Things to do Dec. 8-16: C2E2, holiday light shows, fests, Pentatonix & more

  • C2E2, the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, will return with special guests, vendors, cosplayers and more Friday through Sunday, Dec. 10-12, at McCormick Place in Chicago.

    C2E2, the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, will return with special guests, vendors, cosplayers and more Friday through Sunday, Dec. 10-12, at McCormick Place in Chicago. Sean Stangland | Staff Photographer, 2019

 
Updated 12/9/2021 10:33 AM

Wednesday, Dec. 8, and ongoing

Festival of Lights and Tree Sale: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through Thursday, Dec. 30, at Cosley Zoo, 1356 N. Gary Ave., Wheaton. See thousands of twinkling lights, plus a selection of Christmas trees, wreaths, greenery, hot chocolate and holiday gifts are available for purchase. Lights turn on at 3 p.m. Open from 9 a.m. to noon on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Closed on Christmas and New Year's Day. Free admission; donations are appreciated. cosleyzoo.org.

 

Winter Arts & Craft Expo: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Dec. 20, at Evanston Art Center, 1717 Central St., Evanston. Includes original, handmade works of jewelry, ceramics, fiber, metal, glass, painting, photography, mixed media and more. All proceeds benefit the ongoing exhibition, education and outreach programs at the Art Center. evanstonartcenter.org.

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays through Jan. 3 at the Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. Explore holiday traditions from around the globe. $21.95 for adults, $12.95 for kids 3-11. msichicago.org/catw.

The Cyclocross National Championships will be held daily through Sunday, Dec. 12, at Cantigny Park in Wheaton.
The Cyclocross National Championships will be held daily through Sunday, Dec. 12, at Cantigny Park in Wheaton. - Courtesy of USA Cycling

Cyclocross National Championships: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through Sunday, Dec. 12, at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. Cantigny welcomes USA Cycling and roughly 1,800 amateur and professional athletes for the 2021 Cyclocross National Championships, which will crown national champions in both age group and professional categories, with elite riders qualifying for the world championships. Spectator admission is $20. cantigny.org.

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Winterland: Daily through Feb. 20 at Gallagher Way, 3635 N. Clark St., Chicago. Includes the Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville, ice skating on an 8,000-square-foot ice rink, curling and skating lessons, Santa's Workshop, wreath-making classes, holiday movie screenings, ice bumper cars and more. gallagherway.com.

"Dr. Seuss Experience": Noon to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Jan. 2 at Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. Immersive exhibit lets guests journey through nine different Dr. Seuss books. $23-$30; free for kids younger than 1. Super Stoopendous tickets are available from noon to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m. to noon Fridays. experienceseuss.com.

Holiday Magic: 2:45-9 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays through Dec. 19 and Sunday through Friday, Dec. 26-31, at Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield. Note: Tickets for nonmembers are sold out on Dec. 11-12 and 18-19, with availability low on other days. More than two million twinkling LED lights, a 600-foot Tunnel of Lights, skating rink, photo ops and more. Play the Game of Gnomes and find all 27 hidden throughout the zoo. Guests and zoo members must secure admission and parking tickets in advance of arriving at the zoo. czs.org/HolidayMagic.

Light Up the Lake: 3-9 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 19, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, Dec. 20 through Jan. 2, at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. An indoor, temperature-controlled experience featuring large-scale light-sculpture displays showcasing more than 600,000 twinkling lights, a regulation-size Alpine ice rink, holiday beer garden, train rides, Santa's Village and gift market and other family-friendly events. The event will close at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve and 8 p.m. on New Year's Eve and will be closed on Christmas Day. Tickets are $26 for adults, $21 for kids 3-12, and free for kids 3 and younger. Santa Savings Days: Tickets are $15 for adults and kids on Mondays and $21 for adults and $19 for kids on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until Dec. 20. navypier.org.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

ZooLights: 4-10 p.m. daily through Jan. 2 at Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St., Chicago. Includes a holiday lights experience on the Main Mall and a light show on the South Lawn. New this year: Sensory-friendly visit times and an 18-foot holiday tree. $5; free on Mondays and Tuesdays. lpzoo.org.

Winter Radiance lights up the night during Illumination: Tree Lights at Morton Arboretum in Lisle.
Winter Radiance lights up the night during Illumination: Tree Lights at Morton Arboretum in Lisle. - John Starks | Staff Photographer

Illumination, Tree Lights: Tickets available from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 8-9; sold out Friday through Sunday, Dec. 10-12; tickets available from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, Dec. 14-16; sold out Dec. 17-26; tickets available from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 27-Jan. 2, at The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. The ninth annual spectacle of color, light and sound returns on a 1-mile walking trail with five new features, including the Human+Nature sculpture Hallow lit up at night. Tickets are $7-$19 for members and $13-$24 for nonmembers. Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended. Concessions will be available for purchase. mortonarb.org.

