Your Guide to Holiday Fun in Lake County! Holiday Lights, Shopping and more!

Holiday 2014 Guide

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year and Lake County has everything you need to help get you into the festive mood. Here is your guide to holiday fun in Lake County. From popular traditions like the Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Show, to a variety of community lighting ceremonies or holiday concerts, here are a few suggestions to help make this season merry and bright!

Top Festive Events of the Season

Vernon Hills Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Show
One of Lake County’s most festive traditions, the Drive Thru Holiday Light Show at Cuneo Mansion gives visitors the opportunity to see one of the largest light displays in the area, while staying warm inside of your car. Coast along the winding roads that surround the 31,000 square foot Venetian style home and enjoy the sights of thousands lights, animated scenes and intricate set ups that take six weeks to prepare! Hours are every day from 6 – 10 p.m., Friday, November 28, 2014 – Saturday, January 3, 2015. Share your photos of the Light Show with us at #VHHolidaylights14 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Shopping at Westfield Hawthorn
Westfield Hawthorn is more than just a shopper’s paradise where you can find that perfect something for everyone on your list this year. Shop from premium retailers including Banana Republic, Coach and Swarovski or browse the trends at any one of their popular stores. Find the most stylish items for all ages and then stop at the newly opened Dave and Busters for a unique experience or Maggiano’s for fine Italian dining. Westfield Hawthorn will have extended shopping hours during the holidays and be open from 6pm – midnight on Thanksgiving Day for your early Black Friday shopping.

Santa has arrived at the mall and will be available until December 24. Whether you have been naughty or nice, come and meet the big guy to make sure he has an accurate list for you. He will be located in Macy’s Court inside the mall.

KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort
KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark ResortEscape the winter weather with an indoor tropical getaway at KeyLime Cove where it’s always 84 degrees and sunny! Shake away your winter blues with family fun in 65,000 square feet in the Lost Paradise Waterpark. Catch a wave in the Tsunami Washout Wavepool and then take a relaxing float down the lazy river or explore test your wits on two giant waterslides each more than 500 feet long! Spend the evening in the arcade and dining at the Crazy Toucan, and make lasting family memories all along the way.

Celebrate the end of 2014 and ring in 2015 at Toukie’s New Year’s Eve Beach Party. Ride a wave into the new year with the only beach party you’ll find in northeastern Illinois. Join the rockin’ and rollin’ island for a celebration to remember. This party will include admission to Lost Paradise Indoor Waterpark, a DJ and Dance, a juggler, stilt walker, magician, live music and entertainment, a balloon drop at midnight and toast, dinner buffet on New Year’s Eve and a breakfast buffet on New Year’s Day. Rates start at $299.95. Continue here to celebrate New Years’ in the funshine.

Shopping at Gurnee Mills
Gurnee Mills Holiday ShoppingGurnee Mills is the largest outlet shopping destination in Illinois, providing the ultimate indoor shopping experience. Shop high end items in Macy’s Neiman Marcus Last Call and Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, and enjoy the unique shopping experience at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. Kids will love the tropical dining adventure waiting for them at Rainforest Café and don’t forget to stop the hustle and bustle of the season to enjoy quality time with your family at Rink Side Sports! Gurnee Mills is open for extend mall hours during the holiday season, kicking off on Thanksgiving Day from 6pm – 1am to start your holiday shopping.

Gurnee Mills Events
Caring Santa – Sunday, December 7 from 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Caring Santa provides a subdued and welcoming environment for children with special needs and their families to visit Santa. The Santa Set is located outside the Dining Pavilion in the Macy’s Wing.

The Wrap It Up Super Sale Weekend – December 12 – December 14
Look for great deals & find the perfect present at stores like Macy’s, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Off Fifth, Forever 21, H&M, LOFT, Maurice’s, PS by Aeropostale, Off Broadway Shoes, Tilly’s and more! This isn’t just shopping, this is THE MILLS. And this isn’t just another day, it’s the holidays.

Santa has arrived at Gurnee Mills and will be available until December 24. Whether you have been naughty or nice, come and meet the big guy to make sure he has an accurate list for you. Santa is located in the middle of the mall in Grange Hall.

