NOVEMBER 25- JANUARY 3
“Christmas Story – The Musical”, Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. Aurora. One of the most watched and beloved Holiday movies ever made comes to life in a full-blown musical production on the Paramount stage. It’s the story of nine-year-old Ralphie Parker growing up in Middle America in the 1940s. With Christmas right around the corner, Ralphie has his bespectacled sights set on one thing – a Red Ryder BB Gun. But at every turn, the young daydreamer hears those five words that are the bane of his existence: “you’ll shoot your eye out.” Information: (630) 896-6666.
NOVEMBER 27- DECEMBER 31
The sixth annual “Holiday Lights at Mooseheart” will run every evening from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. beginning Nov. 27, and running through Dec. 31. Located on the Mooseheart campus just two miles north of the I-88 Exit on IL Route 31, one of the largest shows in the Chicago area includes almost 100 displays on a 1.8-mile route through the campus, weekend visits from Santa, and a phenomenal viewing experience, all for only $10 a car. All proceeds benefit the Mooseheart children. Visit mooseheart.org for more information.
“Over the River and Through the Woods” guided nature walk, LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, St. Charles, 10-11 a.m. Too much Thanksgiving turkey? Tired of shopping? The popular, annual, post-Thanksgiving guided nature walk will watch for wildlife, learn about adaptations for winter, and maybe see a wild turkey or two. All ages are welcome. Bring the whole family! Advance registration is required for this free program. Call (630) 444-3190 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
NOVEMBER 27- DECEMBER 27
Aurora’s Holiday Festival of Lights, Phillips Park, 1000 Ray Moses Drive, Aurora. One of the largest free outdoor holiday light displays in Northern Illinois, the Festival of Lights, returns with dazzling displays that will delight both adults and children. It features a drive-through of more than one mile of spectacular lighted displays, many of which are animated, and are illuminated by tens of thousands of bulbs. The festival will be open from 5 – 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 – 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Donations are encouraged.
Holiday Homecoming, downtown St. Charles kicks off Friday, Nov. 27 at 5 p.m. with the Lighting of the Lights Ceremony on the 1st Street Plaza. Musical performances by the St. Charles North and East High School chorales. Santa Claus and his elves also will make a special appearance.
Saturday starts with a free holiday movie at the Arcada Theater. There will be visits with Santa from1-4 p.m. and free horse-drawn carriage rides from 1-5 p.m., both on the 1st Street Plaza. The Electric Christmas Parade on Main Street steps off at 5:30 p.m.
Gingerbread Firehouse Contest & Holiday Open House, 1-4 p.m., Aurora Regional Fire Museum, 53 N. Broadway, Aurora. See more than a dozen gingerbread fire stations, and burning buildings, which have been specially crafted for this event. All gingerbread entries must depict a firefighting themed architectural structure, real or imaginary and everything must be edible. Free admission. Firehouses will remain on exhibit though Christmas. Information: (630) 892-1572 or email ARFMinfo@aol.com
Elburn Christmas Stroll, 4-8 p.m., includes Santa at the Town and Country library, a holiday lights show, free samples from downtown merchants plus a hayride, live nativity scene and a raffle to raise from for local scholarships. For updates and a complete list of raffle prizes, check out the Elburn Christmas Stroll on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ElburnChristmasStroll, or call the Elburn Chamber of Commerce at (630) 365-2295.
The Fox Valley Nutcracker, Saturday at 2 & 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., Batavia Fine Arts Centre, 1399 W. Wilson St., Batavia. State Street Dance Studio is very proud to present The Fox Valley Nutcracker, a Fox Valley holiday tradition that showcases students and families from State Street, as well as other local dance studios and professional dancers, in the beloved holiday classic The Nutcracker. Featuring lavish sets, festive costumes, and Tchaikovsky’s score. VIP tickets include photos with select cast members and a look backstage following the performance. Information: (630) 937-8930 or email email@example.com.
Christmas on the Fox Art and Craft Show, Prairie Event Center at Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles. Quality, hand-made arts and crafts. No commercial or manufactured items. Come and experience the delights of the season. Information: (630) 387-1151 or visit www.artoftheheartland.com.
