‘WOW’ WEEKEND UPDATE: Geneva’s Christmas Walk, Elgin’s Winter Wonderland, Dickens in Dundee!
- UPDATED THURSDAY, DEC. 1
This is it: The biggest holiday-flavored weekend of the season!
From Friday, Dec. 1, through Sunday, Dec. 4, there is a cornucopia of events to choose from in Kane County, IL.
From the Holiday Rock on the Fox in Algonquin to Holiday in the Hills in Campton Hills, from Dickens in Dundee to Winter Wonderland in Elgin., from Santa Comes to Hampshire to A Very Merry Huntley to the Tree-Lighting Celebration in Pingree Grove, this is the weekend to be out and about and to really get into the spirit of the season.
The big event(s) of the weekend might be centered in Geneva, where the community will come together for the spectacular Chamber of Commerce Christmas Walk on Friday night, the Holiday House Tour on Friday and Saturday and the Steeple Walk on Sunday.
Mooseheart’s Seventh Annual Holiday Lights Display runs through the end of the year. And, of course, you really should see the annual and nationally renowned Larsen House light display in Campton Hills.
There are dozens of events, parades, celebrations and festivals taking place all the way through the new year. Below is a sampling from communities throughout Kane County. If we missed your event or if you have updated information, please email email@example.com. And, of course, check out your local village, city or chamber of commerce webpages for more details.
Santa comes to town at Holiday Rock on the Fox in Algonquin, a FREE event that will have plenty of family activities for everyone to enjoy. Activities will kick off with the annual tree lighting ceremony at Riverfront Park, 201 N. Harrison St.
The event takes place from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. Toys for Tots donation bins will be available for new unwrapped toys.
For more information, please visit Algonquin Recreation.
The city of Aurora kicked off the holiday season with the annual Winter Lights Parade and Festival from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, in downtown Aurora.
Holiday Open House in Aurora
- When: noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016
- Where: Aurora Public Library, West Branch Library Multipurpose Room 233 South Constitution Drive, Aurora
- More Info: (630) 264-3600; www.aurorapubliclibrary.org
- Cost: Free
- Description: Bring the children to the Aurora Public Library’s annual open house featuring Holiday celebrations in many lands. There will be holiday crafts, music, games refreshments and a visit from Santa Claus, so remember and bring your camera.
Batavia Celebrates Magic of Season at Lights Festival
The holiday lights are still shining brightly in downtown Batavia after the Sunday, Nov. 27, as the Batavia Park Distric’s Celebration of Lights Festival from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Batavia Riverwalk.
Start your holiday shopping early in shops and restaurants along the river, and enjoy Christmas Tree Lane – 25 trees decorated by local organizations located throughout the Riverwalk. You can help determine the “People’s Choice” tree from Monday, Nov. 21 through Friday, November 25 at noon. View photos of all 25 trees on the Batavia Park District’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BataviaParkDistrict and “Like” your favorite to submit your vote!
For more info on holiday events, visit www.downtownbatavia.com.
The village of Campton Hills is just 9 years old, so 2016 will mark it first-ever holiday tree-lighting event. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be appearing and there will be live music, tree lighting, roasting chestnuts and candy canes for children. The event takes place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 2 at the intersection of LaFox Road and Campton Crossings Drive.
East Dundee Tree Lighting Ceremony
- When: 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, 2016
- Where: The Depot, 319 River St., East Dundee
- More Info: (847) 426-2956, www.dickensindundee.org
- Cost: Free
A Bethlehem Experience
This new, one-of-a-kind event runs in conjunction with the Dickens in Dundee events. It includes live actors with speaking roles in period costumes on six different outdoor sets with lighting and sound equipment, followed by family photos, Santa, refreshments, gifts for young ones and music.
There is no charge for the event that takes place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, and Saturday, Dec. 10, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 401 W. Main St. in West Dundee. For more information, visit bethlehemdundee.org.
Christmas Has Arrived in Downtown Elburn!
For the 22nd year, Elburn hosted its annual Christmas Stroll through downtown last weekend. Local merchants remain open with sales and holiday goodies!
- When: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016
- Where: American Legion, 112 N. Main St., Elburn
- More Info: (630) 365-2295, www.elburn.com
- Cost: Free
It’s time for that holiday favorite Winter Wonderland, where downtown Elgin turns into a magical and festive place to be. Join us for this fun-filled day on Saturday, Dec. 3, as the town embraces the holiday season!
Elgin Tree Lighting
- When: 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016
- Where: City Hall Plaza Elgin (Downtown Elgin)
- More Info: (847) 531-7056; www.cityofelgin.org
- Cost: Free
Tree Sales to Benefit Ecker Center
Ziegler Ace Hardware in downtown Elgin started its Christmas tree sales to benefit Ecker Center for Mental Health on Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving. This program is a continuation of the traditional tree sales which used to be conducted at Larkin Center.
