THROUGH DEC. 23
Christmas at Abbey Farms, 2855 Hart Road, Aurora. Join in the tradition of hunting for your very own Abbey-Farms-grown Christmas tree or select a fresh pre-cut fir tree from Father Andrews’ family in upper Michigan. WWhether it’s Christmas trees, the Pine Tree Cafe, the yummy bakery or a tractor ride Abbey Farms is the place to grow memories and traditions. Information: 630-966-7775.
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Drury Lane Theatre, Oak Brook Terrace. Continue the holiday tradition of gathering the whole family for our heartwarming production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the classic tale of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge. Information and tickets: 630-530-0111.
THROUGH DEC. 24
Christkindlmarket Naperville, Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., free admission. Experience a traditional German holiday market with the sights, sounds, smells and gifts. The market will feature 40 vendors as well as warm walk-in cabins. German food and imported German beers or gluhwein (hot spiced wine) in collectible souvenir mugs will be sold. Information: christkindlmarket.com/naperville/.
THROUGH DEC. 26
Festival of Lights @ Phillips Park, Phillips Park, 1000 Ray Moses Dr., Aurora, free, donations encouraged. One of the largest free outdoor drive-through holiday light displays in Northern Illinois, the Aurora Festival of Lights, returns for its 12th year with even more dazzling displays that will delight both adults and children. Santa will be at the Visitors Center on selected dates and times. Information: 630-256-3750.
THROUGH DEC. 30
Cosby Zoo Winter Wonderland, Wheaton. Thousands of twinkling lights, an amazing selection of Christmas trees for purchase, hot chocolate and holiday gifts are featured at the annual Festival of Lights and Tree Sale. Families can also skip the long line at the mall and bring their children to visit Santa at the zoo on Nov. 24, Dec. 1 or Dec. 8. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., crafts, refreshments and a visit with the an in red will take place on the second floor of the barn in the Kiebler Room. Zoo admission is free during the Festival of Lights and Tree Sale. Santa’s Craft Corner is $5 per family and $3 for a printed photo with Santa. No registration required.
NOV. 16-DEC. 30
Community Trees, Cantigny Park – Robert R. McCormick House, 1S151 Winfield Road. Wheaton. Seven local non-profits received a donation of $2,500 to decorate a tree and spread the word about their organizations. Vote for your favorite tree! The organization with the most votes by the end of the season will get another donation from the McCormick Foundation. Free admission with parking fee. Information: 630-668-5161.
THROUGH DEC. 31
Mooseheart Holiday Lights, $10 per vehicle admission. The residential childcare facility, which has served as home for thousands of children and teens in need, will be sparkling this holiday season with more than 80 large lighted holiday displays. Santa Claus will appear on Dec. 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23. Admission fee supports Mooseheart and includes the holiday light show and also a chance to visit with Santa and enjoy crafts, holiday music, hot chocolate and Christmas cookies in the school gymnasium.
Festival of Lights, The Promenade Bolingbrook, 631 East Boughton Road. A total of 250,000 LED lights twinkle, sparkle and dance to more than 20 different Holiday songs. Shows on the hour beginning at 5 p.m. Free admission. Information: 630-296-8350.
THROUGH JAN. 1 2019
Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, will transform 50 acres of the Arboretum’s trees to glow in hues of blue, green, purple, and magenta. Along a one-mile path, visitors will experience a set of unique ways to see trees. Tickets are available for specific times, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Admission ends at 8:30 p.m. Tickets range from $7-$23 depending on age, time and Arboretum membership status.
THROUGH JAN. 6, 2019
The Wizard of Oz, Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. When a twister hits, Dorothy Gale is whisked away to the wonderful world of Oz, a fantastical place full of munchkins, a cowardly lion, a tin man with no heart, a living scarecrow … and a wicked witch that will do whatever it takes to stop Dorothy. Information: 630-896-6666.
NOV. 29-DEC. 30
The Second City’s Holiday Revue, Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. Chicago’s famed sketch and improv comedy theater comes back to Aurora with another hilarious take on the holidays. Information: 630-896-6666.
Oswego Christmas Walk. As part of the event, guests can help light the official tree, save it from the Grinch, take a ride on a horse-drawn carriage, ride the Toyland Train through downtown, and welcome Santa to Oswego during the Silent Light Parade.
