Chicago Suburban Family


Weekend+ for 12/5 to 12/11

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WEEKEND+ for Thursday 12/5 to Wednesday 12/11

Highlights for the coming week  … TransWorld’s Jewelry, Fashion & Accessories Show | Christ Church Spirit Village & Carolfest |Village of Lemont Hometown Holiday | Oak Park River Forest 2019 Holiday Housewalk and Market | “Yuletide Festival & Fair” Naper Settlement | Arlington Heights Rotary Santa Run Holiday Lights in Lilacia Park | Aurora Downtown Cocoa Crawl | West Towns Barbershop Chorus | Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts, “The Nutcracker” |Cantigny Park “Holiday Cheer” | Abbey Farms | Cascade Mountain | Kohl Children’s Museum | WhirlyBall  | Wilmot Mountain |  Kuipers Family Farm | Christmas Town at Summerfield Zoo | Granite Peak Ski Area  | Ride Metra  | Hollywood Blvd Cinema | Safari Land | Funtopia: Glenview and Naperville | Holiday Inn, Overshadowed Theatrical Productions | Mary Poppins + A Christmas Carol, Drury Lane Theatre | Magic of the Holiday Season, The Dancing Horses Theatre | This Weekend’s Holiday Happenings | Greater Chicago Events | SPECIAL: Senior Focus | Active Kids Zone and Party Place  | Helping Kids with Learning Differences | Dining Guide  | This Week’s Sponsors … See below.

Go to the Suburban Family November + December “Holiday Issue”

This Weekend’s “Season’s Best”

TransWorld’s Jewelry, Fashion & Accessories Show
Holiday cheer and the best holiday shopping awaits you at the TransWorld’s Jewelry, Fashion & Accessories Show coming to the Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center from December 5-8, 2019.   All you need for great holiday gifts and more will be on sale.  Discover jewelry, clothing, accessories, and beauty products to highlight your style; gifts for special occasions; and much more.   All are welcome (16 years old and above) to attend the Schaumburg Jewelry, Fashion & Accessories Show December 5-8. Kid’s day is Sunday, December 8th where 9-15 year olds are welcome with an accompanying adult. Visit and make sure to register to attend today!

Christ Church, Spirit Village & Carolfest
Christ Church Offers Free Family-Friendly Events: Spirit Village & Carolfest on December 7 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. is an alternative Christmas market that supports the real needs of people locally and globally. Give gifts on behalf of those on your Christmas list that will uplift and help those less fortunate. Help those in need while having a fun family day with balloons, face-painting and a petting zoo.

Carol Fest is December 8 at 3:00 p.m. And 6:00 p.m., and features portions of Handel’s “Messiah” as well as songs of the Christmas season with a large choir and orchestra. Cookie and punch reception between performances, as well as childcare for children under age 4. Christ Church Downers Grove (We’ve moved!) 2S361 Glen Park Rd., Lombard, IL 60148. 630-654-1884.

Village of Lemont…Enjoy Our Holiday Scene!
Brighten up your holiday season by visiting Lemont and taking a stroll all around our historic downtown as we’re “Lighting Up Lemont” this season.  Our illuminating holiday decoration display includes a fun twist for the entire family this year!  Loomie, an augmented reality app, features interactive games to play and allows users to create unique photos and holiday cards in seconds. Our holiday season begins with our Hometown Holiday event in our historic downtown on Saturday, December 7, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. We will be “Lighting Up Lemont” with our dazzling light display sponsored by the Downtown Merchants Association and the Village of Lemont throughout the entire season!  Come and experience Lemont and Enjoy Our Holiday Scene!

Oak Park River Forest Infant Welfare Society
2019 Holiday Housewalk and Market for Healthy Kids
Join the OPRF Infant Welfare Society for a fun weekend of Holiday Festivities on December 5-7, 2019.

Tour 5 beautiful homes, festively decorated for the holidays in Oak Park and River Forest.  Shop one of a kind artisan vendors offering unique gift items at our Holiday Market  and enjoy music food and drinks at the Holiday Spirit and Wine Tasting on Thursday and the not so Trivial Pursuit night on Friday. All proceeds benefit the IWS Children’s Clinic.  Purchase tickets at or at the door day of the event. Nineteenth Century Club, 178 Forest Ave, Oak Park.

