Virtual Holiday Experiences

With new recommendations to stay at home as much as possible, we’ve put together a collection of ways to celebrate the holiday season safely.

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There is a fantastic variety of family-friendly virtual events taking place throughout Illinois. Tune in for a healthy dose of festive spirit as you enjoy virtual tastings, performances, tours, quizzes and more!

For a great selection of online holiday shopping, check out our Illinois Made Holiday Gift Guide.

Chicago Area

A Celtic Family Christmas "At Home"

Join Natalie MacMaster, Donnell Leahy and their seven children as they celebrate Christmas virtually this year. Instead of their usual Christmas tour, this year they will bring the stage to their home. This hour-long performance will share their music, holiday traditions and way of life with audiences.

Christkindlmarket Virtual Marketplace

This year, the iconic Christkindlmarket can be experienced from the comfort and safety of your home. “Home for the Holidays” features an online marketplace, family-friendly events and fun interactive activities.

Chicago Detours Virtual Holiday Stories Happy Hour

Celebrate the season with family and friends on a virtual holiday event. Guests get a chance to to show off their personalities and creative sides on this fun and interactive Zoom experience. Nothing is pre-recorded, allowing for spontaneity and even audience participation. Turn your camera on, dress festively and bring a drink!

Springfield

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum - Jr. Historians Live! “Winter, Holiday, and Snow… Oh My!” Trivia Event

Grab some food, gather the family and join in on a fun-filled, virtual Family Trivia Night. This exciting event features questions that span from easy to challenging, so they’re guaranteed to engage the whole family.

Christmas at the Lincoln Home

Join Curator Susan Haake and Lincoln Home Interpretive Rangers for a virtual tour of the Lincoln Home decorated for Christmas. How did the Lincolns decorate? Did they have a Christmas tree? Learn all of this and more from the comfort of your sofa.

Dana-Thomas House Virtual Holiday Experience

Spend time with the Dana-Thomas House friends as they share stories of past Christmas celebrations at the site. The evening includes music from Ed Clark, appetizer demonstration by Maldaner’s Chef Michael Higgins and drink recipes with mixologist Joe Alvarez from Curate.

The Chiara Center – 14th Annual Franciscan Nativity Festival

The annual Nativity Festival will be virtual this year with three evenings of events from December 4-6.

Lake County

Virtual Advent Calendar with Mosaic Players

Members of the Mosaic Players will be sharing stories, readings, songs, traditions, and so much more. They'll post a new video for you to enjoy each day at 10 am via their Facebook page, YouTube, Website, and Twitter. The video will be available for a day then will be replaced by a new one the next day.

The Hip Hop Nutcracker

Enjoy a beloved holiday tradition at home with this contemporary dance spectacle set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music.

Craft Whiskey Virtual Tasting

Craft whiskey gets paired with artisan delicacies during this virtual holiday spirits tasting experience with Copper Fiddle Distillery, Prevail Jerky and Fill My Jar. Samples will be received in advance.

Champaign Content

Virtual Parade of Lights

On November 28, the 20th Annual Parade of Lights will go virtual so that families can enjoy the parade together from the comfort of their homes. Floats will be miniaturized to the size of a shoebox, giving parade entrants the ability to showcase their crafting skills and creativity during what will be a unique and fun adaptation of this community event.

Allerton Park & Retreat Center Virtual Holiday Showcase

Browse the online showcase via our website and purchase one-of-a-kind gifts for your loved ones all from the comfort of your home. Shop with ease this season while helping us celebrate and support local businesses!

Bloomington-Normal

Virtual Downtown Bloomington Tree Lighting

This new tradition is a partnership between the City of Bloomington, McLean County and the McLean County Museum of History. Nitsch Arts Theatre will be joining in on the fun to perform Christmas carols to all who join!

Quad Cities Area

Christmas at Augustana Virtual Performance

Augustana College will kick off the holiday season with a virtual performance of Christmas at Augustana. Three hundred student musicians will be participating in performances by the Augustana Brass Ensemble, Ascension Ringers, Augustana Symphony Orchestra, Augustana Choir and more.

Savanna

Savanna Museum Festival of Trees

Trees and wreaths creatively decorated by local businesses and residents will be on display. This year audiences can view videos of each tree and vote for their favorite.

DuPage Area

Virtual Performances at McAninch Arts Center

Enjoy a variety of virtual events hosted by the McAninch Arts Center. Events include virtual performances of A Christmas Carol and Million Dollar Christmas as well as a Holiday Sing-Along.

Virtual Performances at Elmhurst Art Museum

Hosted by the Elmhurst Art Museum, enjoy this Frank Lloyd Wright Holiday Activity and learn how to make all kinds of seasonal crafts.

Peoria

The Nutcracker

Enjoy a true holiday classic, The Nutcracker, performed by both the Central Illinois Ballet and Peoria Ballet from the comfort of your sofa. 

It’s a Wonderful Life

In December, you can listen to a live radio play of It’s a Wonderful Life presented by Corn Stock Theatre.

Aurora

2020 Cocoa Non-Crawl

The 2020 Cocoa Non-Crawl is a creative reimagining of the family-friendly First Fridays experience. 

Oswego Tree-Lighting Ceremony

All of the cheer, but different this year! The online Oswego Tree-Lighting Ceremony signals the start of online and socially-distanced festivities in Oswego.

Rockford

Stroll on State

Watch the Stroll on State Holiday Special, Davis Park Tree Lighting and Fireworks Celebration on Channel 13 WREX. The event will feature holiday-themed feature stories and a variety of special guest appearances, culminating with a countdown to the tree lighting and an accompanying fireworks celebration.

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