41 fun holiday events for kids in North/Northwest Suburbs

Celebrate the holidays in the North/Northwest Suburbs of Chicago with the whole family! Read some of our picks below and find the most updated list on our calendar. Don’t forget to check out other kid-friendly holiday events in the city, South Suburbs and Western Suburbs.

 

Santa HQ at Fashion Outlets of Chicago

 

When: Nov. 8-Dec. 24

 

Where: Fashion Outlets of Chicago, 5220 Fashion Outlets Way, Rosemont

 

Santa HQ invites families to experience the wonder of Santa’s workshop in the digital and social media age. In addition to a custom photo opportunity with Santa Claus, visitors can use the workshop’s magic mirror to transform into one of Santa’s elves. Guests can virtually change their elf’s outfits, receive customized “Magic Mirror” collector cards and more.

 

Christmas Town at Summerfield Zoo

 

When: Nov. 15-Dec. 24

 

Where: Summerfield Farm & Zoo, 3088 Flora Rd., Belvidere

 

Check out Santa’s Reindeer Barn with Santa’s entire sleigh team of reindeer, then visit with Santa Claus. Kids will earn a “stable elf” diploma and take part in baby reindeer flight school training sessions.

 

Lightscape

 

When: Nov. 22-Jan. 5

 

Where: Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe

 

Along a mile-long path, the night comes alive with color, imagination, and sound, from a playful choir of singing trees to a spectacular waterfall of light. At times, you’ll find yourself in the center of it all — stepping inside a cathedral of golden light, walking down an avenue of luminous linden trees, moving through colorful ribbons of light.

 

A Christmas Carol

 

When: Nov. 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, Dec. 1, 6, 7 & 8

 

Where: Woodstock Opera House, 121 Van Buren St., Woodstock

 

Join Ebenezer Scrooge as he journeys through the Christmases of Past, Present, and Christmas Yet to Come with his ghostly guides. Let the merry Christmas carols, enchanting children, wonderful characters, and colorful costumes welcome you into the Christmas season.

 

Long Grove Holiday Festivities

 

When: Nov. 23-Dec. 23

 

Where: 308 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove

 

An old-fashioned celebration comes alive in a picture-perfect holiday setting! Victorian buildings trimmed in lights, a covered bridge and cobblestone walkways lined in luminaries in beautiful historic Long Grove. There will be costumed carolers, strolling musicians and Santa and Mrs. Claus on weekends. Free horse-drawn carriage rides on Sundays.

 

Brunch with Santa

 

When: Nov. 24-Dec. 22 (Sundays)

 

Where: The Clubhouse, 298 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook

 

Enjoy Sunday brunch while the little ones get their pictures taken with Santa Claus.

 

The Polar Express

 

When: Nov. 24-Dec. 29

 

Where: Fox River Trolley Museum, 361 S. LaFox Street, South Elgin

 

Chris Van Allsberg’s best-selling book comes alive, including a visit from Santa and a small present for all aboard. Trains board from the Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve picnic grove, on Route 31. Advance purchase of tickets required. Copies of the book “The Polar Express” can be purchased for $18.

 

Light Up the Park Tree Lighting

 

When: Nov. 29

 

Where: Parkway Bank Park Entertainment District 5501 Park Place, Rosemont

 

The NHL-sized ice skating rink opens to the public for free ice skating at 11 a.m. Visitors can enjoy various holiday festivities throughout the day as part of “Light Up The Park” including visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, ice carving, and free horse-drawn sleigh rides around the park.

 

Disney Junior Holiday Party On Tour

 

When: Nov. 29

 

Where: Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont

 

Disney Junior characters Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Vampirina and Bingo and Rolly from “Puppy Dog Pals” will live on stage to Disney Junior hits and other holiday classics. The show also includes a special appearance by characters from Disney Junior’s upcoming animated series, “T.O.T.S.” and culminates with a special visit from Santa Claus. Appropriate for ages 3-8.

 

Grinchy Green Science

 

When: Nov. 30

 

Where: Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main Street, Rockford

 

Dive into the holiday spirit with art and science activities during two days of festivities featuring green fizz, Grinch gunk, and tons of decorative tape. Squirt and swirl colors, design a Whoville hat, make a marble-ous game, and more.

 

North Pole Express

 

When: Nov. 30

 

Where: Glenview Metra Station, 1116 Depot St., Glenview

 

Take a voyage to the North Pole on the Metra Train. The train ride starts at the Glenview Metra station taken to Fox Lake and then back to Glenview. During the train ride, everyone is offered crafts and activity books. Upon arrival of the North Pole (Fox Lake), Santa Claus joins the North Pole Express to visit with every child.

 

Gingerbread Houses

 

When: Dec. 1-22, weekends

 

Where: Taste Buds Kitchen, 2521 Waukegan Rd., Bannockburn

 

Parent and child pairs work together to design and decorate their very own Gingerbread House. Enjoy the endless decorating options, from frosted candy roofs to pretzel picket fences, and cheerful holiday tunes while sipping hot chocolate. Recommended for children ages 2 and up.

