The weather outside is already a little frightful, so I say we should start celebrating the holidays early this year! Regardless of what holiday you celebrate, this time of year in Chicagoland is full of wonderful activities and events that the whole family can enjoy.
From the city to the North Shore, here are a few of the most beloved events in Chicago and in the Chicago suburbs. Chime in with some of your favorites in the comments!
- Christkindlmarket - Visit the giant open-air market inspired by a seasonal tradition in Nuremberg, Germany. Back for another year, the market boasts shopping, dining, entertainment and the traditional boot-shaped mug of Glühwein or hot chocolate. November 15 – December 24, Downtown Chicago.
- Lightscape - Take in the beauty of a holiday lights show that originated in the UK. Stroll down a mile-long path featuring a playful choir of “singing trees,” a spectacular waterfall of light and much more. Through January 5, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe.
- Light the Lights - Get in the holiday spirit in downtown Glencoe with a tree-lighting ceremony, a “wine and beer stroll,” caroling, photos with Santa, live reindeer petting, trackless train rides through downtown and more. November 29, Downtown Glencoe.
- The North Pole Express - Take a voyage to the North Pole on the Metra Train. The train ride starts at the Glenview Metra station, up to to Fox Lake, then back to Glenview. At the “North Pole” (Fox Lake), kids can meet and mingle with Santa Claus. November 30, Glenview Metra Station.
- Holiday in the Park and Parade - Kick off the holiday season in Glenview with the annual holiday parade and celebration. Follow the parade down Glenview Road from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church west to Jackman Park. Festivities in the park include a visit with Santa, hay rides, a train ride for kids, carolers, cookies, hot chocolate and popcorn. November 30, Jackman Park, Glenview.
- Stories with Santa - Celebrate the start of the season and listen to “The Night Before Christmas” told by celebrity storyteller Demetrius Ivory, meet the Frozen sisters, and count down to the the debut of the fantastic holiday lights in Habitat Park. December 1, Kohl’s Children’s Museum, Glenview.
- Candy Cane Lane - Channel your holiday creativity and gather up a group to decorate your very own tree in the park. Bring your own decorations and share your holiday spirit with the community. December 6 – January 6, Hubbard Woods or Dwyer Park, Winnetka.
- Downtown Evanston Holiday Tree Lighting - Celebrate the holiday season at the annual tree lighting with Mayor Hagerty as he lights up the tree at Fountain Square. Enjoy holiday-themed music by the Evanston Children’s Choir, among other performances. December 7, Downtown Evanston.
- Holiday Sing - Join families, friends, and neighbors for the 23rd annual Holiday Sing. Bring your singing voices, candles (or flashlights), and gather around Village Green to sing everyone’s favorite holiday songs. December 24, Village Green Park, Winnetka.