Chicago Suburban Family

Things To Do

‘Tis the Season’s Best Events…

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Looking for something fun and festive to do for the holiday season? Check out these special attractions and events!

GO TO “SEASON’S BEST” IN DIGITAL EDITION

Lincoln Park Zoo: ZooLights
Presented By ComEd and Invesco QQQ
Select dates from Nov. 23 to Jan. 6 4:30-9 p.m. The most wonderful time of year deserves the most wonderful type of event. The one-of-a-kind experience offers fun, free, family-oriented holiday celebrations that feature luminous displays and seasonal activities…all under the glow of 2.5 million lights! Incredible 3D displays. Warm spiced wine, frosty beers and festive snacks. Holiday gift shopping. Live ice-sculpture carving (select nights). Musical light shows at the Winter Wonderlawn. For more information visit www.lpzoo.org/zoolights.
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Ben’s Christmas Tree Farm
This year, treat your whole family to a wonderful day at Ben’s Christmas Tree Farm! Take in the sights as horse-drawn wagons ferry you into nine varieties of sustainably grown trees spread across the 50 acre farm. Once you have found your perfect tree, enjoy free hot cocoa in the warming barn, or visit the farm animals. Ben’s will retrieve, shake, and wrap your tree, and will even tie your tree to your vehicle, leaving you to enjoy a day in the country. Leashed pets welcome. Open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays 9am-4pm, Thanksgiving thru Christmas. Trees $6.25 to $9.25 /ft., most activities Free! See Benstreefarm.com for details.
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Kohl Children’s Museum
Seventeen interactive hands-on exhibits to spark curiosity and inspire a love of learning for children ages birth to 8. Through January 13, walk into your favorite children’s books in Storyland, featuring Peter Rabbit, The Snowy Day, Abuela, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, and more!  Also, don’t miss our New Year’s Eve Bash – tickets on sale soon. 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview. 847-832-6600. kcmgc.org.
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Winter Wonderland Holiday Festival
Des Plaines Park District
This year, on the weekend of December 1st and 2nd (11:00a-3:00p), Prairie Lakes becomes a magical place full of holiday fun for all ages. Bring your camera and take pictures with Santa! Enjoy lots of family entertainment, including magic shows, jugglers, dancers, face painting, balloon animals, games & crafts, story time, and a beautiful model train display. Bring a non-perishable food item for the annual Des Plaines Self-Help Closet & Pantry food drive, and you’ll be rewarded with a hot cocoa. Tickets in advance are $3 at DPParks.org. At the door, $5. Prairie Lakes Community Center, 515 E. Thacker Street, Des Plaines, IL 60016. For information, call 847-391-5711.
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Golf Center Des Plaines
Our lighted, heated, 80-bay Driving Range features automatic ball tee-up and a 300-yard targeted landing area. The unique 1-1/2 acre Short Game Practice Area, where you can practice chip shots from up to 60 yards out, includes three bunkers and multiple greens. Money-saving Unlimited Annual Memberships make great gifts. 353 N. River Road, Des Plaines. For more info, call 847-803-GOLF or visit www.GolfCenterDesPlaines.com. Open year-round.
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Naperville Garden Club’s
2018 Cup of Cheer
TM
Get design inspiration from the Naperville Garden Club’s Cup of CheerTM House Walk, Holiday Market and Tea.  Tour four Naperville homes decorated for the holidays.  Shop the Market for artisan gifts. Enjoy cookies and tea and keep the cup!  Preview Day is December 6th from 9 am – 4 pm for $55.  Cup of CheerTM Day is December 7th from 9 am – 4 pm for $40.  Go to www.napervillegardenclub.org for ticket information.

Santa’s Village Amusement Park
The 2018 Magical Christmas Season at Santa’s Village promises something for everyone! From the moment you pass through the front gates, it is apparent that Santa’s Village is a special place for creating new holiday memories. With 23 rides, animals, shows, games, and all your favorite fun foods you’re bound to have a magical time. From Picnics to Parties, toddlers to tweens, and thrill seekers to party goers … Santa’s Village is the perfect place for a day of play for your next family or group outing. Visit Santasvillagedundee.com for further details. Located at 601 E. Dundee Ave., East Dundee
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Village of Lemont…Enjoy Our Scene!
No matter the season, breathtaking hills, valleys, quarries and canals frame Lemont, a quaint village 27 miles southwest of Chicago.  This unexpected sanctuary is an ideal place to live, visit and experience. Don’t miss Hometown Holiday, Saturday, December 1, with quaint boutique shopping, children’s activities, tree lighting, visits with Santa and more!

Run on over to Lemont Park District’s Frigid 5K – December 2.  Bundle up and join us for this festive 5K Race and Candy Cane Kids Dash that runs through the Lemont Park District’s Centennial Campus.  Register on Active.com.

