5 ways to celebrate Thanksgiving in Lake County

Every year it seems Thanksgiving is getting more and more overlooked. With Halloween becoming a bigger and bigger deal, and the holiday shopping season creeping up earlier and earlier, it’s easy to forget that this day is about more than just eating and shopping.

Here are five events that are worth carving some time out of your next two weeks to attend. Don’t let the Christmas creep (or the early arctic blast) spoil your fall fun and ability to spend some time together as a family before that creepy little elf starts looking over everyone’s shoulder.

Saturday, Nov. 22

Greenbelt Mini Explorers: Thanksgiving Celebration – Greenbelt Cultural Center, North Chicago

Mini Explorers is a great series of classes offered by the Lake County Forest Preserve District. We have participated in their similar Small Discoveries programs. These classes are geared for ages 2-5 and are perfect for preschoolers (the younger your child, the more mom or dad will have to do). They introduce children to a specific nature or cultural topic through stories, crafts, games and activities. Even better, they don’t charge parents to attend! Registration is required. Fee is per Lake county resident child/ per non-resident child.

Sunday, Nov. 23

Thanksgiving for Nature Scavenger Hunt – Hasting Lake Forest Preserve, Lake Villa

The Thanksgiving Scavenger hunt was one of the very first things we did in Lake County. My husband and son love this event which is a self paced scavenger hunt through one of the preserves (location changes yearly). This year’s event is at the new Hasting Lake which is a family favorite of ours and has one of the greatest parks in our area.  After you have followed the trail to discover “the gifts we receive from nature” you can enjoy a hot beverage and a bonfire. Although it’s available for all ages, I personally recommend it for ages four and up because there is walking and the elements to deal with. Registration is requested. Cost is per person. Children under three are free.


Happy Turkey Day! – Your local Mariano’s

I know, I know, you want to carve out family time but you also have a house to clean and food to prepare for the 330 people you are having over. Well, you can kill two birds (or one turkey?) with one stone by heading to Mariano’s on Nov. 23. Most stores will be having hands-on children’s activities that day including crafting a turkey hat and a scavenger recipe hunt. Some locations will also be sampling their options for holiday meals.

Tuesday, Nov. 25

Admit that your house is as clean as it’s going to get and take the kids to Indian Trails Library District (Wheeling) for Thanksgiving Story and Craft (4:30 – 5:15 p.m.).This storytime is for children in grades 1-5. They will hear a story, make a craft and share some ideas on what they are thankful for. This is a ticketed event with tickets handed out 30 minutes prior.

Friday, Nov. 28

Skip the crowds at the malls and head to the Glencoe Public Library for a special all ages family Thanksgiving storytime event that includes stories, songs and a Thanksgiving-themed craft. Drop-in.

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