Santa brunches 2019: Where to dine with St. Nick in the suburbs
If your kids can't wait to meet Santa, but you'd rather not stand in an extremely long line at the mall to greet him, consider a Breakfast with Santa in the suburbs. It's a win-win for the accompanying adults as everyone will get to dine on seasonal specialties while talking with Santa in a more relaxed atmosphere. Plus, many brunches offer fun activities to keep the kids engaged, including cookie decorating and crafts. Make your reservations soon as spots are filling up fast.
Arlington International Racecourse
2200 W. Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights, (847) 385-7500 or arlingtonpark.com/events/breakfast-with-santa/. Meet Santa and pose for a photo, make holiday crafts, enjoy Christmas music and more during Breakfast with Santa from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14-15, in the Million Room restaurant. The menu includes French toast, pancake and waffles baskets, Caesar salad, scrambled eggs, potato hash, garlic maple-glazed chicken, mac and cheese, rosemary-crusted turkey breast, brown sugar brined pork shoulder, cookies and milk, pastries, fresh fruit and more. Bring an unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots. Enter at the Grandstand Entrance off Wilke Road. Breakfast is $29.95 for those 12 and older, $19.95 for kids 4-11, and free for kids 3 and younger. Reservations are required.
1170 W. Devon, Elk Grove Village, (847) 534-0600 or belvederebanquets.com/social-events/breakfast-with-santa/. Kids can share their letters to Santa and take photos with St. Nick, plus take part in crafts and cookie decorating all while dining on a breakfast buffet starting at 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. It's $15 for those 2 and older and free for kids 1 and younger. Reservations required.
8400 31st St., Brookfield, (708) 688-8000 or czs.org/Brookfield-ZOO/Events/Upcoming-Events/Brunch-with-Santa. While all of the Breakfast with Santa dates are already sold out, there are still openings for Santa's Holiday Jazz Brunch, with seatings at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 15 and 22. The event includes photos with Santa, Mrs. Claus and special costumed characters, plus a performance by the Ann Stewart Jazz Trio. Dine on an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet in the Discovery Center, including scrambled eggs, French toast with maple syrup, bacon, sausage links, an omelet station, peel-and-eat shrimp, a chef's carving station, penne pasta, rice pilaf, pastries and a chef's sweet table featuring miniature cheesecake slices, miniature brownies, butter cookie assortment, fresh fruit and more. It's $44.95 for adults, $31.95 for kids 3-11, and free for kids younger than 3. Seating is limited; reservations are required.
27W270 Mack Road, Wheaton, (630) 260-8194 or cantignygolf.com/. Santa makes a trip in from the North Pole for Brunch with Santa at Le Jardin from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (seatings at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.) Sunday, Dec. 22. Enjoy a brunch buffet, photos with Santa, a balloon artist and face painters. It's $38, $33 for kids 4-12, and $5 for kids 3 and younger. If you prefer the Grinch, try Brunch with the Grinch in the Red Oak Room from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (seatings at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.) Saturdays, Dec. 7 and 14. Fill up from the buffet, watch a "Grinch" movie and take photos with the green guy. Same prices apply. Make reservations online.
35 S. Washington St., Naperville, (630) 717-3500 or catch35.com/naperville-breakfast-with-santa-2019/. The Jolly Old Elf will be on hand to greet and take photos with guests at the annual Breakfast with Santa at 9 and 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Enjoy the breakfast buffet featuring Mrs. Claus' cinnamon swirl French toast, Blitzen's apple cinnamon crepes, Saint Nick's scrambled eggs, Scrooge's short rib hash, Tiny Tim's mini yogurt parfaits, Rudolph's breakfast potatoes, Kriss Kringle's croissants, Jack Frost's crabcake Benedict, Prancer's smoked salmon, holiday cookies from Santa's Little Elves and more. $25 for adults, $15 for kids 3-12, and free for kids 2 and younger, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations required.
Pennyville Station's brunch menu will be available Sunday, Dec. 15, during Brunch With Santa.
- Courtesy of Pennyville Station
200 Applebee St., Barrington, (847) 382-5020 or chessies-restaurant.com. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be making a special appearance at the annual Santa Breakfast Buffet from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 and 14. Nosh on mini bagels, fresh fruit, French toast, mac and cheese, Tater Tots, chicken tenders, doughnut holes, holiday cookies and more. Plus, enjoy face painting and music from Suzuki Strings (Dec. 7 only). It's $18 for adults and $14.95 for kids 12 and younger. Reservations required.
