Don't-Miss Holiday Events Around the Suburbs

Plan now to attend the Nutcracker, 'A Christmas Carol,' a Christmas market and light displays, mostly in the suburbs with easy parking. We couldn't resist tossing in a couple great city activities, too.

Saturday, Dec. 3 at 2:30 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 4, at 2:30 p.m.; Glenbrook South High School, 4000 W. Lake Ave., Glenview.
Why Go: The award-winning, Northbrook-based a capella group delights audiences for the 27th year in a row with kids' classics, traditional Christmas tunes and Chanukah songs. Favorites include "Christmas Rag," "I Have Seen the Light," "Light One Candle" and "Alleluia" from Shrek.
$12 to $22.

When/Where: Saturday, Dec. 3, 9 - 10:30 a.m.; , 3535 Dundee Rd, Northbrook.
Why Go: 
Meet Santa over breakfast and enjoy Christmas songs, a holiday craft, and a special photo to take home.  Pancakes, sausage, juice, milk and coffee will be served. Sign up online at nbparks.org or at any park district customer service location.

Wonderland Express
When/Where: Through Jan. 21, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Chicago Botanic Garden; 1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe.
Why Go: Enjoy a dazzling array of lights, a miniature train exhibit, a gingerbread village display and much more at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Pricing: Adults: $8 members/$10 nonmembers, Seniors 62+: $6 members/$8 nonmembers, Children 3 to 12: $6 members/$8 nonmembers, Children 2 and under: free. There is also a parking charge of $20 per car.

Long Grove Christmas Activities
 Every Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 24; downtown Long Grove.
Why Go: You want horse-drawn carriage rides across a covered bridge, nutcracker teas, carolers galore, Dickens dinners and sing-a-longs? Long Grove delivers, with loads of charming atmosphere. And of course there are the shops and restaurants, too.

Bethlehem Walk 
 Saturday, Dec. 3, 3 - 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 4, 3 - 7 p.m.; St. Andrews Lutheran Church, 260 N. Northwest Highway, Park Ridge.
Why Go: Walk through St. Andrews Church, which has been transformed into the streets and hills of Bethlehem. Along the walk you can interact with characters dressed in costumes from the Christmas Story. See live animals, and enjoy refreshments and music once you have arrived in Bethlehem.
Pricing: Donation.

'The Nutcracker' by Salt Creek Ballet in Skokie
When/Where: Dec. 17-18 at 3 p.m. each day.
Why Go: Salt Creek Ballet dancers put on the story of the mysterious uncle who gives the young girl Clara a nutcracker that comes to life. Watch Herr Drosselmeyer flick his black cape to and fro; see the tree magically grow in size and witness the battle with the Mouse King.
Pricing: $31.50 to $39.50.

Room at the Inn
 Dec. 3 and 4, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.; St. Matthew Center for Health, 1601 N. Western Ave., Park Ridge. 
Why Go: Come see Oak Park resident Susan Greeley’s collection of almost 400 nativity scenes from around the world. There will be refreshments and a raffle to win a nativity scene. 
Pricing: Free

Santa Skate
 Saturday, Dec. 17 from 12:05 to 1:20 p.m.; , 8435 Ballard, Niles. 
Why Go: Come out and skate with Santa and his elves to holiday music.
Pricing: $5 fee + $3 skate rental.

Tuesday, Dec. 13 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.; , 3323 Walters Ave, Northbrook.
Why Go: 
Get creative with licorice ropes, peppermints and gum drops on pre-assembled gingerbread houses. Bring a cardboard box to take home your edible creation; ticket price includes admission for one adult and one child plus pizza and soda. $12 for each additional child participant.

Amahl and the Night Visitors 
When/Where: Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10 at 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 3 matinee, 2 p.m.; Dec. 11 matinee, 4 p.m.; Mary Wilson House Beyer Auditorium, 306 S. Prospect Avenue, Park Ridge. 
Why Go: See Petite Opera's production of the Gian Carlo Menotti opera about the Three Kings, who follow the star to Bethlehem and stop for shelter at the home of Amahl, a poor shepherd boy who lives with his mother. Amahl and his mother are touched by the wonders of the Christ child, and a miracle occurs.
Pricing: $25 for adults (ages 18-61), $22 for seniors (age 62 and up), $15 for students (ages 6-18), kids ages 5 and under are free.

Lincoln Park ZooLights
 Dec. 2–4, 9–1; open nightly Dec. 16–Jan. 1 (Closed Dec. 24 & 25), 5-9 p.m; Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago.
Why Go: Enjoy a visit with Santa, see animals from around the world, watch live ice carvings, see the holiday lights, and much more at the Lincoln Park Zoo. 
Pricing: Free

Brookfield Zoo Holiday Magic 
When/Where: Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18 and Dec. 26- 31; Brookfield Zoo, 300 Golf Rd., Brookfield.
Why Go: Enjoy a light festival featuring over one million twinkling lights and animated light displays at the Brookfield Zoo. There will also be a laser light show along with music and entertainment, ice carvings, and many more fun activities!
Pricing: N/A

 Through Dec. 24, Sunday - Thursday: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Friday & Saturday: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Dec. 24: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington Street, Chicago.
Why Go: Head over to Daley Plaza and enjoy this traditional German holiday market. The market features many tents with food, ornaments and other goods along with a giant Christmas tree and a chance to visit Santa!
Pricing: Admission is free.

Enchanted Railroad 
 Through Jan. 8 (Except Dec. 24 & 25), 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle.
Why Go: Check out the nine toy trains that operate via remote-controlled signals all around the Morton Arboretum
Pricing: $11 ages 18–64 ($7 Wednesdays), $10 ages 65+ ($6 Wednesdays), $8 ages 2–17 ($5 Wednesdays)


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