Things to do Dec. 2-9: Holiday light shows, concerts, tree lightings, Santa brunches & more

  • The Big Timber Brilliance light show shines bright in Elgin.

    The Big Timber Brilliance light show shines bright in Elgin. Courtesy of Big Timber Brilliance

 
Updated 12/3/2021 10:37 AM

Ongoing

Festival of Lights and Tree Sale: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through Thursday, Dec. 30, at Cosley Zoo, 1356 N. Gary Ave., Wheaton. The zoo will be transformed into a winter wonderland with thousands of twinkling lights; a selection of Christmas trees, wreaths and greenery for sale; hot chocolate; and holiday gifts. Lights turn on at 3 p.m. Free admission; donations appreciated. cosleyzoo.org.

 

Winter Arts & Craft Expo: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 20 at the Evanston Art Center, 1717 Central St., Evanston. Includes original, handmade works of jewelry, ceramics, fiber, metal, glass, painting, photography, mixed media and more. All proceeds benefit the ongoing exhibition, education and outreach programs at the Art Center. evanstonartcenter.org.

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays through Jan. 3 at the Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. Explore holiday traditions from around the globe. $21.95 for adults, $12.95 for kids 3-11. msichicago.org/catw.

Holiday Bricktacular: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Mondays; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays through Jan. 3 at Legoland Discovery Center Chicago, 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg. Take a family photo with a life-size Santa's Sleigh, participate in the Lego present scavenger hunt and more. Tickets start at $24.99. legolanddiscoverycenter.com/chicago.

Winterland: Daily through Feb. 20 at Gallagher Way, 3635 N. Clark St., Chicago. Includes the Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville, ice skating on an 8,000-square-foot ice rink, curling and skating lessons, Santa's Workshop, wreath-making classes, holiday movie screenings, special programming at Hotel Zachary, a celebration of Hanukkah, ice bumper cars and more. gallagherway.com.

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"Dr. Seuss Experience": Noon to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Jan. 2 at Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. Immersive exhibit lets guests journey through nine different Dr. Seuss books. $23-$30; free for kids younger than 1. Super Stoopendous tickets are available from noon to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m. to noon Fridays. experienceseuss.com.

Light Up the Lake: 3-9 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 19; and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily from Dec. 20 through Jan. 2 at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. An indoor, temperature-controlled experience featuring large-scale light-sculpture displays showcasing more than 600,000 twinkling lights, a regulation-size Alpine ice rink, beer garden, train rides, Santa's Village and gift market. Tickets are $26 for adults, $21 for kids 3-12, and free for kids 3 and younger. Santa Savings Days: Tickets are $15 for adults and kids on Mondays and $21 for adults and $19 for kids on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until Dec. 20. navypier.org.

ZooLights: 4-10 p.m. daily through Sunday, Jan. 2, at the Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St., Chicago. Includes a holiday lights experience on the Main Mall and a light show on the South Lawn. New this year: Sensory-friendly visit times and an 18-foot holiday tree. $5; free on Mondays and Tuesdays. lpzoo.org.

Illumination, Tree Lights: 4:30-8:30 p.m. daily through Jan. 2 at The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. The ninth annual spectacle of color, light and sound returns on a 1-mile walking trail with five new features, including the Human+Nature sculpture lit up at night. Tickets are $7-$19 for members and $13-$24 for nonmembers. Advance ticket purchase is required. Concessions will be available. mortonarb.org.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Let It Shine Lightshow: 4:30-11 p.m. daily through Jan. 9 at Northbrook Court, 1515 Lake-Cook Road, Northbrook; Fox Valley Mall, 195 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora; and Wintrust Field, 1999 S. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg. A drive-through wonderland of light displays synchronized to holiday classics. Online ticket purchase required. $29.99 per vehicle weekdays, $39.99 weekends and holidays, $20 add-on for Fast Pass. shinelightshow.com.

Lightscape: 4:30-11 p.m. daily through Jan. 2 at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake-Cook Road, Glencoe. Last entry at 9 p.m. The enchanting, after-dark illuminated trail features an all-new path filled with artistic installations and new works. Admission: Adults: $24 for members, $26 for nonmembers; kids 3-12: $12 for members, $14 for nonmembers; free for kids 3 and younger. Tickets purchased the day-of are an extra $2. (847) 835-5440 or chicagobotanic.org/lightscape.

Willow Hill's Winter Magic, A drive-through Christmas Lights Experience: 4:30-10:30 p.m. daily through Jan. 2 at Willow Hill Golf Course, 1350 Willow Road, Northbrook. Features over one million lights adorning displays of characters, Christmas trees, drive-through light tunnels and more. $45-$50. Reserve tickets at WillowHillsWinterMagic.com.

Winter Lights: 4:30-9:30 p.m. daily through Jan. 9 at Central Park, Jorie Boulevard and Forest Gate Road, Oak Brook. A free, half-mile illuminated walk along paved pathways. The path will be closed during inclement weather. Purchase cookies, candy canes, hot cocoa, hot coffee and tea in the Cocoa Cabin in the Central Park West building from 5-9 p.m. Thursdays through Jan. 6. obparks.org/winterlights.

Big Timber Brilliance: 5-9 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, now through Jan. 2, at Camp Big Timber, 37W955 Big Timber Road, Elgin. See more than 100,000 animated lights synchronized to music while walking the one-mile illuminated trail. $20 for adults, $14-$15 for kids 3-12. Buy tickets in advance at bigtimberbrilliance.org/.

Santa's Rock 'N' Lights: 5-9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 5-8:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday through Jan. 2 at the Lake County Fairgrounds, 1060 E. Peterson Road, Grayslake. The drive-through animated light show features nearly 1,000 programmable elements and more than 100,000 animated lights dancing to holiday music. $19.99-$34.99 per vehicle. santasrocknlights.com.

AMAZE Light Festival: 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays and 4 and 7 p.m. Fridays through Sundays through Jan. 2 at Impact Field, 9850 Balmoral Ave., Rosemont. The festival offers an immersive display of more than one million holiday lights, Santa's Workshop, costumed characters, holiday food and beverages, toboggan rides, thrill hill tubing, train rides, holiday market, an immersive storybook experience and more. $23 for adults, $18 for kids 2-12. amazerosemont.com.

