Our guide to the fall festivals of 2012
Sept. 28 -- Johnny Appleseed Festival: Downtown Crystal Lake, along Woodstock, Brink, Williams and Grant streets; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29. Pumpkin bowling, pumpkin train, storytelling, music, children's games, pony rides, pie baking and eating contests, dance, food and The Great Ball Race down Brink Street. Free. (815) 479-0835 or downtowncl.org.
Sept. 28-30 -- Huntley Fall Fest: Deicke Park, 11419 S. Route 47; 4-11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30. Music, food, craft and home business show, tractor show, petting zoo, pony rides, bingo, scarecrow building. Lions Club pancake breakfast 7-11 a.m. Sept. 29; 5K and 1-mile fun run at 8 a.m. Fireworks, 8:45 p.m. Sept. 29. Friday's band lineup: Tongue N Groove, 5:30 p.m.; Suburban Cowboys, 8:30 p.m. On Saturday: Serendipity, 1 p.m.; Denny Diamond, 3:30 p.m.; Evolution, 6:15 p.m.; The Spazmatics, 9 p.m. On Sunday: Project Two, 11:30 a.m.; Hans and The Hormones, 12:45 p.m.; 7th Heaven, 3 p.m. Admission $5 Sept. 28 and 5 p.m. to close Sept. 29; free from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 29 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 30. (847) 650-9041; huntleyfallfest.org.
Sept. 28-30 -- Long Grove Apple Fest: At Old McHenry and Robert Parker Coffin; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Sept 28-30. Live entertainment, children's activities and apple-inspired treats, including doughnuts, apple lattes, caramel apples and more. Free admission. longgroveonline.com; (847) 634-0888.
Sept. 29 -- Antioch Fall Wine Walk: Downtown, Antioch, 12:15-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29. Participants taste more than 40 wines. Must be 21. $40, comes with free wineglass, event menu, food and bottle of wine. Limit 8 tickets per person. Register in person at the Antioch Parks and Recreation Building, 806 Holbek Drive, or online. Contact Shawn Roby at (847) 838-4032.
Sept. 29 -- Oktoberfest Street Dance: Church Street near Milwaukee Avenue, Libertyville; 4-11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29. Live music, friends, food (including German), fun, games, and beverages in downtown Libertyville. MainStreet Libertyville fundraiser. $10 advance; $15 at the door. (847) 680-0336; Mainstreetlibertyville.org.
Sept. 29 -- Pleasant Valley Prairie Fest: Pleasant Valley Conservation Area, 13315 Pleasant Valley Road, Woodstock; noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29. Guided prairie hikes, activities for the kids, seed collecting, live music. Bring a picnic lunch or buy food there. General event information, hikes, games and other activities also available in Spanish. Free. (815) 338-6223; mccdistrict.org.
Sept. 30 -- Bartlett Cemetery Walk: Bartlett Cemetery, North Avenue and Oliver Street, Bartlett; 2-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30. Tours every 20 minutes starting at 2 p.m. $5; $2 ages 12-15; free 11-under. (630) 289-8592 for reservations.
Sept. 30 -- Batavia Main Street House Walk: 4 W. Wilson St., Batavia; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30. Historic and renovated homes and a tea for all house walk visitors at Water Street Studios. $18 presale; $20 day of walk. (630) 761-3528 or downtownbatavia.com.
Sept. 30 -- Grayslake Living History Tour: Grayslake Cemetery, northeast corner of Lake Street and Belvidere Road, Grayslake; 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30. Costumed volunteers portray residents buried in the venerable cemetery. Free. (847) 223-7663.
Sept. 30 -- Loyola Harvest Fest: Loyola's Retreat and Ecology Campus, 2710 S. Country Club Road, Woodstock; noon-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30. Food, live music, beverages, cider pressing, face painting, apple stamps, pumpkin painting, bags, facility tours. Free; $5 recommended donation. luc.edu/retreatcampus/.
Sept. 30 -- Manhattan Short Film Festival: Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles; 2 and 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30. Thousands of people in 250 cities across six continents will gather in cinemas, galleries, universities and museums to view and vote on the finalist films in the annual festival, held Sept. 28-Oct. 7. $12, $7 students. (630) 962-7000 or www.oshows.com.
