Holiday Events Guide – November 2017


Do you know what November brings? Lots of Holiday Events! Get ready for a Tree Lighting Festivals, Santa’s Visits, Outdoor Ice Skating and much more fun programs. This guide has three parts: Ice Skating Outdoor Rinks, Ongoing Events in the Chicago and Suburbs, and events by the date around NW Suburbs of Chicago. Update your calendar and enjoy this holiday season with your family and friends.



  • SOUTH BARRINGTON, THE ARBORETUM – Arboretum on Ice – November 11, 2017 – January 15, 2018. Skate on our 7,200 square foot real ice rink with your friends and family. Admission: $12 with skate rental or $8 without skate rental, $8 for children under 3.  Website
  • CHICAGO, MILLENNIUM PARK – Ice Skating Experience one of the city’s finest winter traditions from November 17, 2017 – March 4, 2018 (weather permitting). Check the website for daily hours of operation. Admission is FREE with free skating lessons Friday through Sunday, one hour before the rink opens. Skate rentals available for $12.
  • ROSEMONT – Ice Skating at MB Financial Park, November 24, 2017 – February 2018

It’s winter fun for the whole family! Ice Skating is a FREE event. Skate rentals are available for $8. Tickets are sold on site at the box office.  Cash & credit cards accepted. Website

  • CHICAGO, The Maggie Daley Park – Skating ribbon, November 17, 2017 – first week of March (weather permitting).  Free admission, skate rentals $12 ($14 on the weekend), locker rental $2. Website
maggie daley ice ribbon

Photo credit: Martha Williams



  • BASS PRO SHOPS – Santa’s WonderlandNovember 11, 2017 – December 24, 2017.

Santa’s Arrival and Preview Event on Saturday, November 11 at 5:00 pm.

Free photo with Santa, $5 Christmas card package, free wooden picture frame, free crafts, free activity tables, laser or foam toy arcade, Lincoln Logs building area, remote control trucks and more. Visit website for schedule and more details.

  • MUSEUM OF SCIENCE & INDUSTRY – Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light  opens November 18, 2017- January 7, 2018.

It began in 1942 with a single tree. Today, the Museum’s beloved annual celebration features a four-story, floor-to-dome Grand Tree, surrounded by a forest of more than 50 trees and displays decorated by volunteers to represent the holiday traditions from cultures around the globe. On the weekends, you can also enjoy live holiday performances. It’s the one-of-a-kind experience that brings a whole world of holiday joy under one roof. Website

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  • THE MORTON ARBORETUM, LISLE – Illumination: Tree Lights. November 17, 2017 – January 1, 2018

Illumination is an award-winning, one-mile outdoor walking tour on a paved path winding through 50 acres of The Morton Arboretum’s celebrated tree collections. Seating, warming/concession tents, and fire pits are available along the route. So are countless photo opportunities. It’s an ideal way to experience the winter woods brought to life with innovative lights, projections, and music.

This year, we’re introducing the Illu-medallion. Groundbreaking technology lets you be part of the interactive light display when you purchase a glowing, wearable Illu-medallion that reacts to the spectacular sights and sounds along your journey. Website

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  • CHICAGO – Christkindlmarket, November 17 – December 24, 2017

The Christkindlmarket Chicago brings a cherished German and European tradition with international flair and local charm to Chicago. At the market, stop by the Information Counter at the Americaneagle Grand Timber Haus and pick up a Christkindlmarket Passport – inside are activities, coloring pages, and a special at-market contest for children. Advent Calendar, Scavenger Hunt and more.  Admission is FREE! Website


  • LINCOLN PARK ZOO – ZooLightsNovember 24–26; December 1–3, 8–23, 26–31; January 1-7, 2018

Winter wonderland with lights, Santa visits, ice carving, train adventures, holiday crafts and more, 4:30-9:00 pm. Website

  • COSLEY ZOO, WHEATON – Festival of lightsNovember 24- December 30, 2017, 3:00-9:00 pm.

Cosley Zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland with 20,000 twinkling lights creating spectacular displays, an amazing selection of Christmas trees for you to purchase, hot chocolate, and holiday gifts.  Zoo Admission is free during the Festival of Lights and Tree Sales. Donations are greatly appreciated.

  • Cosley Zoo is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day
  • Cosley Zoo is open 9A-Noon on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve

The zoo is open 9 am-9 pm daily; lights come on at 3 pm. Website

  • CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN – Wonderland Express, November 24, 2017 – January 7, 2018

This is one of the Chicago area’s top holiday “must-sees,” and a family-friendly, made-for-memories experience.  Website


Holiday Events in November 2017:


Help us welcome Santa to Woodfield Mall. Be the first to see him as he parades around the mall led by the Conant High School Band.



Join us as the Barrington VFW Post 7706 leads Santa and the fire truck to Deer Park Town Center! Count down with Santa as he turns on the holiday lights & enjoy a fireworks extravaganza with a finale honoring our veterans. Santa will be available to visit with children until 8:30PM. Kids who visit with Santa will receive a free pouch of magical reindeer food, while supplies last. Fireworks begin shortly after 6PM.



Kick off the holiday season with a day of fun family activities at The Arb. Be there at 11:00 am sharp and watch Santa arrive on a Fire Truck. Then glide on the ice with the Grinch, skate with Olaf, and enjoy tunes from the 1970’s during Disco Skate. At 5:30 pm, enjoy a musical light show as we bring to life our big 36ft. Holiday Tree to life!