The Chocolate Sanctuary
5101 Washington St., Gurnee, (224) 944-0808 or thechocolatesanctuary.com/. Meet the big man in red during Brunch with Santa from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. Santa will join diners from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. during the buffet, which features waffle pops, chocolate sourdough French toast souffle, scratch-made pastries, shrimp cocktail, an omelet station, a carving station, 5-spice cocoa ribs, fresh fruit and more. Adults: $25, kids 5-10: $12, and free for kids 4 and younger. Reservations required.
298 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, (630) 472-0600 or theclubhouse.com/event/brunch-with-santa-2019/all/. Make your wish list now as St. Nick will be in town every Sunday through Dec. 22 at Brunch with Santa from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. (final seating). Breakfast includes an omelet station; a carving station; hot entrees such as banana walnut French toast, Belgian waffles, cheese blintzes, pancakes, vodka pasta, chicken-andouille jambalaya, orange-glazed salmon, mussels; a seafood and raw bar; salads; and a dessert table featuring a chocolate fountain, tarts, pastries and cakes. It's $39.95 for adults, $19.95 for kids 6-12, and free for kids 5 and younger. Reservations required.
Drake Oak Brook
2301 York Road, Oak Brook, (630) 571-0000 or thedrakeoakbrookhotel.com/. Join Santa and Mrs. Claus for Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 15 and 22. Adults: $44.95, kids 6-12: $20, kids 2-5: $10, and free for kids younger than 2. Reservations required. Or have breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus (they will be on site starting at 9 a.m.) from 8 a.m. to noon Friday and Saturday, Dec. 20-21. Nosh on a variety of pastries, crabcake eggs Benedict, maple pork sausage, potatoes O'Brien, brioche French toast, a flambé crepes station, banana- and apple-stuffed crepes, fresh fruit and more. Kids can take part in crafts and cookie decorating, too. A professional photographer will be on hand to take photos for a fee. It's $30 for adults, $15 for kids 6-12, $10 for kids 2-5 and free for kids younger than 2. Reservations required.
221 Town Square, Wheaton, (630) 260-9001, egglecticcafe.com. Santa will greet guests during Breakfast with Santa from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 14. Call for reservations.
Doubletree by Hilton Lisle/Naperville
3003 Corporate West Drive, Lisle, (630) 245-7600 or hilton.com/en/doubletree/. Meet the guy in the big red suit during Breakfast with Santa from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Fill up on items from the breakfast buffet such as an omelet station, plus enjoy a magic show, crafts, and photos and selfies with Santa. $22.95 for those 13 and older, $14.50 for kids 4-12, and free for kids 3 and younger. Order tickets at eventbrite.com.
Harry Caray's Navy Pier
700 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, (312) 527-9700 or harrycarays.com/breakfast-with-santa.html. Bring the kids to meet Santa during Harry Caray's first Breakfast with Santa from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. Dine on a la carte dishes including Santa Cakes ($12), Winter Wonderfest Wrap ($12), Roasty Toasty Texas French toast ($11) and sip on adult beverages such as Candy Cane Cocoa ($11), Bloody Merry ($12) or a Merry Mimosa ($8). Plus, meet Moo-dolph the Red-Nosed Holy Cow who will be handing out holiday treat bags to the kids. Reservations are recommended.
Hilton Rosemont/Chicago O'Hare
5550 N. River Road, Rosemont, (847) 928-6949 or facebook.com/. Kids can visit with Santa and take part in a cookie-decorating station, a coloring station and a craft station during Breakfast with Santa. Seatings are at 9 and 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. Brunch features made-to-order omelets, croissants and pastries, miniature pancakes and waffles, fruit, a hot chocolate station with toppings and more. Each child will receive a complimentary 4x6 photo with Santa. Adults: $39.95, kids 4-12: $19.95, and free for kids 3 and younger. Order tickets at eventbrite.com. Reservations required.
Choose a sweet treat from the doughnut board during Hotel Arista's Breakfast with Santa Sunday, Dec. 15.
- Courtesy of Hotel Arista
2139 City Gate Lane, Naperville, (630) 579-4100, citygatecentre.com/breakfast-with-santa. Santa will be heading to Hotel Arista for Breakfast with Santa at 9, 10:30 a.m. and noon Sunday, Dec. 15. Visit Santa's workshop, featuring crafts, the Polar Express model train, horse-drawn carriage rides and photos with Santa. Children will enjoy the kids' buffet featuring Grinch and funfetti pancakes, fruit salad, chicken tenders, mac and cheese and more. The adult buffet features brown sugar bacon glazed ham, roasted flank steak, Brioche French toast with blueberry compote, biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, fruit, pastries, a yogurt bar, desserts, a hot cocoa station and more. $49.95 for adults, $22.95 for kids 3-12, and free for kids 2 and younger. Make reservations at (630) 579-7827 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marvel at Hotel Arista's Polar Express model train during Breakfast with Santa on Sunday, Dec. 15.