Jingle Bell Jubilee: 4:30-10 p.m. daily through Jan. 2 at Lilacia Park, 150 S. Park Ave., Lombard. Lombard Park District's annual holiday lights display with light shows, tree decorations, a gingerbread house and more. lombardparks.com/holiday.

Let It Shine Lightshow: 4:30-11 p.m. daily through Jan. 9 at Northbrook Court, 1515 Lake-Cook Road, Northbrook; Fox Valley Mall, 195 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora; and Wintrust Field, 1999 S. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg. A drive-through wonderland of light displays synchronized to holiday classics. Online ticket purchase required. $29.99 per vehicle weekdays, $39.99 weekends and holidays, $20 add-on for Fast Pass. shinelightshow.com.

Willow Hill's Winter Magic, A drive-through Christmas Lights Experience: 4:30-10:30 p.m. daily through Jan. 2 at Willow Hill Golf Course, 1350 Willow Road, Northbrook. Features over one million lights adorning displays of characters, Christmas trees, drive-through light tunnels and more. $45-$50. Reserve tickets at WillowHillsWinterMagic.com.

Winter Lights: 4:30-9:30 p.m. daily through Jan. 9 at Central Park, Jorie Boulevard and Forest Gate Road, Oak Brook. A free, half-mile, illuminated walk along paved pathways. The path will be closed during inclement weather. Purchase cookies, candy canes, hot cocoa, hot coffee and tea in the Cocoa Cabin in the Central Park West building from 5-9 p.m. Thursdays, Dec. 9, 16 and 30 and Jan. 6. obparks.org/winterlights.

Holiday Lights at Mooseheart: 5-9 p.m. daily through Dec. 31 at Mooseheart, off Route 31, south of Batavia. Features a 1.8-mile holiday light display through campus. Mail a letter to Santa via a Tommy Moose Mailbox at the exit of the show. Suggested donation of $20 per car to benefit Mooseheart. moosecharities.org.

Santa's Rock 'N' Lights: 5-9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 5-8:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday through Jan. 2 at the Lake County Fairgrounds, 1060 E. Peterson Road, Grayslake. The drive-through animated light show returns with nearly 1,000 programmable elements and more than 100,000 animated lights dancing to holiday music. $19.99-$34.99 per vehicle. santasrocknlights.com.

Reindeer Road: 6:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday through Dec. 25, plus Monday and Tuesday Dec. 20 and 21, in the parking lot of Highpoint Church, 1805 Highpoint Drive, Naperville. A five-minute drive filled with displays and accompanying holiday music featuring a 40-foot Rudolph with a blinking red nose. Free hot chocolate and candy canes. Souvenir winter hats and LED light bulb necklaces will be sold to benefit The Alive Center and KidsMatter. $10 per vehicle. reindeerroad.com.

The Nights We Stole Christmas: 7 p.m. daily through Friday, Dec. 10, at the Aragon Ballroom, 1106 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago. A series of concerts featuring the Kings of Leon on Wednesday, Dec. 8, Evanescence on Thursday, Dec. 9, and Rise Against & Chevelle on Friday, Dec. 10. Ticket prices vary. livenation.com.

Take a ride on the Artic Express around the AMAZE Light Festival at Impact Field in Rosemont.
Take a ride on the Artic Express around the AMAZE Light Festival at Impact Field in Rosemont. - Courtesy of Matt Zuro

AMAZE Light Festival: 6-9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 8-9 and 15-16; 4-7 and 7-10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10; 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11 (4 p.m. sold out); and 4-7 p.m. and 7-10 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, through Sunday, Jan. 2 at Impact Field, 9850 Balmoral Ave., Rosemont. The festival offers outdoor holiday activities for all ages, including an immersive display of more than one million holiday lights, Santa's Workshop, costumed characters, holiday food and beverages, toboggan rides, thrill hill tubing, train rides, holiday market, an immersive storybook experience and more. $23 for adults, $18 for kids 2-12. amazerosemont.com.

"A Christmas Carol": Various times and dates through Dec. 24 at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. Retelling of the Charles Dickens' classic. Recommended for grades 1-12. $15-$30. For show times and reservations, see metropolisarts.com/event/a-christmas-carol.

"A Christmas Carol": Various times through Dec. 31 at the Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago. Experience the story of Ebenezer Scrooge's discovery of kindness, compassion and redemption. Proof of full vaccination with an FDA-authorized vaccine is required for everyone 12 and older. Face coverings required at all times. $31-$91. goodmantheatre.org.

