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holiday events

Polar express storytime train

Geneva Train Station, 328 Crescent Pl, Geneva, IL

DATE: December 3 & 4, 2022 | 9:30am – 12pm and 1:30pm – 4pm

DETAILS: All aboard the Polar Express Storytime Train! Travel to the North Pole to pick up Santa & his friends. Then travel back with us to Geneva and have lunch/dinner. After we eat, each child will have the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap, give him their wish list, and have a picture taken. Families are encouraged to wear their pajamas and bring their holiday spirit! Pre-registration is required and space is limited.

COST: Ages 1 - 17: $35(NR $42), Ages 18+ $40(NR $48), infants under 1 are free


Christmas Walk

Downtown Geneva | Third Street and James Street

DATE: December 2, 2022 | 6pm - 9pm

DETAILS: Our annual Christmas Walk begins Christmas in Geneva with the arrival of Carolers, Santa Lucia and Santa Claus. The courthouse lawn becomes illuminated with lights, our Great Tree and we wish for HOPE for the season. Among the twinkling lights and fresh greenery lined streets you will find downtown Geneva to be a holiday destination overflowing with comfort and charm. Christmas Walk begins at 6 pm. Santa will arrive and the tree will be lit between 6-6:30 pm.

COST: FREE (fee applies for one on one time with Santa - see "Visit Santa" page for details!)


Holiday House TOur

 Various locations throughout Geneva, IL

DATE: December 2, 10am - 8pm; December 3, 10am - 5pm

DETAILS: Enjoy five lovely, exquisite Geneva homes decorated in holiday splendor by local decorators. These homes will open to visitors for self-guided tours from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3.

COST: $38/ticket


gingerbread barn raising

Sunset Community Center, 710 Western Ave. Geneva, IL

DATE: December 4, 2022 | 12:30pm - 2:30pm

DETAILS: Get your own gingerbread barn and start decorating! Enjoy hot cocoa and holiday music, while you and the family decorate your gingerbread barn to take home. Start a new holiday tradition! Registration includes your very own gingerbread barn, plus frosting, assorted candies and cookies for decorating! One registration covers the whole family (up to six people per barn). Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

COST: $72 R / $92 NR (for up to 6 people)


windy acres farm winterfest

Windy Acres Farm, 37w446 Fabyan Parkway, Geneva, IL

DATE: Saturdays and Sundays, December 3- 18, 2022 | 10am - 4pm (Santa reservations accepted for 11am - 3pm. No Santa on the 17th, the Grinch will be there instead!)

DETAILS: Local Vendors, Handmade Crafts, Food Trucks, Mulled Wine and Open Bar, Hot Chocolate Bar, Hot Cider, S’Mores Kits on the open fire, Wreaths, Roping, Door Swags, Holiday Greenery Arrangements, Hot Churros, Freshly Baked Fruit Pies, Windy Acres Holiday Train Ride Express, petting zoo pets, photo opportunities, fun for the whole family. Come out to the farm and visit Santa Claus, ride our Windy Acres Holiday Train Express, Letters to the North Pole & Smore’s!

COST: Free entry to craft fair, $12 per child, $8 per adult for Santa visits and train ride


Geneva Commons Christmas Tree Lighting & Holiday Celebration

Geneva Commons, 602 Commons Dr, Geneva, IL

DATE: November 25, 2022 | 6pm - 8pm

DETAILS: Welcome the Holiday Season with Our Christmas Tree Lighting!It’s a holly-jolly Geneva Commons Christmas celebration! Join us for a merry evening of family fun. We’ll have holiday lights and festive selfie stations, free hot chocolate and candy canes, and the lighting of the Christmas tree.



The Live Nativity: “Come and See”

Chapelstreet Church, 3435 Keslinger Rd, Geneva, IL

DATE: December 2 & 3, 2022 | 5:30pm - 8pm

DETAILS: Mark your calendars for this very special event! Join us for a wonderful, interactive walk through the Christmas story! Identical programs will be held on December 2nd and 3rd from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.