- Courtesy of Hotel Arista
100 W. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 584-2100 or hotelbaker.com/breakfast-with-santa-2019/. The holidays are coming early to Hotel Baker with the hotel's annual Breakfast with Santa from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 8, 15 and 22. Fill up on specialties from the holiday breakfast buffet such as biscuits, sausage and gravy; French toast; ham, peppers and potato hash; scrambled eggs with chips and salsa; waffles; chocolate and butter croissants; pastries; fruits and berries; juices, coffee and more. Plus, there's face painting and photos with St. Nick. It's $25 for adults, $20 for kids 3-13, and free for kids 2 and younger. Reservations required.
Drury Lane, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, (630) 530-8300 or lucillerestaurant.com/holidays-and-special-events/santa-brunch. Dine with St. Nick during Lucille's Brunch with Santa, which features specialties like made-to-order doughnuts, crepes, waffles and omelets, hand-carved turkey and prime rib, a seafood bar, a savory station, an ice cream station, a dessert table and a Bloody Mary bar (extra charge). Champagne, mimosas and bellinis are included. Reservations are available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 8, 15 and 22. $60 for adults, $20 for kids 6-12, $15 for kids 3-5, and free for kids 2 and younger, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required.
Santa will visit Maggiano's in Schaumburg for brunch Dec. 8 and 15 and a spaghetti dinner Dec. 16.
- Courtesy of Maggiano's
1901 E. Woodfield Road, Schaumburg, (847) 240-1600 or maggianos.com/. It's a winter wonderland during Maggiano's Breakfast with Santa. Dine from a breakfast buffet and hot cocoa bar from 9 to 11 a.m. Sundays, Dec. 8 and 15. It costs $30 for ages 2 and older and free for kids younger than 2. Get tickets at eventbrite.com/. Or have Dinner with Santa from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16, featuring a spaghetti dinner and a hot cocoa bar. It's $30 for those 2 and older and free for kids 2 and younger. Buy tickets at eventbrite.com/.
Magnolia Cafe & Bakery at Lambs Farm
14245 W. Rockland Road, Libertyville, (847) 362-5050 or lambsfarm.org/event/breakfast-with-santa/. Kids will enjoy visiting with St. Nick during Breakfast with Santa at 9, 10:30 and noon Saturdays and Sundays, 14-15 and 21-22. Kids can make a picture frame, decorate a gingerbread man, make sand art ornaments and take a photo with Santa. It's $17.95 per person and $7.95 for kids younger than 2. Call for reservations.
Mon Ami Gabi
260 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, (630) 472-1900 or monamigabi.com/events/brunch-with-santa/. Santa Claus is coming to brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. Santa will listen to Christmas requests and pass out treats to the kids. Nosh on a la carte dishes such as waffles with Nutella, quiche Lorraine with bacon and cheese, creme brulee French toast, duck confit and lentils and more. Reservations required.
4100 Route 53, Lisle, (630) 725-2066 or mortonarb.org/events/supper-st-nick. Breakfast with Santa is already sold out for 2019, but there are spots available for Supper with St. Nick at Thornhill Education Center. Available dates include 5 p.m. Friday through Monday, Dec. 20-23. The family supper will include a dinner buffet and a visit with Santa. Buffet options feature seasonal starters, salads and entrees such as hand-carved prime rib, sage-rubbed turkey breast and maple-glazed ham, mashed potatoes, roasted green beans and penne Alfredo with broccoli. Finish with warm chocolate chip cookies and milk, pumpkin pie, bread pudding, cherry cobbler and more. Includes an open bar for adults 21 and older. It's $90 for member and $95 for nonmember adults; $75 for member and $80 for nonmember teens 13-20; $60 for member and $65 for nonmember kids 3-12; and free for kids younger than 3. The fee includes admission to "Illumination." Reservations required.
151 Kitchen Bar
151 N. York St., Elmhurst, (331) 979-7198 or 151elmhurst.com/. Enjoy a Brunch with Santa buffet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 7 and 14. Dine on waffles, pancakes, French toast, egg scrambler, bacon, sausage and more. Adults: $29, kids: $13. Reservations required.
Adults can enjoy cocktails while the kids meet St. Nick during Pennyville Station's Brunch With Santa on Sunday, Dec. 15.
