The Fox Valley glows with tree lightings and Santa

The Fox Valley glows with tree lightings and Santa

  • Lily Murphy, 2, of St. Charles breaks out in laughter after hearing Santa belt out a "ho, ho, ho" during the Lighting of the Lights at the First Street Plaza in St. Charles last year.

      Lily Murphy, 2, of St. Charles breaks out in laughter after hearing Santa belt out a "ho, ho, ho" during the Lighting of the Lights at the First Street Plaza in St. Charles last year. Rick West | Staff Photographer, 2018

Daily Herald report
Posted11/29/2019 6:00 AM

With Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror, it's time for local villages to turn into winter wonderlands with festive decorations and sparkling lights. Here are some of the tree-lighting ceremonies and light displays planned in and around the Fox Valley:

Friday, Nov. 29


Light Up the Night at Geneva Commons: 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, at Geneva Commons, 602 Commons Drive, Geneva. Santa will arrive by vintage firetruck at 5 p.m. to light the Christmas tree in a special ceremony. Kids can visit with Santa for the remainder of the event. Free.

Crystal Lake Festival of Lights Parade: 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, on Williams and Brink streets, Crystal Lake. The Festival of Lights Parade kicks off at 7 p.m. with decorated floats, marchers, music and more. When Santa comes to the end of the parade, his sleigh will stop at the corner of Williams Street and Crystal Lake Avenue so he can light the Community Christmas Tree. Free.

St. Charles Holiday Homecoming, Lighting of the Lights and Electric Christmas Parade: 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, at 2 E. Main St., St. Charles. Friday features the Lighting of the Lights on First Street Plaza. Saturday features a holiday movie at the Arcada Theatre at 10 a.m., sleigh rides and Santa visits at First Street Plaza at 1 p.m., and culminates with the Electric Christmas Parade at 5 p.m. Free.

Aurora Festival of Lights: 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, through Thursday, Dec. 26, Phillips Park, 1000 Ray Moses Drive, Aurora. Interactive, one-mile drive-through light display featuring holiday trains, massive snowflakes, Santa's Toy Factory and more. Free admission, but donations accepted to the Aurora Noon Rotary.

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Mooseheart's annual Holiday Lights Show begins Friday, Nov. 29 and runs through Tuesday, Dec. 31.
Mooseheart's annual Holiday Lights Show begins Friday, Nov. 29 and runs through Tuesday, Dec. 31. - Courtesy of Mooseheart

Mooseheart Holiday Lights: 5-9 p.m. daily, Friday, Nov. 29, through Tuesday, Dec. 31, on the campus of Mooseheart Child City and School, two miles north of I-88 on the west side of Route 31, Batavia. Drive through more than 80 themed displays along a 1.8 mile, lighted route. $10 donation per car. On Dec. 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22, Santa will sit for free photos in the field house from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. There will also be crafts, holiday music, hot chocolate, and Christmas cookies in the field house.

Sunday, Dec. 1

Batavia Celebration of Lights: 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, at the Batavia Riverwalk, 151 Island Ave., Batavia. Enjoy hayrides, a visit with Santa, holiday crafts, story hour, community singalong and more. Free admission and parking.

The Great Tree will be lit at Geneva's annual Christmas Walk on Dec. 6.
  The Great Tree will be lit at Geneva's annual Christmas Walk on Dec. 6. - John Starks | Staff Photographer, 2017
Friday, Dec. 6

Geneva Christmas Walk: 6 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at 100 S. Third St., Geneva. Santa Lucia arrives and Santa makes his Geneva debut to open his house. Event includes the great tree lighting, carolers, roasted chestnuts, Swedish cookies, an old-fashioned candy cane pull and holiday shopping. Free.


Hampshire tree lighting: 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at Seyller Park Pavilion, 390 South Ave., Hampshire. Free. or (847) 683-2690.

