Santa Sighting Alert! Local Spots to See Santa in 2019

Here comes Santa Claus — right down our neighborhood lanes! What better way to ring in the Christmas season than a visit with Santa himself? At these family-friendly events, you’ll get to see the big guy (and maybe even catch a sighting of Mrs. Claus and the elves). Below, you’ll find tree-lighting ceremonies, parades, story times, photo opportunities, and more spots to see Santa this holiday season. Don’t forget your wish list!

This article is sponsored by Naperville Park District and the featured listings.

Santa House on the Riverwalk (Naperville)
November 30 – December 22, 2019

Visit Santa this December at Santa House on the Riverwalk, and enjoy the festive, holiday atmosphere in downtown Naperville. Friendly volunteer “elves” keep children entertained while they wait for their special time with Santa. Admission is free at this Naperville Park District event, which is presented by Woody Buick GMC and supported by many other sponsors. Santa House opens to the public on Saturday, November 30 and continues with weekend hours through Sunday, December 22 and weekday evening hours December 17-19. Photos with Santa can be purchased for $8 each or 2 for $15. Online reservations for Pet Night, Special Needs Night and Military and First Responders Night open at 9:00 a.m. on November 11 at napervilleparks.org. No reservations are needed for the public hours. Santa House is located on the Riverwalk at Jackson Avenue and Webster Street.

Where to See Santa in the West and Southwest Suburbs

Please note that many of these events require pre-registration. Be sure to click on each link for additional information, including any fees.

Events Spanning the Season

SantaLand (Macy’s Chicago)
November 2 – December 24, 2019 | During store hours
Macy’s SantaLand (which many know as Cozy Cloud from the Marshall Field days) is on the 5th floor of Macy’s on State Street. Reservations are required. Click here to read our review of Christmas at Macy’s on State.

Santa at Bass Pro Shop (Bolingbrook)
Now through December 24, 2019 | See the schedule for activity times
Magical Wonderland setting with free photo, crafts and fun for all at Bass Pro Shop.

Santa HQ (Fashion Outlets of Chicago, Rosemont)
Now through December 24, 2019 | Mondays – Thursdays 11:00 am – 8:00 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 10:00 am – 9:00 pm, Sundays 10:00 am – 7:00 pm, special holiday hours may apply
Santa HQ will invite families to visit Santa in an interactive way. Click here to read our 2017 review.

Santa Photo Experience at Orland Square Mall (Orland Park)
November 8 – December 24, 2019

Families return year after year to the Santa Photo Experience at Orland Square Mall to interact with their classic Santa for timeless photos. With his authentic white beard and dressed in red, white and a hint of gold, Orland Square’s jolly Santa helps families create memories that will last a lifetime. The Santa Photo Experience is located in the lower level H&M wing and is open 11/8-12/24. Visit the News & Events page at www.OrlandSquare.com for daily hours.

Photos with Santa at Village Green (Oak Brook)
November 9 – December 24, 2019 | Mondays–Saturdays 10:00 am – 8:00 pm, Sundays 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Make a date to give your wishes to Santa! (Reservations are not required, but encouraged.)

READ
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Pet Pictures with Santa at Village Green (Oak Brook)
November 11 – December 16, 2019 | 5:00 pm – close
Stop in for a photo op with your four-legged friend. Cats and dogs only please.

Photos with Santa at Yorktown Center (Lombard)
November 14 – December 24, 2019
Photos are taken in Center Court and packages are available. If you or your children have pet allergies, Tuesdays through Sundays are recommended.

Pet Photos with Santa at Yorktown Center (Lombard)
November 18 – December 16, 2019 | Mondays only
Have photos taken of your pets with Santa on Mondays in Center Court.

Holiday Carriage Rides and Visits with Santa (Wheaton)
November 30, December 7, 14, and 21, 2019 | 12:00 – 3:00 pm
Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides and visits with Santa in downtown Wheaton.

Lincoln Park Zoo Lights (Chicago)
November 29, 2019 – January 5, 2020 | 4:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Come visit Zoo Lights for the many special events featuring Santa, ice sculptures and 3D displays.

Santa’s Craft Corner (Cosley Zoo, Wheaton)
November 30, December 7 and 14, 2019 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Visit Santa at the zoo, make crafts, enjoy refreshments, and see the animals.

Visits with Santa (Downers Grove)
November 30, December 1, 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 2019 | 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Santa’s little house sits at the corner of Main Street and Curtiss Street. Bring your camera!

Santa House on the Riverwalk (Naperville)
November 30 – December 22, 2019

Visit Santa this December at Santa House on the Riverwalk, and enjoy the festive, holiday atmosphere in downtown Naperville. Friendly volunteer “elves” keep children entertained while they wait for their special time with Santa. Admission is free at this Naperville Park District event, which is presented by Woody Buick GMC and supported by many other sponsors. Santa House opens to the public on Saturday, November 30 and continues with weekend hours through Sunday, December 22 and weekday evening hours December 17-19. Photos with Santa can be purchased for $8 each or 2 for $15. Online reservations for Pet Night, Special Needs Night and Military and First Responders Night open at 9:00 a.m. on November 11 at napervilleparks.org. No reservations are needed for the public hours. Santa House is located on the Riverwalk at Jackson Avenue and Webster Street.