Kareem Bandealy, left, and Larry Yando reprise their roles as Jacob Marley and Ebenezer Scrooge in Goodman Theatre's production of "A Christmas Carol."
Kareem Bandealy, left, and Larry Yando reprise their roles as Jacob Marley and Ebenezer Scrooge in Goodman Theatre's production of "A Christmas Carol." - Courtesy of Liz Lauren, 2019

Christmas Tree Lane: Nightly through Friday, Dec. 31, at Depot Park, 90 E. Woodstock St., Crystal Lake. The gazebo and trees in Depot Park will be decked out with lights and decorations. downtowncl.org.

Festival of Trees: During mall hours through Dec. 24 at Hawthorn Mall, 122 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills. Organizations have decorated Christmas trees at the mall. Trees will remain available for viewing until Dec. 24. shophawthornmall.com/events.

Holiday Bricktacular: Various hours through Jan. 3 at Legoland Discovery Center Chicago, 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg. Take a family photo with a life-size Santa's Sleigh, enjoy the attraction's holiday decorations, participate in the Lego present scavenger hunt and more. Included with price of general admission. legolanddiscoverycenter.com/chicago.

Holiday in the Park Lights: Drive-through from 5-9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 9-10 and 15-17, 31, and Jan. 1-2 and 6-9; Holiday in the Park from 4-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11-12, and Dec. 18-23 and 26-30, at Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee. Enjoy light shows, live entertainment, seasonal snacks and holiday shopping at the amusement park. For tickets, sixflags.com/greatamerica.

Joffrey Ballet's "The Nutcracker": Various times through Sunday, Dec. 26, at the Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Upper Wacker Drive, Chicago. Set to Tchaikovsky's classic score, Christopher Wheeldon's re-imagined "Nutcracker" follows young Marie and the Nutcracker Prince on a Christmas Eve journey through the 1893 World's Fair. $35-$177. joffrey.org.

"Knuffle Bunny, A Cautionary Musical": Various times through Sunday, Dec. 19, at The Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. A high-spirited and poignant account of a beleaguered dad who inadvertently leaves his toddler's favorite stuffed bunny at the neighborhood laundromat. Tickets are $25 for adults; $19 for kids 12 and younger. greenhousetheater.org.

"The Snow Queen": Various times and dates through Jan. 2 at Chopin Theatre Mainstage, 1543 W. Division Ave., Chicago. The House introduces a reimagination of Hans Christian Andersen's beloved fable infused with magic, puppetry and music. $20. thehousetheatre.com.

Thursday, Dec. 9

Elk Grove Park District Holiday Bazaar: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 9-10, at Al Hattendorf Center, 225 E. Elk Grove Blvd., Elk Grove Village. Features a variety of handcrafted and homemade items such as ceramics, crafts, decor, quilted items, knitted items, crochet items and more. Raffle and food for purchase. Proceeds benefit the seniors at the Sheila Ray Adult Center. Free admission. elkgroveparks.org/events/annual-holiday-bazaar-2.

Holiday Express: 5-8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 2-7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 19 at Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Road, Aurora. Take a ride on the Holiday Express train, which tours around scenic Lake Gregory, plus hay wagon rides, crafts, a reindeer food bar, story readings, visits with Santa and more. Food and drinks for purchase. $8, $7 for those 65 and older. blackberryfarm.info.

Santa Paws Pet Night with Santa: 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, at Fox Valley Mall, 195 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora. Pet owners are invited to bring their pets to a special photo session with Santa Claus. Well-mannered, leashed or kenneled pets can visit with Santa on the lower level near Macy's while professional photographers take photos. Pets must enter the mall through Entrance 1 near Macy's on the lower level and may not leave the Macy's court. Make reservations at bit.ly/30wb8h7. ShopFoxValleyMall.com/holiday.

Magical Christmas Drive-Thru Experience: 5-9 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays and 5-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 19 at Santa's Village, 601 Dundee Ave., East Dundee. Drive through the amusement park and enjoy over two million lights synchronized to music, displays, holiday motifs, live animals and Santa. Tickets are $25 per vehicle at the gate, $20 online. SantasVillageDundee.com.

Santa Visits at the Sawmill: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 18 at the Hiram Butterick Sawmill, 770 Cunningham Drive, Antioch. Share your wish list with Santa. Free. antioch.il.gov.

Santa House Visits: 6-8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 3 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 23, plus 6-8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, Dec. 20-22, at Brink Street Market, 25 W. Crystal Lake Ave., Crystal Lake. Children can visit with Santa on the porch at his downtown Crystal Lake house at Brink Street Market. Free. downtowncl.org.

"The Second City's Holiday Revue: It's a Wild, Wacky, Wonderful Life": 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 23 at the Copley Theatre, 8 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. Second City presents a song-filled holiday spectacular. $37. paramountaurora.com.

