A Little Time and a Keyboard: Weekend Windup {Family Fun in the Chicago Suburbs December 8-10, 2023}

Weekend Windup {Family Fun in the Chicago Suburbs December 8-10, 2023}

Friday, December 8, 2023


Family Fun in the Chicago Suburbs December 8-10, 2023

Family Fun in the Chicago Suburbs December 8-10, 2023

Happy weekend! Here are my picks for family fun in the Chicago suburbs this weekend:


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 8 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 8

December 8-9 and 15-16 Holly Jolly Days at Naper Settlement in Naperville invites revelers to learn how reindeer shoes are made from a blacksmith and take pictures at the Pine Craig Mansion decorated with Victorian trimmings. Create crafts. Listen to stories in the one room schoolhouse. 3PM-7PM December 8 & 15; 12PM-5PM December 9 & 16, $5 pp, purchase tickets online.

Saturday, December 9

December 9-10Creating 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 9-24 Christmas Victorian Cottage in Lombard will dazzle visitors with Victorian holiday decor. Tours will be given December 8-23 at a variety of times. Tours are $5 pp for those ages 12+. Under 12 are free. Reserve tickets online.

December 9-10 Christmas in the Valley at the Heritage Farm and Merkle Cabin in Schaumburg has long been one of my favorite holiday events in the Chicago suburbs. How can you not love visiting with Father Christmas by the fire in a cabin? Crafts, Victorian decorations, 1880s Christmas activities, s'mores and more round out special holiday adventure. The event runs 12PM-4PM. Admission is $3 pp or $12 per family.

December 9 Christmas Candlelight Tours at The Grove will usher guests by candlelight through the holiday adorned rooms of the Kennicott House. In each room, visitors will learn about a holiday tradition. $12 pp, $14 pp for non-residents. Please register online.

December 9 Merry and Bright: A Victorian Christmas at Downers Grove's Blodgett House captivates visitors with holiday cheer as they tour a beautifully decorated Victorian home. The event also includes a luminary walk, carolers, and a campfire. Free. The event runs 3PM-6PM.

December 9 Holiday at Grandma's House whisks visitors back to a holiday from years past in Ringwood's 1854 Powers-Walker House from 12PM-4PM. Enjoy a fresh tree decorated with natural trimmings and learn how homes prepared for winter and the holidays from costumed interpreters. Free.

December 9 Winter Frostival, Arlington Heights Historical Museum, 1AM-1:30PM

December 9 Candyland-themed Wonderland extends the holiday joy with inspiration derived from a childhood favorite game! From 2PM-4PM, Downtown Highland Park will be transformed. Enjoy a Candyland-themed scavenger hunt. Lady Lollipop, Lord Licorice, and the gingerbread man will visiting. Songs of carolers will lift spirits.

December 9 Cocoa Crawl Merry & Bright, Bartlett, 11AM-4PM, $10 pp

Sunday, December 10

December 10 Winter Walk, River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook, 1:30 pm, must register

December 10 Menorah Lighting for 4th Night of Chanukah, Wheeling Town Center, 4PM, Chanukah crafts, doughnuts and more

December 10 Menorah Lighting, North School Park, Arlington Heights, 4PM, Chanukah story walk, gelt drop, live music, latkes and more

December 10 Holiday Light Tours with Naperville Trolley, $25 pp, must reserve online

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