Santa is getting ready — are you? Where and when to celebrate the holiday season

By Cathy Janek For Chronicle Media

Whether you are ready for the cold and the Christmas season — or hoping to hold it off for a bit — there is no denying the holiday spirit is sweeping across  northern Illinois.

It can be a busy time but we encourage all to take a break, get into the spirit and enjoy the many events happening in the area.

Here is our guide for where to go to welcome in the holiday season.



EVENT: Santa Comes to Town

DATE:  Thursday, Dec. 5

TIME: 5:30 to 8 p.m.

WHERE:  Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. 2nd St.

EVENT INFO:  Santa comes to DeKalb complete with complimentary cookies and hot cocoa and performances by the DeKalb High School Madrigals. At 7 p.m., Santa rides to town where he will be at his house at the Van Buer Plaza for visits on Saturdays throughout December from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit  for more Information.


EVENT: A Sandwich Christmas

Holiday Lane Craft & Home Business Market

DATE: Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8

TIME: Saturday

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Holiday Lane Craft and Home Business Market, 3300 Drew St.

4:30 p.m. Tree Lighting Ceremony, Veteran’s Park

5 to 7 p.m. S’mores, Veteran’s Park


11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Holiday Lane Craft and Home Business Market, 3300 Drew St.

EVENT INFO:  Hosted by Sandwich Area Chamber of Commerce and Sandwich Park District, the free community family friendly event includes a two-day holiday craft market culminating with a tree lighting ceremony on Saturday.  Visit  for more Information.



EVENT: Moonlight Magic Shopping Event

DATE: Friday, Nov. 22

TIME: 6 to 8 p.m.

WHERE: Downtown Sycamore

EVENT INFO:  Kicking off the holiday season, downtown Sycamore storefront windows will come alive as local arts, theater, and dance groups perform as part of Sycamore’s late night Moonlight Sales and Holiday Magic event. More Information is available at

EVENT: Winter Chocolate Walk

DATE:  Thursday, Dec.  5

TIME: 3 to 8 p.m.

WHERE: Historic Downtown Sycamore

EVENT INFO:  For $10, participants pick up their chocolate walk entry card, sweet treat map, and a souvenir hot cocoa mug at Blumen Gardens, 403 Edward St. Eighteen chocolate shopping stops include hot chocolate, chocolate covered candy canes, chocolate martinis, homemade chocolate marshmallows and chocolate donuts.

Participants also have a chance to win one of two $100 Holiday shopping sprees or a chocolate gift basket valued at over $500. More Information is available online at



Downers Grove

EVENT: Gingerbread Festival

DATE: Friday, Nov. 29 to Sunday, Dec. 1

WHERE: Downtown Downers Grove

TIME: Friday, Nov. 29, 4:30 p.m. Tree Lighting Ceremony

EVENT INFO:  The three-day festival includes a Gingerbread Man Hunt each day. Other events include story time, small business expo, and photo opportunity with Gingerbread Boy and Girl. Breakfast with Santa will take place on Sunday, Dec. 1 at Pincone Cottage Tea House at 9 a.m., Ballydoyle Restaurant & Pub at 10:15 a.m., and Another Round Bar & Grill at 11:30 a.m.  Reservations required.

On Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. carriage rides will be available. More details at or 630-725-0991.

The Gingerbread Festival held over the weekend of Friday, Nov. 29 through Sunday, Dec. 1 gets Downers Grove into the holiday spirit. (Photo courtesy of Downtown Downers Grove)

EVENT: Merry and Bright: A Victorian Christmas

DATE:  Saturday, Dec. 14

TIME: 3 p.m.

WHERE: Downers Grove Museum, 831 Maple Ave.

EVENT INFO:  Learn about Victorian Christmas traditions, tour the holiday-decorated Victorian Blodgett House and visit with Santa. Stroll the park on a luminary walk, view holiday trees decorated by the community and warm up around a campfire and listen to Victorian-era carolers at this free event.

