Where to find Santa in Chicago suburbs
Even though Santa is getting ready for Christmas Eve, he seems to be just about everywhere nowadays. How? We don't know.
But at the Daily Herald, we put together a list where you can find Kriss Kringle in the suburbs.
The hot event? If you scored tickets on a Polar Express train, your Christmas wish has already been granted since most of those events were filled months ago, often within minutes after registration opened.
As always, if you are interested in an event, before you go, call or check its website because many events require registration.
Santa Comes to Algonquin Commons: 1-4 p.m. every weekend, Nov. 24-Dec. 17, at Algonquin Commons, off Randall Road. Santa will be on the Santa Express trolley. Hop aboard and visit with the jolly elf while you travel around the mall. Bring your camera. "Trolley & Santa" is from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 24-26, Dec. 2-3, Dec. 9-10, Dec. 16-17. Live reindeer from 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 3, 10 and 17. shopatalgonquincommons.com.
Algonquin's Holiday Rock on the Fox: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Riverfront Park, 201 N. Harrison St.. Annual tree-lighting ceremony, visit with Santa and friends, ice sculpture, family activities and holiday music. Free admission. Toys for Tots donation bins available for new unwrapped toys. www.algonquin.org.
Antioch's Annual Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, Main Street, downtown Antioch. Parade on Main Street between Park Avenue and Depot Street traveling north and concludes with the tree lighting outside village hall, 874 Main St. The ceremony will feature homemade cookies, hot chocolate and old-fashioned caroling. Santa will make a special appearance. Visit www.antioch.il.gov.
Arlington Heights Rotary Santa Run: 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, downtown Arlington Heights. A chip-timed 5K Run/Walk and a Reindeer Run for kids 10 and under. Runners of all ages and abilities are invited to dress in Santa suits. $5-$45. www.rotarysantarun.org.
Arlington Heights Photos with Mr. & Mrs. Santa Paws: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 2 and Dec. 23, The Buddy Foundation, 65 W. Seegers Road. Bring your family members, especially pets, for special photos. Donation of $8 per picture required. Pictures entitle you to a 20 percent discount in the Gift Shoppe. Free admission. www.thebuddyfoundation.org.
Aurora Holiday Express: 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Road. All aboard the Holiday Express train from 2-6 p.m. weekends through Dec. 17, and 5-8 p.m. Fridays, Dec. 8 and 15. Activities include meeting Santa, seasonal storytelling, crafts, caroling hayride, train rides, creating reindeer food. $5. (630) 966-4527 or www.foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.
Barrington Home for the Holiday and Tree Lighting: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, in village's four shopping districts: Village Center, Ice House Mall, Shops on Lageschulte and the Foundry Shopping Center. Activities across all four areas include visits with Santa, free carriage rides, a petting zoo, story hour with Mrs. Claus, reindeer, ice sculptures, crafts and free cookies, cider, hot chocolate. 5 p.m. tree lighting at Cook and Main streets and the official arrival of Santa. Photos with Santa from 5:15-6:30 p.m. enjoybarrington.com.
Bartlett Tree Lighting: 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1 in Bartlett Park, North and Oak avenues. Visit Santa at the Log Cabin from 5 to 6:30 p.m.; then move to holiday tree, to be lit at 7 p.m. in park. www.village.bartlett.il.us.
Father Christmas at the Bartlett History Museum: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 2. Bartlett village hall, 228 S. Main St. Bring your wish lists and camera to capture the moment with the jolly old soul. Children make a holiday craft and enjoy cookies and cocoa. Free, registration not required, supplies limited. www.village.bartlett.il.us.
Batavia's Celebration of Lights: 4-7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, Batavia Riverwalk, Houston Street and Island Avenue. Hayrides, free roasted chestnuts, holiday craft market inside city hall, and hot dogs and hot chocolate for sale. Community singalong at 5:15 p.m.; arrival of Santa and tree lighting at 5:30 p.m.; Santa Warming House at the Peg Bond Center at 5:45 p.m.; Story hour 6:15-7 p.m. in the Batavia Depot Museum. Free admission and parking north of the Batavia Government Center. www.bataviaparks.org.
Bensenville Santa's Brunch at White Pines: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at White Pines Golf Club & Banquets, 500 W. Jefferson. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Buffet breakfast, including kid-favorite dishes, holiday crafts and visits with Santa. (630) 766-0304, ext. 2. whitepinesgolf.com.
Bloomingdale Festival of Lights: Old Town Park, 111 Third St. Lighting ceremony starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1. Entertainment will include horse-drawn carriage rides, crafts, family bingo, Santa visits, train rides and card decorating. Continuing the rest of the month will be the Holiday Show at the museum, "Toys, Trains and Teddy Bears," a Lego exhibit open during regular museum hours through Dec. 30. www.bloomingdaleparks.org/special-events/festival-of-lights.htm.
Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 2-17, and Tuesday to Sunday, Dec. 26-31, 8400 31st St., Brookfield. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. 36th annual Holiday Magic invites guests to sing to the animals and enjoy professional ice-carving demonstrations, magic shows, a 41-foot talking tree, and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus (the latter through Dec. 17). www.czs.org/magic.
Cary Holiday Walk and Tree Lighting: 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Jaycee Park, off Silver Lake Road. Lighting of the Jaycee Park Holiday Walk, including visits with Santa and his live reindeer and ice skating (weather permitting). Free. (847) 639-6100 or www.carypark.com.
Merry Cary Holiday Parade and Festival: Noon to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, downtown Cary. 16th annual parade steps off at 1 p.m. at West Main Street and ends at Jandus Road and Cary Street. The parade grand marshal will be the United Way of Greater McHenry County. Sleigh rides, petting zoo, pony rides, Carolers of Cary on Main Street, and musical entertainment by Cary Junior High Choir and Band and the McHenry County Youth Orchestra. Enjoy visits with Santa from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and Story Time With Mrs. Claus. carygrovechamber.com.
Campton Hills Holiday in the Hills: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, in front of the village hall, 40W270 LaFox Road. Tree-lighting ceremony, ornament decorating, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, arriving by fire engine. Music by Kaneland High School Madrigals, Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra and Thompson Middle School. Holiday live greens and roasted chestnuts available for purchase. Local businesses host a scavenger hunt for age 17 or younger, with prizes, including an iPad. Free shuttle buses. Free. www.villageofcamptonhills.org.
Crystal Lake Festival of Lights Parade/Tree Lighting: 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, through downtown Crystal Lake. Annual parade steps off at 7 p.m. and ends with Santa lighting the Christmas tree at Williams Street and Crystal Lake Avenue. downtowncl.org.
Des Plaines Tree-lighting Ceremony: 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, downtown Des Plaines Metropolitan Square, 647 Metropolitan Way. Greet Santa as he enters the square on a Des Plaines fire engine. www.desplaines.org.
Des Plaines Friendship Park Conservatory holiday open house: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, 395 W. Algonquin Road. Visit with Santa, musical performances, hayrides, crafts and face painting. Free. www.mppd.org.
Dickens in Dundee: 6-10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, in downtown East and West Dundee. The 30th annual winter festival features tree lighting, living windows, Spirit of Christmas parade, Santa, petting zoo, crafts, gingerbread village, Festival of Trees and more. Free admission. dickensindundee.org.
Dundee Township Park District ROZ Winter Fest: noon-7 p.m. Dec. 1-3, 8-10, and 15-17, Randall Oaks Zoo, 1180 N. Randall Road, West Dundee. Holiday lights, decorations, a bonfire, cookie decorating, and more. On weekends, Santa visits from noon-5 p.m.; hayrides from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; live reindeer Sundays. All activities included with zoo admission ($3.25, $4 for nonresidents; free for under age 2), except hayrides, $2 per person. www.dtpd.org.
Elburn Christmas Stroll: 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, through businesses in downtown Elburn. Join 23rd annual event while celebrating Small Business Saturday and enjoying holiday themed giveaways, Santa and Mrs. Claus, hayrides, Larsen Light Show, kids activities and entertainment. Free. elburn.com.
Elgin Window Wonderland: 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, in downtown Elgin. 19th annual event holiday market, pictures with Santa, Santa's live reindeer, sleigh rides, food trucks, live holiday music, tree-lighting ceremony and more. Free. elginwinterwonderland.com.
ESO 'Magical Holiday Concert': 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin. Elgin Symphony Orchestra with the Elgin Master Chorale, Midwest Dance Collective and soprano Leila Bowie and tenor Joe Shadday, as well as special visitor from North Pole. Tickets $30-$50. (847) 888-4000 or elginsymphony.org.
Elk Grove Village Tree Lighting and Concert: 4-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, village green, 901 Wellington Ave. Tree lighting and concert by Gary Lewis and the Playboys. Cookies, hot chocolates and refreshments. Santa and his elves will follow 5:30 tree lighting. For information, www.elkgrove.com.
Elk Grove Village Santa's Storytime: 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, Garden Terrace Banquets at the Pavilion, 1000 Wellington Ave. A magical evening with holiday entertainment. Story time with Mrs. Claus. Crafts and hot chocolate. Carousel rides and a picture with Santa. $7. For tickets, www.elkgroveparks.org.
