Looking for Santa? Here's where you can find him in the suburbs
Even though Santa is getting ready for Christmas Eve, he seems to be just about everywhere nowadays. How? We don't know. But every year, Santa works his magic and offers kids, young and old alike, a chance for a visit.
At the Daily Herald, we put together a list where you can find the Man in Red 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, call ahead or check its website because many programs require registration.
Nov. 16-Dec. 24
Gurnee Mills: Visit Santa through Monday, Dec. 24. For hours, check www.simon.com/mall/gurnee-mills/stores/santa-photo-experience/stream/its-santa-photo-time-6036797
Schaumburg: Visit Santa at Woodfield Mall's Grand court through Monday, Dec. 24. For times, please check www.simon.com/mall/woodfield-mall/stores/santa-photo-experience/stream/its-santa-photo-time-6027740
West Dundee: Visit Santa at Spring Hill Mall, routes 72 and 31, West Dundee. He will be there through Monday, Dec. 24. www.springhillmall.com.
Aurora's Winter Lights: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, on Downer Place and Stolp Avenue and on the Water Street Mall, Aurora. Seventh annual event features music, costumed characters, live reindeer, festive photo-ops and more. Holiday parade begins at 6 p.m., followed by official tree lighting, fireworks along Fox River. Award presentation for the winners of the Downtown Window Decorating Contest. Santa and Mrs. Claus will hear Christmas wishes at the GAR Museum. Pop-up shops on Water Street Mall open from 5 to 9 p.m. www.aurora-il.org.
Jingle Mingle: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, Burr Ridge Village Center, 701 Burr Ridge Parkway, Burr Ridge. Kick off the holidays at Burr Ridge's annual Jingle Mingle featuring Santa parade, giveaways, train rides, crafts, letters to the military and tree lighting. Free. www.shopburrridge.com/event/jingle-mingle/
Gilberts tree-lighting ceremony: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, at Town Square Park, Center Drive and Rollyn Anderson Lane in Gilberts. Features tree lighting, hot chocolate, snacks and crafts. Rutland-Dundee Fire Protection District will hold the annual Santa Run in December. Escorted by the fire department, Santa visits each neighborhood in town. Santa's schedule will be posted in December. www.villageofgilberts.com.
BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival: Parade steps off at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, Chicago. The 27th annual BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival kicks off the 2018 holiday season for Chicago and the nation on Saturday, Nov. 17. Parade is on Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to Wacker Drive.
Friendship Tree Lighting: 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Hoffman Estates Village Hall, 1900 Hassell Road, Hoffman Estates. The village of Hoffman Estates kicks off the holiday season with entertainment, food, the lighting of the village's Friendship Tree, a fireworks display, and a visit with Santa. Free. www.hoffmanestates.org.
Palatine Tree-Lighting Ceremony: 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Towne Square, 150 W. Palatine Road, Palatine. Palatine's annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony, featuring Santa and the mayor of Palatine. Enjoy cookies, hot chocolate, festive music, and take pictures with Santa. Free. For information, www.palatine.il.us
An Almost Winter Day: 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at SEBA Park, 151 S. Water St., South Elgin. Santa at 3 p.m. for carols and photos with children until 4:30 p.m. Enjoy a reading of Chris Van Allsburg's "The Polar Express" with Fox Valley Trolley Museum rides at 3 and 4 p.m.; $1 per person and space is limited. Petting zoo, horse-drawn trolley rides, cookie decorating, children's activity area, s'more making, and a bonfire. Concessions will sold by the FUNdation selling coffee and hot chocolate for $1 per cup. At 5 p.m., Santa will light the tree at the Footprints in Time Plaza. Free admission; some activities have small fee. www.southelgin.com.
McHenry County Holiday Fest: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, at McHenry County College, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake. The college will be transformed into a winter wonderland with shopping, entertainment, kids' crafts and activities and visits with Santa. For details, email email@example.com.
Lights Around Wheeling: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, at Friendship Park, 350 W. Dundee Road, Wheeling. Stop by for some hot cocoa, a visit with Santa, and experience the beautiful lights turning on to mark the beginning of the holiday season. For information, (847) 499-9082 or www.vi.wheeling.il.us
Antioch Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, in downtown Antioch. Santa joins the parade down Main Street; parade culminates with tree lighting outside village hall, 874 Main St., Antioch. Free. www.antioch.il.gov.
Festival of Lights Parade: 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, downtown Crystal Lake. Annual parade, with the theme, "Let It Snow," steps off at North Walkup Avenue and Woodstock Street, and ends at Crystal Lake Avenue and Williams Street. The parade ends with Santa lighting the Christmas tree. downtowncl.org.
Elk Grove Tree-Lighting Ceremony: 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, at Town Center Village Green, 164 Lions Drive, Elk Grove Village. The 2018 ceremony will feature a holiday performance by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. Following the performance, Gary Puckett will join Mayor Johnson in throwing the switch to light up the village's holiday tree. A special fireworks display will follow the tree lighting, announcing the entrance of Santa and his elves. Hot chocolate and cookies provided. Free. www.elkgrove.com.
Downers Grove Gingerbread Festival: Pictures with Santa from 1-4 p.m. in his Gingerbread House at Curtiss and Main, Nov. 23-25. Shop, sample and join them to kick off the season. downers.us/.
Glencoe Light the Lights: 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, Pat ark and Vernon Avenues, downtown Glencoe. Take part in the kickoff of the Village's yearlong 150th anniversary celebration with caroling, a visit from Santa and lighting of the lights. www.villageofglencoe.org.
Glen Ellyn Holiday Walk: 6-8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, downtown Glen Ellyn. Enjoy decorated storefront windows, the sounds of Christmas, and Santa lighting the Christmas tree at 6:30 p.m. The McAninch Arts Center is sponsoring a "Nutcracker" dancer and photo-op on Main Street. The ballerina will dance along Main Street prior to Santa, and have photos available post tree lighting on the northeast corner of Main and Crescent. Enjoy downtown shopping or see Santa at the fire station from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Shop Small Saturday canvas bags will be distributed one per family at the Holiday Walk. Free. glenellynchamber.com.
