Library to read a holiday story. After the story, sit on Santa’s knee to tell him what you want for Christmas. Parents, bring your cameras. Free, but registration is required, call 461-2050.

• Jaime Lyon’s I AM Self-Portraits, for teens, 3:30 p.m., North Independence Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library, 317 W. U.S. 24. Create an artistic self-portrait by exploring historical and current self-portraiture. I AM Self-Portraits are a unique way to build self-confidence and discover the tools to increase esteem. Free, but registration is required, call 252-0950.

• Storytime with Santa and Mrs. Claus, for all ages, 10 a.m., Blue Springs North Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library, 850 N.W. Hunter Drive. 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 224-8772.

• Introduction to Crochet, for adults, 7 p.m. Dec. 8 and 15, Blue Springs North Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library, 850 N.W. Hunter Drive. 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 224-8772.

• Kids Create, for ages 6 and older, 6 p.m., North Independence Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library, 317 W. U.S. 24. Spark your imagination and express yourself through art and craft activities. Free, but registration is required, call 252-0950.

• Hidden Treasures at MGC, 2 p.m., Midwest Genealogy Center, 3440 S. Lee's Summit Road, Independence. Unlock MGC’s many treasures with a tour of the Library’s little-known resources. This class is an intermediate level class. 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. 

DEC. 9

• “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.

• Storytime with Santa and Mrs. Claus, for all ages, 10 a.m., Raytown Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library, 6131 Raytown Road. 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 353-2052.

• Introduction to Internet, for beginners, 2 p.m., Midwest Genealogy Center, 3440 S. Lee's Summit Road, Independence. Discover the best genealogy websites for your research. Basic computer literacy needed to follow along. Free, but registration is required, call 252-7228.

• Teen Club Christmas Party, for teens and adults with disabilities, 5:30 to 9 p.m. June 24, Timothy Lutheran Church, 425 N.W. R.D. Mize Road, Blue Springs. Meetings always include free dinner, special guest and lots of fun. For questions, contact Diane Chrisman Schiefelbein at 229-2034 or dianesingsforjoy@comcast.net.

• 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. 

DEC. 10

• “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.

• A Christmas Celebration, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Missouri Town 1855, 8010 E. Park Road, Lee's Summit. Skilled interpreters will share the customs of French, English and German settlers. Christmas carolers will provide a musical backdrop and piping hot tea will warm you as you stroll through the decorated antebellum structures. Children will enjoy a visit with “Belsnickle.” Admission, $7; $4 for ages 5 to 13 and 62 and older; under age 5 are free. 229-8980.

• Heritage Philharmonic performance, 7:30 p.m., Blue Springs High School Performing Arts Center, 2000 N.W. Ashton Drive. The concert features holiday music, and performances by the Delta Woods Middle School Honor Choir and the handbell choir from the First United Methodist Church of Blue Springs. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. They will also be collecting donations of used musical instruments for the nonprofit organization Band of Angels.

• Puppeteer Kraig Kensinger brings Rudolph, Santa and his pals from the North Pole, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Puppetry Arts Institute, 11025 E. Winner Road, Independence. They will welcome the holiday season with song and dance. Admission, $6. Call 833-9777 for reservations.

• “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.

• Winter Owl Prowl planned for Dec. 13, for ages 7 and older, 6 to 7 p.m., Gregory Grounds Park, 1901 N.E. Jefferson St., Blue Springs. Join Parks and Recreation staff and take a moonlit stroll along Lake Remembrance in search of owls. Registration deadline: Dec. 10. Call 228-0137 to register.

• Free breakfast with Santa, 9:30 to 11 a.m., Beacon Heights Community of Christ, 19402 E. Holke Road, Independence. Come share in a free pancake breakfast, face-painting, crafts, and a visit with that special guest with your picture taken for free. For questions, contact Larry Martin at 550-4429 or Lddsmartin@att.net.

• Craft and Collectible Bazaar, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Trinity Episcopal Church, 401 N. Liberty St., Independence. There will also be lunch, sweets and beverages available for purchase.

• 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.

• Wreath Making, for adults, 10 to 11:30 a.m. or 1 to 2:30 p.m., Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, 1401 N.W. Park Road, Blue Springs. Celebrate the season by crafting a natural artisan wreath! Evergreens, pine cones and many other natural trimmings will be provided. Learn how to assemble and take home your creation. Free, but registration is required, call 228-3766.

