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Holiday in the Park

Glenview, Ill.


Watch Santa’s parade, with floats and bands, and marchers from Glenview’s schools and organizations. After the parade, stay for Glenview’s tree lighting in Jackman Park, with a lovely, seasonal snowfall, conversations with Santa, free presents and yummy treats, plus hayrides and mini-train trips. Folks who want to help Santa can bring a toy for the Youth Services of Glenview/Northbrook.

When: 4 p.m.
Cost: Free

Family Day/Open House

Big Run Wolf Ranch | Lockport, Ill.


Visit the animals, enjoy wildlife lectures and take a tour of the facility. Includes food, drinks, gift shop, music, and fun. See wolves, cougars, bears, coyotes, woodchucks, raccoons, skunks, porcupines and more.

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: $6

Holiday Sweets

Kline Creek Farm | West Chicago, Ill.


Learn how to make bright, colorful hard candies, and take home recipes to start your own holiday tradition.

When: 12:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Make Your Own Wooden Toys

Glacial Park Conservation Area | Ringwood, Ill.

Learn how to make your own wooden toys to keep for yourself or give them as a gift. The wood being used for these projects comes from a non-native, invasive plant called buckthorn. We will learn about this invasive plant and why we work so hard to remove it from our natural areas.

When: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Cost: $5, free resident

Littlest Elves Workshop

Pilcher Park Nature Center | Joliet, Ill.

Drop in for music and painting fun. Pick an unfinished ceramic item, paint it, and it will be fired in time for the holidays.

When: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Cost: Free; fee for ceramic items

Bison Feeding

Elgin Public Museum | Elgin, Ill.

Kids and adults have the chance to participate in the morning feeding of the Zoo's year-round residents: the deer, elk and bison. Participants meet at the museum to learn a little about the natural history of these hooved animals from Marge Fox, museum educator. Afterward, everyone will walk to the Lords Park Zoo. Contact the museum to reserve a spot.

When: 7 a.m.
Cost: $2, $1 kids

Science Cornucopia

Discovery Center Museum | Rockford, Ill.

Turn cranberries into chemistry, engage in fruitcake physics, and find out what happens to whipped cream when it’s dropped in liquid nitrogen. Bring the family and kick off the holiday season with extraordinary demos and festive arts and crafts.

When: 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Cost: Free with admission

Gingerbread FIREhouse Contest and Exhibition

Aurora Regional Fire Museum | Aurora, Ill.

All entries must depict a firefighting-themed architectural structure (a firehouse, burning building, etc.), real or imaginary. Participants are invited to compete in one of three divisions: junior, adult or advanced. Entries will be judged on Nov. 28 and are on display through Dec. 19.

When: 1-4 p.m.
Cost: $15-$25 entry fee; museum admission

Tree Lighting

Level 257 | Schaumburg, Ill.


The official holiday tree-lighting ceremony features PAC-MAN and his ghostly pals. PAC-MAN himself will do the lighting honors. The pyramid-shaped tree utilizes 30,000 LED lights to re-create the original PAC-MAN arcade game board. Guests will be treated to a glass of hot apple cider, a complimentary 30 minutes of game play, festive music and more. The first 50 revelers will receive an exclusive, collectible PAC-MAN Santa hat, and all guests can enter into a no-cost raffle for lots of cool prizes. RSVP at

When: 5 p.m.
Cost: Free

A Snowy Day with Beatrix Potter & Friends

Chicago Children's Theatre | Chicago, Ill.

The stories of Helen Beatrix Potter, featuring iconic animal characters like Peter Rabbit, are told through an interactive, four-dimensional winter fairytale. Nov. 28, Dec. 5, 12 and 19.

When: Check website for performance venues and times.
Cost: Call or check website for cost.

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