Shopping small for the holidays with kids in Lake County

I’m may be assuming too much here, maybe it’s just me, but there is nothing fun or holly jolly about dragging kids through a mall to do holiday shopping. Aside from the flashing shiny lights, signs, sales, rides, all pulling their gaze and attention in every single direction, there is the vast open spaces which beg for them to dart off, and the impossible long corridors that just make them start begging for you to carry them.

There are some great holiday events coming up where you can shop small and actually enjoy taking your kids with. These are fun and festive events where you can really get that old fashioned holiday, small town feel. It’s also a great way to connect kids to your community and show them that there are people who make things and stores that have stuff other than Target.

Friday, Dec. 5

5-9 p.m.

Horse Drawn carriages will be riding through downtown Deerfield as you take in the sights and sound of Deerfield’s Winter Celebration. Start at Village Hall for treats from Whole Foods, live reindeer, roasted chestnuts and photo opportunities all with the tunes of live holiday music playing in the background.  At 7 p.m. Barnes and Noble is having a Polar Express Storytime and all night there will be cookie decorating and nativity plays at the First Presbyterian Church. Many downtown merchants will have holiday treats, activities and specials, and Forest Plaza will have a petting zoo and pony rides.

Saturday, Dec. 6

11-4 p.m.

Lageschulte Street in Barrington comes to life as Gingerbread Lane for a day, lined with giant gingerbread people and candy canes. A special holiday ornament awaits the children at Norton’s U.S.A. and everyone will have a “snowy” experience in front of the store. Watch for Santa to arrive on the Holiday Trolley on his way to the Annual Tree Lighting Celebration

After Gingerbread Lane take one of the free carriage rides from 1-5 p.m. and Head to Barrington Aglow. The Madrigal Singers will be strolling on Cook Street, and Santa arrives on the Barrington Fire Engine at 5 p.m. to light the holiday tree! After his arrival, Santa will visit with children in his red Santa House on South Cook Street. Remember to bring a camera to capture those memorable moments with Santa.

Saturday, Dec. 13

10-2 p.m.

Head to downtown Highland Park for some holiday shopping and distract your little ones during the “Frozen”- Frenzy. Elsa will host a fashion show at Sprout Kids at 10 a.m., Sven the Reindeer will be at Beanstalk Toyland starting at 11 a.m. and all day there will be face painting and activities at both stores, as well as viewings of the movie.

Saturday, Dec. 20

10-2 p.m.

Make the hardest shopping the easiest! Pick up your holiday groceries at Mariano’s and let the kids decorate sugar cookies while you shop! Check the Mariano’s website for the store nearest you.

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