Community history comes alive as part of the modern world with a variety of public programs and events throughout the year. View our most recent newsletter.

Upcoming Events

Holiday Open House

Please join us on Sunday, December 3rd from 12:00 – 4:00 for some old fashioned festivities during our Holiday Open House. The Vial House will be beautifully decorated with our vintage holiday collection.  Jolly Ole St. Nick will be on hand for visits and photos with children, and live music will fill the house with your favorite holiday tunes.

Be sure to stop by Mrs. Claus’s Kitchen to browse the gift shop, which is overflowing with unique and vintage gifts. Let the kids shop for budget friendly items for their family members or pick up hostess gifts or teacher gifts – there is something for everyone!  There will also be delicious baked goods available for purchase to take home and enjoy or give as gifts.

After you enjoy the shopping and activities inside, you can finish off the afternoon’s festivities with hot cocoa and s’mores by the fire in the garden.  All are welcome so please feel free to invite family and friends for a fun afternoon.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Storytime with Santa

Bring the kids for a fun evening with Santa. Cocoa and cookies will be served as Santa reads classic and new Christmas stories. There will be opportunities for pictures with Santa as well. Each child will receive a souvenir cocoa mug and Christmas treats. Story Time starts at 6:00 and will end between 7:00 and 7:30. Cost is $10 for society members and $15 for non-members.

Registration is now open!
December 7
December 14
December 21

Victorian Ornaments

Local resident, Carol Norling, will be decorating a tree at the museum with handmade Victorian ornaments. On December 8th discover the wonder and detail of these exquisite decorations as Carol will be hosting a discussion on the history of the ornaments and Victorian holiday traditions.  Reception will be at 7:00 p.m. with discussion from 7:30 – 8:30.  Click here to register. Cost is $10 for society members and $15 for non-members.

Tea With Your Doll

Join us for our annual Tea with your Doll! This year our tea takes place in the 1920’s, a decade filled with roaring music and glamorous fashion! Come learn how life was changing for families in the roaring twenties while enjoying twenties style hor d’oeuvres and tea. Each girl will go home with a goodie bag and American Girl themed prizes will be raffled off. Adult chaperone required, dolls and other lovies welcome! Ages 5+
If you would prefer to register in person, printed copies of the registration form are available at the museum, 444 S. La Grange Rd. Payment can be in the form of cash or check addressed to the La Grange Area Historical Society. 
There will be a seating chart for this event.  If you would like to be seated with someone that is registered separately, please us this contact form to let us know. Call Kate Rymsza at 708-825-8425 or email us with any questions or concerns!
Register today!

Past Programs

Hauntings of La Grange – New in October 2017, guests joined us at the LaGrange Area Historical Society’s Vial House for an evening of haunting, disquieting, and out of the ordinary tales that are embedded in the La Grange area’s past.  Visitors were also able to bring their own strange, haunting stories to contribute to the society’s collection.

Spooky Storytime for Kids – Also new in October, we hosted Spooky Story time for kids! Children listened to spooky and silly interactive Halloween stories and learned about how Halloween has been celebrated throughout history! Snacks were served and children took home a goody bag.  All children must be accompanied by an adult.

West End Walking Tour – The La Grange Area Historical Society is pleased to announce the return of the West End walking tour. The tour will focus on La Grange’s west end and will provide tour goers with some surprising tales of the village near Stone Avenue Station.  New in 2017 we offered  a tour package that included a wine tasting at the West End Arts Festival! Guests that purchased the tasting and tour package were able to visit the wine tent at the festival and sample four wines.  

Heart of La Grange: Now & Then – A Guided Walking Tour of Historic Fifth Avenue   LGAHS member John Burns will guide you through the heart of downtown La Grange on Fifth Avenue from the railroad station on Burlington to Elm Street. Find out who’s entombed in the façade of a prominent downtown building. Discover where the Sears Roebuck, Montgomery Ward, and S. S. Kresge stores were once located.

What’s Wright in La Grange? – This popular guided walking tour is given by LGAHS member John Burns. After a short introductory presentation at the Vial House Museum, learn what Frank Lloyd Wright designed in La Grange in the 1890’s and early 1900’s, and what his designs have to do with bootlegging. Then, view four Wright designed homes as you walk through a historic and picturesque La Grange neighborhood.

School and Group Visits to the La Grange Historical Society offer resources and learning opportunities designed to make history come alive.

Holiday Open House The museum is open free of charge offering: visits with Santa, a vintage toy display and exquisite Victorian Christmas decorations.

Tea with your Doll Each year the story of a different American Girl Doll is featured at the popular Tea with your Doll event. Attendees sample authentic period refreshments with their favorite dolls in tow.

Four WWII Veterans: A Discussion (October 26, 2014) R. Bruce Dold, Editorial Page Editor Chicago Tribune moderates this panel. Charles Battaglia, James Docherty, Edgar Gifford, and Raymond Vavra share their memories of wartime and beyond. The Veteran’s History Project preserves the personal experiences of American service people. “Asking them to tell their own stories is one way we can acknowledge and thank them. As their numbers grow fewer, we haven’t much time to record and publicly recognize how local men and women served our country during WWII,” Jeannine McLaughlin historical society president.

The Mavor Collection – Grand Opening Event Featuring: A Downton Abbey Discussion (April 12, 2015) this newest exhibit features a wide variety of unique artifacts given to us over the years by members of the Mavor family. The family has been in La Grange since 1893: their youngest grandchild, Mary Forester, still resides in town. Join us for tea and a discussion about prominent social issues in Downton Abbey, and learn about a local connection between La Grange and Lady Cora Crawley.