Elmhurst Tree Lighting in Wilder Park: 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, at Wilder Park, 175 S. Prospect Ave. Join Elmhurst Park District for a festive celebration in Wilder Park. Free. www.epd.org or (630) 993-8900.
Elmhurst Santa Claus at Wilder Mansion: 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at Wilder Mansion, 175 S. Prospect Ave. Includes holiday crafts, cookies and cocoa, and a complimentary photo. $10-$18. To register, visit www.epd.org.
Elmhurst Santa's Secret Workshop: 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at Wilder Mansion, 211 S. Prospect Ave., Elmhurst. Santa's Workshop is a special place just for children where they can purchase inexpensive holiday gifts for those they love. Santa's Workshop will be stocked with great gifts for Mom, Dad and more. Free. www.epd.org or (630) 993-8900.
Fox Lake Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting: 5-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, Millennium Park, 6 Rollins Road. Parade lines up at Grant High School and proceeds on Grand Avenue. Ceremony features caroling and hot cocoa. Santa's house opens at 6:30 p.m. Free. Visit foxlake.org.
Fox Lake Santa's House: Santa's house opens at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 25, at Millennium Park. He will be there from 6-8 p.m. Fridays Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22; 11-3, Saturdays Dec. 9, 16, 23; noon-3 p.m., Sundays, Nov. 26, Dec. 3, 10, 17 and 24. Free. (224) 225-1404. www.foxlake.org/120/Parks-Recreation.
Fox Lake Santa's Pasta Supper and Super Raffle: 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, Lakefront Park, 71 Nippersink Blvd. Have a pasta supper with Santa and Mrs. Claus, shop for gifts at Santa's Workshop and take part in the bag auction. Bring a nonperishable food item to donate to Grant Township's Food Pantry and receive a free bag auction ticket. Santa Super Raffle will follow dinner at 8 p.m. Tickets sold at chamber office, $50 each. Visit www.discoverfoxlake.com.
Fox River Grove Tree-lighting Ceremony: 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Algonquin Road School, 975 Algonquin Road. Featuring pictures with Santa, live music, cookies and activities. www.foxrivergrove-il.org.
Geneva Commons Christmas Tree-lighting Ceremony: Friday, Nov. 24, at Geneva Commons, off Randall Road. Free horse-drawn carriage rides, 3 to 6 p.m., and Santa Claus arrives at 5:30 p.m. to light the giant tree. Kids can visit Santa and receive a gift until 7 p.m. Visit shopgenevacommons.com.
Geneva Christmas Walk: 6-9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, Third Street between James and Campbell streets. Santa Lucia arrives with Santa to light the Great Tree on the courthouse lawn and to open the Gingerbread House. Live Nativity, roasted chestnuts, strolling carolers, the first candy cane of the season, and holiday shopping. Free carriage rides from 1-4 p.m. Dec. 2-3. (630) 232-6060 or www.genevachamber.com.
Geneva Pancake Breakfast with Santa: 7:30-11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, in the Geneva High School cafeteria, 416 McKinley Ave. Geneva Lions Club's sixth annual breakfast featuring pancakes, sausage and more. Holiday music, craft activities and photos with Santa. Tickets are $7; age 3 and younger are free. Purchase your tickets at genevalionsclub.org. Raffle tickets are $25 each; $5,000 raffle drawing at 11 a.m. For tickets, email email@example.com.
Glendale Heights Tree Lighting: 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 27, at Glendale Heights Civic Center Complex, 300 Civic Center Plaza. Mayor and Santa illuminate the complex. Choral groups sing. Free refreshments afterward at the Center for Senior Citizens. Free. gendaleheights.org.
Glendale Heights Breakfast with Santa: 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at Glendale Lakes Golf Club, 1550 President St. All-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. $2 for photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus. $3-$5. glendaleheights.org.
Glen Ellyn Holiday Walk: 6-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, Main Street and Crescent Boulevard. Lifted by a fire department truck, Santa lights the tree at Main Street and Crescent Boulevard, then greets children at Fire Station 1, Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Holiday music and entertainment. Merchants open with refreshments and specials. Free. www.glenellynchamber.com.
Grayslake Tree-lighting Festival and Holiday Market: 5:30-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, Center Street and Seymour Avenue. Downtown tree-lighting festival. Includes sleigh rides on Center Street from 6-8 p.m. and visits with Santa at The Oasis, 151 Hawley. Free. Visit grayslakechamber.com.
Santa in Grayslake: 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21, Grayslake Park District Recreation Center, 240 Commerce Drive. Bring a camera and hand deliver letters to Santa. Please bring an item to donate to the Avon Food Pantry. Free. Visit www.glpd.com.
Gurnee Mills: Visit Santa near the dining pavilion in the Macy's wing, Friday Nov. 24 through Sunday, Dec. 24. For hours, check www.simon.com/mall/gurnee-mills/stores/where-is-santa.