Reindeer Road: 6:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, through Dec. 25, plus Monday and Tuesday Dec. 20 and 21, in the parking lot of Highpoint Church, at 1805 Highpoint Drive, Naperville. A five-minute drive filled with displays and accompanying holiday music featuring a 40-foot Rudolph with a blinking red nose. Free hot chocolate and candy canes available. Souvenir winter hats and LED light bulb necklaces will be sold to benefit The Alive Center and KidsMatter. $10 per vehicle. reindeerroad.com.

Christmas Tree Lane: Through Friday, Dec. 31, at Depot Park, 90 E. Woodstock St., Crystal Lake. The gazebo and trees in Depot Park will be decked out with lights and decorations. downtowncl.org.

Thursday

Cup of Cheer House Walk, Holiday Market and Tea: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 2-3, at the Naperville VFW, 908 Jackson Ave., Naperville. Naperville Garden Club will host its 59th Cup of Cheer House Walk, Holiday Market and Tea featuring four homes. Market and Tea are at the Naperville VFW. $56.50 on Thursday and $41.50 on Friday. For tickets, see napervillegardenclub.org/cup-of-cheer.html.

One of a Kind Holiday Show and Sale: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 2-3; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, on the seventh floor of theMART, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago. 400 artists, artisans and makers from North America offer fine art and handmade goods. Plus, there will be gourmet cafes, bar areas, live entertainment and activities. Admission is $10 a day or $15 for a two-day pass; free for kids 12 and younger. A portion of ticket sales will benefit the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. oneofakindshowchicago.com.

Holiday Magic: 3-9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 2-5, and Wednesdays through Sundays, Dec. 8-12, 15-19, and Sunday through Friday, Dec. 26-31, at Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield. More than two million twinkling LED lights, a 600-foot Tunnel of Lights, skating rink, photo ops and more. Guests and zoo members must secure admission and parking tickets in advance of arriving at the zoo. Admission starts at $24.95 for adults, $17.95 for kids 3-11, and $19.95 for seniors 65 and older. czs.org/HolidayMagic.

Historic Holiday Window Walk and Visit with Santa: 4-6:45 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 2-5, at The Grove, 1421 Milwaukee Ave., Glenview. Small groups of guests will be guided around the Grove's live window displays and then visit with Santa. $12 for residents, $14 for nonresidents. glenviewparks.org.

Christmas Express: 4:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 2-3, departing the Waukegan Metra Station, 95 N. Spring St., Waukegan. Each trip from Waukegan to the North Pole (Kenosha) will feature stories, caroling and holiday adventures. Children will receive a special gift from Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and Elfie. Registration required. $20 per resident; $25 per nonresident. waukeganparks.org/holidays.

Holiday Express: 5-8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 2-7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 2-19, at Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Road, Aurora. Take a ride on the Holiday Express train, which tours around Lake Gregory, plus hay wagon rides, crafts, a reindeer food bar, story readings, visits with Santa and more. Food and drinks for purchase. $8, $7 for those 65 and older. blackberryfarm.info.

Luminaria Walk and Candy Cane Forest: Luminaria Walk from 5-7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 2-3, and Candy Cane Forest with campfires and hot cocoa at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Veteran Acres Park, 431 N. Walkup Ave., Crystal Lake. Walk the illuminated trail (no activities); entrance begins at the Picnic Shelter. $1/$5 max per family donation. crystallakeparks.org.

Magical Christmas Drive-Thru Experience: 5-9 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays and 5-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, through Dec. 19, at Santa's Village, 601 Dundee Ave., East Dundee. Drive through the amusement park and enjoy over 2 million lights synchronized to music, displays, holiday motifs, live animals and Santa. Tickets are $25 per vehicle at the gate, $20 if purchased online. SantasVillageDundee.com.

Santa House Visits: 6-8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 3 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 23 at Brink Street Market, 25 W. Crystal Lake Ave., Crystal Lake. Children can visit with Santa in his downtown house at Brink Street Market. Santa will be visiting on the porch, so dress for the weather. Free. downtowncl.org.

"Knuffle Bunny, A Cautionary Musical": 6:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 2-3; 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4; and 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at The Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. A high-spirited and poignant account of a beleaguered dad who inadvertently leaves his toddler's favorite stuffed bunny at the neighborhood laundromat. Tickets are $25 for adults; $19 for kids 12 and younger. greenhousetheater.org.

"A Christmas Carol": 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 2-3; 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, and other times/dates through Dec. 24 at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. Retelling of the Charles Dickens' classic. Recommended for grades 1-12. $15-$30. metropolisarts.com/event/a-christmas-carol.

"A Christmas Carol": 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4; 2 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5; and various times/dates through Dec. 31 at the Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. Experience the story of Ebenezer Scrooge's discovery of kindness, compassion and redemption. Proof of full vaccination with an FDA-authorized vaccine is required for all guests 12 and older upon entry. Face coverings required. $31-$91. goodmantheatre.org.

Holiday Extravaganza: 7-9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 2-3, at Wheeling High School Sang Theater, 900 S. Elmhurst, Wheeling. Performances by the Wheeling Symphony Lab Band, Wind Symphony, Jazz Band, and eighth graders from LMS, HMS and MAC. $8. brownpapertickets.com.

"The Second City's Holiday Revue: It's a Wild, Wacky, Wonderful Life": 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 23 at the Copley Theatre, 8 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. Second City presents a song-filled holiday spectacular. $37. paramountaurora.com.

The House Theatre of Chicago debuts its new production of "The Snow Queen," running through Jan. 2.
The House Theatre of Chicago debuts its new production of "The Snow Queen," running through Jan. 2. - Courtesy of Michael Brosilow

" The Snow Queen": 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 2-3; 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at the Chopin Theatre Mainstage, 1543 W. Division Ave., Chicago. The House introduces a reimagination of Hans Christian Andersen's beloved fable infused with magic, puppetry and music. $20. thehousetheatre.com.

"'Twas the Night Before ... by Cirque du Soleil": 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 2-3; 1, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4; and noon, 3 and 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago. The festive production is an exhilarating spin on the Christmas classic from Cirque du Soleil. $30-$130. msg.com/the-chicago-theatre.