Village of Antioch Holiday Festivities
Antioch for the HolidaysOlde England comes to life in Downtown Antioch this holiday season with life like figures recreating scenes from the Dickens Era. On Saturdays from Nov. 8 – Dec. 20, find Dickens fun throughout the streets including carolers, music, live performances and a scavenger hunt. The cozy atmosphere of Downtown Antioch creates the perfect setting for the festive season. Cheer on Santa as he arrives in the Christmas Parade and watch as the community tree lights with holiday magic. (Nov. 28) Visit Santa thru Tuesday, Dec. 23 as he sets up his village in Antioch to meet with good little boys and girls!

Long Grove Historic Village Holiday Festivities
Celebrate the holiday season with the charming cobble stone streets of the Historic Village of Long Grove. Visitors can expect a variety of family fun starting Thanksgiving weekend and running through Christmas Eve. Go on a cookie walk, build a snowman, hear carolers or a festive story and warm up with hot apple cider at the Long Grove Visitor’s Center. Beginning December 6, Horse drawn carriage rides, cookie walks, Santa visits, humbug scavenger hunt and more.

Chicago Botanic Garden Wonderland Express
From the finest wine samples of the season at Holiday Cheers, to the family favorite Wonderland Express, celebrating the season at the Chicago Botanic Garden is a unique experience. Walk among rows of trees dressed in more than 750,000 LED bulbs of white, red and green. Enjoy a break from the winter weather with a stroll through a tropical greenhouse and then get back in the holiday spirit with the elaborate décor of the mini train set, complete with an indoor snow flurry. Families can enjoy programs and drop in activities including Joyful Gingerbread, Breakfast with Santa and Hot Chocolate with Mrs. Claus. November 28 – January 4.

Winter Landscapes and Beauty
With covered in blankets of white snow and trees laced in sparkling ice crystals, Lake County’s winter landscape scenes are something out of a fairy tale. Winter is no time to stay inside in Lake County! 30,000 acres of natural preserves offer hundreds of miles of trails for country skiing and snowshoeing. See unique ice formations along the shores of Lake Michigan at Illinois Beach State Park (open year round) or take a ride on a sled at the lighted Lakewood Forest Preserve Winter Sports Area. Lace up your skates and go for a glide along one of our many outdoor ice skating rinks for an authentic winter experience with friends and family.

Santa Arrivals around Lake County

The BIG man in red is coming to Lake County! Welcome Santa as he brings with him the holiday season! Cheer him on at parades and watch as he travels from town to town and lights trees, making spirits bright! While he might be making appearances in separate towns, there are a few events that he’s going to be at this season that require an entrance as big as his belly!

Santa’s Enchanted Village in Antioch
Be there for Santa’s big entrance at Antioch’s Christmas parade and then stop by his Enchanted Village throughout the season!
Friday, Nov. 28 – Tuesday, Dec. 23. Monday – Friday: 5:30 – 8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday 1 – 4 p.m.

Santa’s Cottage in Mundelein
Tell Santa what’s on your list this year after welcoming the holidays with a tree lighting ceremony and fireworks at this free event! December 5, 6, 13, 20; Friday nights 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays 12 – 3 p.m.

Santa’s Grand Holiday Arrival at the Ice House Mall
Saturday, Dec. 6, 10:30 a.m.
See the Nutcracker performed by Midwest Dance and enjoy a magical story hour from Mrs. Claus, followed by Santa’s arrival with cookies & milk to snack on and Rose School singers performing!

Festivals and Unique Events

2014 Christkindl Holiday Festival
December 4 -7
Visit this open-air festival featuring authentic German food, live entertainment, drinks, fun activities for families, kids crafts, live reindeer, carousel & train rides, a Gingerbread House competition and then visit with Santa in his traveling house! Shop from a variety of vendors including hand crafted ornaments and wooden creations.

Candy Cane Festival in Barrington
Saturday, December 6, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Begin the magic with free reindeer antlers, a petting zoo, photos with Santa and special treats along the way. The Foundry Shopping Center, Northwest Highway and Hart Rd., Barrington

HolidayWauk 2014
Saturday, Dec. 6, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Celebrate the season with three fun filled days including holiday crafts, pictures with Santa, and s’more making over an open fire!

Round Lake’s Holiday Festival
Saturday, Dec. 6, 2 – 5 p.m.
Watch as a real life ice sculpture is created, and then enjoy kids games, a Little Elves Workshop, sleigh rides, moon walks and a trip to the North Pole through a Festival of Lights to visit with Santa!

Dickens of a Holiday
Saturday, Dec. 6, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Children can meet up with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Cook Park where and then shop for everyone on their gift list, from gifts priced $1-$5. Helping elves will be there to help children wrap their gifts and get them ready to be put under the tree.