Hampshire Santa's Mistletoe Market: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, at Hampshire Middle School, 560 S. State St. Join the Hampshire Area Chamber of Commerce for this newly revamped event. In addition to craft vendors. local businesses will supply crafts and activities for children, pictures with Santa, food vendors, carolers signing and more. Visit www.hampshirechamber.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Adults $3, children $2. (847) 683-1122.
Hanover Park Tree-lighting Ceremony: 6-8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, village hall, 2121 W. Lake St.. Entertainment and refreshments. A special guest "flips the switch" to light up the village. Free. www.hpil.org/Our-Community/Village-Events.aspx.
Hawthorn Woods Tree Lighting: 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, village hall Barn, 2 Lagoon Drive. The tree will be lit while the Stevenson High School choir sings carols, followed by the arrival of Santa Claus on a fire truck. Enjoy hot cocoa and cookies in the Barn while children visit with Santa and make an ornament or free craft. Free. Visit www.vhw.org or call (847) 438-5500.
Highwood Holiday Lighting and 12 Drinks of Christmas: 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, 17 Highwood Ave. The second annual event features the "12 Drinks of Christmas." Holiday windows, free horse-drawn carriage rides, pictures with Santa, face painting, and musical performances throughout the night. Free. Toy and food donations accepted. Visit celebratehighwood.com.
Hoffman Estates Teddy Bear Holiday Party: 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, Sunderlage Farmhouse, 1775 Vista Lane. Sunderlage House will be decorated for Christmas and the tree trimmed with teddy bears. Children ages 3-8 and their parents are invited to listen to teddy bear stories. A special visitor will stop by. Bring cameras and teddy bears. Seating is limited; reservations required. Free. (847) 781-2606 or www.hoffmanestates.org.
Hoffman Estates Breakfast with Santa: 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Dec. 9, Bridges of Poplar Creek Country Club, 1400 Poplar Creek Drive. Reservations required, sells out quickly. Runs concurrently with Winter Fest, featuring games, crafts, s'mores, sleigh rides. $10.95-$19.95. (847) 885-7500 or www.heparks.org.
Hoffman Estates Winter Fest: 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at Bridges of Poplar Creek Country Club, 1400 Poplar Drive. Snow or no snow, join us for crafts, s'mores, snow painting, ice sculptures, sleigh rides and more. Free. (847) 885-7500 or www.heparks.org..
Hoffman Estates Skate with Santa: 1:30-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, Triphahn Ice Arena, 1685 W. Higgins Road. Free admission and free skate rental. Try hockey for free from noon to 1 p.m. RSVP for the hockey event at email@example.com. www.heparks.org.
A Very Merry Huntley: 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2, in downtown Huntley. Friday at municipal complex, 10987 Main Street. with reindeer, Kriss Kringle Market, tree-decorating contest and kids games from 3-8 p.m., Mrs. Claus from 4 to 8 p.m. On Saturday in Town Square, Santa arrives on fire truck at 5 p.m. for lighting of tree. Fireworks at 5 p.m. Bring camera for photos with Santa. www.huntley.il.us.
Island Lake Tree-lighting Festival: 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, village hall, 3720 Greenleaf Ave. Enjoy a hayride, warm bonfires, hot chocolate, crafts and a special visitor. Pick a tag from the Angel Tree to help families in need. Free. Visit www.villageofislandlake.com.
Christmas in Kaneville: 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2. Tree lighting at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, at Hill's Country Store, 2S133 Harter Road; Santa Claus from 9 a.m. to noon at the fire barn, 46W536 Lovell St. www.facebook.com/KTHistoricalSociety.
Lake Forest Tree Lighting: 2-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 1 Market Square. Tree-lighting ceremony. Free. Santa stops by from 3:30-5 p.m. Visit www.cityoflakeforest.com.
Lake in the Hills Naughty & Nice Holiday Spaghetti Dinner: 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, at village hall, 600 Harvest Gate. Join Santa & The Grinch for spaghetti and meatballs, bread, tossed salad, cookies and drinks. Register by Dec. 5, or until filled. $12, $15 for nonresidents (free for 3 or younger with paid adult); family of five $40/$46. www.lith.org.
Lake in the Hills Flurry Fest: 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, at village hall, 600 Harvest Gate. Featuring candy cane hunt, Deck the Deer display, visit with Santa, food drive and family crafts. Attendees encouraged to "pack the bus" full of nonperishable food items for local food pantries. www.lith.org.
Lake Villa Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting: 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25. Parade starts at Palombi Middle School, 133 McKinley Ave., and proceeds to Lehmann Park, 148 Cedar Ave., for the tree lighting, followed by refreshments at the train station, 129 Railroad Ave., with visits from Santa Claus and the balloon lady. Free. Visit lake-villa.org or call (847) 356-6100.