Resident groups and business are invited to decorate a holiday tree which will be judged by Downers Grove Park District Facebook followers.  More Information is available at—bright–a-victorian-christmas-3982145760.


Glen Ellyn

EVENT: Holiday Walk

DATE:  Friday Nov. 29

TIME:  6:30 p.m. Tree Lighting

7 to 8:30 p.m. Downtown shopping and Santa at the fire station

WHERE: Downtown Glen Ellyn

EVENT INFO:  Celebrate the holiday season as downtown Glen Ellyn Comes alive with twinkling lights, decorated storefront windows, the sounds of Christmas, and Santa lighting the Christmas Tree.   More Information available at or 630-460-0907.

EVENT: Holiday Treats

DATE:  Thursday, Dec. 5

TIME:  4 to 8 p.m.

WHERE:  Downtown Glen Ellyn

EVENT INFO:  As part of this festive event taking place in downtown Glen Ellyn, sweet-seekers collect custom made pre-wrapped holiday cookies from more than 15 local businesses.  The proceeds for the event benefit Metropolitan Family Services. More Information can be found at

Storefronts in downtown Glen Ellyn will be decked out in their holiday finest to entice shoppers of all ages during the annual Holiday Walk on Nov. 29. (Photo courtesy of Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce)


EVENT: Lights of Lisle,

Lisle Santa Train, and Santa Light Parade

DATE:  Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8

TIME:  Saturday, 3 to 8 p.m.


9:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.

WHERE: Various locations throughout Lisle

EVENT INFO: Over two days, Lisle will celebrate the holiday season with a wide variety of events and activities held at numerous locations around Lisle including brick-oven baking, holiday wagon rides, blacksmithing, model railroad trains, crafts, ice carving demonstrations at The Museums at Lisle Station Park, 921 School St.

Santa will be at the Depot Museum following the parade.

The annual Memorial Luminary Illumination will take place at Villa St. Benedict.   In addition, thousands of luminarias will line the downtown streets and prairie walk pond. Main Street businesses will feature a holiday window walk, in-store events, holiday specials, and family-friendly games.

The Santa Light Parade will travel south on Main Street from School Street, along Burlington Avenue to Village Hall and then Santa continues to the Museums at Lisle Station Park to visit with children. Cookies and hot chocolate will be available in the Village Hall. Performances by Paryl Music Studio and the St. Joan of Arc Elementary Choir will take place in the Lisle Village Hall Board Room.

The lighting of the spruce tree in front of Village Hall at 6 p.m. will be followed by caroling and music performed by the Lisle Community Band.  Trolley rides through Downtown Lisle and the Prairie Walk will be available.

On Sunday, take a ride through Downtown Lisle on a holiday wagon from the Lisle Santa Train to The Museums at Lisle Station Park. Stephanie Boesso and piano students of Piano Frontiers Ensemble will perform at 1:30 p.m. Santa and live reindeer will be on hand from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

On Sunday at 9:45 a.m. and again at 1:45 p.m. the Lisle Santa Train will head to Chicago and back.  Advance tickets required. Tickets may be purchased via the Lisle Park District online registration site at

More Information is available at


EVENT: Jingle Bell Jubilee

DATE:  Saturday, Dec. 7

TIME:  4:45 to 7 p.m. Downtown Lombard businesses celebrate the holiday with decorated windows, games, treats and fun.

5:30 to 8 p.m. Tree Lighting and Santa’s arrival in Lilacia Park.

6 to 8 p.m. “A German Christmas” Candlelight Tours at the Victorian Cottage, refreshments, and live music.

6 and 7 p.m. Glenbard East Honors Strings performing two concerts in the sanctuary, crafts, coffee, and hot cocoa at Lombard Bible Church, 111 S. Park Ave.

6:10, 6:50 and 7:30 p.m.  Glenbard East Madrigals Singers show.

6:30 to 8 p.m. Sing-along at Maple Street Chapel.

5 to 8 p.m. Cookie Walk at Calvary Episcopal Church.