Dicken’s Holiday Village in Downtown Antioch
Now through January 2, 2015
Olde England comes alive in Historic Downtown Antioch with lifelike figures representing scenes from the Dickens Era. Experience this public art exhibit while strolling among the delight streets of Antioch. Enjoy the charm of Dickens among the many boutiques, gift shops and eateries. Also enjoy special Saturday Dickens activities.

Holiday Walk on Main Street in Wauconda
Saturday, Dec. 6, 1 p.m.
Celebrate the Holidays with a walk on Main street where you can visit with Santa, take a slieigh ride, shop the vendors, see the snowflake lighting ceremony and more!

Deerfield’s 4th Annual Winter Celebration
Friday, December 5 – Saturday, December 6. Friday: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Deerfield will be celebrating the holidays with festive holiday activities for every age. Enjoy horse-drawn sleigh rides, roasted chestnuts, carolers, warm treats, live animals and more. In addition Saturday will include the big man, Santa Claus to offer photo opportunities for children of all ages, holiday games, including dreidel games, petting zoo, pony rides, gingerbread house decorating and much more.

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shop
Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops at Gurnee MillsNow through December 24
HO HO HO! The time has finally arrived! Santa is going to be at Bass Pro Shops! That’s right! He’s making a list, and checking it twice! Come to his magical wonderland filled with games, yummy food like freshly cooked fudge, cookies, fondue, and popcorn! Make neat crafts, and even meet his elves! Be sure to join us November 15th for our special Preview Night, and help kick off the season in Santa’s magical wonderland!

Rink Side’s Holiday Open House & Skating Exhibition
Wednesday, December 17 at 5pm
Rink Side will be hosting a free Skating Exhibition at 5:30 PM. Come see some of the local talent perform. Also visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus at the rink from 5pm-7pm and they will be available for pictures. Public Session will begin after the Skating Exhibition for $13 per person.

Waukegan’s Christmas with the Clauses
Saturday, December 13, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Families will meet Santa, Mrs. Claus, and an Elf. Enjoy making a Christmas ornament, eating a delicious chocolate chip cookie, and sipping hot chocolate or milk. The festive atmosphere with holiday music, decorations, and jolly elves is sure to create a Christmas memory that will last a lifetime.

Gurnee’s Holiday Train
Sunday, Dec. 7, 3:45 p.m.
Be there as the brightly decorated Canadian Pacific Railway Holiday Train makes a stop at Viking Park! This “Train of Lights” partners with communities across the United States and Canada to raise food and funds for local food banks. Enjoy live holiday music, a brief and festive ceremony and tasty candy cane treats for the kiddos. Watch as all 1,000 feet of the Holiday Train moves on and see all of the 14 brightly decorated rail cars! (Non-perishable food items are being collected for local distribution.)

Polar Express Train Rides

Antioch’s North Pole Express Train
December 3 – 5, December 10 – 12, December 17 – 19
Wednesday – Friday 11 a.m. – 2:35 p.m.

Vernon Hill’s Polar Express
December 13, 9:42 a.m. – 11:10 a.m., 11:42 a.m. – 1:10 p.m., 1:42 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.

Grayslake Polar Express
December 14, 9:30 – 11 a.m.

Deerfield Park District’s Candy Cane Train
December 7, 1 – 3:30 p.m.

Community Tree Lighting Ceremonies

Holiday Tree Lighting CeremonisThe trees are up, communities are gathered together, and the countdown begins… 3 … 2 … 1! And suddenly we’re all transported to a magical landscape of sugar plum fairies and winter wonderlands. Be there as your community celebrates the kickoff of the holiday season with a holiday lighting ceremony and check out the events to see what else they might have in store for tiny tots with their eyes all aglow! From Santa meet and greets, to hot cider and treats, these are a few of Lake County’s holiday lighting ceremonies that really do help to make the season bright!

Antioch’s Annual Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting
Friday, Nov. 28, 6 – 8 p.m.
Downtown Antioch, Main Street to the Village Hall

Barrington Aglow – Barrington’s Annual Tree Lighting
Saturday, Dec. 6, 1 – 6:30 p.m.
Village Center on S. Cook Street

Deerfield Downtown Lighting Ceremony
Wednesday, November 26, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Deerfield Village Centre Plaza

Village of Fox Lake Tree Lighting & Korpan’s Landing Annual Holiday Parade
Friday, Nov. 28, 6:30 p.m & Saturday, Nov. 29, 11 a.m.

