Santa Sighting Alert! Where to See Santa in the Western Suburbs 2018

Santa Claus is coming to town! Kidlist is here to help you get ready to celebrate the season and spend time with Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elves at many family-friendly events. You’ll find tree-lighting ceremonies, parades, story times, holiday train rides, photo opportunities, and more. So grab your wish list, come meet Santa, and make it a holiday tradition! This article is sponsored by Yorktown Center and featured listings. Santa just arrived at Yorktown Center and is there daily during mall hours. Keep reading for a discount on photo packages!

Yorktown Center welcomes Santa straight from the North Pole now through December 24! Visit and take your traditional holiday family photo this year in Center Court during all mall hours. Plus, receive a special Santa’s Nice List certificate along with a sweet treat and coupon from our friends at Fannie May Chocolates. Mention code word “SNOWMAN” at the cash wrap to receive $5.00 off photo package A or B now through 12/10/18.

Do you have a furry four-legged friend? All leashed animals are welcome during our special after-hours Pet Photos with Santa event on Sunday, December 2 starting at 7:30pm (pre-registration required).

For more information on Santa and all of Yorktown Center’s holiday events, please visit our website at

Where to See Santa in Chicago’s Western Suburbs 2018

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

Events Spanning the Season

Santa at Oak Brook Center (Oak Brook)
November 9–December 24, 2018 | 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). Click here to read our review from last year.

Naughty or Nice? at Santa’s Workshop (Oak Brook)
November 9–December 24, 2018 | Open during mall hours
Find out if your child has made the Naughty or Nice List!

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

SantaLand (Macy’s Chicago)
Reservations open starting November 18, 2018| 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.

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Santa at Bass Pro Shop (Bolingbrook)
Now through December 24, 2018 | See the schedule for activity times
Magical Wonderland setting with free photo, crafts and fun for all at Bass Pro Shop.

Holiday Carriage Rides and Visits with Santa (Wheaton)
November 24, December 1, 8, 15, and 22, 2018 | 12:00 – 3:00 pm
Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides and visits with Santa in downtown Wheaton.

Lincoln Park Zoo Lights (Chicago)
November 23, 2018 – January 6, 2019 | 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 24, December 1 and 8, 2018 | 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 24–25, December 1–2, 8–9, 15–16, 22-23, 2018 | 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Santa’s little house sits at the corner of Main Street and Curtiss Street. Bring your camera!

Winter Wonderfest (Navy Pier, Chicago)
Information coming soon! Check their website for updates.
Navy Pier’s annual indoor winter carnival returns with lots of family fun.

Santa House (Naperville)
November 30–December 23, 2018 | Exact times vary each day
Naperville Riverwalk, Jackson Avenue and Webster Street, Naperville
Visit Santa on the Riverwalk at Jackson Avenue and Webster Street. Check website for days and times.

Holiday Magic (Brookfield Zoo)
December 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, and 26-31, 2018 | 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.

Week of November 11, 2018

Jingle Mingle (Burr Ridge)
November 16, 2018 | 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Live performances, tree lighting ceremony and parade among other holiday activities.

Holiday Tree Lighting (Elmhurst)
November 16, 2018 | 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Come join the first tree lighting ceremony in Elmhurst! Santa will arrive on a fire truck.

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival (Chicago)
November 16 and 17, 2018 | 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
A grand tree lighting parade down Michigan Avenue, marshaled by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

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Week of November 18, 2018

Holiday Shopping Extravaganza at Bolingbrook Golf Club (Bolingbrook)
November 18, 2018 | 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Christmas shopping, photos with Santa, facepainting, raffles, and door prizes for the first 50 guests.

Reading Time and Photos with Santa (Bolingbrook Golf Club)
November 18, 2018 | 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Enjoy hot chocolate, holiday arts and crafts, and take a picture with Santa.

Gingerbread Festival (Downers Grove)
November 23 – 25, 2018 | times vary
Storytime begins in the library, followed by a tree lighting procession with Santa.

Holiday Walk (Glen Ellyn)
November 23, 2018 | 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.

Week of November 25, 2018

Skating with Santa (Rocket Ice Arena, Bolingbrook)
December 1, 2018 | 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Register with the Naperville Park District for private ice time with Santa, photo opportunities, holiday music and hot chocolate, too.

Santa Train (Clarendon Hills)
December 1, 2018 | 1:00 – 3:30 pm
Enjoy a fun-filled train ride from Clarendon Hills to the North Pole (Aurora). Snack on milk and cookies before Santa arrives, then enjoy the train-ride back home.