Grayslake Tree Lighting Festival: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, at Center Avenue and Whitney Street, Grayslake. Santa arrives at the Holiday Tree at 5:30 p.m. Visits with Santa at The Oasis, 151 Hawley. Sleigh rides from 6-8 p.m. Holiday Market at the Grayslake Museum begins at 5 p.m. Free. grayslakechamber.com.
Libertyville Tree Lighting and Holiday Walk: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, Cook Park, 413 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville. Tree lighting complete with holiday carols and a visit from Santa, music and other Holiday-themed entertainment. The Ansel B. Cook Mansion will be open for tours and downtown merchants will offer extended hours for evening shopping and dining. mainstreetlibertyville.org.
Santa Visits at The Wildbird Shack: 2-4 p.m. Nov. 23, Nov. 24 Dec. 1, Dec. 8, Dec. 15 and Dec. 22, The Wildbird Shack, 854 E. Northwest Highway, Mount Prospect. Grab your camera and come for photos with Santa. For information, www.wildbirdshack.com.
Round Lake Beach Tree Lighting: 6:15 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, Round Lake Beach Village Hall, 1937 N. Municipal Way, Round Lake Beach. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive on a fire truck, followed by the tree lighting and a performance by the Round Lake High School Choir. Then everyone is invited to follow the illuminated path to the Cultural and Civic Center for visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, free hot chocolate and treats, adult beverages for purchase, and crafts for children. Call (847) 201-9032, or visit www.villageofroundlakebeach.com.
Schaumburg Tree Lighting: 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, at Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg. Holiday carols begin at 6 p.m. The fire department will escort Santa on a fire truck that will arrive at 6:30 p.m. Santa will be greeted by village officials who will assist him with his lighting duties. After the tree lighting, Santa will meet with children in the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts' Maggie Atcher Theatre where parents are encouraged to bring their cameras for photos. Seasonal entertainment will be featured and refreshments will be served. Free. www.ci.schaumburg.il.us.
Light up the Park 2018: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, Parkway Bank Park, 5501 Park Place, Rosemont. The village's entertainment district will kick off its winter programming with the opening of the Chicago Wolves Ice Rink and tree lighting event, featuring a spectacular display of more than 80,000 lights in the park. Visits with Santa are from 3 to 7 p.m., followed by strolling carolers from 5 to 8 p.m., and the tree lighting at 5:30 p.m. Free ice skating on the rink is from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Free. rosemont.com/thepark.
Living Wheaton Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting: 6-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, begins at Wesley Street and Wheaton Avenue heading South toward Front Street. then East on Front Street ending at Cross Street. Someone special and jolly pays his first visit to Wheaton. Visit the characters in the parade at their sponsoring Downtown businesses after the parade for pictures and fun. downtownwheaton.com.
St. Charles Holiday Homecoming/Electric Christmas Parade: Friday and Saturday, Nov. 23-24, Main Street, St. Charles. Lighting ceremony at 6 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. Free holiday movie at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Arcada Theatre. Live holiday window displays along Main and First streets from 1-5 p.m. Free horse-drawn trolley rides and visits with Santa from 1-4 p.m. Saturday. Free. www.downtownstcharles.org.
Nov. 23-Dec. 16
Algonquin Commons: 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 23, 24, 25; Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, Algonquin Commons, 1900 S. Randall Road, Algonquin. Santa will be on the Santa Express Trolley, ready to visit with riders. Free. shopatalgonquincommons.com/santa-is-coming-s/
Nov. 23-Dec. 23
Geneva Commons: Friday, Nov, 23; and Sundays, Nov. 25, and Dec. 2, 9, 16 and 23, Geneva Commons, 602 Commons Drive, Geneva. Greet Santa as he strolls through the shopping center from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., or visit Santa's Station from 2 to 5 p.m. near Learning Express Toys for a visit and photo opportunity. He has treats for all the kids who visit him. Free. shopgenevacommons.com/portfolio-items/here-comes-santa-claus/
Nov. 23- Jan. 1
Mooseheart Holiday Lights: 5 to 9 p.m. daily, Nov. 23-Dec. 31, along the Mooseheart campus, off Route 31, just south of Batavia. One of the largest shows in the Chicago area, including about 80 displays on a 1.8-mile route through the campus. Admission, cash only: $10 for cars; special rates for buses. Santa visits from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 8-9, 15-16 and 22-23 at the field house. Hot cocoa, cookies, crafts and more are free while you wait. All proceeds benefit Mooseheart Child City and School. www.moosecharities.org.
Elburn Christmas Stroll: 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, through businesses in downtown Elburn. Join 24th annual event while celebrating Small Business Saturday and enjoying holiday themed activities, giveaways, Kaneland Scholarship Raffle, and entertainment. Santa makes a visit, too!elburn.com.
Lake Villa Tree Lighting and Christmas Parade: 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, at Lehmann Park, 148 Cedar Ave., Lake Villa. Annual Christmas Parade lines up at Palombi School, 133 McKinley Ave., Lake Villa, followed by tree-lighting ceremony and Santa's Party at the train station. www.lake-villa.org,
Niles Holly Jolly Market and Christmas Tree Lighting: 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, Oasis Fun Center, 7877 N. Milwaukee Ave., Niles. The annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held outdoors at 5:30 p.m. followed by a fireworks show. Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus; live entertainment; horse-drawn sleigh rides; petting zoo; ride the Holly Trolley; food and beverages; and visit local vendors selling all sorts of goodies. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. For information, www.vniles.com/876/Holly-Jolly-Market-and-Festival
Roselle Celebrate the Season and Cocoa Crawl: 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, starting at Roselle Public Library, 40 S. Park St. Santa arrives by fire truck at 2 p.m. to begin Cocoa Crawl and continues down Main Street. Disney characters available for photos; afternoon entertainment at Town Center Plaza, Main and Prospect streets. Community tree lighting at 5 p.m. Free. www.roselle.il.us.
