Chicago Suburbs Family Fun

As a mom on the go, I am always looking for fun and affordable things to do in the 'burbs. This list is not meant to be a comprehensive list. However, it is a way for us to share with you interesting, fun, and affordable activities that we have found in the area. These are events that we have either been to in the past or we would take our kiddos to:

  • 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 30-December 23 Christkindlmarket, Naper Lights and Ronco and Popeil Exhibit -- details: https://www.alittletimeandakeyboard.com/2018/11/christkindlmarket-naperville.html
  • November 22-January 6 Wonderland Express, Chicago Botanic Garden, see ticketing info and more on website, see landmarks in miniature with holiday glory!
  • Through January 6 All Aglow at Nicholas Conservatory in Rockford, light decor inside and out, regular admission applies
  • December 15 Hometown Holiday Fun, Elmhurst, 9:30AM-1PM, start with a free showing of It's a Wonderful Life at York Theatre, family events and Santa visits in city centre 11AM-1PM, 
  • December 15 Open House with Santa, Cuneo Mansion, Vernon Hills, 11AM-3PM, visits with Santa, hot chocolate, craft stations, $10 per adult, $9 for seniors and students with ID, kids 12 and under are free, cash only, food pantry donations welcome
  • December 15-16 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 15 Sleigh Rides, Spring Road and Prairie Path, Elmhurst, 11AM-2PM, also ice carvings and Santa visits
  • December 15 Christmas on the Farm, Peck Farm, Geneva, 4PM-7PM, ice carving, stories with Mrs. Claus, demos with LL Bean, Santa visit and more, some activities have a small fee
  • December 15 Christmas on the Farm, Kline Creek, West Chicago, 1:30PM-3:30PM, free admission, $5 sleigh rides
  • December 15 Farmhouse Museum Tours: Christmas Memories, Kline Creek Farm, West Chicago, 10AM-3PM, tours on the hour, blacksmithing demo at 1:30, free
  • 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

  • December 15 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 15 Holiday Stroll and Open House, Cantigny Park, Wheaton, 4PM-7PM, enjoy the park all lit up for the holidays, free self-guided tours of the museums, $5 parking
  • December 16 Farmhouse Museum Tours:Christmas Memories, Kline Creek Farm, West Chicago, 10AM-3PM, tours on the hour,  free
  • December 16 Ice Carving at Chicago Botanic Garden, 11AM and 2PM, free admission, parking $25 per car
  • December 16 Winter Ramble, Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington, 1PM, go on a 1.4 mile guided hike, free
  • December 16 Mammal Meetup, River Trail, Northbrook, 1:30PM, get up close with one of our furry residents, free
  • December 16  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
  • Fun and affordable every week: Saturdays 11AM-3PM Free Crafts Lake Shore Learning Center

For more ideas, check Oaklees Guide.
**Events are subject to change. Be sure to check availability before heading out!