“Yuletide Festival & Fair” Naper Settlement
Open Select Days – December 6-22
Make your Holiday merry and bright at the new Yuletide Festival and Fair! Experience the joy of the holiday season with live entertainment, local art and craft vendors, wintry food and beverages from local restaurants and breweries, and more! Stroll through Naper Settlement’s historic grounds decorated for the holiday season with twinkling lights and plenty of holiday spirit. Yuletide Festival & Fair runs Friday through Sunday from December 6-22: Fridays, 2-10PM; Saturdays and Sundays, 11AM-10PM. Admission is FREE! Visit for more information.

Village of Arlington Heights, Rotary Santa Run
The Holiday Season is Wonderful in Arlington Heights! Arlington Heights is the perfect holiday destination for your family.   Come out and shop at independent and national retailers in our award-winning Downtown.  Don’t forget the Rotary Santa Run on December 7th, 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!

Holiday Lights in Lilacia Park
Join the Lombard Park District’s annual lighting celebration1 Charming holiday displays light up Lilacia Park with a magical array of animated light shows, decorated trees, a gingerbread house, and much more. Youngsters can visit with Santa Claus, enjoy a spectacular show with complimentary hot chocolate and cookies, and visit with holiday characters. Holidays takes place every weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday beginning December 7 until December 22. 150 S. Park Ave. Lombard, IL 60148.

Aurora Downtown, Cocoa Crawl
Aurora Downtown welcomes you to enjoy the holidays with free events for everyone. Then join us at First Fridays, a night of free trolley rides, art shows, live music, and more throughout downtown Aurora. On December 6, it’s our second annual Cocoa Crawl. Purchase your mug and button before they sell out. Follow us on Facebook at Aurora Downtown.

Abbey Farms
Start Your Holiday Season at Abbey Farms! Searching for an old-fashioned treat to bring to your holiday gatherings this year? Apple crisp, pies, German comfort food from our Pine Tree Cafe — plus the Farmstead Emporium offers a wide variety of time-tested flavors for your seasonal cooking at home. Christmas trees and wreaths are available now, and be sure to look for Santa, too! Enjoy an award-winning apple cider donut, free, when you purchase your tree – and ask about our tree delivery service!  For more info, visit!

Kohl Children’s Museum
17 interactive hands-on exhibits to spark curiosity and inspire a love of learning for children ages birth to 8. Now through January 26, come explore the great outdoors with our interactive exhibit Nature Cat: Backyard and Beyond, based on the hit PBS Kids TV show, and developed in partnership with Spiffy Pictures and WTTW! See for yourself why we’re The Place Where Awesome Lives! Located at 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview, IL. For more information, call 847-832-6600 or visit

WhirlyBall’s newest location in Naperville is open! WhirlyBall’s newest location brings its one-of-a-kind social experience to Naperville with reimagined design and even more activities for guests to enjoy. Located at 3103 Odyssey Court, the two-story entertainment destination will feature two famed WhirlyBall courts, 12 bowling lanes, a multi-level LaserTag arena, multiple event spaces and The Pivot Room, an American eatery and craft beer bar located on the first floor.  Reserve your space today! WHIRLYBALL NAPERVILLE, 3103 ODYSSEY CT. 630-932-4800

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 and snow tubing. 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

Cantigny Park “Holiday Cheer”
Good times and holiday cheer await your family in Wheaton! Cantigny’s Celebrate the Season Festival and Mistletoe Market take place on Dec. 7, followed by the popular LEGO Train Show Dec. 14-15. Brunches with Santa are set for Dec. 1 and 22, or dine with The Grinch on Dec. 7 or 14. Reserve your table at See many more events and full details online. For event updates, text PARK to 36000.

13th Annual Festival of Lights
Presented by the Aurora Noon Rotary Club
Enjoy the magic of the 2019 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,  Now through Dec. 26.  Freewill donations appreciated.