• Let's Move! Saturdays in Blue Springs, 10 to 11 a.m., Tutu Fun Ballet & Creative Movement for ages 3 to 5, TaJazz School of Dance, 1100 N.W. Knox; and noon to 3 p.m., open swim, Blue Springs Family YMCA, 1300 Adams Dairy Pkwy. (open swim with adult photo ID, kids 5 and under must have a parent in the pool.) Both activities are free.

• Missouri River Eagle Day, for all ages, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., LaBenite Park, Sugar Creek, just east of Missouri 291 bridge. Join in on the fun as we bundle up on a pontoon boat and launch onto the Missouri River for the chance to view bald eagles in their own habitat. Your family will love to visit the discovery stations as you wait your turn on the river to learn more about one of America’s greatest natural wonders and these magnificent raptors that call it home. Walk-ins are welcome for the Live Eagle Program and Eagle Discovery Stations, but reservations are required for the pontoon boat ride, call Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center at 228-3766.

• Chess Free Play, for teens, 1 to 3 p.m., Raytown Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library, 6131 Raytown Road. Play chess, learn the basics, brush up on your chess skills, challenge other players at the library. Offered in collaboration with the Raytown High School Chess Team coaches. Chess boards and chess pieces provided. Free, but registration is required, call 353-2052.

• Harry S Truman Chapter, Missouri Society Sons of the American Revolution, 9:15 a.m., BMO Harris, N.A. Bank, 18811 Valley View Pkwy., Independence. Call 373-5309 or email GroverSAR@aol.com.

• Blue Springs Chapter DAR, 9:30-10 a.m. hospitality/continental breakfast; 10 a.m. meeting/program, Blue Springs Country Club. Cost, $12. Guests welcome. For reservations, call Phyllis Wilkins at 229-0742.

• Alpha Omega Master attends Beta Sigma Phi Independence City Council Christmas Holiday Event, West Side Cafe. For information, call 229-5915. 

DEC. 11

• “Elf Jr. – The Musical,” presented by the Children's Performing Theatre, 2 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, 2 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.

• Film Series: A Dickens of a Tale: Hollywood’s Visions of “A Christmas Carol” – Scrooged (1988), 2 p.m. Dec. 11, North Independence Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library, 317 W. U.S. 24. Reimagined dozens of times, Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol is arguably Hollywood’s favorite Christmas story. Free, but registration is required, call 252-0950.

• Tea Dance, 2 to 4:30 p.m., Vesper Hall, 400 N.W. Vesper St., Blue Springs. Music by the Joe Walker Dance Band. Bring a snack to share. Admission, $6. Open to the public. 228-0181.

• Learn to square dance, 2 p.m., in Independence. Free lessons will be offered for ages 8 and older. Have fun and meet new friends. Couples, families and singles welcome. Call Brad and Annette Davis at 254-5305 for information.

DEC. 12

• Martial Arts, for ages 4 to 6, 5:30 to 6 p.m. Mondays/Wednesdays, Dec. 12 through Jan. 25, Excel Family Martial Arts, Blue Springs. Cost, $46.75. Call 228-0137 to register.

• Teens at the Library, 7 p.m., Blue Springs South Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library, 2220 S. Missouri 7. It’s your time to hang at the Library. Discover what we’ve planned just for you. Free, but registration is required, call 229-3571.

• Using HeritageQuest, for beginners, 7 p.m., Midwest Genealogy Center, 3440 S. Lee's Summit Road, Independence. Learn how to search thousands of resources, from history books to Revolutionary War records, with HeritageQuest Online. Basic computer literacy needed to follow along. Free, but registration is required, call 252-7228.

• Drop-In Table Tennis, 2 to 4 p.m., Truman Memorial Building, 416 W. Maple Ave., Independence. Cost, $2. 325-7843.

• Single Mom’s Group, a non-denominational Christian group, 6 to 7:30 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 400 W. Maple Ave., Independence. Dinner and child care included. Free. Call Debra Williamson at 392-5433.

• Monday Night Dance, 7 p.m., Jackson County Shrine Club, 120 1/2 S. Pleasant St., Independence. The “Dirt Canyon Band” will provide the music. Cover charge, $5.

• Tirey J. Ford Post 21 American Legion Bingo, doors open at 4 p.m.; bingo starts at 6:30 p.m. at the post hall, 16701 East U.S. 40, Independence. 373-0221.

• Lions Club meeting, 6:30 p.m., Hy-Vee, 4545 S. Noland Road, Independence. 

• Independence Garden Club, 6 p.m., Sermon Center, fourth floor, Truman and Noland roads, Independence. Visitors welcome. 

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