Grayslake Tree Lighting Festival & Holiday Market
Friday, Nov. 28, 5:30-8 .pm.
Downtown Grayslake, Seymour Ave

Hawthorn Woods Tree Lighting Ceremony
Friday, Dec. 5, 6 p.m.
Hawthorn Woods Village Hall, 2 Lagoon Dr.

Highland Park’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
Saturday, Nov. 22, 3 – 5:30 p.m.
Downtown Highland Park at Port Clinton Square

Village of Island Lake Tree Lighting
Saturday, Dec. 5, 6 p.m.
Island Lake Village Hall 3720 Greenleaf Avenue

Lake Forest’s 31st Annual Tree Lighting
Friday, Nov.28, 3:30 – 7 p.m.
1 Market Square, Lake Forest

Lake Villa Holiday Festivities
Saturday, Nov. 29, 5 – 7 p.m.

Lake Zurich’s 26th AnnualTree Lighting Celebration
Saturday, Nov. 29, 4 – 6 p.m.
Paulus Park, 200 S. Rand Rd

Libertyville’s Annual Tree Lighting
Friday, Nov. 28, All Day
Downtown Libertyville – Cook Park

Lincolnshire’s Tree Lighting Ceremony
Sunday Dec. 7, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Village Green, Milwaukee Ave & Old Half Day Road

Lindenhurst Park District’s Holiday Tree Lighting
Saturday, Dec. 06, 4:30 – 6 p.m.
Lindenhurst Park District 2200 East Grass Lake Road

Long Grove’s Holiday Festivities
Friday November 28, 2014 – Wednesday December 24, 2014
Monday-Saturday: 10am-7pm, Sunday: 11am-5pm

Mundelein Tree Lighting and Santa’s Cottage
Friday Dec. 5, 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Karcklauer Park, Seymour Ave and Park St., Mundelein, IL.

Round Lake’s Holiday Festival
Saturday, Dec. 6, 2 – 6 p.m.
Robert W. Rolek Community Center, 814 Hart Road.

Round Lake Beach Tree Lighting
Friday, Nov. 28, 6 p.m.
Village Hall

Vernon Hills Holiday Tree & Menorah Lighting Ceremony
Saturday Nov. 30, 4:30 p.m.
Vernon Hills Golf Course, 291 Evergreen Dr.

Wauconda Tree Lighting Ceremony
Friday, Dec. 5, 6 p.m.
Community Center, 600 N. Main Street.

Holiday Wauk and Tree Lighting Ceremony
Saturday, Dec. 6, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Jack Benny Plaza.

Winthrop Harbor Light Parade and Holiday Tree Lighting
Saturday, Dec. 6, 4:30 p.m.
Schlader Recreation Center & Park, 9th Street & 8th St. & Sheridan Rd.

Celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanzaa!

Vernon Hills Holiday Tree & Menorah Lighting
Ring in the festive season with Mayor Roger Byrne as he flips the switch to light up the Holiday Menorah and Holiday Tree! Celebrate the occasion with family and friends and indulge in tasty treats and hot cider!

Pre-Kwanzaa Demonstration and Market Place
Kwanzaa is the only nationally celebrated, non-religious African American cultural holiday in the United States. Everyone will love celebrating the rich history art, music, and literature of African Americans at this cultural experience.
Saturday, Dec. 6 12 – 4 p.m.
College of Lake County Lakeshore Campus South Lobby, 111 N. Genesee Street., Waukegan

Hanukkah Concert at Chicago Botanic Garden
Ticket price includes concert and a visit to Wonderland Express. The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band will perform two one-hour concerts in Alsdorf Auditorium. Ticket prices: advance: member/nonmember: $15/$17; Day-of: member/nonmember: $18/$20; Children 2 and under are free. Standard parking fees apply.

Holiday Guide Collage

Holiday Concerts and Performances

Just hear those sleigh bells ring-a-ling at one of Lake County’s holiday concerts. One of the most popular way to celebrate the season, holiday carols can be found at many of Lake County’s festive events, but here are a few musical concerts of the season to check out!

Woodlands Academy’s Annual Christmas Concert
Thursday, Dec. 4, 7 p.m.
Let the sounds of the season get you in the festive spirit as choral students and an orchestra perform and then end the night in a popular audience sing-along of well-known Christmas Carols!