Santa's Craft Corner: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays, Nov. 24, Dec. 1 and 8, Cosley Zoo, 1356 N. Gary Ave, Wheaton. Can't make it to the North Pole? Do the next best thing and come to Cosley Zoo where you can see Santa and the animals. Make a craft or two in the Kiebler Room. Admission includes crafts, refreshments, and the Santa visit. No registration required. $5 per family; $3 for a printed photo with Santa. wheatonparkdistrict.com.
Vernon Hills Holiday Tree and Menorah Lighting: 4:30-6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, Vernon Hills Golf Course, 291 Evergreen Drive, Vernon Hills. The village annual holiday tree and menorah lighting event, with Santa, refreshments and holiday celebration. www.vernonhills.org.
Nov. 24, Dec. 1, 8 and 15
Santa @ the Settlement: 9 to 11 a.m. Saturdays, Nov. 24, Dec. 1, 8, and 15, Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. Santa and Mrs. Claus, craft ornaments, prepare a treat for Santa's reindeer, help Mrs. Claus decorate cookies. $13 members, $15 nonmembers. Younger than 1-year-old, free. Registration is required. www.napersettlement.org.
Batavia's Celebration of Lights: 5-7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25, Batavia Riverwalk, Houston Street and Island Avenue. Family photos, free roasted chestnuts, holiday craft activities inside city hall, old-fashioned ornament making for all ages at the Depot Museum, as well as hot dogs and hot chocolate for sale. Batavia Community Band performs at 5:15 p.m.; community singalong at 5:30 p.m.; arrival of Santa and tree lighting at 5:45 p.m.; Santa Warming House at the Peg Bond Center at 6 p.m.; Light Up the Gazebo at 6 p.m.; Story Hour 6:15-7 p.m. in the Batavia Depot Museum. Christmas Tree Lane with 25 holiday trees decorated by local organizations and businesses. Hayrides for $1 or a nonperishable donation to the Batavia Food Pantry. Free admission and parking north of the Batavia Government Center. www.bataviaparks.org
Santa photos: 12:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25, Heartland Animal Shelter, 2975 Milwaukee Ave., Northbrook. Santa and Mrs. Claus are making a special stop at Heartland Animal Shelter and they are looking forward to taking photos with your furry and human family members. Photos are available for a $20 donation to Heartland and will be available electronically after the event. Volunteers will also hold a bake sale. For information, www.heartlandanimalshelter.net.
Glendale Heights Tree Lighting: 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, Glendale Heights Civic Center Complex, 300 Civic Center Plaza, Glendale Heights. Mayor and Santa illuminate the complex. Choral groups sing. Refreshments afterward at the Center for Senior Citizens. Free. gendaleheights.org.
Addison Tree Lighting Ceremony: 6:30-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, Friendship Plaza, 1 Friendship Plaza, Addison. Visit with Santa and Christmas characters, ride the Christmas Express, listen to Christmas carolers, experience a living Nativity scene and enjoy festive holiday treats. Addison Historical Museum Craft Fair from 5-9 p.m. Free. www.ithappensinaddison.com.
Bartlett Tree Lighting: 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, at Bartlett Park, Oak and North avenues, Bartlett. Visit Santa at the Log Cabin and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies. Bring a camera to capture the memories. The South Elgin High School Choir will perform holiday music in the gazebo and will lead spectators in the singing of carols just before the tree is lit. Free. For information, www.bartlettchamber.com.
Old Town Festival of Lights Tree Lighting: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, Old Town Park, Third and Franklin streets, Bloomingdale. Sixth annual display of holiday lights and sights kicks off at 6:30 p.m., when the giant switch is pulled to illuminate Old Town Park and the village's Holiday Tree in the adjacent piazza. Santa and his reindeer will visit, too. In addition, the park district will offer horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday crafts, holiday entertainment, and train rides, as well as Kriss Kringle Market and Lego Holiday Show. www.bloomingdaleparks.org.
Jolly Old St. Nick Concert: 6:30-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, Yorkfield Presbyterian Church, 1099 S. York St., Elmhurst. Annual celebration of Elmhurst's German roots with Elmhurst's authentic German choirs, Damenchor and Männerchor, performing German carols. Jolly Old St. Nick will join the festivities to explain his legend and take photos with guests. Hot cocoa and sweet treats will be provided. Kids can wear their pajamas. Donations for the giving tree to support Yorkfield Food Pantry welcome. No registration required. Free. www.elmhursthistory.org.
Mundelein Tree Lighting Ceremony: 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, at Village Plaza, 300 Plaza Circle, Mundelein. Festivities begin with music, singing and other Holiday-themed entertainment. Santa Claus will help with the countdown for the lighting of the Holiday Tree followed by a fireworks display. www.mundeleincommunityconnection.org/
Round Lake Tree Lighting: 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, Round Lake Village Hall, 422 N. Cedar Lake Road, Round Lake. The village's annual tree lighting ceremony, including a visit from Santa. eroundlake.com.
Nov. 30-Dec. 1
Dickens in Dundee: 6-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, in downtown East and West Dundee. 31st annual winter festival featuring tree lighting, living windows, Spirit of Christmas parade, Santa, petting zoo, crafts, gingerbread village, Festival of Trees and more. Free admission. dickensindundee.org.
A Very Merry Huntley: 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1, in downtown Huntley. On Friday at municipal complex, 10987 Main St., live reindeer, Kriss Kringle Market, tree-decorating contest and kids games from 3-8 p.m. and visit with Mrs. Claus from 4 to 8 p.m. On Saturday at First Congregational, 11628 E. Main St., indoor farmers market and craft fair from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., church choir's cookie walk from 9 a.m.-noon, free kids crafts 10 a.m.-2 p.m., horse-drawn trolley rides 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and free handbell choir concert at noon, and free family games, Scholastic Book Fair and more from noon to 2 p.m. with Trinity Lutheran. On Saturday in Town Square, Merry Maskers strolling carolers from 3 to 5 p.m., free hot chocolate and horse-drawn trolley rides from 3 to 6 p.m., live reindeer from 4 to 6 p.m., Christmas tree-decorating contest winners at 4:45 p.m., and Santa arrives on fire truck at 5 p.m. for lighting of Christmas tree. Fireworks show at 5 p.m. Bring camera for photos with Santa in the gazebo. From 4 to 7 p.m., community spaghetti dinner, sponsored by the village of Huntley and American Legion Post 673 at Legion Hall, 11712 Coral St. www.huntley.il.us.
