Showing 1-96 of 186 items found in Events
Lincoln Park ZooLights
Enter a winter wonderland illuminated by the laughter of children and more than one million lights at Lincoln Park Zoo’s annual ZooLights Presented by ComEd and Charter One. This holiday classic has become one of the Windy City’s must-see seasonal events. Watch live ice carving then escape Jack Frost with an exotic trip past crocodiles, pygmy hippos and meerkats at the Regenstein African Journey. Animal exhibits stay open late as guests roam taking in the lights, music and taking photos with Santa. Prepare holiday crafts and enjoy the zoo’s incredible animals immersed in an atmosphere unlike any other.
Holiday Lights Train
The Holiday Light Train is Pete's biggest event of the year. The park is decorated for the Holidays. See over 250,000 lights in various displays. Giant toy soldiers, candy canes, cascading snow flakes, flying reindeer, and swans swimming, just to name a few of Pete's displays!
The Christkindlmarket is a four-week, open-air market modeled after the famous Nuremberg Christmas market dating back to 1545. The market offers shopping opportunities and serves as a winter wonderland meeting place for family and friends. Plus, enjoy German delicacies like brats, goulash and potato pancakes while you’re there.
Night of the Luminaria
Be a part of one of the most beautiful and romantic visions of the year. The streets, steps and sidewalks of Galena come alive with nearly 5,000 candle-lit luminaries at dusk. Take a special luminaria trolley ride, be a part of a pub crawl, or just stroll through the streets for this enchanted view.
Christmas Around the World & Holidays of Light
Christmas Around the World began in 1942 as a United Nations Day salute to American allies during the war, is now in its 70th year. The exhibit features more than 60 dazzling trees and displays that are decorated by members of Chicago's ethnic communities to reflect holiday customs from around the world. Holidays of Light showcases various global holidays that celebrate light or enlightenment such as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Diwali. Festivities include ethnic dancing and singing, storytellers, and school choir performances.
Boo! at the Zoo
Halloween fun awaits families at Brookfield Zoo’s annual Boo! at the Zoo celebration. The popular daytime event, presented by Fisher-Price, features a Costume Parade, Costume Showcase, professional pumpkin-carving demonstrations, not-so-scary games and activities, special animal Zoo Chats, and haunted hayrides. For more information, visit www.CZS.org or call (708) 688-8000.
Christmas with the Lincolns
Where did the Lincoln boys hang their stockings for Santa to fill? What might have been in those stockings? What Christmas goodies were on Lincoln's table? Discover how the Lincolns celebrated he holidays by taking a tour through the Lincoln Home.
Wonderland in Lights
Each year, the City of Effingham and the Effingham Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) turn Community Park into a winter wonderland! Wonderland in Lights, a drive-thru light display, features a variety of lighted holiday scenes including reindeer flying, Santa coming down the chimney, and a Nativity scene. Last year’s display was such a huge success; the Effingham CVB added additional light displays for your viewing pleasure again this year. In addition, to help get you in the Christmas spirit, the Effingham CVB, along with 97.9 XFM and KJ Country 102.3, continue to bring you the option to tune into continuous Christmas music on 90.7 FM while you drive through the display. The display opens Thanksgiving night, November 27, and runs until Christmas night, December 25. Hours are from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Community Park is located on East Temple Ave, Effingham, IL. Santa visits the Wonderland in Lights every Saturday to bring special presents to the children. The Wonderland in Lights is free, but donations are appreciated. For more information, please call 217-342-5310 or visit www.visiteffinghamil.com. We look forward to helping to spread Christmas cheer throughout Effingham this holiday season!
Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo
Chicagoland’s largest lights festival surrounds you in the cheer of over 1,000,000 twinkling LED lights, ice carving, light shows, Santa and Mrs. Claus. You’re sure to feel the magic of the holidays! Saturdays and Sundays, December 6-7, 13-14, 20-21 Friday to Wednesday, December 26-31 See the Lights. Feel the Magic. Continue the Tradition.
A Taste of Christmas Progressive Dinner
You will enjoy an evening of appetizers, salad, main entree, and dessert at various Best of Galena Innkeepers homes. Enjoy the festive Christmas decorations of each innkeeper as they have decorated their homes for the Holiday Season. This popular dinner is limited to 50 participants, so if interested you will need to make reservations early.
Shelbyville Festival of Lights
Come to Shelbyville and take a drive through Forest Park as it is lit up for the Holiday season. These lights are put in place each year by volunteers and new lights and themed areas are added yearly. Candy Cane lane is to honor loved ones. Come enjoy the Victorian Village, Santa's Shop, the North Pole, Bethlehem, and others.