Holiday Movie Night at Playhouse 38

Playhouse 38, 321 Stevens St, Geneva, IL

DATE: December 8, 2022 | 6:30pm - 9pm

DETAILS: Join us for a special night of holiday magic as we watch The Polar Express on the big screen! Each child will also receive a Golden Ticket! Hot chocolate (“as thick and rich as melted chocolate bars”) will be served and additional snacks and non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase.

COST: $15/ticket


celebration of lights festival

Batavia Riverwalk

DATE: November 27, 2022 | 5pm - 7pm

DETAILS:  Experience the magic of Batavia with your family and friends! Stroll Christmas Tree Lane, featuring 25 holiday trees decorated by local organizations and businesses, and enjoy all the festive bright lights and sounds of the holiday season. Festival activities include the Mayor's tree lighting ceremony, free hayrides with a food donation to the Batavia Food Pantry, a community sing-a-long, a performance by The Batavia Community Band, a story hour, holiday craft activities and a family photo opportunity with Santa! The Depot Museum also will be hosting a special exhibit celebrating Batavians' holiday traditions.



holiday homecoming lighting of the lights

First St. Plaza, St. Charles, IL

DATES:  November 25, 2022 | 5pm

DETAILS: Lighting of the Lights, sponsored by Solutions Networking, will be in the 1st Street Plaza. Come and celebrate the lighting of the lights while kicking-off the holiday season with the community! Even Santa will be there to meet and take pictures with everyone after the ceremony!



st. charles

electric parade

Downtown St. Charles, Main Street Route, St. Charles, IL

DATE: November 26, 2022 | 5:30pm

DETAILS:  Come down to downtown St. Charles and see the beautifully decorated floats in the Electric Christmas Parade between 6th Street and 4th Avenue. There will also be live bands, and a special guest, Santa Claus! The three categories for this year's parade are: business, non-profit, and children.


st. charles

flashlight candy cane hike

Hickory Knolls Discovery Center | 3795 Campton Hills Dr., St. Charles, IL

DATE: December 16, 2022 | Time slots from 4pm - 6:45pm

DETAILS: Explore the woods and prairie on a winter’s eve. Take a hike along a candy cane decorated path as you solve a puzzle to receive a goody bag! Then head inside Hickory Knolls for warm beverages and a make & take craft.

COST: $12 per person

st. charles

Jingle bell bash (ages 50+)

The Arcada Theater, 105 E. Main Street, St. Charles

DATE: December 2, 2022 | 11:30am - 3pm

DETAILS:  What a bright time, it's the right time to share holiday cheer with friends in the Speakeasy at The Arcada. Dancing, socializing, and merriment! Entertainment provided by Edizon Dayao. Enjoy a delicious plated dinner. Cash bar will be available. Ages 50+

COST: $45 Member, $68 Non-Member

st. charles

letter from the north pole


DATE: Ongoing, November 21 - December 7, 2022

DETAILS: Ho! Ho! Ho! Add to the excitement of Christmastime’s holiday magic with a letter from Santa Claus, all the way from his workshop at the North Pole. Letters will be mailed after December 12.

COST: $5 per letter

st. charles

candlelight at the durant house

Durant House Museum, LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, 37W700 Dean Street, St. Charles, IL

DATE: December 3 & 4, 2022 | 3pm - 7pm

DETAILSStep back and time and enjoy the sights, tastes, and smells of the holidays in 19th-century Illinois. This is the only time of the year when the museum is open after dark and lit entirely by candlelight! Enjoy holiday music, the smell of fresh cut evergreens, the crackle of fire, and flicker of candlelight as you stroll through the historic Durant House Museum. Outside the house, warm yourself by a bonfire and enjoy hot cider and light snacks. Then, head over to Sholes School for a lesson and hands-on activities

COST: $3/person for adults | $1/children 18 and under

st. charles

Down Home Christmas at Primrose Farm

Primrose Farm, 5N726 Crane Rd, St. Charles, IL

DATE: December 10, 2022 | 11am

DETAILS: Get into the holiday spirit old-fashioned-style down on the farm. Greet the year-round animal residents and learn about winter chores. String popcorn and trim the tree. Enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and a warm outside fire. Advance registration required. Ages 3+

COST: $8

st. charles

candlelight at the inn

Garfield Farm Museum, 3N016 Garfield Rd, La Fox, IL

DATE: December 4, 2022 | 3pm - 7pm

DETAILS: Candlelight at the Inn returns to Garfield Farm Museum on Sunday, December 4th from 3-7 pm after a two-year absence. Interpreters wearing period clothing will share with guests what life was like for people during the height of the horse and wagon era. There is no charge for the Candlelight event, but donations are most welcome.