Holiday Magic (Brookfield Zoo)
November 30 – December 1, 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, and 26-31, 2019 | Zoo is open 10:00 am – 9:00 pm, festivities begin at 4 pm
Brookfield is transformed with more than a million LED holiday lights, as well as ice carvers, animal shows, and more. Click here to read our insider’s guide to Holiday Magic.

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Winter Wonderfest (Navy Pier, Chicago)
December 6, 2019 – January 12, 2020 
Navy Pier’s annual indoor winter carnival returns with lots of family fun. Click here for our 2018 review.

Local Santa Events in November

Smile with Santa (Tinley Park)
November 9, 2019 | 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Stop in for a photo op with the big guy!

Jingle Mingle (Burr Ridge)
November 15, 2019 | 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Live performances, tree lighting ceremony and parade among other holiday activities.

Almost Winter Day (South Elgin)
November 16, 2019 | 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Usher in the start of the holiday season with a fun-filled day for the whole family. Follow the fun to the tree lighting.

Festival of Lights Tree Lighting (The Promenade, Bolingbrook)
November 16, 2019 | 3:00 – 6:00 pm
Enjoy the holiday festivities including a visit from Santa. If you miss him here, he’ll be in Bass Pro Shop later today from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. Find those details.

Holiday Photo Shoot (North Riverside)
November 22, 2019 | 5:00 – 8:00 pm
Stop in for a professional photograph with Santa himself.

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival (Chicago)
November 22 and 23, 2019 | 4:00 – 8:00 pm and 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
A grand tree lighting parade down Michigan Avenue, marshaled by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

Holiday Walk (Glen Ellyn)
November 29, 2019 | 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
The Fire Department lifts Santa Claus to the top of the Christmas tree so he can turn on the lights. Then, Santa heads back to the Fire Department, where kids can sit on his lap and get a candy cane.

Little Friends Holiday Parade of Lights (Naperville)
November 29, 2019 | 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Santa and Mrs. Clause will be in this annual holiday parade through the streets of Downtown Naperville.

Gingerbread Festival (Downers Grove)
November 29 – December 1, 2019 | times vary
Join the festivities in Downtown Downers Grove as we ring in the holiday seasons. Storytime begins in the library, followed by a tree lighting procession with Santa.

Holly Days Opening Ceremonies (Westmont)
November 30, 2019 | 4:00 – 7:00 pm
Watch the parade and entertainment, visit with Santa and Mrs. Clause.

Local Santa Events in December

Holiday Festival & Tree Lighting Ceremony (Orland Park)
December 1, 2019 | 4:30 – 7:30 pm
Bring your camera for a photo op amongst the fun at this holiday market.

Woodland Santa’s Holiday Workshop (St. Charles)
December 1, 2019 | 10:00 – 11:30 am
Make an ornament and visit with Santa. Light refreshments will be served.

Holiday Tree Lighting (Waiola Park, La Grange)
December 3, 2019 | 6:00  – 7:00 pm
Tree lighting party with holiday entertainment, Santa, and reindeer.

READ
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Holly Jolly Storytime (Orland Park)
December 3 – 5, 2019 | 10:00 -11:00 am
Enjoy Christmas-themed storytime with a visit from Santa!

Holiday Party (Westchester Community Center)
December 4, 2019 | 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Santa will light the tree at this party with outdoor rides, entertainment, crafts, storytelling and more.

Holiday Tree Lighting (Willow Springs)
December 4, 2019 | 7:00 pm
Come join the tree lighting ceremony in Willow Springs!

Tree Lighting in Wilder Park (Elmhurst)
December 5, 2019 | 5:30 – 8:00 pm
Meet with Santa, and enjoy children’s activities and entertainment.

Operation Santa Clause (Bartlett)
December 6, 2019 | 5:00 – 6:30 pm
Visit Santa in the Log Cabin, and stick around for the village tree lighting ceremony at 7:00 pm.

Christmas Walk (Clarendon Hills)
December 6, 2019 | 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Enjoy hot chocolate and cookies as you await Santa’s arrival at 7:00 pm.

Winter Wonderland (Lombard)
December 6, 2019 | 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Visit Santa at the York Center Park District, where he’ll take photos and listen to kids’ wishes. There will be two kids’ program performances in addition to games and light refreshments.

Movie with Santa (Hollywood Boulevard Cinemas, Woodridge)
December 7, 2019 | 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Enjoy a photo opportunity with Santa, holiday activities and Christmas cartoons before a screening of “Elf”.

Skating with Santa (Rocket Ice Arena, Bolingbrook)
December 7, 2019 | 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Register with the Naperville Park District for private ice time with Santa, photo opportunities, holiday music and hot chocolate, too.