Lake Zurich Miracle on Main Street: 3-7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, Rotary Park, 7 E. Main St.. Miracle on Main Street features tree lighting and Santa, Mrs. Claus and their reindeer. Bring nonperishable food to support St. Vincent de Paul food pantry. The Lake Zurich Lions Club Candy Cane Hunt begins in Lions Park right before Miracle on Main Street at 4 p.m. Visit lakezurich.org/585/Miracle-on-Main-Street.
Libertyville Tree lighting: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, Cook Park, 413 N. Milwaukee Ave.. After the tree lighting, Santa arrives around 7 p.m. Visit www.libertyville.com.
Libertyville Dickens of a Holiday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 and 9, downtown Libertyville. Both days include photos with Santa from 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. in Cook Park; a Children's Holiday Shoppe with items up to $5 and no adults allowed at Petranek's Pharmacy; Victorian Tea from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Lawrence Episcopal Church; a free movie at the Liberty Theater at 10 a.m. (bring a canned food donation); and Ansel B. Cook Museum tours from noon to 4 p.m. Visit mainstreetlibertyville.org.
Lambs Farm Breakfast With Santa: Seatings at 9 and 10:30 a.m. and noon, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 9-10 and 16-17, Lambs Farm's Magnolia Cafe & Bakery, 14245 W. Rockland Road, Libertyville. Children can enjoy brunch with Santa, choose a gift and make a variety of crafts. $16.95, or $7.95 for children 23 months and younger. Visit www.lambsfarm.org/marquee-events/breakfast-with-santa.
Lincolnshire Tree Lighting: 5:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, 100 Village Green. Visit lincolnshireil.gov or call (846) 913-2381.
Lindenhurst Tree Lighting: 4:30-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2. Lippert Community Center, 2200 Grass Lake Road, Lindenhurst. Traditional lighting of the Community Holiday Tree. At 4:20 p.m., the Lakes Community High School Chamber Choir will carol. Santa will arrive via fire trick. Make a free ornament, bring letters for Santa's Mailbox, enjoy free cookies and juice, and more. Visit lindenhurstparks.org or call (847) 356-6011.
Lights of Lisle Festival: 3-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, in downtown Lisle. Saturday's events include Santa Parade, entertainment, holiday market, lighting of luminaria, tree lighting at 6 p.m. at village hall, refreshments, music. Both days include "Once Upon a Christmas" at Museums of Lisle Station Park. Free. (630) 271-4100 or www.villageoflisle.org.
Lisle Breakfast with Santa: 9 a.m., Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23; Thursday and Friday, Dec. 21 and 22, at Ginkgo Restaurant, the Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. Breakfast buffet with Santa and his carolers. Children 13 and older: $37 member, $42 nonmember; children 3-12: $32 member, $36 nonmember; children under 3: Free. Register by phone, (630) 725-2066; in person at the Visitor Center; or online, www.mortonarb.org/events/breakfast-santa.
Lisle Santa Train: 9:45 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, at Lisle metra station, 1000 Front St. Santa Train leaves at 9:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. Join Santa and costumed characters for a trip to Chicago's Union Station and back. $18. (630) 769-1000 or www.facebook.com/TheLislePolarExpressTrain.
Lisle Supper with St. Nick: 5:00-7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday, Dec. 21-22; Thornhill Education Center, The Morton Arboretum. In the historic Thornhill Mansion for an elegant family supper, after, head on over to the Founders Room for a special visit with Santa in front of the fireplace. Adults (21+): $90 member, $95 nonmember; young adults (12-20): $75 member, $80 nonmember; children (3-12) $60 member, $65 nonmember; children Under 3: Free. Tickets also include admission to that evening's Illumination: Tree Lights at arboretum. To register, call (630) 725-2066; at the Visitor Center; or online during open hours www.mortonarb.org/events/supper-st-nick.
Mooseheart Holiday Lights: Santa visits from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 8-10, 15-17 at the field house. Mooseheart campus, off Route 31, south of Batavia. Eighth annual Holiday Lights event includes about 80 displays on a 1.8-mile route through the campus. Admission, cash only: $10 for cars; special rates for buses. Hot cocoa, cookies, crafts and more are free. All proceeds benefit Mooseheart Child City and School. www.mooseheart.org or (630) 906-3601.
Mount Prospect Teddy Bear Walk: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 2, Mount Prospect Public Library, 10 S. Emerson St. All ages. Bring your favorite teddy bear, see Chris Fascione act out best-loved stories, sing with Mark Dvorak, march to village hall to welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus. Free. Register at www.mppl.org.