COST: FREE (but donations accepted)!

la fox

wheaton christmas parade

Downtown Wheaton, Wheaton Ave & Front St, Wheaton, IL

DATE: November 25, 2022 | 6pm

DETAILS: The tradition continues; join us for the annual Wheaton Christmas Parade for a magical evening of lights, music, and community Downtown Wheaton.​ Immediately following the parade, head over to the new south pavilion for the first-ever Downtown Wheaton Christmas Tree Lighting! Featuring live musical performances, goodies for the kids, two special guests to light the tree, and more!



Naper Lights

Downtown Naperville, throughout the Water Street District and along the Riverwalk

DATE: Daily November 24, 2022 - January 1, 2023

DETAILS: Naper Lights, a holiday light display, will be creating a Winter Wonderland at Water Street. The display, a gift to the community organized by Naperville Sunrise Rotary, features several giant holiday lights displays, decorated light poles, and trees synchronized to holiday music, The event is free to the public and donations to Naperville Sunrise Rotary are welcomed. Visit Santa on Friday and Saturday evenings. Take your Christmas card family photo!



winter lights, parade, and fireworks

Downer Place, from Water Street to River Street, Aurora, IL

DATE: November 18, 2022 | 6pm; Parade steps-off at 6:30pm

DETAILS:  As the City of Aurora's official kick-off to the holiday season, this free family-friendly event will be filled with merry-making moments and a sleigh full of fun for the entire family. Stepping off at 6:30 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will usher in the holiday season with an illuminated parade filled with reindeer, elves, special guests and other holiday favorites! Following the Parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with Mayor Irvin and the newly-crowned Little Mr. and Miss Aurora, will lead the crowd in a countdown to flip the magic switch and illuminate the City's holiday tree! After the tree lighting, the downtown Aurora sky will be brightened by a grand fireworks display along the banks of the Fox River



cocoa crawl

Various locations - Downtown Aurora, IL

DATE: December 2, 2022 | 5pm - 9pm

DETAILS: Drink hot cocoa! It's time for Aurora Downtown's Cocoa Crawl on Friday, Dec 2 from 5 to 9 p.m. The event is part of First Fridays. To enjoy hot cocoa samples at participating businesses, guests will need a mug and button. Want to Cocoa Crawl with us? We hope so! Just make sure you get a mug and a button before they are sold out. They sell out every year. We only sell a limited amount to keep the event amazing and the cocoa flowing! This year, we listened to your feedback. We are selling an exclusive red TO-GO mug with a lid. The button will act as your ticket to the Cocoa Crawl. Have a mug from a previous Aurora Downtown Cocoa Crawl? Just purchase a button and use your old mug. Ages 12 and under do not need a button.

COST: Mug + button = $20 | Mug only = $18 | Button only = $10


Christkindlmarket at RiverEdge Park

360 N. Broadway, Aurora IL

DATE: November 18 - December 24, 2022 | Thursdays: 11am – 7pm, Fridays & Saturdays: 11am – 9pm, Sundays: 11am – 6pm *Special Hours on Monday (Dec 19) – Wednesday (Dec 21): 11am – 7pm, Thanksgiving (Nov 24) & Christmas Eve (Dec 24): 11am – 4pm

DETAILS: The Christkindlmarket Chicago is the most authentic traditional holiday market of its kind outside of Europe, offering a unique shopping experience, family-friendly events & intercultural activities.