Friday, Dec. 10

C2E2: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 10-11, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at McCormick Place, 2301 S. King Drive, Chicago. Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo will bring together special guests, panelists, exhibitors, artists and creators. Scheduled guests include John Cena, Hayden Christensen, Joelle Jones, Amanda C. Miller, Timothy Zahn, wrestlers from All Elite Wrestling and others. General admission: $40 Friday and $45 Saturday and Sunday, with special packages available. c2e2.com/en-us.html.

Log Cabin Christmas: 4, 5 and 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, and 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11-12, at The Grove, 1421 Milwaukee Ave., Glenview. Gather around the fire and learn about historic pioneer traditions with holiday stories, games, music and hands-on activities. Children younger than 12 must be accompanied by an adult. $10 for residents, $12 for nonresidents. glenviewparks.org.

Brookfield Zoo Dinner with Santa: 4:30-6 and 6:30-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, in the Swan Pavilion at Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W. 31st St., Brookfield. A festive holiday feast with a special appearance from Santa, who will be available for photos. Members: $40 for adults, $24 for kids 3-11; nonmembers: $65 for adults, $40 for kids 3-11; free for kids 2 and younger. Reservations required. czs.org.

Grinchmas Flurry Fest: 5-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at Lake in the Hills Village Hall, 600 Harvest Gate, Lake in the Hills. Enjoy a self-guided holiday walk and meet Santa and the Grinch. $2 for residents, $5 for nonresidents. bit.ly/FlurryFest.

Holiday Lights Festival: 5-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, and 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at Village Park, 900 W. Romeo Road, Romeoville. Photos with Santa, ice sculpting, Magical Express Train, holiday crafts and storytime, DIY reindeer food, reindeer, costumed characters and more. romeoville.org.

Winterlights at the Fabyan Japanese Garden: 5-7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 17 at Fabyan Japanese Garden, 1925 S. Batavia Ave., Geneva. Stroll through an evening light display. $5; free for kids younger than 5. PPFV.org/winterlights.

Goodies with the Grinch: 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at the Glenview Park Center, Main Gym, 2400 Chestnut Ave., Glenview. Take a family photo with the Grinch, create a Grinch-themed craft, have a hot chocolate bomb and listen to a reading of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." $5 for residents, $6 for nonresidents for adults, $15/$19 for the first child, $10/$13 for each additional child. glenviewparks.org.

Winterfest Art Market: 6-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at the Water Street Studios, 160 S. Water St., Batavia. Artisan Collective and Batavia Main Street hosts local artisans for a weekend outdoor fine art and craft sale. downtownbatavia.com/winterfest-art-market.

5th Annual Wintercamp Music Festival: 7-11:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie Blvd., Chicago. Musical acts include lespecial, Kick The Cat, Mike Dillon and KAVA. For ages 21 and older. $20 in advance, $25 at the door, $50 VIP. logansquareauditorium.com.

ESO's "Holiday Spectacular": 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at the Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake; and noon and 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin. Conductor Andrew Lewis leads the Elgin Master Chorale and Elgin Symphony Orchestra in the annual holiday show. $25-$58. elginsymphony.org.

Holidays a cappella: 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at Fourth Presbyterian Church, 115 E. Delaware Place, Chicago; 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston; and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at Pilgrim Congregational, 460 Lake St., Oak Park. Features Christmas carols, original holiday music and more. Tickets start at $33. chicagoacappella.org/tickets.

"Home for the Holidays": 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 19 at Steel Beam Theatre, 111 W. Main St., St. Charles. Vintage holiday cabaret starring Doug Orlyk and a cast of Steel Beam regulars. steelbeamtheatre.com.

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas: 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at the Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont. Experience the music that has become a hallmark of the holidays. $39-$95. rosemont.com/theatre/event/mannheim-steamroller-christmas.

Sarah Brightman's "A Christmas Symphony": 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago. Accompanied by an orchestra and a choir, Sarah Brightman performs renditions of classics from the Christmas canon, along with holiday favorites and her greatest hits. auditoriumtheatre.org.

Saturday, Dec. 11

Breakfast With Santa at Hotel Zachary: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 18 at Hotel Zachary, 3630 N. Clark St., Chicago. Enjoy a holiday-inspired breakfast buffet while Santa visits with children. $35 for adults, $15 for kids 4-12. Reservations required at Resy.com. gallagherway.com.

Batavia Breakfast with Santa: 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 11, at Shannon Hall, 14 N. Van Buren, Batavia. Kids can visit and take a picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Each child will receive a present and can make a craft at the table. $40 per family of four, $10 for each additional family member. Register at bataviaparks.org.