Friday

Geneva Holiday House Tour: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, in Geneva. Tour five homes decorated by local decorators for the holidays. $35. Ticket price includes a traditional tea served at First Congregational Church, 327 Hamilton St., and a treat from The Olive Mill or 360° Flavor & Spice (while supplies last). Tea is served from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. For ticket sellers, see genevachamber.com.

Kwanzaa Celebration and Demonstration with Dr. Mulana Karenga: Virtually from 1-3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3. Observe a Kwanzaa demonstration from the founder of Kwanzaa, Dr. Mulana Karenga. Hosted by the College of Lake County. For details, email Beverly Phelps at bphelps1@clcillinois.edu or see www.clcillinois.edu.

Bloomingdale Festival of Lights opening night: Starts at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at Old Town Park, 111 Third St., Bloomingdale. The ninth annual event features the Kriss Kringle Market from 3:30-8:30 p.m., chamber open house from 3:30-6 p.m., Santa visits from 4-6:30 p.m., kids' train rides from 4:30-7:30 p.m., and the lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. bloomingdaleparks.org.

The Des Plaines Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at Metropolitan Square.
The Des Plaines Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at Metropolitan Square. - Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer, 2019

Des Plaines Tree Lighting: 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at Metropolitan Square, 647 Metropolitan Way, Des Plaines. Join Mayor Andrew Goczkowski and the city's elected officials for the event celebrating Holidays Around the World. Tree lighting at 6:30 p.m. Bring a letter to Santa to drop in the mailbox and donations for the Mitten Tree and the Des Plaines Self-Help Closet and Food Pantry. DesPlaines.org/holidaylighting.

Brookfield Zoo Dinner with Santa: 4:30-6 and 6:30-8 p.m. Fridays, Dec. 3 and 10, in the Swan Pavilion at Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W. 31st St., Brookfield. A festive holiday feast with a special appearance from Santa, who will be available for photos. Members: $40 for adults, $24 for kids 3-11; nonmembers: $65 for adults, $40 for kids 3-11; free for kids 2 and younger. Reservations required. czs.org.

Mundelein Tree Lighting: 4:45-6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at Village Plaza, 300 Plaza Circle, Mundelein. Santa arrives to help light Mundelein's holiday tree, plus fireworks, music, trains rides for kids, opening of Santa's Cottage, princess appearances, letters to Santa, and free cookies, hot chocolate and popcorn. mundelein.org.

Bartlett Tree Lighting: 5-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at Bartlett Park, Oak and North Avenue, Bartlett. Horse-drawn wagon rides, visits with Santa at the Log Cabin, music, cookies, cocoa, caroling and more. Village President Kevin Wallace will light the tree at 7 p.m. bartlettil.gov.

The Aurora Cocoa Crawl will take place from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, in downtown Aurora.
The Aurora Cocoa Crawl will take place from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, in downtown Aurora. - Courtesy of Downtown Aurora

Cocoa Crawl: 5-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora. Aurora Downtown's Cocoa Crawl returns during First Fridays. Mugs are $10 and the button is $5 (both are needed to participate). For tickets, see auroradowntown.org.

Holiday in the Park Lights: 5-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3 (drive-through); 4-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 4-5; and 5-9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9 (drive-through), at Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee. Light shows, live entertainment, seasonal snacks and holiday shopping. For tickets, visit www.sixflags.com/greatamerica.

Holiday Shopping Blitz: 5-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at the Bartlett Community Center, 700 S. Bartlett Road, Bartlett. Shop from more than 100 crafters and vendors featuring jewelry, knitted items, pet products, holiday décor, purses, clothing, ceramics, candles, quilts, beauty products, books, gourmet foods and more. $1 admission benefits the Bartlett Parks Foundation. bartlettparks.org.

Winterlights at the Fabyan Japanese Garden: 5-7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 17 at Fabyan Japanese Garden, 1925 S. Batavia Ave., Geneva. Stroll through a light display in the garden. $5; free for kids younger than 5. PPFV.org/winterlights.

Romeoville Tree Lighting: 5-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, and 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Village Park, 900 W. Romeo Road, Romeoville. Santa arrives at 5 p.m. to light the tree. Plus, photos with Santa (register in advance), ice sculpting, character visits, holiday crafts, Magical Express train and more. romeoville.org.

Hanover Park Tree Lighting: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at 1900 Ontarioville Road, Hanover Park. Photos with Santa, face painting, caroling, games, cocoa and cookies and more. hpil.org.

Lincolnshire Tree Lighting: 5:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at Village Green Center, 100 Olde Half Day Road, Lincolnshire. Santa arrives for the tree lighting at 5:30 p.m., with music following. Free goody bags, treats, Letters to Santa and reindeer food craft. Suggested donation is an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots and winter clothes to be donated to Midwest Veterans Closet. lincolnshireil.gov.

Santa Visits at the Sawmill: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 3-18, at the Hiram Butterick Sawmill, 770 Cunningham Drive, Antioch. Visit and share your wish list with Santa. Free. antioch.il.gov.

Dickens in Dundee: 5:45-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, in downtown East and West Dundee. Dundee's 34th annual Dickens in Dundee includes tree lighting ceremonies at 5:45 p.m. at the Depot in East Dundee and 6 p.m. at the West Dundee village hall, hot cocoa, a visit from Santa, free horse-drawn carriage rides, live portrayals of Christmas scenes and more. The fest continues with the Spirit of Christmas Parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, down Main Street, and Festival of Trees display, kids' crafts, craft boutique and more until 3 p.m. in West Dundee. dickensindundee.org and eastdundee.net.

Carol Stream Tree Lighting: 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at the Ross Ferraro Town Center, 960 N. Gary Ave., Carol Stream. Santa will arrive at 6:30 p.m. to help light the tree. Plus, seasonal music, beverages and snacks, pick up a free holiday craft, visit with a reindeer and take a free digital photo with Santa. carolstream.org.

Geneva Tree Lighting: 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, on Third Street in downtown Geneva. Santa Claus and Santa Lucia arrive to light the tree between 6-6:30 p.m., plus carolers, roasted chestnuts, Swedish cookies, an old-fashioned candy cane pull and holiday shopping. The Geneva Visitor Center, 10 S. Third St., will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland. Reservations are required for a Santa visit. genevachamber.com.

Island Lake Tree Lighting: 6-7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at the village hall, 3720 Greenleaf Ave., Island Lake. Tree lighting at 6:30 p.m., treats, singing and a special visitor in a red suit. villageofislandlake.com.