Wilmot Mountain
Embrace Winter Family Fun at Wilmot Mountain!  Traverse the slopes, take a lesson, enjoy upgraded food & beverages options at Ski Hill Grill, attend great season long events or enjoy slope side views and a hot toddy at Walt’s Tavern.   Ski, snowboard and tube with us this season. Ring in the New Year with the family at our NEW Kid’s New Year’s Eve Bash at Walt’s Tavern! Enjoy a family friendly 2-hour daytime party at Walt’s Tavern.  The event includes face painting, photo booth, party favors, games, DJ, and more! Reservation are required, limited seating available. 11931 Fox River Road, Wilmot, WI.

Plainfield Park District   …NEXT WEEKEND!
The Plainfield Park District has several family special events planned for this fall and winter. Dec. 14: Breakfast with Santa at PARC. Dec. 13-14: Journey to the North Pole, 4 Seasons Pk., 22500 Lockport St. More info & to register go to

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 or call 815-827-5200 for more information.

Living Wheaton for the Holidays
Downtown Wheaton is decked out for the holidays this season.  Gather around the community fireplace with hot cocoa at Martin Memorial Plaza and enjoy old-fashioned carriage rides along Front Street. Drop off you letter to Santa in his special mailbox located next to the giant Living Wheaton chair at the ‘W’ Plaza on Front Street.  For details visit

Downers Grove Park District Holiday Events    …NEXT WEEKEND

  • Merry & Bright: A Victorian Christmas – FREE! Saturday, Dec. 14: 3 to 7pm. Downers Grove Museum, 831 Maple Ave. Enjoy some holiday cheer and celebrate the season with Victorian Christmas traditions, carolers, luminary walk, campfire and a visit with Santa!   …NEXT WEEKEND!
  • New Year’s Eve Countdown to Noon – Tuesday, Dec. 31: 10am to 12pm. Downers Grove Recreation Center, 4500 Belmont Rd.. Ring in the new year at noon and celebrate with party favors, a DJ, photo booth, face painting, snacks, a balloon drop and more! Advance registration required.
  • Learn more at

Bobby Hull Community Ice Rink
With the start of the holiday season, ice skating has returned to Cicero! Located at 3400 S 53rd Ave, Cicero, Illinois 60804. Check out times, rates, and weather-related updates at

Christmas Town at Summerfield Zoo
An amazing opportunity to make Christmas memories! Visit Santa’s Reindeer Barn with Santa’s entire sleigh team of live reindeer. Visit with Santa Claus (times available on website). Kids will earn an official stable elf diploma! Baby reindeer flight school training sessions. Lots of magical photo opportunities, including live reindeer! Grab a delicious snack at Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen Snack Shop. Visit the Flying Reindeer Gift Shop for ALL of your Christmas shopping needs! Admission is $10 per person. 3088 Flora Rd., Belvidere, IL

Granite Peak Ski Area
Wisconsin’s #1 Ski Area located in an authentic ski town!  Your family will have so much to do for the entire weekend.   Ski and Stay packages as low as $452 for a family of 4! 3 High Speed chair lifts with beginner runs that allow for your whole family, no matter their ability, ski all day long!  Combo tickets starting at $299 for 5 Days.  Now that’s a deal! Book now at

Ride Metra to Winter Fun
With traffic-free trips to festive Chicago-area destinations like shopping, ice skating, theaters, light displays and more, Metra is made for the holidays! Enjoy unlimited rides Saturday and Sunday for just $10, and free rides for up to three kids 11 and under with each fare-paying adult on weekends and select holidays. For more fun trip ideas, schedules and to find the station nearest you, visit today!

Hollywood Blvd Cinema
Celebrity Guest, Ugly Sweater Parties, Movie with Santa, Christmas Dueling Pianos, Throwback Holiday Classics and so much more! Private Events rentals available also for Fundraisers, Holiday Parties & Corporate Events. Contact Blvd today. 1001 W. 75th St. Woodridge IL 60517

Safari Land
Villa Park, IL

Safari Land is the ultimate, INDOOR amusement park, plus home of the largest year-round indoor roller coaster in Illinois. Open seven days a week, offering eight amusement rides, over 100 arcade games and 12 lanes of bowling. Ride wristband includes: Tilt-A-Whirl, Bumper Cars, Merry-Go-Round, Monkey Jump, Soft Play Area, Max Flight Simulator, Roller Coaster & Kiddie Go-Karts. Free parking and a perfect spot for birthday parties!  For more information visit or call 630-530-4649.