Antique Flea Market: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at the Lake County Fairgrounds, 1060 E. Peterson Road, Grayslake. Admission is $7 for adults; free for children 12 and younger with an adult. Early buyers admission is $25 from 8-9 a.m. Saturday. Free parking. zurkopromotions.com.

Cookie Walk: 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, 8505 Church St., Crystal Lake. 29th annual Cookie Walk features traditional cookies for $10 a pound. Proceeds benefit the church youth and budget, Home of the Sparrow and CASA McHenry County. Free admission. (815) 459-1132 or rclpc.org.

Fremd Viking Booster Club Holiday Craft Fair: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at William Fremd High School, 1000 S. Quentin Road, Palatine. The Viking Booster Club hosts its annual craft show with gifts, clothing, housewares, handbags, accessories and food from more than 200 vendors. Spirit store and concessions available all day. Free admission, parking and shuttle bus. fremdboosterclub.org/craft-fair.

Handmade Holidays: 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11-12, at Lyman Woods, 901 S. 31st St., Downers Grove. Kids 5-10 can create nature-inspired gifts. Bring your gift list (for up to six people) and Downers Grove Park District will supply the project ideas and supplies. Leave with your creations ready for giving, complete with handmade wrapping. $30. Register at dgparks.org.

Jolly Vendor and Craft Fair: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at Mixin Mingle Inc., 124 Cass St., Woodstock. Join for DiVine Events' Jolly Craft and Vendor Fair featuring unique handmade items from local crafters. mixinmingle.com.

Lambs Farm Breakfast with Santa: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11-12 and 18-19, at the Magnolia Café & Bakery at Lambs Farm, 14245 W. Rockland Road, Libertyville. Enjoy a meal and then head to Santa's Workshop in the Visitors Center for photos with Santa, goody bags and gifts. lambsfarm.org.

We Grow Dreams Holiday Expo: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at We Grow Dreams Greenhouse and Garden Center, 1055 W. Washington St., West Chicago. Holiday Expo including fresh evergreen decorations, gifts and more. Microbusinesses employing people with disabilities will have items for sale. We Grow Dreams Greenhouse is a not-for-profit greenhouse whose mission is to employ people with disabilities. wegrowdreams.org.

Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party: 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 19 and Thursday and Friday, Dec. 23-24, at Chicago Children's Theatre, 100 S. Racine Ave., Chicago. Puppet show starring Beatrix Potter's favorite animal friends, tea in a Victorian-style dining hall and activities. Tickets start at $42. chicagochildrenstheatre.org.

Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and more at Libertyville's Dickens of a Holiday Saturday, Dec. 11.
Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and more at Libertyville's Dickens of a Holiday Saturday, Dec. 11. - Courtesy of MainStreet Libertyville

Dickens of a Holiday: 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, in Cook Park, 413 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and have a photo taken. The Children's Holiday Shoppe will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Petranek's Pharmacy. Donations of dry and canned food items will be collected. (847) 680-0336 or mainstreetlibertyville.org.

Festive Farmhouse: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 11-19, at Historic Wagner Farm, 1510 Wagner Road, Glenview. Visit the historic Wagner Farmhouse and see how people in the 1920s celebrated the holiday season. $5, free for kids younger than 2. glenviewparks.org.

Revive Handmade Market: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at Rolling Green Country Club, 2525 E. Rand Road, Arlington Heights. More than 60 artisans will be exhibiting unique handmade items ranging from bath and beauty products to candles, jewelry, home decor, artwork, woodworking and more. There will be holiday-themed appetizers and a cash bar featuring holiday-inspired cocktails. facebook.com/groups/1231741980520072 or revivehandmademarkets@gmail.com.

Winter Wonderland: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at Bridges of Poplar Creek Country Club, 1400 Poplar Creek Drive, Hoffman Estates. Iceless ice skating, S'morey Time Story Time, carnival games, sleigh rides, DJ, snowshoe walk and more. Free admission. heparks.org/event/winter-wonderland.

Lombard Fire Department Annual Toy Drive and Parade: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, on Main Street, Lombard. Firefighters will be traveling south on Main Street from St. Charles Road, collecting items from people along the way to benefit the Lombard/Villa Park Food Pantry, the Outreach House and the Teen Parent Connection. villageoflombard.org/toyparade.

Cocoa Crawl: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at businesses in Geneva. Enjoy cocoa creations while strolling through downtown. A map of participating restaurants and the offerings will be available online. $15. genevachamber.com.

Long Grove Vintage Holidays: 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 19 in the historic downtown near 308 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove. Horse-drawn sleigh rides, holiday caroling, visits from Santa and more. Carriage ride reservations are $15 per section (six person maximum) or $30 for the full sleigh (12 person maximum). longgrove.org/festivals/holiday-season.

