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Dogs line up with their masters get photos with Santlast year's  HolidayWauk downtown Waukegan. | Sun-Times MediFile

Dogs line up with their masters to get photos with Santa at last year's HolidayWauk in downtown Waukegan. | Sun-Times Media File

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Walk and hunt: Gingerbread Walk and Scavenger Hunt for a chance to win prizes will be held Saturdays, Dec. 7, 14 and 21, on the sidewalks in downtown. There will also be musical entertainment. Details, (847) 395-2233 or

Polar Express: The Polar Express is a 3 1/2-hour round-trip excursion Dec. 12-13, 19-20. It departs from the Antioch Metra Station at 11 a.m. and arrives back from the “North Pole” at 2:35 p.m. Children will join in and sing as the conductor goes around checking each of them in. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the station. Tickets are $20 and include lunch, crafts, hot chocolate, cookies and a visit from Santa. There must be a least one parent with every three children. Details, (847) 395-2160 or email


Open house: Save-A-Pet will hold its annual Holiday from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 7 at 31664 North Fairfield Road. There will be holiday gifts and crafts available for purchase, pictures with Santa, baskets, raffle, bake sale and a pet blessing at 2 p.m. Details, (847) 740-7788 or

Open house: The Grayslake Historical Society will host a Christmas open house, with a visit from Santa, refreshments and a holiday choir concert from 2 to 4 p.m., Dec. 8, at the Grayslake Heritage Center and Historical Society Museum, 164 Hawley St. Guests and can have their pictures taken with the family in the vintage sleigh from the museum collection. Also, the Warren Alumni Choir will perform at 3 p.m. Details, (847) 543-1745.

Great Lakes

Commemoration: Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration will be held Dec. 7 at Great Lakes Naval Museum, 610 Farragut Ave. It will commemorate the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii that caused the death of over 2,000 sailors and launched the United States into the Second World War. Details, (847) 688-3154.

Concert: The Great Lakes Naval Museum will present the Navy Band Great Lakes special ensembles as they play classic and favorite holiday carols from 1 to 2 p.m. Dec. 13. Free. Details, (847) 688-3154.


Concerts: FullScore Chamber Orchestra will present its annual Christmas celebration concerts titled “The Light Has Come,” featuring the one-act opera “Amol and the Night Visitors,” and holiday music of Manheim Steamroller, at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 St. Paul the Apostle, 6401 Gages Lake Road, Gurnee; and at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at Grace Missionary Church, 1415 27 St., Zion. FullScore is a professional ensemble whose mission includes tutoring advanced students and community artists among their ranks. Members of the choir join the orchestra for the Christmas concerts and are prepared by Ms. Peck. Tickets are $10 and children under 12 are free. Details, (847) 746-3472 or

Highland Park

Wonderland: The downtown area will transform into a Winter Wonderland from 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 13 and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 14. The free family event will feature horse-drawn carriage rides, roasting chestnuts, crepes, cider, carolers, reindeer, gingerbread house-making and more. Various downtown shops will also hold special sales and stay open late. Details, (847) 432-6000.


Celebration: The annual Highwood for the Holidays will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Dec. 8 in downtown. The community will embrace over 300 military personnel who aren’t able to make it home for the holidays, making them feel at home with a celebration and dinner donated by local businesses. The city will be transformed into a winter wonderland complete with lit ice luminaries, a photo booth, roasted chestnuts, live music and more. Local dignitaries will address the military personnel at the honorary ceremony at 5 p.m. at Buffo’s, 431 Sheridan Road, then the troops will march in cadence at 5:30 p.m. along the lighted frozen luminary path to Oak Terrace Elementary School, 240 Prairie Ave. where a dinner will be provided. The evening will end with a special military release of sky lanterns, weather permitting. Details, (847) 432-6000.