WHERE:  Various locations around Lombard

EVENT INFO:   Enjoy the sights and sounds of the holidays across Lombard with many activities and events include live performances and a chance for a photo opportunity with Santa and Mrs. Claus.  More Information available at

Naper Settlement in downtown Naperville will host a Yuletide Festival
on the weekend of Friday, Dec. 6 through Sunday, Dec. 8. (Photo courtesy of


EVENT: Holiday Open House

DATE:  Saturday, Nov. 16 and Sunday, Nov. 17

TIME: 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: Downtown Naperville

EVENT INFO:  Wander through the shops in Downtown Naperville for early-bird holiday savings. Enjoy musical entertainment, lively decorations and special sales and surprises at many downtown shops. Visit  for more Information.


EVENT: Naper Lights

DATE: Tuesday, Nov. 26 to Friday, Dec. 27

TIME:  4 to 9 p.m., daily

WHERE: 120 Water St., Naperville

EVENT INFO: Naperville Sunrise Rotary, in partnership Marquette and Ryan Hill Group presents the annual Naper Lights event at a new location on Water Street and along Naperville’s Riverwalk.  The event is free.  More Information available at


EVENT: Little Friends Holiday Parade of Lights 2019

DATE: Friday, Nov. 29

TIME: 7 p.m.

WHERE:  Downtown Naperville

EVENT INFO:  The annual holiday parade will step off from Jackson Avenue at Mill Street and end at Naper School.  The parade’s main stage will be at Jefferson and Webster.  Immediately following the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit with kids inside the Santa House at Jackson Avenue and Webster Street on the Riverwalk.  More Information available at


EVENT: 58th Annual Cup of Cheer House Walk,

Holiday Market & Tea

DATE:   Thursday, Dec. 5 and Friday, Dec. 6

TIME: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHERE:  Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873,

908 W. Jackson

EVENT INFO: Tour four Naperville homes decorated for the holidays. Enjoy the Tea with homemade cookies and receive a commemorative teacup and saucer. Shop the Holiday Market for artisan items to help with your own holiday decorating. The market is open to the public without an event ticket on Friday, Dec. 6 from noon to 4 p.m.  More Information is available at


EVENT: Yuletide Festival

DATE:  Friday, Dec. 6 to Sunday, Dec. 8

Friday, Dec. 13 to Sunday, Dec. 15

Friday, Dec. 20 to Sunday, December 22

TIME:  Fridays, 2 to 10 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

WHERE: Naper Settlement, 523 S Webster St., Naperville

EVENT INFO:  The first three weekends of December are filled with holiday cheer at Naper Settlement.  Family-friendly holiday fun includes hot cocoa and mulled wine bar, live holiday music and caroling, holiday lights, large gingerbread house, ice carving demonstrations, crafts and holiday treats.  More Information available at

West Chicago

EVENT: Christmas on the Farm

DATE: Saturday, Dec. 7

TIME: 1:30-3:30 p.m.

WHERE: Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road


Learn the history of popular traditions, take a photo with Santa in his sleigh, sing carols around the warming fire, enjoy cookies and hot apple cider. All ages. Free admission. No registration. Information: 630-876-5900.

The arrival of Santa Lucia is much anticipated as the one who lights the Great Tree on the lawn of the old Kane County courthouse as part of the Geneva Christmas Walk celebration on Friday, Dec. 6. (Photos courtesy of city of Geneva)


EVENT: Living Wheaton Christmas Parade and Festival

DATE: Friday, Nov. 29 and Saturday, Nov. 30

TIME: 5 p.m. Tree Lighting at City Hall

6 p.m. Parade

WHERE:  Downtown Wheaton on Front St.

EVENT INFO: A time honored tradition, Wheaton comes together to celebrate the coming of Christmas with a hometown parade and tree lighting. Throughout the holiday season on Saturdays beginning on Nov. 30, families can enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, cookie decorating, music, carolers, and other live holiday entertainment. Visit for more Information.



EVENT: Winter Lights Aurora

DATE: Friday, Nov. 22

TIME: 6 to 9 p.m.