Kriss Kringle German Holiday Tea: Noon and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11-12, at Colonel Palmer House, 660 E. Terra Cotta Ave., Crystal Lake. Experience a German holiday tea. For ages 4 and older. $29-$38. crystallakeparks.org/special-events.

Lake Forest Saturday Market: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 11 and 18, at the West Lake Forest Train Station, 911 Telegraph Road, Lake Forest. Browse gifts, specialty foods, seasonal produce, pet supplies, home goods, crafts, glass paintings and sun catchers from Chaitali Mistry, vintage ornaments from Forest and Found, cheeses from Umlands Crunchy Cheese and more. cms9.revize.com/revize/cityoflakeforestil.

WinterFest: Noon to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 19 at Randall Oaks Zoo, 1180 N. Randall Road, West Dundee. Holiday lights, decorations, a bonfire and more. Santa visits from 1-4 p.m. $4 for residents; $4.75 for nonresidents; free for kids younger than 2. dtpd.org.

Carols on Campbell: 1, 3 and 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, on Campbell Street, Geneva. Sing carols under the tent. $5. Reservations are required; limited to 100 per session. genevachamber.com.

"Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins": 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11-12, at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago. In the show based on the award-winning book by Eric Kimmel, a traveling troupe of actors must put on a show to save Hanukkah. For tickets, visit strawdog.org.

Holiday Highlights Performance by Tempel Lipizzans: 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at The Tempel Lipizzans, 17000 Wadsworth Road, Old Mill Creek. The Tempel Lipizzans will perform a holiday show set to classical music in the indoor arena. $25 for children, $35 for adults. VIP options available. tempelfarms.com.

Model railroad open house: 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11-12, in the basement of 3 E. Ash St., Lombard. Prairie Scale Model Railroaders is celebrating its 20th anniversary with an open house. Members will be on hand running trains and available to answer questions. Free; donations accepted. psmrr.org or facebook.com/PSMRCLUB.

Santa at The Berghoff: 1-7 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 18 and Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 22-23, at the Berghoff Restaurant, 17 W. Adams St., Chicago. Share some schnitzel with Santa at the historic Berghoff Restaurant. theberghoff.com.

Santa at the Gazebo: 1-3 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 18 at Millennium Plaza, 21 S. Stolp Ave., Aurora. Families and pets are welcome to visit Santa. Free. Professional photos will be available for download. auroradowntown.org/magicalwinter.

Sleigh Bells Ring: 1-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at Central High School, 44W625 Plato Road, Burlington. Central High School fine arts department's third annual concert extravaganza showcasing the new drama club as well as the performing ensembles. Vendor/craft fair, winter-themed crafts for kids, free horse-drawn sleigh rides and visits with Santa. chs.central301.net.

Holiday Tea: 2-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11-12, at The Grove, 1421 Milwaukee Ave., Glenview. Enjoy a cup of tea and a three-course high tea menu of sandwiches, scones and sweets. $45. glenviewparks.org.

Hampshire Holiday Fest and Parade: 2:30-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at 234 S. State St., Hampshire. Food, crafts, games, Santa, the Grinch and more. Tree lighting as the parade kicks off at dusk. tinyurl.com/HampshireHolidayFest.

Ruth Page's "The Nutcracker": 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, and 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at Northeastern Illinois University, Steinberg Fine Arts Center, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr, Chicago. This holiday spectacle features international artists alongside the Ruth Page Civic Ballet Training Company's elite dancers. Tickets are $40 adults; $25 students, seniors and kids 11 and younger; $10 NEIU faculty and staff (one ticket per ID); and $5 NEIU students (one ticket per ID). RuthPage.org.

"The Nutcracker Short & Sweet": 2 and 7 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 11 and 18, and 2 and 6 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 12 and 19, at the Woodstock Opera House, 121 W. Van Buren St., Woodstock. Judith Svalander Dance Theatre transforms the Opera House stage into a realm of fantasy. Experience Clara's magical and enchanting journey as Tchaikovsky's music is brought to life through Svalander's ballet company. $20. (815) 338-5300 orwoodstockoperahouse.com.

"You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown": 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, in the Belushi Performance Hall, McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. College of DuPage Theatre's production of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang exploring life's great questions as they play baseball, struggle with homework, sing songs, swoon over their crushes and celebrate the joy of friendship. $14-$16. atthemac.org.

"The Nutcracker Ballet": 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11-12, at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre, 1250 W. Wilson St., Batavia. DancEncounter School of Dance in Geneva presents their biannual traditional holiday show. bataviafineartscentre.org.

