Things to do Nov. 26-Dec. 2: Tree lightings, holiday light shows, fests & more
Winter Arts & Craft Expo: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Dec. 20, at the 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. www.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.
Winter Wonderland: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, through Dec. 19 at Sonny Acres, 29W310 North Ave., West Chicago. Holiday lights experience, Christmas trees for sale, sweet shop selling treats and specialty hot cocoas, Santa visits on weekends and more. (630) 231-3859 or sonnyacres.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.
ZooLights: 4-10 p.m. daily through Jan. 2 at the 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.
Illumination, Tree Lights: 4:30-8:30 p.m. daily through 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 recommended as dates sell out. Concessions will be available for purchase. mortonarb.org.
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.
Lightscape: 4:30-11 p.m. daily through Jan. 2 at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake-Cook Road, Glencoe. Last entry at 9 p.m. The enchanting, after-dark illuminated trail features an all-new path filled with artistic installations and new works. Admission: Adult: $24 for members, $26 for nonmembers; kids 3-12: $12 for members, $14 for nonmembers. Free for kids 3 and younger. Tickets purchased the day-of are an extra $2. (847) 835-5440 or chicagobotanic.org/lightscape.
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. Friday through Sunday, Nov. 26-28, and Thursdays, Dec. 2 through Jan. 6. obparks.org/winterlights.
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.
AMAZE Light Festival: Various hours and dates through Jan. 2 at Impact Field, 9850 Balmoral Ave., Rosemont. 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 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. $31-$91. goodmantheatre.org.
"The Snow Queen": Various times and dates through Jan. 2 at the Chopin Theatre Mainstage, 1543 W. Division Ave., Chicago. The House stages a reimagination of Hans Christian Andersen's beloved fable infused with magic, puppetry and music. $20. thehousetheatre.com.
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, special programming at Hotel Zachary, a celebration of Hanukkah, ice bumper cars and more. gallagherway.com.
Festival of Lights and Tree Sale: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, through Thursday, Dec. 30, at Cosley Zoo, 1356 N. Gary Ave., Wheaton. The zoo will be transformed into a winter wonderland with thousands of twinkling lights; a selection of Christmas trees, wreaths and greenery for sale; hot chocolate; and holiday gifts. Lights turn on at 3 p.m. Free admission; donations are appreciated. cosleyzoo.org.
Alpine Fest: Noon to 11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27; and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, at Buffalo Creek Brewing, 360 Historical Lane, Long Grove. Outdoor event features fire pits, patio and barrel table heat lamps, twinkle lights, holiday decor, and more than two acres of winter wonderland to explore. The Chicago Culinary Kitchen food truck will be on-site serving Texas-style barbecue. An indoor lodge will be available. buffalocreekbrewing.com.
Festival of Arts & Crafts: 2-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, at the Lake County Fairgrounds, 1060 E. Peterson Road, Grayslake. Handmade items by 300 crafters and artists from 12 states. Admission is $4-$5, free for kids 11 and younger. Free parking. stepbysteppromotions.com.
Grayslake Tree Lighting: 3-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, in downtown Grayslake. Tree lighting event with sleigh rides, Santa, shopping, food and more. grayslakechamber.com.
Holiday Magic: 3-9 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Nov. 26-28, and Wednesday through Sunday, Dec. 1-5, 8-12, 15-19, and Sunday through Friday, Dec. 26-31, at Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield. 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, from Friday, Nov. 26, through Dec. 19, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily from 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. 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/.
Elk Grove Village Tree Lighting: 4-6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, at Elk Grove Village Green, 901 Wellington Ave. The event will feature a holiday concert by Paul Revere's Raiders. After the concert, Mayor Johnson will throw the switch to light up the Holiday Tree and over 250,000 holiday lights. A fireworks display will announce the entrance of Santa. Free. elkgrove.org.
Model railroad open house: 4-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, 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 to run trains and answer questions. Free; donations accepted. psmrr.org or facebook.com/PSMRCLUB.
Arlington Heights Tree Lighting: 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, at Harmony Park, 7 S. Vail Ave., and North School Park, North Evergreen Avenue and East Eastman Street. Trolleys will be looping between the parks from 3:45-6:45 p.m. At North School Park, see the Vibe Dance group and hear carols at 4:30 p.m., with the lighting at 5 p.m. At Harmony park, see ice carvers and live reindeer from 4:30-6:30 p.m. vah.com.