WHERE:  Downtown Aurora, S. Stolp Avenue and E. Downer Place

EVENT INFO: Winter Lights kicks up the holiday season in Aurora with pop-up holiday shops, Santa and Mrs. Claus, costumed characters, parade, tree-lighting, award presentations and fireworks. More Information available at

EVENT: Holiday Express Special Needs Night,

DATE: Friday, Dec. 6

TIME: 5 TO 8 p.m

WHERE: Blackberry Farm, 100 Barnes Road, Aurora

EVENT INFO:  Blackberry Farm is a winter wonderland amid thousands of twinkling lights, festive holiday decorations and happy holiday music. Take a ride on the Holiday Express train – a charming tour around scenic Lake Gregory – and enjoy a hay wagon ride. Back in the historic pioneer village, you’ll enjoy crafts, a reindeer food bar, story readings of holiday classics at the one-room schoolhouse and…a special visit with Santa. Food and drinks available for purchase. Information: 630-892-1550.



EVENT: Celebration of Lights

WHEN:  Sunday, Dec.  1

TIME:  5 p.m. Batavia Community Band

5:15 p.m. Community sing-a-long led by Craig Foltos, Foltos Tonsorial Parlor

5:30 p.m. Arrival of Santa, Welcome by Mayor Schielke and Ceremonial Tree Lighting

5:45 p.m. Santa’s Warming House

6 p.m. Batavia Depot Museum’s Light Up the Bank

6:15 p.m. Story Hour hosted by the Batavia Public Library

WHERE:  Batavia Riverwalk

EVENT EVENT INFO: The festival, presented by the Batavia Park District in partnership with the City of Batavia and the Batavia Police Department rings in the season with performances by local community groups, visits with Santa, free hayrides with food or $1 cash donation (proceeds directly benefit the Batavia Food Pantry), free roasted chestnuts, a family photo opportunity, holiday crafts inside City Council Chambers, and old fashioned ornament making for children of all ages at the Depot Museum.

Holiday trees decorated by local organizations and business can be viewed at Christmas Tree Lane. Visit for more Information.



EVENT: Winter Wonderland

DATE: Saturday, Dec. 7

TIME: 2 to 6 p.m.

WHERE: Downtown Elgin

EVENT INFO: Elgin’s Winter Wonderland includes holiday craft market, food trucks, live music, carriage rides, live nativity and petting zoo, and photos with Santa. More Information available at



EVENT: Elburn Chamber Christmas Stroll

DATE:  Saturday, Dec. 7

TIME: 4 to 8 p.m.

WHERE: Main Street, Elburn

EVENT INFO: For the 25th year, the stroll will be kicking off the holiday season in downtown Elburn. More Information is available at

The horse-drawn carriages are tradition in the downtown Geneva shopping district during the holiday season. (Photo by Judy Harvey/Chronicle Media)


EVENT: Christmas Walk

DATE: Friday, Dec. 6

TIME:  6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

WHERE: Downtown Geneva (in front of the old courthouse)

EVENT INFO: Geneva’s annual Christmas festival will commence with the first candy cane of the season being presented to the mayor of Geneva.  Other events include the arrival of Santa Lucia who lights the Great Tree, followed by the arrival of Santa Claus.  The evening also includes roasted chestnuts, strolling carolers, a live nativity, and special offerings from Geneva merchants. Free carriage rides are offered on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.  More Information available at


EVENT: Steeple Walk

DATE: Sunday, Dec. 8

TIME: 2 to 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Downtown Geneva

EVENT INFO: The Steeple Walk is a rare opportunity to sample several holiday musical performances at some of Geneva’s beautiful churches. The Steeple Walk consists of four, 20-minute performances, each at a different church within walking distance of each other in downtown Geneva.  Tickets and more Information are available at


St. Charles

EVENT: Holiday Homecoming

DATE: Friday, Nov. 29 to Saturday, Nov. 30

TIME:  Friday, 5 p.m. Lighting of the Lights

Saturday, 9 a.m. Christmas Sing-A-Long and

Free Holiday Movie at Arcada Theatre

1 to 4:30 p.m. Free Horse-drawn trolley rides

1 to 5 p.m. Live Holiday Window Displays

5:30 p.m. Electric Christmas Parade

WHERE: Downtown St. Charles

EVENT INFO: This weekend-long event features seasonal music, holiday movies, sleigh rides and lighted parade floats that light up Main Street between Sixth Street and Fourth Avenue.  On Saturday, downtown St. Charles businesses come alive as local dance companies put on live Holiday displays in downtown businesses windows.   The event culminates with an electric Christmas Parade on Main Street.  Visit for more Information.