Glenview and Naperville
Funtopia hosts the most FUNbelievable Birthday Parties. Our packages offer a unique way for kids to have fun and be active on awesome attractions while parents can relax and enjoy the great atmosphere.

Two FUNtastic locations:


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Holiday On Stage…

West Towns Barbershop Chorus   …THIS WEEKEND!
Put the Annual West Towns Barbershop Chorus Christmas show on your calendars! You’ll have three opportunities over two weekends to see Chicagoland’s premier men’s four-part harmony a cappella chorus with special guests Midwest Crossroads Chorus and many more! What better way to kick your holiday season off then with the songs from your childhood? December 7, 2:00pm, and December 14, 2:00pm & 7:00pm at Living Water Community Church, 190 Lily Cache Ln, Bolingbrook. For tickets or information visit or call (630) 201-5544. The West Towns Chorus is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization on a mission to Change Lives Though Song.

Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts   …STARTS THIS WEEKEND!
The Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts offers two timeless shows for families this holiday season, beginning with Schaumburg Dance Ensemble’s full-scale production of The Nutcracker. A corps of professional dancers leads a large cast in Tchaikovsky’s magical ballet, following the dreamlike adventures of a young girl who, guided by a magical Nutcracker Prince, encounters leaping Russians, waltzing flowers, twirling snowflake maidens and more. Complete with live narration, grand sets and vibrant costumes, The Nutcracker plays for two weekends December 6 through December 15.

Then, classical and popular music of the season is performed by the award-winning Schaumburg Youth Symphony Orchestra at its 20th annual Presto! Holiday Concert on Saturday, December 21 at 3pm and 7pm. The Schaumburg Youth Choir joins the program, performing carols with the orchestra. For tickets, visit or call 847-895-3600. The Prairie Center is located at 201 Schaumburg Ct., in Schaumburg.

Holiday Inn
Overshadowed Theatrical Productions

Now – December 21, 2019.  Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin. Based on the film from Universal Pictures. Book by Gordon Greenberg and Chad Hodge. This crowd-pleasing, classic romance is sure to delight audiences of all ages—featuring thrill-ing dance numbers, laugh-out-loud comedy and a parade of hit Irving Berlin songs, including “Blue Skies,” “Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” and “White Christmas.” New this year…we have two additional performances to our Christmas production. First, we have added a matinee performance on the Saturday of opening weekend. Second, we have added another show on Tuesday, December 17.

Performing at 900 Foster Avenue in Medinah, Illinois. For tickets call the box office at 630-634-2100 or visit our website at We can’t wait to share the holidays with you!

James Lumber Center!
Ruth Page Civic Ballet’s

THE NUTCRACKER triumphantly returns to the James Lumber Center!   …NEXT WEEKEND!
A little girl heroine. A mysterious godfather. An enchanted nutcracker. A magical night. Ruth Page Civic Ballet’s The Nutcracker, the popular recreation of the holiday classic, comes to the mainstage of the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts at the College of Lake County for two performances only on Saturday, December 14, at 1 and 5 p.m. Originally presented at Chicago’s Arie Crown Theatre from 1965 until 1997, this production recreates Ruth Page’s beautiful and beloved original full-length staging. Experience the exquisite dancing, stunning costumes and magical settings in the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of the Sweets like never before — engaging entertainment for young and old alike!

Ticket prices are $25/$20 for adults; $24/$19 for seniors; $15 for students and teens; and $10 for children. Prices do not include an additional $2 per ticket facility fee. Tickets can be purchased at the JLC Box Office on the Grayslake Campus, Room P112, 19351 W. Washington St, open Monday-Friday, noon-5 p.m. or by calling (847) 543-2300.

To purchase single tickets online, visit

Fermilab Arts & Lecture Series:
2 Great Family Events!                …NEXT WEEKEND
Christmas at the Silent Movies – Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra (December 14).