COST: Mug + button = $20 | Mug only = $18 | Button only = $10


hot cocoa with anna + elsa

Blackberry Farm, 100 S Barnes Rd, Aurora, IL

DATE: December 3, 10, 17, 2022 | Time slots from 1:30pm - 5:30pm

DETAILS:  Join your favorite Frozen Sisters, Anna and Elsa, for a hot cocoa party complete with sing-a-long and photo opportunities. Each registered attendant is also invited to come early or stay after to enjoy all Holiday Express has to offer! You won’t want to miss the train, visit with Santa and all of the festive decorations! All attendees ages 1 and up (including adults) must purchase a ticket. All ticket sales are final. Time slots occur each hour starting at 1:30pm.

COST: $12 per participant


storytime with the grinch

Blackberry Farm, 100 S Barnes Rd, Aurora, IL

DATE: December 4, 11, 18, 2022 | Time slots from 1:30pm - 5:30pm

DETAILS:  Visit with the Grinch and enjoy cookies and hot cocoa. There will be story time and photo opportunities. Each registered attendant is also invited to enjoy all Holiday Express has to offer, come early or stay after depending on your ticket time, Holiday Express runs 2-7pm. You won’t want to miss the train, visit with Santa and all of the festive decorations! Everyone ages 1 and up need to purchase a ticket. Time slots occur each hour starting at 1:30pm.

COST: $12 per participant


Blackberry Farm Holiday Express

Blackberry Farm, 100 S Barnes Rd, Aurora, IL

DATE: Thursdays, December 1, 8, and 15: 5 to 8pm | Fridays, December 9 and 16: 5 to 8pm | Saturdays & Sundays, December 3-4, 10-11, and 17-18: 2 to 7pm | Sensory friendly night on December 2

DETAILS: Bring the family for a magical and memorable experience – just like visiting the North Pole! 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, too. 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!

COST: $8 per participant


Obscurity Kris Kringle Market

Warehouse on North, 113 W N St, Elburn, IL

DATE: November 25 - 27, December 3 - 4, 10 - 11, 17 - 18, 2022 | Times Vary - see link for details

DETAILS: Obscurity's Kris Kringle Market held in The Warehouse on North (just west of Obscurity Brewing) will feature dozens of vendors for you to shop and support local businesses! Stop in for lunch and stay to shop around! The American Legion will be out in our parking lot with their Christmas Tree Farm!



Elburn Christmas stroll

Main Street, Elburn, IL

DATE: December 3, 2022 | 4pm - 7pm

DETAILS: Join us on Dec. 3rd, from 4-7pm in Downtown Elburn, IL for the 28th Annual Elburn Chamber Christmas Stroll! Enjoy the start of the holiday season with holiday themed activities, the 50/50 Raffle, and much more! Enjoy the downtown lights, shops on Main Street, events at the Community Center and Library, and the Kris Kringle Market at Obscurity Brewing!



dickens in dundee & Spirit of Christmas parade

The Depot, 319 N. River Street, West Dundee, IL

DATE: December 2, 2022 | 5:45pm - 9pm; Parade December 3, 2022 | 7pm

DETAILS: Dickens in Dundee was formed in 1988. It began as a small community gathering, with caroling and the search for Tiny Tim’s crutch in local stores. With the support of local businesses, this event has grown significantly and attracts people from all over the Dundee area.


This year’s Dickens in Dundee will take place on Friday, December 2nd from 5:45-9:00 pm, with a Holiday Lights Parade to follow on Saturday, December 3rd at 7 pm. All of East Dundee's activities will take place near The Depot located at 319 N. River Street and the surrounding downtown area.