Downers Grove Tree Lighting: 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, at the Main Street train station, 5001 Main St. Handmade ornaments by residents decorate the Downtown Holiday Tree. events.downers.us.
St. Charles Holiday Homecoming: 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, and 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, in St. Charles. Friday is the Lighting of the Lights in the First Street Plaza. On Saturday, Holiday Tree Trail from 1-4 p.m., the holiday movie, and the Electric Christmas Parade at 5:30 p.m. on Main Street, between Sixth Street and Fourth Avenue, with bands, parade floats and Santa Claus. Santa House will be open from 1-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 27 through Dec. 19. stcholidayhomecoming.com.
Winterlights at the Fabyan Japanese Garden: 5-7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 26 through Dec. 17, and Fridays, Jan. 7-28, at Fabyan Japanese Garden, 1925 S. Batavia Ave., Geneva. See an evening light display that highlights the garden in all its winter splendor. $5; free for kids younger than 5. PPFV.org/winterlights.
Light Up The Park: 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, at Parkway Bank Park, 5501 Park Place, Rosemont. The Chicago Wolves Ice Rink will open for the season at 11 a.m. Mayor Bradley Stephens will arrive at 5:30 p.m. to light up the park with more than 80,000 holiday lights. Free activities include visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, horse and carriage rides, costumed characters on ice, caroling and ice sculptor viewing. Ice skating is free; skate rentals are $8. rosemont.com/thepark.
Round Lake Beach Tree Lighting: 6 p.m. Friday, Nov 26, at the Cultural and Civic Center, 2007 N. Civic Center Way. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive on a fire truck at 6:15 p.m. Includes warm beverages, treats and a small gift for each child. villageofroundlakebeach.com.
Schaumburg Tree Lighting: 6-8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, at the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Court. Begins with caroling by the village president, board and clerk in the Maggie Atcher Theatre. At 6:30 p.m., Santa arrives via fire truck to light the tree; from 6:30-8:30 p.m., there will be holiday balloon twisters and character appearances; and from 6:45-8:30 p.m., Santa will be available for photos with children in the theater. Free, donations of nonperishable food and household items encouraged. villageofschaumburg.com.
Wheaton Christmas Parade: 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, in downtown Wheaton. The parade steps off at Wesley and Wheaton avenues, proceeds south to Front Street and east on Front to Cross Street. See illuminated floats, meet characters before and after the parade and see Santa. The tree lighting ceremony in Adams Park follows the parade. wheatonparkdistrict.com.
Antioch Tree Lighting: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, in downtown Antioch. Parade travels down Main Street to the village hall, where Santa will light the village Christmas tree. antioch.il.gov.
Libertyville Tree Lighting: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, in Cook Memorial Park, 413 N. Milwaukee Ave. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m., the tree lighting is at 7. www.libertyville.com.
Festival of Lights Parade: 7-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, at Williams and Brink streets in downtown Crystal Lake. There will be lights, music and more. The parade ends at the corner of Williams and Crystal Lake Avenue, when Santa throws his magic dust to light the 40-foot Community Christmas tree. downtowncl.org.
Naperville Holiday Parade of Lights: 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, in downtown Naperville. The parade starts at Jackson Avenue and Mill Street, heads east to Webster Street, turns north on Webster to Van Buren Avenue and ends at Naper Elementary School. Immediately following the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit with kids inside the Nichols Library, 200 W. Jefferson Ave., until 9 p.m. Parade is sponsored by The Rotary Club of Naperville. napervillerotaryparade.org/
"Home Alone in Concert": 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 26-27, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, at Orchestra Hall, 220 S. Michigan, Chicago. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performs John Williams' Academy Award-nominated score along with the movie. Tickets start at $50. cso.org.
"The Second City's Holiday Revue: It's a Wild, Wacky, Wonderful Life": 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays and 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, from Friday, Nov. 26, through Dec. 23 at the Copley Theatre, 8 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. Second City presents a song-filled holiday spectacular. $37. paramountaurora.com.
"Elf The Musical": 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 5 at the Woodstock Opera House, 121 W. Van Buren St., Woodstock. Based on the 2003 movie about Buddy, Theatre 121 presents the tale of a human raised as an elf at the North Pole who travels to New York City to find his birth father. Additional matinees at 2 p.m. Saturdays, Nov. 27 and Dec. 4, and 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, after the Christmas Parade. $20-$26, $18-$24 for students and seniors. woodstockoperahouse.com.