  • Enjoy Christmas the old-fashioned way, with live ragtime accompaniment to classic holiday silent films by Laurel & Hardy, Buster Keaton and the first film adaptation of The Night Before Christmas.

All performances are at Fermilab’s Ramsey Auditorium located at Kirk & Pine Street in Batavia.  Tickets are available to both performances. or 630/840.ARTS.

Mary Poppins + A Christmas Carol
Drury Lane Theatre
“It’s a jolly holiday with…” Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins at Drury Lane Theatre! Everyone’s favorite nanny flies to the stage Now – January 19, 2020. Based on the stories by P.L. Travers and the beloved Walt Disney film, this “practically perfect” musical is fun for the entire family. Tickets start at $60 and are on sale now – and if you’re still doing your shopping, they make a “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” gift! Call or visit the box office or visit to get your tickets today!

Have a magical day out at the Spoonful of Sugar Tea before the matinee performance of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins on January 4 and 11. Kids of all ages will love the magic show and decorating their very own kite. For more information or to make reservations, visit or call (630) 530-8300.

Drury Lane Theatre for Young Audiences presents A Christmas CarolNovember 29-December 23, 2019. The 60-minute holiday classic is appropriate for all ages. Tickets start at $20 and are on sale now. Call or visit the box office or visit to get your tickets today!

(630) 530-0111 | 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181 |

Magic of the Holiday Season
The Dancing Horses Theatre – located 10 minutes west of Lake Geneva
Open all year round!
Discover what everyone is talking about. For a perfect day of family entertainment, and to enjoy the Magic of the Holiday Season, visit The Dancing Horses Theatre. Music, costumes, and holiday lights grace the entire Theatre from Now to January. It is a “must see” for any horse lover as well as all those looking for a unique destination. or call 262-728-8200. Tickets are $32.50 for over 2 hours of spectacular entertainment!

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra
Celebrating our 70th Anniversary Season   …NEXT WEEKEND
The Elgin Symphony Orchestra is continuing the Elgin holiday tradition with our annual Deck The Halls Holiday Concert. This community sing-a-long filled with your classic holiday favorites is complete with the Soprano Katelyn Lee, the Elgin Master Chorale, Dancewear’s, and a special visit from the man himself – SANTA CLAUS! Conducted by Stephen Squires, this is a concert for the whole family. Performances are December 14th @ 2:30 PM & 7:30 PM and December 15th @ 2:30 PM at the Hemmens Cultural Center. Purchase tickets at or by calling 847-888-4000.

Raue Center For The Arts
Raue Center For The Arts is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of all through the arts. The 750-seat theatre, located in historic downtown Crystal Lake, Illinois, is a gathering place for our region’s citizens and has become a true destination for music, comedy theater, and more! Proud home to in-house nonprofit theatre company WILLIAMS STREET REPERTORY and all its programming! Raue Center strives to provide the arts for all and believes integrity, inclusion, and diversity make us better as an arts center. Stop by and experience great entertainment, close to home! Located at 26 N. Williams Street, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. (815) 356-9212 | Box Office Hours: Tue–Fri: 2PM–6PM | Sat: 12PM–4PM | Sun & Mon: Closed.

For details on any of these shows…
Holiday Inn | Nutcracker, James Lumber Center | Mary Poppins | A Christmas Carol | Fermilab Arts & Lecture Series | Magic of the Holiday Season | West Towns Barbershop Chorus | The Elgin Symphony Orchestra |  Nutcracker, Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts | Raue Center For The Arts  …Go to this article:Website | Digital Edition

This Weekend’s “Holiday Happenings”