  • 𝟓:𝟒𝟓 𝐏𝐌: Tree Lighting and Live Music by Kimberlyrics Choir

  • 𝟔-𝟖 𝐏𝐌: Those Funny Little People Toy Making Elves

  • 𝟔-𝟗 𝐏𝐌: Visits with Santa (FREE hot chocolate and cookies will be served) Living Windows The Frozen Robins Caroling Quartet The Frozen Fab Four (Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf) Live Reindeer and Magical Reindeer Display by Santa's Village

  • FREE Horse-drawn Carriage Rides


east dundee

santa's village magical drive-thru experience

Santa's Village Azoosment Park, 601 Dundee Ave, East Dundee, IL

DATE: November 25 - 27, 30; December 1 - 4, 7 - 11, 14 - 23, 2022 | 5pm - 9pm (select nights are open until 10pm)

DETAILS: Begin your holiday season with a one-of-a-kind, drive-thru experience at Santa’s Village. Santa’s helpers have been busy transforming our park into a festive winter wonderland. Enjoy over 2 million lights synchronized to holiday music, dazzling displays, live animals, and Santa, himself, as you drive through our park, all from the comfort of your car. Socially safe and set up for any weather. At the end of your drive-thru experience, you’ll be able to purchase funnel cakes and hot chocolate while taking in the breathtaking view of our park.

COST: $30 per vehicle advanced purchase ($35 at the gate)

East dundee

winterfest at randall oaks zoo

Randall Oaks Zoo, 1180 N Randall Rd, West Dundee, IL

DATE: December 3-4, 10-11, and 17-18, 2022 | 12-8pm

DETAILS: It’s the most magical time of the year! Experience the zoo all dressed up in holiday lights! Enjoy holiday lights and decorations around our barns and animals, a bonfire, community tree sponsorships, and the Big Guy himself visit from 1-4 pm each day! Event activities are subject to change and are weather dependent. Holiday Lights and Decorations | Caroling to the animals every Saturday at 6:00 pm | Santa Visits – 1:00-4:00 pm | Bonfire

COST: $4.25 per resident | $5 per non-resident | Children ages 1 and under: FREE | Randall Oaks Zoo Members: FREE | United States Military with ID: FREE

west dundee

downtown oswego christmas walk

Main Street, Oswego

DATE: December 2, 2022 | 4:30pm - 8:30pm

DETAILS: The Oswego Christmas Walk, an annual downtown tradition, returns along Main Street in downtown Oswego to kick off the 2022 holiday season with festive food, games, and songs of the season. Visit with Santa!



gingerbread drink + decorate

Fox Valley Winery, 59 Main St, Oswego, IL

DATE: December 6, 12, 13, 2022 | 6:30pm - 8:30pm

DETAILS: Take a gingerbread break this holiday season. Leave the kids at home for this adult only evening of candy coated creative exterior decorating. Each registration includes a “holiday spirit” from the Fox Valley Winery and nibbles while you work. Fee is per person and includes a gingerbread house and decorations. Registration deadline is Wednesday, December 7.

COST: $29 resident, $39 non-resident


holiday express

South Point, 810 Preston Lane, Oswego, IL

DATE: December 9, 4:30pm - 7:30pm, December 10 and 11, 2pm - 7:30pm

DETAILS: The tradition returns this holiday season! Oswego Holiday Express will leave the Santa Station (South Point, 810 Preston Lane, Oswego) for the North Pole the weekend of December 9 -11. All aboard to kiddos, young and old! Put on your pajamas, don your warmest apparel, and head to the top of the world on a magical journey. Mrs. Claus will greet you, you’ll enjoy hot cocoa from the Village Grind and meet Santa! Each participant, from Grandma to the baby, must be registered. Trains depart every 20 minutes throughout your registered session. Refunds accepted until December 5. Non-resident registration begins November 1. Wheelchair-accessible trains will only be available on Friday evening.

COST: $25 for resident, $35 for non-resident


Holly Days Downtown Elgin

Festival Park, 132 S Grove Ave, Elgin, IL

DATE: November 26, 2022 | 10am - 6pm

DETAILS: Holly Days kicks-off on Small Business Saturday (November 26) and continues throughout the month of December. Components of this month-long event will include window art created by local artists featuring family-friendly holiday imagery and special events such as the Holiday Cheers Beverage Crawl on Small Business Saturday, November 26, Holiday Tree Lighting, Santa sighting, caroling, a pop-up market, and more. This event was designed to coincide with Small Business Saturday to encourage visitors to holiday shop and dine in Downtown Elgin throughout the entire holiday season to support local businesses. A special Holiday Giving Guide will help shoppers find gifts for everyone on their list!

