20 fun holiday events for kids in South Suburbs

 

Celebrate the holidays in the South Suburbs 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, North/Northwest Suburbs and Western Suburbs.

‘A Christmas Story’ Comes Home

 

When: Nov. 9-Dec. 31

 

Where: Indiana Welcome Center I-80/94 & Kennedy Ave., Hammond, Indiana

 

Visitors to the Indiana Welcome Center are welcome to relive favorite childhood memories of in anticipation of Christmas as they gaze at animated window displays depicting scenes from the holiday movie classic.

 

Jingle Mingle

 

When: Nov. 15

 

Where: Burr Ridge Village Center, 701 Village Center Drive, Burr Ridge

 

Kick off the holidays with giveaways, train rides, crafts, letters to the military and a tree lighting.

 

Light Up The Park

 

When: Nov. 19

 

Where: Apollo Recreation Center, 12521 South Kostner Avenue, Alsip

 

Join Mrs. Claus, Prairie Jr. High Band and Choir and the preschool class in celebration of the holiday season. After the outdoor oooh-ing and ahhh-ing at the lit tree, head into the warm gymnasium for carols, cookies, and cocoa.

 

Holiday Tree Lighting at Lake Katherine

 

When: Nov. 29

 

Where: Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens, 7402 Lake Katherine Drive, Palos Heights

 

Activities include a visit with Santa Claus, real reindeer, crafts, face painting and story time, plus hot chocolate and cookies.

 

RELATED: Tree lighting ceremonies around Chicago and the suburbs

 

Home for the Holidays at the Rialto

 

When: Nov. 25-Dec. 23

 

Where: Rialto Square Theatre 102 N. Chicago St., Joliet

 

Festivities include holiday movies, concerts and plays, including a Teddy Bear Tea on Nov. 29; a showing of the movie “The Polar Express” at 2 p.m. on Nov. 30; “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” the musical at 7 p.m. on Dec. 11 and a showing of the 1947 version of “Miracle on 34th Street” at 11 a.m. on Dec. 14. The season kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 25 with “A Very Rialto Christmas,” a family concert for the family.

 

Light Up the Holidays Festival & Parade

 

When: Nov. 29

 

Where: Chicago street between Van Buren and Jackson, Joliet

 

There will be family activities at several locations including a tree lighting ceremony, parade, museum free day, ice carving, craft activities and musical performances. Tree lighting ceremony begins at 5:15 p.m.

 

Chicago Festival Ballet’s The Nutcracker

 

When: Dec. 1

 

Where: Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago St., Joliet

 

The magical production features lavish costumes, exquisite sets, including a Christmas tree that grows before your eyes, and choreography that takes the audience through the land of whirling snowflakes and a visit to the kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

 

Holiday Lights in Homewood

 

When: Dec. 6

 

Where: Holiday Lights in Homewood, Downtown Homewood, Homewood

 

Watch Santa flip the switch for the annual tree lighting ceremony. Throughout the downtown, costumed characters and carolers spread holiday cheer and follow a parade of brightly, decorated antique cars to Hickory Road and watch live ice sculpting demos, take photos with Santa, hot cocoa, bonfire, and holiday music.

 

Kris Kringle Market

 

When: Dec. 6-7

 

Where: Municipal Parking Lot, 12217 S. Harlem Ave., Palos Heights

 

Children’s activities and holiday crafts are included as well as a visit from Santa. Crafters and vendors will sell their wares in time for the holidays inside a heated tent.

 

Holiday Happenings in Downtown Tinley Park

 

When: Dec. 6-8

 

Where: Oak Park Avenue Train Station, 6700 South Street, Tinley Park

 

Featuring live entertainment, specialty vendors, kids’ crafts and activities, and food. Enjoy tree lighting ceremony, parades, carriage rides, movies and carnival rides. Visit website for schedule of events.