Christmas Tree Lane: Friday, Nov. 26, through 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.
"'Twas the Night Before ... by Cirque du Soleil": Various times Friday, Nov. 26, through Sunday, Dec. 5, at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago. The festive production is an exhilarating spin on the Christmas classic from Cirque du Soleil. $30-$130. msg.com/the-chicago-theatre.
Holiday in the Park Lights: Select dates from Friday, Nov. 26, through Dec. 30 at Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee. Light shows, live entertainment, seasonal snacks and holiday shopping at the amusement park. For times and tickets, visit sixflags.com/greatamerica.
Holiday Bricktacular: Various hours from Friday, Nov. 26, 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 admission. legolanddiscoverycenter.com/chicago.
Breakfast With Santa at Hotel Zachary: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 27 to Dec. 18, at Hotel Zachary, 3630 N. Clark St., Chicago. Enjoy a holiday-inspired breakfast buffet while Jolly Old Saint Nick relaxes near the fireplace, waiting to visit with children. $35 for adults, $15 for kids 4-12. Reservations required at Resy.com. gallagherway.com.
Marmion Christmas Craft Show: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, at Marmion Academy's Regole Field House and Alumni Hall gym, 1000 Butterfield Road, Aurora. Enter through doors 7 and 16. This year's show will feature more than 200 crafters and vendors. Enjoy lunch prepared by Belgio's Catering and freshly baked pies sold by the Flannigan Rifles Drill Team. A Bloody Mary & Mimosa Bar will be available on Sunday for those 21 and older. Admission is $5 for ages 12 and older; free parking. marmion.org.
St. Zachary Holiday Bazaar: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, at St. Zachary Parish Life Center Gymnasium, 567 W. Algonquin Road, Des Plaines. Hosted by the St. Zachary Home and School Association, the bazaar features art and crafts, home-based vendors and raffles. Admission is $1; free for kids 12 and younger. saintzacharyschool.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.
Art In the Time of Pandemic: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 4 in the Batavia Fine Arts Centre gallery/lobby, 1250 W. Wilson St., Batavia. See the work of artists who responded to the pandemic through drawing, painting, sculpting, design, photography and more. Some artwork is available for sale. bataviafineartscentre.org.
Chicago Artisan Market: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 27-28, at Artifact Events, 4325 N. Ravenswood, Chicago. This curated market celebrates small businesses that create one-of-a-kind products. Meet and shop with the artisans and learn how they make their products, eats, art and confections. $10. chicagoartisanmarket.com/calendar.
Christmas on the Fox Art and Craft Show: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 27-28, in Robinson Hall at the Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles. Juried show of handmade items by more than 100 crafters featuring Christmas floral and candies, jewelry, photography, paper crafts, apparel and accessories, folk art with holiday themes, homemade soup and dip mixes, handmade soap, wood signs and knitting. Holiday greens for sale from Heinz Brothers Greenhouse. Admission is $3. artoftheheartland.com/christmasonthefox.html.
Hawthorn Woods Holiday Craft Fair: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, at Village Barn, 2 Lagoon Drive, Hawthorn Woods. A variety of vendors and businesses sell their handcrafted items. Free admission. .vhw.org/430/Holiday-Craft-Fair.
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. Rediscover the magic of the holidays with 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.
Holiday Expo and Toy Drive: Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. Shop from more than 100 Chicago vendors/entrepreneurs featuring beauty, fitness, health, jewelry, fashion and more. Kidz Corner includes holiday activities for kids. Donations welcome for the toy, coat and food drive. Hosted by Wise Branding Co. wisebrandingco.com.
"Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins": 1 and 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 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.
Fox Lake Festival of Lights: 2-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, at Community Garden Green, 17 E. School Court. Kriss Kringle Winter Market will be open from 2-6 p.m. The parade will start at 5 p.m. at Grant Community High School. The tree lighting at Millennium Park and opening of the Santa Cottage follows the parade. foxlake.org.
"The Fox Valley Nutcracker": 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre, 1250 W. Wilson St., Batavia. Fox Valley Ballet presents "The Nutcracker," which showcases students from local dance studios alongside professional dancers in the holiday classic. $20-$47. foxvalleynutcracker.com or bataviafineartscentre.org.
