20 Places to Mingle with Santa this Holiday Season 2015

‘Tis the season to be jolly and we know all the spots for you to see Jolly St. Nick and his elves. We’ve found 20 places – or more – for you to whisper in Santa’s ear at these fun events.

Santa Claus & girl

Nov. 7 – Dec. 24
Adventure to Santa 2015
Oak Brook: 630-413-9846 www.oakbrookcenter.com/events/adventure-to-santa
Oakbrook Center. Join Shrek and his friends on a magical, interactive adventure to find Santa at the North Pole. During your Adventure to Santa, you will explore Santa’s home, take a thrilling sleigh ride, meet Santa and pose for a photo and bring home a Holiday memory you’ll never forget. Book early and save! Receive a $5 discount on Adventures scheduled between Nov. 7-Dec. 5, 2015.


Sat. & Sun., Nov. 28-29; Dec. 5-6; Dec. 12-13 & Dec. 19-20
Christmas Train Rides – East Troy Railroad
East Troy, WI: www.easttroyrr.org
Take your family on a magical ride from our East Troy, Wis. depot to Santa’s Workshop, where children visit Santa, enjoy cookies and hot chocolate, and take home a creative craft. Trains depart at 9:30am, noon, and 2:30pm. Reservations are required. Adults $15.00, Children $17.50.


Dec. 1 – Dec. 23
Naperville Park District Santa House 2015
Naperville: 630-848-5000 www.napervilleparks.org
Naperville Riverwalk at Jackson & Webster Ave. Take a special holiday trip to visit Santa. Admission is free. Photos can be purchased for $8 each or two for $15. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to visit Santa this year! Pre-register for these nights: Special Needs Night: Dec. 1-3; Military Night/First Responder Families: Dec. 8; Pet Night: Dec. 9.


Dec. 4, 6-9:30pm
Geneva Christmas Walk 2015
Geneva: 630-232-6060 www.genevachamber.com
Third St. Santa Lucia arrives and Santa makes his Geneva debut brought by horse-drawn carriage to open his Gingerbread House. Enjoy carolers, the Great Tree lighting, roasted chestnuts, Swedish cookies, an old-fashioned candy cane pull, and holiday shopping. Free.


Dec. 5
Breakfast at the North Pole
Glen Ellyn: 630-858-2462 www.gepark.org
Maryknoll Park Clubhouse, 845 Pershing Ave. Everyone enjoys this tradition, complete with breakfast, activities, and a visit from the original jolly old elf, Santa! Each child receives a gift from Santa as a remembrance of this special day! Seatings at 8:30-9:30am, 10-11am & 11:30-12:30pm. Register- https://goo.gl/a8evLv.

Santa Hustle

Dec. 5, 9am-2pm
Santa Hustle 5K – Chicago
Chicago: 847-829-4536 www.santahustle.com/chicago/
Soldier Field. Santa Claus is comin’, and is running to your town! See Chicago unlike ever before as thousands of Santas race along the streets and paths of the lakefront. Jingle all the way through the course with candy and cookies, festive music, creative Christmas images, and so much more, it is all designed to get you in the perfect holiday mood.


Dec. 5-6
Polar Express Storytime Train 2015
Geneva: 630-232-4542 genevaparks.org
All aboard the Polar Express Storytime Train! Travel to the North Pole to pick up Santa & his friends. They will then travel back with us to Geneva and have lunch/dinner at Front Street Cantina. After we eat, every child will have the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap, give him their wish list and have a picture taken. Please note: families are encouraged to wear their pajamas and bring their holiday spirit. Pictures, train ticket and food are included in the fee. Two trips each day: 9:30am-noon (train departs 9:47am) & 1:30-4pm (train departs 1:47pm).


Dec. 5, 11am-1:30pm
Jelly Belly Holiday Celebration and Photos with Santa 2015
Pleasant Prairie, WI: 866-868-7522 www.jellybelly.com
Jelly Belly Visitor Center. Join us for a holiday celebration and meet Santa in a spectacular candy wonderland. Guests will enjoy raffles and prizes, face painting, balloon art and a magician. Free tours will run throughout, so hop on the train and enjoy learning about how we make delicious Jelly Belly jelly beans!


Dec. 5, 11:30am-1pm
Naperville Park District Skating with Santa
Bolingbrook: 630-848-5000 www.napervilleparks.org
Rocket Ice Arena, 180 Canterbury Ln. Celebrate the season and skate with Santa. Naperville Park District registered participants enjoy private ice time, photo opportunities with Santa, holiday music and hot chocolate. A skating “trainer” is available for children new to skating. If the child registering does not know how to skate, a parent must register and be on the ice with the child. Designed for age 2 and up.


Dec. 6, 2-4pm
Santa’s Workshop 2015 – Crystal Lake
Crystal Lake: 815-459-0680 www.crystallakeparks.org
Grand Oaks, 1401 W. Route 176. Workshop craft making The Elves Sweet Shoppe Reindeer Games (and a chance to visit with Santa). Registration required.