Oct. 5-7 -- St. Charles Scarecrow Festival: Lincoln Park, Main and Fourth streets, St. Charles; 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday & Saturday, Oct. 6-7. More than 150 handcrafted scarecrows, carnival, petting zoo, Canine Corner, food, Autumn on the Fox arts and crafts show. Main Stage lineup: LiveWire; Wedding Banned; Thompson Junior High School Fiddlers; Flannery School of Irish Dance; Thunder Road; The Captains of Industry; 16 Candles; Generations; Leadfoot Linda; Arra. Riverside Stage lineup: Almost Famous; Manic Rose; Dance Dynamics; Third Street Dance; Train Company; Wild Child; Completely Dead; Tricky Mission; Supernaut; 24Seven Free. scarecrowfest.com.
Oct. 6 -- Arlington Heights Autumn Harvest: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. Petting zoo, scarecrow building contest, story time, face painting and crafts, farmers market, food vendors, and all-day entertainment. www.ahpd.org.
Oct. 6 -- Huntley Dog-tober Fest: Deicke Park, 11419 S. Route 47; noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. Free. Contests, sports demos, rescue/shelter organizations, vendors, raffles and more. All dogs must be leashed. huntleydogtoberfest.com.
Oct. 6 -- Faith Lutheran Church Fall Fest: Church, 431 S. Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. Fall plants and decorations available to buy; entertainment and children's activities. Flu shots available for adults and children (for a fee). Admission free. (847) 253-4839; faithlutheran-ah.org.
Oct. 6 -- Gurnee Fall Fest: Viking Park, Old Grand Avenue; noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. Numerous free activities geared for families, including an apple dumpling area, children's games, crafts, electric train ride, tractor-pulled hay wagon rides. (847) 623-7788; gurneeparkdistrict.com.
Oct. 6 -- Palatine Stables Fall Festival: Stables, 1510 W. Northwest Hwy.; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 6. Play with the animals and sample street fair food. (847) 359-0009.
Oct. 6 -- Rosemont Park District Fall Festival: Margaret J. Lange Park; 1:30-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. D.J., games, kids' garage sale; Mad Science demonstration; scarecrow display; pumpkin carving (bring your own pumpkin); baggo and Pumpkin Bocce Ball games; face painting; moon walk.
Oct. 6 -- Fox Lake Oktoberfest: Lakefront Park, 71 Nippersink Blvd.; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. Arts and crafts, food, beer tent, hay rides, other kid's activities, music from the Alpiners. $6 wristband allows kids into all events. Free admission. foxlake.org.
Oct. 6 -- Hoffman Estates Hispanic Heritage Day: Hoffman Estates Village Hall, 1900 Hassell Road; noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, Ed & Mary Hennessy Room. Hispanic food and entertainment. Free. (847) 781-2606.
Oct. 6 -- Randall Oaks Pumpkin Festival: Randall Oaks Park, 17N350 Randall Road, West Dundee; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. Hayrides, crafts to make, animal enrichment activities. All activities included with zoo admission except hayride, which is $3. Zoo admission $3.25; $4 nonresidents. Children under 2 free. (847) 428-7131; dtpd.org.
Oct. 6 -- JOURNEYS Race for Home: Towne Square, 150 W. Palatine Road, Palatine; 8-10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. One of JOURNEYS largest fundraisers of the year, raising money to help the homeless. (847) 963-9163.
Oct. 6 -- Prince of Peace PumpkinFest: Prince of Peace Church, Arlington Heights Road at Devon Avenue, Elk Grove Village; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. Children's games, moon walk, petting zoo, live musical entertainment, door prizes, food vendors. Admission free.
Oct. 6 -- Vernon Hills Oktoberfest: Vernon Hills Metra Station, 75 Route 45; 3-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. Live music, kids crafts, petting zoo, pumpkin painting, balloon artist, free hay rides, inflatables. Vernonhills.org; (847) 367-3700..
Oct. 7 -- Bonner Country Fair: Bonner Heritage Farm, north side of Sand Lake Road, west of Route 45, Lindenhurst; noon-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7. Crafts, games, petting zoo, more. $3; 3-under are free. (847) 367-6640; lcfpd.org.
Oct. 7 -- McHenry County Cider Fest: McHenry County Historical Society Museum, 6422 Main St., Union; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7. Live entertainment, demonstrations of old tools, watch a barn raising at 12:30 p.m. Harvest demonstrations, broom making, old-fashioned cider making, apple goodies bakery, kettle korn, book, antique clothing, and white elephant sale. The museum, the Gannon 1843 log cabin and 1895 West Harmony one-room school open free all day. (815) 923-2267; mchsonline.org.
