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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 with advanced reservations by calling Greatting Horse Farm at 618-458-6986. For more information about Christmas Wonderland, call 1-866-465-7890.
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.
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.
Arthur Amish Country Christmas Kickoff
The Christmas lighted parade steps off at 5:30pm and will showcase Santa & Mrs. Claus through downtown Arthur. Immediately following the parade, Santa will visit with children and parents in Knights Court downtown to start collecting those early Christmas requests. Complimentary hot chocolate and cookies will be served during his visit. Throughout the day, businesses in the downtown area as well as the countryside will feature early Christmas bargains and host Open Houses.
Winter Lights Holiday Walk
Usher in the holiday season with a family event featuring the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus, Miss Merry Christmas and Jack Frost, music, lights, refreshments and the lighting of the City's official tree. Top it off with a Winter Holiday Market, parade and fireworks and you have an event to remember!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Chicago Premium Outlets, Aurora
Find impressive savings at over 120 designer and name-brand outlet stores, such as Ann Taylor, Armani, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, Coach, Cole Haan, Elie Tahari, Gap Outlet, J.Crew, Lacoste, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Salvatore Ferragamo, Michael Kors, Theory, Vera Bradley and more. The opening of an additional 80 stores in the Spring of 2015 will make this even more of a Midwest Shopping destination! In Aurora, 37 miles west of Chicago.
Westfield Fox Valley Mall
More than 180 stores anchored by Macy’s, Carson Pirie Scott, JC Penney and Sears.
Go on a one of a kind country adventure you'll never forget! Become pioneers for a day on a real 1800s farm and village. Miniature train rides, pony rides, petting zoo, pioneer craft demonstrations, and special events. In the Discovery Barn see chickens, sheep, piglets, baby goats and more.
This historic landmark theater offers affordable, live entertainment, comedy, concerts, dance and plays in both The Paramount Theatre & Copley Theatre. Group discounts. Theater rentals are perfect for meetings, performances, fundraisers and banquets.
We sell only products made in the United States! We offer an eclectic mix of common household items from toys to tools, glassware to garden supplies, fashions to food and so much more. When you shop at Norton's U.S.A, you help keep America working!
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.
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!
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 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
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
The Bishop Hill Gallery
Located at ground level below The Gallery Inn, the Bishop Hill Gallery specializes in artwork and framing. As you enter the gallery, you will notice a great selection of Abraham Lincoln and Civil War photographs and documents, as well as other artwork. You can purchase your art and have it framed by skilled crafts people in the same location.
CITY: Bishop Hill
Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts
Built in 1922 to house the original American Passion Play, the former Scottish Rite Temple is the centerpiece of downtown Bloomington's Cultural District. The Performing Arts Center has a 1,200-seat theater and 1,000-person ballroom.
Twin Cities Ballet
Twin Cities Ballet is a civic ballet company and school of dance which attracts guest dancers throughout the year. The Nutcracker is a local tradition each December.
The McLean County Courthouse, capped by a stately dome, serves as a landmark to identify the historic core of the city. Turn-of-the century buildings, many with interesting historical pasts, flank the courthouse square. A visitor can find museums, banks, a legal and governmental center, residential living, a large artists' community, plus an assortment of specialty retail businesses and supportive services in Downtown Bloomington. There is an abundance of restaurants and a lively night scene. Discover all that downtown Bloomington has to offer by shopping, dining, working and playing in this great historical district!