 

Root Beers and Reindeer

 

When: Dec. 6

 

Where: Safety Park, 421 N. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg

 

Kids ages 1-7 will enjoy a scavenger hunt in Safety Park with root beer floats, treats, crafts and games. Dress for the weather. Bring a flashlight and a container or bag for collecting treats.

 

The Nutcracker

 

When: Dec. 6-8, 13-15

 

Where: Prairie Center for the Arts, 210 Schaumburg Court, Schaumburg

 

Schaumburg Dance Ensemble’s vibrantly costumed and staged production of Tchaikovsky’s magical holiday ballet has enchanted audiences of all ages for nearly a quarter of a century.

 

Peanut Cracker

 

When: Dec. 7

 

Where: Lake Forest Academy, 1500 W. Kennedy Rd., Lake Forest

 

Dance showcase for the “pre-” classes at the North Shore School of Dance. Routines include dancers of Tapping Solidiers, Baby Snowflakes and Little Mice.

 

Breakfast with Santa

 

When: Dec. 7

 

Where: Chevy Chase Country Club, 1000 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling

 

Enjoy a buffet breakfast while carolers entertain you and all children have the opportunity to meet with Santa and have photos taken with him. The event concludes with a performance by “Those Funny Little People.”

 

Holiday Bricktacular

 

When: Dec. 7-29

 

Where: Legoland Discovery Center, 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg

 

Celebrate the holidays with themed builds, ornament building, photo opportunities with life-sized Lego Santa and snowman models and more. Kids also receive a free, exclusive holiday-themed factory Lego brick.

 

Christmas in the Valley

 

When: Dec. 7-8

 

Where: Spring Valley Nature Center & Heritage Farm, 1111 E. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg

 

Celebrate the holidays at Spring Valley’s Heritage Farm and Merkle Cabin. Activities include holiday treats and crafts.

 

The North Pole Holiday Spectacular

 

When: Dec. 7

 

Where: Schaumburg Park District, 505 N. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg

 

Activities include a 30-minute musical with Santa and his elves, music, games, face painting and cookie decorating. Families should bring their own cameras for a photo with Santa and his friends.

 

The Nutcracker

 

When: Dec. 7-8

 

Where: Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin

 

Students from Chicago Ballet Conservatory, along with professional dancers from around the world, perform the classic ballet. Audiences will be transported to a land of magic and mystery as they are treated a new twist on the holiday classic they know and love. Performances include live pre-show entertainment by The Chancel Choir of Chicago. This year will also include the option of a Sugar Plum Tea party at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 7, giving participants the chance to meet cast members, take pictures with characters and dine on sumptuous treats.

 

Wauconda Holiday Walk and Tree Lighting

 

When: Dec. 7

 

Where: Wauconda Park District, 600 N. Main St., Wauconda

 

Enjoy tree lighting, caroling, a parade, a gingerbread house contest, face painting, live music, sleigh rides and general merriment.

 

Duke It Out Nutcracker

 

When: Dec. 7

 

Where: Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston

 

This Nutcracker performance, curated by Dance Chicago, pairs the classical (Tchaikovsky) and jazz (Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn) versions of the holiday favorite, performed by professional brass and woodwind quintets.

 

Winter Wonder Walk

 

When: Dec. 7

 

Where: Robert W. Rolek Community Center, 814 Hart Road, Round Lake

 

The Winter Wonder Walk (formerly Holiday Festival) will take place both indoors and out. Bring your walking shoes and your camera for photos opportunities.

 

Santa’s Flight to Schaumburg

 

When: Dec. 8

 

Where: Schaumburg Regional Airport, 905 W. Irving Park Road, Schaumburg

 

Participants will wait for Santa in the airport hangar and have a buffet breakfast provided by Pilot Pete’s. Also features music, games and crafts.

 

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker

 

When: Dec. 8

 

Where: Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont

 

Step into a simpler time filled with sweet dreams and Christmas magic. With world-class artists, more than 200 dazzling costumes, stunning sets, towering puppets and soaring birds, don’t miss your chance to ring in the holidays with this acclaimed Christmas extravaganza.

 

Luminaria

 

When: Dec. 13-14

 

Where: Severson Dells Nature Center, 8786 Montague Road, Rockford

 

Enjoy a walk on the candle-lit trail, a wagon ride through the prairie and live music, kids crafts and refreshments in the nature center.

 

Breakfast with Santa at Lambs Farm

 

When: Dec. 14, 15, 21, 22

 

Where: Lambs Farm, I-94 and Route 176, Libertyville

 

Kids will not only enjoy a delicious brunch and special visit with Santa, but they can also choose a holiday gift, make a picture frame, decorate a gingerbread man, create Sand Art ornaments and more. Reservations required.

 

Santa Visit at FireZone

 

When: Dec. 14

 

Where: FireZone, 1100 National Parkway, Schaumburg

 

Enjoy pictures with fire fighting Santa, holiday treats, crafts, a free Christmas fire helmet, a fire fighter gear demo and bring a toy to donate to the toy drive.