Oct. 7 -- Garfield Farm Harvest Day: Garfield Farm Museum, Garfield Road off Route 38, Campton Hills; 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7. Demonstrations of farm and household skills, 19th century music and food. $3-$6. (630) 584-8485; garfieldfarm.org.
Oct. 11 -- Living History Open House: Glacial Park's Powers-Walker House, 6316 Harts Road, Ringwood; 5-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11. Enjoy the ambience of this 1850s house by candlelight and lamplight while enjoying a fall evening viewing of the ever-changing colors in the Lost Valley Marsh. Free. www.mccdistrict.org.
Oct. 12-14 -- Fox Valley Oktoberfest: Riverwalk, Houston Street and Island Avenue, Batavia; 5-11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12; noon-11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13; noon-8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14. German food, drinks and music, including International Musicale DJ, under the big top tent. Free admission. foxvalleygermans.org.
Oct. 13 -- Haunted Trail and Bonfire: Forest View Park, Forest View Road, Lindenhurst; 4:30-6 p.m. and 6-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13. Admission free, trail $1. Hay rides, inflatable games, carnival food and entertainment. Admission to hay ride is a canned food donation. Costume contest starts at 3:30 p.m., judged by Mayor Susan Lahr and Queens of Lindenhurst. Free apple cider by bonfire. (847) 356-6011.
Oct. 13 -- Mount Prospect Fall Fest and Oktoberfest: Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Mount Prospect Metra Station, southwest corner Northwest Highway and Route 83. Fall Fest: 1-4 p.m. with hay rides, pony rides, moon bounces, pumpkin decorating, crafts, and the never-ending trick or treat candy line of 30 local businesses. Performances from Circus Boy, Dave Herzog Marionettes. Taffy apples, German pretzels and a full array of German food. Oktoberfest: 4-10:30 p.m., after the fall fest. Authentic German food, beer and music by Phenix, under heated tent.
Oct. 13 -- Hoffman Estates Pumpkin Fest: Sunderlage Farmhouse, Volid Drive and Vista Lane; 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13. Sponsored by the Historical Sites Commission; refreshments and $2 pumpkins for decorating.
Oct. 13 -- Libertyville PumpkinFest: Cook Park, 413 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13. Get a free pumpkin for a donated food item. Face painting, coloring contests, "touch the truck," more. libertyvillejuniors.org.
Oct. 13 -- Barrington Scarecrow Festival: Memorial Park, on Hough Street; 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13. Decorate a pumpkin or scarecrow or ride a pony. Music, games and face painting. Materials for scarecrow-making provided, but bring clothing and accessories to personalize your creations. Anne Garrette, Barrington's marketing and events coordinator, email@example.com; (847) 304-3479.
Oct. 13 -- A Taste of the Grape: Renwood Golf Course, 701 E. Shorewood Road, Round Lake Beach; 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13. Evening of wine tasting sponsored by the Friends of the Round Lake Area Parks Foundation. $25 per person, must be 21. Deadline to register Oct. 1. (847) 231-4711; renwoodgolf.com.
Oct. 13 -- Hickory Knolls Star Party: Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, 3795 Campton Hills Road, St. Charles; 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13. Stargaze with the Chicago Astronomers; bring a telescope if you have one; dress for the outdoors. Free, but registration required. St. Charles Park District, Iskywatch.com and Onedarksky.com. (630) 513-4399 or stcnature.org.
Oct. 13 -- Kingswood Harvest Fest: Kingswood United Methodist Church, 401 W. Dundee Road, Buffalo Grove; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13. Petting zoo, bake sale, craft fair, games for kids, pumpkin decorating and food, performance by the Kingswood Glory Fingers Puppet Team and Praise Band. Admission free; small charge for food. (847) 398-0770; kingswoodumc.com.
Oct. 13 -- Northbrook Autumnfest: Meadowhill Park, 1479 Maple Ave.; 3-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13. Music, Northbrook's Talent Showdown, an I-Spy Trail Ride, costume contest, golf challenges, pumpkin chuckin', bonfire, inflatables, carnival games, food vendors, teen climbing challenge, pumpkin-carving contest. Bands are 28 Days, Little Nashville, Last Resort and the Park Larks senior choir. nbparks.org.
Oct. 13-14 -- Long Grove Oktoberfest: Robert Parker Coffin Road; Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 13-14. Live entertainment, folk dance, German bands, hayrides, carriage rides, children's activities, beer, brats, and traditional German food. Shops will have autumn and Halloween-themed items, sales, live music, special foods and drinks. Admission, parking free. Parade at 10 a.m. Saturday. longgrove.com/OktoberFest.html; (847) 634-0888.