Mundelein Sweat with Santa: 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, Park View Health & Fitness, 1401 N. Midlothian Road. Ages 16 and older can try group exercise classes for free with a canned food donation and get sweating with the Park View Santas. For participating classes, visit mundeleinparks.org/event/free-sweat-santa-ages-16.
Mundelein Tree Lighting: 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, Kracklauer Park, 116 N. Lake St. Hosted by Mundelein Community Connection and the Mundelein Park District. Visit www.mundelein.org.
Mundelein Snack 'N' Story with Santa: Noon Sunday, Dec. 3, Regent Center, 1200 Regent Drive. Children can share their holiday lists, hear Santa read a Christmas poem and enjoy snacks. Santa arrives at 12:15 p.m. Parental supervision required. $10 for Mundelein residents/$15 for nonresidents. Visit mundeleinparks.org.
Mundelein Breakfast with Santa: 9-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, Regent Center, 1200 Regent Drive. Enjoy breakfast and a visit from Santa. Holiday food, music and fun. $15 for Mundelein residents, $20 for nonresidents. Visit mundeleinparks.org.
Naperville Little Friends Holiday Parade of Lights: 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Jackson Avenue at Mill Street. Parade starts at Jackson Ave. and Mill St., go east to north on Main St., ending at Main Street and Van Buren Avenue. After parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus visit with kids at Santa House until 9 p.m. Free. www.littlefriendsinc.org.
Pingree Grove Tree-lighting Celebration: 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at police station, 1 Police Plaza. Santa will make his appearance at 4:45 p.m.; photos with Santa, outdoor movie, miniature train rides, crafts, musical performance by TubaChristmas, food, drinks, silent auction and a North Pole mailbox to mail letters to Santa. www.villageofpingreegrove.org.
Prospect Heights Tree Lighting: 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, at city hall, 8 N. Elmhurst Road. The event sponsored by the Prospect Heights Garden Club features Santa, hot chocolate, cookies and holiday carols sung by the St. Alphonsus Choir and the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts choir. Free. www.prospect-heights.il.us.
Prospect Heights Breakfast with Santa: 10-11:30 a.m. Saturdays, Dec. 2, 9, Rob Roy Golf Course Clubhouse, 505 E. Camp McDonald Road. $9-$16; children younger than 1 are free. For information, www.rtpd.org; registration deadline Nov. 24.
Prospect Heights Polar Express: 1-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday, Dec. 18-21, Prospect Heights train station, 55 S. Wolf Road. You will stop at the North Pole's train station for more winter fun. Each child will receive a gift. $17 per person. Register at the River Trails Park District, www.rtpd.org.
Rolling Meadows Tree Lighting: 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, in front of McDonald's on Kirchoff Road. With local music groups, goodies, giveaways and Santa Claus. A free spaghetti dinner at the fire station on Meadow Drive follows from 6:30-8:30 p.m. (847) 394-8500, ext. 1002. www.ci.rolling-meadows.il.us/DocumentCenter/View/2028.
Rolling Meadows Lunch with Santa: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, Cardinal Drive Church of Christ, 2300 Cardinal Drive. Free picture with Santa, who will hear what you want for Christmas. Lunch will be provided for the family, and every child will receive a small gift. Free. www.cdfamily.org.
Roselle Celebrate the Season: 1 to 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 25 Roselle Public, Library 40 S. Park St. Features guest entertainer Kevin Ferris & the Infinite Possibilities. Santa Claus and Rose Queen Shana Abraham will arrive to greet the children at 2 p.m. Free. www.roselle.lib.il.us/about/events.php.
Roselle's Cocoa Crawl: 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, on Main Street. This fun family event includes hot cocoa and other treats, entertainment, prizes, a tree lighting, and an opportunity to place an ornament on the community tree. Free. (630) 671-2802 or www.roselle.il.us/CocoaCrawl.
Roselle Lions Lunch with Santa: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Trinity Lutheran Family Life Center, 405 S. Rush St. Free. (630) 893-6647 or www.facebook.com/RoselleLionsClub.
Rosemont Light Up The Park: 5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 24, MB Financial Park, 5501 Park Place. Free ice skating begins at 11 a.m. Various holiday festivities throughout the day including photo opportunities with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Christmas carolers, ice carving and free horse-drawn sleigh rides around The Park. www.rosemont.com/mbfinancialpark/events/light-up-the-park-2017/.
Rosemont Tree Lighting: 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, Stephens Park, Scott Street and Higgins Road. Free. www.rosemont.com.
Santa's Arrival: 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, Margaret J Lange Park, 6140 N. Scott St., Rosemont. Join to have your picture taken with Santa, Rudolph, and Frosty. www.rosemontparkdistrict.com/special-events.