Celebrate the Season Holiday Festival and Mistletoe Market (Cantigny Park, Wheaton)
December 1, 2018 | 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Cantigny gets decked out for holiday activities including sleigh rides, live reindeer, carolers and crafts. Stop in to Mistletoe Market to find that one-of-a-kind gift your family members will love.

Winter Wonderland and Christmas Marketplace (Western Springs)
December 1, 2018 | 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

The WSBA Winter Wonderland and Christmas Marketplace is back featuring food, drinks, holiday music, shopping and a visit with Santa!  The Christmas Market will be situated along Hillgrove Avenue and offer a unique shopping experience in our open-air tents. Vendors will open at 2pm and offer a variety of items including jewelry, toys, clothing, accessories and more!

Santa will arrive at the Tower Green via Fire Engine at 2:30pm with visiting hours between 2:45 – 6:00pm. Visit 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!

Week of December 2, 2018

Santa Storytime Express (Lombard)
December 2, 2018 | 9:30 am – 12:30 pm or 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Hop aboard the Santa Express bus, where you’ll enjoy storytime and songs. Once arriving at the North Pole, you’ll meet Santa and participate in more holiday fun!

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Movie with Santa (Hollywood Boulevard Cinemas, Woodridge)
December 2, 2018 | 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Enjoy a photo opportunity with Santa, holiday activities and Christmas cartoons before a screening of “Elf”.

Holiday Tree Lighting (Waiola Park, La Grange)
December 4, 2018 | 6:00  – 7:00 pm
Tree lighting party with holiday entertainment, Santa, and reindeer.

Holiday Party (Westchester Community Center)
December 5, 2018 | 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Santa will light the tree at this party with outdoor rides, entertainment, crafts, storytelling and more.

Operation Santa Clause (Barlett)
December 7, 2018 | 5:00 – 6:30 pm
Visit Santa in the Log Cabin, and stick around for the village tree lighting ceremony at 7:00 pm

Winter Wonderland (Lombard)
December 7, 2018 | 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.

Santa’s Workshop (Berwyn)
December 8, 2018 | 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Free holiday crafts, stocking stuffers and photos with Santa.

Santa’s Winter Festival (Burr Ridge)
December 8, 2018 | 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Free photo opportunities with Santa

Santa’s Winter Festival (Burr Ridge)
December 8, 2018 | 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Enjoy a visit with Santa, with storytime, facepainting, and more!

Stories with Santa (Glen Ellyn)
December 8, 2018 | 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Stories with Santa, plus live reindeer, at the Glen Ellyn Firehouse downtown.

Home for the Holidays (Oak Park)
December 8, 2018 | Schedule TBD, check the website
Free horse-drawn sleigh rides, a visit from Santa, and a movie special showing at Lake Theatre. All activities are free.

Santa Express (Wheaton)
December 8 – 9, 2018 | 9:15 am or 11:15 am
Join Santa on this special train ride!

Visit from Santa (Villa Park)
December 8, 2018 | 4:00 – 6:30 pm
Santa visits you in your own home! Pre-registration is required and for Villa Park residents only.

Week of December 9, 2018

Pictures with Santa Paws (Memorial Park, Villa Park)
December 10, 2018 | 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Bring your fur baby for a picture with Santa!

Santa Meet & Greet (La Grange)
December 11, 2018 | 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Meet with Santa and take your own pictures while your kids enjoy a gingerbread cookie and cup of milk.

Skate with Santa (Maggie Daley Park, Chicago)
December 15, 2018 | 10:00 am – 12:00 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 15, 2018 | 12:00 – 2:00 pm

All Ages are invited to come meet Santa at Flying High’s annual Santa Open Gym on Saturday, Dec 15th from 12-2pm. In addition to Open Gym time and meeting Santa, enjoy some hot chocolate, write a letter to Santa, make reindeer food and more! Don’t forget a camera for pictures!! $12/child. No coupons/groupons/punch cards will be accepted. Avoid the line and pre-register for this special event on our website!

Week of December 16, 2018

Santa’s Bedtime Stories (Woodridge)
December 16, 2018 | 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.

Santa is Coming to FireZone (Schaumburg)
December 23, 2018 | 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!

Want to enjoy a delicious donut or holiday brunch with St. Nick? Check out our round-up of where to eat lunch, brunch, and breakfast with Santa in Chicago’s western suburbs, too! Or, find out where you can meet Santa in the southwest suburbs.

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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