Oct. 13-21 -- Pumpkin Trolley: Fox River Trolley Museum, 361 S. LaFox St. (Route 31), South Elgin; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 13-21. Ride an old-time electric trolley car to the pumpkin patch and buy a pumpkin at low cost. $4; $3 65 and older; $2 ages 3-11; under 3 ride free. (847) 697-4676; foxtrolley.org.
Oct. 14 -- Heirloom Apple Fest: Durant House Museum, LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, 37W370 Dean St., St. Charles; costumed guides demonstrate using a pioneer apple drying basket, and serve an array of 19th-century fare. Sample savory ciders prepared in an 1840s hearth and a Victorian wood-burning stove. 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14. $2; $1 per child. ppfv.org.
Oct. 17 -- McHenry County Historic Halloween Program: McHenry County Historical Society Museum, 6422 Main St., Union; 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17. Tony Olszewski, founder of the McHenry County Paranormal Research Group, discusses "Ghosts and Spirits: What's the Difference?" and takes the audience into the world of paranormal field research. Halloween refreshments follow. Admission charged for nonmembers of the society. (815) 923-2267; mchsonline.org.
Oct. 19-20 -- Lambs Farm Barn Burner BBQ: Lambs Farm, 14245 W. Rockland Road, Libertyville; 5-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20. Contests, demonstrations, raffles, vendors, beer tent, live music, chili competition and expert tips from barbecue competitors. Free to spectators. Stephanie Norum, (847) 990-3714; lambsfarm.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oct. 19-21 -- Des Plaines Arts Festival: Des Plaines Public Library, 1501 Ellinwood St.; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19; 1-5 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 20-21. Friday night wine and cheese reception and photography, Hawaiian vocal group, OMG Improv Company, Northwest Symphony Ensemble and Glee Club. On Saturday: Community mural creation, ethnic dance companies perform, painting, printmaking, scratchboard drawing demos, art contests, poetry, storytelling, balloon art and a flash mob. On Sunday: One act plays, instrumental music groups, art awards. Jo Bonell (847) 376-2789 or email@example.com or dppl.org.
Oct. 20 -- BatFest and Zombie Walk: Saturday, Oct. 20, Batavia Riverwalk, Houston Street and Island Avenue. BatFest is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. with Halloween parade at 11:45 a.m., games, hayrides, downtown trick-or-treating, stories and songs, Pumpkin Roll, and costume contest at 1:30 p.m. Learn the Monster Mash. Register for the evening's "Zombie Walk" noon-2 p.m.; the first 300 get a zombie makeover. At 4 p.m., Zombie registration, "Virus Outbreak" starts with three "Quarantine Zones" at Music Matters, 222 E. Wilson St.; Clark Island; and former Methodist church building, 347 McKee St. At 5 p.m., the "Zombie Walk epidemic" spreads to Peg Bond Center Pavilion. At 6 p.m., learn the moves to "Thriller," followed by Zombie Dance Party from 6:30-8 p.m. $10 registration fee. downtownbatavia.com.
Oct. 20 -- Spirits of Geneva Pub Crawl: Geneva History Center, 113 S. Third St.; 6-11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20. Walk the streets of Geneva and visit your favorite participating pub or restaurant offering complimentary appetizers and drink specials. Wristbands in advance are $25 members, $35 nonmembers; $30, $40 at the door. genevahistorycenter.org.
Oct. 20-21 -- Glacial Park Trail of History: Glacial Park Conservation Area, Route 31 and Harts Road, Ringwood; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 20-21. Living history re-enactment of the Northwest Territory from 1670-1850 by the McHenry County Conservation District. Interpreters portray settler life and demonstrate the interrelationship between nature, man and cultural development. Family activities, demonstrations, food, entertainment. Advance tickets $5; $2 seniors 60 and older and ages 6-12. Tickets at the gate are $7 and $3. www.mccdistrict.org.
Oct. 24-28 -- Sycamore Pumpkin Festival: Downtown Sycamore, IL, with hundreds of decorated pumpkins, teen and kiddie carnivals, a scary stories program, pie-eating contest, Autumn Craft and Treasures Market, Sycamore Chamber 10K Road Run, giant pumpkin weigh-in and golf scramble. Pumpkin Festival Parade at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. sycamorepumpkinfestival.com.