Warrenville Holly Days
Holly Days, sponsored by the Warrenville Park District is the City's annual holiday celebration that marks Santa's official entry into Warrenville. Guests can enjoy a warm bonfire, raffles, free horse and carriage rides, hot cider and cookies, and, of course, a visit with Santa. Local Park District and school dance troops, singers, and bands entertain attendees during the event. It is at this event that Warrenville officially turns on its holiday lights creating an array of colors for passersby along Route 56 to see. Holly Days, primarily for Warrenville residents, gives the community an opportunity to come together and kick off the holiday season.
Gallery of Trees
Throughout the Kankakee County Museum, Christmas trees are decorated by community organizations. Yearly, a special theme is added for your enjoyment. Come in and view the different arrangements and vote for that special tree.
A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens’ timeless tale of hope and redemption comes to life in an enchanting 36th anniversary production that promises more magic and merriment than ever before. Join us as we celebrate three and a half decades of the beloved holiday tradition, and experience the electrifying arrival of the ghosts, the jubilant musical numbers, the “Bah Humbugs” and Scrooge’s joyful discovery of life and love.
Begin your holiday celebration escaping from the chaos of the season and experiencing the enchantment of Christmas at the "Christmas Wonderland" holiday light display. The "Grandpa Gang" has been at it again transforming Rock Springs Park in Alton, Illinois into a Winter Wonderland. Visitors can drive through the park to view more than 2 million lights, cascading waterfalls of lights, lighted trees and displays, and visit Santa Claus in the Enchanted Forest. Christmas Wonderland 2009 will be open from November 27th through December 27th. The suggested donation is $7 for cars and small vans or $1 per person for vehicles holding more than 10 people. Carriage rides will be available first come first serve on weekends. For more information about Christmas Wonderland, call 1-800-258-6645.
Way of Lights
This unique celebration of Christmas features a drive through light display, tree and wreath displays, an interactive children's village, camel rides and an indoor laser show. With over one million lights, this event celebrates Christmas in all it's glory.
Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier
Everyone’s favorite winter extravaganza returns to Navy Pier – Winter WonderFest presented by Bank of America! ‘Tis the season to have too much fun inside a 170,000 square foot festive holiday playground. Entertainment for the entire family includes indoor ice skating, rides, attractions, an indoor Ferris wheel and so much more. Bring your family for fun and excitement at the 12th annual Winter WonderFest by Bank of America at Navy Pier!
Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum
Come to The Morton Arboretum this holiday season to see trees in a different light! Illumination will engage your senses with dazzling projections, trees that respond to your touch and sound, and vivid, electric colors throughout. This is an outdoor event on a one-mile, gently rolling, paved path that takes approximately one and one-half hours to complete. Please dress for the weather. Food and beverage concessions are available for purchase. Walking along the paved trail you can hug a tree to make it grow brighter, sing to a tree and watch it change color, interact with light and color with a swipe of your hand, and many more surprising experiences around every turn! Also, be sure to warm up next to fire pits while enjoying hot cocoa, s'mores, and other delights, stop in to browse the holiday wares at The Arboretum Store, and enjoy energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly LED lighting. Please note, the event closed November 27, December 1, 8, 15, 24, 25.
Du Quoin Annual Holiday Lights Fair
Starting the day after Thanksgiving and continuing through the month of December. Come experience Du Quoin Tourism’s transformation of the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds into a magical place with lights and decorations. The event features a 1 1/2-mile drive through over $250,000 worth of lighted displays as well as decorated trees, entertainment, food, crafts and visits with Santa in the Expo Hall. The light trail opens nightly from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m., and the Expo Hall will be open on the second and third weekends in December from 5:30 — 9:30 p.m. The Expo Hall features Santa’s train ride and Santa’s Workshop.
CITY: Du Quoin
Holiday Lights at Bunker Hill
Historic buildings at Kennekuk County Park's "Bunker Hill Historic Area" will be lit for the occasion and decorated for the holidays. Continuing throughout the holiday season, the holiday lights will be displayed weekends from 5-8 p.m.
Avenue of Lights
Avenue of Lights is a two-mile holiday display of animated lights at Moorman/Wavering Park in Quincy. It runs from Thanksgiving until New Years, nightly from 6-9:30pm. A staple attraction of Quincy during the holiday season.
Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Show
A Lake County holiday tradition. Visit Northern Illinois' largest drive-through Holiday Light Festival, held at the Cuneo Mansion, and view thousands of twinkling lights, animated displays and holiday decorations. While visiting the light show, the Cuneo Mansion & Gardens invites you to walk through the museum for a magical view of Christmas' past. Please visit the website for more information.