Lake Bluff

Celebration: Annual holiday celebration will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 7. The village’s downtown will come alive with the sights, sounds and tastes of the season along with in-store promotions and gift ideas, carnival rides and a visit with live reindeer. Details, (847) 234-4282 or

Lake Forest

Santa breakfast: Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast with Santa will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. Dec. 7 at First Presbyterian Church, 700 N. Sheridan Road. Enjoy pancakes, sausage, coffee, milk and juice before visiting with Santa. Tickets are $10, $5 for ages 3 to 12 and free for ages under 3. Net proceeds are donated to local charities. Details,

Stories with Santa: Story Time with Santa will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 7 at Mellody Farm Nature Preserve, 350 N. Waukegan Road. Enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride through the prairie with Santa followed by snacks and hot cocoa. Kids will learn about winter animal tracks and make a wildlife ornament to take home. Cost is $45 per family. Membership packages available for new families. To register, visit

Lake Villa

Santa breakfast: Breakfast with Santa will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Dec. 8 at the Lehmann Mansion, 485 N. Milwaukee Ave. There will be visits with Santa, live reindeer and kid activities. Tickets are $8 and free for ages 3 and under. All proceeds benefit the Lake Villa Historical Society. Details, (847) 245-3929.

Lake Zurich

Hunt: The Lake Zurich Lions Club will host its annual Candy Cane Hunt at 1 p.m. Dec. 7 in Lions Park, 81 E. Main St. Canned goods collection will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to the kids that find the special canes in their respective age brackets. Age groups include: under 3 years old; 4 to 6 years old; and 7 years and older. Hot chocolate will be served by the Lions to all who attend,. Details, (847) 847-2171 or


Holiday: Dickens of a Holiday will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 7 and Dec. 14. Children can visit Santa and Mrs. Claus outside in a snow-covered sleigh in Cook Park from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 3 p.m. Kids can shop for their family at the Holiday Shoppe with the help of Santa’s Elves at Petranek’s Pharmacy, across from Cook Park. Prices for gifts go up to $5. In addition, there will be a Victorian Tea at 11 a.m. Dec. 7 and 14 at St. Lawrence Episcopal Church, 125 W. Church St. Enjoy a genuine English Tea complete with finger sandwiches and bite-sized desserts. Cost for the tea is $35. Reservations required. Details, (847) 680-0336 or

Fundraiser: Our House of Hope K-9 Rescue will hold its Santa Paws from noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 7 at Pets General Store — The Dog Lounge, 432 Peterson Road. All well-behaved pets are welcome, but no retractable leashes for safety reasons. For each $15 donation to Our House of Hope, you will receive one, 4x6 digital photo to take home and the option to order reprints. Photos can be with or without Santa, alone, with your pet, or the entire family. Details, (773) 552-4673 or

Fundraiser: The Libertyville Lions Club will present its annual Breakfast with Santa from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 8 at Libertyville High School, 708 W. Park Ave. The fundraiser helps provide resources to assist the visually impaired and the hearing impaired of our community and of Illinois. Cost is $6, children 5 and under eat free. Details, (847) 970-2172 or

Performance: Jr. Encore Theatre presents will present “Brigadoon” at 7 p.m. Dec. 13-15 at The Libertyville Civic Center, 135 W. Church St. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Details, (847) 708-8880 or


Show: The Village of Victory Lakes annual Festival of Arts and Crafts show will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7 at 1055 E. Grand Ave. There will be artisans from Illinois and Wisconsin. Lunch and a bake sale will be available. Details, (847) 356-4666.

Tree lighting: Tree-lighting ceremony will be held from 2:30 to 6 p.m. Dec. 7 at Lindenhurst Park District, 2200 E. Grass Lake Road. Visit “Rosko Reindeers” before Santa arrives from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Santa will arrive at 4:30 p.m., escorted by the Lake Villa Volunteer Fire Department. After tree lighting at 4:35 p.m. enjoy snacks, juice, free crafts for kids, free children’s raffle, and performances by the Engle Junction Preschool and the Lindenhurst Park District’s Dance Program. Bring a camera to take photos with Santa. Also, bring a nonperishable food item to donate. Details, (847) 356-6011 or

Round Lake

Festival: Holiday Festival will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Dec. 7 at Robert W. Rolek Community Center, 814 Hart Road. Celebrate the holidays with Santa and the park district. There will be photos with Santa, a Little Elves Workshop, Prairie Grass Nature Museum’s Feed-A-Friend, sleigh rides, moonwalks, the community band, children’s entertainment and the neighborhood’s “Festival of Lights.” There will also be a Toys-for-Tots drop-off center. Details, (847) 546-8558 or