Festival of Lessons and Carols, Elmhurst College – Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel, 190 S. Prospect, Elmhurst, 4 and 7 p.m., free admission. An Elmhurst College tradition bridges the season of Advent and Christmastide. Held since 1961, the Festival consists of nine Scriptural readings that tell the story of the birth of the Messiah, interspersed with choral music. The Elmhurst College Concert Choir will perform time-honored songs to accompany each reading and set the holiday mood. Information:630-617-5186 Office of Communications.
NOV. 30-DEC. 2
Nutcracker All Jazzed Up, Bartlett Park District, 700 S. Bartlett Road, $9. Start a new holiday tradition with the production of The Nutcracker-All Jazzed Up, presented by the Bartlett Park District and Lisa’s School of Dance. Avoid the hustle and bustle of city driving and expensive city prices. Shows at 7 p.m. on Nov. 30, 2 and 7 p.m. on Dec. 1 and 2. Information: 630-540-4873 or visit http://bartlettparks.org/default.aspx
Holiday in the Grove, Sugar Grove Community Building, 151 Main St. Sugar Grove, 7:45 a.m.-2 p.m. The event that includes Breakfast with Santa and many other holiday activities throughout the day, which starts with the Ceremonial Tree Lighting at 7:45 a.m. followed by breakfast with Santa at the Community House and continues with a Sweet Shop at the United Methodist Church and a Crafts Show at the John Shields Elementary School. Information: 630-334-8570.
Hot Cocoa with Anna & Elsa at Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Rd., Aurora, 1:30-6:15 p.m. Join your favorite Frozen Sisters, Anna and Elsa, for a hot cocoa party complete with sing-a-long and photo opportunities. Information: 630-892-1550.
Elgin Winter Wonderland, Elgin Artspace Lofts, 51 S. Spring St., Elgin, 2-6 p.m. Winter Wonderland is a free event that features, Elgin’s official tree lighting ceremony, kid friendly activities at downtown businesses, a winter market inside Elgin Artspace Lofts, sleigh rides, pictures with Santa, food trucks and much more. Information: www.ElginWinterWonderland.com.
The Village of Lisle transforms into a winter wonderland including a tree lighting, ice carving, wagon and trolley rides, and thousands of Luminarias in the downtown streets. The Santa Light Parade begins at 4:30 on Dec. 1. In addition to cookies and hot chocolate, the Burlington Square Trolley stop will house Toasty Cheese, Big Rig, and Little Red Donut Food Trucks.
WinterFest at Randall Oaks Zoo, 1180 N. Randall Road, West Dundee, noon. Join the animals at WinterFest! There will be holiday lights, decorations, bonfires, cookie decorating & Christmas Trees for sale. Santa visits Saturdays & Sundays from noon-5:00 pm. Live reindeer on Sundays from 2-4 pm. Regular admission applies.
The Nutcracker, Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin, 7-9 p.m. on Dec. 2, 2 p.m. on Dec. 2. Chicago Ballet Conservatory presents the holiday favorite featuring the Elgin Symphony Orchestra led by Stephen Squires, Resident Conductor, and professional dancers and actors from around the world.
Santa on Broadway, various times. Santa is stopping by shops along Broadway in downtown Aurora, free. Children can enjoy a visit and pictures with Santa from noon to 3 p.m. at the following locations: Dec. 1, Santa will visit La Quinta de los Reyes, 36 E. New York St.; Dec. 8, Santa will stop by Cinco de Mayo, 102 N. Lake St.; Dec. 15, Santa will be at the soon-to-open Tavern on Broadway, 24 N. Broadway; Dec. 7, Santa will stop by First Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m. and visit PME Cake, 35 N. Broadway. For more information about holiday events in downtown Aurora, visit www.auroradowntown.org.
Blackberry Farm Holiday Express, 100 S. Barnes Road, Aurora. The farm celebrates the season with approximately 60,000 glittering lights and festive activities including the presence of Santa and his elves as the decorated train runs continuously around Lake Gregory. The fun begins on Saturday Dec. 1 and 2 from 2 to 7 p.m. Other dates include Friday, Dec. 7 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8 and 9, Friday, Dec. 14 from 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15 and 16 from 2 to 7 p.m. The cost is $7 per person and tickets are available online through the Fox Valley Park District beginning on Nov. 13.