Warrenville Tree Lighting: 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at the corner of Tracy Place and Warren Avenue, Warrenville. Holly Days includes Santa's Arrival Parade, lighting the City Holiday Tree, free horse-drawn carriage rides, fire pits, a hot chocolate bar, cookies, visits with Santa, entertainment by local school groups and more. warrenvilleparks.org.

Streamwood Tree Lighting: 6:30-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at the village hall, 301 E. Irving Park Road, Streamwood. Tree lighting ceremony with Santa and Mrs. Claus. streamwood.org.

Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular: 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan. Features daring acrobats, highflying aerialists, holiday music and more. $35-$185. geneseetheatre.com.

Holiday Extravaganza: 7-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at Wheeling High School Sang Theater, 900 S. Elmhurst, Wheeling. Performances by the Wheeling Symphony Lab Band, Wind Symphony, Jazz Band, and eighth graders from LMS, HMS and MAC. $8. brownpapertickets.com/.

B2wins Sounds of the Season: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre, 1250 W. Wilson St., Batavia. Led by twin brothers from Rio de Janeiro, the show is equal parts rock concert, jam session, dance party and house party. $30-$41. bataviafineartscentre.org.

Candlelight Carols: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, 307 Cedar Ave., St. Charles, and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Fourth Presbyterian, 126 E. Chestnut, Chicago. Dec. 5 concert is sold out. The mixed-voice chamber ensemble St. Charles Singers will perform 20 vocal works, including seven that are new to its repertoire. $40, $35 seniors, $10 students. stcharlessingers.com.

DuPage Community Jazz Ensemble: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, in the Belushi Performance Hall, McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. Matt Shevitz directs the ensemble. $7. atthemac.org.

Wheaton College Christmas Festival: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, and 4 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Wheaton College's Edman Memorial Chapel, 501 College Ave., Wheaton. "Welcome All Wonders" features music by J.A.C. Record and traditional Christmas carols. Performers include Wheaton College Women's Chorale, Men's Glee Club, Concert Choir, Symphony Orchestra and Percussion Ensemble. $20. Order tickets at wheaton.edu/life-at-wheaton/arts/musical-performances/christmas-festival-info-and-tickets/.

"Elf The Musical": 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at the Woodstock Opera House, 121 W. Van Buren St., Woodstock. Based on the 2003 movie about Buddy, Theatre 121 presents the tale of a human raised as an elf at the North Pole who travels to New York City to find his birth father. $20-$26; $18-$24 for students and seniors. woodstockoperahouse.com.

Holidays a cappella: 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at St. Josaphat Church, 2311 N. Southport Ave., Chicago; 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Highland Park Community House, 1991 Sheridan Road, Highland Park; 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at Community UMC, 20 Center St., Naperville; 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at Fourth Presbyterian Church, 115 E. Delaware Place, Chicago; 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston; and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at Pilgrim Congregational, 460 Lake St., Oak Park. Christmas carols, original holiday music, songs for Hanukkah and more. Tickets start at $33. chicagoacappella.org/tickets.

"Home for the Holidays": 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 3-19, at Steel Beam Theatre, 111 W. Main St., St. Charles. Vintage holiday cabaret starring Doug Orlyk and a cast of Steel Beam regulars. steelbeamtheatre.com.

Saturday

Breakfast With Santa at Hotel Zachary: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 18 at Hotel Zachary, 3630 N. Clark St., Chicago. Enjoy a holiday-inspired breakfast buffet and a visit with Santa. $35 for adults, $15 for kids 4-12. Reservations required at Resy.com. www.gallagherway.com.

Frosty Fest 5K Walk/Run: 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, in West Chicago. The race will start and finish on Turner Court, behind the West Chicago Library, and runs through downtown. There's an option to run virtually. $25-$30 in advance. Race-day registration is $30. Day-of registration closes at 8 a.m. westchicago.org/city-events/frosty-fest/.

Pictures with Santa: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Animal Clinic at New Lenox, 1328 N. Cedar Road, New Lenox. Santa and his elves will be posing for photos with your two-legged and four-legged family members. A $10 minimum cash donation is requested. Proceeds will benefit the TLC Animal Shelter in Homer Glen. Donations (both monetary and wish list items) will be collected for TLC throughout December. newlenoxchamber.com or animalclinicnewlenox.com.

Santa Hustle Chicago 5K & Kids Dash: 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 4. Begins and ends at Soldier Field, 1410 Museum Campus Drive, Chicago. Thousands of Santas will hit the streets of Chicago during the 13th annual Santa Hustle 5K and Kids Dash. The 5K is $44.99 and starts at 9 a.m. The Kids Dash is $10. Register at santahustle.com/chicago.

Warrenville Breakfast with Santa: 8:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Courtyard Banquets, 3S200 Illinois Route 59, Warrenville. Visit with Santa and enjoy a breakfast buffet, crafts, music, raffles and a letters to Santa station. Reservations required. Ages 11 and older: $19 for residents, $24 for nonresidents; kids 3-10: $10 for residents, $17 for nonresidents; free for kids 2 and younger. warrenvilleparks.org.

Dickens of a Sale: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 410 W. Main St., West Dundee. Dundee Township Historical Society will hold its Christmas sale during the Dickens in Dundee celebration. New, gently used and vintage Christmas items on sale at reasonable prices. dundeetownshiphistorical.org.

Dino Stroll: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at the Lake County Fairgrounds, 1060 E. Peterson Road, Grayslake. Get up close to lifelike and life-size dinosaurs and dragons in this walk-through exhibit. $24.99. dinostroll.com.

Elf Invasion 5K Fun Run, Walk and Stroll: 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, from Enjoy Highwood Park at the southeast corner of Walker and Waukegan avenues, Highwood. All ages can dress like an elf for a fun run that's stroller, bike, scooter, wagon and pet-friendly. Prerace packet pick up will be from noon to 1 p.m. and 5-6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at Gearhead, 621 Central Ave., Highland Park. On-site registration will take place from 8-9 a.m. Registration is $35. Register at runsignup.com.

Holiday Cookie Sale: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 4, at First Congregational UCC of Des Plaines, 766 Graceland Ave., Des Plaines. A "drive-through" cookie sale outside the church's west entrance. A variety of cookies will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis, at $10 for a small box and $20 for a large box. Proceeds will benefit the summer service trip to Adam's Camp in Colorado to work with special needs youth. (847) 299-5561 or fccdp.org.

