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2012 Holiday Events — on the Northwest Line

Visits With Santa

Happy Holidays from Just off the Tracks!

With All Of These Enchating Holiday Events You Just May Decide To Start A New Holiday Tradition Or Two. 

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Christmas in Harvard

December 1st – Christmas in Harvard - a day of merriment awaits, start with Breakfast with Mrs. Claus at Kelley’s Restaurant from 9:30-11:30 am Fee $5. Then head out to do some shopping at Santa’s Gift Shoppe from 10:00 am-12:00 pm & 1:00-4:00 pm and the Craft Show from10:00 am-4:00pm, both  at the Historic Starline Building. Head back outside to watch the Annual Holiday Parade at 12:30 pm on Ayer Street. You may want to grab some lunch because it’s not over yet. From 12:30 to 4:00 pm take a Free Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride then head back to the Starline to visit with Santa  and the Harvard Fire Department with their Mascot, Sparky from 1:00–4:00 pm. 

Christmas in Woodstock

Victorian Christmas begins November 23rd, where you will feel transported back into the Victorian Era. Highlights include; Lighting of the Square, Free Carriage Rides, Dickens Carolers and more.

Woodstock Square

Friday, November 23rd – Lighting of the Square – Festivities start at 6:30 pm. Lighting at 7:00pm and Santa will be on the Square from 7:30 to 9:00 pm.

November 23rd-December 22nd – Free Carriage Rides around the Square – Starting November 23rd and continuing every Friday and Saturday through December 22nd. For times go to{BFFECDA6-0FC7-4E6A-91AB-F9CFDE13E78B}&month=12&year=2012#cal{4767D15C-D94C-486E-A078-95A1E0F248F2}

Saturday, November 24th – Dickens Carolers – 12:00 3:00 pm, singing songs of holiday cheer.

Sunday, November 25th- Christmas Parade around the Square - 2:00 pm, stop for milk & cookies with Santa after the parade!

Thursday, December 6th – Ladies Night Out – 5-10 pm

Friday December 7th - Jazz on the Square,at Stage Left Cafe, Yuletide Groove with Typhanie Monique

Saturday & Sunday December 15 & 16 – Victorian Kids days – 10:00-5:00 pm Grab the kids and head to the Square for an afternoon geared just for them. Participating stores will have special activities and entertainment.


Christmas in Crystal Lake

Festival of Lights Parade

Friday, November 23rd – Festival of Lights Parade - 7 pm -Experience this enchanted evening with illuminated floats, marchers, and music.

November 23rd – December 23rd, Santa House Visits – Thursdays & Fridays from 6-8pm, Saturday’s from 10:00-3:00 pm, and Sundays from noon – 3:00 pm, with extended hours Monday, Dec.19th -Fri.23rd 6-8 pm. Downtown at Brink St. Market on Williams St.

Saturday, December 10th – Breakfast with Santa - 9:00 am. Children enjoy a buffet breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Old Towne Hall at the corner of Brink & Williams Streets. Visits with Santa, music, games, gifts and photo for each child included in ticket price. Ticket price $12 per person. Children under age 2 are free.

Raue Center for the Arts– enjoy one of their Christmas programs. Including It’s A Wonderful Life, the Nutcracker, Sing A Long Messiah, and more. For their entire Holiday Selection and ticket information go to

Christmas in Cary –

Sunday, December 2nd - Merry Cary Holiday Parade & Festival- a day of fun for the entire family. The Parade begins at 1:00 pm at West Main St. and goes through downtown Cary and is one of the largest Holiday parades in McHenry County. After the parade stay downtown for horse drawn sleigh rides, pony Rides, a Petting Zoo and much, much more. All events are free.

Christmas in Fox River Grove

Saturday, December 1st – Annual Tree Lighting Festival- stop by for Children’s Activities, Horse Drawn Wagon Rides, Music, Storytelling and More. Santa will arrive by fire truck to meet the children and have photos taken. Events begin at 2 pm. withtree lighting around 4:30 pm and are located about 1 mile from the Metra station, at 975 Algonquin Rd.

Saturday, December 8th – Santa Sighting at Stone Hill – from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm stop by the Stone Hill Shopping center where Santa will be roaming the center to visit with the children and hand out treats. So don’t forget your camera and listen For his jingle bells.


The Nutcracker

Christmas in Barrington -

Saturday, December 1st – Enjoy Barrington’s Annual Holiday Traditions - 10am till 7 pm : A Holiday Trolley will take you to all of the events from 10:30am – 6:30 pm. With continuous route from the Village Center to Ice House Mall to Shops on Lageschulte and the Foundry. 

 ’Candy Cane Festival’, 10 am-2 pm, at the Foundry Shopping Center, free reindeer antlers from G.Whiz, photos with Santa, petting zoo, and over 15 participating retailers offering special treats and surprises.

‘Winter Wonderland’, 11am-4 pm, at the Ice House Mall. At 11:00 am - Story Time with Mrs. Claus followed by cookies & milk.  At 12:30 pm - Santa arrives on the Holiday Trolley. At 2:00 pm - a dance presentation of the Nutcracker.

Gingerbread Lane’, at theShops on Lageschulte from 12:00 – 5:00 pm: Strolling carolers, photos with gingerbread people, at 3:00pm Santa arrives on the Trolley.

‘Barrington Aglow’, Tree Lighting Ceremony - at Village Center on S. Cook Street from 1:00 to 6:30 pm: a Holiday Tradition in the Village; 1-5 pm – Free carriage rides and  Madrigal Singers,  at 5:00 pm Santa’s arrival by fire Engine to light Barrington’s tree and visit with the children.