Trees and wreaths will be provided by the same vendor — Windy Hill Christmas Tree Farm in Gleason, WI. Sales will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily through Dec. 19. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the programs and services of Ecker Center, serving the needs of area residents since 1955.
Ziegler Ace Hardware is located at 215 N. Spring Street in Elgin. For more information, phone Ecker Center at 847-695-0484 x 1913.
Tis the season to be jolly … especially in downtown Geneva! The festivities begin at the courthouse square at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, with the arrival of Santa Lucia, the first candy cane of the season, and Santa lighting the great tree — and continue with roasted chestnuts, strolling carolers and a live nativity. You can also visit Santa on Friday evening and on Saturdays and Sundays visit Santa and take a complimentary carriage ride throughout the Christmas season.
There’s so much to do in Geneva during the holidays. Click these links to find out more:
CASA’s Dec. 1 Holiday Extravaganza
Holiday Carnivale for Kids & Families
4:30 – 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1
You will enjoy a magical evening with Santa and his sleigh along with our friends from FROZEN! As you enter into this winter wonderland you will be greeted with carolers, along with a Christmas scene and experience for everyone. Enjoy gourmet candy stations, activities, premiere kid’s finger foods, hors d’oeuvres & desserts.
Holiday Glam & Couture Fashion Show
7:30 – 11 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1
Begin your Holiday Season in STYLE as we celebrate for a cause. It’s a couture fashion show with everyday, evening and cocktail attire. Enjoy music and dancing from our friends at Vargo’s Dance as you watch local models from our community on the catwalk. Hors d’oeuvres, food stations, wine & beer included. This event is for adults only.
All guests will receive a program book with holiday coupons to kick off your holiday shopping from local vendors.
Geneva Lions Club Hosts 5th Annual Pancake Breakfast with Santa
The Geneva Lions Club will host its fifth annual Pancake Breakfast with Santa from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, at the Geneva High School Cafeteria, 415 McKinley, Geneva.
In addition to free photos with Santa, the event features live holiday music and a free crafts section. New this year, Pancake Creation Station! Customize your pancake with a variety of fun toppings. The breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, juice, milk and Arcedium Coffee. Tickets are $6 in advance or $7 at the door. Children three and under are free. Purchase your tickets from your favorite Geneva Lion, at the Geneva History Museum, State Street Jewelers or online at genevalionsclub.org.
The Geneva Lions Club works within the communities of Geneva and St. Charles to raise money primarily for the benefit of persons with sight or hearing disabilities. A large percentage of funds is also donated to local community organizations. Visit genevalionsclub.org to learn more about the Geneva Lions Club, our service activities, and the organizations we support.
SOURCE: Geneva Lions Clbub news release
Gilberts held its tree lighting ceremony Friday, Nov. 18, 2016, at Town Square Park. The Rutland Dundee Fire Protection District holds its annual Santa Run in December. Escorted by the Fire Department, Santa visits each neighborhood in town. Santa’s schedule is typically posted in December.
A Children’s Lunch with Santa and Mrs. Claus will take place from noon to 1 p.m. and all other activities — crafters and vendors, entertainment, games, bouncy house, face painting, food and animal balloons — will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, at Hampshire Middle School.
Have a Very Merry Huntley 2016 takes place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at the Municipal Complex, 10987 Main St., from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at the 1st Congregational Church, 11628 E. Main St., and from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Town Square, on Coral Street between Church Street and Woodstock Street.
Montgomery Tree Lighting and Festival of Trees
Montgomery’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in front of the Village Hall at 200 N. River St. in Montgomery. This is a free event for the entire community and is hosted jointly by the village of Montgomery and the Greater Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce.
The event will kick off as students from local grade schools decorate the village Christmas tree with handmade ornaments, followed by the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus in fire trucks with sirens blaring. After the lighting of the Christmas tree, children can visit Santa and take photos inside the Village Hall while everyone enjoys musical numbers performed by the students outside on the Park District’s Sound Stage.
Free hot cocoa and cookies will be provided throughout the evening by the GMACC. Be sure to dress for the weather and bring your camera!
The Village Hall will once again host a Festival of Trees that will turn all three levels of the Village Hall into a winter wonderland. Area businesses participate by decorating Christmas trees for everyone to enjoy, and visitors of all ages are invited to vote for their favorite tree. Some of the businesses will even be sponsoring fun raffles and prizes that evening.