Polar Express: 3:15, 4:25, 5:35 and 6:45 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, through Sunday, Dec. 19, at Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve, 35W003 Route 31, South Elgin. Chris Van Allsburg's book comes to life when the train pulls out of the station. At the North Pole, Santa will board the train. There will be caroling, singalongs, cookies and hot chocolate. $40. Make reservations at foxtrolley.org/polarexpress/.
The Heart of Christmas: 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, on Lockport Street in downtown Plainfield. Pictures with Santa, crafts, writing letters to Santa, a hot chocolate station and a crèche lighting. plainfieldil.gov.
Holiday in the Park and Parade: 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, starts at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 1775 Grove St., Glenview. Follow the parade down Glenview Road to Jackman Park. Festivities in the park include Santa visits, hay rides, kids' train rides, carolers, and a gift for each child. glenviewchamber.com.
Vernon Hills Tree and Menorah Lighting: 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, near the Vernon Hills Municipal Golf Course clubhouse, 291 Evergreen Drive. Santa will arrive at 4:30 p.m. escorted by the Countryside Fire Protection District and Vernon Hills police. Enjoy hot chocolate, cider and cookies. vernonhills.org.
Elgin Tree Lighting: 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, at Festival Park, 132 S. Grove Ave., Elgin. Mayor Kaptain, members of the city council and Santa will turn on the holiday tree lights. cityofelgin.org/events.
Prospect Heights Tree Lighting: 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, at Gary Morava Recreation Center, 110 W. Camp McDonald Road. Join Mayor Nick Helmer and Prospect Heights City Council members for the tree lighting and Santa visit. prospect-heights.il.us.
Village Church Christmas Walk: 5-6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, at The Village Church, 1300 Shermer Road, Northbrook. Experience the story of Advent through music, crafts for kids, Bible stories and more. Complete the walk at the Village Church Christmas tree and listen to music from GBN Express while enjoying free popcorn, pizza and hot chocolate. Donations to PADS Lake County will be accepted. (847) 272-0900 or villagechurchnorthbrook.org.
Volo Tree Lighting: 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, at the village hall, 500 S. Fish Lake Road. Santa will arrive by fire engine to light the tree and visit with families. Includes refreshments from My Funnel Truck, a North Pole Mailbox and glow necklaces for each donation of new hats and gloves or food items for the food pantry. villageofvolo.com.
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, from Saturday, Nov. 27, 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.
Drury Lane Brunch with Santa: 10:30 a.m. to noon Sundays, Nov. 28 to Dec. 19, at Lucille at Drury Lane, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace. Enjoy holiday favorites and take a 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.
Chanukah Wonderland: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday and Monday, Nov. 28-29, at Lubavitch Chabad of Northbrook, 2095 Landwehr Road, Northbrook. Make your own Menorah, decorate a doughnut, be part of the Grand Chanukah Mural, and decorate T-shirts, shrink art key chains and more. $12 in advance, $15 at the door. ChanukahWonderlandChicago.com.
"The Nutcracker": 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, at the Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago St., Joliet. Von Heidecke's Chicago Festival Ballet performs "The Nutcracker." $22.50-$38.50. rialtosquare.com/holidays.
Woodstock's Annual Christmas Parade: 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, at the Woodstock Opera House, 121 W. Van Buren St., Woodstock. The new parade route begins at the Woodstock Water Works and travels east on Jackson Street, then around the Square, exiting on Cass and Throop. woodstockoperahouse.com.
"The Nut Tapper": 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, at the Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. Reggio "The Hoofer" McLaughlin and friends present this annual Christmas production featuring students and professional dancers in a multicultural percussive variation of the classic ballet from Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite" re-created with the rhythms of swinging tap, Spanish gypsy flamenco and Mexican zapateado. For all ages. reggiothehoofer.com or oldtownschool.org.
Batavia Celebration of Lights Festival: 5-7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, at the Batavia Riverwalk, 151 Island Ave. Includes hayrides, family photos, Santa, hot chocolate and the ceremonial tree lighting. There will be old-fashioned ornament-making at Depot Museum and a community singalong. Free. bataviaparks.org.