The Christmas Harp/Music in the Gallery, 3 p.m., Norris Cultural Arts Center, 1040 Dunham Road, St. Charles. Popular Chicago area harp virtuoso Kate Cockle returns to the Norris gallery in a concert that’s sure to get you in the holiday spirit. For additional information or tickets visit www.norrisculturalarts.com or call (630) 584-7200.
Celebration of Lights Festival, Peg Bond Center – Batavia Riverwalk, Houston Street and Island Avenue, Batavia. Celebrate the Christmas season with family and friends at the annual Celebration of Lights Festival! This popular event has become a tradition for many families and includes a community sing-a-long, tree lighting ceremony, story hour, visit with Santa and more. Free admission and parking. Information: (630) 879-5235
A Well-Strung Christmas, 7:30 p.m., Batavia Fine Arts Centre, 1399 W. Wilson St., Batavia. Well-Strung, a string quartet features classical musicians who put their own spin on the music of Mozart, Rihanna, Adele, Vivaldi, and more! Well-Strung performed in Batavia during the 2nd season, and is the most requested group to make a return appearance on the BFAC stage. Information: (630) 937-8930 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Geneva Christmas Walk and House Tour, 6 p.m., downtown Geneva. The traditional Christmas Walk includes Santa’s appearance to light the Great Tree and open his Gingerbread House for the season. The House Tour is held on both Friday and Saturday. Five unique homes decorated for the holidays will open their doors to visitors. Information: Geneva Chamber of Commerce, (630) 232-6060
Candlelight Carols-St. Charles Singers, 7:30 p.m., Baker Memorial Church, 307 Cedar Avenue
St. Charles. St. Charles Singers’ Yuletide welcome to the holiday season, is traditionally a sell-out at our home venue, Baker Memorial Church. Information: (630) 513-5272 or visit stcharlessingers.com
The Second City: Holidazed and Confused Revue, Copley Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd.
Aurora. Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m. Spend your holiday season with the funniest comedy crew in the country: Second City and their hilarious holiday show. These guys are bringing their world-famous skits, songs and laughs to Paramount’s 175-seat Copley Theatre from December 4 to 20 – and in a theatre this intimate, you’re up close and personal with all that Second City fun. Information: (630) 896-6666.
Blackberry Farm Holiday Express, 100 Barnes Road, Aurora. All aboard one of the top six most beautiful trains in Illinois. Ride the train through a winter wonderland at Blackberry Farm around the lake and through the tunnel while Christmas holiday music plays. (First three weekends in December.) Information: (630) 897-0516
Cookie Walk and Boutique, St. Patrick’s Residence, 1400 Brookdale Road, Naperville. Buy by the pound, purchase pre-packaged or stroll among the tables of a vast assortment of cookies, 10 a.m. to noon. Cookie bakers are also sought. Information, contact Jill Whitledge at (630) 416-6565, Ext. 528, or email@example.com.
Skating with Santa, Rocket Ice Arena, 180 Canterbury Lane, Bolingbrook. Celebrate the season and skate with Santa. Participants enjoy private ice time, photo opportunities with Santa, holiday music and hot chocolate. Information or registration call (630) 848-5000 or visit www.napervilleparks.org.
Victorian Holiday Traditions, 3 to 5 p.m., Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville.
Indulge in a guided, holiday-themed tour of the Martin Mitchell Mansion, classically adorned for the season, and then learn about Victorian holiday traditions in the historic Tavern. For more information, call (630) 420-6010 or visit www.napersettlement.org.