CITY: Vernon Hills
Festival of Lights
Smile, laugh, be de-lighted at the East Peoria Festival of Lights! The festival features the fantastic Folepi's Winter Wonderland lighted drive-through display, open from Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve, and many other events during December including a competitive run, gift show, theatrical productions and more. The Festival of Lights annual Parade of Lights covers three miles of Washington Street starting on one side of the city and ending just past downtown. The parade features floats shaped entirely from lights, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the chopper motorcycle float illuminated with LED lights, a 70-foot long float of the famous Clydesdale horse team pulling a delivery wagon, Frosty the Snowman, the starship Enterprise illuminated with 48,000 LED light bulbs, and the 95-foot-long smoke-spewing China dragon.
CITY: East Peoria
Geneva's Christmas Walk & House Tour
On Friday evening, Santa Lucia arrives by horse-drawn carriage and Santa arrives to open his Gingerbread House. Enjoy carolers, the Great Tree lighting, roasted chestnuts, Swedish cookies, and old-fashioned candy cane pull, and holiday shopping. On Friday & Saturday, five distinctive homes festively decorated for the holidays by local decorators open their doors to visitors for self-guided tours.
Christmas in Paris
Come join us for a magical night in Paris, Illinois - full of games, crafts, laughter and fun for the entire family. Most storefronts will be open for shopping or hosting an activity. Most activities are free. All are invited. Visit our facebook page to learn more.
Country Folk Art Festival
Extraordinary handmade arts and crafts made by award winning artisans. Reproductions of antique American furniture, historic crafts, folk art, primitives, unique Halloween, Christmas creations! Also some original antiques.
CITY: St. Charles
The Christkindlmarket Oakbrook is an outdoor holiday market featuring vendors from around the world who display hand-crafted ornaments, toys and unique holiday gifts as well as traditional German foods, sweets and beverages. Visit the new Village Green area near Crate&Barrel for a special selection of the German-American Holiday Market you have come to know and love. Open November 28-December 14 from Thursday-Sunday and December 18-24 every day.
CITY: Oak Brook
Hometown Holly Day
Featuring 40+ vendors to complete your Christmas shopping. Local shops offering discounts. Breakfast with Santa at the Methodist Church, put on by the Optimist Club. Cookie Walk at the Catholic Church. Light parade at dusk, Bingo at Harlan Hall the complete the fun filled day!
Market Days Flea Market & Vendor Fair
Held the first Saturday of every month, this farmers market and flea market features crafts, antiques, furniture, household items, baby furniture, produce, collectibles, art, food booths, and live entertainment!
CITY: Mount Vernon
Lights Fantastic Activities & Parade
Take pictures with Santa’s reindeer in Carbondale's Town Square, stop by the Polar Express Station (the Old Train Depot) for candy cane treats, and enjoy the Holiday Cookie Walk, where downtown businesses offer cookies and refreshments. The Lights Fantastic Parade kicks off at 6pm.
Based on the timeless film, this heartwarming musical adaptation features seventeen Irving Berlin songs and a book by David Ives and Paul Blake. Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. The showings are on: December 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm December 7, 14, 2014 at 2:00 pm
Memorial's Festival of Trees
This holiday tradition features more than 150 decorated trees, local entertainment, delicious gingerbreak cookies and tasty treats. The Festival includes a children's craft area, rides on the Candy Cane Express train, and a market filled with holiday gift items.
Holiday House Walk
Come and enjoy a tour of five beautifully decorated and historic homes in Hinckley open to the public. Five homes will be featured in this holiday event. Tickets will go on sale beginning November 1. Tickets will be available for purchase the day of as well. The house walk will be from 2:00pm-6:00pm. Sponsored by Hinckley Parks and Recreation. Tickets are available at the following locations: Hinckley Fresh Market, Hinckley Public Library, Hinckley Village Office, Jack and Jina’s BP, and Treasures Old and New
Luminary Night On Stephenson and Lincoln Streets
Enjoy the beauty of the soft light of luminaries and the architecture of these historic homes as you stroll this lovely residential neighborhood. Also, enjoy hot cocoa and cookies. Stephenson Street and Lincoln Boulevard from West Street to Park Boulevard.
Adventure to Santa
Visit the Ultimate Santa Experience! Oakbrook Center and Dream Works Animation take guests on a never-before-seen, magical experience with Adventure to Santa. Join Shrek and his friends as they take you on an interactive journey to find Santa at the North Pole. Once your journey is complete, you'll visit with Santa and pose for a keepsake photo of your unforgettable experience! This 15-minute adventure is must-do for the entire family and does not require waiting in line! Reserve your spot today.
CITY: Oak Brook
Easter Sunrise Service
Annual Easter Sunrise Service held at the 111 foot Bald Knob Cross, music & refreshments.