Oct. 25 -- Wauconda Park District Halloween Gala: Wauconda Park District, 600 N. Main St.; 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25. Dress in costume, carnival games, hayride, contests. $5 for first child, $4 for second, adults free. No registration required. (847) 526-3610; waucondaparks.com.
Oct. 26 -- Dundee Hallow-Palooza: Dundee Township Park District, 665 Barrington Ave., Carpentersville; 6-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26 at Rakow Center. Spooky walk, games, inflatables, entertainment, crafts, spooky story time, costume contest. Register by Oct. 24: $5 with canned good item, $6 without. Register later: $7 with canned good item; $8 without. $1 fee per costume contest. (847) 428-7131; dtpd.org.
Oct. 26 -- Lindenhurst Senior Halloween party: Lindenhurst Park District Community Center, 2200 E. Grass Lake Road; noon Friday, Oct. 26. Free ages 50 and up; costume optional. Sign up for a dish to bring when registering. (847) 356-6011 or lindenhurstparks.org.
Oct. 26-27 -- A Haunting in the Valley: Spring Valley Nature Center and Heritage Farm, 1111 E. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg; 6:15-9:30 p.m. Friday & Saturday, Oct. 26-27. Covered wagons rides into the Log Cabin Woods every 15 minutes. Games, live owls, food and a bonfire at the Nature Center. $5 in advance; $6 at the door. Buy tickets only at Spring Valley. (847) 985-2100; parkfun.com.
Oct. 27 -- Bloomingdale's annual Halloween Party: Bloomingdale Public Library, 101 Fairfield Way; noon-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. Games, balloon artists, food and more. Children encouraged to wear costumes. Outdoors under a tent, rain or shine. Free. (630) 924-2720 or mybpl.org.
Oct. 27 -- Bartlett Heritage Halloween Fest: Historic downtown Bartlett; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. 10 a.m. costume parade for kids and pets at Bartlett Village Hall. From 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. special activities, haunted house, "Monster Mash" dance contest, Wheel of Torture prizes, music, games and treats. Free. Maps at participating locations and at bartlettheritagedays.com. (630) 924-4264.
Oct. 27 -- Lake Zurich Monster Bash: Paulus Park, 200 S. Rand Road, Lake Zurich; 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Barn in Paulus Park. Costumes, carnival games, face painting, refreshments. (847) 438-5146.
Oct. 27 -- Nightmare on Chicago Street: Chicago Street, between Douglas Avenue and Villa Street, Elgin; 6-11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. Elgin's annual Halloween party. $10. nightmareonchicagostreet.com.
Oct. 27 -- Round Lake Heights Pig Roast: Round Lake Heights Village Hall, 619 Pontiac Court; 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. Enjoy a pig roast and Halloween party. (847) 546-9701.
Oct. 27 -- Antioch Treat the Streets: Downtown Antioch, Main Street, Skidmore Avenue, Lake Street; time TBA, Saturday, Oct. 27. Free. Kids trick or treat. antiochchamber.org or antioch.il.gov.
Oct. 31 -- Fox Lake Halloween Howl: Fox Lake Police Station, 301 W. Route 59, Fox Lake: 4-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31. Children should wear costumes; event has safety tours, hot dog and chips. Free. foxlake.org; (847) 587-2151.
Nov. 3 -- Streamwood Cultures of Our Community: Poplar Creek Library, 1405 S. Park Ave.; 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. Community Relations Commission hosts music, stories, food, and friendship from around the world. Free.
Nov. 5 -- Putting on the Ritz/Restaurant Row: Westin Chicago North Shore, 601 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling; 5-8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5. Wheeling/Prospect Heights Chamber of Commerce, wphchamber.com; (847) 541-0170.
Nov. 10 -- Turkey Shoot Basketball Contest: Lindenhurst Park District Community Center, 2200 E. Grass Lake Road; 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10. Grades 1-8 with parents. Winners in each grade level receive a certificate for a turkey. $5. Register online or in person by Nov. 9. (847) 356-6011 or lindenhurstparks.org.
Nov. 11 -- Lindenhurst Veteran Day's Memorial Service: Lindenhurst Village Hall, 2301 E. Sand Lake Road; 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 11. Speakers and live music. (847) 356-8252 or lindenhurstil.org.
Nov. 17 -- An Almost Winter Day festival: SEBA Park in South Elgin, along Water Street; 3-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17. Petting zoo, horse-drawn sleigh rides, cookie decorating and children's activity area, s'more making, pony rides. Santa sings carols with the children at 4:30 p.m. Tree lighting at 5:15 p.m. at the Footprints in Time Plaza. Free; some activities have $2 fee. southelgin.com.
