A Little Time and a Keyboard: Weekend Wind Up {Family Fun in the Chicago Suburbs December 1-3, 2023}

Weekend Wind Up {Family Fun in the Chicago Suburbs December 1-3, 2023}

Friday, December 1, 2023


Family Fun in the Chicago Suburbs December 1-3, 2023

Happy weekend!!! Plenty of cheer is packed into this weekend, here are my picks:


February 4-December 23 Viking's Voyage, Geneva History Museum, learn about the history of the replica Viking ship in Geneva which started as an attraction at the World's Columbian Exhibition in 1893, $5 per adult, $2 kids and seniors, free for members, closed Sundays and Mondays

September 9 - January 7 Alebrijes: Creatures of a Dreamworld, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, creatures from Mexican folklore that are composites of multiple animals, free exhibit

September 9 - January 7 Picasso 50 Years Later, Elmhurst Art Museum, works by Picasso and his contemporaries, with admission

Lightscape Returns to Chicago Botanic Garden!!! In its fifth year, Lightscape is set to dazzle us again! I just visited for a preview this week and the displays are more magical than ever plus the engaging illuminated trail is longer! Be sure to pick up your tickets soon. Lightscape runs November 10 - January 7.

November 17 - January 6 Willow Hill Lights, Northbrook

November 17 - December 31 Christmas Lights Show, Sonny Acres Farm, West Chicago

November 17-December 24 Christkindlmarket Aurora, Thursdays 11AM-7PM, Fridays & Saturdays 11AM-9PM, Sundays 11AM-4PM, special hours Thanksgiving 11AM-3PM, December 18-20 11AM-7PM, Christmas Eve 11AM-4PM

November 18 - January 6 Illumination: Treelights at the Morton Arboretum, enjoy a 1-mile hiking path where you will see the Arboretum's trees highlighted with lights and music as you have never seen them before, see website for more details and tickets

November 24-December 25 Aurora Festival of Lights, 5PM-9PM, free holiday light drive through at Phillips Park

November 24-December 30 Festival of Lights and Tree Sale, Cosley Park Zoo, Wheaton, 9AM-9PM, 9AM-12PM December 24, December 25 closed, free admission during event -- donations appreciated

December 2-January 1 Holiday Lights in Lilacia Park

November 24 - December 23 Christmas in Woodstock featuring nostalgic activities including horse drawn carriage rides certain nights and performances of White Christmas at the Opera House. See schedule.

Ongoing - New Year's House Tours of the Dawes House in Evanston will delight not only with the history of the mansion but also the holiday decor! Afternoon tours are given on various dates during the season, so check the website and reserve a spot. Admission is $10 per person.

December 1-23 McCormick House and Garden: Lights and Music at Cantigny Park features dazzling light displays throughout the garden. The first floor of the historic McCormick Mansion will be decorated. New ice rink. Pop-up attractions certain days. $10 parking, $15 per adult, $5 per child. Tuesdays-Saturday. Tickets available online.

Fall is for hiking! Check out my Chicago Suburban Hiking Recommendations for ideas. 

Friday, December 1

December 1 Oswego Christmas Walk, 4:30pm, live ice carving, Santa's reindeer, inflatable sled hill, performances, tree lighting

December 1 Mundelein Tree Lighting, 4:45pm, music, Santa, holiday-themed activities, free

December 1 Winnetka Tree Lighting, 5PM

December 1 Lincolnshire Lights, 5:30 pm, goodie bags, letters to Santa, reindeer food craft and more, free

December 1 Dickens in Dundee, East Dundee, 5:30PM-8PM, caroling, tree lighting, Santa arrival, living windows, carriage rides and more

December 1 Christmas Walk, Geneva, 6PM, arrival of St. Lucia and Santa

December 1 First Friday Cocoa Crawl, 6PM-9PM, Aurora, $10-$20 depending on if you need a new mug for this year 

Saturday, December 2

December 2 Holiday Happenings in Wilmette, 9AM-5PM, Santa pictures, Elf movie showing, carolers, tree lighting, see website for details

December 2 Barrington Holiday Festivities, 11AM-6PM, all around town, see schedule

December 2 Cookie and Hot Cocoa Crawl, Downtown Highland Park, 11:30am-1pm, kicks off at Jens Jensen Park and explores Ravinia District, free 

December 2 Santa's Cottage and Winterfest, Mundelein, 12:15pm-3pm

December 2, Celebrate the Festival of Lights from 2PM-4PM! Visit Port Clinton Square to celebrate Hanukkah with klezmer music and sufganiyot. Hanukkah Harriet will visit and there will be crafts for the kids!

December 2 Santa Parade, Libertyville, 2PM

December 2-3 Creating Glass Ornaments: At Mundelein's Patterson Glassworks, fall is the time to craft glass pumpkins! Open Houses for creating glass ornaments are December 2 & 3, 9 & 10 and 16 & 17. The experience is $45-$95 depending on size and type of ornament. The Open House runs 11AM-4PM each day. Call 847-949-0013 to book your time. 

December 2 & 9 The Night Before Christmas Exhibit and Ansel B. Cook Holiday Home display in Libertyville will delight visitors with a Victorian Christmas. The home will be open 11AM-3PM both days. $5/adults and kids are free.

December 2 Roselle Winterfest, 2PM-5PM

December 2 Once Upon a Christmas at the Museums at Lisle Station Park in Lisle 3PM-7PM is in conjunction with the Santa Parade and village tree lighting. Enjoy a holiday workshop in the blacksmith shop, hot chocolate, hot cider and more. Purchase handcrafted gifts. Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit. Free.

December 2 Miracle on Main Street, Lake Zurich, 3PM-6:30PM, tree lighting, reindeer, kids crafts and more

December 2 Winter Bonfire, Camp Dan Beard, Northbrook, 4PM, enjoy a bonfire and night sky

December 2 Evanston Tree Lighting, Fountain Square, 4:30pm, musical performances, tree lighting

December 2 Luminaria Walk, Veteran Acres, Crystal Lake, 4:30 pm, hot cocoa and cookies, Nature Center Candy Cane Forest, Mrs. Claus and more, $1 donation per person, $5 per family suggested

December 2 Riverside Parade of Lights, West and East Dundee, 6:30pm

Sunday, December 3

December 3 Merry Cary Parade and Festival, 12:30pm-3:30pm

December 3 through January 7, 2024 Victorian Christmas at the Clayson House in Palatine begins with an Open House December 3 with holiday cheer, punch, and cookies 1PM-4PM. Hours are Tuesday 9AM-4PM, Thursday 12PM-4PM and Sunday 1:00PM-4:300PM. Admission is free.

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