Celebrate the holidays at Lake Forest's Gorton Center

From the sounds of a Peanuts Christmas from the Chris White Trio to continued traditions like the Kids Only Holiday Shop and film classics like "Home Alone," Gorton Center has several events planned to bring the holidays to Lake Forest.

"Gorton Center is proud to be our community's home for the holidays - a place where guests of all ages can come together to experience the magic of the season through the power of the arts," said Amy Wagliardo, executive director of Gorton Center.

"From cherished traditions like our Kids Only Holiday Shop and screening of 'Home Alone' before the Lake Forest tree lighting, to the Lake Forest Civic Orchestra's Holly Jolly concert, the holiday season comes to life at Gorton."

• Gorton begins the seasonal celebration as usual with the classic John Hughes' film "Home Alone," shown before the Lake Forest tree lighting Nov. 25. It is the first movie in the annual FaLaLa Film Fest.

• Gorton's Kids Only Holiday Shop, a community favorite held Dec. 7, allows children ages 4 to 10 to do their holiday shopping without mom or dad. A Santa's helper will escort each child through the boutique, visiting local vendors and Wonder Wrappers, who ensure each gift is ready for under the tree.

• The Chris White Trio takes the stage in the John & Nancy Hughes Theater Dec. 8 with "Peanuts Jazz," the holiday music of composer Vince Guaraldi.

• On Dec. 10 and 11, Ballet Makkai Youth Company once again brings "The Nutcracker" to the stage in the John & Nancy Hughes Theater at Gorton.

• On Dec. 11, Gorton's annual Gingerbread House Decorating event takes place along with Christmas music, hot cocoa and treats in Gorton's Stuart Community Room.

• LoMastro Performing Arts Academy brings "The Nutcracker" back to the stage at Gorton Dec. 15, 16 and 17.

• The FaLaLa Film Fest continues with "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" on Dec. 13, continues with "Elf" on Dec. 20, and finishes with "A Christmas Story" on Dec. 22.

• The Holly Jolly Family Concert on Dec. 18 with the Lake Forest Civic Orchestra wraps up the 2022 holiday musical celebrations.

The center also offers holiday-themed classes for all ages. A Holiday Sewing Workshop for beginner or advanced students begins Dec. 1. Painting a Poinsettia adult art class is scheduled for Dec. 9, and children can try their hand at painting a Snowman on Dec. 10 or making ornaments and gift tags on Dec. 17.

Don your holiday hat or fascinator for the Mother-Daughter Holiday Tea on Dec. 17. Round out the season, and the year, with three Cooking Classes for Kids: Christmas Sweets Dec. 19, Red & Green Dec. 21, and Christmas Cake & Bread Dec. 22.

The Gorton Center is at 400 E. Illinois Road, Lake Forest. For event details, visit

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