- Courtesy of Pennyville Station
112 Main St., Park Ridge, (847) 720-4841 or pennyvillestation.com/. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, meet and take photos with St. Nick during Brunch With Santa, with 10% of the proceeds going to Operation North Pole Chicago, which brings holiday experiences to local kids battling life-threatening illnesses. The full a la carte brunch menu, featuring lobster Benedict, quinoa porridge, Nutella French toast, frittata and more, will be available. Reservations requested.
Pheasant Run Resort
4051 E. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 584-6300 or pheasantrun.com/breakfast-with-santa. Enjoy Breakfast with Santa in the New Orleans Ballroom from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 8, 15 and 22. Brunch features breakfast dishes (stuffed blueberry pancakes, Grand Marnier French toast, red velvet waffles, home fried potatoes, pastries, fresh fruit), a carving station (prime rib, mashed potatoes, spring vegetables), a made-to-order omelet station and holiday desserts. Kids can decorate cookies, share their wish lists with Santa and, for a fee, decorate a gingerbread house and make crafts. The buffet costs $24.95 for adults, $12.95 for kids 6-12, and free for kids 5 and younger. Reservations required.
7 Oakbrook Center Mall, Oak Brook, (630) 575-8700; 100 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington, (847) 844-9300; 1150 Willow Road, Northbrook, (847) 480-2323 or pinstripes.com/. Santa will be visiting suburban Pinstripes during brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 8, 15 and 22. Santa will listen to requests and take photos with guests. During the buffet, dine from the waffle station, made-to-order omelet station, carving station, salads, homemade flatbreads, breakfast station (homemade biscuits and gravy, breakfast potatoes), chefs specialties (sausage and pepper risotto, ravioli and marinara), kids table and a sweets table. $31 for adults, $12 for kids 6-12, and free for kids 5 and younger. Drink specials include $4 mimosas and $7 Bloody Marys. Reservations required.
6170 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee, (847) 855-7800, and D121 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, (847) 619-1900, rainforestcafe.com. Meet Santa and mascot Cha!Cha! while dining from the new waffle and omelet bar and breakfast buffet (carving station with ham, French toast, biscuits with sausage gravy, hash browns, fresh fruit, pastries and more). For the kids, there will be crafts, games, raffles, prizes and goody bags. The Gurnee event runs from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. The Schaumburg breakfasts are from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14-15 and 21-22. Gurnee: $21.97 for 11 and older, $14.06 for kids 4-10, and free for kids 3 and younger. Schaumburg: $25.32 for 11 and older, $16.11 for kids 4-10, and free for kids 3 and younger. Tickets for Gurnee: eventbrite.com/ and Woodfield: eventbrite.com/. Reservations required.
Saranello's hosts a grand buffet for its holiday brunches with Santa.
- Courtesy of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises
601 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling, (847) 777-6878 or saranellos.com/. Santa will be on hand to greet and take photos with kids during brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22. Indulge in the grand buffet, hot chocolate station and more. It's $36.95 for adults and $14.95 for kids 12 and younger. Reservations required.
1900 E. Higgins Road, Schaumburg, (847) 517-2722 or shawscrabhouse.com/events/santa-brunch-december-8/. From 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, Santa will take photos and visit with families during brunch, which features breakfast items, shellfish and seafood stations, a sweets table and more. The build-your-own hot chocolate bar goes perfectly with the selection of homemade Christmas cookies. Brunch is $65 for adults, $15 for kids 7-12, and free for kids 6 and younger, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations recommended.
Enjoy brunch with Santa at Shaw's Schaumburg on Sunday, Dec. 8.
- Courtesy of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises
5900 S. Route 53, Lisle, (630) 968-1920, option 2, or wheatstacklisle.com/. Kids and adults alike can get in the holiday spirit with Wheatstack's annual Brunch with Santa. Seating begins at 9:30 a.m. Sundays, Dec. 8, 15 and 22. On the menu are made-to-order omelets, French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, biscuits and sausage gravy, breakfast potatoes, lemon chicken, pasta, fruit salad, a chocolate fountain and more. It's $24 for adults, $13 for kids 5-10, and free for kids 4 and younger. Reservations required.
5 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, simon.com/mall/woodfield-mall. Join St. Nick during Breakfast with Santa from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, in the Dining Pavilion at Woodfield Mall. Enjoy a light breakfast, goody bags for kids, crafts and a visit with Santa. It's $29.99, which is valid for two children and two adults. Advance reservations are required at eventbrite.com/.