A live nativity always makes me think of the church scene in Home Alone, one of my favorite Christmas movies. Holiday movies, music and all the trimmings on the tree are wonderful parts of the season, but it’s also important for our family to remember the real reason we celebrate this time of year. We are lucky to have so many different events that showcase the miracle of Christmas in a family-friendly way. Whether it’s a drive-through nativity or a walking experience, there’s something for everyone! This holiday season, take a moment to slow down and remember the real reason for the season.
Churches with a Live Nativity for 2021 in the Chicago Suburbs
Nearly all of these events are free and open to the community, but check the websites for details.
Strollin’ to the Stable (Naperville)
December 4, 2021 | 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Outdoor events, plus an indoor laser light show, help celebrate the season. You’ll need a mask for the indoor portion, and optionally for outside festivities, which include a live nativity, carriage rides, and a petting zoo. Registration is required.
Pilgrimage to the Manger at The Center (Palos Park)
December 4, 2021 | 5:30pm
The night starts outside the Lodge follows Mary and Joseph on their pilgrimage to the manger. Then, it’s across the bridge to the farm, where the shepherds with their sheep and the Magi on horseback will join the pilgrimage. Free-will donations are appreciated. No registration is required.
Drive Through Christmas Nativity (Batavia)
December 5, 2021 | 4:00pm – 6:00pm
This drive-through event features five stations with live actors. Listen to the narration on your phone or on CD (provided). Event lasts approximately 15 minutes. UPDATE FROM 12/5: “We are getting more rain today from 4-6 than originally expected. Sadly we are canceling the live nativity for today. If we get enough volunteers to commit to help by Wednesday Dec 8 we will do the nativity next Sunday.”
Live Nativity Drive Through at Compass Church (Naperville)
December 10 – 11, 2021 | Friday 5:00pm – 9:00pm, Saturday 7:00pm – 10:00pm
This drive-through style nativity features five scenes with recorded narration, effects, live actors, and animals. This event is free takes between 15–30 minutes to experience. No registration required but they highly recommend coming early to avoid a long wait.
Live Nativity and Christmas Eve Service at Downers Grove Community Church (Downers Grove)
December 11, 2021 | 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Live nativity outdoors. The Christmas Story will be shared and there will be candle light caroling.
Live Nativity at Chapelstreet Church Mill Creek Campus (Geneva)
December 11-13, 2021 | 5:30pm – 8:00pm
Enjoy a 30-minute journey to Bethlehem for the whole family. This free event will be mostly outdoors and will feature live animals. Masks must be worn for the brief period of time spent indoors. Registration is required.
All Saints Lutheran Church (Palatine)
December 18, 2021 | 4:00pm and 5:30pm
This live nativity will bring the Christmas story to life. It is a drive-in movie style nativity with 50 spots per time, and you’ll stay in your car for the duration. Reservations needed! Click here to reserve your spot.
Live Nativity at Faith (Aurora)
December 18, 2021 | 6:00 pm – 8:00pm
This year, the spirit of Christmas will be alive at Faith for their outdoor live nativity complete with a choir singing traditional carols. After the performance, you can stay for hot chocolate and cookies, the petting zoo and a nativity scene picture. Option to attend onsite or watch online.
Live Nativity at First Congregational Church (Western Springs)
December 24, 2021 | 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Nativity with live animals. You will be directed to walk past the nativity starting at the corner of Woodland and Chestnut.