Things To Do This Weekend December 31-January 3

Farewell 2020. We are definitely better without you.

Ring in a newer, healthier year as the vaccine for the pandemic continues to be disseminated throughout the United States.


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Whatever you do to celebrate the new year, be safe and keep on social distancing.

Drive through the bright lights in the big city, lose yourself inside a shadowbox world, run off the holiday calories or take a hike. Whatever you do, experience your new year in the land of lakes. Here are your top five things to do this weekend December 31-January 3.

1. Holiday in the Park Drive-Thru Experience at Six Flags Great America

Six Flags Great America launches its new Holiday in the Park Drive-Thru. Like their ongoing Holiday in the Park Lights display, you will experience the dazzling display of illuminants, seasonal sights and holly jolly sounds from the warmth of your car. The Gurnee display is highlighted by 11 immersive themed areas throughout the 300-acre theme park, millions of twinkling lights, live entertainment and festive music. Experience a socially distanced season’s greetings from beloved holiday characters, iconic holiday decorations, and drive-by featuring Santa, Mrs. Claus and their jolly elves. The park will return after this weekend to an on-foot light display and re-launch on select days from January 2-18. Visit to pre-reserve and purchase tickets.

Saturday-Sunday, January 2-3; 5-9 p.m. Tickets: $14.99. Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Pkwy., Gurnee.

2. Kringle’s Christmas Village in Antioch

“Oh, the weather outside may be frightful,” but the holidays in Antioch are so delightful. Besides the Dickens Holiday Village wax figure exhibit spreading holiday cheer on the downtown streets, Kringle’s Christmas Village opens this weekend. The Piggly Wiggly Plaza across town hosts the magnificently illuminated shadowboxes that showcase holiday stories. The scenes at the Kringle’s Christmas Village free of admission exhibit provides that same nostalgia you attained when enjoying downtown Chicago’s Marshall Field’s windows. Kringle’s Christmas Village and Dickens Holiday Village are open daily and run through New Year’s Day.

Friday, January 1; 10 a.m-8 p.m. Piggly Wiggly Plaza, 510 Orchard St., Antioch.

3. Santa’s Rock N Lights at Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center in Grayslake

Get a glimpse of Santa’s Rock N Lights at the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center as we journey deeper into the holiday season. The Grayslake grounds showcase a superbly illuminated show in a drive-thru format. The lights have doubled since 2019. The route is nearly a mile of 1,000 programmable and over 100,000 animated lights synced to holiday music. There are over 700 feet of tunnels and a reimagined layout with themed worlds of lights, including the dinosaur world. The “lit” experience is socially distanced and touch-free. Santa’s Rock N Lights runs through January 3.

Friday-Sunday, January 1-3; 5-9 p.m. Tickets per car: $24.99, $5 per additional passenger in vehicles over six individuals. Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center 1060 E. Peterson Rd., Grayslake.

4. Virtual News Years Day 5K in Historic Downtown Long Grove


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Feeling the effects of too many eats from the holiday season? Get out and run off those extra cuisine calories at Historic Downtown Long Grove’s New Years Day 5K. The virtual scamper or stroll supports orphans of the Storm Animal Shelter. Runners are encouraged to post your run results on social media as well as times. Competitors can also set up a social group like family and spouses to run as a team. Once your registration is complete, runners can pick up their packet at Buffalo Creek Brewing. On February 4, the aforementioned Lake County Libation Trail participant will host a Post-Race Hybrid Party on their outdoor Alpine Fest area to enjoy a few suds concoctions in a wonderful winter setting. The 5K must be completed by January 31. “Run the fluff out of 2020.”

Friday-Sunday, January 1-3. Registration: $39. Virtual event. Historic Downtown Long Grove, 308 Old McHenry Rd., Long Grove.

5. Solar Lit Trails at Lake County Forest Preserves


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No matter the season, we enjoy the fruits of what Mother Nature gave us in Lake County: The tall trees, the winding trails, the serene bodies of waters, the creatures and critters and the picturesque plant life. Lake County provides outdoor escapes from the shelter in place with an up close and personal live-action Claude Monet portraits. The stars on a clear night are spectacular. You can experience a night hike as the LCFPD has solar lit trails through late March. Hey Lake County, take a hike (or bike).

Friday-Sunday, January 1-3. Various forest preserve locations. Lake County Forest Preserve District Headquarters, 1899 W. Winchester Rd., Libertyville.

To see what else is going on besides these top things to do this weekend December 31-January 3, click here.

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