A Little Time and a Keyboard: Weekend Windup {Family Fun in the Chicago Suburbs December 15-17, 2023}

Weekend Windup {Family Fun in the Chicago Suburbs December 15-17, 2023}

Friday, December 15, 2023


Family Fun in the Chicago Suburbs December 15-17, 2023

Another week is winding down! Here are my picks for family fun this weekend in the Chicago suburbs:


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.

Through December 26 Christmas Holiday Lights Tour in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, December 12-26. Pull up Pleasant Prairie's online map of dazzling home holiday light displays, sip some hot cocoa and enjoy a holiday light tour. Vote for your favorites! Winners will be announced on December 30. This is a free, fun and festive tour!

Schaumburg Holiday House Decorating Contest & Tour through December 24

Carol Stream Holiday Lights Decorating Contest through December 24

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

Friday, December 15

December 15-17 House Tour: Winter Holidays in the 1890s, Kline Creek Farm, West Chicago, 10AM-4PM, learn how families trimmed the tree, exchanged gifts, prepared food for the holidays, and more, suggested donation $5

December 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 15; 12PM-5PM December 16, $5 pp, purchase tickets online.

Saturday, December 16

December 16-17 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 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 16 Ice Sculpture Cocoa Crawl, Downtown Huntley, 12PM-5PM, sales of mugs has ended, viewing sculptures is free

December 16 Owl Program, Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington, 1PM, learn about what makes owls silent, skilled nocturnal hunters

December 16  Hot Cocoa Crawl, Highland Park2PM-4PM where participating downtown merchants will have hot cocoa for revelers. Renaissance Place will sponsor and host Gingerbread House making with carolers and elves.

Sunday, December 17

December 17 Whooooo are the owls in your neighborhood? River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook, 1:30PM, special talk about owls

December 17 Horse-drawn Carriage Rides, Woodstock, 2PM-4:30PM

December 17-21  Holiday Light Tours with Naperville Trolley, $25 pp, must reserve online

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