West Dundee tree lighting and Dickens in Dundee: 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, and 10 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Grafelman Park and locations throughout West Dundee. Friday: living windows, Toys for Tots fundraiser, warming house and Santa Claus, Shop with a Cop raffle and Vintage Open House from 6 to 8 p.m.; tree lighting at 7 p.m. at 102 S. 2nd St.; Fezziwig's Family Festivities from 6 to 9 p.m.; cookie decorating and Candy Cane Lane from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday: breakfast with Santa; parade at 10 a.m., Santa meet and greet; Santa's workshop and kids' crafts; petting zoo; gingerbread house decorating; Ron Rhoades Festival of Trees display; reading of "A Christmas Carol"; Dickens of a Christmas Sale, Bake Sale and Craft Boutique; soup and sandwich lunch; cookie walk and craft boutique; indoor snowball fight and open house; Christmas ornament workshop. Free admission; fee for some activities.

The annual Electric Christmas Parade lights up Main Street in St. Charles.
  The annual Electric Christmas Parade lights up Main Street in St. Charles. - BRIAN HILL | Staff Photographer, 2012
Saturday, Dec. 7

Fox River Grove Holiday Tree Lighting: 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Algonquin Road School, 975 Algonquin Road, Fox River Grove. Performances by the Cary-Grove High School swing choir and Diva Voice. Event includes face painter, balloon artist, crafts and cookie decorating, and pictures with Santa hosted by the Lions Club. Activities will be held indoors, with officials lighting the Christmas tree outside shortly before 5 p.m. Free.

Elgin Winter Wonderland: 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, in downtown Elgin. Annual event includes indoor holiday craft market, petting zoo and live Nativity, sculpture carving. roasted chestnuts, story time with goats, carriage rides, food trucks, live holiday music, followed by tree-lighting ceremony at 7 p.m. at Festival Park, 132 S. Grove Ave., and more. Free.

Holiday in the Hollow: 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Sabatino Park, Sleepy Hollow. Visit with Santa, tree lighting, carols, hot cocoa with Sleepy Hollow Service Club. Bring a nonperishable food item or monetary donation for FISH Food Pantry.

Pingree Grove tree lighting: 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Municipal Center, 555 Reinking Road, Pingree Grove. Includes kids' crafts, train rides, North Pole mailbox, "Frosty the Snowman" movie, food and beverages. Santa arrives at 4:50 p.m.; tree lighting at 5 p.m. Free.

Huntley Holiday Tree Lighting: 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, in the gazebo and Town Square on Coral Street between Church and Woodstock streets, Huntley. Santa arrives by fire truck followed by lighting of the Christmas tree, a fireworks show and pictures with Santa in the gazebo. For details, contact Barb Read at or (847) 515-5262.

Algonquin Miracle on Main: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at The Plaza, 2 S. Main St., Algonquin. The event will kick off by lighting the village tree. Listen to carols, visit with Santa and his reindeer, enjoy an ice sculptor and more. Free.

Elburn Christmas Stroll: 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, along Main Street in downtown Elburn. The 25th annual event includes tree lighting, hayrides, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, holiday themed giveaways, activities and entertainment. Stroll down to the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, 525 N. Main St., for Jinglepalooza.

Jaycee Park Holiday Walk & Tree Lighting: 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Jaycee Park, Silver Lake at Cary-Algonquin roads, Cary. Visit with Santa, plus enjoy ice skating (weather permitting) and light refreshments. Free.

Candlelight at the Inn: 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7-8, at Garfield Farm Museum, 3N016 Garfield Road, St. Charles. Experience the tradition of winter visits as practiced by families like the Garfields at their 1846 brick inn. Hospitality, food, music and a bake sale. Free, but donations appreciated.

"Touching on Traditions": Noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 7-29, at the Elgin Public Museum of Natural History & Anthropology, 225 Grand Blvd., Elgin. Elgin Public Museum presents its 34th "Touching on Traditions" exhibit. $2 adults, $1 kids ages 3-12, free for kids younger than 3 and museum members.

Sunday, Dec. 8

Merry Cary Parade & Festival: Noon to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, on Main Street in downtown Cary. Visit Santa, petting zoo, pony rides, sleigh rides, carolers, activities, music and more. Merry Cary Parade at 1 p.m. Free.

Saturday, Dec. 14

Luminaria Walk: 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Veteran Acres Park, 431 N. Walkup Ave., Crystal Lake. Enjoy a night under the stars with a lighted trail. Stop at various spots to warm up at a campfire, listen to caroling and enjoy s'mores. See website for details. Suggested donation: $1 or $5 maximum per family.

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