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Antioch's Gingerbread Walk & Scavenger Hunt
Bring the family and friends to Downtown Antioch to hunt for Gingerbread! Find delightful Gingerbread Sculptures of Houses and other unique creations. Fill out a contest entry form and track down the different Gingerbread Clues throughout Downtown. Turn in the completed entry form for a chance to win exciting prizes and vote for the best one. Enjoy strolling musicians and carolers on Saturdays while finishing all the holiday shopping.
Dicken's Holiday Village
Olde England comes alive in Historic Downtown Antioch with lifelike figures representing scenes from the Dickens Era. Experience this public art exhibit while strolling among the delight streets of Antioch. Enjoy the charm of Dickens among the many boutiques, gift shops and eateries. Also enjoy special Saturday Dickens activities.
Lambs Farm Holiday Lights Gift and Craft Fair
Come shop for your holiday gifts at hundreds of exhibits from all over the country!
CITY: Arlington Heights
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!
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
Southern Illinois Hunting and Fishing Days
The 26th Annual Southern Illinois Hunting and Fishing Days will be held at John A Logan College. It is the largest celebration of Hunting and Fishing Day in the country. This 200+ vendor show offers something for the whole family. Bass Fishing and Crappie seminars, catfish contest, Goose calling contests, Dock Dogs competitions, retriever demonstrations and a kids fishing hole are just a few of the activities throughout the weekend.
Carthage Christmas Open House
A magical evening in the beautiful historic downtown district of Carthage, Illinois, and home to our beautiful Hancock County Courthouse! Specials offered by local businesses, delectable treats, mini-malls highlighting local vendors (Vendors: Register here!), visit from Santa Claus, and much more! The spirit of Christmas is alive in Hancock County!
Christmas on the River
This year's theme is All Aboard the Polar Express. The bell still rings for those who truly believe. Enjoy a lighted parade, craft show, carriage rides and more!
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.
Chicago Flower & Garden Show
There's even more color, fragrance and roll-up-your-sleeves, good ideas at the next Chicago Flower & Garden Show presented by Mariano's, March 14-22, 2015 at Chicago’s Navy Pier, the No. 1 tourist destination in Illinois. More than 20 feature gardens from top designers bring visitors the first joys of spring and exciting ways to "Do Green. Do Good." The Marketplace's 100 exhibitors is a shopper's paradise; the Kids Activity Garden is so much fun, kids don't realize how much they're learning about greening our world. Garden Gourmet features top chefs with cooking demos. Experts present seminars on the best tricks and tips of gardening; Tablescapes show the most gorgeous, dreamy decor for indoor or outdoor dining, and the "Art of Floral,” features interpretive floral designs. For more information and tickets, including group tour rates, visit www.chicagoflower.com/
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.
Deerfield's 4th Annual Winter Celebration
The Village of Deerfield will be celebrating the holidays with festive holiday activities for every age. Enjoy horse-drawn sleigh rides, roasted chestnuts, carolers, warm treats, live animals and more. In addition Saturday will include the big man, Santa Claus to offer photo opportunities for children of all ages, holiday games, including dreidel games, petting zoo, pony rides, gingerbread house decorating and much more.
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
Aquin Flea Market
The Aquin Flea Market has been the treasure hunters' favorite for many years. This large indoor flea market is filled with antiques, collectibles, crafts, and books. Open the first Sunday of the month September - May.
Visitors Center Holiday Gift Expo
Freeport/Stephenson County Visitors Center, 4596 US Highway 20 East, Freeport. 8 am to 7 pm. Shop for unique local products during this special expo at the Freeport/Stephenson County Visitors Center. Over a hundred local vendors with products ranging from Pretzel items to books to cards to rugs to mugs to more are featured. The gifts are either produced in Stephenson County or highlight some aspect of local culture and history. Open: 8 am - 7 pm seven days a week.
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!
“Ciao” on delicious Italian food and delight in a grand parade. There will be midway rides and games, live music, a bocce tournament, a grape stomp, a pasta cook-off, a kids pet and bike parade, a road race and an art contest.
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!
Jacksonville Main Street’s Bridal Expo
Jacksonville Main Street’s Bridal Expo at Hamilton’s from 12 to 4 p.m. There will be lots of vendors and prizes. The Bridal Fashion Show will be at 2:45 p.m.
Annual Downtown Celebration
Plan to be part of the Downtown Celebration, a festive day of music, food and fun in the heart of Historic Downtown Jacksonville.
4th of July Celebration & Parade
Two day Celebration at Nichols Park beginning at 6 p.m. July 3 and ending after fireworks on July 4th. Parade, concessions, kid’s events, live entertainment, fireworks and more!
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.
Unity Route 66 Flea & Farmers Market
What can be more fun than a Route 66 Flea & Farmers Market! Unity Community Development Corporation holds this fundraiser located on the corner of US Route 66 & Route 52. Donation Admission fee .50 cents (Seniors & Kids free). Non-profit vendor booth $20.00. Held 9:00am - 4:00pm, every Saturday and Sunday Nov 1 & 2 through Dec 27 & 28.
Christmas Begins at Walnut Grove Farm
Begin your winter holiday season on Thanksgiving weekend with festive music, simmering foods, friendly greetings and a visit with St. Nicholas. Take home natural Christmas trimming and exquisite one-of-a-kind gifts for family and friends. End your visit with a horse-drawn wagon ride through the walnut grove! Admission: a generous gift of non-perishable food items for Knoxville Council of Churches’ Christmas baskets.