In addition, the Festival of Trees will continue for three weeks, so those unable to attend the December 4th event can still stop by to view the beautiful trees and vote for their favorite during business hours until Dec. 22.
If you are a business interested in putting up a tree or if you know of a youth group that might be interested in performing, please call Debbie Buchanan at 630-896-8080 ext. 9003.
In addition to on-street parking, two public parking lots are available behind the Village Hall along Main Street.
At 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, guitarist Randy Walker will perform a free holiday music show called “All Christmas, All of the Time” at the Montgomery Village Hall, 200 N. River Street. Walker has been a favorite entertainer at past events in Montgomery and will perform popular Christmas songs from the past decades. The event is free and open to the general public.
Randy Walker is one of the Chicago area’s most versatile guitarists and vocalists and has been performing for audiences for over 40 years. He has been playing guitar and singing since age 11 and grew up in a musical household. Both his parents sang in barbershop choruses and he quickly developed an astute ear for music and harmonies. He particularly enjoys sharing his talents with senior groups and is a popular performer throughout the suburbs.
The monthly Senior Lunch and activity for 55+ will begin at 11 a.m. after the entertainment. There is a $4 cost for the lunch and pre-registration by Dec. 6 is required.
For additional information or to sign up for this event, please call the Montgomery Village Hall at (630) 896-8080, Ext. 9023.
Mooseheart’s Seventh Annual Holiday Lights Display runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly through Saturday, Dec. 31. Holiday Lights at Mooseheart is one of the Chicago area’s largest light displays! The lighted route is about 1.8 miles and has more than 80 lighted displays to view.
Even though Santa is extremely busy this time of year, he couldn’t turn down an opportunity to visit Mooseheart! For six nights this year — Dec. 9-11 and Dec. 16-18 — the admission price includes not only the Holiday Lights show, but also a chance to see Santa Claus at the Mooseheart fieldhouse. Santa will sit for free photos starting at 5:30 p.m. and the line will be shut at 8:30 p.m., with those in line still allowed to see Santa. In addition to Santa Claus, the fieldhouse will also be a place where children can enjoy a crafts, holiday music, hot chocolate, and Christmas cookies.
For More Info: (630) 966-2200; www.mooseheart.org
Lions Club Breakfast With Santa
The North Aurora Lions Club will be hosting its annual Pancake Breakfast with Santa from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, at the Union Congregational Church in North Aurora, 405 W. State St.
Cost is $4 for children ages 3-8, and $6 for children ages 9 and up. Tickets are available at the door. Santa Claus will be present!
All proceeds support North Aurora Lions charities. For more information please contact Lion Denise Duran @ 630-870-0308.
Additional information may be found on the North Aurora Lions club website: www.northauroralions.org
Tree Lighting in Pingree Grove
- When: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016
- Where: Centennial Park, Reinking Road in Pingree Grove
- More Info: (847) 464-5533; www.villageofpingreegrove.org
- Cost: Free
Electric Christmas Parade and Holiday Homecoming in St. Charles
Last weekend, St. Charles celebrated its Holiday Homecoming, one of the Midwest’s most spectacular holiday events and the official kick-off to the holiday season in St. Charles. Santa’s House will open 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday afternoon from Nov. 26 to Dec. 18. All Holiday Homecoming events and activities are free of charge.
An Almost Winter Day in South Elgin
An Almost Winter Day special event took place Nov. 19, at SEBA Park.
Santa has officially arrived, and there are a ton of holiday events to keep an eye on in South Elgin. For more information about these and other programs offered by the Parks and Recreation Department, call 847-622-0003 or visit the department’s special events page here.
West Dundee Tree Lighting Ceremony
It’s Dickens in Dundee time!
2016 marks the 29th year of the annual Dickens in Dundee event to kick off the Christmas season. Dickens in Dundee was formed in 1988 as a small community gathering, with caroling and the search for Tiny Tim’s crutch in local stores. With the financial support of local businesses and the villages of East Dundee and West Dundee, it has grown into a weekend holiday festival which attracts a people from all over the Dundee area.
The cornerstone event is Saturday’s Spirit of Christmas Parade. The parade begins at Second Street in West Dundee and travels across the Main Street Bridge into East Dundee, ending near the Dundee Township Visitors Center (The Depot) on River Street. Other popular events include Gingerbread House Making, Festival of Trees, Santa’s Petting Zoo and, of course, a visit from Santa Claus himself!
West Dundee’s tree-lighting ceremony is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, at the West Dundee Village Hall, 102 South 2nd St. Santa will be at the Village Hall before the tree lighting ceremony and will be visiting with the children again afterward. There will be holiday music, hot cocoa and treats for the kids.
For more information, call (847) 426-2956 or visit www.dickensindundee.org.