Breakfast with Santa, 9 a.m., Eastside Community Center, 14 N. Van Buren St., Batavia. Families will be able to see Santa before the entertainment. Santa will talk to each girl and boy, then hand him or her a present. Bring your camera! Breakfast is prepared by the Batavia Lions Club. Ages 2 and up must register. Information: (630) 406-5282 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Windham Hill’s Winter Solstice Concert, 8 p.m., Crimi Auditorium, Fermilab Arts & Lecture Series, Kirk Rd. & Pine St., Batavia. Master musicians who made their names on the Windham Hill label, pianist Liz Story, singer and multi instrumentalist Barbara Higbie, and guitarist Sean Harkness have created a special show in celebration of Winter Solstice. Information: (630) 840-3351 or visit email email@example.com
Geneva Steeple Walk, downtown Geneva area. Listen to beautiful holiday music in the setting of four of Geneva’s historic churches. You will be treated to a variety of folk songs, instrumentals and Christmas classics. Each of the Steeple Walk performances lasts about 20 minutes. You also will learn about the history and architecture of these unique churches. Tickets are $12. Information: Geneva Cultural Arts Commission, (630) 845-9654.
Evergreen Holidays, 4-6 p.m., Riverfront Park, 25 E. State St., North Aurora. Enjoy the beauty of a lighted luminary pathway with 30 decorated evergreens adorning North Aurora’s Riverfront Park for the holiday season. Enjoy family activities such as tree viewing, bonfires, balloon artists, free hot chocolate, popcorn, treats, music and more. There will be a Cookie Walk and other activities for children. Firepits and heaters keep the area warm. Information: (630) 897-8228 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Christmas at the Farm, Lyon Farm, 7935 Rt. 71, Yorkville. Experience an old time Christmas with the kids. The day includes a train display around the Christmas tree and naturally, the kids get to meet, and have their picture taken with Santa Claus. A storyteller will read some holiday classics and enjoy fresh roasted chestnuts. Eight different hands-on holiday crafts will be available.
Tree lighting ceremony, 6 p.m., downtown Elgin. The City of Elgin kicks off the holiday season as Mayor David Kaptain, City Council Members, and Santa Claus will turn on the holiday tree lights. Bring the whole family out and help welcome Santa to town Information: Barb Keselica, Community Engagement and Special Events, City Manager Office, 847-531-7056 or email@example.com.
Tree Lighting Ceremony, Montgomery Village Hall, 200 N. River St., Montgomery. The tree lighting and contest will kick off as students from local grade schools decorate the Village Christmas tree with handmade ornaments, followed by the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus in fire trucks with sirens blaring. After the lighting of the Christmas tree, children can visit Santa and take photos inside the Village Hall while everyone enjoys musical numbers performed by the students outside on the Park District’s Sound Stage. Free hot cocoa and cookies will be provided throughout the evening by the GMACC. Information: (630) 896-8080.
Aurora University Chorale’s Christmas Concert, 3 and 7:30 p.m., Aurora University’s Crimi Auditorium, 1347 Prairie St., Aurora.The Aurora University Chorale, Chamber Choir, Flute Ensemble, Men’s Quartet and invited guests perform music of the season complete with organ selections from artist-in-residence Dr. David Schrader. Registration is required for this free event. Register online. Information: (630) 844-4924 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Montgomery Festival of Trees, Montgomery. The Village Hall will once again host a Festival of Trees that will turn all three levels of the Village Hall into a winter wonderland. Area businesses participate by decorating Christmas trees for everyone to enjoy, and visitors of all ages are invited to vote for their favorite tree. Information: (630) 896-8080.
DECEMBER 12-JANUARY 23
Lehnertz Avenue Christmas Display, 5-10:30 p.m., Lehnertz Avenue and Lehnertz Circle, Aurora. After WWII soldiers returned to the United States to build their homes and their families. Upon their return this community committed itself to leave a legacy to their children that included the biblical Christmas story. This drive-through display where residents each display a part of the original Christmas story includes lights, sound and all the biblical characters. Lehnertz is recognized as the oldest, totally free traditional Christmas display in Illinois. Fee.
Christmas at the Farm, Lyon Farm, 7935 Rt. 71, Yorkville. Experience an old time Christmas with the kids. The day includes a train display around the Christmas tree and naturally, the kids get to meet, and have their picture taken with Santa Claus. A storyteller will read some holiday classics and enjoy fresh roasted chestnuts. Eight different hands-on holiday crafts will be available. Chili and hot dogs are available for sale. The Lyon farm and village is operated by the Kendall County Historical Society. Information: (630) 554-3064.
- Holiday happenings throughout Kane County —