Santa’s Pit Stop (Orland Park)
December 7, 2019 | 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Stop in for a photo op with Santa at the Sportsplex.

Annual Holiday Celebration Saturday (Brookfield)
December 7, 2019 | 2:00 – 6:00 pm
Amongst the holiday activities at Village Hall, don’t forget your camera for a picture with Santa!

Winter Wonderland and Christmas Marketplace (Western Springs)
December 7, 2019 | 2:00 – 7:00 pm
Tower Green, along Hillgrove Avenue

The WSBA Winter Wonderland and Christmas Marketplace is back featuring food, drinks, holiday music, shopping and a visit with Santa! Vendors will open at 2pm with jewelry, toys, clothing, accessories and more! Stop by the WSBA table and purchase your luminaria kit to ‘Light up Western Springs’ on Tuesday, December 24th. Kits can also be pre-purchased online at a discounted price for pick-up at Winter Wonderland.

Santa will arrive at the Tower Green via Fire Engine at 2:30 pm with visiting hours between 2:45 – 7:00 pm. Visit www.westernspringsbusiness.com to make a reservation with Santa. The official lighting of the Village Christmas Tree will take place at 5pm. Other activities include hayrides, a petting zoo, food, drinks and crafts. A big thank you to our Winter Wonderland & Christmas Marketplace Headline Sponsor RE/MAX Properties!

Children’s Holiday Party (Hinsdale)
December 8, 2019 | 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Join the 43rd Annual Children’s Holiday Party for holiday fun including a picture with Santa.

Pet Photos with Santa (Orland Square)
December 8, 2019 | 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Pictures with Santa Paws (Memorial Park, Villa Park)
December 9, 2019 | 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Bring your fur baby for a picture with Santa!

Santa’s Spectacular (Burr Ridge)
December 14, 2019 | time TBD
Enjoy a visit with Santa, with storytime, facepainting, and more!

Stories with Santa (Glen Ellyn)
December 14, 2019 | 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Stories with Santa, plus live reindeer, at the Glen Ellyn Firehouse downtown.

Santa’s Workshop (North Berwyn)
December 14, 2019 | 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Free holiday crafts, stocking stuffers and photos with Santa.

Santa Paws and Pictures (Oakbrook Terrace)
December 14, 2019 | 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Bring your four-legged friend out for a picture with Santa and a treat, too!

Santa is Coming to FireZone (Schaumburg)
December 14, 2019 | 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
If your child is interested in firefighters, this is the perfect event for you! Pictures with firefighter Santa, firefighter gear demonstrations, a Christmas firefighter hat, and so much more!

Skate with Santa (Maggie Daley Park, Chicago)
December 14, 2019 | 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Skate with Santa and enjoy the winter wonderland concession area with holiday crafts, a photo area and other activities.

Santa Open Gym (Countryside)
December 14, 2019 | 12:00 – 2:00 pm

All Ages are invited to come meet Santa at Flying High’s annual Santa Open Gym on Saturday, December 14th from 12-2pm. In addition to Open Gym time and meeting Santa, kids will write a letter to Santa, make reindeer food, make an ornament for the tree, and more! Don’t forget a camera to take pictures! $12/child. Avoid the line and pre-register for this special event on our website. Kiddos kindergarten and younger are also invited to our Holly Jolly Little Tykes Times on Friday December 20th from 10-11:30am and 1:30-3pm. Activities include ornament making, reindeer food station, and writing letters to Santa!

Santa’s Bedtime Stories (Woodridge)
December 15, 2019 | 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Kids dress in pajamas and slippers for a treasure hunt through the community center, stories from Santa, milk and cookies, sharing their Christmas wishes, and more.

Home for the Holidays (Oak Park)
December 21, 2019 | 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Free horse-drawn sleigh rides, a visit from Santa, and a movie special showing at Lake Theatre. All activities are free.

Pelican Harbor Holiday Festival (Bolingbrook)
December 21, 2019 | 9:00 – 11:30 am
Stop in for a wintertime swim, and enjoy holiday treats and a visit with Santa.

Visit from Santa (Villa Park)
December 21, 2019 | 4:00 – 6:30 pm
Santa visits you in your own home! Pre-registration is required and for Villa Park residents only.

Want to enjoy a delicious donut or holiday brunch with St. Nick? Next week, we’ll be updating our lists of where to eat lunch, brunch, and breakfast with Santa in Chicago’s western suburbs and the polar express, holiday express, and Santa trolleys. So keep your eyes out for all the Santa sightings to come!

About the Author

Katie Mayle
Katie is a mother of two girls and a baby boy (ages 5 1/2, 4, and 6 months), and has lived in the Chicagoland for her entire life. A Joliet native, she and her husband moved back to his hometown of Naperville after the birth of their second daughter. The girls keep her family very active, and she is grateful for the countless indoor and outdoor opportunities available to families in the western suburbs. She looks forward to sharing family-friendly fun with the parents of young children.

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