Christmas in Kaneville: 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30; and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. Village tree lighting at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, at Hill's Country Store, 2S133 Harter Road, bring an ornament to represent your family. On Saturday, Cookie Walk from 9 a.m. to noon at Kaneville United Methodist Church, 46W764 Main St. cookies sold by the pound; craft show from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Community Center gym at 2S101 Harter Road; Santa & Mrs. Claus from 9 a.m. to noon at the fire barn, 46W536 Lovell St.; Storytime, crafts and treats from 9 a.m. to noon at Kaneville Public Library; special displays, ornaments and treats for kids from 9 a.m. to noon at the historic 1840s Farley House; food, raffles at open house from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Old Second Bank; Hill's Country Store free peppermint ice cream and cocoa, raffles and more; and tractor pulled wagon rides around town. Community Christmas program at 1 p.m. at the church to wrap up the day's events. www.facebook.com/KTHistoricalSociety.
Nov. 30 to Dec. 23
Naperville Santa House: Friday, Nov. 30-Sunday, Dec. 23, on the Riverwalk, Jackson Avenue and Webster Street, Naperville. Public hours 4-8 p.m. Nov. 30; noon-6 p.m. weekends; and 4-8 p.m. Dec. 7, 14, 18-21. Registration required for Special Needs from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 3-5 and Dec. 13; Pet Night 4-8 p.m. Dec. 10; Military and First Responders Night 4-8 p.m. Dec. 11. Free; photos $8 or two for $15. www.napervilleparks.org/santahouse.
'Miracle on 34th Street the Radio Play': 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 30 to Dec. 23 at Steel Beam Theatre, 111 W. Main St., St. Charles. In this Christmas classic, an old man going by the name of Kriss Kringle fills in for an intoxicated Santa in Macy's annual Thanksgiving Day parade. Kringle proves to be such a hit that he is soon appearing regularly at the chain's main store. But Kringle surprises customers and employees alike by claiming that he really is Santa Claus and it leads to a court case to determine his mental health and, more importantly, his authenticity. $28, $25 for 62 and older, $23 for students. www.steelbeamtheatre.com.
Kids, need to give Santa your list? Here's where you can find him.
- Daily Herald file photo
Algonquin's Holiday Rock on the Fox: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Riverfront Park, 201 N. Harrison St., Algonquin. 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.
Barrington Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting: Saturday, Dec. 1. Join the annual Barrington Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting Ceremony. The free Holiday Trolley begins at 10 a.m. at Cook/Station streets and travels in a loop until 5 p.m. between the Ice House Mall, Shops on Lageschulte, the Foundry and Barrington's White House. There are free family-friendly activities all day, including carriage rides, visits with Santa, a petting zoo, face-painting, balloon artist, Madrigal singers and holiday music by Bob the DJ. The holiday tree is lit and Santa arrives on the fire truck at 5 p.m. at Cook Street and Park Ave. Visits and photos with Santa until 6:30 p.m. For information, www.barrington-il.gov.
Farmside Christmas: 3-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, Fischer Farm, 16W680 Grand Ave., Bensenville. Hayrides, crafts, music, treats, pictures with Santa. Free. www.bensenvilleparkdistrict.org.
Skating with Santa: Noon to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Rocket Ice Arena, 180 Canterbury Lane, Bolingbrook. Skate with Santa with holiday music and hot chocolate. Cost: $11 for Naperville residents, $17 for nonresidents; includes skate rentals. Register at napervilleparks.org.
Carol Stream Tree Lighting: 6-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, Ross Ferraro Town Center, Gary Avenue and Lies Road. Enjoy music followed by Santa Claus's arrival at 6:30 p.m. Then to the Fountain View Recreation Center for holiday refreshments, music, kid's crafts and a complimentary photo with Santa. Free. www.carolstream.org.
Cary Holiday Walk and Tree Lighting: 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Jaycee Park, off Silver Lake Road in Cary. Lighting of the Jaycee Park Holiday Walk, including visits with Santa and his live reindeer, refreshments, and ice skating (weather permitting). Free. (847) 639-6100 or www.carypark.com.
Elgin Window Wonderland: 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, along DuPage Court and Spring Street in downtown Elgin. 20th 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.
Breakfast with Santa & Mrs. Claus: 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, Garden Terrace at the Pavilion, 1000 Wellington Ave., Elk Grove Village. $13-$16. For information, www.elkgroveparks.org/Calendar/events/Breakfast-with-Santa--Mrs.-Claus-2850194673
Fox River Grove Tree Lighting Ceremony: 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Algonquin Road School, 975 Algonquin Road, Fox River Grove. Featuring pictures with Santa, live music, cookies, and activities. www.foxrivergrove-il.org.
Snowflake Shuffle 5K: 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Gunnar Anderson Forest Preserve and along Fox Valley Trail, Geneva. TriCity Family Services' 10th annual 5K Run/Walk. USATF-certified and chip-timed race; live music provided by Scott Mackay 95.9 The River, Christmas carols along the route, winter characters posing for photos, perhaps even an appearance by Santa $35, $25 for children and teens. www.tricityfamilyservices.org
Geneva Lions Pancake Breakfast with Santa: 7:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Geneva High School, 415 McKinley Ave., Geneva. The Geneva Lions Club will host its seventh annual Pancake Breakfast with Santa. Includes photos with Santa, live holiday music, free crafts section, and pancake creation station. $7; children 3 and younger free. genevalionsclub.org.
Hometown Holiday and Tree Lighting: 3-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, Community Park, 5 Park View Lane, Hawthorn Woods. Enjoy a visit with Santa and horse drawn wagon rides while snacking on cookies and listening to the Stevenson High School Choir. Includes the community tree lighting. Free. www.vhw.org.