Santa Claus is coming to town and he’s bringing Clifford The Big Red Dog. WTTW is hosting The Big Idea Tour, a fun filled live show for kids and families of all ages. Then join Clifford and the team as we welcome Santa riding in on his new Harley Davidson. Treats for all the kids who attend.




Enjoy this holiday tradition, a glittering tree set among Chicago’s sparkling skyline and the iconic art of Millennium Park. The City of Chicago is proud to present the 104th Anniversary of the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, November 17.

Admission to the Tree Lighting Ceremony and all other holiday activities in Millennium Park is free.



On Saturday, November 18, The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival will once again offer a full lineup of activities, starting at 11:00 AM and continuing throughout the evening. A grand Tree-Lighting Parade down Michigan Avenue marshaled by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida steps off at 5:30 PM.

11 am – 4 pm – Lights Festival Lane, Santa Claus is always ready to greet guests, alongside more than a dozen family-friendly things to do.
5:30-7 pm – Tree-Lighting Parade
6:55 pm – Fireworks Spectacular

Come join the Celebrations Commission’s annual Friendship Tree Lighting ceremony! There will be a visitor from the North, dancers, refreshments, and, of course, Fireworks! The fun starts at 5 pm at Village Hall.

Celebrate the tree lighting at 5:00 p.m. and come inside to warm up and have refreshments. A special visitor will arrive to meet and greet with the kids. Enjoy performances by the Noteables Choir and the HOTT Production Dancers.

BLOOMINGDALE, STRATFORD SQUARE MALL – Cratf Time with Santa, 12:00-2:00 pm

Craft Time with Santa and The Bloomingdale Park District in Center Court.



The annual lighting ceremony in the Village is scheduled to place on Sunday, November 19th at 4:30 pm at Friendship Park, located at the northeast corner of Dundee Road and Milwaukee Avenue. Stop by for some hot cocoa, kiddie train and a visit with Santa, and experience the beautiful lights turning on to mark the beginning of the Holiday Season.



The Christkindlmarket will take place in the Village Hall Community Room. You will have a chance to choose from a variety of creative and unique gifts from fine local vendors – just in time for the holidays!

Tree Lighting Ceremony will start at 5;00 pm. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, cookies and carols.






The Village of Arlington Heights installs and decorates an evergreen tree on the Park’s fountain and lights up the streetscape trees. Our Park District craftsmen have created a number of display pieces over the years that carry out a children’s toy theme.

Tree Lighting Ceremony starts at 5:00 pm.

FREE TROLLEY RIDES FROM 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The trolley is free and will be at North School Park. The trolley will make frequent trips to the Historical Museum where they will have different games for children to play. The trolley will also travel to Harmony Park in the downtown area where an ice sculpture will be. Riders can hop on the trolley at any of the designated stops to return to North School Park.

MB Financial Park will kick off its winter programming Friday, November 24th with the opening of the Chicago Wolves Ice Rink at MB Financial Park and “Light Up the Park” tree lighting event, featuring a spectacular display of more than 80,000 lights in the park.

FREE ice skating begins at 11 a.m. Guests can also enjoy various holiday festivities throughout the day including photo opportunities with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Christmas carolers, ice carving and free horse-drawn sleigh rides around The Park.

The ice rink at MB Financial Park closes for the evening at 11 p.m. MB Financial Park restaurants will be open for lunch and dinner throughout the day.

Tree Lighting Ceremony with Santa ride in on a fire truck and everyone will enjoy Christmas carols, entertainment, and refreshments.

The 2017 ceremony will feature a holiday performance by Gary Lewis & the Playboys!

At 5:30 pm following the performance, a special guest will join Mayor Johnson in throwing the switch to light up the holiday tree and turn on over 250,000 lights around the Municipal Complex, Elk Grove Public Library, Elk Grove Park District Pavilion, and on the Village’s Holiday Tree.

A special fireworks display will follow the tree lighting, announcing the entrance of Santa and his elves. Hot chocolate, coffee and cookies will be provided.

Santa in Elk Grove

The Festival of Lights Parade is the traditional start to the holiday season, as Santa Claus comes to town! The evening is filled with lights, music, pageantry, and little holiday magic! 2017 Theme: “A Candy Cane Christmas”.



This program is designed for all ages who want to experience the holiday spirit. The musical group Kevin Farris and the Infinite Possibilities will kick off the event from 1-2. Santa will appear with the Rose Queen at 2 PM. Refreshments will be served. No registration necessary!

Visit Santa, and animals, make a craft or two and enjoy refreshments. Fee: $5/family donation, $3 for printed photo with Santa.



Magic is in the air at the Village of Bensenville annual Holiday Magic and Tree Lighting Ceremony.  Festivities include holiday music, reindeer, face painting, holiday movies at the Bensenville Theater, commemorative ornaments, kettle corn, hot chocolate, treats and much more. Santa arrives on the Yuletide Express at 3:00 pm.



Run, run as fast as you can to our special Gingerbread Storytime! We will be reading different versions of this popular story, and then creating our very own gingerbread house out of graham crackers, frosting and candy! Space is limited to 30.

In order to better serve our patrons, we will be distributing a limited number of tickets at the Youth Services Reference Desk on a first-come, first-served basis 30 minutes before the start of the program. One ticket will be given per person and all attendees must be present to receive a ticket.



Run, run as fast as you can to our special Gingerbread Storytime! We will be reading different versions of this popular story, and then creating our very own gingerbread house out of graham crackers, frosting and candy! Space is limited to 30.

In order to better serve our patrons, we will be distributing a limited number of tickets at the Youth Services Reference Desk on a first-come, first-served basis 30 minutes before the start of the program. One ticket will be given per person and all attendees must be present to receive a ticket.


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