Lake Park High School Holiday Craft Fair: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Lake Park High School West Campus Field House, 500 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Roselle. The 39th annual Lancer Craft Fair features handcrafted items for sale. Proceeds benefit Lake Park organizations, including prom and the Foreign Exchange Groups. $2. sites.google.com/lphs.org/lpcraftfair/home.

Lego Train Show: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 4-5, at the Cantigny Visitors Center, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. Northern Illinois Lego Train Club's largest annual show. McCormick House will be showcasing Lego portraits. Bertie's Café will be selling snacks and hot drinks. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for the Marine Toys for Tots drop boxes inside the Cantigny Visitors Center. Free parking for those who bring a toy. Free admission with $5 parking. cantigny.org.

Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party: 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 19 at Chicago Children's Theatre, 100 S. Racine Ave., Chicago. Puppet show starring Beatrix Potter's favorite animal friends, tea in a Victorian-style dining hall and activities. Tickets start at $42. chicagochildrenstheatre.org.

Runners don Santa suits during a previous Rotary Santa Run in Arlington Heights.
Runners don Santa suits during a previous Rotary Santa Run in Arlington Heights. - Brian Hill | Staff Photographer, 2019

Rotary Santa Run: 9:30 a.m. 1-mile Reindeer Run for kids 10 and younger and 10 a.m. Santa Run 5K Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. The first 1,750 runners will receive a commemorative medal. There is also an option to run the race virtually. Santa suits, which come with registration, can be picked up during the packet pickup Dec. 2 and 3 at the Arlington Heights Park District -- Arlington Ridge Center. $40 for the 5K; $10 for the Reindeer Run. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Arlington Heights to raise funds for its annual Community Grants Program. To register, visit www.rotarysantarun.org.

25th Santa Maria Craft Fair: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Santa Maria Parish Center, 116 N. Lake St., Mundelein. Homemade crafts, photos with Santa from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., bake sale, raffle, Mistletoe Cafe and more. facebook.com/smdpmundelein.

Art in the Time of Pandemic: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, in the Batavia Fine Arts Centre gallery/lobby, 1250 W. Wilson St., Batavia. See the work of artists who responded to the pandemic through drawing, painting, sculpting, design, photography and more. Some artwork is available for sale. bataviafineartscentre.org.

Barrington Holiday Festival: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Cook and Main streets, Barrington. Open house at Barrington's White House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., tree lighting at 5 p.m., visits with Santa from 5:15-6:30 p.m. and more. barrington-il.gov.

Christmas at the Farm: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Compass Lane Farm, 154 Roberts Road, Lake Barrington. Holiday art, craft and food market, plus activities, snacks and photo opportunities. Free admission; donations are welcome. compasslanefarm.com.

Dickens of a Holiday: 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 4 and 11, in Cook Park, 413 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and have a photo taken. The Children's Holiday Shoppe will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Petranek's Pharmacy. Donations of dry and canned food items will be collected. (847) 680-0336 or mainstreetlibertyville.org.

Holiday Cookie & Craft Fair: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, and 9:30-10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to noon Sunday, Dec. 5, at Christ Lutheran Church, 41 S. Rohlwing Road, Palatine. Shop for homemade baked goods and handmade crafts such as stadium accessories, wine, beer, fruit and hot jalapeño jelly, food gift jars, ornaments and home accessories. Face masks required. (847) 358-4600 or clcpalatine.org.

Kids Paint Art Attack -- Santa Ornament: 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Woodscreek Park, 1420 Willow Tree, Crystal Lake. For ages 6 and older. Advance registration is required. $25 residents, $33 nonresidents. crystallakeparks.org.

Jingle and Mingle Holiday Market: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Wheeling Town Center, 375 W. Dundee Road, Unit 412, Wheeling. Shop for jewelry, accessories, home decor, clothing, toys, treats and more from 30 vendors. Includes food, prizes and giveaways. New, unwrapped toys will be collected for the WINGS program. Free admission. wheelingchamber.com.

Jingle Jam: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at First United Methodist Church Palatine, 123 N. Plum Grove Road, Palatine. Drive through the church parking lot to hear Christmas music and pick up a package of family-oriented activities for home. Enjoy hot chocolate and see the live Nativity. Free. fumcp.org.

Long Grove Vintage Holidays: 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 19 in the historic downtown near 308 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove. Horse-drawn sleigh rides, holiday caroling, visits from Santa and more. Carriage ride reservations are $15 per section (six-person maximum) or $30 for the full sleigh (12-person maximum). longgrove.org/festivals/holiday-season.

Flea Market: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at the Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles. Up to 1,000 dealers display and sell antiques and collectibles indoors and outside. Admission is $6 for adults and free for kids 12 and younger. kanecountyfair.com/Events.

Randall Oaks Zoo's WinterFest happens Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 19 at the zoo in West Dundee.
Randall Oaks Zoo's WinterFest happens Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 19 at the zoo in West Dundee. - John Starks | Staff Photographer, 2018

WinterFest: Noon to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 4-19, at Randall Oaks Zoo, 1180 N. Randall Road, West Dundee. Holiday lights, decorations, a bonfire and more. Santa visits from 1-4 p.m. Activities included with zoo admission of $4 for residents, $4.75 for nonresidents, and free for kids younger than 2. dtpd.org.

Celebrate the Season Holiday Festival: 1-7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. Santa is coming for photos, Mrs. Claus will read her favorite books, music, kids' crafts, a strolling snowman and reindeer, horse-drawn sleigh rides and more. Free with $5 parking. Parking fee is waived with Toys for Tots donation. cantigny.org.

Handmade Holidays: 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Lyman Woods, 901 S. 31st St., Downers Grove. An afternoon of creating nature-inspired gifts for ages 16 and older. Based on the popular Handmade Holidays class, bring your gift list (for four people) and Downers Grove Park District will supply the project ideas and supplies. Leave with your creations ready for giving, complete with handmade wrapping. $25. Register at dgparks.org.

"Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins": 1 and 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 12 at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago. In the show based on the award-winning book by Eric Kimmel, a traveling troupe of actors must put on a show to save Hanukkah. For tickets, visit strawdog.org.