CITY: Alto Pass
Aurora's Holiday Festival of Lights
Enjoy the sparkle, shimmer and shine of the 2014 Festival of Lights. One of the largest free outdoor holiday light displays in Northern Illinois. Dazzling displays that will delight both adults and children. A winter wonderland of animated visual arts, lighted tunnels, a forest full of lights and more! Open from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday; and 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday starting Nov. 28 through Dec. 28, 2014. Donations accepted.
The Nutcracker at The Joffrey Ballet
Don’t miss the glorious Chicago holiday tradition of the Nutcracker! A grand production with Tchaikovsky’s glorious score played live by a full orchestra, this is sure to be an evening of pure enchantment.
Ellwood Holiday Traditions Weekend
Start your holiday season by taking a guided tour of the decorated Ellwood House mansion. Local businesses, decorators, college groups, and clubs help to present the home in a new, elegant way each year. This is the place to get ideas for your own decorating or view what times were like while the Ellwoods inhabited the opulent home.
Christmas Market "Julmarknad"
The holiday festivities in Bishop Hill begin with Julmarknad, or Christmas Market. This event is based on Scandinavian customs dating back to the Middle Ages when farmers and artisans would gather in the village squares to sell their wares. Bishop Hill businesses will be offering unique gifts, handmade wares, antiques, quilts, collectibles, baked goods, delicious foods, and Swedish imports. Scandinavian foods such as herring, lutfisk, and rye bread are also in abundance. You can also participate in the Chocolate Walk, located at the Steeple Building, where you can choose from a variety of chocolate delicacies.
CITY: Bishop Hill
Taste of Chocolate
Love chocolate? This event is for you! Enjoy dozens of homemade chocolate treats from businesses and residents of Grafton. Coffee and hot chocolate will be served, too!
Kick off the holiday season in Effingham as the community celebrates a Hometown Christmas on Saturday, November 29th in downtown Effingham. The event is sponsored by The Effingham Central Business Group, the Effingham Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Effingham Convention and Visitors Bureau. Welcome Santa to town at 4 p.m. as he travels down Jefferson Street arriving on the west side of the Courthouse square lawn. Santa will then make his way to his house to greet and hand out treats to all of the children who come to visit him. Carolers will be filling the air with your favorite Christmas songs throughout the evening. There will also be complimentary horse-drawn carriage rides around the downtown area, along with children’s activities and other goodies. Santa will continue making visits to the Courthouse location throughout the holiday season. And be sure to stop by the Effingham CVB's tent in the downtown area to get some free Effingham souvenirs and register to win a great family-friendly Effingham basket! Stick around downtown for the official lighting of the City of Effingham Community Christmas Tree by Santa and Mayor Gillenwater at 6:30 p.m. We’ll countdown and watch downtown become a beautiful winter wonderland! Take a trip back in time reliving the history of Effingham County with a tour of the Effingham County Courthouse Museum. The 143 year old courthouse captures the past, present and future of our county’s history. Come in and share your family’s story with the staff. The museum will be open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and admission is free to the public.
Festival of Lights Drive-Through
Outstanding Christmas light drive through. Experience a festival of lights without ever getting out of your car! Located at Clark County Fair Grounds in Marshall during December.
Zoo Year's Eve
Rock in the "Zoo Year 2015" with your friends at Brookfield Zoo! In the Holly Jolly Theater there will be live DJ music, games, party favors, prizes and an early countdown at 8pm. Also at the Hamill Family Play Zoo you can make your own noisemaker and enjoy an early kid-friendly countdown. This area is perfect for families with children ages 6 and under. This event is free with paid zoo admission.
Wonderland Express at Chicago Botanic Garden
Take a magical trip to a winter wonderland of twinkling lights and holiday beauty at the Chicago Botanic Garden when we kick off the holiday season! Outside, 750,000 lights sparkle and welcome you and your family to the Garden's wonderland. Inside the Regenstein Center, a 10,000-square-foot exhibition of miniature trains winds over bridges, under trestles, past waterfalls, and through more than 80 mini-replicas of Chicago's favorite landmarks. Paul Busse, designer of the Model Railroad Garden, created this amazing exhibition exclusively for the Garden's holiday celebration.
Christmas in the Village
Spend the day in downtown Cobden, where you can enjoy fresh-roasted nuts while listening to strolling Victorian carolers and madrigal players, take an old-fashioned horse-drawn surrey or wagon ride around the village, and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Feed Store, where handcrafted wreaths and gingerbread houses will be on display, shop the Christmas Bazaars and watch the lighting of the village tree.
Christmas on the Fox/Art and Craft Show
Quality, hand-made arts and crafts. No commercial or manufactured items. Come and experience the delights of the season. Juried show with over 70 crafts people participating. Lunch is available.