Rockin’ the Holidays with Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals at the Genesee Theatre
Saturday, Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m.
Hear a night of rockin’ holiday music as the Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals blend a mix of rock and pop at this one-of-a-kind holiday performance in the iconic Genesee Theatre.

Sanfilippo Estate’s Christmas Dinner & Concert
Saturday, Dec 6, 5 p.m.
Carousel pavilion doors open at 5 p.m. for cocktails and an elegant dinner will be served at 6 p.m. followed by a live concert with William Powers in the ornate Music Theatre. Tickets are limited and this event will sell out!
The Sanfilippo Estate, Barrington Hills

The Sanfilippo Foundation 2014 Christmas Brunch and Concert, December 7
Dine on a delicious brunch and then hear a Christmas concert featuring one of the world’s finest theatre organists, Dave Wickerham and Opera Bass-Baritone William Powers. Tickets will sell out!
The Sanfilippo Estate, Barrington Hills

The Illinois Brass Band Holiday Concert
Sunday, Dec. 7, 3 – 5 p.m.
Hear thirty of the area’s finest brass players as they fill the air with a cheerful mix of traditional carols, holiday classics and jazzy updates of Holiday favorites at this fun for the family event!

Viking Park Singers Annual Holiday Concert, December 7
Enjoy songs of the season with the Viking Park Singers chorus and stay for festive refreshments served after the performance.

A Carpenter’s Christmas
Tuesday, Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m.
Based on the music of two holiday albums released by the band The Carpenters, this variety show includes a six-piece band and an unforgettable performance of jazzy favorites. Check out other holiday concerts at the James Lumber Center for Performing Arts at CLC.

Christmas Pageant – Bethlehem’s Tower at Quentin Road Baptist Church
Saturday and Sunday, December 13 – 21, 2 p.m. & 6 p.m.
Take a special journey with Quentin Road this Christmas as the secrets from Christmas Past are unlocked. With a 300-voice children-and-adult choir, dramatic lighting, and live animals (including an 8ft camel), see what really happened on that first Christmas night long ago. With original songs and orchestration by David Clydesdale, this spectacular Christmas performance will be an instant classic to relive year after year. See why thousands in the Greater Chicagoland area make this event a part of an annual Christmas celebration. Tickets sell fast. Only one performance on December 21.

FullScore Chamber Orchestra’s “The Light Has Come’
Saturday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Grace Missionary Church in Zion
Sunday , December 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Church of Gurnee
This touching work by opera composer Carlo Menotti is the second most performed music at Christmas after Handel’s Messiah and the most performed opera of all time. Set in the desert, it is a tale of a crippled shepherd boy and widowed mother who live alone and are quite poor. One evening Amahl is entranced by a star in the sky and after bedding down for the night, in spite his mother’s skepticism, strangers following the star pay them a visit.

Messiah and Carol Sing-Along
Saturday, December 13 at 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Waukegan
Bring the out family for an evening of holiday music. The annual Messiah features the Christmas Portion of Handel’s Messiah as well as, a traditional carols. Attendees are encouraged to sing along in this community tradition; specific rows in the church are designated for those wanting to join the chorus in singing soprano, alto, tenor and baritone/bass.

PM&L Theatre Presents A Christmas Carol
Friday, Saturday and Sunday December 12 – 21. Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Come out and enjoy this performance based on the famous Charles Dickens’ book A Christmas Carol. Holiday fun for the whole family.

Dancenter North’s The Magic of the Nutcracker
Saturday, December 6 and Sunday December 7 at 3 p.m. at Libertyville High School
School show – Friday, December 12 at 9 a.m. at Genesee Theatre
Saturday, December 13 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. at Genesee Theatre
The Magic of the Nutcracker is the largest and most lavish version of the holiday ballet in Lake County! Clara’a dream has been brought to life in a beautiful production by Dancenter North that features over 100 performers, including internationally renowned guests artists. For over 20 years, Dancenter North’s Nutcracker has been Lake County’s favorite version of the classic holiday ballet.