Holiday Highlights Performance by Tempel Lipizzans: 1 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 4 and 11, at The Tempel Lipizzans, 17000 Wadsworth Road, Old Mill Creek. The Tempel Lipizzans will perform a holiday show set to classical music in the indoor arena. $25 for children, $35 for adults. VIP options available. tempelfarms.com.

Santa at the Gazebo: 1-3 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 4-18, at Millennium Plaza, 21 S. Stolp Ave., Aurora. Families and pets are welcome to visit Santa. Free. Professional photos will be available for download. auroradowntown.org/magicalwinter.

Santa's Workshop at Wilder Mansion: 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Wilder Mansion, 211 S. Prospect Ave., Elmhurst. Santa's Workshop is just for children where they can purchase inexpensive holiday gifts for loved ones, teachers, friends and pets. Items are kid-priced and kid-friendly. Free. epd.org/news/santas-workshop.

A&A Ballet's "The Art Deco Nutcracker": 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. A fresh take on the holiday classic set in 1920s America. $30-$50. aacenterfordance.org/performances or athenaeumtheatre.org/.

Celebrate the Season in Lisle: 2-5:30 p.m. in downtown Lisle and surrounding areas. Once Upon a Christmas from 2-5 p.m. at the museum campus, 921 School St., includes Mr. and Mrs. Claus at the train depot, a holiday craft in the Beau Bien Tavern, a holiday workshop in the Blacksmith shop, hot chocolate, hot apple cider and more. The Santa Parade steps off at 4:30 p.m., followed by the annual tree lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. in front of the village hall. The tree lighting will be streamed live on the village's Facebook page. villageoflisle.org.

"The Nutcracker": 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin. Directed by Lauren Blane Bogren, this production from MC Dance featuring local dancers and actors sharing the stage with professionals is a fresh twist on the classic story. This year includes a special "Sugar Plum Tea" party, offering the chance to meet cast members, take pictures with characters and dine on treats. m3nutcracker.com.

Hawthorn Woods Tree Lighting: 3-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Community Park, 5 Park View Lane, Hawthorn Woods. Mayor DiMaggio, village trustees and staff host the event with live music and holiday festivities, including a visit with Santa and lighting the community tree at 5:30 p.m. CDC mask guidelines and COVID precautions will be followed. vhw.org/HometownHoliday.

Polar Express: 3:15, 4:25, 5:35 and 6:45 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 4-5, 11-12 and 18-19, at Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve, 35W003 Route 31, South Elgin. Chris Van Allsburg's book comes to life when the train pulls out of the station. At the North Pole, Santa will board the train. There will be caroling, singalongs, cookies and hot chocolate. $40. Make a reservation at foxtrolley.org/polarexpress/.

Elburn Christmas Stroll: 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, in downtown Elburn. Holiday-themed activities, the Kaneland Scholarship 50/50 Raffle and more. elburn.com/christmas-stroll.

Festival of Trees: 4-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Glenview Park Center, Main Gym, 2400 Chestnut Ave., Glenview. See trees decorated by local organizations, businesses, churches and neighborhoods, as well as holiday carolers, children's crafts and holiday activities. Santa Claus will be available for pictures. $10 for residents, $12 for nonresidents. glenviewparks.org.

Frosty Fest: 4-7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, in downtown West Chicago. The downtown will be transformed into an old-fashioned winter vignette, complete with a grand tree lighting, horse-drawn sleigh, live reindeer, Victorian carolers, and Santa and Mrs. Claus. westchicago.org/city-events/frosty-fest.

Gingerbread and Candlelight, A Holiday Celebration: 4-7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Glen Ellyn History Center, 800 N. Main St., Glen Ellyn. View the gingerbread house contest entries, make crafts, and enjoy cookies and coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Then walk over to Stacy's Tavern Museum to enjoy a candlelit tour of the first floor, which is decorated for the holidays. $5; free for kids with a paid adult. Pay at the door. gehs.org.

Holiday Homecoming Concert: 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 605 W. Golf Road, Mount Prospect. The Mount Prospect Community Band's "Holiday Homecoming" concert includes favorite Christmas carols and songs directed by Monty Adams. A freewill offering will be taken to support Journeys from PADS to HOPE. Face masks required. (847) 358-4600 or trinitymp.org.

Sleepy Hollow Tree Lighting: 4-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Sabatino Park, 71 Thorobred Lane, Sleepy Hollow. Holiday in the Hollow includes hot cocoa and holiday cheer, music provided by Sleepy Hollow Elementary School, and lighting the Sabatino Park Flagpole and the Sleepy Hollow Elementary School Circle-of-Cheer Christmas trees. sleepyhollowil.org.

Villa Park Tree Lighting: 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, in front of the Villa Park Chamber of Commerce, 10 W. Park Blvd., Villa Park. "Joyful Traditions in Villa Park" includes food, cartoon characters, trolley rides, petting zoo from 4-6 p.m. and more. Meet Santa from 5-7 p.m. For a schedule of events, visit villaparkchamber.org.

Winfield Tree Lighting: 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, just south of the train tracks near the village hall, 27W465 Jewell Road, Winfield. Santa will light the village tree. villageofwinfield.com.

Miracle on Main: 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Historic Village Hall Plaza, 2 S. Main St. Algonquin. Free family activities, the arrival of Santa and the annual tree lighting ceremony. algonquin.org.

Wauconda Tree Lighting: 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, in Wauconda. Tree lighting at the Wauconda Park District at 5 p.m. Santa Claus and a parade of lighted cars will travel through the Wauconda School District. The parade route is available at waucondachamber.org/community-events.

Winter Wonderland: 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Prairie Lakes Community Center, 515 E. Thacker St., Des Plaines. Live entertainment outdoors, holiday crafts, kids' activities, hot chocolate, lights and decorations. See a variety of characters, including Santa, and drop off a letter for him. Registration is required. dpparks.org.

Jingle Bell Jubilee: 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Lilacia Park and downtown Lombard. See the Lombard Park District's annual holiday lights display in Lilacia Park from 4:30-10 p.m. daily through Jan. 2 with magical light shows, tree decorations, a gingerbread house and more. Tree lighting at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. lombardparks.com/holiday.