  • Holiday Housewalk – 12/5 – 12/7. Holiday houses on tour in Oak Park and River Forest. Benefits OPRF Infant Welfare Society. The Nineteenth Century Club, Oak Park. 708-848-0528 ext. 235.
  • Holiday Market – 12/5 – 12/7. Shop one-of-a-kind artisan vendors offering unique gift items: jewelry, clothing, gourmet food, home décor and more. Benefits OPRF Infant Welfare Society. Oak Park. 708-848-0528 ext. 235.
  • Lambs Farm Holiday Lights Gift and Craft Fair –  12/5-8. Thu 1-9 PM, – Fri 11 AM – 9 PM, Sat 9 AM – 6 PM, Sun 10 AM – 5 PM. Arlington International Racecourse, Arlington Heights.
  • Cup of Cheer – 12/5-6. Naperville Garden Club’s 58th Annual House Walk, Holiday Market & Tea.
  • One of a Kind Holiday Show – 12/5 – 12/8. More than 600 independent makers will set up shop at the 19th annual Holiday Show held at The Mart. Chicago.
  • Holiday Housewalk & Market – 12/5-12/7. Tour 5 decorated homes in Oak Park and River Forest. Oak Park.
  • Wintersong 2019 – 12/6 6:30 PM and 12/7 3:00 PM. Enjoy the performance of The Glen Ellyn-Wheaton Chorale and accompanying chamber orchestra as they celebrate the season with music and song. College Church. Wheaton.
  • Jolly Old St. Nick Concert – 12/6. Ring in the holiday season with Elmhurst’s annual celebration of the city’s German roots. Concert, St. Nick pictures, hot chocolate and sweets. 6:30-8:00 PM. Yorkfield Presbyterian Church, Elmhurst.
  • Hanover Park Tree Lighting Ceremony – 12/6. Santa, hot chocolate bar, live reindeer, horse and carriage rides on a lighted luminary path, arts/crafts, choirs and an indoor snowball fight. 6 – 8 PM. Hanover Township Community Center.
  • Holiday Walk & Festival of Windows – 12/6. Live window displays, horse-drawn carriage rides, Santa and reindeer, face painting and shopping. 6-9 PM. Madison Street in Downtown Forest Park.
  • Holiday Market and Parade – 12/6 6-9 PM; 12/7-8 12 – 5 PM. Tree lighting, Toyland Parade, Parade of Lights, children’s crafts, market. Tinley Park. 708-444-5045.
  • Annual Hinsdale Christmas Walk – 12/6. Holiday open house and celebration. 5-8 PM. Hinsdale.
  • Christmas Walk – 12/6. Festivities include the arrival of Santa Lucia, the lighting of the tree, carolers, a live nativity and free carriage rides. 6-9:30 PM. Downtown Gevena.
  • Pizza with Santa – 12/6. Pizza, soda, craft, games, bounce house. Children of all ages with an adult. Register by 12/2. 6:30-7:35 PM. Darien.
  • Cocoa Crawl – 12/6.  Celebrate the winter season with some toasty hot cocoa as several participating venues fill up your custom mug.  Admission: $5 for ticket/$10 for mug. Various Venues in Downtown Aurora.
  • Winter Wonderland and Hope for the Holidays – 12/6. Firefighters bring Santa on decorated, flashing vehicles. 6-9 PM. Edward Hospital Athletic and Event Center, Romeoville.
  • Naper Settlement’s Yuletide Festival & Fair – Friday s Saturdays & Sundays. 12/6-22. Experience the joy of the holiday season with live entertainment, local art and craft vendors, wintry food and beverages from local restaurants and breweries, and more! Admission is FREE!
  • Festival of Lights – 12/6-12/29. Visit the Museum at Old Town Park throughout the Festival of Lights for a seasonal holiday show. Bloomingdale.
  • Santa on Broadway – 12/7,12/14, 12/21. Visit with the jolly bearded man on Saturday afternoons in December at shops along Broadway. Free. Aurora.
  • Candy Cane Hunt – 12/7. Dress warm & bring a basket to hunt for your goodies. A visitor from North Pole, too. 10 AM Community Park Bandshell, Lisle. Register.
  • Skating with Santa – 12/7. Celebrate the season and skate with Santa, Anna and Elsa.12 – 1PM. Rocket Ice Arena, Bolingbrook.
  • The St. Nick’s Mart – 12/7.  Come shop the wares of local crafters, independent consultants and small Villa Park businesses. 5 – 8:30 PM. Villa Park Public Library, Villa Park.
  • Celebrate the Season Holiday Festival – 12/7. Mistletoe Market, horse-drawn trolley rides, face painting, crafts and the whole park will be decorated for the holidays. 1-7 PM. Cantigny Park, Wheaton.
