Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Wednesday Weekend Windup {Victorian Christmas, Bonfires, Music Fest, Cocoa Crawl and More}

Sleigh ride

Weekend Family Fun in the Chicago Suburbs December 7-9, 2018 

The weekend is almost here, so time to get ready for family fun! Plenty of experiences this weekend including a variety of holiday fests each with its own flare -- here are my picks:


  • November 17-January 1 Illumination at Morton Arboretum, interactive light experience in the trees, special events on certain days, see schedule, closed Mondays except December 31, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas, see website for ticketing details -- I recommend reserving tickets in advance!
  • November 29 Rock'n Lights starts! Lake County Fairgrounds, Grayslake, drive through light show of nearly 1000 elements, November 29-December 31; 4:45PM-11PM, currently $16 weekday ticket, $19 weekend, see website for more info and ticket price changes
  • November 30-December 2 Christkindlmarket, Naper Lights and Ronco and Popeil Exhibit -- details:
  • November 30-December 9 Mod and Merry at the Farnsworth House, Aurora, Tues-Sun, tours at 10AM, 12PM and 2PM, picture yourself arriving at Christmas 60 years ago as one of Dr. Farnsworth's holiday guests
  • November 22-January 6 Wonderland Express, Chicago Botanic Garden, see ticketing info and more on website, see landmarks in miniature with holiday glory!
Friday, December 7:
  • December 7-9 Make an Icicle or Ornament, Peter Patterson Glassworks, 10AM-4PM, first come first serve, $35 each
  • December 7 Holiday Fun Arlington Heights, Harmony Park, 4:30PM-7:30PM, horse-drawn trolley rides, ice carving demo, petting zoo, carolers, popcorn cart, roasted nuts, 5PM arrival of Santa, free
  • December 7 Cocoa Crawl, Aurora, 6PM-9PM, need to purchase $5 mug to participate, see link for more info, limited number to be sold, celebration of local art
  • December 7-8 Deerfield's Winter Celebration, Downtown Deerfield & Deerfield Square, 5PM-9PM Friday, Saturday 9AM-3PM, horse-drawn carriage rides, roasted chestnuts, ice carving show, caroling, special events at businesses Saturday, walk inside snow globe, free but events differ each day, check website
  • December 7 Holidazzle, Beloit, 5PM-9PM, dazzling evening featuring artists, specialty craftspeople, live music, Santa visits, children's events and more
  • December 7 Graham's 25th Annual Candy Cane Pull and Parade, Geneva, 5:30PM-9:00PM, candy cane pull, candy cane parade, first candy cane of the season presented to the mayor, free, while you are there enjoy other Geneva festivities including Christmas Walk:
Saturday, December 8:
  • December 8 & 9 Model Railroad, Glenview Public Library, 9AM-4PM Sat; 1PM-4:30PM, free
  • December 8 & 9 and December 15 &16  Old World Christmas at Old World Wisconsin, Eagle, Wisconsin, 10AM-4PM, bustling Yuletide village, enjoy Christmas at immigrant homes, visit Victorian Santa in his workshop, horse drawn carriage, sip hot cider and wassail, learn how braided bread is made and more, $12 pp, $9 for kids ages 5-17, those 4 and under are free, please pre-register
  • December 8-9 Homemade for the Holidays, McHenry County Fair, 10AM-3PM, $3 pp, $1 off if you donate a can of food, ages 5 and under free, kids crafting corner, Santa, hayrides, artisans and more
  • December 8  Farmhouse Museum Tours: Christmas Memories, Kline Creek Farm, West Chicago, 10AM-3PM, tours on the hour, blacksmithing demo at 1:30, free
  • December 8 & 9 Victorian Holiday Celebration, Midway Village, Rockford, 11AM-4PM. Discover the origin of holiday traditions, enjoy horse drawn carriage rides, Victorian decorations, Christmas carols and more and visit Father Christmas in his workshop. Admission is $8 per adult, $6 per child. Different family packages available. Kids ages 2 and under are free.
  • December 8-9 Gnome Globes and Gnome Hunt, Morton Arboretum, 11AM-2PM, Children's Garden, hunt for gnomes in the Children's Garden (hunt is free with admission), then create a globe to bring home, globes are $7 pp for members, $10 for non, must purchase ticket in visitor's center, limited number, admission is separate, weather permitting
  • December 8 The 56 Yule Fix & Toy Drive, Moose Lodge, Mount Prospect, 12PM-12AM, local bands and artists together for a toy drive for Mooseheart Orphanage, full day of live local music, bring unwrapped, new toys for donation
  • December 8 Horsin' Around Danada Day of the Horse Event, Danada, Wheaton, 12PM-4PM, tractor drawn hayrides, self guided barn tours, painting horse demos and more, free
  • December 8 Christmas on the Farm, Kline Creek, West Chicago, 1:30PM-3:30PM, free admission, $5 sleigh rides
  • December 8 Santa Visits Wildbird Shack, Mount Prospect, 2PM-4PM, Santa visits Wildbird Shack, free visit
  • December 8 Merry & Bright: A Victorian Christmas, Blodgett House, Downer's Grove, 3PM. Learn Victorian Christmas traditions. Enjoy Victorian decorations and carols, a campfire, Santa and more. Treats available for purchase. Free admission. Donations accepted for a giving tree, PADS or West Suburban Humane Society, see website for more info.
  • December 8 Farmhouse Tour: Living by Lamplight, Kline Creek Farm, West Chicago, 4PM-4:40PM, learn about how the farm functioned by lamplight and the challenges and benefits of living by the light of the sun and kerosene lamps, free
  • December 8 Sunset Hike and Campfire, Vera Meineke Nature Center, Schaumburg, 4PM-6PM, take a short hike from the nature center to the Merkle Cabin, enjoy roasting marshmallows at the campfire and learning about night animals, $18 per non resident $12 per resident, must register, ages 5 and older
  • December 8 Winter Bonfire, Dan Beard Woods, Northbrook, 4PM-8PM, free, outdoor activities and s'mores provided
Sunday, December 9:
  • December 9  Farmhouse Museum Tours:Christmas Memories, Kline Creek Farm, West Chicago, 10AM-3PM, tours on the hour,  free
  • December 9  Farmhouse Tour: Living by Lamplight, Kline Creek Farm, West Chicago, 4PM-4:40PM, learn about how the farm functioned by lamplight and the challenges and benefits of living by the light of the sun and kerosene lamps, free
  • December 9 Victorian Christmas, Des Plaines History Center, 1PM-3PM, hands-on history lesson and craft, free
For more options, check my Impressive Holiday Lights in the Chicago Suburbs post.

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