Nov. 17 -- Hoffman Estates Friendship Tree Lighting: Hoffman Estates Village Hall, 1900 Hassell Road; 4-7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17. Free. Sponsored by the Celebrations Commission. (847) 882-9100.
Nov. 17 -- Palatine tree lighting: Towne Square, Palatine Road and Smith Street; 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17.
Nov. 18 -- Northwest Suburban Interfaith Council Thanksgiving Service: Congregation Beth Am, 225 N. McHenry Road, Buffalo Grove; 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18. Churches and congregations in Buffalo Grove, Long Grove and Wheeling join for a united service of Thanksgiving. (847) 459-1677.
Nov. 21 -- Mount Prospect tree lighting: Mount Prospect Village Hall, 50 S. Emerson St.; 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21. (847) 392-6000.
Nov. 23-Dec. 31 -- A Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Show: Cuneo Museum and Gardens, 1350 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills; 6-10 p.m. daily. $5 per car Mondays-Thursdays; $10 Fridays-Sundays. Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 97 acres of holiday scenic lights. vernonhills.org/special events or cuneomansion.org.
Nov. 23 -- Crystal Lake Festival of Lights Parade: Main Street, downtown Crystal Lake at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23. Santa, decorated floats, marchers and music. Parade heads south from City Hall on Caroline Street, east on Crystal Lake Avenue, north on Grant Street, east on Woodstock Street, south on Williams Street, ending at Crystal Lake Avenue. Visits with Santa after the parade. (815) 479-0835 or downtowncl.org.
Nov. 23 -- Fox Lake Christmas tree Lighting: Millennium Park, Grand and Rollins; 6:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23. Free. (847) 587-2151; foxlake.org.
Nov. 23 -- Libertyville Holiday Walk: Downtown Libertyville, 6:30-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23. Village tree lighting followed by choral performances and Santa. Downtown stores will have special treats and a preview of holiday decorations. Free. mainstreetlibertyville.org; (847) 680-0336.
Nov. 23 -- Round Lake Beach Christmas tree lighting: Round Lake Beach Village Hall, 1937 N. Municipal Way; Time TBA Friday, Nov. 23. After lighting, go to Cultural and Civic Center for treats. An ornament commemorating the 75th anniversary of Round Lake Beach will be available.
Nov. 23 -- Antioch tree lighting & parade: Santa's Enchanted Castle is the William E. Brook Memorial Entertainment Center, 902 Skidmore Drive; 5:30-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23. Parade begins at dusk on Skidmore Drive, up Park Avenue, north on Main Street and ends at village hall. Tree lighting, caroling, cookies and hot chocolate, visits with Santa. antiochchamber.org; antioch.il.gov.
Nov. 23 -- Schaumburg tree lighting: Schaumburg Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Court; 6-8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23. Visit with Santa, caroling, entertainment and refreshments and the lighting of the village holiday tree. Free. villageofschaumburg.org.
Nov. 23 -- Arlington Heights tree lighting: North School Park, Arlington Heights Road and Eastman Street; about 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23. Lights up the village tree and the whole park full of light displays. Event officially brings to a close the village's quasquicentennial (125th) celebration.
Nov. 23 -- Elk Grove Village tree lighting: Town Center Village Green, 901 Wellington Ave.; 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23. Mayor Craig Johnson and Santa light the 250,000 lights around the Municipal Complex, Elk Grove Public Library, Elk Grove Park District Pavilion, and on the tree. Mr. and Mrs. Claus, hot chocolate, cookies, fireworks show. (847) 357-4030
Nov. 23-24 -- St. Charles Holiday Homecoming and Electric Christmas Parade: Downtown St. Charles; Lighting of the lights ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, at First Street Plaza; Electric Christmas Parade on Main Street at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24. Family-friendly activities include movie, carolers, sleigh rides and visits with Santa throughout the day Saturday. Free. downtownstcharles.org.
Nov. 24 -- Korpan's Christmas Parade and Children's Party: Parade runs west along Grand Avenue to Millennium Park at Grand and Rollins Road; Line up at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, at Grant High School, parade starts at 11 a.m. The children's party is immediately after the parade. (847) 587-2151 or www.foxlake.org.
Nov. 24 -- Lake Villa Christmas parade and tree lighting: From Palombi Middle School to Lehmann Park; 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24. Hot chocolate and cookies at the train station, where Santa will make an appearance.