"Back Together for the Holidays" with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra: 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, in the Ozinga Chapel at Trinity Christian College, 6601 W. College Drive, Palos Heights. The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Stilian Kirov celebrates the holidays with this family-friendly program featuring "The Snowman" with narration and classic holiday songs. Student tickets $10, general admission starts at $27. ipomusic.org/2021-22-season.

Merry & Bright, A Victorian Christmas: 3-6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at the Downers Grove Museum, 831 Maple Ave., Downers Grove. Learn about Victorian Christmas traditions, tour the decorated Victorian Blodgett House and visit with Santa. Stroll the park on a luminary walk, view holiday trees decorated by the community and warm up around a campfire while listening to Victorian-era carolers. $10-$15; free for kids younger than 2. Register for time slots at dgparks.org.

Alma Dance's "The Nutcracker": 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, in Elgin Community College's Blizzard Theatre, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. Glen Ellyn's Alma Dance School production features international ballet stars, students and children from the school's special needs program. $38, $35 for seniors, and $30 for kids younger than 10. (847) 622-0300 or elgin.edu.

"Becoming Santa Claus": 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19, at the Studebaker Theater, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago. The Chicago premiere of Mark Adamo's family-friendly opera. $45-$150. chicagooperatheater.org/season/santa.

Johnny Mathis brings his Christmas Show to the Rosemont Theatre at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11.
Johnny Mathis brings his Christmas Show to the Rosemont Theatre at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11. - Associated Press, 2015

Johnny Mathis Christmas Show: 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, at the Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont. Celebrate the holidays as Johnny Mathis performs some of his greatest Christmas hits and personal favorites. $39. rosemont.com/theatre/event/johnny-mathis-christmas-show.

Sunday, Dec. 12

Woodstock Breakfast with Santa: 9-11:15 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at the Woodstock Moose Lodge, 406 Clay St., Woodstock. Children can enjoy a holiday buffet breakfast and a photo and visit with Santa. $12. Register at woodstockrecreationdepartment.com.

Candy Cane Lane: 9 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at Lincoln Center, 935 Maple Ave., Downers Grove. Visit with Santa, decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus and play games with the elves. A guardian must attend. $20-$30. dgparks.org.

Glenview Breakfast with Santa: 9 and 11:30 a.m. Sundays, Dec. 12 and 19, and Saturday, Dec. 18, at Coarse Italian in the Glenview Golf Club, 800 Shermer Road, Glenview. Breakfast buffet with Santa. $32.95 for adults, $16.95 for kids 2-13, and free for kids younger than 2. Call Coarse Italian for reservations (847) 657-3200. glenviewparks.org.

Breakfast with Mrs. Claus: 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, Dec. 12, in the Iris Room at the Itasca Park District, 350 Irving Park Road, Itasca. Enjoy breakfast and visit with Mrs. Claus. There will be holiday music, crafts, the reading of holiday stories and more. Each child will receive a holiday treat. $10. itascaparkdistrict.com.

Chicago Artisan Market: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at Morgan MFG, 401 N. Morgan St., Chicago. Showcases food, fashion, home goods and art. $10. chicagoartisanmarket.com.

Farmers Market in The Dole: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 12 and 19, at The Dole, 401 Country Club Road, Crystal Lake. Shop for handmade gifts and goods like pottery, wellness, soaps and candles, clothing and accessories and more and food products like hot sauces, seafood, mushrooms, cheeses, jams, chocolate, baked goods and more. farmersmarketatthedole.org.

Waterford Wonderland: 10-11:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at Alden Waterford Campus, 2021 Randi Drive, Aurora. Drive-through event featuring Santa, Christmas lights, decorations, hot cocoa and special gifts. Free. aldenwaterfordcampus.com.

Drury Lane Brunch with Santa: 10:30 a.m. to noon Sundays through Dec. 19 at Lucille at Drury Lane, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. Enjoy holiday favorites from eggnog and bottomless mimosas to homemade doughnuts and hand-carved ham, and take a family photo around the 20-foot Christmas tree before seeing a production of Irving Berlin's "Holiday Inn." $70 for adults, $40 for kids 3-12. lucillerestaurant.com/holiday-events.

Christmas in the Valley: Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at Heritage Farm, 201 S. Plum Grove Road, Schaumburg. Experience a 19th-century Schaumburg Christmas on the farm. St. Nicholas will greet children in a heated outdoor area, plus there's live music and warm food and beverages around an outdoor fire. Parking is at St. Matthew Parish, 1001 E. Schaumburg Road, and follow the signs to the Heritage Farm entrance. $3 each; $12 per family. parkfun.com.

Evanston Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Concert: 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at Evanston Township High School, 1600 Dodge Ave., Evanston. Holiday concert with a special visit from Santa and his elves. All patrons are required to be fully vaccinated and are required to show proof of vaccination to attend. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door for adults; $10 for those younger than 18. Family packages available. evanstonsymphony.org.