Montgomery Tree Lighting Ceremony & Santa Arrival, Montgomery Village Hall, 200 N. River St., Montgomery. Visitors will also enjoy free cookies and hot cocoa and see the brightly decorated Christmas trees at Montgomery City Hall. Information: 630-896-8080.
Christmas At The Farm, Lyon Farm, 7935 Illinois Route 71, Yorkville, 1-4 p.m. There will be crafts and goodies for the kids, a story teller, chestnut roasting, cookie icing and Santa Claus will be there too. Information: 630-553-6777.
Animal Encounters: Snakes at Red Oak Nature Center, 1385 N. River Rd., North Aurora, 1-2 p.m. Learn more about the animals that call Red Oak their home. Each month features a different animal. Registration fee goes towards care for the animals. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Evergreen Holidays 2018, Riverfront Park | 25 E. State St. | North Aurora, 4-6 p.m. Decorated, sponsored Christmas trees line the park pathway and holiday music fills the air. Free Activities include crafts, cookie walk, hot chocolate, popcorn and more. Make Evergreen Holidays a part of your holiday traditions.
Montgomery Festival of Trees, Village Hall, 200 N. River St. , Montgomery, business hours. The festival turns 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.
Oswego Holiday Express, South Point, 810 Preston Lane, Oswego, noon. Don your pajamas and board the trolley at Santa Station as you head to the top of the world. Warm up with some hot cocoa from the Village Grind, meet real reindeer and the man of the hour – Santa Claus. Trains depart every 20 minutes throughout your registered session. Information: 630-554-1010.
First Fridays Aurora, Downtown Aurora, various venues. Enjoy a festive night of art, fun, music, dance, and community at local businesses and venues in downtown Aurora on the first Friday evening of the month. Multiple venues in downtown Aurora open with art, music, and more. Free entrance, free art viewing, free trolley rides, free fun.
Geneva Christmas Walk, downtown, 6 p.m. Come celebrate the holiday season Geneva-style with the Christmas Walk. The festivities begin in front of the Kane County Courthouse with the arrival of Santa Lucia, the first candy cane, the lighting of the Great Tree, visits with Santa Claus, carriage rides, shopping, carolers, live nativity and more.
The Doo Wop Project: A Doo Wop Christmas Show , Belushi Performance Hall, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, 7:30 p.m., $50-$60. Featuring stars from Broadway’s smash hits Jersey Boys and Motown: The Musical with their hot band, The Doo Wop Project brings authenticity of sound and vocal excellence to recreate – and in some cases entirely reimagine – some of the greatest music in American pop and rock history.
Geneva Holiday House Tour, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Dec. 7 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Dec. 8. Tour features five architecturally unique homes decked with boughs of holly and festive Christmas décor. Tickets are $35 per person and include a traditional holiday tea at the First Congregational Church, 327 Hamilton St.
Lightwire Theater: A Very Electric Christmas, Fermilab’s Ramsey Auditorium, Kirk Rd. & Pine St., Batavia.
Brighten your holidays with Lightwire’s A Very Electric Christmas. Audiences of all ages will treasure this magical tale of family, friendship and hope set to timeless holiday hits. Lightwire Theatre creates magical, multi-dimensional neon puppetry-based characters with light, wire, and creative artistry. Information: 630-840-2787.
Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue, Belushi Performance Hall, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, 7:30 p.m., $32-$46. The show delivers a healthy dose of seasonal satire and is the perfect alternative to the same old holiday fare or the traditional (i.e. boring) office party. May contain adult language and themes.
Geneva Steeple Walk, four downtown Geneva churches, 2-4 p.m. A variety of seasonal concerts at four local churches. Two audience groups will attend 20-minute concerts played simultaneously and then switch venues to enjoy the other concert. Patrons will then walk to the final performances with a Steeple Walk guide, who shares information about the architecture of each site. Performers & ticket information at www.geneva.il.us/1080/Steeple-Walk
DEC. 9-JAN. 1
Annual Lehnertz Avenue Lights show,, near Garfield Park between Sheridan and Michels Streets, Aurora. Each home is decorated with a portion of the original Christmas story and includes wise men, camels, shepherds, and the manger scene. It’s a tradition that began in the 1950s, making it the oldest traditional Christmas display marking Jesus’s birth in Illinois. It is suggested that vehicles enter Lehnertz Avenue via Sheridan Street, follow through Lehnertz Circle and exit via Ohio Street.