Dickens of a Holiday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 and 8, 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 $6 and no adults allowed at Petranek's Pharmacy; Victorian Tea from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Lawrence Episcopal Church; and Ansel B. Cook Museum tours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit mainstreetlibertyville.org.
Miracle on Main Street: 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, 70 E. Main St., Lake Zurich. A 35-foot tree will be displayed for the holiday season. Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus and their reindeer. Other offerings include children's crafts, sleigh rides, artisans, adult beverages and food vendors. Free. lakezurich.org/585/Miracle-on-Main-Street.
Lincolnshire Holiday Tree Lighting: 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, Village Green Center, 100 Village Green, Lincolnshire. Lighting of holiday tree, choir and bands from local schools and organizations, appearance by Santa, Toys-for-Tots collection and other activities. Food and beverages available. Free. lincolnshireil.gov.
Lindenhurst tree lighting: 4:30-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. Lippert Community Center, 2200 Grass Lake Road, Lindenhurst. Lakes Community High School Chamber Choir will carol before the lighting at 4:20 p.m. Santa will arrive via fire trick at 4:30 p.m. Includes performances by the Engle Junction Preschoolers and Jason the Juggler. Make an ornament, bring letters for Santa's Mailbox, enjoy free cookies and juice and more. Nonperishable food items will be collected for the Lake Villa Township Food Pantry. lindenhurstparks.org or (847) 356-6011.
Lombard's Jingle Bell Jubilee: 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, Lombard Town Center. Tree lighting and Santa's arrival at Lilacia Park from 5:30 to 8 p.m., photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Dancers performing "The Nutcracker" from 5 to 7 p.m. Candlelight tours of Lombard Historical Society's Victorian Cottage Museum from 6 to 8 p.m. Glenbard East Honors Strings performing three short concerts in the sanctuary with crafts, coffee, and hot cocoa in the gym at Lombard Bible Church, 111 S. Park Ave. Glenbard East Madrigal Singers show, activities in youth services starting at 5 p.m. at Helen Plum Library. Singalong in Maple Street Chapel from 6:30 to 8 p.m. www.facebook.com/jinglebelljubilee.
38th Annual Teddy Bear Walk: 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Dec. 1, Mount Prospect Public Library, 10 S. Emerson St., Mount Prospect. For all ages. The Mount Prospect Public Library celebrates its 38th annual Teddy Bear Walk. Bring your favorite Teddy Bear and see nationally known story-performer Chris Fascione act out best-loved stories. Also sing along with Parents' Choice Gold Winner Mark Dvorak as he brings some of your favorite tunes to life. Ted E. Bear will then lead the march over to the village hall to welcome the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus, escorted by the Mount Prospect Fire Department. This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Library. To register, visit www.mppl.org or call (847) 253-5675.
Little Friends Holiday Parade of Lights: 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, downtown Naperville. Parade starts at Jackson Avenue and Mill Street, east to Main Street, ending at Main and Van Buren Avenue. After parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus visit with kids until 9 p.m. inside the Santa House at Jackson Avenue and Webster Street on the Riverwalk. Free. www.littlefriendsinc.org
Breakfast or Lunch with Santa: seatings at 9 a.m. or noon, Saturday, Dec. 1, Sportsman's Country Club, 3535 Dundee Road, Northbrook. A delicious holiday breakfast or lunch featuring the man in red. Santa Claus visits with each family. Families can enjoy holiday songs, crafts and a commemorative photograph. Registration is $16-19 per person. For information, www.nbparks.org/events/breakfast-with-santa.
Dining With Santa: 9 a.m. to noon. Saturday, Dec. 1, Rolling Meadows Park District Community Center, 3705 Pheasant Drive. Santa and Mrs. Claus will celebrate the season at breakfast and lunch. Breakfast (9 to 10 a.m.) or a lunch (11 a.m. to noon) and a visit with Santa. $8-12. rmparks.org.
Roselle Lions Lunch With Santa: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, Trinity Lutheran Family Life Center, 405 S. Rush, Roselle. Kids of all ages enjoy lunch with Santa, decorate their own Christmas ornament and have their picture taken with Santa. Admission is a nonperishable food item to be donated to the Bloomingdale Food Pantry. Free. e-clubhouse.org/sites/roselle/index.php
Christmas in the Valley: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2, Spring Valley Nature Center & Heritage Farm, 1111 E. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg. A traditional German-American Christmas will be on display at the Heritage Farm living history museum while St. Nicholas waits to greet children at the log cabin. Event includes wagon rides, historical demonstrations, craft activities, and refreshments for purchase. Individual or family admission rates. www.parkfun.com.
North Pole Holiday Spectacular: 1-3:30 p.m. or 5-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, Community Recreation Center, 505 N. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg. Celebrate the holiday season. Activities include a performance of "Santa's Surprise" as well as music, face painting and cookie decorating. Families should bring their own cameras for a photo with Santa and his friends. Tickets for each session are $7 per adult and $9 per child. Day-of event cost is $9 per adult and $11 per child. Tickets may only be purchased at the Community Recreation Center. For information, (847) 490-7020 or parkfun.com.
Holiday in the Hollow: 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Sabatino Park, on Thorobred Lane, Sleepy Hollow. 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.
Holiday in the Grove: 7:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, in Sugar Grove. 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.
Visit With Santa and Mrs. Claus: Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, Sparrow's Nest Thrift Store and Donation Center, 34500 Highway 45, Third Lake. Children can tell Santa their Christmas wishes while Mrs. Claus reads favorite Christmas stories. Free. www.facebook.com/SparrowsNestThirdLake.
Villa Park Joyful Traditions: 6-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Ruggard Gazebo, Ardmore and Park, Villa Park. 20th annual tree lighting, pictures with Santa, trolley and horse-drawn wagon rides, tasting tent, s'mores, carolers and the World's Largest Stocking. Free. www.villaparkchamber.org.