Dec. 8, 6-7pm
Hello Santa 2015
Geneva: 630-232-4542 genevaparks.org
Imagine your child’s surprise when the receive a call from Santa Claus directly from his workshop at the North Pole! Santa’s time is very precious this time of year, so please register your child early, ages 3 to 10. Santa needs every parent to register and fill out an information form by December 6th. Free.


Dec. 11 & 12, 5:30-8pm
Itasca’s Santa’s Workshop 2015
Itasca: www.itascaparkdistrict.com
Springbrook Nature Center, 130 Forest Ave. Kids love this free event! We’ll have cookies, hot chocolate, crafts, a visit with Santa and more. Free!


Dec. 11, 6:30-8pm
Santa’s Open House 2015 – Lombard
Lombard: www.yorkcenterparks.org
York Center Park District, 1609 S. Luther Ave. Santa will be available to take pictures, listen to your special wishes, and share in the holiday spirit! Our YCPD preschool program will have a special winter performance to kick-off our event. Holiday games and light refreshments will be available. All ages. Free.

Santa Claus

Dec. 12
Breakfast With Santa
Niles: 847-967-6633 www.niles-parks.org
Howard Leisure Center, 6676 W. Howard St. Every year, Santa makes a stop to enjoy breakfast, visit, and of course pictures with the children. It’s a jolly time. All adults & children in attendance must register. Children up to 3rd grade. Seatings- 8:30-9:30 am, 10:00-11:00 am, 11:30 am-12:30 pm.


Dec. 13, 4-5pm
History Speaks – The Legend of St. Nicholas
Naperville: 630-420-6010 napersettlement.org
Naper Settlement, 523 S Webster St. Dressed as the English interpretation of St. Nicholas (Father Christmas), Terry Lynch of HFK Presents will tell the festive tales and explain the influence this fourth century bishop has had on the many traditions of the holiday season throughout the world, both religious and secular. (No important secrets revealed!)


Dec. 19-20
Breakfast with Santa – 2015
Glencoe: 847-835-5440 www.chicagobotanic.org/wonderland
Chicago Botanic Garden 1000 Lake Cook Rd. Breakfast with Santa includes parking, a buffet meal, a visit with Santa and access to Wonderland Express. Seatings at 8:30am, 9:30am and 10:30am.


Dec. 19, 3-9pm
Jingle Bell Jamboree 2015
Naperville: 630-420-6010 www.napersettlement.org
Naper Settlement Pre-Emption House, 523 S. Webster St. Enter a world of holiday magic at the Jingle Bell Jamboree! Families will enjoy story time with Mrs. Claus, a Holiday Craft Workshop, Rudolph’s Reindeer Food Station and the Candy Land Photo Booth. Sip hot chocolate while decorating and nibbling on cookies at Mrs. Claus’ Bakery. Get creative with snow painting (weather permitting) and write a letter to Santa Claus. Don’t miss the Naper Lights holiday display on your way to see the Mansion decorated inside with holiday splendor.


Dec. 20, 9-11am & 10:30-11:30am
Naperville Park District Donuts with Santa
Naperville: 630-848-5000 www.napervilleparks.org
Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center Community Hall, 305 West Jackson Ave. Santa has a secret . . . he loves donuts! Join Santa and his helper elf, Sparkle, in a small, intimate setting. While Sipping hot chocolate, parents and children ages 1 and up will decorate delicious donuts provided by Naperville’s own DeEtta’s Bakery, participate in a holiday story told by Santa and take pictures with the man in red. Please bring your own camera to commemorate the event. Register by Dec. 11.


Dec. 20, 2:30-4pm
IceLand Santa Skate
Niles: 847-297-8010 www.niles-parks.org
IceLand, 8435 Ballard. Come out and skate with Santa and his elves to holiday songs. $5.00 admission, $3.00 skate rental.


Dec. 20, 4-6pm
Jingle Bell Rock
Grayslake: 847-543-2300 https://itkt.choicecrm.net/templates/JLLC/index.php?prod=JINGLE
James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts at the College of Lake County, 19351 W. Washington St. This fast-paced, fun-filled, high-energy family holiday celebration features a live band, talented singers, wacky holiday antics, and of course, Santa Claus!


Dec. 21
Hot Chocolate with Mrs. Claus
Glencoe: 847-835-5440 www.chicagobotanic.org/wonderland
Chicago Botanic Garden 1000 Lake Cook Rd. Enjoy hot chocolate, cookies, a visit with Mrs. Claus and the Wonderland Express exhibition.


Dec. 23, 10am-1pm
Firefighting Santa at the FireZone
Schaumburg: 877-597-3473 firezonefun.com
FireZone 1100 National Pkwy. Enjoy a fun morning exploring everything that the FireZone has to offer PLUS a visit from Firefighting Santa. Special holiday treats and firehouse story time for guests throughout the event. $9 per child