CITY: St. Charles
Paramount Theatrical Production: Mary Poppins
Enormous dance numbers on the ground and the roof tops. Statues coming to life, giant orchestrations for such iconic songs as “Spoon Full of Sugar,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” And of course, a few Mary Poppins magical moments that will leave you flying high. Celebrate the holidays with the ones you love at Paramount’s Mary Poppins! A Musical based on the stories of P.L. Travers & the Walt Disney Film. Rated G
Breakfast with Santa
Join the jolliest man, as well as the Mrs., for a breakfast buffet at Starved Rock Lodge. Following breakfast, you'll be treated to "Magic by Cory". Also attending will be "Grace" a white-tailed deer from the Furry Friends. Children may take turns sitting on Santa's lap to tell him their Christmas wishes and receive a chocolate treat. Enjoy brunch and meet Santa between 8:30am and 11:30am. $15.50 adults & $11.95 children under 10.
Olde Tyme Christmas and Living History
Decorations and period music accompany reenactments of what 18th century life was like at Fort Massac. The park staff and local historical re-enactors will welcome guests to the visitors' center and museum, which will be festively decorated with items based on 17th and 18th century designs. Hot spiced tea will warm visitors as they sample cookies baked in the authentic period bake oven.
Turkey Testicle Festival
It’s a great night as you don’t have to bring a dish to pass or talk to relatives. If you have never tried a turkey testicle, this is your chance! No need to worry about the weather the festival is held under one huge heated tent, with plenty of portable potties available. The bar is open but the number of people allowed inside at any one time is limited, as it can become pretty packed. There will also be hats, t-shirts and sweatshirts for sale to remember the night. “So grab a friend that's never been, enjoy a cold brew, great music, and hot nuts!" This is a 21 and older event only so bring your ID. Hope to see you there.
Travel back in time for a glimpse of holidays in seasons past. Luminaries will light the way to our log cabins where pioneer families will be celebrating. They might even be serving holiday goodies! Stop by and share your holiday wishes with a Civil War era Santa. Enjoy freshly popped corn along the way and come inside the Nature Center to listen to the sound of music. Held on the Festival Grounds in Spencer Conservation Area.
6th Annual Civil War Santa’s Visit
Celebrate Christmas, 1860s style, at Lincoln Log Cabin. While Christmas would not become an official holiday until 1870, during the Civil War, soldiers both north and south found ways to celebrate. Join us as we welcome our Civil War era Santa Claus, whose image once graced the front page of Harper’s Weekly as he distributed gifts to Union soldiers. Let’s hope they won’t be any hardtack under your tree this year! 10am-4pm
Christmas Home Tours
Visit Historic Golconda and tour 4 homes, a church and the local museum. Christmas in the courtyard begins at 5:30 pm with refreshments and, at 6:00, a live Nativity Scene and caroling around a huge bonfire on the Court House lawn in downtown Golconda, Santa arrives on the fire truck at 6:30.
Kewanee Lighted Parade and Windmont Park Lighting
View Kewanee’s magical wonderland of vivid colors and whimsical lights celebrating the spirit of the Christmas season. Open daily 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. through New Years Day.
New Year's Eve Overnight at Starved Rock Lodge
Join the party and stay the night on New Year's Eve-Dec. 31, 2014. Stay a night at the historic Starved Rock Lodge where the New Year's Eve party takes place in the Great Hall and Starved Rock Room. The two-sided fireplace is aglow and the ambiance is warm and inviting. The cocktail hour begins with an open bar and hors d'oeuvres, followed by a New Year's Eve Dinner Buffet, a champagne toast at midnight, 1:00 am pastries and brunch on New Year`s Day. Two live bands performing during the evening to keep you entertained!
Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo
Saturdays and Sundays, December 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, Friday to Wednesday, December 26-31 (4-9pm) See the Lights. Feel the Magic. Continue the tradition. Chilcagoland's largest lights festival surrounds you in the cheer of over 1,000,000 twinkling lights, caroling to the animals, ice carving, light shows, Santa and Mrs. Claus. You're sure to feel the magic of the holidays! Many of our indoor exhibits will be open for viewing favorite animals, plus there will be Singing to the Animals and special Zoo Chats. In addition, the zoo restaurants and food stands will be open with full menus and holiday treats, and gift shops will have hundreds of unique items for those hard-to-shop-for loved ones. Enjoy a full schedule of nightly music and live entertainment inside the Pavilions. Also on the schedule, an amazing magic show, costumed characters, a model railroad display, and the 38 foot Talking Tree.
It's a Wonderful Life
It's a Wonderful Life. Located on the historic I & M Canal, Nostalgic Downtown Morris offers a rich history and continues to be the gathering place year after year for community festivals. For more information visit www.shopmorrisil.com.