Round Lake Tree Lighting: 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, village hall, 422 N. Cedar Lake Road. Visit with Santa and mingle with village officials and staff. Call (847) 546-5400 or visit eroundlake.com.
Round Lake Milk-n-Cookies with Santa: 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 8, Hart's Woods Park, 814 Hart Road. Festive event including games, crafts and playtime. Santa will visit to hear gift wishes, take pictures, read a holiday story. Milk and cookies. $14. Space is limited; register at www.rlapd.org.
Round Lake Area Park District Holiday Festival: 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, Hart's Woods Park, 814 Hart Road, Round Lake. Free family fun and festivities, including children's games, Little Elves workshop, sleigh rides, the RLAPD Community Band, Toys-for-Tots drop off, Neighborhood Festival of Lights, Pictures with Santa and more. Visit www.rlapd.org.
Round Lake Beach Tree Lighting: 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, village hall, 1937 N. Municipal Way. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive on a fire truck around 6:15 p.m. After the tree-lighting ceremony, everyone is invited to warm up next door at the Cultural & Civic Center. The first 150 families at the Center will receive a Holiday Shopping Gift Bag filled with coupons. Visit villageofroundlakebeach.com.
Round Lake Heights Tree Lighting: 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, Arrowhead Park Shelter, on Tomahawk Trail. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served. Santa will be there. Visit villageofroundlakeheights.org.
Rutland-Dundee Fire Protection District: Annual Santa Run during December. Santa is escorted by the fire department, and visits each neighborhood in town. Santa's schedule will be posted online in December. www.villageofgilberts.com.
Schaumburg Tree Lighting: 6-8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, at the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Court. Santa arrives via fire truck to light the tree with village officials and stays for pictures. Face painting, temporary tattoos, refreshments, music and more. Free. www.meetup.com/SchaumburgJaycees/events/239907527/.
Schaumburg: Visit Santa at Woodfield Mall's Grand court Friday, Nov. 24, through Sunday, Dec. 24. For times, please check www.simon.com/mall/woodfield-mall/stores/where-is-santa/stream/santas-waiting-5401265.
Sleepy Hollow Holiday in the Hollow: 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Sabatino Park. Visit with Santa, tree lighting, carols, Sleepy Hollow Elementary School Circle-of-Cheer Christmas trees, and more. Bring a nonperishable food item or monetary donation for FISH Food Pantry. www.sleepyhollowil.org.
St. Charles Holiday Homecoming/Electric Christmas Parade: Friday and Saturday, Nov. 24-25, Main Street. Lighting ceremony at 5 p.m. Friday at First Street Plaza. Electric Christmas Parade at 5:30 p.m. Saturday on Main Street, from Sixth Street to Fourth Avenue. Horse-drawn sleigh rides and visits with Santa from 1-4 p.m. Saturday. Santa's House open from 1-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 25-Dec. 23, on First Street Plaza. Free. www.downtownstcharles.org.
Streamwood Luminaria and Tree Lighting: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1 at the Veterans Memorial near village hall, 301 W. Irving Park Road. Volunteers, civic organizations and families line streets with luminaria. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. www.streamwood.org.
Streamwood Breakfast with Santa: Join Santa and Mrs. Claus for breakfast Saturday, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Hoosier Grove Farmstead Barn. Registration is required. $14-$21. Contact the park district at (630) 372-PARK for information and reservations; www.spdcares.com/event/breakfast-with-santa-2/.
Streamwood Frosty 4K Race: 8:30--11 a.m. Sunday Dec. 3, Streamwood Park District, Hoosier Grove Park, 700 W. Irving Park Road. A 2.5-mile trek along the paved path to Aquarius Park and back to Hoosier Grove Park. This is a family event. Hot chocolate and a visitor from the North Pole await you at the finish line. All participants will receive a Frosty 4K T-shirt. All ages and strollers are welcome. Visit www.spdcares.com or call (630) 483-3025.
Sugar Grove Holiday in the Grove: 7:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2. At Sugar Grove Community House, 151 Main St., ceremonial tree lighting at 7:45 a.m., sign up online for "Breakfast with Santa" at 8, 9, or 10 a.m. ($6 per meal); pictures with Santa from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at John Shields Elementary, 85 S. Main St., holiday craft/vendor show, as well as Cookies With Mrs. Santa and children's crafts. Mrs. Santa Sweet Shoppe from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sugar Grove United Methodist Church. www.holidayinthegrove.org.
Vernon Hills Holiday Tree and Menorah Lighting: 4:30-6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, Vernon Hills Golf Course, 291 Evergreen Drive. Mayor Roger Byrne will flip the switch to light the holiday tree. Enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and cider. Santa will attend with the assistance of the Countryside Fire District. Free. Visit il-vernonhills2.civicplus.com.