  • Spirit Village – 12/7. Help those in need while having a fun family day with balloons, face-painting and a petting zoo. 10 AM- 3PM. Christ Church Downers Grove, Lombard.
  • Frosty Fest – 12/7. Activities include caroling, dance performances, holiday displays, cookie decorating, free hot cocoa, live ice sculpture carving, live reindeer, arts and crafts projects, visits with Santa & Mrs. Claus. West Chicago.
  • LaGrange Hometown Holiday – 12/7. Carolers, ice sculptures, petting zoo and pony rides, free trolleys – and dozens of lively merchant open houses. Downtown LaGrange. 3-8 PM.
  • The Nutcracker – 12/7. Local dancers and actors share the stage with seasoned professionals from the Chicago Ballet Conservatory to create an elaborate production. 2 PM. Hemmens Cultural Center, Elgin.
  • Mistletoe Market – 12/7. Visit the festive displays of crafters and artists offering one-of-a-kind items for holiday gift giving. 1-7 PM. Visitors Center, Cantigny Park, Wheaton.
  • Christmas in the Valley – 12/7. Celebrate the holidays at Spring Valley’s Heritage Farm. Noon – 4 PM. Schaumburg.
  • Lights of Lisle – 12/7-8. Thousands of luminarias, tree lights and storefront decorations transform downtown into a magical place. Lisle.
  • Once Upon a Christmas – 12/7-8. An annual event held at the Lisle Station Park’s Museum Campus. Children’s crafts, brick oven baking, blacksmithing and ice carving. 3- 8 PM Saturday and 11 AM – 4 PM Sunday.
  • Candlelight at the Inn – 12/7-8. Experience 1840s winter travel and tavern hospitality like travelers to the Garfield’s in their 1846 brick inn. Hospitality, refreshments, live music, and a bake sale in the Burr House. 3-7 PM. Campton Hills.
  • Brunch with the Grinch – 12/7 and 12/14. Feast on a Grinch-themed buffet along with a viewing of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” The Grinch himself will make an appearance. 10 AM and 12:30 PM seatings. Red Oak Room at Cantigny Golf, Wheaton. Reservations.
  • Donuts with Santa – 12/7. Drink hot chocolate, decorate donuts and hear a story as told by Santa. 9-10 AM or 10:30-11:30 AM. Register. Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Center, Naperville Park District.
  • Howliday Jingle Paws Vendor Show – 12/7. Bring your pet for a photo with Santa, holiday shopping, giveaways and raffles. Benefits A Tail of 4 Paws Animal Rescue. 9 AM- 2 PM. Edward Hospital Athletic and Event Center, Romeoville.
  • Ugly Sweater Holiday Party – 12/7. Have an evening of holiday fun decorating a sweater you supply. Play games and decorate cookies. Ages 11-15 years. 6 – 8 PM, Itasca Park District.
  • McCormick House Holiday Concert 2019 – 12/8. Wheaton College artists perform a variety of holiday music in the McCormick House’s historic Freedom Hall, Cantigny Park, Wheaton.
  • Candy Cane Train – 12/8. Travel from the Metra Train Station on Deerfield Road to meet Santa and holiday friends. 1-3:30 PM. Deerfield Park District. Register
  • Annual Children’s Holiday Party – 12/8. Crafts, entertainment, music, refreshments and a visit from Santa. 2 – 4 PM. Hinsdale South High School. Willowbrook.
  • Iceland Santa Skate – 12/8. Enjoy a family skate with Santa and his elves to holiday music. 2:30 – 4:00 PM. Iceland, Niles Park District.
  • Christmas Train – 12/8. Take a ride on the Christmas City Express and discover the magic that occurs during the night. 3:15 PM or 4:25 PM. Jon Duerr Forest Preserve, Batavia.
  • Carol Fest – 12/8.  3 PM and 6 PM. Songs of the Christmas season with a large choir and orchestra. Christ Church Downers Grove, Lombard.
  • Santa Splash – 12/8. Santa and his elves will be leading holiday themed games and activities in the pool. 1-3 PM. Bartlett Community Center. bartlettparkdistrict.
  • Kid Rock Holiday Sparkle – 12/10. Music and movement parent-child musical event with songs and activities with holiday theme and props. Ages 1-5 with adult. 10-10:45 AM. Cantigny Park, Wheaton. Register.