Holiday Lights at Bunker Hill Historic Area
The historic buildings at Kennekuk County Park's Bunker Hill Historic Area will be decorated for the holidays and thousands of lights illuminated Friday - Sunday 5:00 - 8:00 PM through the holiday season.
Gingerbread Firehouse Contest & Holiday Open House
See more than dozen gingerbread fire stations, and burning buildings, which have been specially crafted for this annual holiday event. All gingerbread entries must depict a firefighting themed architectural structure, real or imaginary and everything must be edible. The exhibit opens and will be judged on Saturday November 29. All gingerbread FIREhouses will remain on exhibit at the Aurora Regional Fire Museum though Christmas.
Andover Christmas Walk
Andover and Andover Lake Park will glow with decorations. Stroll on walkways marked by luminaries or ride in a horse-drawn wagon. Join a soup supper, visit Santa and take part in a Christmas tree silent auction. Refreshments & kids crafts at the American Legion Building from 5pm to 7pm. Visit candle-lit Jenny Lind Chapel and hear live Christmas music from 6pm to 8pm.
Blackberry Farm Holiday Express
All aboard for the Blackberry Farm Holiday Express! Experience the holiday spirit of a magical train ride with Yuletide music and thousands of twinkling lights. Scheduled ticketing for fast service! New this year - caroling hayrides, storytellers and craft stations. Make a reindeer treat and warm up at the hot chocolate bar. It's all at Blackberry Farm first three weekends in December.
Andover Christmas Julotta
For over 160 years this early morning (6:30 a.m.) service has been held at Augustana Lutheran Church. The service is held in a setting similar to that used by the Swedish congregation in 1870. The choir sings a Swedish anthem and the service is in English. Candles in the pews, altar and windows illuminate the sanctuary. Service begins at 6:30am.
Christmas at the Farm
The Lyon farm and village is operated by the Kendall County Historical Society. For two Sundays in December, kids get to experience what an old time Christmas was like. Tables are set up with eight different holiday crafts. This exciting day includes a train display around the Christmas tree and naturally, they get to meet, and have their picture taken with Santa Claus. A story teller will read some holiday classics and they can enjoy roasted chestnuts. Chili and hot dogs are available for sale. Dec. 7 & 14 1-4 pm.
Historic National Landmark, Bishop Hill, glows with luminary lit sidewalks and candle lit windows in honor of St. Lucy, a celebration of lights. Musical entertainment abounds throughout the village. Musicians will perform at the Steeple Building and at Vagnhall Galleri, the air will be filled with musical melodies. The village specialty shops and dining establishments stay open late for an enchanted evening to remember. Feel like dancing? Experience the Old Colony School barn dance serenaded by the Rusty String Pickup Band. Experience a utopia on the prairie holiday experience this season.
CITY: Bishop Hill
Christmas Tea at the Stephenson County Historical Museum
Celebrate this holiday tradition at the historic 1857 Oscar Taylor home decorated in Christmas finery. Enjoy music and and homemade cookies with coffee, tea or punch as your tour the mansion. The Holiday Gift Shop will be open featuring a selection of historical books, toys and other unique gift items.
WinterFest in Downtown Oak Park
Join Oak Park for a cookie walk inside over 50 participating shops and restaurants! Catch a glimpse of Saint Nicholas, enjoy a variety of family friendly acts and warm up inside the hospitality tent with free hot chocolate and coffee.
CITY: Oak Park
4th of July Celebration events includes: Freedom Run a 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run; a Gospel Show; a Parade; Free Concert at the City Park and much more. Capping off the Freedom Fest is one of the largest fireworks display in Southern Illinois.
Ol’ Fashion Christmas
Breakfast with Santa, enjoy the make-it and take-it ornaments for kids, carriage rides, candy cane hunt, view mini-Christmas trees and a taste and buy at the chocolate fair. The parade beginning at 3 p.m. features Christmas themed floats, marching bands and Santa. Tens of thousands of lights make Veteran’s Park downtown Galva a must to drive and see. Enjoy the Galva Arts Council entertainment in the evening. Hours: 10am to 8pm.
Christmas Trolley Lights Tour
Relax before the holidays on this illuminated tour of the LaSalle, Peru, Oglesby and Utica area, just days before Christmas. Let the staff plan the route and do the driving so you can enjoy light displays in our fully enclosed trolley. The trolleys are heated but you may want to bring along an extra blanket. Each tour will have a guide to get into the holiday spirit through some Christmas carols and songs. Tours run from 6-8pm and reservations are a must.
City of Olney Christmas Light Display
Drive through the Olney City Park to see thousands of Christmas lights and displays. Santa will be in the community each Friday and Saturday beginning December 6.
Holiday House at Magnolia Manor
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Magnolia Manor is adorned in Holiday decorations, and, many of the displays are for sale. Luncheon reservations are available, as well as tours of the 14 room mansion by members of the Historical Society.