Village of Volo Christmas Tree Lighting: 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, village hall, 500 S. Fish Lake Road. The 13th annual village Christmas tree lighting starts with Christmas carols, with tree lighting and Santa arriving at 5:30 p.m. followed by pictures with Santa. Free, but nonperishable food items requested for the Grant and Wauconda Township food pantries. Visit villageofvolo.com.
Warrenville Holly Days: 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, at Warren Avenue and Tracy Place, Warrenville. Santa parade, tree lighting, entertainment, horse-drawn carriage rides and hot chocolate. warrenvilleparks.org. Free. (630) 393-7279 or warrenvilleparks.org.
Warrenville Breakfast with Santa: 8:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Courtyard Banquets, 3S200 Route 59, Warrenville. Includes crafts, musical entertainment and basket raffle. $4-$12. www.warrenvilleparks.org.
Wauconda Tree Lighting: 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, Wauconda Park District community Center, 600 N. Main St. After a day of activities on Main street starting at 2 p.m., Santa will arrive on a fire truck to light the tree and kick off a fireworks display. Crafts, games and stories; goody bags available while supplies last and light refreshments will be served. No registration required. Free. Visit waucondaparks.org or call (847) 526-3610.
West Chicago Frosty Fest: 4-7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, in downtown West Chicago. Downtown will be transformed into an old-fashioned winter vignette complete with a tree lighting, horse-drawn sleigh, live reindeer, Victorian carolers, and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus. Free. westchicago.org.
West Chicago Breakfast with Santa: 8:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, 643 E. Washington St. Pancake and sausage breakfast. $6 per adult, $5 per senior adult, $3 per child 12 and younger or $20 per family (minimum 2 adults and 3 or more children). Photo with Santa for $5. Support the Neighborhood Food Pantry in West Chicago. (630) 231-3344. warrenvillechamber.chambermaster.com/events
West Chicago Polar Express: Saturday, Dec. 16, at West Chicago train station, 508 W. Main St. Santa train rides are from 1:15-3:15 p.m. and 5:15-7:15 p.m. $16-$20. www.we-goparks.org.
West Dundee: Visit Santa at Spring Hill Mall, routes 72 and 31. He will be there through Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays; it will be closed Thanksgiving Day and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 24. Pet Nights with Santa are from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, Nov. 21-Dec. 12; dogs and cats only. www.springhillmall.com.
Westmont Frosty & Friends Holly Days Parade: 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, down Cass Avenue, downtown Westmont. 15th annual parade steps off at Traube and Cass and ends at Richmond Street. Santa's reindeer and the elves will be at the Westmont Centre for photos from 3:45 to 6:45 p.m. Westmont High School Madrigals will sing in the Westmont Centre lobby from 5:30 to 6 p.m. The parade will conclude with Santa's arrival and the lighting of the village tree. All can join Santa in the Westmont Centre afterward for treats and a visit. Free. westmontparks.org.
Wheaton Santa's Craft Corner: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays, Nov. 25, Dec. 2, 9, Cosley Zoo. Visit Santa at the zoo, make a craft and tour the zoo. Admission includes crafts, refreshments, and visit with Santa. In the Kiebler Room, on the second floor of the large barn. No registration required. Admission is $5/family; $3 for printed photo with Santa. cosleyzoo.org/events/.
Cantigny Holiday Festival: 4-7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. Families and children of all ages will enjoy the park's holiday festival. Attractions include Mistletoe Market from 1-7 p.m., carolers, live reindeer and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Free; $5 per car parking and small fees apply to some activities such as face painting and sleigh rides. (630) 260-8216 or cantigny.org.
Wheaton Pizza with Santa: 5:30-7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 15, Wheaton Park District Community Center 1777 S. Blanchard St. Have pizza with Santa, enjoy activities and an opportunity to take pictures with Santa Claus himself. $12 for residents $15 nonresidents. You must register. Please call (630) 690-4880 or visit wheatonparkdistrict.com.
Lollipop Lane at the Wheeling Historical Society: 2-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 6-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, Dec. 2-10, Chamber Park Community Center, 131 N. Wolf Road. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at Lollipop Lane on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. and stay for a week. Children can have free photo taken. Decorated trees and toys line the lane. Free admission. wheelinghistoricalsociety.com.
Woodstock Homemade for the Holidays Craft Faire: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 9-10, at McHenry County Fair, 11900 Country Club Road. Family event featuring crafters, food vendors, a make-and-take craft for kids, visits with Santa, story corner. $3, $1 off with nonperishable food donation; free for 5 or younger. www.mchenrycountyfair.com.