Nov. 24 -- Lake Zurich tree lighting: Paulus Park, 200 S. Rand Road; 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, at the Barn. Refreshments and visits with Santa after the tree lighting. firstname.lastname@example.org or (847) 438-5146.
Nov. 24 -- Vernon Hills holiday tree & menorah lighting: Vernon Hills Golf Course, 291 Evergreen Drive; 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24. Mayor Roger Byrne flips the switch to the holiday tree. Hot chocolate, cookies and cider. Santa will attend. Free. vernonhills.org/special events.
Nov. 25 -- Batavia Celebration of Lights: Batavia Riverwalk, Houston Street and Island Avenue; 5:30-7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25. Community singalong at 5:45 p.m., roasted chestnuts, and tree lighting at 6 p.m. Visit and photo opportunity with Santa at the Peg Bond Center at 6:15 p.m. Story Hour, 6:15-7 p.m. in the Batavia Depot Museum. Hayrides $1 or a nonperishable donation to the Batavia Food Pantry. Free admission & parking north of the Batavia Government Center. bataviaparks.org; (630) 879-5235.
Nov. 27-Dec. 28 -- Geneva Giving Trees: Geneva History Center, 113 S. Third St. Local nonprofits invited to decorate a Christmas tree representing their mission and service. Viewing trees is free; community is encouraged to vote for their favorite tree with their dollars at the History Center and on the website, each dollar is one vote. Winning organization gets all their funds; others split their winnings with the History Center. genevahistorycenter.org; (630) 232-4951.
Nov. 30 -- Des Plaines tree lighting: Metropolitan Square, 4-6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30. Santa arrives at about 4:15 p.m.
Nov. 30 -- Mundelein tree lighting and Santa's cottage: Tree lighting, Kracklauer Park, Seymour Avenue and Courtland Street; 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30. Visit Santa at his Cottage, Park Street and Seymour Avenue. Free. (847) 949-3200; mundeleincommunityconnection.org.
Nov. 30 -- Bartlett tree lighting: Bartlett Park, Oak and North avenues; Friday, Nov. 30 at the village gazebo. Time TBA. (630) 837-0800.
Nov. 30 -- Hanover Park tree lighting: Hanover Park Village Hall, 2121 Lake St.; 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30. Entertainment, refreshments and a special guest arrives to "flip the switch".
Nov. 30 -- Wauconda tree lighting and Santa's arrival: Wauconda Park District, 600 N. Main St.; 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30. Santa will arrive on a fire truck. Families will hear stories, craft, play games, and take a picture with Santa. Free. (847) 526-3610 or waucondaparks.com.
Nov. 30-Dec. 2 -- Dickens in Dundee: Downtown Main Street, West Dundee; starts Friday, Nov. 30 with tree lighting and caroling and continues Dec. 1-2 with Spirit of Christmas Parade, carol singing, reading of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and more. dickensindundee.org for complete schedule.
Dec. 1 -- Holiday in the Grove: Sugar Grove Community House, 141 Main St.; Dec. 1. Breakfast with Santa (need advance registration), Children's Holiday Shop, sleigh rides, Nativity sets, caroling, crafts. holidayinthegrove.com.
Dec. 1 -- Lindenhurst holiday tree lighting: Lindenhurst Park District Community Center, 2200 E. Grass Lake Road, Lindenhurst; 4:30-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. In the gym. Bring a camera and take pictures with Santa. Live entertainment. (847) 356-6011; lindenhurstparks.org.
Dec. 1 -- Round Lake Park tree lighting: Round Lake Park Village Hall, 203 E. Lake Shore Drive, Round Lake Park; 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. Santa will attend. (847) 546-2790; roundlakepark.us.
Dec. 1 -- Barrington Aglow: Downtown Barrington, Cook and Station streets; Saturday, Dec. 1. Event officially kicking off the holiday season. More details to come. (847) 382-5626.
Dec. 1 -- Wauconda Village Holiday Walk: Downtown Main Street; Saturday, Dec. 1. Annual holiday walk with Santa, Mrs. Claus, crafters, holiday shopping, tree and gingerbread house contests, horse-drawn carriage, and crafts for kids. Free.
Dec. 1-2 -- Des Plaines Winter Wonderland Festival: Frisbee Senior Center, 52 E. Northwest Hwy.; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 1-2. Craft bazaar, Toys for Tots, free pictures with Santa, walkaround characters, live entertainment. (847) 768-5944.
