Santa Claus is coming to Des Plaines on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3-4, to ring in a joyful holiday season.
The Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce, the Des Plaines Park District, and the Frisbie Senior Center will host Winter Wonderland, a new two-day free festival, at the Frisbie Senior Center from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. both days.
It features free pictures with Santa; local entertainment; kids crafts, bingo, and face painting; a holiday bazaar; ice-carving demonstrations; storytime; food and drink; model train displays; and walk-around characters Ronald McDonald, Kiwi the Clown, SkyGuy, Jewels the Clown, and Hubert the Lion.
"We are very excited to kick off the holidays and give back to the community at the same time," Linda Traina, superintendent of recreation, said. "This is a wonderful way to spend a couple of days with family and friends."
Entertainment includes dance performances by Sol Azteca and Artistry in Motion on Saturday, and the O'Hare Irish Dancers on Sunday. On Saturday, Super Stolie, a high-energy children's musician and singer will entertain.
The Prospect Madrigal Singers and the Senior Center Note-Ables will perform on Saturday. The Christ Church Handbell Ensemble, and both the Maine West Choraliers and Maine West Guitar Ensemble will ring in the holidays with carols of the season on Sunday.
The popular Siberian huskies will be available 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for photos and a talk about the history of the Iditarod.
In addition to food prepared by the Cumberland Cafe, the Des Plaines History Center will be roasting chestnuts in the parking lot.
"In the spirit of the season, we will also have a coat and food drive to benefit the Self-Help Closet and Pantry of Des Plaines," said Traina. "As we come together to celebrate, we hope that folks bring in food and clothing that will benefit the many people living right here in Des Plaines who are in need."
Admission to the festival is free, parking is free, and all events, games, crafts, and photo opportunities are free. The Frisbie Senior is at 52 E. Northwest Hwy. in Des Plaines, one block west of Mount Prospect Road.
Visit DPParks.org or call (847) 391-5700.