Santa and Ice Skating at Oakbrook Center

Oakbrook Center invited us to spend the afternoon visiting with Santa and ice skating at their new outdoor ice rink so we could share our experience with you!

I know there has been a lot of talk about Adventure to Santa, but if you haven’t heard, Oakbrook Center will not be doing that this year. Actually, as far as I can tell, Dreamwork’s Adventure to Santa appears to be completely discontinued so it’s not happening anywhere.

Instead of Adventure to Santa, Oakbrook Center has made their Glass Pavilion (located next to Starbucks) Santa central. Your children have the opportunity to check which list they are on – naughty or nice – and you can also have photographs taken with Santa himself in a nicely decorated space.

Santa’s Naughty or Nice Book

Has your child ever wondered if they were on Santa’s Naughty or Nice List?  Well, now they can find out. You can register your children at Include some great facts about your child like their top gifts for this holiday season, their pets name, how they are doing in school, etc., and indicate if your child is naughty or nice. Then come to Oakbrook Center to have them look at Santa’s special book and find their name on the list. The digital book is located at the entrance to the Glass Pavilion and you can enter the code you receive through email to check Santa’s list.

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Santa Photos

You can make reservations to visit with Santa and take photos with him at Photo packages start at $39.99 for you to capture the memory for your family. Reserve your time Monday – Wednesday and save $5 through December 9th.

Please note that you are not allowed to take your own photos. I just wanted to be able to show you the set up and cute decorations that they have set up to make the experience special.

After your visit with Santa, he gives everyone disposable glasses that reveal holiday images when you look at Christmas lights… I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you what you will see!

Ice Skating

New this year, Oakbrook Center has an ice skating rink located on the Village Green near Crate & Barrel and Land of Nod. The rink is open now through February 28, 2018,  Monday – Saturday 10am – 9pm, and Sunday 11am – 6pm. Admission is $9 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under. Skate Rental is $5. Unfortunately, they only have hockey skates, so I would recommend bringing figure skates if you prefer those.

A warming house is right next to skate rental and the rink, so you can warm up and lace up your skates while sitting on one of the couches.

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The rink is on the small side, but we went on a Saturday afternoon and didn’t find it to be too crowded. There were ice shavings/snow on the ice, but the staff periodically uses squeegee-like scrapers to clean the ice periodically. Once a day after closing, they go over the ice with a golf cart converted into a zamboni-type machine, which scrapes the ice and adds a thin layer of water to freeze over the surface. The rink is refrigerated, so the ice will be frozen even if the temperatures warm up.

Holiday Market

The Oakbrook Center Holiday Market will be open Friday Noon – 9pm, Saturday 10am – 9pm, Sunday 11am – 6pm from Thanksgiving through Christmas. You will find unique holiday gifts for everyone on your list including homemade pet treats, custom holiday ornaments, one of a kind jewelry and art. Don’t forget to warm up and treat yourself to crepes, spiced nuts, hot chocolate, wine, and more.


If you are planning on seeing Santa, ice skating, or both, we recommend you park by Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel. Your other option is to eat at the District, Oakbrook Center’s new dining area, to grab a bite to eat before or after your experience. In that case, we would recommend parking in the purple parking garage, located in the back of the mall near California Pizza Kitchen and where the large AMC Theatre sign is. Then you can take the convenient escalator up to the District and then down towards the Microsoft Store and Land of Nod.

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About the Author

Annie Tandy
Annie loves making great memories with her kids and started Kidlist in 2011 so she can help others do the same! Besides finding fun and exciting things to do, Annie, her husband, and their kids enjoy caring for their chickens and hanging out with them in the backyard. Click here to read about Annie's chickens and see pictures! She also finds joy in gardening, home improvement projects, knitting, soap making, and painting along with being active in her community, church, and as a board member of the Western Springs Business Association. Click here to follow Annie on Instagram.

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