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Fitness / Race Events …


Arlington Heights Rotary Club Santa Run. Arlington Heights.

  • Lion’s Club Reindeer Run 5K Run. Wheaton.
  • Viking Dash Trail Run 15K, 10K, 5K and 13.1-Mile Races. 2-Day Event. Crystal Lake.
  • Frosty 5K and Frosty Fest West Chicago.
  • Santa Hustle 5K. Chicago.


  • Insane Candy Cane 5K. Geneva.

Upcoming Fitness Races…

  • Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell Run – Sat 12/14 at 9 AM 5K Run/Walk. Chicago History Museum. Chicago.

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This Week’s Greater Chicago Events…


  • HISTORY Date with History: The Ghost Army – Author Rick Beyer discusses “The Ghost Army of World War II,” his book on the top-secret Army unit that employed battlefield trickery to gain strategic advantage. 7 PM. Free. Cantigny Visitors Center, Wheaton.


  • FAMILY Gingerneering – Get in the holiday spirit with a family fun workshop. Build individually or combine the gingerbread kits in new and creative ways. Sci-Tech Museum, Aurora.


  • FAMILY Winter Craft Workshop – Get ready for the holidays by making nature-themed or recycled gifts for friends and family. 10 AM – Noon or 1-3 PM. Register. Knoch Knolls Nature Center River Room, Naperville.
  • CHICAGO / CITY  Lincoln Park ZooLights – 11/29 – 12/15 weekends and all week 1/16-1/5. ZooLights illuminates the zoo with more than 2.5 million lights and hundreds of dynamic displays. This FREE event transforms Lincoln Park Zoo into a twinkling winter wonderland for 28 nights complete with visits from Santa, ice sculptors, carolers, festive activities and sweet treats of all kinds.


  • CHICAGO / CITY  Lincoln Park ZooLights – 11/29 – 12/15 weekends and all week 1/16-1/5. ZooLights illuminates the zoo with more than 2.5 million lights and hundreds of dynamic displays. This FREE event transforms Lincoln Park Zoo into a twinkling winter wonderland for 28 nights complete with visits from Santa, ice sculptors, carolers, festive activities and sweet treats of all kinds.
  • CHICAGO / CITY  Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon – Opens mid November. Among the “alpine in a city,” lace up your skates and enjoy an ice skating experience unlike any other on a path of ice winding through the rolling landscape. Chicago.
  • CHICAGO / CITY  Christmas Around The World and Holidays of Light – November 14-January 5. Since 1942 Chicagoans and visitors alike have enjoyed fabulous trees from over 50 countries, plus spectacular lights all in the comfort of the museum. Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago.
  • CHICAGO / CITY  Christkindlmarket Chicago – November 15 – December 24. A unique open-air shopping experience with traditional German flair offering food, drinks and diverse holiday entertainment. Downtown and Wrigleyville locations. Chicago.
  • CHICAGO / CITY  McCormick Tribune Ice Rink – November 15 – mid March. Lessons and special programming weekends and during the Chicago Public Schools’ winter break. Skate rentals available. Chicago.

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SPECIAL: Senior Focus

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Active Kids Zone + Party Places

  • Active Kids Zone featuring: Rock ‘n Kids, SEASPAR, Great Lakes Volleyball Center   Go to this article: Website | Digital Edition
  • Party Places featuring:  Oak Brook Park District Parties and Event Services, Hollywood Blvd Cinema, SAFARI LAND,  Funtopia Glenview and Naperville   Go to this article: Website | Digital Edition

Help Your Child with Learning Differences

  • Featuring: Autism Home Support Services, Eye Level Learning Centers, Her’s to You! LLC, SEASPAR

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Dining Guide

  • Dining Guide featuring:The Hen House of Wheaton, Vino Thai, Mon Ami Gabi, Catch 35, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants

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