Shop Local

Christmas Market at Elawa Farm
Friday, Dec. 5 – Sunday, Dec. 7, Friday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. & Sunday, 12 – 4 p.m.
Shop for fresh Frasier Fir trees, assorted greens, wreaths, roping, potted outdoor arrangements, Christmas blooming flowers, hand crafted soaps, gingerbread houses, holiday cookies and a variety of tasty treats including gluten-free and allergy free options all made in the kitchen at Elawa Farm.
Elawa Farm, 1401 Middlefork Drive, Lake Forest

Grayslake’s Winter Farmers Markets
Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. thru Dec. 20
Choose from an array of seasonal produce, baked goods, wine and cheeses, spices, organic selections, ready-to-eat food and much more! Find a tasty side dish for this weekend’s holiday party or shop unique items for that friend who already has everything, while enjoying live entertainment and family friendly activities along the way.

Make Your Own Glass Ornament
November 28 – 30, December 5 – 7, December 12 – 14, December 19 – 21 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day
Visit Peter Patterson Glassworks studio for the chance to make your own glass ornament or window sparklers. Try something new, support a local business, and then retell the story every year as you hang your hand crafted holiday decoration.

Volo Antique Malll’s Annual Holiday Open House
Friday, Nov. 28 – Sunday, Nov. 30, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Find antique and unique items at Volo Antique Mall and shop from over 300 dealers shops in 4 malls. Whether you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind piece of art work, or a gift that will set you apart this year, Volo’s Antique Mall is aisles upon aisles of interesting and entertaining items. Take 15% off throughout the entire mall during this event! (excluding specially marked items)

Annual Holiday Week-Long Sale at the Gurnee Antique Center
Monday, December 8 – Sunday, December 14
Looking for that unique gift for that special someone? Come out to the Store-wide Holiday Sale and shop the 21,000 sq. ft. of top quality antique merchandise and enjoy special holiday discounts posted throughout the store.

First Fridays on MainStreet in Downtown Libertyville
Friday, December 5 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
What a perfect time to holiday shop!The downtown windows are beautifully dressed so stop to admire. The merchants are happy to help you find that perfect holiday gift. The shops and restaurants downtown will be rocking with special promos, wine tastings and music.

Dickens of a Holiday at Cook Park in Downtown Libertyville
Saturday, December 6 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Saturday, December 13 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Santa and Mrs. Claus in picturesque Cook Park. Then the children can shop at the Children’s Holiday Shop (located in Petranek’s Pharmacy). Elves assist them in picking out gifts, priced from $1-$5, for everyone on their lists. The gifts are then wrapped and ready to be put under the tree.

Holiday Spirits and Brews

Holiday Cheers: A Seasonal Tasting at the Chicago Botanic Garden, December 10
Celebrate the holidays and the end of Prohibition with a Chicago-style tasting of spirits, wine and winter brews from the area. Light fare and drinks will be available for purchase and live music will help set the festive mood! Stroll through the decorated grounds and walk among a magical holiday light display featuring 750,000 LED bulbs and then see the ornate Wonderland Express train exhibit.

Mickey Finn’s Brewery
There’s nothing better than meeting up with friends or making new ones while enjoying one of Mickey Finn’s home brewed craft beers. Listen to live music on the weekends and sample some of their seasonal brews. Looking for a unique beer that’s as rich as the holiday season? Try the Oatmeal Stout which is lovingly referred to as a Pink O’Porridge.

North Shore Distillery
Taste some award winning Vodka, Gin and even try Absinth at Illinois’ first craft distillery. Find events in the tasting room throughout the season or schedule a tour to learn how these spirits are created!

Copper Fiddle Distillery
Tour Lake County’s only Whiskey Distillery in Lake Zurich and then taste their small batch, hand crafted Bourbon Whiskey. Warm your spirits this holiday season from the inside out by trying out a traditional bourbon whiskey drink or sample from their gin options.

Lynfred Winery Wheeling
Since 1979, Lynfred Winery has boasted an extensive wine list of over 80 uniquely American wines. Stop by for daily wine tasting, wine the glass, and bottles.

Valentino Vineyards Inc.
Valentino grows 20 different varieties of grapes on more than 6000 vines at our 20 acre estate vineyard. All the wines are barrel aged in the highest quality French and American oak barrels. Taste award winning wines Friday, 5pm – 9pm; Saturday, 11am – 5pm; Sunday, 12pm – 4pm

Vigneto del Bino Winery
Experience local wines from local vines at Vigneto del Bino Winery in Antioch. Enjoy samples in this newly opened tasting room and learn about the wines that were grown from grapes in the surrounding property.

For plenty more holiday events and happenings, please be sure to check out our Calendar of Events. We hope everyone has a great holiday season!

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