Saturday, Dec 8th -Breakfast with Santa – 9:00 to 11:00 am Chessie’s Restaurant. Visit with Santa and enjoy a wonderful holiday breakfast with the family. Call for Reservations – (847) 382-5020 $12 per person.

Santa at the Ice House Mall - Visits will continue on Dec 2nd, 8th, 9th,15th from Noon to 3 pm and Dec. 15-23rd, from Noon to 4 pm. Christmas Eve, Dec. 24th, 11 am to 3 pm. Don’t forge to Bring your camera.

Christmas in Palatine

Friday November 16th – A Very Merry Shopping Event - 5:00 to 9:00 pm with festive hors d’oeuvres, sweets, and wine are provided to spice up your shopping experience.

Saturday, November 17h –  Tree Lighting Ceremony– 5:00 pm Join Palatine officials and Santa Claus for the official tree lighting ceremony at the Towne Square at Smith Street and Palatine road in downtown Palatine. Enjoy entertainment and refreshments throughout the evening.

Christmas in Arlington Heights

Friday, November 23rd – Arlington Hts. Lights up for the Holidays -4:30 pm Celebrate the holidays in Arlington Heights at the Annual Tree Lighting. Held at 4:30 p.m. at North School Park, 410 N. Arlington Heights Road. Enjoy carolers, dancers, kettle corn and hot chocolate as you await the “flip of a switch” that will light up the holiday displays that fill North School Park as well as the large tree that sits atop the fountain in the heart of the Park.

Once the lights are flipped, the entire Downtown features tree-lined streets lit with twinkling white lights, which make for a magical backdrop while window-shopping and restaurant hopping this holiday season.

Christmas in Mt. Prospect -

Wednesday, November 21st - Mt. Prospect Tree Lighting Ceremony - 5:00 pm at the Village Hall – Southwest Entrance, 50 S. Emerson Street. Head to Downtown Mt. Prospect and celebrate the beginning of the holiday season. The Madrigal Singers of Prospect High School will perform, and the Mount Prospect Lions Club will be serving hot cocoa and cookies will be provided by Central Continental Bakery. And new this year, a Christkindl Market, with approximately 20 fine craft vendors. For more details, check out .

Friday November 30th - Mount Prospect Historical Society’s 24th annual Holiday Housewalk- 3:30 to 9 p.m.-This years walk will highlight Mount Prospect’s historic Busse’s Eastern Addition, just east of downtown on the north side of the tracks. Click Holiday Housewalk for details.

Tree Lighting

Christmas in Des Plaines –

Friday, November 30th – Des Plaines Holiday Lighting Ceremony – 4 to 6 PM in Metropolitan Square, downtown Des Plaines, behind the Des Plaines Theater, between Lee Street and Pearson Avenue. 

The Des Plaines Fire Department will bring Santa around 4:15 PM into Metropolitan Square on a fire engine where he will greet the children and give away candy canes. Then the Salvation Army Band will entertain, followed by Artistry in Motion Dance Troupe, then Maine West High School Carolers will sing some holiday classics. At approximately 6 PM, the Mayor & local officials will lead you in a countdown to the lighting of the Square. Enjoy hot chocolate, cookies, roasted chestnuts, warm kettle corn & more.

There will be a hay wagon where families can photograph their children with Santa. Remember to bring your camera! Your evening doesn’t have to end with the Lighting Ceremony, as the Des Plaines Theatre, 1476 Miner Street, will be showing a holiday feature at approximately 6:30 PM.

Christmas in Park Ridge

Friday, November 23rd - Winter Fest– 6-9pm A traditional holiday celebration with fun for all ages. In South Park visit Santa, his Elves and Live Reindeer. Ride the free trolley bus between South Park and Uptown where Maine East Blue Regiment  and the willows Academy Chamber Choir will be providing entertainment. Visit the open house at the library and visit the shops in Uptown for Open House Treats and perhaps find the perfect holiday gift. For a complete listing of events go to

Sunday, December 2nd - “It’s a Wonderful Life”, Movie – 1:00pm (doors open at noon), to benefit Park Ridge Community Fund, Pickwick Theatre, 5 S. Prospect Ave.  Free admission but donations to the Park Ridge Community Fund greatly appreciated.

Santa Express

Christmas in Edison Park

Saturday, December 8th -  Santa Express  & Tree Lighting– 9:54 am Santa will arrive by train, to the Edison Park, Metra Train Station. From the station, he’ll escort the kids to the Edison Park Christmas Tree Lighting at the corner of Oshkosh and Northwest Hwy. His journey will end at the Edison Park Field House where kids will have the opportunity to get a picture with Santa, have a snack, make some crafts and take a sleigh ride around Edison Park. This free community event is sure to get you and yours in the holiday spirit!

Christmas in Norwood Park –

Saturday, December 1st - 29th Annual Holiday House Walk – 11 am-4 pm. Norwood Park Historical Society’s Holiday House Walk features five local Norwood Park homes and ends at the Noble-Seymour-Crippen House, Chicago’s oldest home. The tour begins at the Norwood Park Senior Center at 5801 N. Natoma Ave., Chicago. A free shuttle bus will stop at all the homes throughout the day. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the event. For more information or to purchase tickets go to:

Thursday November 29th through Sunday December 2nd- Victoria’s 25th annual Holiday Boutique &  Holly Daze Café will be held at the Noble-Seymour-Crippen House 5624 N. Newark Ave., Chicago. Admission is $1 and admission is free with a House Tour ticket on Dec. 1st. Boutique hours: Thursday, Nov. 29, 10am – 5pm, Friday Nov 30,10am – 9:30pm, Saturday Dec. 1, 10am – 5pm, Sunday Dec. 2, 10am – 3pm. For more info click link above.

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