Elf Invasion Pub Crawl: 7 p.m. to bar close Saturday, Dec. 4, in downtown Highwood. Ages 21 and older can visit five of Highwood's most popular establishments to enjoy live music, food and drink specials, and raffle prizes at each venue. On-site registration and packet pick will be from 7-8 p.m. at 28 Mile Distilling Company, 454 Sheridan Road, Highwood, followed by stops at Pazzo di Vino, The Toadstool Pub and La Casa de Isaac from 8-11 p.m., with the grand finale at The Wooden Nickel at 11 p.m. $20. Space is limited. Register at www.eventbrite.com.

Fox Valley Holiday: 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre, 1250 W. Wilson St., Batavia. The Fox Valley Orchestra concert features Anastasiya Ganzenko on flute. $12-$24. foxvalleyorchestra.org.

Luminare Rock Christmas Concert: 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Des Plaines Theatre, 1476 Miner St., Des Plaines. Re-imaginings of Christmas classics and new music. (630) 962-7000 or oshows.com.

Dennis Watkins' The Magic Parlour: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at the Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe St., Chicago. An intimate evening of up-close magic. Tickets are $79, plus fees, and include beer, wine and soft drinks during the show. themagicparlourchicago.com.

Leslie Odom Jr. -- The Christmas Tour: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at the CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St., Chicago. Award-winning vocalist, songwriter, author and actor Leslie Odom Jr. performs holiday music. Tickets start at $81.50. broadwayinchicago.com.

Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra Light Holiday Classics: Conducting Student Showcase: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Northwestern University's Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston. Hear selections from "Hansel und Gretel," "The Nutcracker Suite," "Sleigh Ride" and more. Free admission; tickets required. music.northwestern.edu/events/northwestern-university-symphony-orchestra-12.

Irish Christmas in America: 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at The Gray, 122 W. Monroe St., Chicago. Produced by Sligo fiddler Oisín Mac Diarmada, this family-friendly performance features lively instrumental tunes on fiddle, flute, uilleann pipes and harp, along with Irish old-style dancing. $28 for general admission, $26 for members. oldtownschool.org.

Anais Bueno and Dylan Gutierrez perform in The Joffrey Ballet's Chicago-set version of "The Nutcracker."
Anais Bueno and Dylan Gutierrez perform in The Joffrey Ballet's Chicago-set version of "The Nutcracker." - Courtesy of Cheryl Mann

Joffrey Ballet's "The Nutcracker": Various times Saturday, Dec. 4, through Sunday, Dec. 26, at the Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Upper Wacker Drive, Chicago. Set to Tchaikovsky's classic score, Christopher Wheeldon's re-imagined "Nutcracker" follows young Marie and the Nutcracker Prince on a Christmas Eve journey through the 1893 World's Fair. $35-$177. joffrey.org.

Sunday

Sensory-Friendly Santa Experience: 8-10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at Fashion Outlets of Chicago, 5220 Fashion Outlets Way, Rosemont. A Santa experience carefully managed to accommodate guests with autism and other special needs. fashionoutletsofchicago.com.

McHenry County Santa Run for Kids: 9 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at the Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. 10th annual 5K run/walk and 1-mile run/walk raises funds for McHenry County agencies that work with children in need. All registrants receive a complete Santa suit. Race shirts can be purchased for an extra $8 each with paid registration. $15-$38. mchenrycountysantarun.com.

Offshore Rooftop's Breakfast with Santa: 9-11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at Offshore Rooftop & Bar, 1000 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. Families will have the opportunity to meet with Santa, get their photos taken, and enjoy brunch. $49 for adults, $29 for kids. Purchase tickets at eventbrite.com.

Soothing Santa: 9:30-10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at Hawthorn Mall, 122 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills. A sensory-friendly opportunity for children with special needs and their families to enjoy a visit and private photo session with Santa Claus in a calming environment before the mall opens to the public. Free, but advance registration through Eventbrite is required: bit.ly/3nawckY. Photo prices vary. ShopHawthornMall.com/holiday.

Thorn Restaurant Brunch with Santa: 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, Dec. 5, at Thorn Restaurant & Lounge in the Rose Hotel, 5200 Pearl St., Rosemont. Visit with Santa and get a professional photo taken. Those who bring a new, unwrapped toy to the Toys for Tots Gift Drive will get 10% off brunch. Reservations recommended. opentable.com.

Drury Lane Brunch with Santa: 10:30 a.m. to noon Sundays through Dec. 19 at Lucille at Drury Lane, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. Dine on holiday brunch favorites, visit with Santa and take a family photo around the 20-foot Christmas tree. $70 for adults, $40 for kids 3-12. lucillerestaurant.com/holiday-events.

Farmers Market in The Dole: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 5, 12 and 19, at The Dole, 401 Country Club Road, Crystal Lake. Live music, artisans, farmers, food and more. Shop for handmade gifts and goods like pottery, wellness, soaps and candles, clothing and accessories, and food products like hot sauces, seafood, mushrooms, cheeses, jams, chocolate, baked goods and more. farmersmarketatthedole.org.

A Festival of Lessons and Carols: 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at Northwestern University's Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road, Evanston. Features carols from medieval to modern for brass, strings and organ, and choirs from Haiti, Mexico, Latvia, Poland and more. Free; tickets required. music.northwestern.edu/events/festival-lessons-and-carols-1.

Merry Cary: Noon to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at various locations in Cary. The Merry Cary Parade steps off at 1 p.m. on Main Street. Event includes a petting zoo and pony rides from noon to 3:30 p.m. in the BMO Harris Bank lot; visits with Santa at Start Farm -- The Phil Horn Agency, 111 W. Main St., Cary; and Mrs. Claus at Linda M. Barrett studios, 25 Spring St., Cary, from 2-3:30 p.m.; sleigh rides; and more. carygrovechamber.com.

Gingerbread Barn Raising: 12:30-2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at the Stephen Persinger Recreation Center, 3507 Kaneville Road, Geneva. Enjoy hot cocoa and holiday music while decorating a gingerbread barn to take home. One registration covers up to six people. Kids younger than 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Register at genevaparks.org.

Holiday Walk on Main: 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, on Main Street, Wauconda. Visit with Santa and his reindeer; shop artisan booths and shops; and enjoy hot cocoa, a bonfire, crafts, games and more. waucondachamber.org.