Experience the Lithuanian World Center’s Craft Fair, December 1-2 at the Lithuanian World Center.  Lemont is an oasis of dining, shopping, events and activities, all year long. Whatever you do this holiday season, come and experience Lemont, and Enjoy Our Scene!  www.lemont.il.us.
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Holiday Homecoming
Downtown St. Charles
Holiday Homecoming is a two-day family tradition that kicks off on Friday, November 23 at 5pm. Join us as we light up the lights in downtown, sing Christmas carols and Santa first appears in the plaza. On Saturday, November 24, there is a FREE showing of Home Alone at the Arcada Theatre, FREE trolley rides on 1st Street, live holiday window displays and the Electric Christmas Parade at 5:30pm! For more information visit www.downtownstcharles.org/holidays.

Home for the Holidays
Downtown Oak Park
December 8
, 11am-3pm on Marion Street at Lake Street and North Blvd. All events and activities are free. Catch the old fashioned holiday spirit in Downtown Oak Park! Celebrate the season with free horse-drawn sleigh rides, carolers and a visit from Santa. Free hot cocoa & cookies too! More information at downtownoakpark.net.
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Kuipers Family Farm
Visit the farm for a huge selection of freshly harvested Pine and Fir trees. Includes shaking, baling and one of our famous apple cider donuts for everyone in your party. Browse The Orchard Shop & Bakery for great gift ideas, gourmet foods, pies, fudge, apple cider and so much more! Located in Maple Park, IL just 45 minutes west of Chicago. Visit www.kuipersfamilyfarm.com or call 815-827-5200 for more information.
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Living Wheaton for the Holidays
Downtown Wheaton is decked out for the holidays with a new look for Front Street this season.   Gather around the community fireplace with hot cocoa at Martin Memorial Plaza and enjoy old-fashioned carriage rides and give Santa your wish list! The season opens with the Living Wheaton Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting on Friday, November 23rd at 6pm.  Keep local awesome by supporting our small downtown businesses on Shop Small Saturday, November 24th.  Make plans for the Christmas Festival on December 1st for all day family fun! For details visit downtownwheaton.com.
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Merry & Bright: A Victorian Christmas
Downers Grove FREE!
Join us on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 3 to 7pm for a celebration of the season at this free family event! Learn about Victorian Christmas traditions, tour the holiday-decorated Victorian Blodgett house and listen to Victorian-era carolers. Stroll the park while warming up around a campfire and visit with Santa! Holiday snacks and hot cocoa will be available for sale to enhance the holiday cheer. Downers Grove Museum, 831 Maple Ave., Downers Grove. 630.963.1309. www.dgparks.org.
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Cantigny Park
Holiday cheer awaits your family in Wheaton! Cantigny’s Celebrate the Season Festival and Mistletoe Market are on Dec. 1, followed by the popular LEGO Train Show Dec. 8-9. Brunches with Santa are set for Dec. 2 and 16, or dine with The Grinch on Dec. 8 or 15. RSVP: 630.260.8188. Take some time to refresh your spirit with a quiet stroll through the gardens too. See more events and details at Cantigny.org. For updates, text PARK to 36000.
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Westmont Park District
The annual Holly Days Winter Festival returns to Westmont!  Join us on November 18 as we begin the festival with Decorating Day; shop at the Gift Bazaar, donate to the Food Drive and enjoy a tasty holiday breakfast buffet prepared by the Lions Club.  Opening Night, complete with the Frosty and Friends Parade and Santa’s arrival on Saturday, November 24 is not to be missed.  Don’t miss our Snow-Much Fun Night on December 15 with sled dogs, games, crafts, Santa’s Workshop, s’mores and more! For a complete list of Holly Days activities, please visit www.hollydaysfestival.com or by calling 630.963.5252.
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Village of Arlington Heights
The Holiday Season is Wonderful in Arlington Heights! Arlington Heights is the perfect holiday destination for your family.  It all starts with our grand Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 23rd.  Great events continue with Small Business Saturday on November 24th.  Come out and shop at independent and national retailers in our award-winning Downtown.  And don’t forget the Rotary Santa Run on December 1st, a 5K race featuring hundreds of St. Nicks dashing through the streets.  With great shopping, entertainment, and events, Arlington Heights is the place to be this holiday season! For more information, please visit www.DiscoverArlington.com!
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TransWorld’s Jewelry, Fashion & Accessories Show
Shop for holiday gifts in every category at the TransWorld’s Jewelry, Fashion & Accessories Show coming to the Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center in Schaumburg, IL on Thursday, November 29 – Sunday, December 2, 2018.  Find jewelry, fashion, accessories, gift, beauty, home décor, gourmet foods, housewares, and more for that special celebration at prices you will love.  Bring your colleagues, friends and family.  NEW for this year’s show is KID’S DAY on Sunday, December 2nd only. Kids aged 9-15 will be allowed with accompanying adult. All other show days 16+ only. For complete details on KIDS DAY, and to register for the show, visit our website at: www.jfashow.com.
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A Holiday Happening Craft and Art Fair
Presented by Craft Productions, Inc
Our biggest holiday event with over 200 booths of crafts handmade in the Midwest. Meet the artists, get inspired for the holidays, and shop for unique gifts and decor you won’t find anywhere else. Saturday, November 3 (10am-4pm) and Sunday, November 4 (11am-4pm). College of DuPage Athletic Arena, NW Corner of College Rd and Park Blvd, Glen Ellyn, IL. $5 admission, kids under 16 free. www.craftproductionsinc.com.
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Holiday Homecoming
Downtown St. Charles
Holiday Homecoming is a two-day family tradition that kicks off on Friday, November 23 at 5pm. Join us as we light up the lights in downtown, sing Christmas carols and Santa first appears in the plaza. On Saturday, November 24, there is a FREE showing of Home Alone at the Arcada Theatre, FREE trolley rides on 1st Street, live holiday window displays and the Electric Christmas Parade at 5:30pm! For more information visit www.downtownstcharles.org/holidays.