COST: FREE (Holiday Beverage Crawl is $25 - $40)


The Polar Express Train

Jon Duerr Forest Preserve, 35W003 Route 31, South Elgin, IL

DATE: November 26 & 27, December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, and 18, 2022 at 3:00pm, 4:15pm, 5:30pm, and 6:45pm.

DETAILS: Chris Van Allsburg's book The Polar Express comes to life when the train pulls out of the station with your family on board! The train will transport you to the “North Pole” where Santa will be waiting. Experience the joy of watching the children's faces when the train arrives at the North Pole. At the North Pole, Santa will board the train. There will be caroling, sing-alongs with professional musicians making this what will surely become an annual holiday tradition for the whole family. Must reserve in advance.

COST: $44 per participant

south elgin

an almost winter day

SEBA Park, 151 S Water St, South Elgin, IL

DATE: November 19, 2022 | 2pm - 6pm

DETAILS: Enjoy an outdoor family event at South Elgin's SEBA Park, 151 Water Street, Saturday, November 19, 2022 from 2-5pm. Make s'mores, decorate cookies, enjoy craft projects, get a balloon animal, drop-off a letter to Santa (and get a reply from the North Pole). The afternoon includes Asphalt Curling, an ice sculptor, bonfire, a tree decorating contest and giant sling shot fun. Plus...Santa arrives at 2pm and will stay until 4:45 for pictures (bring your camera). At 5pm, the event shifts to Panton Mill Park across the street for the Village Tree lighting. Also, this year, featuring fireworks rescheduled from the End of Summer Music Fling. And it's free* to the community! *note: concessions available at affordable prices


south elgin

Happy Holiday Railway

Illinois Railway Museum | 7000 Olson Road, Union, IL

DATE: Saturdays and Sundays, November 25th (Black Friday), 26th, 27th, December 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th, and 18th. Trips take place at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 4pm, 5pm and 6pm

DETAILS: Embark on a magical 40 minute train ride through the winter countryside with Santa Claus himself! Enjoy a 40-minute train ride for the whole family. See and visit with Santa Claus on the train. Treats and hot chocolate will be served. Gifts will be given to children on Santa’s “good list”! Holiday lights display at the boarding area including the biggest and brightest Christmas tree in McHenry County. Brand new for 2022: our indoor, heated Model Railroad Exhibit. See historic trains in the museum’s display barns 6, 7 and 9. Rides on historic Chicago streetcars included with your ticket. Free parking

COST: $22 per person


Visit live reindeer at whispering pines

2792 Shabbona Grove Road, Shabbona, IL

DATE: November 25th - 27th, 2022 | 10am - 3pm

DETAILS: Stop by to visit Santa, see his LIVE reindeer, and pick a beautiful tree! Photos with Santa available 11am - 2pm for $5 per person. Precut trees will be available on a first come, first serve basis!

COST: Free, but consider purchasing a Christmas Tree!


Montgomery Tree Lighting and Festival of Trees

2200 N River Street, Montgomery, IL

DATE: December 4, 2022 | 4:30pm - 7pm

DETAILS: The Village of Montgomery and the Greater Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual Tree Lighting in front of the Village Hall on the first Sunday in December. The event features Santa Claus's prompt arrival at 5P by the Montgomery-Countryside Fire District fire engine, musical performances by area school children and local singers, strolling carolers, free hot chocolate and cookies, kids giveaways, and a coloring contest sponsored by local River Street businesses. Participants should dress for the weather as most activities are outdoors. In addition to lighting the tree outside Village Hall, the Festival of Trees kicks off which includes trees decorated by residents, families, businesses, and organizations both indoors at Village Hall and outdoors along River Street (between Webster & Mill). All are invited. Bring the family to meet Santa, he arrives promptly at 5P and will be onsite until 7P for visits and pictures. Area residents are invited to bring the whole family to meet Santa, have cookies and cocoa and vote for their favorite tree.



Snowy Night

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A LOCAL'S GUIDE to St. Charles, Geneva, and Batavia, Illinois

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