"Holiday Baroque": 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at Alice Millar Chapel at Northwestern University, 1870 Sheridan Road, Evanston. Rembrandt Chamber Musicians' holiday concert returns featuring the works of Corelli, Charpentier and Bach. $12- $41. rembrandtchambermusicians.org/events/holiday-baroque-2.

Organ Concert: 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 200 S. Wille St., Mount Prospect. Director of Music Tim Spelbring will perform an organ concert featuring the works of Bach and Dupre and arrangements of holiday favorites. Refreshments will follow. Free. (847) 253-0631 or stmarkmp.org.

Northwest Choral Society Holiday Concert: 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at St. Raymond de Penafort Church, 301 S. I Oka Ave., Mount Prospect. "With Heart and Soul and Voice: Music of the Christmas Season," under the direction of Thomas R. Colao, features old, new, sacred and secular music. $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors in advance; $5 more at the door. (224) 585-9127 or nwchoralsociety.org.

Providence Baptist College Christmas Concert: 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at Northwest Bible Baptist Church, 9N889 Nesler Road, Elgin. Annual Christmas concert. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Free admission. nwbbc.com.

DuPage Chorale Concert: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, in the Belushi Performance Hall, McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. Lee R. Kesselman directs the chorale in Schubert Mass in G, "Song My Heart Has Taught Me" by Bob Chilcott, and Canadian favorites, with the DuPage Chorale Orchestra and accompanist William Buhr. $7. atthemac.org.

Monday

Santa Paws Pet Night with Santa: 4-7 p.m. Mondays, Dec. 6 and 13, at Hawthorn Mall, 122 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills. Pet owners are invited to bring their pets to a special photo session with Santa Claus. Well-mannered, leashed or kenneled pets can visit with Santa in his "A Christmas Story" home on the lower level near Center Park and Pandora while professional photographers take photos. Pets must enter at the southwest entrance near Maggiano's, then go to the Santa set. All pets must be leashed or caged while in the shopping center. Make reservations at bit.ly/3j5RJKl. ShopHawthornMall.com/holiday.

Martinis, Mistletoe & More: 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6, at The Victorian Ballroom on the Jacob Henry Mansion Estate, 15 S. Richards St., Joliet. The Council for Working Women offers an evening of food and martinis, live holiday entertainment, a Gift Card Tree Raffle, cash bar, networking opportunities and more. Proceeds support the CWW and its scholarship fund. $25. jolietchamber.com.

Santa Pet Nights: 6-8 p.m. Mondays through Dec. 20 at Fashion Outlets of Chicago, 5220 Fashion Outlets Way, Rosemont. Cats and dogs are welcome to join their owners for photos with Santa. fashionoutletsofchicago.com.

The Nights We Stole Christmas: 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, Dec. 6-10, at the Aragon Ballroom, 1106 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago. A series of concerts featuring the Lumineers on Dec. 6, The Killers on Dec. 7, Kings of Leon on Dec. 8, Evanescence on Dec. 9, and Rise Against & Chevelle on Dec. 10. Ticket prices vary. livenation.com.

Holiday Choral Concert: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6, at the St. Charles Borromeo Convocation Hall, 101 Airport Road, Romeoville. The Lewis University Chamber Choir, vocal ensembles and student instrumentalists perform choral music and carols from around the world. Streaming at www2.lewisu.edu/music.

Tuesday

College of DuPage Jazz/Pop Combos: Noon Tuesday, Dec. 7, in the Playhouse Theatre, McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. Performance features a variety of jazz, ranging from classic to contemporary, instrumental and vocal. Free. atthemac.org.

103.5 KISS FM's Jingle Ball Presented by Capital One: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7, at Allstate Arena, 6920 Mannheim Road, Rosemont. Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, Black Eyed Peas, Saweetie, AJR, Tate McRae, Bazzi and Dixie D'Amelio will perform. $20-$250. rosemont.com/allstate/event/103-5-kiss-fms-jingle-ball-presented-by-capital-one/.

A Chanticleer Christmas: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 7-8, at Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut St., Chicago. The Chanticleer Vocal Ensemble returns for an intimate a cappella performance of Christmas favorites. $39-$75. cso.org.

College of DuPage Chamber Orchestra: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7, in the Belushi Performance Hall, McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. The ensemble, directed by Philip Bauman, performs both traditional literature for small orchestra/chamber music from the 1600s through the 20th century as well as less traditional chamber orchestra styles such as jazz, contemporary classical, theater and film music. $7. atthemac.org.

"Q Brothers Christmas Carol": Various times from Tuesday, Dec. 7, through Thursday, Dec. 23, at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. The Q Brothers Collective perform a rap adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic. $38-$56. chicagoshakes.com.

Wednesday

College of DuPage Percussion Ensemble: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8, in the Belushi Performance Hall, McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. The ensemble, directed by Ben Wahlund, performs a mix of world drumming, pop arrangements, original compositions for percussion ensemble, and classics from the minimalist schools. $7. atthemac.org.

Thursday

Elk Grove Park District Holiday Bazaar: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 9-10, at Al Hattendorf Center, 225 E. Elk Grove Blvd., Elk Grove Village. Features handcrafted and homemade items such as ceramics, crafts, decor, quilted items, knitted items, crochet items and more. Raffle and food available for purchase. Proceeds benefit the seniors at the Sheila Ray Adult Center. Free admission. elkgroveparks.org/events/annual-holiday-bazaar-2.

Santa Paws Pet Night with Santa: 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, at Fox Valley Mall, 195 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora. Pet owners are invited to bring their pets to a special photo session with Santa Claus. Well-mannered, leashed or kenneled pets can visit with Santa on the lower level near Macy's while professional photographers take photos. Pets must enter the mall through Entrance 1 near Macy's on the lower level and may not leave the Macy's court. Make reservations at bit.ly/30wb8h7. ShopFoxValleyMall.com/holiday.

Ho Ho Hoey with Gary Hoey: 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, at the Des Plaines Theatre, 1476 Miner St., Des Plaines. A collection of instrumental Christmas classics. (630) 962-7000 or oshows.com.

College of DuPage Chamber Singers and Concert Choir: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, in the Belushi Performance Hall, McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. Directed by Lee R. Kesselman. $7. atthemac.org.

ECC Jazz Ensemble Holiday Concert: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, at Elgin Community College's SecondSpace Theatre, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. elgin.edu.

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