Village of Homewood Pop Up Shops
Two dozen new retail options will open this holiday shopping season in downtown Homewood! Home goods, entertaining and gift giving needs, antiques, jewelry and accessories!
Symphony in Lights
The Promenade Bolingbrook and the Village of Bolingbrook join together to provide spectacular Holiday family fun with the Symphony in Lights Holiday Light Show beginning at dusk and runs every hour on the hour until 9 p.m., Nov 15 - Dec 31. Tree Lighting is November 15th, 3pm – 8pm. Take more than 250,000 computer-controlled, brightly colored, energy efficient lights, choreograph them to the thunderous sounds of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, add flickering, multi-directional, strobe-like bursts of light, and the result is Symphony in Lights, the largest, most energetic, innovative, public holiday light show in the country that twinkles and shimmers as it illuminates the million-square-foot Promenade Bolingbrook. The show is designed to fit its environment. Spectators will experience 40 life-sized snowflakes dance around a massive 48-foot tall tree in the center's Village Green gathering area. LED lights at the Center run the entire show on the amount of energy needed to power only one average-sized home.
Get Lit New Year's Eve Fun Run
Now in it's 13th year, Get Lit is a fun way to "run" in the new year! Open to men, women and children, this event is a non-competitive run/walk on a two-mile paved course through the Folepi's Winter Wonderland drive-through display.
CITY: East Peoria
Deck the Depot
Saunter over to Berwyn's Depot District for Deck the Depot, a brisk holiday walk through Berwyn's downtown Winter Wonderland complete with lights, live reindeer and a petting zoo at the Municipal Parking Facility. Let Santa know what's on your wish list and then get a complimentary photo with the Big Man in Red at Bounce Sports. Snuggle up on a horse-drawn sleigh ride or a hayride (Windsor & Grove Ave.). Relax to the sounds of Carolers. For those who prefer a traditional chauffeur, a heated trolley will also make stops at all of the Open Houses. Best of all, even the "naughty" will be treated like the "nice" as all of the event's aforementioned features are family-friendly and free. Opening Ceremony will take place at 5:15pm at the "Berwyn" Train Depot at Windsor & Grove. Pick up an event punch card and enter our event raffle by visiting Bounce Sports. Depot District merchants will stay open late to offer complimentary goodies, holiday specials and cheer to all who visit. Don't forget that holiday shopping list! As an extra incentive, the event will feature a special drawing for adults 21+ who spend $10 in the Depot District and have the event passport "punched" by all of the participating open houses for a chance to win a basket worth over $200!
Holiday in the Grove
Enjoy Christmas in the Grove this year! Children's Holiday Shop, sleigh rides, caroling, crafts, breakfast with Santa. Children's Free Raffle basket returns with goodies for all ages!
CITY: Sugar Grove
Light the Veltway
Roosevelt Road will light the way to the holiday season with merriment including live music, food and libations. Berwyn's entertainment row will offer festivities for the whole family.
Light Up the Holidays Parade and Festival
Light Up the Holidays Parade and Festival is held on the Friday following Thanksgiving each year. Activities begin at 10:00am and include the Renaissance Center Fun Fair, activities in the Joliet Historical Museum, Joliet Public Library, Gji's Sweet Shoppe, Jitters Coffeehouse, Chicken-N-Spice, The Red Goose Bakery and more. The Annual Festival of Trees held yearly inside the Rialto Square Theatre also add to the holiday festivities. Tree Lighting begins at 5:15pm in Van Buren Plaza Followed by the Light Up the Holidays Parade at 5:30pm.
Christmas Lights Wonderland
Tour the animated Christmas boxes and lights, then visit the Lil Red Barn Museum for free cookies, hot chocolate, coffee or tea. Visit with Santa every Friday and Saturday, ride the Polar Express and enjoy 1800s Christmas at Hill's Fort.
Oswego Christmas Walk
Come hear the sound of Christmas, the natural warmth and ambience that draws thousands to the downtown, Mason Square, and Douglas Square, the first weekend of December. Carolers, cookie walk, crafts, entertainment, and more.
Christmas Market - Julmarknad
Experience the sights, sounds and aromas of Christmas past. Swedish folk characters roam the village, music plays, shop the Swedish Food specialties, abundance of handmade wares, folk art, antiques. Select homemade chocolate delicacies for your holiday enjoyment at the Steeple Building from 10am to 4pm.
CITY: Bishop Hill
Visit beautiful Glazebrook Park lit up with twinkling lights to celebrate the holiday season. Everyone is invited to attend this free old-fashioned festival complete with carolers, hot cocoa, horse-drawn carriage rides and pictures with Santa! Bundle up since it may be chilly! All ages are welcome. In honor of the giving season, please bring a nonperishable food item for donation to the Crisis Food Center.