 

Brunch with the Grinch

 

When: Dec. 14

 

Where: Schaumburg Park District, 505 N. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg

 

Enjoy a ‘green-inspired’ brunch, games, crafts and a visit from the Grinch himself.

 

North Shore School of Dance: The Nutcracker

 

When: Dec. 14-15

 

Where: Lake Forest Academy, 1500 W. Kennedy Rd., Lake Forest

 

The story of Clara and her Nutcracker prince as they fight the Mice King and journey through the snow to the Land of Sweets, told by ballet dancers. A portion of the proceeds are donated to organizations and charity groups.

 

Ballet Makkai Nutcracker

 

When: Dec. 14-15

 

Where: Gorton Community CenterLake Forest400 E. Illinois Road

 

Join Clara at her party where she receives the gift of a lifetime, battles mice, travels through a Winter Wonderland and visits the Land of Sweets.

 

The Nutcracker

 

When: Dec. 14-15

 

Where: Elgin Community College Visual & Performing Arts Center, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin

 

The holiday performance features Anima Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus, professional dancers and actors from around the world and our inclusive program for children with special needs.

 

Holiday Tea at The Grove

 

When: Dec. 15

 

Where: The Grove, 1421 Milwaukee Ave., Glenview

 

Relax in the setting of the Historic Kennicott House, enjoying the company of friends, a comforting cup of tea and a three-course “high tea” menu of sandwiches, scones, and sweets.

 

Tidings of Tap!

 

When: Dec. 15

 

Where: North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie

 

A warm and wondrous celebration of tap dance and the winter holidays, celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s and the winter season. While audiences hear many of their favorite seasonal tunes, they also experience an array of performances and an opportunity for local tap performers to join the holiday production.

 

Jewish Holidays 101: Hanukkah Storytime – These Little Lights of Mine (Deerfield)

 

When: Dec. 17

 

Where: Barnes & Noble Deerfield, 728 N. Waukegan Road, Deerfield

 

Learn about the Jewish holidays with stories, songs, and activities especially for children ages 0-2 (with a parent or caregiver). Older siblings are welcome. Resources for celebrating the holidays in your home will be provided.

 

Holiday House Decorating Tour

 

When: Dec. 17

 

Where: Community Recreation Center, 505 N. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg

 

Travel around Schaumburg to see the sights and lights of houses decorated for the holidays. Serve as a judge for the Holiday House Decorating Contest.

 

Jewish Holidays 101: Hanukkah Storytime – These Little Lights of Mine (Vernon Hills) 

 

When: Dec. 18

 

Where: Barnes & Noble Mellody Farm, 901 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills

 

Learn about the Jewish holidays with stories, songs, and activities especially for children ages 0-2 (with a parent or caregiver). Older siblings are welcome. Resources for celebrating the holidays in your home will be provided.

 

The Elf On The Shelf-A Christmas Musical

 

When: Dec. 20

 

Where: Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St., Waukegan

 

This all-new musical and stage production includes an exclusive invitation to Santa’s North Pole and engages audiences with a glimpse into the magical lives of Scout Elves. Featuring an original story and score, dazzling sets and costumes, and wondrous moments that make even the most cynical believe, this momentous celebration of the season leaves spirits high and captivates all with the splendor of Christmas.

 

Chicago Holiday Princess Ball

 

When: Dec. 21

 

Where: Chicago Marriott Northwest, 4800 Hoffman Blvd., Hoffman Estates

 

Dream Parties brings all new stage performances, dancing, stories, picture opportunities and more for some magical entertainment. Little ones ages 3-7 can participate in princess games, story time sing along, learn some ballroom dance moves and more. Princesses expected to attend include: Cinderella, Tower Princess, Beauty, Snow Sisters, Mermaid Princess, Sleeping Princess, Snow White, Arabian Princess, Frog Princess and more.

 

Salt Creek Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

 

When: Dec. 21-22

 

Where: North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie

 

An affordable full-length holiday production performed in the grand Russian style by a professional company with incredible guest soloists.

 

Holiday Hoopla

 

When: Dec. 26-30

 

Where: Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford

 

Pick up a hammer or grab a screwdriver and get the imagination in gear. Construct using recycled materials, and take what is made from bird feeders and toys to decorations and musical instruments! Then have a blast building with Lego, cardboard, wire, and foam.

 

Trans-Siberian Orchestra: Christmas Eve and Other Stories

 

When: Dec. 30

 

Where: Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont

 

The multi-sensory extravaganza of music and staging will highlight the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s roots in “Christmas Eve and Other Stories.” Following favorite TSO themes of “strangers helping strangers” and “the kindness of others,” “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” takes listeners all over the world to help reunite a young girl with her distraught father. The album and tour feature such fan-favorites as “Ornament” and the epic “Old City Bar,” both of which have not been performed live in recent years.

 


 

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This article originally published on ChicagoParent.com on Nov. 19, 2018. It has been updated with the most recent information.

 

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