The feast and the fun are only beginning in Lake County! In the blink of an eye, decor will flip from orange and brown to red and green. The top things to do this weekend November 23-25 are packed to the brim with holiday spirit so take a seat on the sleigh and let’s learn more!
First and foremost, we want to wish everyone a happy, safe and peaceful Thanksgiving. If you aren’t cooking this year and plan to dine out, be sure to visit our Thanksgiving restaurant guide for some ‘delectable’ ideas!
The odds are pretty high that your community hasn’t officially kicked off the holiday season with its official Tree Lighting. If you fall into that category, be sure to see when and where yours takes place!
Speaking of spruces, do you have your holiday tree for the year? We’ve come up with the top 11 places to get a Christmas Tree in Lake County. Chopping your own? Use the hashtag #LetsGoLakeCounty to show us how it’s done (and for a chance to be featured on our social media platforms!)
Queue up some holiday tunes and continue reading for our top weekend event choices in Lake County!
The recipe for a memorable holiday season combines two million holiday lights, thrilling rides, live performances, Santa visits and more at Six Flags Great America’s inaugural Holiday in the Park. Each night at the beloved Gurnee amusement park, attendees can see the nightly holiday tree lighting, witness the Kalightoscope Light Show, write letters to Kris Kringle, roast a ”mallo” over the s’mores pit, ride the Santa Express, race on Snowflake Lane, make treats in the Sugar Plum Cookie Factory and so much more. Dress appropriately, as 19 coasters and rides will be in service weather permitting. Holiday in the Park runs on select days through December 31.
Friday-Sunday, November 23-25; Fri. and Sat.: 2-9 p.m. Sun.: 2-8 p.m. Various admissions. Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Pkwy., Gurnee.
Take a stroll through the charming historic downtown Antioch as more than four dozen Old English Dickens characters line the streets of the village. Life-sized, handmade mannequins dressed in Dickens-era attire, are created by volunteers and the Antioch Fine Arts Foundation. The community public art display is free of admission and runs through December 31. Returning for the second year in Antioch, Kringle’s Christmas Village displays dozens of oversized shadowboxes filled with picturesque holiday scenes and decor. Warm up in the new indoor location, the Piggly Wiggly Plaza, as the illuminated exhibit showcases scenes that are animated and still. Kringles Christmas Village runs through January 1, 2019.
Dickens: Friday-Sunday, November 23-25; All day. Free admission. Various locations in downtown Antioch. Kringle’s Village: Friday-Sunday, November 23-25; Noon-8:30 p.m. Donations accepted. Piggly Wiggly Plaza, 460 Orchard St., Antioch.
If you just can’t get enough of the holidays, then look no further than the Lake County Fairgrounds and Event Center this weekend for your fix. The Grayslake facility transforms into one of the largest holiday craft dealers show in the area with this weekend’s Holiday Arts and Crafts Show. Browse through hundreds of vendor’s merchandise selling skillfully crafted holiday pieces.
Friday-Sunday, November 23-25; Fri.: 4-8 p.m. Sat.: 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun.: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: $5.
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What better way to prepare for the holidays than with a freshly-cut spruce that you’ve chopped yourself? Visit Richardson Christmas Tree Farm as they open their gates to amateur lumberjacks. The Spring Grove farm offers free wagon rides to the trees on weekends, free shaking and tree bailing, donuts, hot chocolate and other concessions for purchase and more. The 75-acre tree farm boasts more than 50,000 trees from multiple species, making it effortless to find the perfect sapling. Leave your tools at home as the facility will provide handsaws to attendees. The arbor farm also offers precut trees, wreaths and garland. Richardson U-Cut Christmas Trees are open daily from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. until December 23.
Friday-Sunday, November 23-25; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Free admission. All cut your own trees: $73. Precut trees start at $29. Richardson Christmas Tree Farm, 9407 Richardson Rd., Spring Grove.
This year’s hottest post-Turkey-Day deals are found at Hawthorn Mall. Meander through the Vernon Hills shopping center this Black Friday to earn rewards and prizes while purchasing your favorite items. Sign up for the loyalty program or take a picture with the mall’s Snapchat lenses to win a free 15-ounce tumbler. Customers that spend $250 or more, will earn a $25 gift certificate to the newly opened Barbara’s Bookstore. Visit shophawthornmall.com for more information.
Friday, November 23; 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Free admission. Hawthorn Mall, 122 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills.
Every good Illinoisan knows that the holiday season doesn’t officially begin until their respective location’s tree ceremony has occurred. Help illuminate the sky at the following Lake County Tree Lightings.
Village of Antioch: Friday, November 23; 6:30 p.m. Downtown Antioch.
Village of Grayslake: Friday, November 23; 5:30-8 p.m. Downtown Grayslake between Center and Whitney Streets.
Village of Libertyville: Friday, November 23; 6:30 p.m. Cook Memorial Park, 413 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Village of Vernon Hills: Saturday, November 24; 4:30 p.m. Vernon Hills Golf Course, 291 Evergreen Dr.
For all other events and activities happening this weekend, continue here.