Home for the Holidays in Downtown Oak Park
Catch the old fashioned holiday spirit in Downtown Oak Park! Celebrate the season with free horse-drawn sleigh rides and a visit from Santa!
CITY: Oak Park
A Carpenters Christmas
Based on the music of The Carpenters’ two holiday albums and Christmas variety shows, singer and playwright Lisa Rock and her six-piece band bring their unforgettable songs to the stage. Enjoy tunes such as Merry Christmas Darling and the jazzy Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town. A holiday concert that spreads joy and cheer to all!
Christmas Feast at the Lodge
The weather outside is frightful, but the Christmas Feast at Pere Marquette Lodge is so delightful! Enjoy our fabulous, mouth-watering spread! Serving from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Reservations for parties of six or more will be accepted. Brunch Prices: Children 0-3: FREE, Children 4-11: $9.95, Adults 12 & Up: $24.95. Call (618) 786-2331 ext: 502 to make your reservations.
Cambridge Main Street Christmas on the Square
70 plus crafters will be featured at the Cambridge Parent Club’s annual craft show. Visit beautifully decorated homes during the Tour of Homes, area churches will feature “specialty treats.” Stop at Cambridge Community Hall and enjoy a visit with Santa, Holiday Music, supper and view the Festival of Trees. End the day and partake in the Baptist Church Christmas Cantata. Hours: 10am to 8pm.
Stroll on State - Downtown Rockford
Stroll on State, a new Rockford tradition, returns for a second year on Nov. 29 from 4-9 p.m. with a wide variety of family-friendly activities, including a candlelight stroll to the tree lighting, ice sculptor Randy Finch and his team from Ice Brigades, horse and carriage/wagon rides, a visit with Santa and some of his reindeer, a fireworks show, “Frosytland” with local artist Lisa Frost, live entertainment, music, and food vendors. There will be shopping opportunities at downtown stores and pop-up shops special to the evening. Shuttles are available from remote parking areas. Visit the website for more details.
Home for the Holidays
Start the season of good cheer off right with an old-fashioned holiday feeling in downtown Morris. The nostalgic street lights downtown take on a festive glow with wreaths and lights adorning the lampposts. The celebration features a house walk, a night time lighted parade, carriage rides, trolley rides, a children's winter carnival, the festival of trees, live reindeer and of course, Santa!.
Festival of Lights
The beautiful lights and holiday decorations are purchased by the citizens of Fairfield and then donated to the park, creative a festive atmosphere to celebrate the season. .
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
A play based on the book written by Barbara Robinson in 1971. It tells the story of Imogene, Claude, Ralph, Leroy, Ollie, and Gladys, six delinquent children surnamed Herdman. They go to church for the first time after being told that the church offers snacks. Despite protests from other church members, they are given roles in the Sunday school's Christmas play, in which they tell the Christmas story in a non-conventional fashion.
Old Capitol Holiday Walk
Held December 3, 4, 10, and 17. 5-8 pm each evening. SHOP LOCAL! 30+ shops and restaurants featuring unique shopping and dining. Festive holiday atmosphere with free Santa House, family entertainment and horse drawn trolley and shuttle van.
Long Grove's Holiday Festivities
Charming, historic downtown Long Grove is the destination for the holiday season. Visitors will enjoy a variety of family fun beginning Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas Eve, such as the Humbug Scavenger Hunts for kids. Check back for upcoming details about additional family-friendly winter weekend activities including our annual tree lighting ceremony, cookie walk, snowman building, caroling, storytelling, kids’ Humbug coloring contests, Christmas with Santa, and more! Plus, warm up with, hot apple cider in the Visitors’ Center!
CITY: Long Grove
Rockton Christmas Walk Weekend
The 30th annual Rockton Christmas Walk events include the Lighting of the Park, Candy Cane Craft Fair, Lighted Parade, pictures with Santa, Christmas carolers, and you can take a Candy Cane Craft Show, and horse drawn wagon rides. Many organizations will provide events of their own which include a breakfast, craft show, musical concert, hot cocoa, and Christmas time sales at their business. See the website for a full schedule.
Dinner and Christmas Concert
Lovely Christmas music by the Prairie Singers and a delicious holiday meal by the Cheese Shop of Ottawa. Reservations required. Reddick Mansion Association.
Michael Londra’s Celtic Yuletide
Described as one of the greatest Irish singers of the time, Michael Londra creates an Irish Christmas with world class dancers and classic stories from his homeland. He sings traditional heartwarming carols like Winter, Fire and Snow, The Maiden's Lullaby and Gaelic pieces like Oiche Ciuin (Silent Night), plus many sing-along carols the audience will know and love!