Wauconda Holiday Walk and Tree Lighting: 2-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, Main Street, downtown Wauconda. A day of activities on Main Street culminating in the village tree lighting. Features sleigh rides, visits with Santa, crafts, family activities and live reindeer with a parade and fireworks show. Free. www.waucondachamber.org.
Celebrate the Season: 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. The park will be decorated for the holidays, and an assortment of activities and offerings are planned to kick off the season in style, including sleigh rides, live reindeer, face painting, Santa, storytime with Mrs. Claus. Stop by the Mistletoe Market from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Visitors Center for one-of-a-kind gifts from local crafters. Admission is $5 per car. cantigny.org.
Breakfast with Santa: 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Dec. 1, Wheeling High School Cafeteria, 900 S. Elmhurst Road, Wheeling. Santa is coming to Wheeling High School. Join for a musical celebration of the holidays. Continental breakfast, instrument petting zoo, holiday stories, carols and a photo with Santa. Tickets are $10. For information, www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3821174?ref=349591.
Holiday Happenings: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, Wilmette shopping districts, Wilmette. Enjoy activities and treats in the stores and restaurants throughout Wilmette. Grand Finale Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5 p.m. with Santa in front of village hall. chambermaster.wilmettekenilworth.com/events/details/holiday-happenings-10291
Wilmette tree lighting ceremony: 5-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, Wilmette Village Hall, 1200 Wilmette Road, Wilmette. Welcome Santa as he makes a grand entrance to help Village President Bob Bielinski light up the big tree in front of village hall at the annual tree-lighting ceremony. After the lighting ceremony, Santa will hear holiday wishes and take photos with kids. chambermaster.wilmettekenilworth.com/events/details/tree-lighting-ceremony-10290
Wood Dale Tree Lighting Celebration: 2:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, adjacent to Wood Dale City Hall, 372 Wood Dale Road, Wood Dale. Crafts, wagon rides, and photos with Santa. Concludes with tree lighting and fireworks. Free. www.wooddale.com.
Holiday Train Ride: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, Villa Park Metra Station, 349 N. Ardmore, Villa Park. Ride the train in your pajamas to the North Pole (Elburn station). Onboard activities include caroling and a visit with Santa. Train departs Villa Park at 11:16 a.m. Arrive prior to boarding to enjoy a reading of a special holiday story and hot cocoa inside the train station. Preregistration required. $25-28. www.invillapark.com.
Lights of Lisle Festival: 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, downtown Lisle. Saturday's events include Santa Light Parade at 4:30 p.m., entertainment, lighting of luminaria at dusk, tree lighting at 6 p.m. at village hall, refreshments, music. Both days include visits from Santa and Once Upon a Christmas at Museums of Lisle Station Park. Free. www.villageoflisle.org.
Once Upon a Christmas: 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, The Museums at Lisle Station Park, 921 School St., Lisle. Stop by to see blacksmith, ice carving and baking demonstrations; visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus in the historic Lisle Depot; and visit live reindeer on Sunday. Free. www.lisleparkdistrict.org.
Santa Visits Lollipop Lane at the Wheeling Historical Society: 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2; 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3 through Friday Dec. 7; 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 and Sunday, Dec. 9, Chamber Park Community Center, 131 N. Wolf Road, Wheeling. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive Dec. 1, to pose for free photos with families for one week. Decorated trees and toys from many eras line the lane. Cookies and commemorative ornaments for sale. Free admission. www.lollipop-lane.org
You can catch Santa at one of the many tree-lighting events throughout the suburbs.
- Daily Herald file photo, 2008
Holiday Express: 2 to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 1-2, 8-9 and 15-16, and 5 to 8 p.m. Fridays, Dec. 7 and 14, Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Road, Aurora. Take a ride on the Holiday Express train around Lake Gregory or a hay wagon ride. Back in the historic pioneer village, crafts, a reindeer food bar, story readings of holiday classics at the one-room schoolhouse and a special visit with Santa. Food and drinks available for purchase. $7; children under 2 free. Advance tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. Nov. 13. www.foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.
Winter Fest at Randall Oaks Zoo: noon-7 p.m. Dec. 1-2, 8-19, and 15-16, 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 from 2 to 4 p.m. All activities included with zoo admission ($3.25, $4 for nonresidents; free for under age 2). www.dtpd.org.
Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 21-23
Breakfast with Santa: 9 to 11 a.m. weekends, Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, Dec. 21-23, Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. Enjoy a breakfast buffet and a visit from Santa. Children leave with some sweet treats to take home. $42, $36 for children 3-12; under age 3 are free. Enjoy a special breakfast buffet in scenic Ginkgo Restaurant and a visit from Santa. www.mortonarb.org.
Holiday Magic: Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 1-23, and Wednesday-Monday, Dec. 26-31, Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield. Now in its 37th year, visit the Chicago area's largest and longest running lights festival. Visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus (through December 23). www.czs.org/holidaymagic.
Merry Cary Holiday Parade and Festival: 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, downtown Cary. 17th annual parade steps off at 1 p.m. at West Main Street and ends at Jandus Road and Cary Street. Santa, sleigh rides, petting zoo, pony rides, carolers, and musical entertainment. carygrovechamber.com.
Lisle Santa Train: 9:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, Lisle Metra Station, 1000 Front St., Lisle. Join Santa and costumed characters for 25th annual trip to Chicago's Union Station and back. $18 in advance. www.facebook.com/TheLislePolarExpressChristmasTrain/.
Holiday Open House: 1:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, Messenger Public Library, 113 Oak St., North Aurora. Holiday entertainment, activities and fun. Santa will read a story at 2 p.m. and then visit with families. Also: live music, gingerbread contest, Treasure Hunt in the Stacks, used book sale. Free. www.messengerpl.org.
Dec. 2 and 16
Brunch with the Santa: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 2 and 16, Le Jardin at Cantigny Golf, 27W270 Mack Road, Wheaton. Enjoy a special holiday buffet and meet Mr. C! Besides food, highlights include a photo with Santa, balloon artist and face painters. Seatings at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. $38, $33 for ages 4-12, $5 for kids 3 and under. www.cantignygolf.com.