Last Chance Craft and Art Fair
Presented by Craft Productions, Inc
Wrap up your holiday shopping with over 180 booths of unique crafts handmade in the Midwest. Meet the artisans and shop their latest work in jewelry, holiday decor, fine art, kids items, furniture, and much more! Saturday, December 8 (10am-4pm) and Sunday, December 9 (11am-4pm). College of DuPage Athletic Arena, NW Corner of College Rd and Park Blvd, Glen Ellyn, IL. $5 admission, kids under 16 free. www.craftproductionsinc.com.
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12th Annual Festival of Lights
Presented by the Aurora Noon Rotary Club
Enjoy the magic of the 2018 Festival of Lights. Featuring a 20’ tall Dancing Christmas Tree & SINGING Reindeer. This is the largest FREE outdoor holiday light displays in Northern Illinois and is presented by the Aurora Noon Rotary Club in partnership with the City of Aurora. It is a mile long drive-through of spectacular displays. Staged at Phillips Park, 1000 Ray Moses Drive, Aurora. Open nightly 5 to 9; (5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday); Nov. 23 through Dec. 26.  Freewill donations appreciated.  www.aurorafestivaloflights.com.
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Lombard Park District
Join the Lombard Park District’s annual lighting celebration in Lilacia Park! Activities include a visit with Santa and the Gold Medal Express train. Charming holiday displays light up Lilacia Park with a magical array of animated light shows, decorated trees, a giant gingerbread house, and much more. Youngsters can visit with Santa Claus, ride the delightful Gold Medal Express train, visit with their favorite holiday characters, and enjoy a spectacular show with complimentary hot cocoa and cookies. www.lombardparks.com. 630-620-7322.
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Chicago Steel Hockey Team
Join the Chicago Steel Hockey Team for fast-paced family fun at the Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva and see the future stars of college and pro hockey! Home games: 11/23 (family ticket pack game), 11/30, 12/4, 12/8 (post-game skate), 12/29 (mascot bobblehead giveaway & post-game skate). Tickets start at just $10; sit on the glass for only $20. Plus, parking is always free!  Check out the full promotional schedule and purchase tickets at ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.
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Cascade Mountain
…where kids ski free!
One of the most popular ski resorts in the Midwest is Cascade Mountain. Located on Interstate 90/94 between Madison and Wisconsin Dells, Cascade is a large area with 47 ski trails, 12 lifts and 15 lanes of snow tubing. A $9 million dollar  project included two new lifts, nine new trails, additional snowmaking, an expanded main lodge, paved parking and base area improvements. The Wisconsin Dells is just 15 minutes away from Cascade, and the city of Portage is even closer. Families with children save a bundle at Cascade Mountain because kids 12 and under ski free when accompanied by a paying adult. For more information, go to www.cascademountain.com.
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Entertainment Cruises
Aboard Spirit, Winter’s Never Looked Better
Did you know that Spirit of Chicago cruises all year long? And aboard the cozy, festive decks, you’ll see a whole new side of winter. Bring your family aboard to see magical, winter views of classic Chicago sites like Buckingham Fountain, the Adler Planetarium, Trump Tower, Willis Tower and more! Your cruise will include a delicious buffet-style meal and DJ entertainment. For the highlight of your holidays, plan your cruise at SpiritofChicago.com.

Abbey Farms
Start Your Holiday Season at Abbey Farms! Searching for an old-fashioned treat to bring to your holiday gatherings this year?  The Farmstead Emporium offers a wide variety of time-tested flavors for your seasonal cooking at home. Christmas trees and wreaths are available beginning Saturday, November 17, and Santa arrives the day after Thanksgiving! Enjoy a free apple cider donut when you purchase your tree – and ask about our tree delivery service!  For more info, visit AbbeyFarms.org!
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