 

Christmastime in Palos

 

When: Dec. 7

 

Where: Palos Heights Library, 12501 S. 71st Ave., Palos Heights

 

Enjoy heartwarming readings, a live performance by the Stagg High School Madrigal Singers, Community Sing-Along, Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt, children’s crafts and games and much more including a visit with Mr. & Mrs. Claus.

 

Tinley Toyland Parade

 

When: Dec. 7

 

Where: Zabrocki Plaza, 17375 Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park

 

The Tinley Toyland Parade celebrates the official arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will visit the Oak Park Avenue train station immediately following the conclusion of the parade. Children are encouraged to bring an unwrapped gift for persons of any age, to be donated to a local charity. Parade begins at 175th Street and follows to Zabrocki Plaza.

 

Salt Creek Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

 

When: Dec. 7

 

Where: Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University, 1 University Parkway, University Park

 

A magical tale featuring Tchaikovsky’s enchanting score, a brand new set & costumes – along with waltzing flowers, giant mice, and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Plus, take photos with Santa at 3 p.m.

 

Tree Lighting Ceremony Evergreen Park

 

When: Dec. 7

 

Where: Klein Park, 97th & Homan, Evergreen Park

 

Gather with family & friends to welcome the spirit of the Christmas season. Fun includes “Sounds of Christmas,” Those Funny Little People and the tree lighting ceremony.

 

Parade of Lights

 

When: Dec. 8

 

Where: 177th Street, Tinley Park

 

The Parade of Lights will march north down Oak Park Avenue from 177th Street to the Subway parking lot. The parade includes festive floats, vehicles, local businesses, community groups and school bands displaying the spirit of the season. A few very special guests from the North Pole will be making an appearance!

 

Flashlight Candy Cane Hunt

 

When: Dec. 11

 

Where: Alsip Park District, 12521 S. Kostner Ave., Alsip

 

Hundreds of candy canes will be hidden, just waiting for participants to find them. If weather permits, the hunt will be outdoors on the playground at the Apollo Recreation Center. In case of inclement weather, the hunt will be inside, throughout the recreation center. In addition to the regular candy canes, there will be three special candy canes that will lead to an extra special treat. After hunt we will have hot chocolate and cookies inside. Hunt begins at 6 p.m.

 

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical

 

When: Dec. 11

 

Where: Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago St., Joliet

 

The story tells the tale of a young Rudolph who, because of the appearance of his bright, shining nose, is ousted from the reindeer games in Christmas-town. He flees town, meets up with new friends Hermey and Yukon, and a series of funny and endearing adventures ensue including a visit to The Island of Misfit Toys.

 

Breakfast with Santa

 

When: Dec. 14

 

Where: Apollo Recreation Center, 12521 South Kostner Avenue, Alsip

 

Enjoy a buffet breakfast with the big man himself: Santa Claus. In addition to an array of breakfast foods, juices, coffee and bakery, there will be a Christmas craft and face painter. Santa will stick around for photos and each child will receive a gift.

 

Waddles Winter Wonderland

 

When: Dec. 14

 

Where: Palos Heights Parks and Recreation Department, 6601 W. 127th St., Palos Heights

 

Children age 12 & under will enjoy holiday games, decorate cookies, make holiday decorations and more. Holiday entertainment will include a visit by Santa Claus. Bring a toy to donate in lieu of admission.

 

Beyond the Nutcracker

 

When: Dec. 21-22

 

Where: Lincoln-Way West High School, 21701 S. Gougar Road, New Lenox

 

Beyond the Nutcracker mirrors many aspects of the traditional Nutcracker ballet, including Tchaikovsky’s renowned score, the classic Christmas party, and the second-act divertissements that highlight countries around the world. It also invites reflection on the story of the first Christmas – the Nativity – and its impact on our world today.

 

RELATED: Where to see ‘The Nutcracker’ in Chicago

 


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This story was originally issued Nov. 19, 2018 at ChicagoParent.com. It has been updated with the most recent information.

 

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