"Top of the World, A Carpenters Christmas": 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. Singer Debbie Taylor and the Carpenters Tribute Band perform the Carpenters greatest hits while sharing some of the back stories behind the music. $39-$59. arcadalive.com.
Santa Pet Nights: 6-8 p.m. Mondays, Nov. 29 to 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.
Glendale Heights Tree Lighting: 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29, at Camera Park, 101 E. Fullerton Ave. Features visits from Mr. & Mrs. Claus and holiday music. Free. glendaleheights.org.
"The Legend of St. Nicholas": 1-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, at Baker Community Center, 101 S. Second St., St. Charles. Performer Terrence Lynch takes on the history and mythology of a Christmas tradition. Free. Register at norrisculturalarts.com.
Luminaria Walk and Candy Cane Forest: 5-7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Dec. 1-3, and Candy Cane Forest with campfires and hot cocoa at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at Veteran Acres Park, 431 N. Walkup Ave., Crystal Lake. Walk the illuminated trail (no activities); entrance begins at the Picnic Shelter. $1 per person/$5 max per family donation. crystallakeparks.org.
Northfield Tree Lighting: 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, at Clarkson Park, 343 Churchill St. Santa visit, music, food, activities and more. northfieldil.org.
Kaleidoscope Concert: 6:15 and 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre, 1250 W. Wilson St., Batavia. The Batavia High School music program presents a winter concert. bataviafineartscentre.org.
ECC Concert Band Holiday Concert: 7:30-10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 1, at Elgin Community College's Blizzard Theatre, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. $9-$11. elgin.edu.
"A Christmas Carol": Various times and dates Dec. 2-24 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.
Cup of Cheer House Walk, Holiday Market and Tea: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 2-3, at the Naperville VFW, 908 Jackson Ave., Naperville. Naperville Garden Club will host its 59th Cup of Cheer House Walk, Holiday Market and Tea featuring four homes. Market and Tea are at the Naperville VFW. $56.50 on Thursday and $41.50 on Friday. For tickets, see napervillegardenclub.org/cup-of-cheer.html.
One of a Kind Holiday Show and Sale: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 2-3; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, on the seventh floor of theMART, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago. More than 400 artists, artisans and makers will offer fine art and handmade goods. There will be gourmet cafes, bar areas, live entertainment and activities for all ages. Admission is $10 a day or $15 for a two-day pass; free for kids 12 and younger. oneofakindshowchicago.com.
Historic Holiday Window Walk and Visit with Santa: 4-6:45 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 2-5, at The Grove, 1421 Milwaukee Ave., Glenview. Small groups of guests will be guided around the Grove's live window displays before visiting with Santa. $12 for residents, $14 for nonresidents. glenviewparks.org.
Santa Paws Pet Night with Santa: 4-7 p.m. Thursdays, Dec. 2 and 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.
Christmas Express: 4:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 2 and 3, departing the Waukegan Metra Station, 95 N. Spring St., Waukegan. Each trip from Waukegan to the North Pole (Kenosha) will feature stories, caroling and other holiday adventures. All children will receive a special gift from Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and Elfie. Registration is required. $20 per resident, $25 per nonresident. waukeganparks.org/holidays.
Holiday Express: 5-8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 2-7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 2-19, at Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Road, Aurora. Take a ride on the Holiday Express train, which tours around scenic Lake Gregory. Also, 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.
Elmhurst Tree Lighting: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, at Wilder Park, 175 S. Prospect Ave. Elmhurst Park District sponsors the lighting of the park's 60 holiday trees. Visit with Santa while enjoying games, family photo opportunities, holiday music and more. Treats and hot cocoa for purchase. Free. epd.org/news/tree-lighting.
Rolling Meadows Tree Lighting: 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, at Rolling Meadows Museum, 3100 Kirchoff Road. Count down with the city's elected officials, local music groups and Santa Claus. cityrm.org.
Holiday Extravaganza: 7-9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Dec. 2-3, at Wheeling High School Sang Theater, 900 S. Elmhurst, Wheeling. Performances by the Wheeling Symphony Lab Band, Wind Symphony, Jazz Band, and eighth graders from LMS, HMS and MAC. $8. brownpapertickets.com.
ECC Steel Band Holiday Concert: 7:30-10:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, at Elgin Community College's SecondSpace Theatre, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. elgin.edu.
"Knuffle Bunny, A Cautionary Musical": Various times Thursday, Dec. 2, 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.