Thanksgiving is right around the corner which means Christmas and holiday events are popping up all around the Western Suburbs and Chicagoland area! Hopefully this one stop shop list will help you create a schedule of family holiday fun!
Winter Lights Aurora
City of Aurora's official kickoff to the holiday season offers something for everyone! Santa & Mrs. Claus arrive during the 6:30pm parade which culminates with a fireworks display over the river. Pop up shops, costumed characters, food trucks, live reindeer are all awaiting you and your family!
When: Friday, November 17th
Times: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Where: Downtown Aurora, Downer Place & Stolp Ave, Aurora, IL
Oswego Christmas Walk
Christmas Walk is a long standing tradition in Oswego! This year's Christmas Walk sponsored by Jewel-Osco is promised to be the biggest yet! Begin your evening watching Oswego's Christmas tree come to live at the Village Hall followed by a silent fire truck parade, inflatables, food trucks, train rides, and meetings with Santa!
When: Friday, December 1st & Saturday, December 2nd
Times: Friday, 5pm - 9pm, Saturday 8am - 11am
Where: Downtown Oswego, IL Main St., and Oswego Village Hall, 100 Parkers Mill, Oswego, IL
Geneva Christmas Walk
Courthouse Square kicks off the annual Geneva Christmas Walk weekend with their tree lighting, first candy cane of the season, and the arrival of Santa! The weekend festivities include Graham's Candy Cane Parade (Starts at 318 Coffeehouse, 318 S. Third St.) Holiday House tours (ticketed event), hot cocoa, holiday treats, and specials in most of the shops! My suggestion is to check out the detailed PDF I've attached to review the entire schedule for the weekend.
When: Friday, December 1st
Times: 6:00pm - 9:30pm
Admission: Free (except Holiday House Tours)
Where: Begins at Courthouse Square, Downtown, Geneva, IL
St. Charles Holiday Homecoming/Electric Christmas Parade
Holiday Homecoming has been entertaining area residents for over 17 years! Seasonal music, holiday movies, sleigh rides, live window displays, and the parade are sure to dazzle your whole family!
When: November 25th
Times: Live window displays 1:00pm - 5:00pm, Parade at 5:30
Where: Main St. between 6th St. & 4th Ave. Downtown St. Charles, IL
Little Friends Parade of Lights - Downtown Naperville
Enjoy an evening of brightly lit floats, music, and of course Santa! I recommend claiming a good spot early for the parade and making dinner reservations for before or after the parade if you plan on eating downtown. Maybe get some of your Christmas shopping done in the fabulous stores too!
When: December 2nd
Times: 7:00pm - 9:30pm
Where: Downtown Naperville, IL
Christkindlmarket - 3 locations - Chicago, Naperville, & Park at Wrigley!
Three choices this year to enjoy the Christkindlmarket! Downtown Chicago, Naper Settlement in Downtown Naperville, or the Park at Wrigley are all hosting one of my favorite things to do during the holiday season! My family and I love the food, shopping, and overall ambiance of this very popular German Christmas market. Beautiful authentic German ornaments, bakery, and of course the popular unique souvenir mug filled with hot Christmas wine are only a few of the wonderful things you will find at Christkindlmarket! If you visit Naperville, you can make a whole day of fun by visiting the market first, stroll through the Naper Lights (also in Naper Settlement), and then stay for the December 2nd Little Friends Holiday Parade! A whole day of Christmas events to kick off the season!
When: Chicago, November 17th - December 24th, Naperville November 24th - December 24th, Wrigley November 24th - December 24th
Times: Vary by location - see link above and choose location on the drop down menu
Where: Chicago - Daley Plaza, Naperville - Naper Settlement, Wrigley - Park at Wrigley See link above to choose location and get directions.
Blackberry Farm Holiday Express Train
When my kids were little, they thoroughly enjoyed visiting Blackberry Farm during every season of the year! The magical holiday train takes you on a ride around Lake Gregory and the farm's 3.5 miles of beautiful lights! Storytelling, reindeer food bar, hayrides and more will entertain everyone in your family!
When: Dec. 2-3, Dec. 8-10, Dec. 15-17 (8 days only!)
Times: Fridays 5pm - 8pm, Saturdays 2pm - 6pm, and Sundays 2pm - 6pm
Admission: $5 (to avoid lines, advanced ticket purchase is recommended)
Where: Blackberry Farm, 100 S. Barnes Rd., Aurora, IL
Chicago Magnificent Mile Lights Parade
This is a Chicago Tradition! The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is annual even celebrated in Chicago on the weekend before Thanksgiving. An estimated on million lights on 200 trees brighten the city's Michigan Avenue - also know as the "Mag Mile".
When: November 17
Times: Starts at 4pm. Be sure to arrive EARLY that day!
Where: 401 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago IL 60611
Santa in Chicago
If you need to find Santa, this is THE "Must Visit" website! Malls, festivals, Santa breakfasts, pets' pictures with Santa, you name it, it's listed here! I just thought it was a good addition to my list considering Santa is a pretty important guy at this time of the year! After all, you want him to know how good you've been all year, right?