It’s almost impossible to pick out ten events from the hundreds of local events listed in online directories. We think that you’ll agree that each of the events chosen are major happenings and will interest both children and adults. Happy Holidays!

Holidays of Light at the Museum of Science and Industry: For over ten years now, the Holidays of Light has featured different customs, traditions and festivals celebrated by other cultures in various countries around the world. For example, you can learn about and experience Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan and Diwali. During the holiday season there are special performances through December.

The Art Institute’s Holiday Gifts for the City- The Wreathing of the Lions is a much cherished holiday gift in Chicago. This year the 23rd Annual Wreathing of the Lions takes place on Friday, November 28th at 10am with all the appropriate fanfare and pageantry in front of the Art Institute.

Wonderland Express at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Friday, November 27th, 2015 – Sunday, January 3rd, 2016. Inside the Botanic Garden’s Regenstein Center you’ll find the Wonderland Express, an amazing model railroad created with all natural materials and decked out for the season with a million twinkling lights. Recreated are some of the best loved Chicago landmarks, historic buildings and sites along with the sights and sounds of miniature trains wending their way through this enchanting 10,000 square foot exhibition. As part of the Wonderland Express exhibition the Chicago Botanic Garden features different Chicago area carolers and other special events during the season.

Santa Claus on the CTA Holiday Train 2015. Admission: Normal fares apply. Every Christmas season, the Chicago Transit Authority gives the citizens of the Windy City the CTA Holiday train. This spectacular and beautifully lit up train with Santa and his elves, runs on different CTA routes from Friday, November 27th through Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015. The six car train can be seen coming from a long way off, with thousands of brightly colored lights festooning the cars. The interiors of the cars are gaily decorated with a plethora of multi-colored lights, garlands and red bows with poles wrapped to resemble candy-canes. Santa arrives on a sleigh in an open flatbed car in the middle of the train—which has been outfitted with reindeer, Christmas trees and luminous shining lights.

A Christmas Carol – Metropolis Performing Arts Centre 2015. December 11, 2015. Bob Cratchit recounts the tale of his miserly boss Ebenezer Scrooge, who greets every day with a firm “Bah-humbug!” and is consumed by his pursuit of money. A Christmas Eve visit from his old business partner Jacob Marley kicks off an evening of time travelling as Scrooge learns the errors of his past, the reality of the present, and the tragedy the future could hold. Recommended for Grades 1-12.

Windham Hill: A Winter’s Solstice Concert. James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts at the College of Lake County, Grayslake. December 8, 2015, 7:30 PM-9:30 PM. Classic and original holiday music for the entire family in celebration of Winter Solstice.  Celebrate the magic of the season via this stunningly pristine performance.

The Second City’s Holidazed – Metropolis Performing Arts Centre 2015. December 11, 2015. Hear the sound of bells a-jingling already.  Next thing you know dreidels are spinning and pumpkin-spiced everything is everywhere.  Holidazed bursts the monotony of the season with a riotous send-up of all things holiday.

Artistry in Motion: The Winter Spectacular 2015. Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, December 11, 2015-December 12, 2015. The annual Artistry in Motion Winter Spectacular, “12 Days of Dance”.  The park district’s award-winning dance company performs their 12th annual winter recital. Onstage in the beautiful Prairie Lakes Theater

Lincoln Park Zoo Lights, December 11, 2015, 4:30 PM-9:00 PM. ZooLights celebrates the winter festivities with more than two million lights illuminating the sky. The free event transforms Lincoln Park Zoo into a winter wonderland with visits from Santa himself, holiday crafts and activities, ice sculptors and sweet treats.

Mrs. Claus at Oney’s Tree Farm, 16608 Rte 14, Woodstock, IL, December 13, 2015. Bring the family and enjoy old fashioned Christmas traditions and memories at Oney’s Tree Farm.  Weekend activities include free horse drawn wagon rides with the sleigh bells ringing, plus visits with Mrs. Claus in her North Pole House.  You can also enjoy pony rides, hot sandwiches, nachos, popcorn and bakery goodies.


2016 Family New Year’s Eve Party, December 31, 2015. Ride the carousel, dance with a DJ, play in Jumps n’ Jiggles, swim in the pools and participate in exciting activities at the Elk Grove Park District’s New Year’s Eve Party.