Holiday Lights in Lilacia Park: 6-8 p.m. Fridays to Sundays, Dec. 2-23, Lilacia Park, 150 S. Park Ave., Lombard. Free event. Visits with Santa and train rides, more activities on different nights. On Dec. 1, join Lombard's Jingle Bell Jubilee. lombardparks.com.
Santa's Story Time: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, Garden Terrace, 1000 Wellington Ave., Elk Grove Village. Celebrate the spirit of the holidays at Santa's Story Time. The whole family will enjoy exciting holiday entertainment, crafts, hot chocolate, fun rides under the sparkling lights of the indoor carousel, souvenir pictures with Santa. Advance purchase tickets are $5 per person; tickets purchased on Dec. 4 are $7 per person. For information, www.elkgroveparks.org/Calendar/events/Santas-Story-Time-5968017324
Visit with Santa: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, Foxford Hills Golf Club, 6800 S. Rawson Bridge Road, Cary. Santa is coming to Foxford Hill Golf Club in an intimate, low-key setting for parents and children to share their Christmas wish lists with Santa before he heads back to the North Pole. This is a free event. Registration is not required. www.carypark.com
Special Kids Holiday Party: 3:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, Wilder Mansion, 211 S. Prospect Ave, Elmhurst. Celebrate the holidays with Special Kids Day at a free annual party. Event is for children (of all ages) with disabilities and their families in an environment planned for the unique needs of special kids. Exciting activities, including photos with Santa, and quiet spaces all add up to make a memorable celebration. Free. skd.org/events.htm
Elmhurst tree lighting: 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, Wilder Park, 175 S Prospect Ave, Elmhurst. Elmhurst Park District kicks off the holiday season with live entertainment, a special visitor from the North Pole and children's activities. Free. www.epd.org.
Holiday Tree Lighting: 6 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, in front of the McDonald's on Kirchoff Road, 3140 Kirchoff Road, Rolling Meadows. Ring in the holiday at this seasonal pleaser. A downtown count down to lighting up the city along with the mayor, local music groups, goodies, giveaways and a special appearance from Santa Claus. Free admission. www.cityrm.org.
Lakeside Arts First Friday: 3-5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at Lakeside Legacy Arts Park, 401 Country Club Road, Crystal Lake. Photos with Santa, Train Village and more. Free. lakesideartspark.org
Des Plaines Tree Lighting: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, Metropolitan Way, downtown Des Plaines. Pre-lighting festivities begin at 4 p.m., with the tree-lighting ceremony taking place at 6:30 p.m. The event features tree decorating by local organizations, live entertainment, strolling characters, and Santa will be ready and waiting to hear everyone's wish list. Free. For information, www.desplaines.org.
Geneva Christmas Walk: 6-9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, Third Street between James and Campbell, Geneva. 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. Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 8-23. (630) 232-6060 or www.genevachamber.com.
Hanover Park Tree Lighting: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at village Hall, 2121 W. Lake St., Hanover Park. Hanover Park continues the tradition of welcoming a special visitor from the North Pole who will help flip the switch to light up the village's holiday decorations. Free. For information, www.hanoverparkillinois.org.
Warrenville Holly Days: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, Warren Avenue and Tracy Place, Warrenville. Santa parade, tree lighting, entertainment, horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday music and performing arts provided by local community and school groups, and hot chocolate. Free. warrenvilleparks.org.
Streamwood Tree Lighting: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at Veterans Memorial, 301 E. Irving Park Road, Streamwood. Santa and Mrs. Claus at luminaria. For information, www.streamwood.org.
Sundaes with Santa: 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, Iowa Community Center, 338 N. Iowa, Villa Park. Build your own sundae while Santa makes a special visit from the North Pole. Children make a holiday craft to take home. All participants must be preregistered for this all ages event. $5 per person preregistration; $10 day of event. www.invillapark.com.
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer The Musical": 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7; 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont. Admission $29.50. www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/32892/2212141
Merry & Bright A Victorian Christmas: 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, Downers Grove Museum, 831 Maple Ave., Downers Grove. Tour the holiday-decorated Victorian Blodgett house and listen to Victorian-era carolers. Warm up around a campfire and visit with Santa and his reindeer. Holiday snacks, cocoa and adult beverages available for purchase. Free. www.dgparks.org.
Santa Claus at Wilder Mansion: 9 to 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, Wilder Mansion, 175 S. Prospect Ave., Elmhurst. Includes holiday crafts, cookies and cocoa, and a complimentary photo. Adult fee is $12 for residents and $14 for nonresidents and $15 for resident children and $18 for nonresident children. www.epd.org.
Holiday Tree Lighting: 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, Fountain Square, Davis Street at Sherman and Orrington avenues, Evanston. Celebrate the holiday season at the annual tree lighting with Mayor Hagerty as he lights up the tree. Enjoy special guest performances and holiday treats. Santa and Mrs. Claus visit. Free. www.cityofevanston.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/9551/250?curm=12&cury=2018
Polar Express Storytime Train: 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Itasca Metra station, on West Irving Park Road, Itasca. Join for a trip on The Polar Express Storytime Train. Meet at the Metra Train Station in Itasca and board the train for a fun filled adventure to the North Pole. Stories will be read, a yummy snack will be served, and all children will have a chance to visit with Santa. Ride from Itasca to Elgin and back again. Each participant will receive a confirmation letter in the mail prior to the trip. Spaces limited. $18-$22. Register at www.elkgroveparks.org.
Candy Cane Hunt: 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, Lisle Community Park Bandshell, 1825 Short St., Lisle. Annual event is designed for children ages 10 and younger and is divided by age group (2 and under, 3-5, 6-10). Dress warm and bring a basket for your goodies. Prizes given for finding special candy canes. A special visitor from the North Pole may stop by with other holiday treats. $5-10. www.lisleparkdistrict.org.
Cookies with Mrs. Claus: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, Lisle Recreation Center, 1925 Ohio St., Lisle. Join Mrs. Claus and her elves for singing Christmas songs, reading "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," drinking hot chocolate, decorating and eating cookies, playing festive games, and making holiday-themed ornaments to take home. $35-$50. Register by Dec. 1 at www.lisleparkdistrict.org.
Lunch with Santa: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Cardinal Drive Church of Christ, 2300 Cardinal Drive, Rolling Meadows. The Cardinal Drive Church of Christ welcomes all children to its Lunch with Santa. Includes lunch, a picture with Santa, and crafts and coloring. Admission free. www.cdfamily.org
Gingerbread House Raffle Event: 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Panera Bread, 971 Irving Park Road, Streamwood. The Streamwood Woman's Club will be hosting its ninth annual Gingerbread House Raffle event. Enter to win a gingerbread house. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there. Panera will supply sugar cookies for kids to decorate. Proceeds go back to the community. Admission is free; raffle tickets are $1 each or six for $5. streamwoodwomansclub.webstarts.com/index.html
Breakfast With Santa: 8:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, 643 E. Washington St., West Chicago. Meet and greet Santa Claus. Support the West Chicago Food Pantry by purchasing a pancake and sausage breakfast (beverage included). Tickets are $3-20. Photos with Santa $5 each. High chairs available and free parking. www.facebook.com/wegoumcucc
Breakfast with Santa: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 8, at Chevy Chase Country Club, 1000 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling. Spend the morning at Chevy Chase Country Club enjoying a buffet breakfast while carolers entertain you. All children have the opportunity to meet with Santa and have photos taken. The event concludes with a show from "Those Funny Little People." Reservations required. $5- $20. www.wheelingparkdistrict.com/events
Christmas on the Farm: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 and Sunday, Dec. 9, Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road, West Chicago. Celebrate a Victorian Christmas. Visit the animals; enjoy hot spiced cider and carols by the fire; admire the farmhouse decked in garlands and greens; and stop in the visitor center to take your picture with Santa in his sleigh. Free; sleigh rides $5 for age 5 and up. www.dupageforest.org.
Brookfield Zoo's Breakfast with Santa: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield. Bring the whole family to Brookfield Zoo for a festive all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet in the Discovery Center. Santa and Mrs. Claus along with the zoo's costumed characters will make an appearance for photo opportunities and to visit with children. Reservations are required. $21.95-$29.95; children 2 and under eat free. CZS.org/Events.
Maggiano's Presents: Sunday Breakfast with Santa: 9:30 a.m. to noon Sunday, Dec. 9, Maggiano's Little Italy, 516 N. Clark St., Chicago. Featuring deluxe breakfast buffet and gourmet hot chocolate station in a festive ballroom. Visits from Santa as well; bring your camera. $20-30. www.eventbrite.com/e/maggianos-presents-sunday-breakfast-with-santa-tickets-49261623843?aff=ebapi
Pictures with Santa Paws: 5 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, Cortesi Veterans Memorial Park, 318 E. Kenilworth, Villa Park. Your pet will met Santa and take a picture with him. Santa will have a special treat for each pet. Photo will be picked up on Friday, Dec. 14. Choose your special time with Santa when you register by Dec. 4 at the Iowa Community Center, 338 N. Iowa. www.invillapark.com
Holiday Trolley Express: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, Fountain View Recreation Center, 910 N. Gary Ave., Carol Stream. Take a festive trolley ride seeing some of the holiday lights of Carol Stream. Visit with Santa. $14 residents, $21 nonresidents.www.csparks.org.
Visit with Santa: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at Pavilion Craft Room, 1000 Wellington Ave., Elk Grove Village. Join at the Carousel and Jumps n' Jiggles to visit with Santa, make a special craft, ride the carousel and play in Jumps n' Jiggles. Santa will be at the carousel from 11-1 p.m. www.elkgroveparks.org/Calendar/events/Visit-with-Santa-6752839401
Pizza with Santa: 5:30-7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, Community Center, 1777 S. Blanchard St., Wheaton. Have pizza with Santa, enjoy activities and an opportunity to take pictures with Santa Claus himself. wheatonparkdistrict.com/events/pizza-with-santa/
Christmas on the Farm: 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at Peck Farm Park, 4038 Kaneville Road, Geneva. Spend the evening enjoying some of the pleasures of Christmas past. Gather around the fireplace and listen to a story from Mrs. Claus. Christmas Carolers and ice sculpting will also be part of the fun! A visit from Santa himself may be in store. Hot cocoa and other snacks will be available for purchase. Free. genevaparks.org.
Breakfast with Santa: 9-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, Glendale Lakes Golf Club, 1550 President St., Glendale Heights. All-you-can-eat pancake breakfast and visit with Santa. $5, $3 for kids. Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus $2. No registration required. www.glendaleheightsparksrecreationfacilities.com.
Flurry Fest: 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at Lake in the Hills village hall, 600 Harvest Gate. Featuring deck the deer display, visit with Santa, food drive and family crafts. Starting at 4:30 p.m., "The Funny Little People" will perform as holiday elves. Attendees encouraged to "pack the bus" full of nonperishable food items for local food pantries. www.lith.org.
Breakfast 'N' Story with Santa: 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, Dunbar Recreation Center, 888 Dunbar Road, Mundelein. Children can share their holiday lists and enjoy Santa reading, "A Visit from St. Nicholas." Breakfast will be served, followed by activities, crafts and more. Registration required. $15 for residents, $20 for nonresidents for adults; $10/$15 for children. mundeleinparks.org.
Santa in the Woods: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, at Izaak Walton-Des Plaines, 1841 S. River Road, Des Plaines. Izaak Walton League-Des Plaines will be all decked out with lights for an evening with Santa. Hot chocolate and cookies will be part of the fun. Christmas crafts will be available for kids to make. Bring your camera for photos with Santa and our Christmas cottage in the woods. Free admission. www.ilwa.org/desplaines
Swimming with Santa: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, at Olympic Indoor Swim Center, 660 N. Ridge Ave., Arlington Heights. One last chance to see Santa before the holiday season. Swimming, treats, a craft, holiday music and more. For ages 3-9. Swimmers must be accompanied by an adult. $10-$15. www.ahpd.org.