Dec. 1-2 -- Garfield Farm Candlelight at the Inn: Garfield Farm Museum, on Garfield Road, off Route 38, Campton Hills; 3-7 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 1-2. Experience the tradition of winter visits as practiced by families like the Garfields in their 1846 brick inn. Hospitality, food, music and bake sale. Donations accepted. (630) 584-8485; garfieldfarm.org.
Dec. 1 & 8 -- Dickens of a Holiday: Cook Park, 413 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 1 and 8. Santa and Mrs. Claus in a snow covered sleigh; children's holiday shop; tour of Cook Mansion among the highlights. Victorian Tea at 11 a.m. at St. Lawrence Episcopal Church. Space is limited, reservations required. Mainstreetlibertyville.org; (847) 680-0336..
Dec. 2 -- Viking Park Singers annual holiday concert: Viking Park, Old Grand Avenue, Gurnee; 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2. $7; $4 for students 6-17 years, free 5 and younger. Refreshments served after the concert. (847) 623-7788; gurneeparkdistrict.com.
Dec. 2 -- Rosemont tree lighting: Corner of Scott Street and Higgins Road; 6 p.m. Dec. 2.
Dec. 6 -- Rolling Meadows tree lighting: On Kirchoff Road near the McDonald's; 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6. Caroling, hot cocoa.
Dec. 7 -- Hawthorn Woods tree lighting: Hawthorn Woods Village Hall, 2 Lagoon Drive; 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7. Santa Claus, lighting the village evergreen tree, juice and cookies, holiday tunes by local choirs. (847) 438-0723.
Dec. 7 -- Round Lake tree lighting: Round Lake Village Hall, 422 N. Cedar Lake Road; 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7. Hot cocoa, cookies and an appearance by Santa. (847) 546-5400.
Dec. 7 -- Streamwood tree lighting and luminaria: Veteran's Memorial and Village Hall, 301 W. Irving Park; 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3. Park Boulevard and other areas in town will be lined with Luminaria. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, then join in front of the Veteran's Memorial for the tree lighting.
Dec. 7-8 -- Geneva Christmas House Tour: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. Self-guided tour features five homes decorated for the season, a traditional tea at the First Congregational Church and a keepsake decorating and entertaining ideas booklet. Advance tickets $28 from Geneva Chamber, (630) 232-6060 or genevachamber.com.
Dec. 8 -- Gurnee Breakfast with Santa: Viking Park, Old Grand Avenue, Gurnee; 8:30-9:30 a.m. or 10:15-11:15 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. $7 for Gurnee residents, $9 nonresidents, free for children younger than 12. Breakfast will include pancakes, Canadian bacon and sausage. Adults must register. (847) 623-7788 or gurneeparkdistrict.com.
Dec. 8 -- Elgin Area Historical Society Museum holiday tea: 360 Park St., Elgin; 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 featuring "St. Nick to America: The Legend of St. Nicholas" by Terry Lynch. (847) 742-4248.
Dec. 8 -- Cary holiday walk & tree decorating: Jaycee Park, Silver Lake Road at Cary-Algonquin Road; register your group, club, troop, neighborhood, or family to decorate a tree in the holiday walk, 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Dec. 8. Registration required. Fee: $25/tree. carypark.com.
Dec. 8 -- Hoffman Estates Teddy Bear Party: Sunderlage Farmhouse, Volid Drive and Vista Lane; 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8. RSVP to (847) 781-2606.
Dec. 8 -- West Chicago Breakfast with Santa: First United Methodist Church, 643 E. Washington St., West Chicago; 8:30-11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. $6; $5 seniors; $3 12 and younger; $20 family. Pictures with Santa $5. Proceeds benefit Neighborhood Food Pantries serving Bloomingdale, Wayne and Winfield townships. (630) 231-3344; firstumcucc.org.
Dec. 8-9 -- Durant House Candlelight Open House: Durant House Museum, LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, 37W370 Dean St., St. Charles; fragrant evergreens, a roaring fire on the hearth and an old-fashioned Christmas tree help recreate the spirit of holidays. Tour the museum and have sweet treats. 2-6 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 8-9. $3. No reservations required. ppfv.org.
Dec. 13-15 -- Geneva History Center Crèche Luncheon: Geneva History Center, 113 S. Third St.; holiday luncheon and singalong, 12:45 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13 and Saturday, Dec. 15. Need reservations. genevahistorycenter.org; (630) 232-4951.