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posted: 11/28/2012 12:35 PM

Cuneo hosts festivities for the holidays

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  • Holiday lights twinkle in front of the Cuneo Mansion in Vernon Hills during a past Winter Wonderland holiday light show.

      Holiday lights twinkle in front of the Cuneo Mansion in Vernon Hills during a past Winter Wonderland holiday light show.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

Loyola University submission

Loyola University Chicago's Cuneo Mansion and Gardens opens its doors to the community this holiday season with fun, art, theater, and Santa Claus.

In addition to the estate's annual Holiday Light Show, Cuneo will present a performance of the classic "The Velveteen Rabbit," an exhibition of crèches from around the world, and its second annual Open House with Santa.

The Holiday Light Show at Cuneo will run through Monday, Dec. 31, inviting the community to take a drive-through tour of the estate's 97 acres decorated in brightly lit holiday figures.

The show runs from 6-10 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Visitors can enhance their experience by tuning into local radio station 107.1 FM for a dual music and visual experience.

Cuneo will also host a staged adaptation of "The Velveteen Rabbit." This Kirk Players' rendition of the children's book by Margery Williams is filled with song and audience participation. "The Velveteen Rabbit" will premiere at Cuneo Saturday, Dec. 1, with performances scheduled throughout the month of December.

From 6:30-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, the Cuneo Mansion and Gardens invites the local community to its second annual Open House with Santa.

Visitors are welcome to enjoy self-guided tours of the mansion, a craft station and coloring contest for children, a homemade wreath contest, a visit with Santa Claus and his elves in the Great Hall, a raffle drawing, cookies and hot chocolate, beer/wine for purchase.

"We are so pleased to share another holiday season with the public," said Kevin Ginty, general manager at Cuneo Mansion and Gardens.

"It is one of our favorite times of the year, and we are thrilled to host the Open House with Santa for a second year. It brings such joy."

Adding to the holiday spirit this year will be 15 unique crèches from around the world, which will be displayed throughout the Cuneo Mansion through Dec. 31. These crèches are on loan from the Loyola University Museum of Art's annual holiday exhibition, "Art and Faith of the Crèche: The Collection of James and Emilia Govan."

The full exhibition will be shown at LUMA, 820 N. Michigan Ave., on Loyola's Water Tower Campus, through Sunday, Jan. 13.

Visit for more information. Cuneo Mansion and Gardens is at 1350 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills.