Holiday festivals: Cosley Zoo Festival of Lights, tree lightings and more

  • Cosley Zoo's Festival of Lights runs from 3 to 9 p.m. nightly through Dec. 30

    Cosley Zoo's Festival of Lights runs from 3 to 9 p.m. nightly through Dec. 30 Courtesy of Cosley Zoo

Posted12/1/2018 7:31 AM

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.; Breakfast with Santa at 8, 9 or 10 a.m. ($6 per meal); pictures with Santa from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. At John Shields Elementary, 85 S. Main St.,: From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. holiday craft/vendor show, Cookies with Mrs. Santa and children's crafts. Mrs. Santa Sweet Shoppe open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sugar Grove United Methodist Church.

Christmas in Kaneville: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. 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 the 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 and open house from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Old Second Bank. Community Christmas program at 1 p.m. at the church.

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Cosley Zoo Festival of Lights and Tree Sale: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1-2, lights on at 3 p.m., at Cosley Zoo, 1356 N. Gary Ave, Wheaton. See thousands of twinkling lights in an animal-themed display and browse Christmas trees for purchase. Free. Santa's Craft Corner is $5 per family and $3 for a printed photo with Santa.

Santa @ the Settlement: 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at 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, free for kids younger than 1. Registration is required.

A Very Merry Huntley: Various hours Saturday, Dec. 1, in downtown Huntley. At First Congregational, 11628 E. Main St.: indoor farmers market and craft fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., church choir's cookie walk from 9 a.m. to noon, free kids crafts from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., horse-drawn trolley rides from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., free handbell choir concert at noon, and free family games. At 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 a fire truck at 5 p.m. for the lighting of the Christmas tree and fireworks. Community spaghetti dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. at Legion Hall, 11712 Coral St., sponsored by the village of Huntley and American Legion Post 673.

Barrington Holiday Festival and Tree Lighting: Saturday, Dec. 1. 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. Enjoy free family-friendly activities all day, including carriage rides, visits with Santa, a petting zoo, face painting, a 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 Avenue. Visits and photos with Santa until 6:30 p.m.


Dickens in Dundee: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, in downtown East and West Dundee. 31st annual winter festival features the Spirit of Christmas parade at 10 a.m., living windows, Breakfast with Santa, petting zoo, crafts, gingerbread house decorating, cookie walk, Festival of Trees and more. Free admission.

Dickens of a Holiday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, in downtown Libertyville. Photos with Santa from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 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.

Wonderland Express: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Friday, Dec. 21, at Chicago Botanic Garden 1000 Lake-Cook Road, Glencoe. Marvel at festive displays of miniature trains and Chicago-area landmarks. $13; $10 seniors and kids 3-12. $20-$25 parking per vehicle. (847) 835-5440 or

Christkindlmarket: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. Enjoy outdoor shopping and sample spiced wine. Free admission. (312) 494-2175 or


Holiday Magic: Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1-2, at Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield. Now in its 37th year, the Chicago area's largest and longest running lights festival. Visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus. See website for admission prices and hours.

Christmas in the Valley: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1-2, at 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.

Naperville Santa House: Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1-2, on the Riverwalk, Jackson Avenue and Webster Street, Naperville. Free; photos $8 or two for $15.

Winter Fest at Randall Oaks Zoo: Noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1-2, at Randall Oaks Zoo, 1180 N. Randall Road, West Dundee. Holiday lights, decorations, a bonfire, cookie decorating and more. Santa visits from noon to 5 p.m.; hayrides from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; live reindeer from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday. All activities included with zoo admission of $3.25, $4 for nonresidents and free for kids younger than 2.

Celebrate the Season: 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at 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 and 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.

North Pole Holiday Spectacular: 1 to 3:30 p.m. and 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Community Recreation Center, 505 N. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg. 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, call (847) 490-7020 or see

Elgin Winter Wonderland: 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, along DuPage Court and Spring Street in downtown Elgin. 20th annual event features a holiday market, pictures with Santa, Santa's live reindeer, sleigh rides, food trucks, holiday music, a tree-lighting ceremony and more. Free.

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.

Wauconda Holiday Walk and Tree Lighting: 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, on Main Street in 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.

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.

Farmside Christmas: 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Fischer Farm, 16W680 Grand Ave., Bensenville. Hayrides, crafts, music, treats and pictures with Santa. Free.

Hometown Holiday and Tree Lighting: 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at 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.

Lights of Lisle Festival: 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, in 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 and music. Both days include visits from Santa and Once Upon a Christmas at Museums of Lisle Station Park. Free.

Once Upon a Christmas: 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at The Museums at Lisle Station Park, 921 School St., Lisle. Stop by to see blacksmith, ice carving and baking demonstrations; visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the historic Lisle Depot; and visit live reindeer on Sunday. Free.

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.

Lindenhurst tree lighting: 4:20 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Lippert Community Center, 2200 Grass Lake Road, Lindenhurst. Lakes Community High School Chamber Choir will carol before the lighting. Santa will arrive via fire truck 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 and enjoy free cookies and juice. Nonperishable food items will be collected for the Lake Villa Township Food Pantry. or (847) 356-6011.

Illumination: Timed tickets from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1-2, at the The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. Outdoor light exhibit transforms trees along a one-mile path surrounded by 50 acres of trees. In addition, visitors can see five sculptures in the Crown of Light experience. Tickets $18-$23 for adults and $12-$15 for children. Buy timed tickets online at

Lombard's Jingle Bell Jubilee: 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Lombard Town Center. Tree lighting and Santa's arrival at Lilacia Park from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Dancers perform "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 perform 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 and 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.

Mooseheart Holiday Lights: 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1-2, 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. Admission is cash only: $10 for cars; special rates for buses. Proceeds benefit Mooseheart Child City and School.

Lincolnshire Holiday Tree Lighting: 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Village Green Center, 100 Village Green, Lincolnshire. Lighting of the 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 admission.

Carol Stream Tree Lighting: 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Ross Ferraro Town Center, Gary Avenue and Lies Road, Carol Stream. Enjoy music followed by Santa Claus' arrival at 6:30 p.m. Then to the Fountain View Recreation Center for refreshments, music, kids' crafts and a complimentary photo with Santa. Free.

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

Holiday Lights in Lilacia Park: 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1-2, at Lilacia Park, 150 S. Park Ave., Lombard. Visits with Santa and train rides, more activities on different nights. Free admission.

Villa Park Joyful Traditions: 6 to 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.

Little Friends Holiday Parade of Lights: 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, in downtown Naperville. Parade starts at Jackson Avenue and Mill Street, east to Main Street, ending at Main and Van Buren Avenue. After the 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.

Merry Cary Holiday Parade and Festival: 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, in 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 music. Free.

North Aurora Evergreen Holidays: 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at Riverfront Park, North Aurora. Decorated, sponsored Christmas trees line the park pathway and holiday music performed by third-grade choirs from Fearn, Schneider and Goodwin schools. Crafts, cookie walk, hot chocolate, popcorn and more. Free.

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