Treats with Santa: Milk-n-Cookies with Santa will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Dec. 13 at Robert W. Rolek Community Center. There will be games and crafts. Also, Santa will read a holiday story and join you for some milk-n-cookies. For ages 1 to 6. Registration required. Cost is $12 and $8 for the second child. Details, (847) 546-8558 or

Round Lake Beach

Tasting and performance: A wine-tasting radio drama performance of “Miracle on 34th Street” will be Dec. 7 at Round Lake Beach Cultural and Civic Center, 2007 Civic Center Way. There will be wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the performance “Miracle on 34th Street” by the Improv Playhouse at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $25. Proceeds benefit the International Children’s Film Festival, held at the center. Details, (847) 201-9032 or email

Vernon Hills

Breakfast and open house: Breakfast with Santa will be held at 8:30 and 10 a.m. Dec. 7 at Loyola’s Cuneo Mansion and Gardens, 1350 N. Milwaukee Ave. There will be a buffet-style meal, and arts and crafts for children. Tickets are $29, $24 for children ages 3–12 and children ages 2 and under are free. Reservations required. There will be an Open House with Santa from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 13. Includes a self-guided tour of the mansion, Santa, the holiday light show arts and crafts for children, and hot chocolate and cookies. The event is $5 plus admission to the Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Show. Cash only. Children under 3 are free. Guests are asked to bring unwrapped gifts for Toys for Tots or non-perishable canned goods. Details, (847) 362-3042 or


Celebration: HolidayWauk will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 7 in downtown, Genesee Street between Lake Street and Grand Avenue. The event offers movie screenings, art activities and more for children and adults of all ages. Highlights of the daylong event include photos with Santa Claus on the stage of the Genesee Theatre, melodies from the Salvation Army Band and the lighting of the holiday tree in Jack Benny Plaza. Details, (847) 623-6650 or

Exhibit: A grand opening for the new transportation exhibit titled “The Places You’ll Go” will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 8 at Waukegan Public Library, 128 N. County St. It will include students from Jack Benny Middle School performing holiday songs, racing remote control cars on a track in the Bradbury Room, and families can take part in the NASCAR pit stop challenge. The exhibit, funded exclusively by North Shore Gas, features 2,200 square-feet of car, bike, plane, train, and boat displays and interactive learning centers. Details, (847) 623-2041 ext. 231.


Boutique and sale: Hawthorn Hollow’s annual Holiday Boutique and Bake Sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 7 at 880 Green Bay Road. Join the Friends of Hawthorn Hollow for a day of shopping at the Two Sisters Boutique. There will be handcrafted wreaths, sprays, centerpieces, along with fresh greens and pine cones to create your own holiday atmosphere. The Boutique will also have baked goods, nature-related gifts, stocking stuffers such as books, toys, sweatshirts, aprons, hats, scarves, mittens, and other unique items. All proceeds go toward the protection and maintenance of Hawthorn Hollow. Details, (262) 552-8196 or email

Performance: The Lakeside Players will present “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 and 20, at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 and 21 and at 3 p.m. Dec. 15 and 22 at Rhode Center for the Arts, 514 56th St. Tickets are $10. Details, (262) 657-7529 or

Pleasant Prairie

Celebrate: Enjoy games, raffles prizes and a visit with Santa at the holiday celebration from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at Jelly Belly, 10100 Jelly Belly Lane. Details, (866) 868-7522.

Twin Lakes, Wis.

Dance: Celebrate “The Season of Seasons” will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. Dec. 7 at the “The Dance Place of Dance Places” at Twin Lakes Ballroom, now known as Rumpoles Wonder Bar, 352 E. Main St. It is the largest and oldest ballroom in Wisconsin and Illinois. Admission is $15 and $25 for couples and includes a 45-minute lesson of a dance. The Fox Trot dance will be taught from 7:30 to 8:15 p.m. by Barbara Finn, a Chicago instructor and the competition chairperson of the Chicago DanceSport Challenge. Also, a one-hour beginner/basic Fox Trot lesson will be taught by professional instructor Laura King. This will be held before the dance from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. for an additional fee of $10. Details, (312) 399-9090 or email

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