An Evening with David Sedaris: 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago. Celebrating the launch of two new books, "The Best of Me" and "A Carnival of Snackery," join best-selling author and NPR contributor David Sedaris for an evening featuring all-new stories, an audience Q&A and a book signing. auditoriumtheatre.org.

The Second City's "It's a Wild, Wacky, Wonderful Life": 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, in the Belushi Performance Hall, McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. Comedy's best and brightest roast the chestnuts out of all the things people lovingly loathe about the holiday season. $30-$38. atthemac.org.

Wind Ensemble Holiday Concert: 4-5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at the College of Lake County, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake. The Wind Ensemble will perform in the Mainstage Theatre. clcillinois.edu.

Christmas Cantata: 4:15-6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at Northwest Bible Baptist Church, 9N889 Nesler Road, Elgin. "The Richest Family In Town," presented by Elgin's Northwest Bible Baptist Church's choir, is about a single mother raising three children in contrast to the materialism surrounding Christmas. Based on Frank Garlock's childhood, coming from a poor family, and selling homemade fudge to help support his family. The show includes traditional Christmas songs and new compositions. Free. (847) 695-6222 or nwbbc.com.

Trans Infinity Orchestra, The Trans-Siberian Holiday Show Salute starring Infinity: 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, at the Des Plaines Theatre, 1476 Miner St., Des Plaines. Christmas, classical and rock music all in one family-friendly show. (630) 962-7000 or oshows.com.

Monday, Dec. 13

Santa Paws Pet Night with Santa: 4-7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 13, at Hawthorn Mall, 122 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills. Pet owners are invited to bring their pets to a special photo session with Santa Claus. Well-mannered, leashed or kenneled pets can visit with Santa in his "A Christmas Story" home on the lower level near Center Park and Pandora while professional photographers take photos. Pets must enter at the southwest entrance near Maggiano's, then go to the Santa set. All pets must be leashed or caged while in the shopping center. Make reservations at bit.ly/3j5RJKl. ShopHawthornMall.com/holiday.

Santa Pet Nights: 6-8 p.m. Mondays through Dec. 20 at Fashion Outlets of Chicago, 5220 Fashion Outlets Way, Rosemont. Cats and dogs are welcome to join their owners for photos with Santa. fashionoutletsofchicago.com.

Tuesday, Dec. 14

"White Christmas Sing Along": 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, Dec. 14-16, at the Woodstock Opera House, 121 W. Van Buren St., Woodstock. Sing along to the 1954 holiday classic starring Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen. $8. woodstockoperahouse.com.

Motown Christmas: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 14, at the Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago St., Joliet. This world-class vocal group, assembled from past and present members of The Temptations, The Miracles and The Contours, will perform. $39-$64. rialtosquare.com/event/motown-christmas.

Wednesday, Dec. 15

Pentatonix, The Evergreen Christmas Tour 2021: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15, at the Allstate Arena, 6920 Mannheim Road, Rosemont. $40-$149.50. rosemont.com/allstate/event-calendar/.

Thursday, Dec. 16

Virtual Visits with Santa: Virtually, in 15-minute time slots from 10-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-3:15 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 16-18. Visit with Santa Claus on Zoom. $15 for residents, $17 for nonresidents. Hosted by the Glenview Park District. Registration is required. glenviewparks.org.

"Remembering Christmas at Marshall Field's": Noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16, online with Cantigny Park. Enjoy a special holiday edition of Cantigny's monthly Lunch & Learn series. This Zoom presentation features an illustrated lecture by Leslie Goddard based on her 2011 book, "Remembering Marshall Field's At Christmas." For ages 14 or older. Free. Register in advance at cantigny.org/event/lunch-learnv-virtual/.

Holiday Trolley Express: 4:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16, and 4:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, at Gary Morava Recreation Center, 110 W. Camp McDonald Road, Prospect Heights. The Holiday Trolley Express will venture through the streets of Prospect Heights. During the ride, sing Christmas carols and read a story. Back at Gary Morava, visit with Santa, make a craft, receive a gift bag and enjoy treats. $13-$15. phparks.org/.

Handel's "Messiah": 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16; 1:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17; 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19, at the Chicago Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus perform Handel's landmark oratorio, from the awe-inspiring "Hallelujah" chorus to the many thrilling and intimate arias. Tickets start at $41. cso.org.

Music of the Baroque River Forest concert: 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16, at Grace Lutheran Church, 7300 W. Division St., River Forest. Celebrate the season with inspiring music as Andrew Megill, conductor of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Chorus and the Carmel Bach Festival Chorale, leads joyful carols, solemn chants and jubilant works for brass. $40-$78. baroque.org.

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