Sugar Grove

EVENT: Holiday in The Grove

DATE:  Saturday, Dec. 7


WHERE:   Sugar Grove

EVENT INFO: Various locations around Sugar Grove will come alive for the holiday season and include Breakfast with Santa, Candy Cane Lane, carriage rides, a craft fair and a ceremonial tree lighting.  Visit for more Information.

Downtown Oswego storefronts will be all decked out in their holiday finest for the annual Christmas Walk on Friday, Dec. 6. (Photo courtesy of village of Oswego)



EVENT: Tree Lighting

DATE:  Sunday, Dec.  1

TIME: 5 p.m.

WHERE: Village Hall

EVENT INFO: The event features Santa Claus, musical performances by area school children and free refreshments. Village Hall is filled with decorated trees provided by local businesses.  Residents are invited to vote for their favorite tree.  More Information available at



EVENT: Oswego Christmas Walk

DATE:  Friday, Dec. 6

TIME: 5 to 8:30 p.m.

5 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Visit with Santa at Fox River Academy of Music and Art

5:30 p.m. Tree lighting ceremony

8 p.m. Illuminated fire truck parade

WHERE:  Downtown Oswego

EVENT INFO: Downtown Oswego takes on a Seussian twist to welcome in the holiday season complete with a traditional tree-lighting ceremony, Belgian horse-drawn wagon rides, skating on a faux ice rink, ice sculptor demonstrations, a giant inflatable sled hill, Toyland train, games, crafts, giveaways, and prizes. More Information can be found at


EVENT: Annual Cookie Walk

DATE:  Saturday, Dec.  7

TIME: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHERE: Downtown Oswego

EVENT INFO:  Purchase a tin for $10 in advance at participating businesses and collect freshly baked cookies from participating downtown shops. A limited number of tins are for sale beginning on Monday, Nov.  25. Visit for more Information.

Fireworks will top off the evening during Yorkville’s annual Winter Wonderland Festival at Riverfront Park along the Fox River on Saturday, Nov. 23. (Photo courtesy of


EVENT: Winter Wonderland Festival

DATE: Saturday, Nov. 23

TIME: 5 p.m. Community Performances

5:30 p.m. Holiday parade

5:45 p.m. Tree lighting ceremony

6 p.m. Fireworks

WHERE: Fox River near Riverfront Park, 131 E Hydraulic Ave.

EVENT INFO: Kick off the holiday season with this fun, family event at the Circle Center Grade School’s annual Winter Wonderland Festival at the Circle Center Grade School from 11a.m. to 3 p.m.  The school will host carnival games, bake sale, shopping circles, concessions, and of course Santa Claus from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Most activities and purchases (excluding the shopping circles) require tickets.  Pre-sale tickets can be purchased for the Winter Wonderland Festival by going to

Then, the City of Yorkville hosts its Holiday Celebration Downtown Events at Riverfront Park for a holiday parade. A Tree lighting will follow the parade and end with fireworks. For more Information on the Holiday Celebration Downtown Events, please contact the Yorkville Parks and Recreation Department at 630-553-4357.


EVENT: Christmas on the farm

DATE: Sunday, Dec. 8 and Sunday, Dec. 15

TIME:  1 to 4 p.m.

WHERE: Lyon Farm, 7935 Illinois Route 71

EVENT INFO: Lyon Farm opens for an old- fashioned Christmas that includes crafts, treats, chestnut roasting, visits with Santa Claus.  Admission is $4 per person. More Information available at